5 Essentials for Sustainable Beauty

Being a steward of the environment and making small changes in your lifestyle can sometimes feel overwhelming. While it’s easy to opt out of single-use plastics, recycle, and even choose to bike and walk to most places, there are other areas where it takes more effort.

When it comes to personal hygiene, grooming and makeup, it can be confusing to read labels and source ethically manufactured and vegan products. If you’re looking to clean up your beauty routine and aren’t sure where to start, keep reading for the essentials for sustainable beauty.

EWG Rated Facial Cleansers & Lotions

Skincare has become a serious business over the last decade. Gone are the days of using chemical-laden cold creams and abrasive facial exfoliators. Today we have a seemingly never ending and often overwhelming amount of products from which to choose. One easy way to stay sustainable, whether you’re shopping for a facial moisturizer or a gentle daily face cleanser, is to check their EWG rating.

The Environmental Working Group rates skincare products on a scale from 1 to 10, with one being the safest. While this isn’t typically found on the bottle, it’s easy to find online, and you can feel confident in the cleansers and lotions in your skincare routine.

DIY Your Fragrance

For many people, adding a spritz of their favorite perfume or cologne is the final step in getting dressed and groomed for the day. Unfortunately, not only are fragrances one of the most toxic beauty products and harmful to your health, but they can also be irritating for your family and pets to inhale.

Do yourself a favor, ditch the toxins, and create your fragrances through essential oils combined with carrier oils. You can easily create your ideal fragrance balm or oil to dab on. It’s also worth noting that the cosmetic industry creates around 120 billion packaging units annually, so not purchasing fragrance impacts the environment in terms of waste.

Limiting Shower Times

It’s easy to spend excessive time in a long, hot shower, but part of a sustainable beauty routine is making your bathroom more sustainable. From shortening your shower time to using cold water as a quick wake-up in the mornings, how much water you use in your beauty routine can add up to a significant amount.

If you need to unwind with warm water at the end of a long day, opt for a bath instead, as it uses less water than a long shower. Kick your bath up a notch with comforting herbs and flowers like rose petals, chamomile, and eucalyptus.

Donate Unused and Unwanted Items

If most of us are honest, we’ve got plenty of beauty products that we have yet to use and likely never will. Instead of letting these unwanted items go to waste and end up in landfills, consider donating them. While your local thrift store may not be able to give these items a second life, plenty of organizations will happily take them.

Typically, local shelters are happy to take them and give them to those in need. For beauty items you have already used, their receptacles are worth cleaning out to recycle from home or at beauty stores. Even wildlife refuges are grateful for used and clean mascara wands that come in handy during rescues. A simple internet search can reveal plenty of options to make these items go further.

Ditch Single-Use for Sustainable Options

Whether you’re an avid user of makeup-removing wipes or cotton balls, more sustainable choices reap serious benefits. While convenient for the user, makeup wipes are horrible for the environment.

Opt instead for a sustainable cleanser that removes makeup as well. For cotton balls or rounds, you can purchase sustainable options or DIY your own.

Incorporating sustainability into your beauty routine can be daunting as the cosmetic industry is heavily geared towards convenience. Though there is a slight learning curve, you can feel confident that your efforts will seriously impact our environment and climate crisis.

Not to mention, the benefits to your overall health and beauty will be apparent, too, as you work towards cleaner ingredients. Your health and the planet are worth it. Now, get glowing!

Elise Wu

Elise Wu, an alumna of Yale University with a degree in Environmental Policy, has spent more than two decades advocating for environmental protection and sustainable resource management. Before joining our website in 2019, she worked with various NGOs and governmental bodies, playing a key role in developing eco-friendly policies. Besides her professional pursuits, Elise is also a passionate hiker and loves nature photographer, often exploring the untamed wilderness to reconnect with the environment she tirelessly works to preserve.

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