All Topics, Beauty, Planet Friendly Living

Small Eco-Friendly Beauty Swaps For Your Everyday Routine

Planet Friendly Beauty Swaps
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‘Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.’ – Howard Zinn.

It’s almost impossible to be unaware of the global climate strikes that are currently underway. The world is rightly hearing calls for an acceptance of responsibility, immediate and drastic positive change. And whilst we know that larger changes may need to come from high up, I’ve been making small changes of my own, so that moving forward, I contribute less to the mess we’ve already made. These are a few of the beauty swaps I’ve made to leave a smaller environmental footprint.

My lifestyle is far from perfect but I continue to make changes where I can, which I hope to share more of in my ‘Planet Friendly Living‘ category. It currently hosts a mixture of topics, from how to reduce your plastic consumption to beauty reviews, introducing ethical brands and products.

Today I wanted to share the small beauty swaps I’ve made in my routine which have made a big difference to the amount of waste I produce. I’m talking eco-friendly swaps as well as reusable products which allow me to avoid literally thousands of single use makeup wipes and cotton rounds.


I’ve spoken about makeup erasers a couple of times because it’s been one of the most effective beauty swaps I’ve made. I have both the pricey Sephora Makeup Eraser as well as a PS… version which I spoke about in my Primark Luxury Beauty Dupes post (less than £20 for both). I’m still using these well over a year after purchasing them, and haven’t come close to needing to repurchase. I guess I’m giving you a little update on the Luxury Dupes post too, because the Primark PS… version does last well (I think they still stock them, just in different colour ways now).

Basically, these are magic. They’re kind of like much, much softer flannels and work in a similar way. After soaking the cloth in water you can literally just wipe away your makeup. Although, the only times I avoid using this is when I have waterproof mascara on, for obvious reasons.

Planet Friendly Beauty Swaps
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I use the Pink Silk Face Pads from Mille Saisons, which are beautiful. Before this switch I would use at least four cotton rounds with toner per day, so around a pack a month.

If you’ve seen Stacey Dooleys Fashion’s Dirty Secrets then you’ll already know the toll that cotton farming has. Not only are large quantities of water required, the chemicals which are used pollute local areas including rivers and wildlife. That’s without considering the negative effects of the non-recyclable plastic wrapper that cotton rounds are often packaged in.

If you’re not swapping for the planet, swap for your skin. The silk satin used to make these is so much more gentle and is perfect for taking care of the delicate eye area. I use these with toner every day, and simply chuck them in the wash in the delicates bag provided by Mille Saisons on purchase. Although I still use cotton rounds occasionally for removing nail polish and the like, I’ve vastly reduced my waste by making this swap.

If you like the sound of the silk pads and want to make the swap yourself, use code ‘SOPHHEARTS‘ for 20% off at Mille Saisons!


As far as I’m aware, there are no reusable cotton buds. That doesn’t mean however, that you can’t make a more environmentally friendly swap.

buy mine from Amazon, whom I know are far from ethical, but they’re actually sold by greengoodsuk, and so far I’ve not found a better alternative. Absolutely no plastic packaging is used, and the sticks are made from certified organic bamboo and are fully biodegradable.


Planet Friendly Cotton Buds
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Makeup erasers have completely changed by beauty routine. As I mentioned earlier though, they aren’t the best way to remove waterproof mascara. On the rare occasion that I do need to remove it, oil based balms or cleansers are the answer. I love Dermalogica’s Precleanse or Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm.

These products can be used to remove even stubborn makeup and are great for your skin generally, too. Unfortunately, the flaw here is that the packaging of pre-cleansers is often not recyclable. They do last a long time though and hold other benefits. In my opinion, they’re a beauty swap that still moves in the right direction towards being more eco-friendly.


Speaking of pesky packaging, I often try to find alternatives. I still have big improvements to make in terms of using beauty products packaged in more eco-friendly ways, but every little helps. Glass products are obviously recyclable, so I do buy glass packaging where possible: WARNING, it’s typically much more expensive. I also use ethical brands like NEEK, who are conscious of the environment and whose packaging is recyclable.

