Having a skincare routine is important when it comes to keeping our face and body looking and feeling healthy. However, with so many different products on the market, it's easy to become confused on what is best for us, and even more so, the planet. We are often encouraged to jump on the latest trend or to buy revolutionary products that will make our skin better but often, we use them a couple of times, get bored of them or find that they aren’t the miracle they are marketed to be and throw them away. And where do these discarded products end up, you ask? Well, according to research, 79% ends up in landfill.
Although a couple of products per person may seem like nothing, a quick look at the maths of billions of people having excess creams, toners, moisturisers soon mount up and can have a huge impact on the planet.
This could affect wildlife, marine life, pollution, and climate change. Understandably, you may be thinking to yourself “but I’m only one person, how can I make a difference?” But, if everyone made a small, conscious effort to change, it would contribute greatly towards helping the planet.
In this blog you will find several simple yet effective tips to make your skincare routine sustainable whilst ensuring you are looking after your skin.
Swapping Out Single Use Makeup Wipes for Reusable Cleansing Pads or Cloths
In the UK, it is estimated that over 11 billion makeup wipes end up in landfill each year. Shockingly, one single wipe can take up to 100 years to biodegrade. This crazy figure is something that most of us contribute towards. I am guilty of this as I used to go through a packet of makeup wipes every couple of weeks. In recent years, I switched to a gentle cleanser and face cloth instead. I have found that I much prefer this to wipes. It feels a lot nicer when I take my makeup off. Makeup wipes can feel so harsh on my skin, especially the cheap ones. My skin would hate me for it and would often end up red and dry. Face cloths are easy to wash, they save you money and they do not go to waste. Overall, they are great for us and the environment.
You could even use a simple pot of Coconut Oil to remove your make up. All you need is to rub it between your hands to get it nice and warm, and gently rub into face to allow your make up to melt away! As this is a natural substance, it won’t cause any damage to marine life when it goes down the plug hole and into the sea, either!
Cutting Down on Products
We are often encouraged to have a whole range of skincare products to ensure that we can target all our skin’s different needs. But do we really need multiple creams, serums, toners, and cleansers? Reducing the number of skincare products which you buy will help to reduce the amount of packaging (potentially non-recyclable) that is going to waste. Of course, micellar water is not to be used as a moisturiser and serums are not for removing makeup. However, certain products can be effective in a couple of different ways. For example, face creams which contain SPF can be used in the morning and in the evening and they can keep your face hydrated all whilst protecting it from the sun.
Another way to help you cut down on the amount of skincare products that you have is to only buy more when you have completely run out of a product. Avoid buying extra skincare goods if you have some already at home. Wait until you have fully emptied the tube or tub. By doing this, you will not end up with an unnecessary amount of skincare that is used every so often then gets binned because it goes out of date.
Recycle Your Empty Containers
We mentioned earlier on in the blog about the amount of waste the beauty industry produces. Throwing an empty container in the bin as its “quick and easy” will result in it ending up in landfill. This will take up to 500 years to decompose and will contribute towards pollution seeping into our waterways and soil. A simple check of the bottle/tub will inform you what parts of it can be recycled. Most skincare products sold in the UK can be recycled although some may only be partly recyclable. When you are ready to discard an empty product, first, rinse away any residue to prevent it from contaminating other items and then place it in the recycle bin. To find out what you can recycle click here.
Have A Recycle Bin in Your Bathroom
To make recycling a product even easier, you could keep a small bin specifically for recycling in your bathroom. One of the most common reasons for throwing recyclable items in a normal rubbish bin is laziness. We’ve all been there when it's much more convenient to dispose of a product in a normal bin rather than going outside in the cold to recycle it. However, as said previously, this may contribute to unnecessary pollution. A bin in the room where you use skincare products the most will help you to discard your empties appropriately.
Turn Off Your Taps
On average, each person wastes around 30 gallons of water per day. This is through several activities such as flushing the toilet, washing hands, washing the pots and more. When we put into context how many people are on the planet, we are wasting substantial amounts of water every day. The water which goes down the drain or toilet enters existing water ways. Over time, the increased amount of dirt and human faeces causes the pH levels of the water to change as well as a temperature increase. The shift in these levels can cause harm to marine life.
We can minimise the amount of water that we waste by turning the taps off once we are finished using them. A habit of mine when growing up was that I would leave the taps running for the duration of brushing my teeth or washing my face. Looking back now, it pains me to think about all the unnecessary water I wasted!. Now, I make sure that the tap is turned off as soon as I am done with the water.
Support Companies Who do Not Test on Animals
Sadly, in the UK, there are many skincare companies that still test on animals. In 2020, government figures showed that a total of 2.9 million experiments on animals took place. Although animals are tested on many different types of products including household cleaners, makeup and skincare are some of the most common forms of goods that are tested on innocent animals. The animals often face painful and even fatal tests to determine if the product is safe for human use. Supporting companies (like Sweet Cecily’s!) who do not use animals test on will guarantee that no dogs, cats, monkeys, and other animals are being harmed in the process.
Buy Natural Products That Don’t Contain Parabens, Petrochemicals or SLS
In one of my previous blogs “5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Synthetic and Switch To Natural Skincare” I explained how synthetic skincare products which often contain parabens, petrochemicals and SLS contribute towards pollution. When these products are made, they emit harmful chemicals into the air and cause our waterways to become contaminated. There's no surprise to know that these chemicals cause damage to the environment and even our own health.
Buying from a skincare company who uses only natural ingredients will help to ensure none of these harmful chemicals come into contact with your skin or the environment.
There are many ways that we can alter our skincare routine to make it sustainable and ultimately help towards protecting the environment. Some of the changes may seem very small and you may wonder how it will actually make a difference. However, if everyone made a conscious effort to stick to a couple of these tips, we would collectively have a beneficial impact on the planet.