Spring Clean and Green Your Beauty Routine
With Earth Day coming up, and spring in full swing, it’s the perfect chance to simplify, declutter, and feel good about it. Here are a few actionable steps you can take right now to achieve a more sustainable beauty routine.
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Buy Fewer Products
We know: there are so many covetable sustainable beauty products, made by forward-thinking brands. But at the end of the day, buying more products than you can reasonably use is a main contributor to waste. If you are happy with a product you currently use, resist the temptation to purchase that trendy new version until you’re finished with the one you’re using.
Keep in mind that many eco-friendly or indie products have a very short shelf-life, because they are free of conventional preservatives. These products expire faster and create more waste. So if you use a product sparingly, seek out a brand that contains stabilizers and preservatives that prolong shelf life.
A less-is-more beauty routine is not just good for the Earth – it’s also good for your skin. Mixing too many beauty products can harm your skin and contribute to hypersensitivity and allergic reactions.
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Seek Out Eco-Friendly Beauty Providers
Most beauty treatments generate a fair amount of waste – and it’s not only product. Just think of all the foils your stylist uses to highlight your hair, or the myriad single use products like nail files or personal protective equipment. While these items are necessary for the service or for health and safety, that doesn’t mean they need to go to a landfill.
So how do you find a provider who shares your values without having to spend hours researching every salon in your area? Simplify your search with certification programs like Green Circle Salons. Certified salons send their waste (everything from hair clippings to Q-Tips to extra hair color) to the company to be recycled. And you can use their database to find a list of participating salons in your area.
Spring is for self-care. Say goodbye to the winter blues and refresh your routine with a visit to your favorite beauty providers.
Look for Zero-Waste Packaging
It’s no secret that the beauty industry generates a lot of waste. For one, beauty product packaging is notoriously difficult to recycle. Some products are only partially recyclable or not recyclable everywhere. Luckily, things are slowly changing with the introduction of initiatives like BeautyCycle, a take-back program that recycles used beauty products.
So how can you reduce your contribution to packaging waste? Aside from using recyclable packaging, look for products that use less packaging overall. Try to find the most sustainable packaging for the product you need (hint: it’s often not glass). Look for packaging that is made from recycled or natural materials, has a well-managed supply chain, and is easy to recycle.
While this may not be possible for all products, there are a few very easy swaps you can make right now. If it suits your hair, why not try a shampoo bar instead of a shampoo that comes in a plastic bottle? Some brands – like LUSH Cosmetics – also have a trade-in program that lets you bring in empty plastic containers in exchange for a free face mask. Win-win!
Why not take it a step further? Instead of recycling your glass jars, re-use them. The possibilities are endless. You can use them to store homemade cosmetics. Or get creative by using them for storage, crafts, or even to propagate plants.
Shop Sustainable Beauty Brands
For the conscious consumer, there are so many ways to make better choices when it comes to beauty and personal care. With 76% of consumers seeking out sustainable products, many brands are following suit and upping their green game.
With the increase in sustainable beauty brands, it’s safe to say there is a product out there for almost everyone. But high consumer demand can also lead to greenwashing or misleading claims. Keep in mind that there is no universal definition of clean beauty. So before you “add to cart,” it’s good to research the sustainability of specific ingredients or check out the brand’s sustainability statement.
Research and vetting aside, it’s still great to have more sustainable beauty options than ever before. Here’s a list of the most innovative beauty brands, featuring everything from refillable products to circular production.
Although there are a lot of newcomers in this space, there are also brands that have been walking the walk long before it was trendy. We’ve already mentioned LUSH, who recycles returned plastic containers and turns them right back into new containers. Their products are also vegan, cruelty-free, and handmade. Fat and the Moon is another favorite indie brand. They are known for their ethical sourcing practices, and their packaging is either recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
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