The health and beauty industry is full of temptation. There is a constant stream of new products promising longer lashes, brighter smiles and younger skin. The reality is, that the temptation often leads to a bathroom cupboard cluttered with products for every different body part and member of the family. Drawers full of bottles with an extensive list of ingredients that I’ve never heard and a rubbish bin full of packaging waste.
I’m all about reducing my impact when it comes to my beauty regime – but I’m not willing to compromise my personal hygiene or the way I look – I’m only human! So far, I reckon I’m pulling it off, and here’s some of the switches that have worked for me.
1. Simplify: Each time I run out of a product I question if I really need to replace it – if I do, I’m all about being more mindful of the ingredients it’s made from. I also like challenge myself to try and find a multipurpose alternative.
Almond oil is a favourite in our house. It’s the all over body and face moisturiser for the whole family, eye make-up remover, beard oil (for my husband, not me!), hand cream and smoothie ingredient! I love that I know exactly what I’m putting on my skin, and rolling with one product saves a heap of time, money and packaging waste.
2. Reduce packaging waste: Beauty products are packaged to sell us the promise. Intricate vials and elaborate tubes entice us to buy. The downside is that they’re often a complicated design made of a variety of materials that makes them destined for the rubbish bin.
The cool news is that there are some awesome alternatives out there which can really cut down on the packaging.
- There are lots of places where you can refill your own containers with things like hand-soap, bodywash, shampoo and conditioner. Products like this have a decent shelf like, so it’s easy to stock up to save you shopping time.
- Switching to products in bar form has been a favourite change of mine. It’s not just a bar of soap these days, you can find shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, deodorant and heaps more options in bar form. Essentially a bar is the product without any added water. They come with little or no packaging and last a really long time.
- Making your own products can also be a great way to avoid excess packaging (and ingredients), and it doesn’t have to be complicated. I use cocoa powder as a bronzer, cornflour as a dry shampoo and sugar mixed with almond oil as a face scrub. I love the simplicity of the ingredients and the fact that if I run out, I only have to go to my pantry.
3. Go reusable: Switching disposable products for reusable options is a really simple way to reduce waste and impact, and a brilliant way to save money.
Both my husband and I have made the switch to safety razors where the only thing to replace is the metal blade. Reusable pads, period underwear and menstrual cups are now super common and are great options when it comes to waste free periods. You can even get amazing crocheted make-up remover pads that you can use over and over again.
There are heaps of simple switches we can make to our beauty routine which are a bit lighter on the planet – and I promise you don’t have to let yourself go in the process! Just remember it’s not about doing everything, it’s about making one small change at a time and rolling with alternatives that work for you.