To protect our planet, making little adaptions to our routine can help to create long-term and sustainable change. We don’t all have to make huge sacrifices, or give up the beauty and skincare products we love.
Here, I have created a 10-point guide, with ways you can alter your routine to make a big positive impact. Not only will the planet love you, but your skin will too!
Bar products are a great way to reduce plastic. It is estimated that over 552 million shampoo bottles alone end up in landfill each year, taking on average a further 450 years to decompose. There are many benefits to using bar-based products, which deliver high quality hair and body care results. Not only do bar-based products last longer than liquid based formulas, but they often come in little-to-no packaging, reducing plastic waste.
2. Reduce the number of disposables.
By eliminating the use of makeup wipes and single-use cotton pads and buds, we can make a huge difference! Numerous brands have actually shown their cotton pads, are in fact made from synthetic fibres, and single use plastics, instead. Using cleansers as makeup removers, these often simply require water to activate the ingredients making them a great way to reduce cotton pads. Arguably, these also penetrate and cleanse / clear the skin better too, with numerous active ingredients! Alternatively, if you can’t live without cotton pads, there are numerous brands creating reusable versions, which can be put in the washing machine / hand washed. These can be reused multiple times so not only save you money, but the planet too. Furthermore, some research has shown that cotton pads and buds can contain pesticide residues on; these toxins can in fact harm your skin!
3. Check for palm-oil free.
The production of palm oil has emerged as an incredibly unethical process. It has not only caused conflicts amongst local communities, but significantly contributed to deforestation and habitat for animals such as orangutans, elephants, and rhinos. Unfortunately, palm oil is found in a vast number of cosmetics products so brands are beginning to source alternatives, or rely upon the RSPO. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil have begun to certificate brands use of palm oil, verifying no deforestation, land burning, or exploitation of workers or local communities were involved throughout production. Whilst it might be difficult in some products to avoid, looking for RSPO certification certainly is a great place to start to challenging our global use of palm oil.
4. Avoid microplastics.
Microplastics are small plastic pieces which are often added to health and beauty products, such as some cleansers and toothpastes. These microplastics are often used within products as emulsifying agents. Wastewater treatments are not designed to filter them out resulting in them floating in the ocean, entering the marine food chain. To search for microbes in your products, an incredible app “Beat the Microbead” has been developed. This enables you to scan for microbeads and check your products!
5. Opt for multi-purpose products.
Having a skincare routine with endless steps be time consuming and expensive. Therefore, by using products which perform multiple steps can reduce plastic and waste. It has often been thought that the more products utilised the better, however use of multi-purpose products has shown that this type of skincare does not compromise efficacy, whilst promoting sustainability too.
6. Use the correct amount of product.
By utilising the correct amount fo product we can all help to make a big impact. I for one, have definitely utilised excessive amount of products, so researching the correct portion of product can not only be beneficial for your purse, but also the planet. By using less product each time, you will use less product overall and thus re-buy less frequently. This saves packaging and excess product being wasted down the sink!
7. Check for the leaping bunny.
The Leaping Bunny is an internationally recognised standard label for beauty and skincare products, which do not test on animals. These brands have implemented a supply chain checking system for animal testing. This not only promotes sustainable change, but ensures brands uphold ethical standards for their products.
8. Recycle your packaging properly.
Whilst it can be easy just to throw away packaging in the bathroom bin, a vast quantity of cosmetics and skincare packaging can be either partly or fully recycled. Often it is clearly labelled how and where to recycle your product. Furthermore, big high street brands such as Boots and L’Oreal have recently introduced fantastic in-store recycling schemes. If you collect and return your skincare and cosmetics packaging, not only will they do the recycling for you, but often reward you with points and vouchers.
9. Reduce water waste.
We have always been encouraged to take shorter showers and turn the tap off whilst brushing our teeth, but an increasing number of brands are going “waterless”. Water is one of the most common ingredients found in beauty product to improve product consistency and spreadability. Despite this, products with a high quantity of water in are unable to kill bacteria and reduce microbial growth. Furthermore, by adding water to products can reduce the overall effectiveness of the product. The less effective, the more is used and therefore the more product consumed, the more packaging is required consequently creating more water pollution. Therefore, arguably opting for waterless products may positive impact overall skin health.
10. Check for reef-safe ingredients.
Whilst wearing SPF is one of the first skincare rules, the chemicals found within sunscreens have been known to not only harm but kill the reefs in our oceans. Ingredients including PABA and oxybenzone have been reported as toxic to not only the reefs but also marine life. Opting for reef safe sunscreens is a great way to preserve our reefs, which are fundamental to ocean ecosystems. Reef-safe SPFs provide the the same broad spectrum protection, so you don’t have to compromise the health of your skin, to protect our planet!
We hope these little tips and tricks are helpful. Whilst it is virtually impossible, and not always easy to implement these stages to all our routines, making some small changes will contribute drastically to the overall health of the planet. Little changes will all contribute to making a big impact!
We would love to hear your little change tips, so make sure to let us know in the comments below!