When we commit to making zero-waste practices as part of our lifestyle, we can create long-lasting changes that will benefit the planet and our health. It may not exactly be a walk in the park, but we can take small steps that will result in sustainable habits. Here are 5 ways to support a zero-waste lifestyle through your skincare routine.
1. Turn off the tap.
One way or another, a lot of us have overlooked the smallest details in our daily life. Such as, leaving the tap running while our brushing our teeth, cleaning our skin, scrubbing our face, and even, removing makeup. Water is an essential part of skincare routines that we sometimes take for granted.
It is important to remember that we must conserve water. That means, being mindful of how we use water even if more than half of the planet is covered with water. After all, only 3% of our water resources is fresh water, and only 0.5% is safe for drinking.
Leaving the faucet running can waste about 6 liters of water per minute. To support a zero-waste lifestyle in your skincare routine and other activities, simply turn off the tap to avoid wasting water.
2. Check the product label.
As we go about our skincare routine, some of the products we use go down the drain or end up in waste. Although skincare products generally seem to be harmless on humans, some contain ingredients that can harm the environment and our health with long-term use. Here are a few examples:
- Microbeads found in some scrubs are not biodegradable. These end up in the ocean and get ingested by marine animals.
- Sulfates, which are present in lathering soaps, contribute to acid rain that damages nature and can be toxic to aquatic life.
- Another example is lead found in makeup products. It can end up in air, soil, and water as a pollutant.
- Parabens in cosmetics can harm marine animals and affect coral reefs.
- Synthetic fragrance, found in many skincare products, can accumulate in the oceans, harming fish and other wildlife.
There are other more ingredients found in skincare that can be harmful to the environment. For a more sustainable eco-living, familiarize yourself with ingredients that you should avoid, and check the product label before use or purchase.
3. Choose eco-friendly skincare products.
A skincare product that is made from natural ingredients, responsibly sourced materials, and renewable resources is considered to be eco-friendly, sustainable, or “green”. It can contain ingredients such as:
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- Castor bean oil
- Organic essential oils
- Fruit enzymes
Aside from the product and its label, check the packaging too. Opt for skincare products that have “thoughtful packaging”. Whenever possible, skip the plastic packaging too. Some stores sell refills on shampoos, soaps, moisturizers, and even makeup, so you can just bring your own container.
Choosing eco-friendly skincare products helps reduce the amount of toxic waste in the environment and our carbon footprint. It is also beneficial to our overall health with long-term use. To help you choose eco-friendly products, look for those that are labelled vegan, plant-based, cruelty-free, compostable, reusable packaging, ethically sourced, or responsibly sourced.
4. Buy what you only need.
If you need to purchase new products, buy what you only need. In skincare, we sometimes tend to believe that more products are better for the skin. However, being a mindful consumer helps make zero-waste living sustainable, and also, some experts agree that the skin only needs a few basic products.
Be sure to also store your skincare products properly, too. Keep them in a cool place away from direct sunlight so as not to degrade the active ingredients and shorten shelf-life. Some prefer to keep skincare products in the fridge to extend shelf-life and not to mention, to enjoy the cooling sensation on the skin.
5. Say no to single-use.
Swap single-use or disposable everyday skincare products for zero-waste alternatives. This will effectively help you reduce plastic use and eliminate personal waste.
Shaving is an important part of our skincare routine. Instead of using disposable razors, consider switching to safety razors. The disposable ones are made of plastic that takes ages to degrade, adding up to plastic pollution.
Reusable safety razors are better because they are built with plastic-free high-quality materials. These are designed to be sturdy and can last you for years, effectively reducing the plastic waste in your bathroom.
When it comes to makeup removal and cleansing, makeup wipes are the most convenient to use but these can take years to decompose. That means more waste that will pile up in our landfills.
Swap single-use wipes for eco-friendly makeup pads by sustainable brands such as LastObject, TruEarth, and Wegreeco. These work like regular cotton rounds, and they can be used 1750 times or more to effectively reduce waste. Every round is compostable and made of renewable raw materials.