It may start with taking shorter showers, then maybe you’re thinking about how many plastic straws you use, then next you’re questioning why you use a take away coffee cup every day instead of a keep cup. It is becoming rapidly more common to consider the environment when it comes to our choices but it can be hard to know which is the more eco-friendly option.
The beauty industry contributes significantly to the waste from packaging to the plastics and chemicals that get flushes into the water system. Try making these simple eco-friendly tweaks for a healthier beauty routine.
Yes, we all love a deep cleanse but did you know that many exfoliating scrubs use polyethylene microbeads with around 350, 000 microbeads in just one package? These are not biodegradable and often end up polluting the water supply where they are consumed by fish, working their way up the food chain into our guts and causing digestive issues along the way. Look for products that contain natural exfoliating agents such as sugar and salt.
Support sustainable and organic skincare brands
With thousands of beauty ranges at your disposal it can be hard to know which ones have a limited negative impact on your skin and the environment. Many brands are moving towards transparent processing practice and using sustainable, natural ingredients so keep an eye out for companies that are using sustainable processes, are chemical-free and avoid using controversial products like palm oil.
Consider your hair removal option
Have you thought about your hair removal routine recently?
- Shaving: The average blade should only last a few uses so it is no surprise it is estimated 2 billion razors are thrown away each year (that’s just in the US), with around 32 percent ending up in the ocean. You may be guilty of using your razor for several months but by leaving them in the shower makes your razor prone to rust, leaving you exposed to bacteria.
- Waxing: In addition to ripping your hair out by the roots, waxing can also cause infections, burns, infected in-grown hair and scarring. Many people also use disposable wax strips and wax that end up in landfill
- Laser: An IPL laser minimises waste and has long lasting results, making it much more cost effective than waxing. You can also get hand-held devices (like this DEESS device) that are clinical grade and can be used in the comfort of your own home.
Check the packaging
Luckily more companies are investing in sustainable packaging – something that was hard to achieve a few years ago. Next time you’re shopping for your skincare, look for factors such as ‘recycled’, ‘biodegradable’ or ‘renewable materials’. You can even try reusing your current product bottles to hold homemade products or for travelling.
Limit your time in the shower
We’ve heard it time and time again, but taking shorter showers is such a simple yet effective way in helping the environment. An average shower head can use nearly 10L of water every minute. Try cutting your shower down to once a day for 3 minutes (if you’re not washing your hair) or have a cold shower – not only will this improve your concentration and reduce stress, it will also lower your electricity use, and your power bill!
© Prevention Australia
First published: 6 Feb 2020