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Pretty Green: 6 Beauty Swaps to Help Save the Planet

4 mins

From waving goodbye to your wipes to reading your labels these 6 planet friendly beauty swaps can make you look good and do good

While the beauty industry may be making us look good, there’s an ugly underside which is causing significant damage to our planet. Whether its deforestation, single-use plastics or the toxic legacy of sunscreen chemicals disrupting marine life, the impact is as significant as it is worrying.

Add to that the heavy carbon footprint left by long distance transportation of these products and suddenly the beauty industry can feel like a highly toxic space. 

But the good news is, there are plenty of easy beauty swaps you can make to soothe your eco conscience and help make your daily beauty regime more sustainable and planet-friendly. 

After all, who wants a regime that’s meant to be beautiful, creating ugly problems for our planet? No-one. 

Keep scrolling for six simple swaps to boost your clean beauty sustainability rating…

Wipe them out

Makeup wipes might seem convenient, but they aren’t great for your face or the planet. Not only can their harshness irritate your skin but they also don’t break down easily. Largely made from non biodegradable materials such as polyester, they are often unknowingly flushed down toilets, causing environmental damage by blocking waterways. In the UK it’s estimated nine in ten blockages are caused by this pesky beauty product.

Sustainable beauty swap:

Use sustainable alternatives such as cleansing balms or reusable, compostable cotton rounds, which reduce waste and are gentler on your skin. Look for reusable, washable pads made from bamboo or hemp, which have a lower environmental impact. Or make your own using scraps of fabric like cotton or old t-shirts – simply trace some circles and sew them together.

In a Lather

Liquid soap has ten times the carbon footprint of bar soap thanks to the chemicals that are used to manufacture body wash, and the fact that soap is packaged in wasteful plastic.

Sustainable beauty swap

Go retro and switch back to bar soap. Aside from using 30 percent less water than liquid soap, and having a greener manufacturing process, the packaging is generally made of cardboard or paper. But watch out for those made with palm oil as they may be contributing to deforestation. Instead choose soaps made from alternative ingredients such as glycerine from coconut or soybean. 

use bar soaps for a green beauty swap
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Hair Care

As the planet faces increasing pressure on water supplies, our daily water usage is increasingly becoming an issue. About a quarter of all water used at home is in the shower, in fact it’s estimated that cutting your daily shower from eight minutes to four minute could save around 36 litres of water. So, think twice about extending your shower time to wash your hair.

Sustainable beauty swap

Aim for a four minute shower and try one less shampoo. Shampoos strip away the hair’s natural oils and defences, and conditioners can only replace part of the moisture that healthy hair requires. Healthier and more luscious locks plus water conservation. What’s not to love?

Face the Facts

Single-use face masks and sheet masks are great for self-care but the packaging, often made from materials that don’t break down creates a lot of unnecessary waste. Recycling or composting them is often not an option because of the different components they contain. 

Sustainable beauty swap

Consider using traditional face masks made with natural ingredients that provide the same benefits without harming Mother Nature. Look for sustainable ingredients like clay, coconut oil, avocado, coffee and even discarded olive stones!

Brush Up

Plastic toothbrushes are a no-no for a healthy planet as not only will nearly all of them end up in landfill, but the production of nylon bristles can cause nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas – to be released into the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Sustainable beauty swap

Consider swapping your planet harming plastic toothbrush with a 100 per cent biodegradable bamboo alternative. Look for options with plant-based bristles or if there is only nylon, go for ones that can be removed and recycled separately.

A close shave

In the US alone, a shocking two billion disposable razors head to landfill each year where, because the bulk of a razor is non biodegradable, they will never decompose.

Sustainable swap

Metal safety razors are different: lacking plastic parts for protection and handles, they use replaceable blades you can change without throwing away the whole razor. They’re also durable and long-lasting, and when cared for properly, offer a more precise shaving experience.

By making these conscious choices and embracing sustainable alternatives, you can contribute to protecting the planet and reducing harm to the environment in your routine. Truly beautiful.

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