Ways to Lower Your Beauty Waste

ways to lower your beauty waste

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.

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Soap Box: Get Ready While WFH


Get Ready While WFH

With less visibility than going into the office, it can be tempting to roll out of bed and login. I love to sleep in as much as the next person. I get it. If nothing else, it is critical to get ready while WFH because it helps you maintain boundaries which supports prevention of burnout and preservation of our mental health.

On Imgur last week, I saw a meme whose sentiment was along the lines of, “It’s time to stop calling it, ‘Working From Home,’ and instead call it, ‘Living at Work.'” For those of you also fortunate enough to work from home during this cluster of a year, you can appreciate how real that thought is.

And a quick pause on the, “fortunate enough,” bit:

You may not like working from home. In fact, you may hate it. The fact remains that if you are able to work from the safety of your home right now when so many people have either been displaced from employment or have their (and their family’s) health at risk – well, you’re lucky.

That said, just because you frame your situation in the context of being fortunate, doesn’t mean it is invalid to feel stressed or like boundaries are being violated. They are. Everyone’s are.

–and that’s why I still think you should get ready for work.

Three Key Reasons to Get Ready while WFH:


Those of us accustomed to going to an office every day, even if you weren’t routine-driven, had some sort of routine. Here’s roughly what mine looked like on an average day:

  • 5:00-5:20 – alarm/snooze/alarm/admit defeat. Get out of bed, do morning hygiene, slap on vit C serum.
  • 5:20-5:30 – if I failed myself the night before, pick clothing and get dressed
  • 5:30-5:40 – tidy hair, style if needed (I wash every other day, at night)
  • 5:40-5:55 – moisturize, sunscreen, facepaint. I can do this in as few as five minutes – and often do. But sometimes I want to channel Bob Ross, damn it, for a little morning zen. Some people do morning yoga; I do this
  • 5:55 – put together lunch, acquire caffeine
  • 6:00-6:05 – depart for ye olde commute
  • 6:35ish – arrive

The commute is actually the key element that orients my brain to transition to, “work mode,” from, “home mode.” It is a consistent boundary that marks the physical transition. With WFH, that is gone.

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Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel

It’s been a while since I’ve seen some exceptionally stupid beauty marketing, mostly because I haven’t been looking. During some idle browsing on a lazy Sunday morning, I came across Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel. It is a bit odd to see beauty retailers offering so many hand sanitizer products, but that’s the world we live in now. Tons of companies set forth to add hand sanitizers to their complement of products: chemical companies, spirits distilleries, beauty brands. Lo and behold, you can buy all manner of hand sanitizers at Sephora and Ulta now.

TL;DR Your Marketing is Bad

Sephora partnered with Nudestix to add this ethanol-based hand sanitizer, priced $10 for 16.9 fl oz, to their shelves. The listing says:

In partnership with proud Canadian company, Nudestix, Sephora Canada launched this good-for-skin antibacterial gel specifically for the global COVID-19 crisis. Unlike alcohol-based gels, the Nudestix ethanol-based gel hydrates and protects hands while banishing harmful bacteria.

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me

K, few things. We’ll key in on the biggest chunk of stupidity right off the bat. I cannot believe I have to point this out, but ethanol is an alcohol. In fact, assuming you are not a chemist, it is the form of alcohol you are most familiar with. It is the type of alcohol that beverages contain. It is an alternative fuel. It has antiseptic properties, hence why it is used in hand sanitizers.

CoVid-19 Isn’t a F***ing Bacteria

Secondly, while properly formulated and used hand sanitizers are antibacterial in nature, their marketing focuses too much on this right now. CoVid-19 is not bacterial, it is viral. A high enough concentration of alcohol can kill it. That should be how Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel is positioned right now. Instead, the listing mentions that the product was prompted by CoVid and goes on to spout about it being antibacterial.

The Bottom Line

You won’t find a link to Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel in this post because I don’t want to encourage/support bad behavior. I frankly find it off-putting – if we have cosmetic companies producing product without the basic understanding that ethanol is an alcohol, how can we trust that their cosmetic formulations have safety and efficacy in mind? It makes me think of Sensationail’s claims about their gel nail cleanser (psst, you don’t need it).

