There are a number of ways to be more eco-friendly. However, drastic, zero-waste lifestyles can sound quite intimidating — especially if you're just beginning a greener journey. Why not start small, with something like sustainable skincare?
At Candid, we understand that changing your routine can be difficult. This is especially true if you have a skincare routine that works for you. However, a sustainable skincare routine is often better for both your skin — and the environment.
To start you on your journey, we've come up with some suggestions. While our list isn't exhaustive, we also believe that every little helps! Here's how you can be more sustainable, while taking better care of your skin.
Sustainable Skincare — It's All About the Packaging
Switching to a more sustainable beauty routine really is about working from the outside in. You might think this means the top layers of your skin, but this isn't the case. In fact, it's all about packaging.
Many skincare brands now use eco-friendly packaging in production. Some of them, like Poko CBD — a cruelty-free, vegan skincare brand — has made sustainable packaging part and parcel of their business.
This simply means that packaging is usually free from single-use plastics or foam peanuts. Eco-friendly manufacturers often use cloth, cardboard, or upcycled tissue as packaging. Companies like Lush also use biodegradable foam peanuts that — according to TikTok — can be used as dishwashing soap.
Sustainable packaging can play a huge role in changing your skincare routine. Therefore, the next time you're on the lookout for a new skincare product, consider its packaging, and whether or not you can recycle it. It might not seem like much, but as we've said, a little bit can go a long way!
Clean and Recycle (or Upcycle) Your Skincare Bottles and Tubs
Good things come in small packages — including skincare products. When you finish a serum or moisturiser, what do you do with the bottle or the container? It's likely that you have several empty bottles and tubs around the house.
The good news is that you can recycle most of these containers. In fact, most product labels display a little “recycle” symbol on the packaging. It's the easiest way to practice sustainable skincare — simply wash and dry the plastic bottle or tub, and then put it into your green bin.
Glass bottles, on the other hand, require a little more effort. Wash and dry them out, before carefully packing them and taking them to your local bottle bank. While this might seem slightly ridiculous, given the small bottle sizes, you'll sleep a little easier knowing that you did the right thing.
You could always also upcycle these glass bottles. The r/SkincareAddition subreddit is often filled with a multitude of ideas on how to upcycle glass skincare bottles — another completely sustainable solution.
Why not use them as travel-friendly decanters for larger products? If you've got a green thumb, you could also use them to cultivate plant cuttings. This makes a wonderful housewarming gift for a close friend or family member!
Look For Sustainable Skincare Products to Reuse
Makeup wipes, cotton rounds, and sheet masks are all single-use products. They can't be recycled, either. In 2019, Bustle reported that there are 7.6 billion pounds of makeup wipes added to landfills every year. This can't be good for the environment.
Thankfully, there are sustainable skincare solutions to all these products. Consider swapping your makeup wipes for a cleansing balm, or a microfibre cloth. You can reuse your microfibre cloth every day — and it's far more gentle on your skin.
Additionally, we'd recommend switching to reusable cotton rounds. With these options, all you have to do is use them, wash them, and reuse them. Plus, most of these options are made from organic cotton, so they're better for your skin — and for the environment.
The sheet mask swap, on the other hand, can be a little more tricky. This is because most reusable sheet masks don't come with a serum or a treatment. However, this just means that you can use your own products.
Why not slather on some of your favourite serum or an essence? Pop your reusable mask on, and you're good to go. Did we mention that they often come with ear loops, so you can go about your business while masking up? Make the switch today!
Turn Off That Tap
This might sound obvious, but it's really the first step towards a more sustainable skincare routine. When you leave the tap running throughout your skincare routine, you're losing out on gallons of water. Plus, if you have a boiler, you'll know that every drop of hot water counts.
Next time, wet your face and turn your tap off before applying your cleanser. Once you've massaged it in and cleansed your face, turn the water on to rinse off. While this sounds like a small step, it could have a huge impact on water, resources, and the environment!
Support Sustainable Skincare Brands
If you've recently cleared out your skincare cupboard, there's no doubt that you'll be looking for more eco-friendly options. The good news is that there are countless brands to choose from! In fact, many sustainable skincare brands make eco-friendly products to rival your high-carbon products.
From plant-based collagen, to fruit-derived enzymes, the choice is endless. By using sustainable skincare, you're ensuring that what you wash down the sink actually is biodegradable. Therefore, these products won't contaminate the water system!
Plus, many sustainable skincare brands use eco-friendly production methods and vegan ingredients. Most green skincare brands also refrain from animal testing. By swapping to a more sustainable beauty brand, you're actually playing a much larger role than you think.
Furthermore, many eco-friendly skincare brands use sustainable packaging for shipping — so technically, you'll be feeding two birds with one scone!
Don't Forget Those Reusable Bags!
With stores slowly starting to reopen, we can finally go back to buying our skincare in person! That's right — no more delayed shipping, additional fees, or mixed-up orders. We're all ready to hit up the nearest stockist to top up our skincare stash.
While you don't have to worry about packaging, there's always room to be a little more green. To do this, we'd recommend that you BYOB — bring your own bags. By bringing your own bag, you won't incur that pesky charge for a plastic bag. Plus, you're saving one more plastic bag from pointlessly ending up in a landfill!
For Best Results, Start Small
Going green isn't a competition, and it certainly doesn't happen overnight. In fact, when you make too many changes, it can feel like hard work. When you give up the things you enjoy, all at once, well… let's just say that the changes aren't very sustainable.
Therefore, in the journey towards sustainable skincare, we'd recommend starting out small. Make small changes, like turning off your tap, or switching to reusable products. Gradually, you'll begin to take small steps towards bigger decisions.
While this might seem slow, don't be discouraged! Every little can help. By taking stock of what you've changed (and what you want to change), you'll be the family's sustainable, upcycling guru in no time!