Plastic is like that toxic friend you keep trying to cut out of your life, but they keep finding a way back in. Though historically it may have been difficult to stick to your plastic-reduction goals, Plastic-Free July is upon us, and with it comes a renewed energy for making better choices to reduce single-use plastics. But how do we do this for our skincare and beauty routines? Let’s find out:
There’s no point in pledging to reduce your plastic waste, and then proceeding to throw away all the plastic in your bathroom in the name of the environment. Instead, use ‘em up. Begin your plastic purge by using up the plastic products already in your home.
If you have a bunch of bottles with a teeny bit of product left inside, purchase some reusable containers and squeeze all excess product into them to use for shaving your legs - this is a great way to avoid pouring products down the drain. Then, recycle as much of the plastic packaging as you possibly can.
You may also want to ask your friends and family if they’d like to use anything before you throw it out. If you’re giving products to someone that you don’t live with, remember to share only Covid-friendly items like bottled products rather than makeup.
One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary plastic is to avoid unnecessary products. If you’re already reducing your plastic, this is the perfect time to also reduce the number of products you use on a daily or weekly basis.
Go through your makeup bag and find products you hardly ever use, or could do without. Streamline your routine to use less plastic, and enjoy the added benefits of saving space, time and money.
It’s time to start the fun bit - researching products. There are lots of plastic-free options out there, but they are not always easy to get a hold of. You may need to do a bit of digging and order online, but all the forward planning will be worth it in the end. A quick Google will bring up some good products, or try sites like Ethical Superstore to find more niche options.
Search for skincare and makeup brands that use glass bottles, which are becoming more popular for their eco-friendly status and the fact that they look nice on a bathroom shelf. Other options are available depending on the products you need, like cardboard and paper packaging, and there are even some brands using biodegradable sugarcane packaging - very cool. Pai Skincare is one.
If you travel frequently and don’t want to buy those little plastic travel-size products or pick up things on the go, experiment with zero-waste bars of soap, shampoo, and other products that come in solid form but disappear upon use. They’re travel friendly, easy to use, and there’s no need to worry about packaging at all. Solid shampoos like HiBar and the LUSH range are a great place to start.
Don’t forget that your disposable razors also impact your plastic output, so look into reusable ones like FFS and Estrid to keep your legs and your conscience smooth. Or better yet, avoid the refills entirely by switching to a safety razor.
No, it’s not just your grandad that uses them. It might look a bit intimidating at first, but it’s designed with safety in mind and is really easy to use. Plus a safety razor can save you money in the long run as they’re built to last.
One product that is notorious for coming in plastic packaging is deodorant, particularly the ones with a roller ball inside. Many putty style deodorants now come in alternative packaging, like glass, metal or cardboard.
Some brands are starting to offer the option (and sometimes incentives) to recycle your plastic packaging in a responsible way. Look out for brands that offer refillable options so you can reuse the packaging and simply purchase refill pouches to top up. Tropic Skincare do this, and offer this option across many of their skincare, body care and makeup products.
You can also send products back to some brands, for example, Garnier have a partnership with TerraCycle that makes it easier for their packaging to be recycled, and Pai Skincare’s range is great because pretty much anything you can’t recycle yourself, you can send back to them and they’ll sort it out for you.
Our skincare and beauty routines include many products we don’t even think about; some used daily, some weekly, some hardly ever. Taking time to think about what else in your beauty or skincare routine might be made with unnecessary plastic can help you plan ahead and make sure you’re not forced to buy more plastic in lieu of a good alternative.
Consider things like your hair brush, cotton buds, hair ties, toothbrush, floss, and so much more. Switch to bamboo options where you can, and look for anything biodegradable so it doesn’t stick around for too long.
Are you trying to cut back on your single-use plastic for Plastic-Free July, or just because? Tell us how you’re getting on, and any tips you’ve discovered, in our private Facebook group or on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, PMS supplements and more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox with eco-friendliness built in, so you know you aren't adding to that big ol' landfill problem with your time of the month.
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