Eco-Chic Glow: A Practical Guide to a Sustainable Beauty Routine
By Andi Croft
Managing and maintaining one’s “beauty” can be costly and not the most eco-friendly, given all the products you’re juggling. If you’ve been wanting a change for the better in this aspect, this article is here to help you craft your new and sustainable beauty routine.
Understanding Sustainable Beauty
Before we help you create a sustainable beauty routine, let’s first discuss what sustainable beauty is.
Sustainable beauty is about the use of eco-friendly products that also don’t harm consumer health. Sustainable beauty has become a phenomenon and a movement because consumers’ increased awareness.
As consumers have become more informed, they have become more aware that products and businesses that they buy from should align with their morals. Thus, many more people have become interested in sustainable beauty.
When using beauty products that support sustainable beauty, it isn’t just the main product that should be sustainable, nor the ingredients it’s made from.
You should also check the product’s manufacturing process. After all, what’s the point of getting a product using eco-friendly ingredients when making it isn’t safe for the environment?
Part of the manufacturing process would be the labor as well. Although it might be challenging to vet this and, to be clear, you don’t have to. You most likely want to buy from a business that doesn’t step down on anyone to run their business.
Together, these can create a thorough process of sustainable beauty that isn’t just a consumer trend and a way of life.
Now that you know what sustainable beauty entails, let’s discuss why adopting this to your beauty routine is vital.
Why is sustainable beauty essential?
One of the reasons why sustainable beauty is essential and why you should consider adopting it is because it’s about the environment.
At this point, one should be aware of the importance of maintaining the health and safety of our environment. With a healthy environment, we can preserve the sanctity of it for future generations and us as we live in it.
If your values find environmental caretaking is an issue close to your heart, then adopting a sustainable beauty routine should be one way for you to answer that.
Aside from the main reason, the environment, you would want to adopt sustainable beauty because it will affect the beauty industry.
When more people care for sustainable beauty, many other companies will feel consumer pressure to adopt sustainable practices. Studies have shown that consumers who find out a company is greenwashing can negatively affect said company’s bottom line.
Due to that effect, sustainability won’t just be a separate category of products. Many products would start being more sustainable by default, so the standard for sustainability and the quality of products in the beauty industry will increase.
If you need an extra reason to care for sustainable beauty, another benefit would be the health benefits.
Since part of the intention of sustainable beauty is protecting the consumer’s health, sustainable beauty products should avoid incurring harmful side effects if you use them.
After knowing more about the benefits of adopting sustainable beauty, let’s cover some ideas on how to shape your sustainable beauty routine.
Our Complete Sustainable Beauty Routine
Embrace natural and organic beauty ingredients
The ingredients of your beauty products will be under scrutiny if you want them to be environmentally friendly. Just make sure to check that their natural and organic beauty ingredients are genuinely natural and organic, and it isn’t just a random seal that they tacked on to their product for the sake of it.
One way to check that products that claim to be organic and natural are genuinely what they say would be by going to some reliable initiatives that do just that. Some examples of sustainability beauty certifications would be:
- Certified Carbon Neutral Global Standard certification by Natural Capital Partners
- The Rainforest Alliance certification
- Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) certification
- Alliance of Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard by the AWS
- Plastic Free™️ certification by A Plastic Planet
There are a variety of certifications that a business passionate about sustainability would be interested in getting certifications for their products.
Just remember that if you’re getting the product from a small or local business, it might not be plausible for them to get that certification. You shouldn’t hold it against them if that were the case, but the same can’t be said for more giant corporations that make beauty products that they claim are sustainable.
Opt for sustainable hair removal alternatives
One of people’s least sustainable beauty habits is hair removal. If you’re using razors that aren’t reusable, you often have to replace the blades fast. Plus, they usually have plastic components that can wear out eventually.
Instead of removing hair in an unsustainable manner, you should instead look for alternatives. For example, you can opt for IPL hair removal since IPLs are reusable. Unlike disposable razors, you don’t need to replace them each time. Studies suggest that IPL is safe and effective.
Just sanitize your IPL after every use, and you’re good to go. Plus, the results last longer, so you don’t have to use the IPL as often. You also get to remove hair from large areas of your body.
Other sustainable hair removal alternatives that you can try would be:
- Laser hair removal
- Sugar waxing
- Electric razors
If you remove hair from small areas of your face, like on your eyebrows, consider doing something like book a threading. That way, you can remove the tiny hairs without much waste.
