1st February 2021
Eco-friendly beauty products and how to use them
I think we can agree that moving to more sustainable ways of living is important. A throwaway lifestyle, it turns out, is hardly throw away as all those buds, wipes, and bottles end up in the sea or attempting to live with wildlife. We’ve all seen that heart-wrenching image of the seahorse clinging to the cotton bud right?
But you’re here, you down with our approach to move to more sustainable production practices with our business. And you’re probably keen to make a few changes in your own life too.
But how do you start? Where do you start? It can all feel so overwhelming that it’s easy to forget the whole thing.
We spoke to our team to get the ins & outs of how they make small shifts to create a more sustainable life, starting with their beauty tips.
What better way to start, than see what’s working for us right!? A beauty routine is something we know we should do to take care of ourselves, but how can we become more sustainable with it? There are endless small but significant alterations we can make to our beauty routine; keep reading to find out our favourite sustainable skincare tips.
Kessie – Lady K Loves Owner
Switch cotton buds for something more sustainable
“I’ve not brought cotton buds for a year. I used to ‘borrow’ my housemates, but since it’s just me now, I’ve had to get inventive!” Can you get more inventive than ear candles? Nothing says relaxing like setting fire to wax-soaked cloth & putting it in your ears right? The suction caused by the heat of the flame draws the wax out of your ear. This is great to do with someone else (live flame in your ear for 15 minutes means you need someone keeping you & your home safe) But make sure they are all good with gross things like picking spots etc because what comes out is not always nice!
If you’re after a more familiar approach to cleaning your ears, try reusable tips. You can clean off these silicone buds so they become multi-use plastic rather than single-use.
Refil & Recyle packaging
If you have a no packaging shop near you, chances are you can refill your beauty products there too. “I really lucky to have 2 shops in walking distance where you can take your own packaging & you buy by weight. I do this for shampoo’s etc but also my kitchen washing liquids too“
High street brands who also offer a similar approach include Lush, Mac, The Soap Co, Beauty Kitchen, and REN Skincare. Lush is renowned for being ethical & sustainable with its products too, Mac has a more chequered reputation, but if it’s your bag, why not go all in so you can return your empty containers to get new, free products?
Check the ingredients and go for natural products. You can find a huge range of brands from Lush to Witch Baby Soap, Kiehl’s & Pai, there’s a brand for every budget & for every skin type. Once you know what you like…you can even suss out the ingredients & make your own, another great way to reuse your now empty packaging too! “Visiting the plastic-free shops near me & buying the ingredients to make my beauty products has given me something to do during all this indoors time we’re having”
Kiya – Marketing
Solid Bar Shampoo
These are great because there’s no packaging required. Most formulas are very concentrated, so you use less per wash and it lasts longer, which means better value for money in the long run, “I’ve had one bar of shampoo can which lasted between an entire year!”
You can make them yourself pretty easily if you have the money to buy the ingredients in bulk. That way, you know what’s going into the shampoo and can tailor it to suit you! These also then make great gifts too. And when you make them, there’s no plastic packaging.
No harsh chemicals like SLS which means its kinder to your hair. And even better, bar shampoo can actually be used as a body wash too due to there being no harsh chemicals
Avoid petroleum derivatives
“I try to avoid products containing petroleum derivatives such as Paraffin oil, propylene glycol and ethylene.” These substances are very common in lip balms. Petroleum and mineral oil are “occlusive” agents. It means that they seal off the skin from air, water or anything else getting in (or out). Wherever they’re applied, they form an invisible film on the surface that blocks the pores and the skin’s natural respiration process.
Instead, try eco-friendly beauty products with alternative ingredients such as beeswax, cocoa butter and vegetable oils. Brands such as Burt’s Bees, Art Naturals® & Dr. Bronner’s, and La Lune Naturals produce very good products that don’t contain petroleum derivates.
Ellie – Marketing
Natural Ingredient Exfoliator
Microbeads are small bits of plastic, which you wash off your face and down the drain…where they make their way to the sea & fish eat them. Pretty sucky right? Especially when there are loads of natural ingredients which do the same job, and biodegrade. “I have one which uses hazelnut as an exfoliator”. Kiehls Tumeric and Grey Clay facemask with raspberry seeds is just delicious. From seeds to nuts, sugar, stone, there are so many options to choose from which are from nature and so go back to nature a little happier.
Washable Cotton Pads
Honestly, we all had this as a tip! There was a fight over who got to include it. Yes, the initial outlay is a little more than those makeup wipes you just use & throw away. BUT, once you have a set of these, and it’s easy enough to find 20 for around £15, they last for ages and you save money. Plus the ongoing rubbish creation is massively reduced. “You can put these in the washing machine so you don’t have to keep buying and throwing away cotton pads” If you want them to stay really bright, put a healthy spoon of bicarbonate of soda in the bag when you wash them. Our favourite picks included organic bamboo offerings for extra sustainable points.
Sabrina – Marketing
Sometimes you have to think outside of the box when it comes to sustainable skincare tips. Can you buy items that have more than one purpose? For instance, coconut oil can be used for a range of beauty applications, and for cooking. With one product you can nourish your hair, moisturise your body, remove makeup, and create something delicious. “If I can buy one thing, and use it for 2 or more parts of my routine, I’m sold. It keeps my house tidier too.”
Reduce your water usage
This might not seem relevant to sustainable skincare tips, but we use water in our everyday beauty routines, and conserving water is vital for protecting the environment. We often take our running tap water for granted, and there are consequences to this. However, there are simple ways to change our level of water consumption to better protect the environment and become more sustainable.
When washing your face, turn off the water tap when you don’t need it. This also applies to brushing your teeth and washing your hands – all part of the beauty routine! “I also make a conscious effort to have shorter showers to conserve as much water as possible – a shorter shower does not mean less beauty at the end of the day!”
Repurpose Mascara Wands
Finished a tube of mascara? Rather than tossing it in the trash, repurpose your old mascara wands. After cleaning them of any remaining product, they can be donated or used to brush your brows or lash extensions! “This is such a good sustainable beauty tip that had never crossed my mind before.”
Do you do any of these already? Did we miss your favourite tip? Let us know!
How can I make my beauty routine more sustainable and eco friendly?
Try adding 1 small step at a time to make your switch manageable
1 – Ditch the cotton buds
2 – Recycle or refill old packaging – Buy from brands that support this.
3 – Check for natural ingredients
4 – Find solid bar shampoo & conditioner so you don’t have plastic packaging
5 – Avoid petroleum-based products
6 – Avoid microbeads and get natural exfoliators like pumice and seeds
7 – Re-usable and washable pads & wipes last longer (and your skin will love them too!)
8 – Combine items so you reduce the number of products you need (plus you can splash a little more on each product if you buy less!)
9 – Reduce your water usage by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth or wash your face
10 – Repurpose old mascara wands, perfect for eyebrow brushes etc!