I don’t know if this listing is the fault of some product marketing genius with Sephora or with Nudestix. I don’t know if they genuinely don’t know any better, or if they’re a little too at-ease with assuming their consumers are idiots. I’d sincerely hope at least somewhere in either org there is someone with enough basic chemistry know-how to discourage this sort of thing. Instead, if you want to buy hand sanitizer from a beauty brand, might I suggest Cinema Secrets with a 70% concentration?

Off Topic: Period Care is Covered by FSA

A silver lining of this lousy year is that now, period care is covered by FSA I’ve shared before that FSA funds can be used to buy sunscreen. That is great, and I highly recommend doing so if at the end of the year you find yourself with an excess of FSA funds (and don’t need healthcare, spare glasses, etc). But this isn’t about sun safety.

Period Care is Covered by FSA (FINALLY)

This is about how finally, in 2020, prompted by the CoVid-19, Congress decided that, “oh hey, maybe menstrual care products are healthcare products and should be eligible for purchase with FSA funds,” via the CARES act.

Not Amused

Can we talk for a moment about how we could have purchased any number of ridiculous, frivolous, bullshit products with an FSA? We could buy a $25 lip gloss because it had some SPF in it, but we couldn’t buy some damn tampons with those same funds. This is on top of the absurdity that hygiene products like these are frequently taxed at a different rate (a quite literal pink tax, rather than the markup variety) than other hygiene and personal care necessities because some morons seem to think that’s a great idea.

Maybe some of them aren’t complete bullshit, like light therapy for acne. But why could we spend $200 in pre-tax dollars on some splurgey skincare gadget with questionable efficacy before we could spend those dollars on basic, routine hygiene that so damn important to our ongoing health. No one wants blemishes, but I dare-fucking-say that one is slightly higher priority in terms of, “shit we need,” than the other.

The Bottom Line

I’m happy that period care is covered by FSA funds now, but I’m simultaneously irritated as hell that it took so long, and took a global health crisis that not only threatened lives and safety but incomes and livelihoods, for tampons to be considered slightly less of a luxury.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Commentary: Sponsorship

This is a legacy post that has been given a facelift.

Beauty Skeptic has no ongoing sponsor relationships at this time. It’s neither good nor bad, it’s just a fact. In the past, I’ve done some minor sponsored content – i.e., received free product to review (Esqido Lashes and their eyeliners) – but I’ve never been paid for a post.

Personally – and I felt this way before I started blogging – I don’t take issue with sponsored content as long as it:

  • Is disclosed legally (i.e., per FTC guidelines or whatever governing body applies) and
  • Has been subject to the same scrutiny they would if no sponsorship was involved.

That’s my view and my approach to the matter.

Unfortunately, some content creators out there don’t feel that they need to comply with the applicable laws. It isn’t just a matter of legal compliance, though. In most cases where sponsorship is even viable, you have developed a readership, viewership, whatever following. These people like you, believe in you, trust your opinion. While it isn’t wrong to get paid for your work, it IS wrong to take (what I view as) bribes to shill products that you otherwise don’t care for or wouldn’t promote. It isn’t just a matter of legality, it is a matter of ethics.

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Melanoma Monday – Skin Cancer & Melanoma Awareness

This legacy post has been given a facelift but content remains the same. I will be a broken record on this topic until forever and a day.

Melanoma Awareness Ribbon - Melanoma Monday

I’ve talked about my pursuit of a good facial sunscreen before (I’m liking it, btw!) and have mentioned here and there that my Mom received a (super early) Melanoma diagnosis.

Given today, specifically, is Melanoma Monday (first Monday in May), designated by the American Academy of Dermatology, I’m sharing my mom’s melanoma story to help raise awareness.

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Growing up in the 70s and early 80s, few people gave a damn about sunscreen and fewer people made their children wear it. Kids played outside not only more frequently than they do now, but more often (which, in itself, is not a bad thing). During her youth, she managed to get some fairly intense sunburns – to the point of agonizing sun poisoning. I even recall her telling a story about using baby oil while tanning; she burned, of course, and learned her lesson about that much, but still didn’t really employ sunscreen. As an adult, her skin would still burn when we’d spend any considerable amount of time outside, but I recall her being red for just a day or two, then peeling and having a decent tan. She thought, “Eh, no big deal. I’ve had worse.”

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