Reducing waste in your beauty routine

We are happy to have a guest post from Emily Folk, a conservation blogger who will be sharing with us tips and how-to on reducing waste in our daily beauty routine. Definitely a must-read for the ladies 🙂

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When you toss a plastic bottle or let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth, you probably realize pretty immediately that you’re wasting natural resources. But some other major sources of waste could escape your notice — like your daily beauty routine. Have you ever thought about the impact that your mascara has on the environment or how your favorite shampoo increases your carbon footprint? If the answer is “no,” it’s time to start. Here are some eco-friendly ways to update your beauty routine.

Oust the Cotton Balls

When it comes time to take off your makeup or remove nail polish, you probably turn to cotton balls, like most people do. You use them for a few seconds and then toss them in the trash, not giving them a second thought. But over the course of a lifetime, you’re discarding pounds upon pounds of a finite natural resource. It’s easy enough to extract the cotton balls from your daily routine. Replace cotton balls with reusable rounds that you can wash. They’re just as effective and much greener.

Opt for a Reusable Razor

Do you go through countless disposable razors every summer? Change things up this year. In the U.S., approximately two billion of these disposable razors end up in landfills every year. That’s a crazy number. Don’t be part of the problem — get rid of your disposable razor. Instead, use an electric razor or buy a base razor that you can simply refill with a new blade when it runs low. You’ll most likely save money and you’ll definitely cut down on your waste.

Get Rid of Excess

Open your medicine cabinet or your makeup and toiletries organizer. What do you see? Does it contain a slew of makeup, lotions and other random potions that you never touch? If you’re seeing a surplus of products in your makeup and beauty collection, give away whatever you don’t use to a friend who will use it and don’t restock with a similar item. You might be surprised by how many products you can live without — you might already be living without them, and just hoarding them for no reason.

Use Makeup to the Last Drop

If you have a tendency to toss your makeup as soon as you get close to the end of the bottle, it’s time to rethink this habit. Instead, make the most out of every item by enlisting inventive approaches to stretch your makeup. For instance, when you begin to get to the bottom of your mascara, add a few drops of saline. The liquid will help to return your mascara to the proper consistency so you can easily coat your lashes. You can also pour some lotion into dwindling bottles of foundation to make a tinted moisturizer.


If you’re ready to really overhaul your beauty routine, that might mean getting rid of the products you’re used to and making your own beautifying products using natural ingredients. For instance, coconut oil can serve as a skin moisturizer, a hair conditioner, makeup remover and even shaving gel. Aloe vera, meanwhile, can work to treat acne and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Then there are essential oils, which tackle a whole host of beauty woes naturally.

With these tips and tricks in mind, it’s time to take control of your beauty routine and start making some changes. Chuck those extra beauty products. Vow to use your mascara until the very end of the tube. Swap some chemical-laden items for coconut oil or essential oils. When you do, you’ll probably find that your carbon footprint gets smaller without sacrificing any of the convenience of your typical beauty routine — and, of course, you’ll still look just as fresh-faced and beautiful.


Emily is a sustainability blogger who has been in the process of decluttering in order to live a simpler and eco-friendly lifestyle. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

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