We took our time getting here, but people have finally realized the importance of taking urgent action to preserve and protect our planet. From using metal straws and canvas shopping bags to campaigning against irresponsible corporations and their unsustainable practices, it seems like everyone is doing their part to save the earth. It’s not too late to join the fight, either. One of the easiest ways to be a part of the movement is by making your daily skincare habit more environment-friendly. Become a force for good by using these 4 simple ways to clean up your beauty routine:
Minimize Your Consumption
Keeping consumption low is by far the easiest way to be environmentally friendly—and it could save you some money in the process. It means curbing our collective habit of hoarding products like it’s going out of fashion and instead only buying what you need when you need it. Dermatologists also agree that a more minimal approach to skincare can visibly improve your complexion, so consider cutting your 12-step skincare routine down to 3 steps.
It also applies to the way we use resources such as water and fuel. For instance, lessening your time in the shower from 8 minutes to 3 could save 25 gallons of water annually. Lowering the temperature or turning the heater off altogether reduces energy consumption, which in turn decreases power plant emissions while conserving limited natural resources.
Keep Our Furry Friends in Mind
Many mainstream beauty brands in both the high-end and drugstore categories still conduct animal testing. Yes, this may come as a surprise when the practice is already largely frowned upon globally and is completely banned in Europe besides, but it’s true.
These brands are compelled to do so in China, where animal testing is required by law for all imported cosmetics before they can be sold in the mainland. To compete in that burgeoning market, they allow third parties to test their products on animals for regulatory purposes. An online search should easily get you a list of companies who do business in the Chinese market and therefore are not considered cruelty-free. Avoid buying from them and invest ininstead.
Pass on Plastic
You may have already heard of the phrase “single-use plastic”. Most people associate it with disposable water bottles or the utensils that come with takeout food purchases. What we don’t often realize is that plastic is very deeply ingrained into our personal care products, too. Liquids such as shampoo and conditioner are held in plastic bottles; deodorants and lip balms are sold in plastic tubes; lotions and creams come in plastic tubs—the list can go on and on.
The global beauty and personal care industries produce over 120 billion units of non-recyclable packaging each year. If current trends continue, the United Nations predicts that we could be looking at 12 billion tons of plastic waste by the year 2050. To keep your plastic use low, look for products packaged in recycled or recyclable containers, or start patronizing package-free brands. You may also want to look into buying in bulk if you go through a lot of a particular product.
Keep an Eye on the Ingredients
Certain ingredients used in many cosmetic and personal care products can be damaging to nature. Many of them pollute our waterways and eventually end up in our oceans, where they disrupt the ecosystem and harm marine life.
Ingredients to avoid include exfoliating microbeads; they’re made with the non-biodegradable plastic polyethylene. You’ll also want to steer clear of products that contain the preservatives BHA and BHT; these are toxic to amphibians and other water-dwelling organisms. Any products that contain phthalates, parabens, mercury, lead, and formaldehyde are also best left on the shelf. You wouldn’t want any of those chemicals on your body, much less in the environment.
You don’t have to join protest rallies to create meaningful change. Making more environmentally minded lifestyle choices is enough to make a substantial impact in the world. We hope that these small steps encourage you into taking bigger strides for the planet!