When it comes to beauty, there’s a lot of advice out there—and a lot of it can be misleading.
For a long time, I have been working on creating my own sustainable beauty routine.
After reading a bunch of books and blogs, I’ve learned that it’s not only about what you put into your body and how you treat it but also about the way you think and the choices you make.
If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re thinking about making a shift in your beauty routine—whether it’s to a healthier or more sustainable one.
And you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to make such a big change without making it feel like a chore.
In this post, you will find a blueprint for creating a sustainable beauty routine—one that won’t feel like a sacrifice but rather a choice.
Let’s get started!
What is sustainable beauty?
The definition of sustainable beauty is constantly evolving as the green beauty movement grows.
When it comes to beauty products, the term “sustainable” is thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean? And how can you be sure that the skincare products you’re using are sustainable?
In general, sustainable beauty refers to products and practices that are earth-friendly and not harmful to people or animals.
Sustainable beauty means looking for brands that use recycled or recyclable packaging, biodegradable ingredients from fair trade sources, and plant-based formulas. It also means choosing products that haven’t been tested on animals and steering clear of anything with parabens, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals.
The sustainable beauty movement has been growing in recent years as more and more people become aware of the negative environmental impacts of traditional beauty products.
Based on the 2021 Beauty Shopper report, almost 80% of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers prefer sustainable beauty products.
Besides harming the planet, most conventional cosmetics can also be toxic to our skin. This is why using sustainable beauty products reduces or eliminates these negative impacts while delivering the beauty benefits we seek.
Benefits of Using Sustainable Beauty Products
One of the best things about sustainable beauty is that it’s not just for hippies and tree-huggers.
Everyone can benefit from using sustainable products, from your average Jane to celebrities like Emma Watson, Zendaya, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
First, you’re saving the planet by reducing the amount of waste generated by the beauty industry.
Second, these products often perform similarly to traditional beauty products, but without all the harmful chemicals.
Third, using sustainable beauty products supports small businesses and helps promote sustainability initiatives.
Finally, sustainable beauty makes your skin look great! Natural ingredients are often better for your skin than synthetic chemicals.
How to Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable
We’re constantly faced with choosing between a product that’s good for our bank account and one that’s good for the environment. Which do you prefer?
The search for sustainable beauty products can be frustrating, but you can improve your beauty routine by making a few changes to your routine.
Here’s how you can get started!
Think about the environmental impact of your beauty routine
An average woman uses 12 products a day, containing over 168 different chemicals. These chemicals are toxic and can negatively impact both our environment and our health.
Creating conventional shampoo, for example, can use up to 80% water and can produce harmful byproducts like carcinogenic dioxane.
Luckily, there are sustainable alternatives to conventionally made beauty products. For example, you can opt for shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoo or choose toothpaste without microbeads.
Sustainable beauty products lower your environmental impact and support the quest to protect the planet.
Look for products that use fair trade ingredients
“Fair trade” beauty is another name for sustainable beauty. The term refers to products made with ethically sourced ingredients and without child labor.
The fair trade certification ensures that workers in developing countries are treated fairly and compensated fairly. Supporting fair trade products contributes to sustainable farming and empowers workers who are often exploited.
They are also often organic and vegan, so they’re healthy and environmentally friendly.
Among the best fair trade beauty brands are:
- Truly Beauty
- The Body Shop
- Nubian Heritage
- Conscious Coconut
- Fair Squared
- One Love Organics
- Dr. Bronner’s
Odylique by Essential Care
- Kahina Giving Beauty
- Acure Organics
Be mindful of your beauty waste
You can reduce beauty waste in a variety of ways.
- Buy sustainable packaging. This packaging is made from materials that are recyclable or reusable. Also, this type of packaging is often compostable, which means it can break down in a landfill without producing harmful greenhouse gases.
- Purchase in bulk. Thus, you’ll use less packaging and can often save money.
- Most stores and manufacturers now offer recycling programs for old makeup, so don’t hesitate to participate.
- Compost your old skincare products as long as they do not contain synthetic ingredients.
Finally, be mindful of how many beauty products you apply each day. Try to use only what you need, and avoid over-the-counter products unless absolutely necessary.
