Expert Advice

5 Eco-Friendly Beauty Tips that You Need to Know

Picture of sustainable beauty products.

With only 14% of cosmetic waste reaching recycling centres and 9% of that actually being recycled, it’s time for us to revise our beauty practices and the products sitting on our bathroom shelves.

But don’t worry, we’re not saying you have to compromise on quality to be more eco-friendly. It’s all about discovering smarter alternatives that allow you to keep looking fabulous whilst caring for the planet.

What is Sustainable Beauty?

There are many factors that come into play when it comes to sustainability. From the ingredients to manufacturing, it’s an end-to-end process that must comply at all stages.

So, first things first, ingredients – they need to be sourced and extracted in a way that has a minimal impact on the planet, even after use. Investing in organic formulations, like essential oils and botanical extracts, means the product can naturally decompose, so you could minimise your impact on the planet.

When it comes to manufacturing, brands need to consider how energy-efficient their supply chain is, in terms of reducing water waste and utilising green energy sources. Options are getting more innovative, with some brands using compostable materials like mushroom or seaweed for their packaging.

How to Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

It’s no secret that beauty products often come wrapped in one too many layers of packaging, which could be a significant contributor to environmental waste. However, there are ways to make your beauty routine a little more environmentally friendly, without having to swap out all of your favourite products.

Firstly, you can start by taking a hard look at your current lineup. Plastic-heavy items like disposable razors, single-use face wipes (despite how convenient they are!), and conventional shampoo and conditioner bottles are among the biggest offenders.

But all is not lost – there are some simple tweaks you can implement to ensure you’re making more eco-conscious choices:

Use up What You Have

Before you rush out to buy new products or throw away any that you don’t think are sustainable, make sure you use up what you already own.

This simple act prevents waste and gives you time to thoughtfully plan your next purchase.

Swap Unused Products

If you have unused items that aren’t quite right for you, perhaps a lipstick shade that you just know will clash with your complexion or a moisturiser that doesn’t suit your skin—consider gifting them.

Neighborhood ‘buy nothing’ Facebook groups are goldmines for this, or simply offer them to friends and family so the product doesn’t go to waste.

Note: Sharing isn’t always caring. Be sure to double-check the shelf life of the product before giving them away.

Seek Out Sustainable Packaging

The packaging of your beauty products matters. Look for brands that use compostable, easily recyclable, or reusable materials.

Aluminum, bamboo, and glass are much better for the environment than their plastic counterparts. Brands offering refill systems for products like lipsticks, soaps, shampoos and other products are excellent choices too, as they reduce the need for new containers.

Decode Formulations

Understanding product formulations can be daunting, but online resources can help.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) database is a fantastic tool for checking the safety of beauty products.

Symbols like the Green Dot on packaging can also guide you towards more ethical and sustainable choices.

Ditch Single-Use Products

Single-use products are the epitome of wastefulness. Where possible, you can opt for reusable and refillable alternatives.

Some great options include soap and shampoo pouches, bar soaps, shampoo bars, tooth tabs, and menstrual cups.

Even swapping out cotton swabs and wipes for reusable cloths and bamboo cotton buds may help you to make more sustainable choices.

By embracing a more sustainable beauty routine, you can maintain a beauty regimen that’s both effective and kinder to the planet.

For more advice and inspiration, our expert guide outlines some of the best vegan products you could incorporate into your routine.



Writer and expert

Life motto: 'There's no such thing as too many beauty products'

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