Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Are sustainable beauty products affordable for students?

A well-thought-out beauty routine is an important part of daily life for many of us. Some are extensive, while others are quite simple. Either way, have you ever considered the amount of waste you produce through buying and using the products that you choose?

Unfortunately, many of the items that are most readily available in the shops, and that we typically buy, are packaged in plastic, or even contain plastic. Luckily, many brands are trying to help us to have a more sustainable beauty routine.

One obvious way to cut down on the plastic that you use is to use bar soaps. Both liquid hand soaps and body washes are wasteful and it’s just as convenient to use bar soap, which often tends to last longer. Bar soaps usually come in cardboard packaging, which is great as it can be easily recycled.

There are many ways to make your routine more sustainable

When it comes to skincare, there are many ways to make your routine more sustainable. Those of us who use cotton pads to cleanse or to remove makeup could try switching to washable cotton pads and flannels.

Face Halo make efficient double-sided pads that you can use as many times as you want after throwing in your washing machine alongside your laundry. They are quite expensive at £18 for 3 pads, but you won’t need to continuously buy cotton pads and they are so much better for the environment.

Alternatively, you could use a Magnetone face cloth, which is bigger than the pads, and £15 for 2, or simply use your cleanser with a muslin cloth.

Another source of unnecessary plastic waste is shampoo and conditioner bottles

Similarly, face wipes, along with most kinds of wipes, are extremely bad for the environment, as they do not biodegrade. To cut out wipes you could use some of the products previously mentioned. However, if you are apprehensive about not using wipes, or you love to keep some hand when you’re out-and-about, try switching to brands that make biodegradable wipes. Yes To make a wide range of compostable, natural cleansing wipes. The best part is they are extremely affordable and can be found at drug stores such as Superdrug.

Another source of unnecessary plastic waste is shampoo and conditioner bottles. Since the introduction of cheap plastic bottles in the 1950s, many products, including shampoo, have been sold in this form.  Luckily, Lush has an entire line of ‘Naked’ products, all with minimal, recyclable packaging. To do this, Lush have re-designed shampoo and conditioner to be in a solid, bar form. This allows it to simply be packaged in recyclable paper, so you only use what you need. Lush have also made solid forms of almost all liquid beauty products you could need including shower gel, massage oils, body butter and even deodorant.

Shampoo bars may seem expensive at about £8 for one bar, however, they will last you much longer than a bottle – Lush claim each bar is the equivalent of three 250g bottles. It is also worth noting that the shower gel bars can also be sliced into more manageable sizes to help you keep track of how much you’re using.

We can all help to reduce waste production

Another great way Lush is helping to reduce waste within your beauty routine is by producing less wasteful makeup products. They make a reusable lipstick case which you can buy for £8. It can then be filled with any of their refill lipsticks. Each refill comes in cardboard with a wax base, meaning that all packaging is biodegradable. They also do a full range of solid foundation, concealer and highlighters at a reasonable price.

In the long run, it is not too expensive to use more sustainable products.

Initially, it may be, but eventually, you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of money, especially if you repurpose packaging and glass bottles. As long as we are all mindful of what we are using and try to be as sustainable as our lifestyles will allow us to be, we can all help to reduce waste production and reduce the waste that inevitably ends up in our oceans.

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