Most of us are aware that it’s REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. However, very little is being done by a massive beauty industry in terms of sustainability. Sometimes we just have to do what we can, and I justify some purchases by Terracycling. Cats Protection have teamed up with Terracycle to turn waste into donations. I donate as much as my waste as possible to their Personal Care and Beauty recycling programme (as well as others). Not only does this ensure that less waste is heading to landfill, but a charity is actually benefitting from it.

Planet Friendly Beauty Swaps
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These are just the smaller swaps I’ve made which have saved so much waste. Most reusable swaps are also fantastic for saving money in the long run too. My makeup erasers have definitely made their money back, and I’m sure that the silk pads do too.

*  This post contains gifted items. As always, all words, images and opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer for more information. 

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  • Reply Ashleigh

    Some really good swaps here. I use re-usable pads right now but the silk ones you mentioned sound really nice!

    Ashleigh |

    October 3, 2019 at 5:45 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m glad you think so! The silk ones are the only type I’ve tried but are so nice, incredibly gentle too! x

      October 6, 2019 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Shannon Baker

    I love being little swaps here and there to be more eco friendly. I’ve got those earbuds and they are the best!

    Shannon x

    October 3, 2019 at 7:59 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Me too, I think its so important! They’re good aren’t they?! x

      October 12, 2019 at 3:32 pm
  • Reply Mica

    Oh I didn’t know about the bamboo cotton buds! I should give that a go! Thanks for sharing!

    Hope that you are having a great week 🙂

    October 4, 2019 at 6:06 am
  • Reply Lucy

    I always use cotton buds to correct any mistakes I make when doing my makeup, so the bamboo ones sound like a great idea!

    Lucy | Forever September

    October 4, 2019 at 7:34 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      They’re a tad more pricey but no plastic packaging and totally biodegradable so they have my vote every time! x

      October 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Mai

    Thanks for the recommendations! I didn’t know silk pads were a thing. I’m still trying to find a more eco-friendly alternative to the beauty blender. I’ve been using the ones from EcoTools which is 70% made from plant materials, but I’m wondering if there’s a more biodegradable one out there.


    October 5, 2019 at 2:16 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Of course! I’ve been getting on with them so well! Please do let me know if you find one that’s better for the environment. I still use a Beauty Blender but try to maintain them well so that they last as long as possible. I’d love to find a more eco-friendly alternative though! x

      October 6, 2019 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Aziza

    I loved reading this.. Primark has amazing products if you take the time to look. I’ve also swapped out a lot of my makeup removal wipes for more environmentally friendly products like the wipes you can wash and use again!

    October 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you, I’m so glad! It does indeed. That’s so great to hear- every little helps! x

      October 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    I love that there are eco-friendly alternatives to the everyday beauty products that we use. I think makeup erasers are interesting! I try to avoid using face wipes as much as I can because it kind of sucks to have something that is a one-time use. Oooh, the bamboo cotton buds are great! I have been seeing bamboo straws lately too. Thanks for sharing all of these great choices!

    Nancy ♥

    October 6, 2019 at 3:05 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s great isn’t it, if only there were more! I totally agree that single use products suck. Bamboo straws aren’t something I’ve tried yet but I’d like to! x

      October 6, 2019 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Radi

    This is so great… got to try the silk pads.

    October 6, 2019 at 8:45 am
  • Reply Eena

    These are really good and environment-friendly swaps, Soph! With how things are going in our planet, it’s great to know that small changes can ultimately lead to a bigger impact on our planet! Thanks for sharing!

    cabin twenty-four

    October 7, 2019 at 9:12 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! Absolutely, especially when made by a load of people, together we can make a huge difference for sure x

      October 12, 2019 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Chloe Chats

    Loved hearing about your eco-friendly beauty swaps. I swapped out my face wipes a while a go now, and I also got my mum to do the same hehe. You also save more money just buying a make-up cleanser that is longer lasting than to buy face wipes every few weeks or so.

    Chloe xx

    October 10, 2019 at 1:58 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you, I’m so glad. Yes, absolutely! I’ve not used wipes for years and don’t miss them one bit! x

      October 12, 2019 at 3:41 pm

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