April is Earth Month so it naturally has us all thinking of ways we can make our lives a little greener, in both big, complicated ways and small, easy ways. Today, we are focusing on easy with 7 easy ways to green your beauty routine.
After the last 2+ years we’ve had with Covid, you don’t have to put additional pressure on yourself right now. Small changes can have great impact when done by the collective. So don’t feel you have to go 100% because every little change makes a difference.
You can easily reduce your carbon footprint with little changes. As the old Tanzanian proverb says, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” In the end, it is about progress, not perfection, so striving to do better when and how you can, is what will make the biggest impact.
7 Easy Ways to Green Your Beauty Routine
1) Switch to Green Beauty Products
The green beauty market is constantly growing and expanding. Great green beauty brands – that are high performing – are readily available for purchase in stores and online. This means that you the consumer, do not have to compromise your beauty expectations to help the planet. That is a win-win. The benefit of green beauty products are three-fold:
- The ingredients tend to be better for our health
- The health of the planet
- The packaging tends to be made of recyclable material.
We are not advocating throwing out your current beauty products for green ones- that would create more waste and defeat the point. However, when you do need a new product, switch it out for a great green alternative.
2) Recycle the packaging of your Beauty Products
When you have finished a product, do your best to ensure that its packaging does not end up in a landfill. This means making sure that you are properly disposing of all containers and packaging. This would include cleaning out containers and recycling them properly. Also, if the brand has a container return program, make sure you are participating to ensure the container is handled properly from end to end.
MAC has always had a great exchange program – BACK 2 M·A·C – where for every six empty M∙A∙C makeup containers, you bring “to a participating M∙A∙C counter or sending via mail, consumers can choose a standard M∙A∙C lipstick of their choosing as a thank you.”Also, If a container is refillable, see if the refillable program meets your needs. The Milk Makeup Sunshine Under Eye Tint + Brighten Light Coverage Concealer is a great example of a refillable product.
3) Do not use one-time wipes
Don’t use wipes, as they find their way to the landfill after one use. Instead, you can choose organic cotton pads that can be washed and reused or choose facials towels that can be washed and reused. We featured the Original MakeUp Eraser Wildflower MakeUp Eraser 7-Day Set in our Makeup Lover Gift Guide 2021 and it quickly became one of our favourite things. If you choose a set of resale pads or wipes, you can use them for a week before you have to wash them. This way you don’t need to do laundry more often to have clean wipes to use.
4) Buy the largest size of products you use most often.
This is good for both the environment and your wallet. Larger sizes are usually more economical, and they cut down on packaging. This also saves on the pollution to transport the product to the store, and then your location. If you cannot finish a product for any reason, give it away- if it is still usable (and if sharing is sanitary- I’m looking at you, mascara.)
5) Don’t Overbuy
We’ve all been guilty of wanting to buy the newest, or latest products, only to push aside what we already have. This is not a great idea, because beauty products do not last forever (Click here for our makeup expiration chart). Once opened, the clock is ticking on how long a product is good, using expired products could cause you problems with irritation. So, it is better to use what you have first, rather than buying multiples.
Also, only buy the products that you are going to use when they are in the best window to be used. Don’t waste money on things you don’t need. Use what you have first. And if you want/need a certain new shade of eyeshadow, purchase a single pot of colour instead of an entire palette. Again, saving money and avoiding duplicate colour palettes.
6) Give extra consideration to brands with certifications
There is a lot of “green-washing” out there, meaning brands use words that make you think their product is environmentally friendly, but in reality, it is just marketing. Remember that transparency is important – brands should wear their eco-status on their sleeve, which means clearly showing off their certifications on their products, in-store displays, and/or website.
You want to look for organic certification and those that give details on how/where their ingredients are sourced. If they are vegan and do not test on animals, look for PETA or Leaping Bunny certification. If you want to know about gluten-free beauty products click here.
The following terms with definitions are commonly found on green beauty products:
- Vegan means no animal products or by-products were used in the making of this product. This includes honey and lanolin.
- Organic means that at least 95% of the raw material is used to make the product.
- Made with Organic products means the product must have at least 70% organic ingredients.
- Clean has no formal definition, but it generally means that the product is free from common toxins like parabens, talc, sulphates, phthalates, petrochemicals, palm oil, BHA, and BHT.
- Cruelty-Free means that the finished product and all the raw materials used to create the finished product have not been tested on animals. Certification can be by Leaping Bunny and/or PETA.
7) Use less
You don’t have to sacrifice your routine, but try to find products that do double duty. For example, you don’t need to find a different product for every area. Instead of eye cream and face cream, just use face cream (a lot of eye creams are just face cream in smaller and more expensive tubes.) Another option is to find creams that have active ingredients so you don’t need serums, like the Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer which was one of 5 favourite beauty products – the March 2022 edition.
These 7 easy ways to green your beauty routine are going to have you reducing your carbon footprint, in no time. They can be summed up by reducing the number of products you use, reducing the amount of packaging, and reducing the amount of water and energy used.
Do you have any more tips to add to our 7 easy ways to green your beauty routine? Leave us a comment below and let us know. Looking for ways to be kinder to the planet is something we should be doing year-round.
“Buy less, choose well, make it last.”