Find new ways to use your beauty products
Switching up your beauty routine once in a while can help you use your products more effectively.
If you typically use a blush every day, try using a bronzer one day or a highlighter the next. Your look will remain fresh and interesting.
Here are some new ways for you to use your beauty products. Take a look!
1. Use a lip balm as a primer. Before you put on your foundation, apply a layer of lip balm to your lips. This will help create a smooth base and make your makeup look more natural.
2. Use conditioner as a shaving cream. Shaving can be harsh on your skin, but using conditioner can help reduce irritation and keep your skin hydrated.
3. Apply blush to your eyes. Blush is not just for cheeks! Try applying it to the eyelids for a natural-looking pop of color.
4. Use eye shadow as a liner. If you’re running out of eyeliner, don’t worry – you can use eye shadow instead!
5. Use a face moisturizer as a body moisturizer and eye cream.
6. Use a lip balm as a cuticle balm.
7. Go for reusable cotton pads.
8. Use a microfiber cloth to remove makeup, exfoliate and cleanse the skin.
9. Reuse your old mascara wands to brush your eyebrows or lash extensions, or simply donate them to a good cause.
Switching to sustainable beauty practices doesn’t have to mean forgoing your favorites.
There are many ways to reduce your environmental impact without sacrificing quality or performance. A simple one is to shop second-hand.
Online markets and swap events devoted exclusively to sustainable beauty have become increasingly popular, allowing you to find new brands and products without sacrificing convenience or affordability.
Buying second-hand beauty products has many benefits:
- The items you recycle help reduce waste and keep them out of landfills.
- The products are typically cheaper than their new counterparts. You can often find high-quality brands at a fraction of the price.
- In second-hand stores, you can find items that are hard to find in your local ones.
A great way to find something specific, or to try a new brand, is to look at online marketplaces or consignment shops.
Avoid excessive packaging
Keeping packaging to a minimum is a key element to sustainable beauty.
Sure, those pretty boxes and colorful tubes are fun to shop for, but they create a lot of waste. And in the world of sustainability, every little bit counts.
- Choose items that come in cardboard boxes instead of plastic bags.
- Try to select cosmetics that have minimalistic packaging.
- Look for products that come in recyclable containers, like glass jars.
Finally, think through what you really need. Often times we buy products because they look pretty or because we think we need them, but we rarely use them all up.
Buy from brands that focus on sustainability
Many smaller brands are starting to ditch excessive packaging and shift to more sustainable options.
One brand that really stands out is JUNOCO. They focus on using sustainable materials and transparent practices for their products and packaging. All ingredients they use are organic, fair trade, and wildcrafted.
Their bestseller, Clean 10 Cleansing Balm is formulated using gentle, yet powerful ingredients that are clean, simple, and ideal for nearly every skin type.
JUNOCO’s products are made without parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, colored agents, artificial fragrances, silicones, microplastics, mineral oil, or phenoxyethanol.
Some sustainable and environment-friendly beauty brands even go beyond the products themselves, committing to initiatives like renewable energy or reducing the carbon footprint.
By supporting these brands, you’re not only doing something great for the environment, but you’re also encouraging better business practices all around!
Follow sustainable beauty influencers
Brands with a mission in line with people’s values have been a hot item in the last few years.
A growing number of sustainable beauty influencers are spreading the word about the importance of environmental and social responsibility in the beauty industry.
You can follow many sustainable beauty influencers on social media, but three of our favorites are Lauren Singer from Trash is for Tossers, Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth, and Tennille Murphy from The Tennille Life. Despite their varying backgrounds, all three women are passionate about sustainable living, and they offer helpful tips for staying on track.
Follow some of these inspiring women to make your beauty routine more sustainable.
You can also join some wonderful online communities that offer tips on how to be a sustainable beauty fanatic. Be sure to take advantage of these resources and communities to become a more informed and responsible beauty product consumer.
Over to you
There are several ways to create a sustainable beauty routine. Spend time finding out what works for you and making small changes that can add up over time.
By using natural ingredients, recycling products, and reducing waste, you can help reduce the environmental impact of your beauty routine
So, next time you’re on the hunt for beauty products, take a look at sustainable brands. Your skin (and the planet) will be grateful!