Ever wonder about how to lower your beauty waste or lower your beauty consumption? Over the years, I’ve challenged myself over the years to make small, practical changes in my habits and consumption. Beauty and personal care aren’t exempted from this endeavor.
Here to Inspire, NOT Preach
I am not and do not aim to be zero waste. I’m also not here to preach at you from astride a white horse. My time is valuable to me, and I am willing to make certain concessions in the name of convenience to preserve some of it. I think there’s a balance to strike – plastic isn’t evil, just like chemicals aren’t evil, but we should produce and consume (let alone recycle or dispose of) far more thoughtfully (read: less) than the average person is today.
If you’re able or willing to go harder than me? That’s great! If you haven’t made changes along these lines but want to, that’s great too – and maybe I can give you some ideas to lower your beauty waste that don’t feel like such a sacrifice that you can’t achieve them. After all, goals that aren’t achievable aren’t smart.
Just because you aren’t going full-tilt doesn’t mean what you CAN do doesn’t make a difference.
Do you wear makeup each day? Hopefully you’re removing it, too! If you use disposable makeup wipes, can you swap them for either micellar water and cotton or better yet, reusable, washable cloths? I did this several years ago and not only is my skin happier for it, my wallet is too. I know this is harder to do if you don’t have in-home or in-unit laundry (LIVED IT), but they can be washed by hand (and it isn’t hard).
If you’re looking for vanity brush storage, can you repurpose something and skip shopping? I lower my beauty waste and consumption by repurposing tall Yankee Candle tumblers (cylindrical all the way up, not the jars that taper at the top) for this. I also use them to store mascaras, eyeliners, nail files, and so forth. I use the mediums for lip products, and the smalls for cotton swabs (throughout the house, even).
I haven’t adorned mine, but if you want a little more vanity-chic, you can paint, decoupage, or fill them with vase fillers or coffee beans. There are a ton of other things you probably already own that you can use to fill this purpose, too.
Do you feel confident enough to wield a safety razor? Razor cartridges are not easy to recycle outside of Terracycle campaigns. If you can get your hands on an old school safety razor, those things are nigh-industructible. There are some industry disruptors out there, too, like Leaf, making promising products (pivot head). I don’t need shaving products any time soon (thank you laser hair redux), but I’m really intrigued by Leaf.
Can you lower your beauty waste by choosing lower- or more-sustainably packaged solutions? There is a TON in this realm, like:
- commercially available deodorants like Native are pivoting to cardboard packaging
- opting for bar soap (make your own if you’re crafty)
- or even bar shampoo and conditioner. I haven’t tried bar shampoo and conditioner yet, but am sufficiently intrigued and have heard great things about Ethique (they even make a purple toning one)
- if you need menstrual products, going with a reusable cup, disc, or applicatorless options
Instead of a body scrub, can you use a tool? A device like one of the Foreo Luna family doesn’t have consumables, and pays for itself if you cut out facial scrubs. For body, I love the St Tropez remover mitt – I use it whether I’m using sunless tanning products or not, and it lasts far longer than SEVERAL jars of body scrub. If you want something that will biodegrade, you can’t go wrong with a classic (real) loofah.
The Bottom Line
With luck, you’ll have some takeaways from this post on how you might be able to adjust your routine without being stifled. I’m not doing anything edgy: I haven’t resorted to juicing beets for lipcolor and blush, or to telling myself that brushing my teeth with a coconut-and-peppermint oil cocktail will suffice for my oral health.
It’s also worth noting that the things that work for me didn’t happen over night. This was a series of changes over the course of a few years, and I can sincerely tell you I don’t feel like I’m missing out. If I tried to do everything at once, I might feel differently.