Five ways to create a more sustainable beauty routine

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If you’re interested in creating a more sustainable beauty routine, look no further. The tips that follow will be your guide to getting started, with small actionable steps to make your makeup, skincare and haircare routines way more ethical.

You may have guessed by the title that I’m changing up my format after five months of writing monthly sustainability updates. I’ll still be creating a monthly post but rather than chatting about my goals for each month, I’ve decided to take on a different area of living. This will hopefully make my posts even more useful for you, without letting myself slack in my quest to make my life a little more eco-friendly.

So here I am, ready to talk all about how you can make your beauty regime more sustainable. Let’s get going!

Create less waste

It sounds obvious but honestly, I don’t think people talk about this side of sustainability enough. We can buy all the resusable and eco-marketed products we want but really, we should all be trying to reduce the amount of waste we create. Sometimes this is easier than others but luckily there are a couple of simple swaps that you can invest in straight away.

Disposable and single-use products are super convenient but is it worth the impact on our planet compared to saving a couple of seconds of our time and effort? Getting rid of things like face wipes, cotton pads and sachets of products from your beauty routine can instantly reduce the amount you’re throwing away. Magazine samples, I’m looking at you!

These products are all easy enough to replace: I’m writing this while I’m away on a trip but I’ve got an exciting parcel waiting for me back home filled with reusable cotton pads. They’re actually not made from cotton at all but sustainably sourced bamboo – a double win for the planet. Easier still are muslin cloths or flannels which you can use to remove your makeup after cleaning.

Reusable bamboo cotton pads

When it comes to finishing up beauty products, throwing away lots of plastic packaging can also be a bother. But keep reading because I’ve got a few tips when it comes to packaging later on in this post!

Go cruelty free

Going cruelty free is arguably one of the easiest steps that anyone can take to make their beauty routine more sustainable. Basically, this means that the product isn’t tested on animals AND nor are the individual ingredients.

Whether your taste is high street or high end, there are tons of great makeup and skincare brands who are flying the flag for cruelty-free products at all budgets. Even Boots and Superdrug don’t test their own brand products on animals so you’re still covered even if you don’t splash out on this area of beauty.

So how do you know if your favourite brands are cruelty free? Firstly, you could look out for certifications like the Leaping Bunny symbol on their packaging which means they’ve been certified by Cruelty Free International. Otherwise check out the listings on Cruelty Free Kitty, a great site who does the research for you.

Testing on animals for cosmetic reasons has actually been illegal in the UK since 1997 so this should be an incredibly straightforward swap but there’s more to it sadly. One of the main things to note is that China requires animal testing by law so if one of your favourite brands is on sale in China, they’re not cruelty free – even if they claim to be. Plus, there’s the whole issue of parent companies which leads me nicely onto my next point.

Sustainable beauty

Check out parent companies

Did you know that most brands are owned by a larger ‘parent company’? These large conglomerations may own a huge amount of other brands and products – for example, L’Oreal also owns Urban Decay, The Body Shop and Pureology. So what does this mean for you?

Many people who are committed to going completely cruelty free won’t buy from companies whose parent companies still test on animals – even if the brand themselves don’t. This is beacause at the end of the day, the profits from the ‘child’ brand still end up with the parent company. As consumers, it’s a sad reality that the only way to make these companies change to more sustainable practises is to spend our money with businesses who reflect the values we hold.

This may seem like a daunting step but while it can involve a little more research, you’ll still find a whole host of great brands who are completely cruelty free. And hopefully one by one, these giant corporations will slowly change their ways!

Buy vegan formulas

While most people are aware of how veganism applies to food, did you know that you can also veganise your beauty routine? Simply put, vegan beauty products don’t contain any ingredients derived from animals. This means that a product can be cruelty free but not vegan, and vice versa.

By checking the ingredients on your packaging, you can find out whether your beauty product is vegan. Here’s an extensive list of some non-vegan ingredients to avoid.

Welda sustainable beauty products

This is where I wanted to flag up a crowdfunding campaign that’s going on until 4 July 2019! Katie and James of are trying to start an ethical subscription service that aims to lower the cost of eco-friendly products by using the power of collective buying. They’re even giving away upto £350 of clean products to those who donate so if this tickles your fancy, you can find more information on their crowdfunding page.

Choose planet friendly packaging

As I talked about earlier, the beauty industry can be problematic for those of us who want to want to keep our lifestyle as low-waste as possible. When it comes to makeup, I admit that I’m struggling to find a huge amount of options that don’t involve disposable packaging but in other areas, it’s fairly simple to make more sustainable swaps in your beauty routine.

In my May sustainability round up, I talked about how I’ve been absolutely loving my switch to shampoo and conditioner bars. To be completely honest, I didn’t think I’d love them but after using the natural products from Bohol Bee Farm, my hair now looks shinier and healthier. They come in cardboard packaging, saving you from plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles, so apply the same theory and replace your shower gel with soap to complete your plastic-free shower routine!

Another great swap is to check out brands that use recycled or recyclable packaging. This could even mean choosing skincare brands that use glass jars instead of plastic.

Bamboo toothbrush

This also ties in with my first point about creating less waste but if you aren’t ready to convert to make the switch to bars, consider the bulk theory. Rather than buying three regular size bottles of shampoo or shower gel, consider getting your hands on larger versions or salon size products. This especially applies to travel minis – they’re so cute and convenient but decanting some of your existing product into an old bottle can save you money and waste. Use this principle for makeup too by buying full size rather than samples so they’ll last longer.

Will you be taking any of these tips on board in order to create a more sustainable beauty routine? Get in touch and let me know!

Laura x

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Five ways to create a sustainable beauty routine

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    July 13, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Ethical Consumer is a great site to sign up to to get a complete breakdown of how ethical companies & products are. I’m going to try those washable cotton wool pads.

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