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Sustainable Beauty Swaps

24, August 2023

Sustainable Beauty Swaps

When it comes to plastic waste, beauty can get pretty ugly. Toiletries, make-up and their paraphernalia are often very… plasticky. In recent years, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and products containing microbeads have both been banned in the UK, but sadly there’s still a long way to go. You can do your bit, though – by making even one of these simple sustainable beauty swaps. Get ready to give your beauty routine a green glow-up.

Swap Wipes for Flannels

Disposable wipes might be a temptingly-convenient way to remove makeup and clean your face, but they’re bad news for the planet. As well as containing unnecessary single-use plastics, wipes flushed down the toilet are a major cause of blockages and pollution in our waterways. A ban on plastic-containing wipes is forthcoming, but there’s a way to break your wipe habit right now: the good old-fashioned flannel. Look for hot cloth cleansing products that you can use with a washable facecloth. Not only is this cleansing method better for Nature than disposable wipes, it’s also much more effective, thanks to the warm water and the exfoliating texture of towelling.

Swap Cotton Wool Pads for Washable Alternatives

Are you a cotton wool pad devotee? Save on plastic and help the planet by switching to washable alternatives. Sustainable beauty is big news, so there are plenty of options available. Some use special fabric that means you only need add water to swipe away even the most stubborn mascara with ease. Get into the habit of using and washing reusable pads and before you know it, you’ll have forgotten all about disposable cotton wool. Want to save money? You could even have a go at crocheting your own!

Swap Bottles for Solids

How’s the shelf in your bathroom looking? If it’s groaning under the weight of a load of plastic bottles, it might be time to consider a more sustainable way of showering. Swap bottled shampoo for shampoo bars, liquid conditioner for conditioner bars and shower gel or hand wash for solid soap bars. As well as saving on plastic packaging, you’ll be doing Nature a big favour in other ways: solid products save on water, plus they’re usually lighter and more compact to transport than liquid counterparts, cutting down on carbon emissions too.

Swap Splurging for Saving

OK, beauty products can be addictive – especially when so many exciting new products keep arriving on the scene. But how often have you bought a powder or potion, only to decide it’s not for you after one use? Resist the urge to impulse-buy by researching in advance; search for reviews online to see what people are saying about a product, or seek out recommendations. If you do have a stash of barely-used beauty buys, why not set up a sustainable beauty swap with friends or family? One person’s trash might be another’s treasure – and you might just save someone from buying ten new tubes of stuff that they never really needed.

Swap Recycling for Refilling

As the message atop our very own standard-sized bottles says: ‘Recycling is good, refilling is better.’ And it’s true: refilling your toiletries and cosmetics saves a LOT of wasteful plastic. If you can, stock up on large refill containers of your favourites in advance, set up a home refill station and pump your products into smaller, reusable bottles. If refilling at home isn’t an option for you, head to your nearest refill store, take some empty containers and let your new refill habit begin!

Swap Plastic for Other Materials

Even if you made all the swaps above, your washbag, bathroom cabinet or cosmetics drawer is probably still a hotbed of plastic. Take out everything and see how many plastic items you can find. Things like disposable razors, hairbrushes and make-up packaging and applicators are often made of plastic. Swapping everything for a more sustainable materials is unrealistic for most, but even making one small switch can make a difference. Look for metal razors with changeable blades, biodegradable or bamboo hairbrushes and refillable make-up palettes.