Every year there comes a time to shed extra weight that may no longer be serving us. Whether it’s those extra winter pounds, a spring clean of your home or simply just minimizing the clutter of your life. Whenever we look around at all the extra stuff it’s common to think “how did I accumulate all of this?”. In our modern day of monthly subscription boxes, amazon prime and and postmates, it’s really easy to see how this excess stuff piles up since it’s insanely accessible. For every package comes the extra wrapping, cardboard and plastic - most of which is often thrown out or mistakenly recycled incorrectly. Some may think that sustainability goes hand in hand with green beauty but the truth is that in order to create products that can reach the demands of the beauty world, companies often have to cut corners. The good nature behind creating a "green" product is often overshadowed by production cost and regulations on how to preserve or contain certain materials. This isn’t to create fear or feel as though anyone has even falsely claimed anything about their products, however there are some consumer ideologies that have yet to shift regardless of the green beauty revolution. Today we want to dive into the big picture and help you make a few small shifts that will generate a bigger impact overtime. Here are the SFT tips for sustainability in your skincare:
A sustainable regimen is hard when you absolutely love products. Whether you find yourself shopping online during your lunch break by adding irrelevant items to your local store’s cart or you end up picking up a new trendy product while mundanely perusing your grocery’s cosmetic aisle. We’ve all been guilty of falling prey to those impulse buys but they most likely end up on the bottom of our makeup bag or stacked away under our sinks collecting dust. Similarly to your kitchen cabinets, it’s no fun to clean house and find old food growing ecosystems near your dining area, so don’t let that happen to your skincare products either. Everything has an expiration date and it’s best to finish what you started. If you are having a reaction to a skin product try testing it on another part of your body to see if it will benefit from its nutrients. If you are typically prone to sensitivity it’s always best to patch test products prior to investment so that you can feel confident with your purchase and not waste. Most green beauty stores have a great return policy however the waste that comes from just sending a product back and forth takes away the sustainable effort. Instead you may be able to regift a product to a friend or family member. There are ways to limit the amount of excess in your skincare department so start with reducing your purchases, finish what you started or regift a product that doesn’t fit your needs.
When it comes to packaging, most green beauty brands have an easily recyclable container that reduces your plastic waste while maintaining the integrity of the ingredients. One tip to help you create a mindful sustainability practice is to reuse old bottles. If you started with travel size items because you didn’t want to invest in the larger sizes quite yet, it’s always a good idea to save and reuse the bottles on your next trip. Just be sure to give your emptied product a good clean and let it dry before storing it away. This prevents any growth of bacteria as they love to breed on water and moisture. Once you have your core products you can then consider buying some of your most prominent items in bulk. Let’s say you are a firm believer in the oil cleansing method, you can utilize an organic grade olive oil to remove makeup or cleanse the skin (again only if you’ve tested the product and feel confident in your skin’s response to it). You can also purchase products with no packaging at all such as organic bar soaps. The simple shift in reusing can help you see the excess of packaging in most brands to begin with.
When it comes to recycling it can be very confusing as to why there are so many different types of plastics and only one recycling container in most homes or offices. Consider leading a discussion with your employer or apartment manager about efficient ways to recycle materials. The best thing you can do is try by removing the caps of all your items and cleaning your recyclables as best as possible. Unfortunately if an item is covered in food or product waste it may not make the cut to be recycled efficiently and could end up in a landfill regardless of your best effort. Taking the time to get to know what you are recycling makes a huge difference here. If you’re uncertain of your state’s recycling laws or policies visit this website for more details. If that doesn’t get you the answers you’re looking for consider reaching out to the brands you’ve purchased directly. The good thing about green beauty brand owners is that most of them are committed to making an environmental impact and will help you find the solution you are looking for. Even if it means they recycle the products themselves. If you are prone to online shopping and have tons of leftover boxes, bubble wrap and wrapping paper, try donating your boxes to a friend who is moving (or try craigslist!), wrap future gifts in said paper and pop by your local UPS store as they take in used packing materials for reuse.
For some inspiration on all items that will help you shift towards zero waste check out this great list on Amazon - one of our favorite investments is the Zero Waste Cap. We hope these simple beginner tips helps broaden your belief in the green beauty revolution. We want to encourage you to shop locally and sustainably but we are also aware that accessibility can be an issue. Whether it’s lacking or an overabundance. Like everything else in life it’s about balance so having a mindful perspective on all aspects of your skincare can really help lower your carbon footprint to protect nature’s pharmacy - our wonderful planet earth. If you have any questions, comments or tips on how to maintain a sustainable skincare routine we’d love to hear it. Comment below and thanks for reading!