How to create a more sustainable and zero waste skincare regime

As ‘Plastic Free July’ wraps up for another year, a lot of people are likely to be feeling inspired, looking to continue their more environmentally conscious lifestyle and extend it beyond just one month per year.

The term “zero waste” is one you’ll likely hear crop up fairly often when it comes to conversations around the environment and sustainability. It’s also a topic that is frequently discussed within the beauty and skincare industry. 

Essentially, a zero waste skincare routine means that the products used including the ingredients and packaging are all waste free, meaning that nothing is thrown away into the bin. With the increased interest in the negative environmental impact plastic packaging is having on the environment, more people are turning to more sustainable brands for their go-to beauty and skincare products. 

If you are feeling inspired and more environmentally conscious in the wake of Plastic Free July, or you’re just interested in finding out more information on how you can be kinder to the planet, Nada Ward, founder of solid soap bar brand, Beauty Kin, has provided some tips below on the sustainable changes you can make to your skincare regime. Whether it’s with the intention of going completely zero waste, or if you’re just looking to make small changes. 

Reduce your single-use plastic 

When we think of waste, often the first place our minds go is to plastic and recycling. Single-use plastic within the skincare industry is a huge contributor to environmental damage, with many of our plastic products ending up in landfill sites. By switching to reusable and refillable skincare products, you can massively reduce the amount of single-use plastic in your routine and can save on throwing out plastic bottles once you have used up the product. 

Consciously shopping for skincare products which come in alternative packaging to plastic, such as card, paper, or glass is a great way to make your skincare routine a zero waste one. Or you can also opt for products that come in biodegradable packaging. 

Other items to cut out of your routine 

Creating a zero waste skincare routine doesn’t just stop at the obvious answer of cutting out your typical plastic packaging by switching to reusable products. There are several other products that we use as part of daily skincare and beauty routines that also have a negative environmental impact. One of which being disposable wipes. 

So, what’s so bad about wet wipes? Well, many of your everyday disposable wipes contain microplastics which means that they are non biodegradable and may take up to a staggering 100 years to break down. Also, if you’re flushing wipes down the toilet, not only can they lead to blockages within the waterways and sewer systems, but can also be harmful to the wildlife if they make their way into our seas and oceans. To truly implement a zero waste routine, try and make the switch to washable cloths and flannels. There are plastic free wipe products out there, but despite being more sustainable, they are not a completely zero waste product, sadly. 

Another disposable product that is used and binned on a regular basis is disposable razors. If you’re doing as recommended, and throwing away your razors after 3 – 5 uses, that is a lot of plastic waste over the course of our lives. There are plenty of great alternative products out there, such as razors that are completely made of metal with suitable blade heads, so that you can simply replace the blade as and when it becomes blunt, rather the binning the entire razor. 

The third product mentioned isn’t necessarily one that you would think has a negative environmental impact. However, cotton buds are made up of chemicals which can impact water bodies and the land negatively. Again, this is another single-use product that we typically go through at a rapid rate. If you are using cotton buds, there are more environmentally friendly alternatives to consider, such as buds made with paper or bamboo stems. 

Using products that contain natural ingredients 

A big part of implementing your zero waste skincare routine is being selective with the packaging of your products, but to truly be zero waste, you need to take a look at the products themselves, and specifically, the ingredients. Many of your everyday skincare and beauty products contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment, such as micro plastics that make the products non-biodegradable. This is why using products that are made up of natural ingredients is a great way to begin your journey to a zero waste lifestyle. Natural ingredients are plant, animal, mineral or microbial ingredients. Not only are these products kind to the environment, but they are also kinder to your skin, avoiding any artificial ingredients. 

One particular ingredient to be wary of is palm oil. One of the world’s most widely produced oils and used in many of our everyday skincare and cosmetic products, palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. Due to the large-scale of palm oil being used it is having a devastating impact on the environment, with the extensive deforestation taking place in tropical rainforests, turning them into palm oil plantations, with devastating environmental impact.

Keep hold of your old products if you need to

You may well be surprised to discover that keeping hold of your old beauty and skincare products is recommended to help with waste. Many people will throw out their beauty products once they have been used them up, but in fact, this actually just creates more waste. If you have any products that are non-recyclable, then why not save them and use them as refillable containers for your products? Again, this is all about minimising the waste when it comes to taking care of your skin.

Why Beauty Kin products?

At Beauty Kin, our products and the packaging are completely plastic free, meaning that they are kinder to the planet, and kinder to your skin due to the natural and active ingredients that each of the soap bars contain. Not only that, but each of the products are vegan and are cruelty free.

Written by Dominy Jones

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