Episode #9: Sustainable Beauty

Welcome to Sustainable Existing. In the last episode, I talked about things I either already stopped or that I wanted to stop buying. Two of those things were beauty products. I talked about wanting to stop buying excessive makeup and hair styling products. I overall don’t have complex skincare or makeup routines. I wash my skin usually at least once a day, and the most makeup I wear daily is just mascara. Even with the few products I use, I want to make a difference to more sustainable options once I need replacements for the items I have.

If you couldn’t tell, I want to make this week’s episode to shift your beauty and care routines to be more eco- friendly and sustainable. When I started my sustainable journey, I focused on simple swaps like reusable bottles over plastic ones and using metal silverware over single-use ones. I’ve learned so much more about sustainability since I started this project. I soon began to look around my room and notice all of the plastic and cheap products. This led me to become conscious of the choices I had made before. A lot of these unsustainable products came from my makeup organizer and everyday products I use. As a disclaimer, I haven't tried most of the things I will talk about but will implement them after I use the products I have to the fullest. When it comes time to replace them, I want to make smarter decisions and these things seemed to be good options wide-spread on the blogs I read and the videos I watched.

When buying any products, check out the ingredients. Many beauty products contain skin irritants and chemicals. If being terrible on your skin isn’t enough, they are also harmful to the environment because they produce chemical waste as well. Sunscreens that contain a lot of chemicals can be dangerous for marine wildlife and coral reefs. Products containing palm oil are one of the reasons for major deforestation. Avoid these products along with any that contain plastic microbes, artificial colors, and chemical preservatives. Familiarize yourself with the ingredients list and also with the symbols for animal testing and recyclable packaging. Look for natural alternatives that can be found typically at natural food stores, farmers' markets, or craft fairs. Buying and supporting local companies is typically a more sustainable option.

Also when purchasing products, try to find multipurpose items. Using multipurpose products can save you money not having to buy multiple products as well as using less packaging and resources. For instance, you can use tinted moisturizers that act to moisturize your skin but also as a foundation. You can also use products you already own for different purposes. For example, you could use highlighter or blush as an eyeshadow. I have done this before and there are so many other possibilities, you just need to get creative.

Always look for alternatives that will create less waste. There are solid shampoo and conditioner bars you can purchase in place of the liquid products in plastic containers, the same thing goes with bars of soap over body wash. Speaking of cleaning products, plastic loofas are not very eco-friendly. Use a facecloth or a scrub brush instead; there are also natural loofas as opposed to the typical plastic ones. Wet wipes and makeup wipes block sewage systems and are also dangerous to aquatic life. Choosing reusable facial pads can save you money while also saving resources and the environment. Looking at the packaging can be a really important thing if zero-waste is your focus. Choosing products in metal or glass containers can be better then plastic if you plan to reuse or repurpose the containers. Always try to repurpose over recycling because it does take up energy and releases emissions to recycle materials. Like I mentioned before, check to see if the packaging is recyclable because it is better than just tossing.

When using any beauty or skincare product, less is more. It isn’t necessary to glob products onto your hands to use. In reality, this will only clog your pores more. This will preserve your product and make it more long-lasting. Always grab less because you can always get more if you need it. Less is more is not only relevant to the amount of product you use, but also to the number of products you use. You don’t need a different moisturizer for every time of the day. Companies use this as a marketing scheme to encourage you to buy more products. There is no need to have multiple of a product if one of them solidly works for you. It is also healthier for your skin not to have pounds of a range of products. Obviously, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point.

Another great way to be sustainable, not just with beauty products, is making things yourself. Many people are skeptical especially when it comes to beauty products, but it saves you so much money and it’s also better for the environment. Most of the time, the things you make are better for your skin than the processed, chemical-full products you may already be using. Many items you already have at home can be made into scrubs, moisturizers, and other products. Shoutout to my friend Kat, but she made me this amazing sugar scrub for my birthday last year. Honestly, it is the best scrub I’ve ever used and she put it in a cute glass jar, thank you kat if you are listening. This leads me to announce what next week’s episode is, and if it isn’t obvious already, it is DIY beauty products. I’m super excited, so make sure you tune in next week for that.

Just a reminder, in telling you all of this information is not me telling you to throw out everything you own and buy new. If you have any products you don’t want anymore, pass them on to family and friends, as long as it’s sanitary. A key aspect of sustainability is to use what you have to it’s fullest potential and then dispose (or even better reuse or repurpose) the packaging in an environmentally safe way. Once it is time to get new products, look for better alternatives. That’s all I have for this week! You can find all of my social media accounts as well as my email at You can reach out to talk to me about anything eco-friendly, or just talk because I'd love that too. Thank you for listening or reading. Have a great week and remember to continue to exist sustainably.

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