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5 Tips to Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

5 Tips to Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

Sustainability isn’t merely a fashion buzzword. Scientists warn humans only have 11 years remaining to stop climate change. You can do your part by making more conscientious decisions about your daily habits.

Why not start with your grooming routine? You can make getting ready in the morning greener with the right approach. Here are five tips to make your beauty routine more sustainable.

1. Read the Ingredient Label

You want to ensure your beauty products remain toxin-free, but sustainability also entails reading the label. For example, palm oil offers many benefits, taking four to ten times less land to produce than soybean, coconut or sunflower oil. However, unsustainably farmed palm oil decimates orangutan habitats — who can forget the heartbreaking image of one such great ape bravely staring down the bulldozer about to ravage her home?

Palm oil exists in many beauty products, but you can find brands that are sustainably farmed. Look for labels that read RSPO-certified to ensure the manufacturer uses best practices in sourcing their oil.

What else should you avoid? Look for products free of the following ingredients that hurt the environment:

  • Oxybenzone and octinoxate: These two sunscreen ingredients bleach coral reefs.

  • Parabens: These preservatives can cause reproductive disorders in mammals (including people) and destroy reefs.

  • Sulfates: These products, like sodium lauryl sulfate, make your shampoo and soap sudsy. Unfortunately, they’re toxic to marine organisms — and they wash right down your drain.

  • Microplastics: Delighted with that dollar-store exfoliant? Think twice. Microbeads never biodegrade, killing the fish and birds that eat them. Scientists have now found microplastics in human lungs, and they aren’t entirely sure what these toxins will do to health.

2. Go Minimal

Do you spend hours in front of the mirror each morning? Why enslave yourself to vanity when there’s so much more life to live?

Unless you’re an actress or model, there’s no need for your makeup routine to take more than five minutes. The right mineral-based tinted sunscreen, mascara and a tinted gloss — perhaps a touch of blush — create a far more youthful glow than heavy pancake foundation and a full palette of color.

Best of all, you can save a bundle by minimizing your routine. Replacing your entire drawer with sustainable products can cost a pretty penny, but not if you stick to a few staples.

3. Try DIY

Who needs all the icky preservatives in many commercial beauty products, anyway? While manufacturers must include these for freshness, you can often replicate brand results with simple home ingredients.

For example, argan oil makes the ideal moisturizer for nearly any skin type. Although this oil is tough enough for dry skin, it also rates a zero on the comedogenic scale, meaning it’s very unlikely to clog pores and cause breakouts.

Do you have tired tresses? Look to ingredients like egg, beer, honey and coconut or olive oil to restore luster without a single chemical additive. Do you want some sunny highlights for summer? Use a simple lemon juice solution to lighten select hairs naturally.

4. Look for Less Packaging

Have you heard about the great plastic lie? Oil producers did a great PR job of making nearly every product seem recyclable. In reality, only 9% of the world’s 8.3 billion tons of virgin plastic get recycled, thanks to the expense and impracticality.

What do many cosmetic manufacturers use for packaging? If you guessed plastic, you’re right. To minimize your footprint and make your beauty routine more sustainable, please seek those products wrapped in as little as possible.

5. Shop Sustainably

Do you drive to the store every time you run out of a product? You produce emissions with each trip. If you leave the store laden with plastic bags, you’ve created an environmental nightmare.

Please shop sustainably. While it may take a few “walks of shame” back to your car the first few times you forget your reusable bags, you’ll pick up the habit more quickly than you think — and spare yourself the agony of breakage and spills. Keep a running list of what you need on a clipboard and make all your runs at once instead of separate trips. You’ll save gas — a plus at today’s prices — and produce far fewer emissions.

Tips to Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

Humans don’t have much time left to save the planet. Doing so requires everyone’s cooperation.

You can start by greening your grooming routine. Follow the five above tips to make your beauty routine more sustainable.

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