Our beauty regimes have come a long way in the last ten years, and we’re using more beauty products than ever before – even if Micellar water will do everything! Now, we start with a double cleansing ritual, followed by Korean serums, Japanese toners – the list could go on. We love our beauty regimes, but if we’re honest, they can be super expensive, and they’re even more harmful to the environment than they are to our bank accounts. In fact, the beauty industry is a huge contributor to the growing amount of plastic that’s produced each year, which is often then left to sit in landfills or even worse, in the sea. Just think about the amount of plastic packaging that you use in your daily beauty regime, if you’re anything like us, it’s a lot.
Okay, so we’re not suggesting that you should never buy beauty products that are made with plastic again – that’s totally unrealistic. But, by making a few small changes to your routine, you can actually save yourself a ton of money and do the planet a HUGE favor. For example, by just switching to jumbo-sized shampoo bottles, you’ll use 40% less plastic and save $64 a year. Considering that 40% of the waste in landfill sites is plastic packaging, this can make a big difference. So, show the planet some love and try some of these small changes that could make a really positive impact, and save you money in the process.
1. SAVE $18: Bring your packaging back to the store
Tons of brands now offer recycling schemes for your cosmetic packaging, and they normally offer a free product as well – as if we need any more persuasion! One of our fav schemes is from MAC, who give away a free lipstick with every six lipsticks returned, saving you $18. You can also take any old products to Origins, which they then recycle for their own packaging. Ultimate planet-saving beauty brand Lush sells nearly 80% of their products without any packaging, and they also have a return-for-rewards system on any packaged products. You just need to bring back 5 of their trademark black pots and they’ll give you a free face mask while they recycle the old pots into new ones.
2. FREE + Good karma: Look for the recycle sign
One of the easiest ways to make an eco-friendly change to your shopping habits is to look for packaging that’s made from recycled materials, which can often also be reused or recycled once again. It’ll normally have this little symbol on the front:
You can also get creative with the beauty products you’ve finished. We love to use a glass spray bottle for a DIY facial mist or wash out our eye cream pots and use them as the perfect travel-friendly foundation container! We even like to reuse our perfume bottles as a vase, which is probably the most Insta-worthy recycle ever!
3. SAVE $30 a month: Swap your body wash for a bar of soap
By trading in your regular shower gel for a bar of soap, you’ll be helping the environment, aquatic wildlife like Ariel, and your bank account! Shower gels often contain harsh chemical ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, which is toxic to fish, not to mention it’s a questionable ingredient for your own health too. The energy it takes to produce a bar of soap is also five times less than a shower gel, so you’ll seriously reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, soap is often free of plastic packaging, a lot cheaper, and it’ll last twice as long as the average bottle of shower gel. So even thought can buy shower gel for $6 that will last you a month, you can also buy six bars of soap for $7 that will last you more than six months, saving $30. Check out our favorite beauty-boosting soap, here.
4. SAVE $136: Use a Mooncup
Our monthly cycle is another serious contributor to our ecological footprint. This is because most pads and tampons contain plastic fibers which won’t decompose and aren’t recyclable, which means those 11,000 sanitary products you use over the course of your life, will still be around long after you are. But, the good news is, there’s a much more eco-friendly alternative – a Mooncup.A Mooncup, $30, is basically a small cup that collects the fluid rather than absorbing it. You then simply wash or wipe the cup after each use and reuse it, plus it’s reusable for up to five years. This means you’ll also save a ton of money by not spending $7 on a box of tampons every month. Saving you around $70 a year if you keep your moon cup for just two years. Find out more about the moon cup, here.
5. SAVE $64 a year: Be selective with your eco-friendly purchases
We appreciate that it’s slightly unrealistic to assume you’ll replace all your beauty products with environmentally friendly beauty brands. So instead, be selective with the eco-friendly products you buy, by making your most commonly purchased beauty products eco-friendly. Our fav green brands include; Neal’s Yard Remedies, Ambar Bar, Live Botanical, Cleo&Coco and BeautyHeroes. Even by buying in bulk, you’ll reduce the amount of plastic by approximately 40%, and you’ll save more money. For example, you’ll save $64 a year by buying this jumbo-sized Redken Shampoo, $23 for 1000ml, which will last for at least three months compared to the regular size, $13 for 300ml, which will last around a month.
6. SAVE $14: Trade in your make up wipes
Even though makeup wipes are super convenient, in the long run, they’re not great for your skin, and they’re seriously damaging to the environment as the plastic fibers in wet wipes take over 100 years to biodegrade. Cotton pads can also be really wasteful and they’re one of the easiest beauty accessories to replace. Instead, you can use a muslin cloth, which is actually a lot better for your skin, as it cleanses and removes impurities while working as a gentle exfoliator. It’s also much more cost-effective than the average packet of makeup wipes, which costs around the same as a one muslin cloth, $8. You can use a muslin cloth for up to three months, whereas there are usually only 25 wipes in one makeup remover packet.
Let us know if you have any other helpful hacks for saving the environment by being conscious of your beauty products, in the comments below.