It’s 2020. You no longer go anywhere without your canvas tote bag. You feel guilty every time you forget your reusable coffee cup. And you judge any bar that still gives away plastic straws like they are going out of fashion (they are). So, what simples steps can you also be taking to make your skincare habit more sustainable?
Before I go in, I am of course going to make a disclaimer that I am in no way the world’s most eco-friendly person. But it’s all about baby steps. And these are the steps I’m taking to do my bit when it comes to making my beauty obsession a little less wasteful…
USE UP your products
I’m know I’m guilty of it, a lot of beauty lovers are. But for god’s sake lets make 2020 the year of actually finishing the products we have sitting on our bathroom shelves before buying new ones and letting the half used bottles fester, go out of date, and then end up in the bin.
This year I am making a conscious effort to try and finish products rather than flitting from one to the other, then back again before getting side-tracked by a Cult Beauty discount code and adding more to the stash. I am going to use what I have FIRST before buying unnecessarily, overloading my face and cluttering my bathroom, and let’s face it, the EARTH, with more waste.
Switch one-use products to reusables
I shouldn’t have to tell you by now that it’s time to say GOODBYE to your makeup wipes. This isn’t the noughties anymore. You’re not 14 at a sleepover trying to get layers of dream matte mousse off with a Boots own cucumber cleansing wipe. Not in 2020 my love.
Get yourself a flannel. TREAT yourself to a microfibre cloth and a cream cleanser. Buy seven and have one for everyday of the week. Put them in the washing machine and hey look, seven clean cloths! You’ve saved the planet from 30 wipes in landfill a month. You go girl.
I like these.
Same goes for cotton pads. Before I discovered reusable cotton pads I felt like I was constantly saying ‘I need to go to Superdrug for cotton pads’. Not anymore, my friend. You can buy bamboo cotton pads from Amazon, pop them in a little bag, wash them along with your flannels, and you’ll never be scrubbing at your eye makeup with a bit of toilet paper because you forgot to go to Superdrug again. Cost and time effective.
These are the ones I’ve got: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reusable-Cotton-Bamboo-Washable-Remover/dp/B07PMJRJ6X?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
Recycle your packaging, properly
Check the back of your packaging before chucking it in your general waste bin. Most will have directions on how to recycle your products. Most plastic and glass packaging will be recyclable. It’s usually the extra parts such as pumps and lids that you might need to double check. If you are not sure, get in touch with the brand and they should be able to give you a clear idea of what you can and can’t recycle.
Give to those in need
Got beauty/hygiene products lying around that you know you are never going to use? Don’t just throw them away. There are a few charities that will accept unused products as donations to give to those who really needs them.
Beauty Banks – will accept unwanted, unused, beauty and hygiene products and distribute them to food banks and shelters across the UK to help people living in poverty. Look out for a Beauty Banks drop off station, set up a station yourself: https://www.beautybanks.org.uk/
Hygiene Banks – a similar set up with product donation boxes across the UK. You can search online for your nearest drop off point: https://thehygienebank.com/
Toiletries Amnesty – with 25 organisations registered, you can search through the online directory and select the organisation nearest you donate your unwanted toiletries.
Or get together with a group of friends and let them rummage through your unwanted products! People LOVE a freebie.
Research your products
Before you go out and pick whatever looks prettiest on the shelf, do some research to check your favourite brands are creating products sustainably and not harming the planet, or treating their factory workers unfairly, in the process. A quick search on most brand websites will direct you to a sustainability or mission statement that will tell you how their ingredients are sourced and if any of their products are made from recycled materials, and what plans they are making to do better. This is one that I need to personally do more of when buying products and is an area I’d like to improve on.
So there you have it. 5 simples tips to more sustainable skincare than anyone can start thinking about. Have you tried any already?