One of the biggest things to come out of 2019 was a growing mainstream awareness about the detrimental effects of climate change. It has sparked conversations all over the world about how urgent action is needed, and it prompted many people to make significant changes to their lifestyles to help stem the damage being wrought to our planet.
It’s an unfortunate truth that a good chunk of our favorite makeup and beauty staples are manufactured using methods that are taxing on the environment, or packaged with unsustainable, non-recyclable materials. Fortunately, we can make better, more environmentally conscious choices in 2020. Here’s how to overhaul your beauty routine to make it cleaner, greener, and kinder:
Check the labels
Becoming an ethical consumer used to be rather difficult. Before the advent of technology that’s put the power of information right at our fingertips, brands and companies were able to keep unethical sourcing and manufacturing practices away from the view of their customers. There was also a distinct lack of transparency about the ingredients they used in their products.
Nowadays, all of this information can be easily found. It only takes a couple of seconds to scan your product packaging for certain labels to make more informed purchases. Aside from the universal recycling symbol that signifies if a product is recyclable, you can keep an eye out for phrases such as “packaging made with recyclable materials”, “cruelty-free”, “not tested on animals”, “locally sourced” and so on. Vegan makeup and beauty products marked as such are often a good bet if you are committed to making sustainable, eco-friendly purchases.
Commit to zero waste
Single-use items are so commonplace in our day-to-day lives that it’s often easy to forget just how much of them we go through. Plastic pollution is a very real global issue that requires our immediate attention, and the beauty industry generates a lot of plastic waste. Daily staples such as shampoo, body lotion, and deodorant all come in plastic packaging, some of which are not readily recyclable and can take thousands of years to decompose. They’re filling up our landfills and killing sea creatures in the ocean, and we all just need to stop using them.
If you can, go for personal care or beauty products that come in eco-friendly packaging that avoid the use of plastic. Glass and paper are much easier to recycle! It’s also a good idea to look around for refill stations where you can fill up on the products you need with bottles and jars that you already own instead of buying a fresh container every time. Another simple way to minimize plastic waste is to buy a reusable stainless-steel razor to replace the packs of plastic safety razors that you use for shaving. They’re much more cost-effective and durable.
Reducing the products you use is a great way to bring down your waste production and minimize your carbon footprint. Yes, we know it’s hard to resist buying just a little something to treat yourself with every time you visit the drugstore, but do you need to? Take stock of what items you already have in your beauty collection and ask yourself how much of it you truly use regularly. If you’re only buying products to hoard and not to wear, you should probably be evaluating your choices.
Go through life with the mindset that you’ll only buy what you need when you need it—and you’re already helping Mother Nature out in a big way. Not only do you spend less by doing this, it could even spark some creativity if you limit yourself to only the products you have on hand for your looks.
Don’t let the naysayers fool you: it is possible to love beauty and the planet at the same time. By making a few meaningful changes to your existing routine and making sure you stay informed, you can still indulge in your passion for all things makeup and skincare without feeling guilty. Now go forth and become a green beauty queen!