2019 was a gruelling year for us all, especially with the ever-growing threat of environmental issues looming upon us. It’s a sad reality we have to face, but if anything, the concerns of the past year were a wake up call for us all. The new year is a clean slate, and if you’re one who’s been looking to shift to a more eco-conscious lifestyle to help save the earth, we’ve got you covered. Ahead, we give you a few tips so you can get started on your journey to a sustainable lifestyle, starting with your most basic routines: your skincare.
Take a pause and evaluate
Take an inventory of your current vanity kit
Before anything else, it’s important to take a moment and see where your current skincare regimen is at. A switch to eco-friendly skincare doesn’t mean you have to throw out all your current products and replace them with clean beauty versions — that’s just counter-productive. We want to reduce our waste, not unnecessarily produce more. So while you finish them up, check out what you currently have. There are apps like Think Dirty, GoodGuide, and Detox Me that can help you sift out ones that contain ingredients that are bad for you and the environment so you’ll know what to drop next time you go shop to stock on your beauty needs. More than that, knowing where you stand will help you know how much you need to change so you can effectively plan out your shift.
Know your brands
See if your go-to beauty brands are doing their part
With skincare, we all have our fave brands that we absolutely go-to when seeking solutions for our skin concerns. But when you switch to eco-friendly skincare, do dig deeper and try to learn more of your brands and their whole production process if you can. The beauty industry is one of the biggest plastic pollutants in the world. While our individual efforts help, the power really lies with the big companies that produce all these products we choose from. So go for brands that commit to eco-conscious beauty, ones who really do their part to help change the environment. No brand is perfect, they will all focus on different aspects of sustainability, but knowing every step of their processes helps you gauge where you can compromise and not.
Choose your packaging wisely
Beauty products with minimalist packaging are not only good for the earth — they look great for a shelfie too!
Sometimes, judging the book by its cover helps loads. Next time you shop for your beauty needs, get products whose packaging produce less waste. Aim for as little packaging as possible. Another good news for us is the growing popularity of refillable beauty products. But if you can’t manage those options for now, then go for materials that are sustainable like glass, recyclable cardboard, or at the very least, recycled plastics.
Read beyond the labels
Build your eco-friendly skincare routine with products you can trust
When you see that a product is “made with natural ingredients”, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s environment-friendly. Your skin eats up whatever you feed it, so be responsible and make it a point to know what you’re putting on your face. Going for products made with plant-based ingredients is one easy way to go sustainable, but not all chemicals are bad either! Just avoid toxic red flags like parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde, which have been linked to cancer. Another ingredient you should avoid are “exfoliating” microbeads. These tiny plastic pieces don’t only cause small abrasions to your skin, but they also pollute our water systems. To be sure what to avoid, aside from the help of the aforementioned apps, you can consult with Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. With these helpful resources, it’s easier than ever to search for products, ingredients, and brands that negatively impact you and the environment.
Sometimes, a pea-sized amount is enough
Every last drop counts — this applies to both your trusty products the water you use alongside them. Don’t keep the tap running while not in use and just apply what is needed. Throwing out your bottles when there’s a bit left is also a definite no-no. It takes a bit of effort, but push, squeeze, and pour out every last bit you can before giving up on your products. Get every bit of your coin's worth from them.
Making a switch to eco-friendly skincare takes time and effort. It’s not a lifestyle you can magically shift to overnight. So take one step at a time. Avoid overwhelming yourself and your pockets by carefully planning out your transition and setting a budget for it. Aim for realistic goals and don’t pressure yourself. You can’t really fully expect to be 100 per cent sustainable as we can’t really control the things being produced in the beauty market. Still, research gives us power. Making informed choices helps the world and ultimately us who live on it.
Next, go beyond your skincare and build a sustainable wardrobe.