The spotlight on climate change and sustainable practices is shining bright, with conscious choices taking center stage in our personal lives. Self-care practices have had us prioritizing beauty and personal care more so than ever.
However, what may be self-care for us sometimes has an adverse impact on our planet, which invites us to rethink the way we make decisions when it comes to beauty.
In the context of ever-changing trends, experimentative and explorative consumer mindset alongside constantly evolving new product formats, the idea of switching to sustainable beauty might seem a little daunting to start with. However, you can certainly still practice sustainability in the form of clean beauty and make informed decisions that don’t involve a major lifestyle change.
The journey to a sustainable beauty regime begins with some simple steps.
Choose your products well
Read up on brands and products before you invest in something new. Conscious decisions can only be made when you have all the facts. Opt for beauty brands that create products with reusable and/or recyclable packaging. Ethically, sustainably, and responsibly sourced ingredients should also carry weight in your decision-making process, especially vegan and cruelty-free options. When choosing new products, try out sample sizes to test for suitability before committing and don’t reach out for every trend that comes your way.
Switch out the single use
Single-use products and tools such as cotton swabs, pads, non-biodegradable sheet masks, makeup wipes, etc., simply lead to waste generation. Reusable and washable pads instead of cotton rounds, oil and balm cleansers instead of makeup wipes, and daily serums and jar-based masks instead of sheet masks—these are some of the switches you can make.
Finish before you start anew
The choice to create a sustainable routine should not end up creating more waste by you discarding your old products to make space for the “right” kind of products. Start small and use up what you have. Try sustainable regimes like skin cycling to make the most out of all your products while doing your skin some good. A four-day repetitive cycle of exfoliation, retinoids (if you use them), repair and recovery, skin cycling is a great method to incorporate all your actives and products into an effective regular routine without damaging the skin. Avoid throwing away mismatched shades and accidental purchases by giving them away to friends and family. Remember, once you’ve opened a product, the shelf-life changes, so hoarding is not a good move.
Recycle and reuse
From the cardboard boxes used to ship your purchases, to product packaging and even the product container itself, recycling even just one part helps keep more waste out of landfills. Conscious brands these days even have their own recycling programmes, which is where your pre-purchase research comes in handy.
Repurpose your empties
If you are unable to recycle for whatever reason, repurposing empties is easy and will leave you with some quite quirky décor as well. Mist and spray bottles are great with water for your plants, larger jars can be repurposed into planters, whereas your foaming face-wash dispensers can be converted into hand-wash dispensers. Explore the unlimited possibilities and exercise your creative muscles while taking a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
Shankar Prasad is the founder of Plum Goodness.