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My favourite zero-waste beauty ideas

By KirstyS 04 Feb 2021

The trick to having a first-class beauty routine that is beneficial to you and the environment is finding reusable, recyclable and biodegradable products that you love. 

Here are a few simple and affordable swaps that I have made to my beauty routine. I hope you enjoy them and maybe even try some yourself. 🌷😍 🌿 🤩



In the shower, why not use … 🛀🏾 🚿 🛁

  1. 🧤 Hemp scrubbing mitt, scrub away dry skin and promote new skin cell growth!
  2. Bodywash bars. These are fantastic because they don't come in a plastic bottle. They are like a lathery bar soap but with more moisture for your skin.
  3. Shampoo and conditioner bars. Initially pioneered by Lush Cosmetics, you now purchase hair wash bars from lots of brands- you may even spot these in your local supermarket. Make sure you keep your bars in a dray place otherwise they may start to break down.  
  4. If bars aren't for you why not try re-fillable shower products. Faith in Nature sells natural, vegan and cruelty-free projects that can be re-filled all over London. Find your nearest refill station here

Top Tip: You might find that these 'bar products' feel less bubbly than your standard shower gel/shampoo. Don't worry though this is just because they don't use SLS (sodium laurel sulphate). You'll soon get used to it. 



To cleanse 🌻

  1. Muslin cloths work by mopping up all the cleanser, makeup and dirt on your face, with the added benefit of also exfoliating and buffing away any dead skin.
  2. Konjac sponges (think SpongeBob) are the ultimate plastic-free product! Sea sponges contain minerals that are good for your skin, including calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, zinc, and potassium. Suitable for any skin, they gently exfoliate to leave skin looking fresh and feeling good.
  3. Reusable makeup pads can be purchase from many online retailers. Simply chuck them in the washing machine with your laundry and re-use. I would recommend the bamboo ones as bamboo fibres use much less water than cotton farming!



Natural (homemade) exfoliants

Making your own products at home is fantastic. It's fun, there's no waste and best of all they are chemical-free. Here are some scrubs that I've enjoyed making over lockdown: 

  1. Sugar scrub. Mix brown sugar and an oil of your choice and wash with warm water. It's as simple as that. 
  2. Oat scrub. Mix oats and water to make a paste. This one is particularly good on delicate skin.
  3. Coffee scrub. Mix old coffee grounds, fine salt, fine sugar and oil of your choice. This one gets messy but is great for a full-body scrub. Top tip: most coffee shops will give you their old coffee ground for free if you ask nicely. 



Toothbrushes 😁

Most manual toothbrushes are made of plastic and should be replaced every three months. This means that in the UK alone there could be 264 million brushes thrown away every year. Here are some ideas to make a more sustainable swap. 

  1. Use recyclable toothbrush heads. These recyclable toothbrush heads can be used with your electric toothbrush. Simply return your used brush heads to Brushd. using the pre-paid compostable pouch enclosed with your order and they will recycle the heads correctly. 
  2. Bamboo toothbrushes. Bamboo is also completely biodegradable, breaking down in compost within around 6 months. This means the handle of a bamboo toothbrush can be put in your compost when you’re finished, or planted in your garden.



Period products, makeup, shaving 🌱

  1. Why not look into more sustainable period products? Reusable period underwear or menstrual cups will save you money and help the environment. This article walks you through some of the best environmentally friendly period products. 
  2. Lots of brands have started making plastic-free makeup (finally!). Check out some of these options. You can also find lists online of beauty brands that are both vegan and cruelty-free. This article shows you 40 of the best sustainable beauty brands. 
  3. Switching to an eco-friendly razor can save you lots of £!! 🤑Instead of buying a whole new razor all you need to do is replace the blade. 


Word to the wise: be aware of greenwashing!

Some companies may use the guise of being eco-friendly to sell products. If shopping online, have a look at whether a product is really sustainable or whether it just has earthy looking packaging (lol). 

Check that the product can be recycled or biodegradable and have a look at the list of ingredients. 



Before you run off to buy all new zero-waste goodies...

REMEMBER: the best thing you can do is use up what you already have 



I hope you enjoyed my top tips making your beauty routine more sustainable. Don’t be too hard on yourself or don’t beat yourself up about not being completely zero waste straight away. 

It takes time to find products that you like and work for you, and there may be some products that you can't swap out AND THAT’S OKAY <3! All small steps towards a more eco-conscious lifestyle are valid and helpful- just do what you can. 💚 🌍 😎



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KirstyS is a BA Fine Art Student at Chelsea, who loves absurd films, cheese and dogs.
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