Moving from a normal beauty routine based on single-use products to a zero-waste beauty routine can be difficult. Letting go of old habits is always challenging, even more so when it never really bothered us before. But here are the facts: the annual total of municipal solid waste in the US is 267.8 million tons, or 2 kg of trash per person per day.
Thankfully, some disposable products that we use every day can easily be replaced with reusable ones without you noticing the difference, providing greater comfort and ease to your beauty routine.
We’ve listed four reusable beauty products to reduce your beauty-related waste and help you take the first steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle.
Reusable Cotton Pads
Single-use cotton pads have major environmental drawbacks. Let’s say you wear makeup 6 days a week and use two pads each day – your annual consumption would amount to 624 cotton pads a year.
Reusable cotton pads allow you to gently remove your makeup with lotion or makeup remover before cleansing. They are also usually much softer on your skin than disposable ones because they are made of natural fibres, such as bamboo.
Once you’ve used your reusable cotton pads, place them into the provided mesh laundry bag and toss them into your washing machine along with your clothes to be washed and used again.
Face Halo: These washable cotton pads allow you to remove your makeup with water only – no need to buy lotion anymore! One unit replaces up to 500 single use-makeup wipes.
As reported by the United Nations, only 9% of the 9 billion tonnes of plastic produced has been recycled. The remaining 91% is sitting in landfills, and plastic razors are part of this discarded waste, as they are not recyclable. Each razor is made of several materials, including rubber, metal and plastic.
Disposable razors are often made of cheap, poor quality materials that can irritate the skin. Some can even cause ingrown hairs because they are too sharp and cut hair below the surface of the skin.
Reusable razors allow you to change the blade, which produces less waste. Some plastic-free razors are also available on the market.
Bareaya: These reusable razors are plastic-free from production to delivery: they are made of a stainless steel blade and a brass handle. Sold with a pack of five blades, they allow for up to 50 shaves. You can even choose from four different designs so you can shave in style.
Zero-Waste Shampoo Bars
Shampoo bars are a great way to reduce the plastic in your beauty routine. They are sold “naked”, without a bottle, and are usually packed in paper. One shampoo bar can last up to 80 washes, equivalent to two or three bottles of liquid shampoo.
To use, set the bar under water and rub it in your hands, as you would with a normal soap bar.
Lush: Their shampoos are available in many colours, compositions and scents. Vegan and sold without plastic packaging, Lush shampoo bars were among the first on the market.
Oral care is a big source of pollution; it is estimated that one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States alone. Many find their way into the oceans where sea creatures mistake them for food.
Bamboo toothbrushes, in contrast, are more eco-friendly as the handles are 100% biodegradable. They still have to be disposed of carefully: first remove the bristles with tweezers before tossing them in the bin. Unfortunately, there is still no commercially-available green alternative to plastic toothbrush bristles.
F.E.T.E: As well as making beautifully designed bamboo toothbrushes, F.E.T.E also plants a tree for each product purchased.
Other interesting sustainable options are recycled plastic handle toothbrushes and replaceable head toothbrushes, like those of the brand Caliquo.
Brands mentioned in this article are examples of zero-waste beauty products you can find on the market, but if you can buy products that come from your country, this is always the more sustainable option.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Wooden toothbrush. Featured Photo Credit: pxfuel