We’ve all got room for improvement when it comes to being conscious consumers and there’s no better place to start than with your beauty routine.
Here at Miss FQ, we’ve come up with a list of simple ways you can make a more positive impact on the environment with these easy tweaks to your bathroom routine. And who better to walk us through these practical and easy-to-implement daily swaps than our resident environmentalist and body health expert Lucy Slight?
Scroll for the 10 beauty swaps and actions you can make to live more sustainably:
1. Look for 100% recyclable packaging – and actually recycle it!
Many companies will have certain elements of their packaging that is made from recycled materials, but may still be at the mercy of technological and material advancements when it comes to components such as caps and pumps. This means that you may not be able to throw your empties straight into your recycling bin, you’ll need to separate the components first so the whole thing doesn’t end up in the landfill. Read the back of the product carefully to ensure you’re making the right moves before disposing of it. Let your fingers do the walking and check out the brand’s website to read up on their current policies around recycling initiatives and how they’re looking to improve. We all know how important it is to have goals, right?!
TRY: Love Beauty and Planet. Not only are their bottles made from post consumer recycled plastic, but they’re 100% recyclable too (don’t forget to separate the caps – they’re not *yet* recyclable, but they will be soon…) Even their labels are super easy to remove!
2. Watch your water consumption in the bathroom
Did you know that the average New Zealand family uses 250-300 litres of water per person per day? 25% of that comes from the bathroom alone. If you leave the tap running while you’re brushing your teeth, that’s an easy change to make immediately. And with showers using 10-20 litres of water every minute, cutting back by just one or two minutes can have a huge effect on the water metre. What about hair washing day, you say? Love Beauty and Planet’s fast-rinse conditioner technology has been formulated to deposit everything your hair needs in less time and they’re able to be rinsed from the hair faster than your regular conditioner, too.
TRY: Love Beauty and Planet Muru Muru Butter & Rose Conditioner for coloured hair.
3. Ditch as many single-use products as you can
Try to say goodbye to those makeup remover wipes, because they’re not doing an ounce of good for the planet – especially if you’re flushing them down the toilet! Not to mention how much money you’ll be saving switching to facial cleansing gel that will get plenty more uses than that 25-pack of wipes. And if you haven’t yet thought about switching to a menstrual cup rather than pads or tampons, there’s no time like the present. Again, you’ll save money in the long run (one menstrual cup can last 10 years if cared for correctly!) and you’ll create no more waste than the packaging your cup comes in.
4. Make sure anything single-use is eco-friendly
The perfect example of this is cotton buds. Traditionally, these are made using plastic sticks, but these days there are a few options out there made with a bamboo or cardboard alternative. Likewise, there are now options for more sustainable cotton pads, toilet paper rolls and organic tampons – making these switches will have pretty much zero impact on your beauty and hygiene routine, we swear!
5. Check the ingredients list and avoid the nasties
Parabens, silicones and colourants can not only be harmful to your skin and hair but do damage to our waterways, too. Check the ingredients list on the back of your products before you buy, and if you don’t know what something is, Google it! Remember, a lot of ingredients sound much freakier than they are so just because you can’t spell it or pronounce it, it shouldn’t automatically be put on your hit list. For example, hexyl cinnamal – which is part of the formulation for Love Beauty & Planet’s Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo – is a naturally occurring chemical found in chamomile essential oil. (Which means you and your hair can calm down!)
TRY: Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo for volume and bounty.
6. Switch up your sunscreen to help protect our oceans
There are a couple of ingredients commonly found in sunscreens that have been found to be the causes of coral bleaching and genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms. By making the switch to a formula that doesn’t contain the main culprits – oxybenzone and octinoxate – you can directly help protect our oceans. Both of these ingredients and products containing them were banned last year in Hawaii due to the damaging effect on the US state’s coral reefs. Switch to a mineral sunscreen that is naturally devoid of these nasties – and if you’ve got sensitive skin, you might find your body thanks you for the change up, too.
7. Think about the origins of those natural ingredients you love
Any product can contain coconut, shea butter or lavender, but where do those ingredients originally come from? Are the farmers being supported and are the ingredients being sourced sustainably? Again, another element that will require you to do a little research into the company and its local and global initiatives, but one that’s worth it. If you can’t find any information on a brand’s website, chances are it’s because they’re not ticking those ethical and sustainable boxes. Using ethically sourced ingredients helps you feel as beautiful on the inside as you look on the outside.
TRY: Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Shampoo and Conditioner which sources its tea tree oil from the wet lowlands of Australia. Local growers harvest and press the oil, putting it through a steam distillation process.
Love Beauty and Planet takes the guesswork out of fair trade fragrance by partnering with experts in ethical sourcing, Givaudan.
“We make sure that the communities that we work with are responsible; we make sure they’re committed to health, safety and the environment. We also make sure we’re sourcing at origin – in other words, we’re cutting out the middle man. We’re helping farmers directly to bring their product to us and be a better manufacturer. And then we try and give back to the communities based on what they need whether it is health care, education or in their environment. We really try and give back.” – Roberto Lievano, Givaudan, fragrance expert
8. Use up every last drop of everything you buy…
Getting to the bottom of a bottle of shampoo or face cream is exciting; it means it’s time for a fresh one, and gives you the opportunity to try a new scent or formula. But don’t get too excited and ditch the last little bit just because it’s a tad tricky to squeeze out. When your shampoo and conditioner are running low, store them upside down in the shower (if they don’t have a pump) to ensure all the product is close to the top for easy access. If you’ve got a good pair of scissors that can cut through your packaging, that’s a sure-fire way to dig out every last drop.
9. …And don’t buy new until you’ve used up the old
As mentioned above, buying new products is super fun (we’re the first to admit that!) but if you want to save space in the bathroom, money in your bank account and bottles from landfill, then it makes sense to only make a purchase when you need to. It’s like a one out, one in policy for the bathroom. Plus, it means you’ll spare yourself those impulse purchases that can often end up being big fat fails, because you’ve had the time to do your research and select your next favourite body wash or body lotion with thought and care.
10. Use your purchasing power for good
There’s power in the way you purchase, so use your powers wisely and shop for brands that are mindful, sustainable and eco-friendly in their practices. Love animals? Show your support for your furry friends by switching to products that are vegan and don’t test on animals. Look into the company’s policies around plastics, recycling, and whether or not they share information with the public when it comes to their carbon emissions. If you spend your money on products that are kind on the planet, you’re doing your part to be kind, too.
TRY: Love Beauty and Planet products include ethically sourced ingredients that are also silicon & paraben free, so you can feel guilt free.
Words: Lucy Slight
Photos: Getty Images, Supplied
This article was brought to you in partnership with Love Beauty and Planet. Love Beauty and Planet is priced from $9.99-$14.99 and available from Countdown, New World, Pak n Save, Farmers and other selected stores nationwide.