Exploring Beauty Products that Don’t Impact the Environment

By Ava Brown, December 25, 2019

I really admire those people that are ready to give up on most of their beauty products and live a zero-waste lifestyle in order to minimize their impact on the environment. But personally, I can’t imagine fitting my whole year’s worth trash into a mason jar. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things that we can all do to cut down the waste we produce. There are other, not so radical ways we can all try to lighten our environmental footprint when it comes to beauty regimes. This includes making better choices regarding the beauty products that we buy.


Switch Your Sunscreen

Most of us already know the importance of wearing sun protection on our face every day even if it’s cloudy outside. This is even more important for us living down under, as Australia have been ranked near the top of the skin cancer list. There are a few things that make for good sun protection – it should apply smoothly, without leaving a chalky residue and it should be scent-free. However, what is the best sunscreen for those that actually care for the environment? Well, there is one particular ingredient this item should not include in order to be environmentally-friendly and that is oxybenzone-free.

This ingredient is being added to traditional sunscreen lotions to convert the sun-burning causing UV rays into harmless heat on our skin. But once it heads down the drain into the water, it can damage our rivers, animals and plants. When you swim with sunscreen on, oxybenzone can seep into the ocean and decrease the coral’s defences against bleaching and damage their DNA. A natural sun protection face cream, on the other hand, that is free of oxybenzone, won’t cause damage to the coral reefs and aquatic life. That’s because instead of chemical absorbers, these rely on minerals to block the sun, like Zinc Oxide.

Apart from being good to coral reefs and marine life, mineral sunscreen lotions usually come in recyclable packaging (just make sure that you put the empty bottle into a recycling bin). Furthermore, natural sun protection is also better for your skin as these tend to also be free of parabens, phthalates and other harsh preservatives. They are gentle to the skin and packed with skin-caring ingredients such as olive oil, green tea extract and rosehip oil.


Stop Using Generic Wipes

No matter how convenient generic makeup wipes can be for taking off your make-up (as there is no need to use cleanser and water and create a mess around the sink) the mass use of wet wipes is causing a big problem for the environment. That’s because most of them are not biodegradable and can pile up in landfills and ultimately harm the planet. Furthermore, most of them also contain alcohol, preservatives and other chemicals which when disposed in nature can again cause a lot of environmental harm.

Well, if you like the convenience of the wipes, but you still want to partake in protecting the environment, just switch to other options that are safer. Biodegradable wipes, for instance, like the ones made from bamboo can break down naturally and can even be composted. By using biodegradable wipes, you can still clean your face quickly and easily whilst also helping create a brighter future for the environment.

Another option is to switch to make-up removal towels. These look like washcloths, except they are better. Make-up removal cloths are made of many small threads that can allow for more thorough cleaning. All you have to do I wet them with water and they can be used for both make-up removal and for exfoliating your face. They can be reused many times and once dirty, all you have to do is just put them in the washing machine.


Consider Singular Eye Shadows

If you like using eye shadows, then you probably you own a few eye-shadow palettes. However, you most likely use two to three shades more often than the rest. Your favourite colours may run up quicker than the others and when this happens you’ll probably just throw the whole palette only to buy an entire one once again. But plastic packages make up for 30% in our landfills according to the EPA. Therefore, you should really think about swapping big eye-shadow palettes for a precise singular products. By buying single shadows and sticking to the colours you love, you can once more contribute towards minimising your waste.