10 Hacks for an Eco-Friendly Beauty Routine
We all love our products, be them beauty or home. There is nothing more satisfying than luxuriating in an effective product whether with a face mask before bed, or a soft-bristled toothbrush. And if, like me, you find it wayyy too easy to splurge on these items and overbuy ending up with too many products that don’t last very long and are in no way eco-friendly, here are some great sustainable alternatives that will fill the basic necessities and add some much needed indulgence into your beauty routine.
1. Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
One of my biggest pet peeves is when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. Most of our bottles of liquid shampoo and conditioner are made of roughly 80% water. And these bottles are usually made out of plastic that is not so easily recyclable. I love a good soap bar any day, and when I saw the advent of shampoo and conditioner bars, I was sold for life! Not only do they limit water consumption they also omit the need for any plastic packaging, and dare I say it, last much longer than my shampoo bottles ever did. Also, as an added bonus, they travel amazingly well, security will never again confiscate your shampoo for being over the liquid limit.
2. Hand Soap Bars
The same applies to hand soap as it does to shampoo and conditioner. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative, a bar of hand soap is a great option, it lasts longer than liquid soap in a bottle, uses less water to make, and again you omit the need for any plastic because it does not require a bottle to house the soap in.
3. Refillable Deodorant
This was such an interesting discovery, and something I had not considered before. As a relative newcomer to the natural deodorant world, it took a very long time to find the right one for me, and I was always on the lookout for one that was as eco-friendly as possible. One option are the cream deodorants that come in glass jars that are great for refilling. My personal favorite however is a refillable deodorant from By Human Kind that allows you to keep and reuse the container used to house the product, and is much easier to apply under the arms than the cream version.
4. Bamboo Toothbrushes
I have found way too many plastic toothbrushes while participating in shoreline cleanups. They are not recyclable, are sent to overflowing landfills, and end up littered all over our beaches and bodies of water, affecting the surrounding sea life. I know the appeal of a plastic toothbrush, it usually has a very nice hand grip and soft bristles that clean your teeth with great ease and are generally the least expensive option. However making the switch to a bamboo toothbrush was one of the easiest decisions I ever made. Not only are the bristles super soft and provide a truly effective clean, the disposal process is amazing. Remove the bristles and recycle them, and simply place the bamboo handle in your compost bin. Done!
5. Toothpaste Tabs
Toothpaste is a necessity that we hopefully use twice a day, unless you occasionally forget in the morning like me! So in order to prioritize oral health, this is not an item that can be removed from your daily routine. If you are looking for a zero-waste alternative to a toothpaste tube, why not try toothpaste tabs. You only need 1 tablet at a time that will activate and foam with a wet toothbrush, and not only is there no single-use plastic involved, you can very easily refill the container with new tabs.
6. Reusable Razors
Another single-use plastic culprit, the disposable razor. It’s true they are very convenient and if you’re in a bind they definitely come in handy and they are very affordable. However, if you are looking for a much more eco-friendly alternative, the reusable razor is an excellent option. I love the one from Well Kept, made of brass it’s yours to keep and only requires a single replacement blade. While definitely on the pricier side, it ends up being a significantly more cost effective option in the long run, and it actually does provide a closer shave that will help reduce any irritation on the skin.
7. Waterless Beauty
Simply put, we use too much water in our daily lives. Making sure we don’t leave the faucet running while we’re brushing our teeth or washing our face is a great way to conserve, however it is also important to consider the products we use and how much water is used to make them. It’s a simple fact that many of our beauty products contain 70-80% water, and with water conservation in mind a sustainable alternative would be products made with less water or without water altogether. For example, at Étymologie our Vitamin B3 Balancing Masque is a dry mask formula that contains no water in the product at all. You simply add a small amount of tap water to activate the formula and apply liberally to your face.
8. Refillable Makeup
The most fun and innovative concept I could think of! Makeup is so fun and trust when I say it has not been top of my mind for this past pandemic year, but I look forward to using my refillable makeup when I eventually have the occasion to. This is such a tremendous alternative, makeup containers do cause a lot of waste and this a great way to help reduce that. Kjaer Weis has created an ingenious system for refillable makeup. The makeup containers are made with recyclable paper and are compostable, and the makeup cartridges are easily removed and replaced with new ones, and the empty one can be recycled as well.
9. Reusable Washable Face Cloths
Face cloths are a great way to luxuriate in your skincare routine. They are great tools for removing makeup and add some gentle exfoliation to a skin cleansing routine as well. I always look for one that will be textured enough to exfoliate and yet soft enough so as not to irritate or be too abrasive on the skin. EcoTao makes a wonderful zero-waste set of super gentle bamboo and organic cotton face cloths. Not only are they easily washable and come in a biodegradable bamboo fiber box, they are also 100% local and made in Montreal, QC.
10. Use Less
While it can be such fun to include many products to our beauty routines, it is also so important to always remember the first word in sustainability practices, REDUCE. Eco-friendly and green alternatives are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but we also need to curb the number of products we use in general. Only buy what you truly need, only refill when necessary, and don’t forget to leave some room for the occasional luxury product, you deserve it!