A Guide To Make Your Skincare Routine More Sustainable 

Skincare 101

It’s no secret that the beauty industry is booming. With the steady stream of new skincare launches, each promising to be better than the last, the skincare industry is worth an estimated $163.5 billion. While many of these products might be great at hydrating and nourishing our skin, not all, fit in with our sustainable skincare routine.

sustainable skincare routine
Beo88/ Envato Elements

Did you know our daily skincare routine can have a negative impact on the environment? The production of beauty products is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Going green with our skincare regime is vital, to do our bit for the planet.  

Why does sustainable skincare matter? 

The beauty industry isn’t just about making people feel more confident; it’s also about making money. Unfortunately, the way some brands go about this is by cutting corners. This is known as greenwashing and can have a negative impact on the environment.   

The production of certain skincare products can pollute local water sources and be harmful to animals. Many skincare products are also made with unsustainable raw materials, which raises concerns about how they will affect the earth’s resources in the long run. Usage of ingredients like palm oil and soy, cause high rates of global deforestation. 

peel off mask
Polina Kovaleva/ Pexels

Some of the other things that make our skincare routine bad for the environment include the packaging and chemical-based ingredients used. It also depends on how often we use and dispose of them, without recycling them properly. 

On average, we end up using 16 skincare products daily. And most of our beauty products come in plastic packaging. 

With all these reasons in mind, the need to have a sustainable skincare routine is more important today, than ever. 

7 steps to make your skincare routine more sustainable 

A little extra effort needs to be made to clean up your beauty regime. Here, we have put together a detailed step-by-step guide to help you achieve a cleaner and more sustainable skincare routine. 

1. Use every bit of the product 

The first step towards a green beauty regime is to use the beauty products you already own. This means not overwhelmingly discarding products after use and contributing to landfills. However, when you do need to discard them, toss them mindfully into recycling, or try to reuse the packaging. 

2. Be mindful of your beauty waste 

Let’s recall the R mantra of waste management here – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  
Reuse or recycle to reduce your beauty waste. You can wash out the big cosmetic containers and use them as plant pots, make DIY candle holders, or homemade organizers. 

Buying skincare products with recyclable packaging can reduce your carbon footprint and beauty waste.

glass tubs for skincare products
Ron Lach/ Pexels

Opt for products in glass bottles over plastic tubes. Then, you can send the glass containers to your local recycling curbs. But when you do, make sure you first clean out the containers properly. 

Another way to reduce your beauty waste is to buy refills. Beauty brands like Kjaer Weis offer their products in refillable containers. So when you hit the bottom of their products, you can easily refill them from the brand. 

3. Buy from sustainable brands 

Support brands that do good for the planet and offer you ethical and sustainable skincare products. Sustainable brands make products with natural and organic ingredients packaged in reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging.

To know if a brand is sustainable, look for certifications like PETA and Leaping Bunny for vegan and cruelty-free products. Organic products will have a USDA certification. Fairtrade certification will appear on ethical products. 

4. Avoid scarring ingredients in your beauty routine 

Sustainability in skincare also means lessening the negative impact of scarring ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and silicones. 

sustainable skincare routine

Many of these ingredients have been linked to health issues and can be found in various skincare products like shampoos, soaps, and even deodorants. 

  • Parabens have been linked to many health issues, including affecting birth outcomes and cancer.  
  • Sulfates can reduce the functioning of the lungs and aggravate asthma symptoms, eye irritation, and other skin allergies.  
  • Silicones can leave your skin dull and dehydrated. 

So, the next time you are shopping for skin care, buy products free of toxic ingredients. 

5. Go green with natural and organic skincare 

Going green with your skincare routine means signing up for healthy, glowing skin.  

Some of the best green ingredients to watch for include coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and green tea.  

These ingredients are perfect for everything from removing makeup to moisturizing your skin. 

sustainable skincare routine

Another benefit of using natural and organic skincare products is that they don’t include harmful chemicals like parabens and sulfates, (as discussed above.) 

Using natural ingredients in your sustainable skincare routine also means you don’t have to worry about how the products are made. In many cases, natural skincare products are made in smaller factories that use less energy and produce fewer greenhouse gases, than factories that make most conventional cosmetics. 

6. Ditch single-use products 

Single-use products like traditional sheet masks, makeup wipes, cotton pads, and brushes contribute more to landfills.  

face mask sheet
Anna Shvets/ Pexels

Swap them with face masks, makeup wipes, cotton pads, and brushes that are reusable. You will be shocked by the amount of waste you will cut down, by simply switching to these reusable products. 

7. Go minimal with your sustainable skincare routine 

Skinimalism is the main highlight of recent beauty trends. Who thought Marie Kondo-ing your vanity could be good for your skin?  

Using a whole arsenal of cleansers, serums, moisturizers, face oils, and more can overload the skin. It can cause irritation and over-sensitivity. 

skincare products
Karolina Grabowska/ Pexels

Skinimalism focuses on a minimal skincare routine with fewer beauty products that work better. Another way to achieve the ultimate skinimalism routine is by using multi-use skincare products that do more than one job for your skin. 

This simplified version can save you time, money, and, well, energy too. All being more beneficial to the planet. 

There are lots of ways to reduce the environmental impact of your daily skincare routine. Going green with your skincare products is a great idea. It allows you to reduce your use of harmful chemicals and beauty waste. Most importantly, a sustainable skincare routine minimizes your negative impact on the planet.  

We also found these 10 sustainable and cruelty-free skincare products to add to your green beauty routine.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Why should you choose sustainable skincare brands? 

Sustainable skincare brands focus on manufacturing their products with clean, natural ingredients. They minimize their beauty waste, by offering products in sustainable packaging, all the while lessening their environmental impact. 

2. How to reduce makeup waste? 

One of the ways to reduce makeup waste is by switching to reusable makeup products. Also, buy products with plastic-free packaging to further help reduce beauty waste. 

3. What is a natural ingredient? 

Any naturally occurring ingredient is known as a natural ingredient. A natural ingredient can either be plant-derived or animal-derived. 

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