John Keats once wrote, “Beauty is truth, and truth beauty.” While he waxes poetic, though, your routine in front of the mirror each morning impacts the environment. If you’re making the switch to more sustainable living, how can you greenify your beauty routine?
Fortunately, it’s easy to start with small changes. You need to know which substances pose environmental risks so you can avoid them — knowledge is power. Your glowing visage also benefits from your savvy in the way Mother Nature can improve your appearance. Here’s what to do.
1. Investigate Your Exfoliator
Plastics are the most prevalent form of pollution in oceans and waterways. Microplastics, or particles smaller than 5 millimeters in length, make up a sizeable portion. Scientists have found this material in the bellies of the smallest marine organisms.
Where do these beads originate? Take a look at your exfoliant. Many store offerings contain these particles. Commit to buying brands that are microbead free, or make homemade scrubs with brown sugar.
2. Make a Homemade Facial Moisturizer
Sometimes, ingredients that sound like they’re bad for the environment aren’t. That’s why it’s essential to read labels — and know enough to interpret them. Glycerin, for example, sounds terrible — but it’s actually eco-friendly and fabulous for your skin. It’s so healthy that you can eat it. Human test subjects who added glycerin to their drinks for 50 days showed no signs of toxicity.
You can make a homemade facial moisturizer using vegetable glycerin and rose water. Glycerin acts as a humectant, meaning it pulls moisture to the surface of your skin to even your tone.
3. Upcycle Your Toothbrush
Do you have an old toothbrush lying around? You could toss it in the trash, but then it will end up in a landfill. Instead, make it part of your cosmetics repertoire. You can dampen it and tame your unruly eyebrows. You can also remove those unsightly clumps that some mascaras leave on your lashes.
4. Pare Down Your Supplies
A recent survey found that the average woman has a whopping 40 beauty products in her cosmetics drawer. Unless you’re going for an old-school televangelist’s wife look, you probably don’t need that many. Before you impulse spend on new items, clean out what you have. Properly dispose of old and expired containers. Evaluate how much you genuinely need. Many women require little more than five to six basics on most days, with a few extra items for those glam evenings.
5. Buy Refillable Brands
You can recycle old cosmetics containers. However, if you toss them in the bin, the sorting center expends considerable energy breaking them down to raw form. Instead, opt for a refillable beauty brand — when you come up empty, the company sanitizes and replenishes your container.
6. Ban Phthalates from Your Home
Phthalates destroy human health and that of other mammals. Researchers suspect these chemicals of interfering with hormonal function, leading to disease. These substances exist at high levels in many commercial cosmetic and hair care products. Use items that are labeled phthalate-free.
7. Use a Crystal Deodorant
Do you spray your underarms with deodorant in an aerosol can? If so, you’re releasing significant pollution into the air. Typical stick deodorants contain aluminum, which is toxic in high doses. They also come in tough-to-recycle packaging. While crystal deodorants do contain some aluminum, when it comes to overall environmental impact, they win.
8. Go Cuckoo for Coconut
You can use coconut oil for almost every beauty need — it’s as green as you can get. Coconut oil makes a great facial moisturizer, although it can cause breakouts if you’re acne prone. You can use it to moisturize your legs while you shave — unlike soap, it won’t dry your skin or wash off in the shower. You can make a simple exfoliant with coconut oil and brown sugar, and you can use it as a conditioner — the list goes on and on.
9. Give Your Natural Hair a Go
One of life’s great ironies is that the less you fuss with your hair, the better it looks overall. Processing your hair with color or permanents strips away natural oils and leaves strands damaged. Even shampooing or brushing too often can lead to breakage. To protect your locks and the environment, opt to wear your hair naturally. If you must color grays, consider an eco-friendly brand, or give natural henna a try if you have red tones.
Greenify Your Beauty Routine with These Tips
You can look your absolute best without damaging the environment. This new year, commit to greenifying your beauty and skincare routine.