The beauty industry is responsible for 120 billion units of unrecyclable packaging each year, the majority of which takes up to 1000 years to decompose. Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more units of plastic as there are fish in the ocean, and while this industry is beginning to take steps in the right direction: from banning microbeads to encouraging the production of vegan makeup, there is still much to be done. It is upon us, as consumers to pressure change. Swapping out unsustainable beauty products for eco-friendly alternatives is an effortlessly easy way to help minimise your chemical and carbon footprint. Whilst discovering new, environmentally responsible ways to improve the health of your skin, hair and teeth.
Conventional q tips and makeup remover wipes contain plastic. After use, these plastic particles inevitably find their way to the ocean where they shed smaller microplastics. Ingested by plankton and invertebrates, these microplastics accumulate up the food chain: poisoning fish, turtles and even human beings. For this reason, microplastics have been deemed the ‘number one threat to humankind’, owing to their ability to damage the human endocrine system, affect fertility and cause multiple diseases such as cancer.
Switch to Organic
Organic cotton buds such as those made from paper stalks, bamboo and cotton are 100% biodegradable and do not harm the environment. Optimising quality, purity and softness these ‘Simply Gentle Organic Cotton Buds’ exclude plastic packaging in order to be sustainable.
Biodegradable Makeup Wipes
Makeup wipes made from natural, biodegradable materials are not only kinder to the planet, but also kind to skin. Able to break down in as little as 28 days, biodegradable makeup wipes gently cleanse the skin of impurities whilst infusing it with essential plant based vitamins and minerals.
Cotton Muslin Cloths
Reusable cotton muslin cloths and reusable makeup pads can be used to take off makeup, time and time again. As such, reducing plastic pollution, minimising waste and beneficially saving costs.
Exfoliating facewashes have historically contained microbeads; solid plastic particles less than 1mm in dimension, similar to microplastics in regards to the environmental devastation they cause. In response to this, the UK government has banned the sale of products containing microbeads in 2018. However, many facewashes today are still packaged unsustainably, using lethal plastic materials known to choke and decapitate marine life.
When purchasing a facewash, be sure to note any sustainable certifications such as ‘FSC’ from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or from the Biodegradable Products Institute; indicating the inclusion of exclusively environmentally responsible materials.
As evidenced by a study from MIT, simply recycling plastic products is not good enough: packaging must be biodegradable or made from repurposed ocean plastic, to not elicit further pollution issues.
To find the perfect facewash for you, see our guide to the very best Sustainable Skincare Essentials, detailing our top recommendations to achieve flawless looking skin.
Part of the blue beauty movement, sustainable body washes aim to leave no trace; encompassing zero waste packaging and utilising ocean friendly formulas which remedy and nourish the skin.
Introducing bodywash bars is an easy way to reduce your plastic waste: replacing tubes and bottles with sustainably wrapped, carboard and paper packaging. Bodywash bars are not only more cost effective, lasting longer than conventional liquid soaps, but additionally exclude synthetic ingredients. Having been made from vegetable oils, water and naturally occurring alkalis, infused with enchanting herbal, floral or tropical scents.
From Mooncups to period absorbent underwear, biodegradable tampons and more, the feminine hygiene industry is becoming eco conscious; addressing the degrading impact conventional pads and tampons have, not only on the environment, but also on female health.
Growing awareness surrounding our immanent climate crisis, combined with recent scientific knowledge unveiling the health risks of period products, has given rise to a new wave of eco-friendly menstrual practises on the market today. See our recommendations here.
Most of us do not question the necessity of good oral hygiene, yet only few of us stop question the impact our dental products have on the environment and on our health. These sustainable swaps aim to address such issues; replacing chemical-laden formulas with organic ones and using natural, vegan products which support independent businesses.
Made from plant-based material, Eco Floss is completely vegan; comprised from ‘100% renewable resources, instead of the normal plastic crude oil alternatives, and uses 80% greenhouse gasses than regular floss.’
Toothpastes typically contain an abundance of unnecessary artificial chemicals. In contrast, non-toxic, sustainable toothpastes are derived from organic sources, utilising ingredients such as charcoal to draw out impurities and eradicate bacteria from your teeth.
Your childhood Disney princess toothbrush is still out there today; floating in the ocean, in the stomach of a turtle or sinking in a landfill, for the average plastic toothbrush takes up to 400 years to decompose. Plant-based toothbrushes, popularised by USDA certified, biobased company ‘Brush with Bamboo’ makes toothbrushes with biodegradable bristles instead. Complete with a sustainably harvested bamboo handle, once discarded, these toothbrushes can harmlessly join nature’s food chain.