‘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.
FACE WIPES TO MAKEUP ERASER
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.
COTTON ROUNDS TO SILK PADS
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!
PLASTIC TO BAMBOO COTTON BUDS
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.
I 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.
MAKEUP WIPES TO OIL BASED PRE-CLEANSERS
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.
PRODUCTS WITH RECYCLABLE PACKAGING
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.
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.