In the fight against climate change and pollution, every little bit helps. One of the biggest changes we can make at an individual level is reducing our consumption and reducing what we throw away. The gases from landfill are some of the main causes of harmful CO2. And litter is a huge contributor to the death of sea life.
If you're looking to make a change, one area to look at is your beauty routine. Beauty is an area rife with single-use products, too much packaging, chemicals and too much waste. But there are so many ways to make you beauty routine more sustainable, without having to compromise. We've rounded up some easy changes you can make below.
1. Use refillable products
Refillable products decrease the need for new packaging. And luckily for us there are some truly beautiful brands creating covetable and refillable products. Hermès has designed its range of Rouge Hermès lipsticks to be refillable. Gucci Beauty's stunning vintage powder compacts are refillable. Even brands like St. Rose has made their hand sanitisers refillable. Then there's brands like ASUVI which makes refillable deodorant.
2. Switch to reusable makeup wipes
Makeup wipes are a problem. Wipes in general are a problem. They're not biodegradable and are some of the most common pieces of litter found washing up on beaches. Animals choke on them and they clog drains. They're bad news. I switched to using Face Halos about two years ago and I've never looked back. They're reusable for about 200 machine washes and after that they're recyclable. Another recent discovery are the towels from Press Beauty, which are designed to cleanse your face like a wipe would, only without cleanser - they're rather nifty. These are great if you prefer a larger wash-cloth-style tool and they're machine washable too.
3. Try non-plastic cotton buds
Cotton buds are one of the biggest culprits of single-use plastic. But they're often an essential, and it's hard to find a substitute. But there are brands that make cotton tips with paper stems, which bio-degrade in landfill. Have a look next time you're at the supermarket.
4. Choose a bamboo or biodegradable toothbrush
Toothbrushes are another source of single-use plastic. So why not switch to bamboo? Grants of Australia sell bamboo toothbrushes in varying softness levels. You can also get toothbrushes made out of biodegradable corn starch from the Natural Family Co.
5. Get a laser-hair-removal-at-home device
It's a weird one, but getting laser hair removal (if you choose hair removal at all) is a more sustainable option than using disposable plastic razors. And, it's easy to get at-home devices for a fairly reasonable price these days. Happy Skin Co. and Selfie Skin are a few names to check out.
6. If you're swimming, use reef-safe sunscreen
It was a difficult day finding out that many sunscreens are toxic to sea life. If you're going snorerling or in a specific region, you'll find you actively be asked not to wear it. Fortunately there are some products that are still fine to wear in the water. They will be marked as "reef safe" usually. Some examples include Tribe Skincare SPF 30+, Ultra Violette Queen Screen 50+, Bondi Sands Face SPF 50+ and Invisible Zinc SPF 50+.
7. Support brands with a circular packaging program
Some brands encourage the return of packaging and will incentivise this will a discount. RAWKANVAS is an example. It offers consumers that return their empty bottles a discount on their next order as an incentive, then it upcycles the glass bottles.
8. Go for packaging-free, solid products
We've written before about switching to shampoo bars. They're a great environmentally friendly alternative, because bar-style products don't require plastic packaging. Brand NueBar has a range of shampoos, conditioners, face washes, body washes and exfoliators all in bar form. New Zealand brand Ethique is another option to look out for. It offers all sorts of bodycare products in bar form. It even makes laundry bars, which are super convenient to have in your bag when travelling.