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Swaps to Make Your Beauty Routine More Sustainable

Written by: Tyler Tassi

Image by: Unsplash

Sustainable beauty is becoming more and more mainstream -- and for good reason. Most people do not realize that they use the most plastic and single-use disposable items within their skincare routine. Below are some helpful tips for ditching single-use plastic while still maintaining your beauty routine.

Reusable Cotton Pads and Q-Tips

Cotton pads and Q-Tips are great for touch-ups and removing makeup, however, they only have one use and once you're done they go straight to the trash. This can create a lot of waste and lead to landfill buildup. That is where reusable cotton pads and Q-Tips come in handy. Cotton rounds from LastRound ($14) are machine washable and come in a variety of colors. They hold their shape and can be used over and over again.

Reusable Q-tips are another great option for cutting down on waste. Silicone Q-tips from LastSwab ($12) maintain their shape, even after many uses. Perfect for touch-ups!

Bar Soaps and Shampoos

Nothing feels better than taking a shower. But showering means pumping shampoo and body wash from a plastic bottle and throwing that bottle away once it is empty. Shampoo bars eliminate the plastic waste from empty bottles. Lush’s Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar ($12.95) give you soft and shiny hair, minus the plastic waste. Similarly, soap bars help to mitigate this problem. Dr. Bronner’s Pure- Castile Bar Soaps are my favorite. They are under $4 and available at Walmart. Also, these soaps are wrapped in biodegradable paper, which means that once you unwrap the paper, it can be recycled and fed back into the planet.

Bamboo Toothbrushes

Think of all the toothbrushes you have had in your lifetime. Chances are, the majority of them were made of plastic and once you were done with them, they went into the trash and eventually the landfill. Bamboo toothbrushes help to subvert all of this plastic from ending up in landfills. Bamboo is a natural material, meaning that once you are done using it, it does not harm the environment. This swap takes a bit of getting used to, but it is worth it. This is a personal favorite of mine because it is so simple and easy to do. There are so many affordable options of bamboo toothbrushes, so why wouldn’t you make this simple swap?

Toothpaste Tablets

Tubes of toothpaste are another type of single-use plastic that has earned a permanent place in everyone's beauty routines. Instead of constantly buying new tubes just to throw away once they are empty, swap the tubes for toothpaste tablets. These tablets work the same as toothpaste, by foaming and cleaning your teeth, just without coming in a plastic tube. Colgate’s Anywhere Tablets ($12.99) help to clean and brighten your teeth, without sending plastic to a landfill.

Makeup Remover Cloths

Everybody loves a good makeup remover wipe, however, after one use they are immediately thrown away. This leads to massive waste, which outweighs their convenience and simplicity. Makeup remover cloths, such as the Makeup Eraser ($20) and the Face Halo ($22) are reusable and do not contribute to landfill buildup. Just wet the cloth and wipe the day away, all while being more sustainable.


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