The beauty industry carries with it a tonne of waste, from the packaging products come in, and even up to make up removal as a regime. While cosmetics and personal care products make us feel good and keep our skin healthy and clean, most are not good for the planet.
Fortunately, there are still many options out there that are excellent for your skin and are also kind to the planet as well. In this blog post, let us review how cosmetics can generate waste to the Earth, and how putting makeup on and removing it from our faces can be wasteful, too.
The Waste from Makeup Use
Lets start with the acquisition of the products. Some of us opt for online shopping where we can just expect our orders to be delivered to our doorstep in speedy time. But what we do not realise is the carbon footprint of transporting those products. The more online shopping we do, the more transport – usually heavy loads – hit the roads.
And of course, the carton box and bubble wrap that come with the things we buy online also add up to the waste. You might be buying a single lipstick, yet the packaging would be much bigger than the lipstick itself. This can be incredibly wasteful.
Also, that lipstick you bought comes in a plastic tube, too. That plastic will outlast us on this planet.
But the plastic problem is not concentrated on the beauty industry only. In 2005, 448 million tons of plastic were generated, with about half of that attributed to packaging and consumer goods. And not only that, when we use our cosmetics, we also use tools like brushes and wands that are also made of plastic. Some of these are single-use, too, like the q tips and wipes that we use to clean up.
Sponges and brushes don’t last forever, either. After some time, we dispose of them. Plastic ones will literally just sit on the Earth. Then, there is the actual products that are also prone to bacterial growth, especially wet ones like mascara and lipstick. Hence, even when we have not finished them, we would be compelled to discard them.
The Waste Created from Makeup Removal
At the end of the day, the actual makeup removal process itself where we remove all the last traces can also be wasteful. Many makeup removers are made of chemicals and are packed in plastic. Fortunately, some of these now come as solid bars, eliminating the plastic packaging, and their formulations are great for all skin types and conditions, too.
But the worst is makeup wipes that are submerged in a cleansing solution that is also made with chemicals. Honestly, there are much more effective products out there that will remove your cosmetics without irritating your skin other than these wipes. And don’t look at cotton wool pads either – these are also not eco-friendly and don’t often comes as biodegradable.
Here are some tips you can implement in your routine to lessen your waste.
Zero-Waste Makeup Removal Tips
Some people think that going zero-waste is practically impossible, but it’s easier than you think. Each tip below is anchored on choosing reusable and natural options to remove cosmetics.
Makeup Removal Tip #1: Use natural oil
Going natural is a good thing when choosing products, especially for your skin! Did you know that coconut oil is a good makeup remover? Naturally, it is anti-bacterial, anti-yeast, and has a detergent effect. So, its cleansing capabilities are undoubtedly effective.
If you have sensitive skin, this is also a great choice but choose the purified and cold-pressed ones because lower-quality oils tend to be comedogenic. Just apply it directly to your face, concentrating on removing heavy eye makeup and stubborn mascara. You can wipe it with a round or simply with your hands.
Afterwards, wash your hands and face. Then, pat your skin dry with a clean, reusable towel. Say no to single-use wipes!
Other oils you can explore using are olive oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil. Just use something that you can acquire locally to lessen the carbon footprint of transporting these products to your place. There are even some micellar waters than are pure, that come in glass bottles too.
Makeup Removal Tip #2: Use soap and a reusable washcloth
A good old mild soap and washcloth can also do the trick. There are lots of ads for soaps and cleansers claiming to be good for your skin, but some of them are either chemically laden or simply not as effective. You can;t go wrong with a natural bar, made from charcoal, or organic and natural ingredients like essential oils and olive oil.
After you have used your cleanser, wipe your face with a soft washcloth, like a flannel or muslin cloth. Another trick is to heat your towel and place it over your face for some time. It helps to dissolve and remove the cosmetics, dirt and grime faster. Plus, it is simply refreshing!
Makeup Removal Tip #3: Use a reusable facial round
As mentioned above, single-use cotton pads are detrimental to the planet because they are not sustainable to produce. Producing a kilogram of cotton uses 20,000 liters of water – which is a really high amount!
It also goes without saying that anything ‘single-use’ is not biodegradable. Most likely, they end up in the landfill. To go zero-waste, opt for something that will last like the LastRound. Just damp it with water or another liquid that you prefer and wipe it on your face.
It will effectively remove the makeup without having to go through endless cotton rounds. Simply wash it and keep it for you to reuse next time. These are sustainably sourced, therefore are made with biodegradable materials and stored in a bio-based case. You will never have to buy another cotton round again!
These are just a few options, and of course, more of us are becoming aware of this now and trying to do our bit. If you do try any of these, share your experience and let me know anything I’m missing. Also, if you try the reusable face rounds, let us know how LastRound changed your routine!