One of my intentions for 2021 (besides not staying up until 3 AM simultaneously playing Animal Crossing and scrolling TikTok) is to make my beauty routine a bit more green.
Being sustainable and eco-friendly is the cool thing to do, but getting started is a tad bit overwhelming. Should you focus on clean ingredients only? What about packaging? Should it be refillable or recyclable or both? I definitely don’t have the money to overhaul my entire routine, but I also wanted to make sure that I was doing my part in not harming the oceans or animals or contributing to even more waste in the landfills. Want to know more? Keep reading for five simple starter steps to making your beauty routine more Earth-friendly!
1. Switch Out Your Cotton Pads For Reusable Ones
One of the biggest, most impactful things you can do is invest in a pack of reusable cotton rounds. I literally cannot tell you how many cotton rounds I’ve gone through over the years, but the number is alarming. I bought myself two packs of these and not only are they more gentle on my skin than traditional rounds, they’re super easy to clean. Just toss them in the bag and you can toss them in with the rest of your laundry. If you’re like me and wear dark makeup that stains them (I don’t mind, but some people do), you can wash them with an oil cleanser and then toss them in the wash.
2. Invest in a Natural Scrub
After years of focusing strictly on chemical exfoliants, I recently started getting back into physical exfoliants. But instead of grabbing that tube of Neutrogena filled with plastic microbeads, I opted for a more natural option—sugar. My current obsession is the Fresh Sugar Strawberry Facial Wash. It makes my skin feel like butter, and thankfully the sugar is really gentle on the skin, instead of harsh like some plastic microbeads can be.
3. Turn Off the Water When You Wash Your Face
Raise your hand if you leave the water running the entire time you’re washing your face? *Raises hand* I have to admit that this is one of my worst habits, and it’s been very, very hard to break. First of all, I live in a 40-year-old apartment with a finicky water heater that takes approximately 343,609 minutes to warm to a lukewarm temperature, and the second I turn the water off, it reverts back to ice cold. But hey, wasting water is pretty awful for the environment, and this fix is not only incredibly easy but saves you money too. You don’t need all that water, trust me.
4. Actually Finish All of Your Products Before You Throw Them Out
Another free (and incredibly easy) way to make your beauty routine more Earth-friendly is to actually use all of your products until they are empty. You know, instead of buying that new shiny product that you saw on Instagram and abandoning it. I used to have what I called my “skincare graveyard”—an entire shelf of half-used products that I liked and had no issues with, but I just stopped using because I bought that new, shiny thing.
Now, I’ve curated my routine to a set of 15 or so products that I interchange and use all the way down to the last drop. And yes, I am also that person that cuts open my tubes to scoop out every last drop. I’ll also take a Q-Tip to reach into hard to get jars. Again, you’re saving yourself money AND avoiding excess waste and trash that’ll just end up in a landfill. We have to stan!
5. Multitasking Is Good (For the Planet)
I know that multitasking isn’t good for work (trust me, trying to scroll on Instagram, do work, answer texts, watch TV, and pet your dog does not work), but multitasking your beauty routine will definitely help make your routine a bit greener. For example, instead of using a product for the tiny, random things we need them for, I like to use one product for a variety of things. You don’t need a foot cream and a lip balm and a cuticle oil. I use my giant tub of Aquaphor on my lips, my cuticles, my feet—I even use it on my eyelids and cheekbones when I want a dewy highlight look.
Have you changed anything in your beauty routine to make it more Earth-friendly? Share with us in the comments below?