Switch to solid bar soap
Consider switching to a solid bar soap if you’re using liquid soap
A solid bar soap has less wastage since it doesn’t come in a waterproof or plastic bottle. Plus, it’s much more portable. You can carry it anywhere, even on a plane, without much issue. Also, a solid bar soap works just as well as liquid soap, so switching shouldn’t change much of your bathing or cleaning habits.
There are even exfoliating body soaps that you can use to exchange your other liquid exfoliators.
Ecofriendly bar soaps are also in recyclable packaging most of the time, like a box carton or something similar. So, that’s another way it reduces your waste.
There are also plenty of local organic soaps available for purchase out there, where they create fantastic-looking, smelling, and feeling soaps. They come in these colorful designs, and you can even support a local business that way.
Use products until they are empty
There are many temptations out there that can make you feel like you are constantly buying new beauty products here and there.
Sometimes, beauty influencers do beauty hauls where they buy tons of products, which can inspire you to do the same. However, beauty hauls are unsustainable and encourage excessive consumerism.
Browsing in a shop where you’re meant to buy something else can also tempt you to get a new product.
Another reason why you might have a surplus of beauty products might be because one of them isn’t working for you. You opted to buy a new one to replace your current use.
Now, what do you do with the old product in that case?
Ideally, you should finish products as soon as they’re empty. If there aren’t any harmful side effects, you should finish the product first instead of throwing it away.
Another option is to give it away to someone you know will use it themselves, as long as it’s sanitary to give away said beauty product.
By being more mindful of your waste, you can reduce the harm your beauty routine and upkeep are costing you and the environment.
Simplify your beauty routines
Speaking of being mindful of your waste, consuming less is going to be more sustainable than consuming a lot of things. You can apply that principle to your beauty routine as well.
You should minimize the products you need for your beauty routine as much as possible. Make it as minimal as possible. That way, you’re reducing the ongoing cost of your beauty routines.
If you have too many beauty products, you inevitably may forget that you have specific items, and they’ll expire before you can use them fully. To avoid that, reduce your product numbers as much as possible and dial them down to the essentials.
Upcycle empty glass jars and containers
Many beauty products come in fancy jars and containers. Consider reusing them for other things.
If you don’t use them again for beauty products, ensure you sanitize them first. Even if you’re using the same product to refill it, you should also ensure that you clean the containers since the expiry date of one product is different from the other.
You can use these containers to store smaller items and keep things organized. Make sure to add labels to them so that you remember what they’re for and for other people you may be living with as well. Upcycling them can reduce the waste from your beauty routine again.
Choose products with minimal, eco-friendly packaging.
The packaging of the beauty products you use is another factor you should look into when shopping for them.
Since 70% of the waste of the beauty industry comes from packaging, it makes sense that you should be looking for beauty products that minimizes packaging as much as possible.
You want packaging that you can recycle or reuse as much as possible. Otherwise, they can end up in a landfill and add to the already mounting waste worldwide.
Be aware, though, that in some cases, some products look like they have eco-friendly packaging on the outside, but when you peel the layers back, you’ll see that they’re still plastic on the inside. This instance happens a lot in bottle packaging.
Consciously limit water usage
A 2020 study showed that the beauty industry consumes around 10.4 million tons of water. That’s why you should be mindful of how you use the water in your beauty routine.
For example, please don’t leave the faucet running until it’s time to rinse your mouth when brushing your teeth. The same applies to when you’re cleansing your face.
You can also reduce water usage by getting water fixtures with low-flow features so that they innately already don’t use as much water to work.
Engage in DIY to minimize waste
Doing some parts of your beauty routine from home can be a great way to save money, but it’s also a great way to reduce wastage.
For example, if you buy disposable cotton rounds, make them yourself. Just get scraps of cotton fabric and cut them into circular shapes. What’s great about that is that it’s not just a one-time use. You can wash, sanitize, and use it again at any time.
One thing to note is that you must be careful if you’re making beauty products from home. In many cases, these natural products might be too stringent on the skin, or you won’t get their full benefits since they haven’t been formulated correctly yet.
You can create a sustainable beauty routine that will help you maintain yourself as you like to be while not harming the environment. If you plan on being more eco-friendly with your beauty routine in the future, try out these steps and apply them to your routine now.