Waste-Free Beauty: How To Adopt An Eco-Friendly Beauty Routine

By Rebecca Barnatt-Smith

As one of the largest growing industries on the planet, the beauty industry has become the talk of the globe as new skin defying products hit high street shelves and Instagram influencers continue to promote new cosmetics to the masses.

As the hype surrounding the revolution of the make-up and skincare industry grows, so does the waste caused by unsustainable manufacturing, an increase in plastic-based throwout and the use of harmful chemicals to produce the products we love the most.

If you’re looking to purchase some of the most hyped up products that 2021 has to offer, it’s time to rethink and redirect yourself before making that all-important purchase. From makeup palettes to your favourite moisturiser, there are a number of eco-friendly dupes for the cosmetics that have caught your eye.

Adopting an eco-friendly beauty routine will not only leave your skin feeling fresh but help clean up the planet too. If you’re excited to get more sustainable with your favourite beauty picks, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out why adopting a zero-waste beauty regime is an important step forward, and why it’s so important for the future of the beauty industry.

beautiful bathroom
(Source: Unsplash)

The Environmental Impact Of The Beauty Industry

Adopting clean beauty methods has never been more important. With over 8 million tonnes of plastic generated by both the fashion and beauty industry entering the ocean annually, the effects of purchasing plastic-based products and poorly manufactured cosmetics contribute to an unsustainable future for planet earth.

What’s more, the manufacturing process isn’t the only villain in this story, our own plastic footprints come into play as new statistics now show that while just over 90% of the population recycle our kitchen waste, only 1 in 2 of us recycle our cosmetic products. Whether it’s feminine care or plastic shampoo bottles, studies suggest that we are three times more likely to throw these in our bins, rather than recycle or upcycle them. 

In fact, in the last global plastic waste study conducted in 2015, plastic packaging was flagged up as the top contender for plastic waste, fetching in over 141 million tonnes per year. This figure is estimated to have risen dramatically in the last 5 years and without action, will continue to rise as the beauty industry grows.

our world in data graph
(Source: Our World In Data)

As an abundance of plastic continues to enter the ocean, we see the future of marine life in jeopardy as ecosystems continue to be tampered with and waters become polluted. The beauty industry is one of many desperately trying to change the narrative on plastic waste. With the introduction of plastic-free or upcycled products cropping up all along the high street, the options are endless for fashion and beauty lovers. From bamboo packaging to eco-glasses and upcycled cosmetics, it’s time to delve into the future of sustainable beauty.

Read on to find out how you can incorporate a waste-free attitude into your beauty routine to leave both your skin and the planet glowing!

How To Adopt An Eco-Friendly Beauty Routine

Adopting an eco-friendly beauty routine has never been easier. As new sustainable alternatives hit the high street, it’s time to rethink your beauty routine and look towards a future of waste-free beauty.

From plastic-free packaging to products manufactured with all-natural ingredients, changing up your regime is as easy as it sounds. Making simple low-cost changes will transform your plastic and carbon footprint and contribute to a future of a waste-free beauty market.

Finish and Upcycle

We know you’re eager to ditch those high street products and head down the eco-friendly easel, but one of the most sustainable actions to take is surprisingly to stick with your current products. Instead of throwing away your plastic-based fiends, change over to your new eco-friendly dupes slowly, only when you have finished the product before that.

Adopting this method will reduce your cosmetic waste and leave you more excited to get your hands on your new favourite replacements. Better still, plastic packaging may be the work of the devil, but we have to admit this material is durable. It takes up to 500 years to dispose of after all! So why not use that to your advantage and start upcycling your plastic waste. Instead of throwing out beauty product containers, use them to store new cosmetics, or as a handy travel essential to transport your favourite eco-based toiletries.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

Once your old products have been used and upcycled, it’s time to start searching for the ultimate eco-friendly dupe. The first step to take on your sustainable journey is to consciously think about the packaging. Plastic packaging currently accounts for 40% of all global waste, so finding any way to not participate in its production is a brilliant start.

Opt for eco-friendly packaging such as cardboard, tin or bamboo, all materials that can either decompose effortlessly or be used again as a durable upcycle. Better still, why not invest in refillable. Many sustainable collectives all across the world provide customers with the chance to purchase refillable pouches that can fill up your own reusable containers, before beings ent back to the provider to be used again.

Natural Ingredients

When it comes to choosing your new products, it’s time to start reading that ingredient list. It may be packaged in cardboard, long-lasting and priced desirably with an eco-friendly sticker, but clean beauty is all about what goes inside.

Look out for nasty chemicals such as Denatured Alcohol and microplastics or microbeads within the formula. These can release harmful plastics into the ocean and pollute water streams as we wash the product off of our faces.

Instead, look for naturally sourced ingredient lists that suggest that the product has been produced ethically and organically. Better still, why not look out for products containing marine extracts and algae. Not only do they do wonders for your skin, but have the power to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen as they grow, contributing to a cleaner planet.

Don’t Forget About Your Tools 

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget about your tools. The beauty industry is constantly evolving to bring customers new eco-friendly alternatives to not only our favourite products but the essential tools we use in our beauty routine.

From reusable razors to bamboo-based reusable cotton pads, the list is endless for aspiring green beauticians. 


About The Author

Rebecca is a freelance blogger. She can be found at Twitter under @R_Barnattsmit, and she specialises in health, technology and sustainability. She has previously been a journalist for a number of publications:

https://readwrite.com/2021/07/12/living-on-the-edge-why-5g-isnt-the-solution-were-looking-for-in-the-development-of-ar-glasses/

https://writeupcafe.com/community/recycled-swimwear-following-the-footsteps-of-hm-in-abolishing-fast-fashion/

https://turbofuture.com/industrial/Time-Travelling-Tech-Using-VR-To-Aid-Dementia-Sufferers