Did you know that the beauty industry is one of the fastest growing industries and an estimated 120 billion units of packaging is produced every year, most of which isn’t recyclable. Almost 70% of packaging waste currently ends up in the landfill (in the US alone!) and that also doesn’t account for toxic, chemical based ingredients that pollute the oceans and damage ecosystems and biodiversity.
It’s believed that in the next ten years, we will globally produce more single use plastic than has been produced since 1950. In 2015, single use plastic packaging accounted for 54% of the world’s plastic waste. And only around 9% of worldwide plastic actually gets recycled.
When it comes to skincare, a lot of the time we’re told that more is better and it can be hard to shake that mindset but simplifying your skincare ritual can do wonders for your skin, and also the planet. I believe that less is more when it comes to skincare and fewer ingredients in your products, means you’re actually getting more out of each ingredient.
Low-waste skincare doesn’t have to be intimidating. Simple things like opting out of single-use products, choosing products with eco-friendly ingredients and curating your ritual to only use what you need, can help you be more sustainable in your beauty regime.
Here are our tips for making your skincare ritual more sustainable and low-waste:
- Choose non-toxic, plant-based ingredients. Pay attention to the ingredients you use on your skin. When in doubt, look for non-toxic skincare that’s good for you and the environment. It’s important to be aware of the long term impact that certain ingredients have on the planet. Opt for vegan, plant-derived ingredients that won’t disrupt our ecosystems. Look for products that are minimal in ingredients and don’t contain any synthetic chemicals (like parabens, phthalates and fragrances).
- Switch out single-use products. Clay masks instead of sheet masks, reusable cotton rounds and face clothes instead of disposable cotton pads...these are all great reusable alternatives to single-use products. The amount of plastics and single-use items found in bathrooms can be staggering. When making the switch, don't rush to throw out all the disposable items you might already have, as it'll just add more waste. Instead, finish everything and then start with a few things you can swap out at a time and work your way into switching more and more out as you finish each product. Plus, washable and reusable clothes are a much better upgrade to your routine, not just for you, but for the planet too.
- Support brands that give back to the planet. It’s also important to be conscious of how ingredients are sourced — choose sustainable ingredients that are harvested through local farmers and distillers and shop from brands that give back to the planet and actively work at offsetting and reducing their carbon footprint. We’re proudly partnered with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every product sold and are committed to donating 1% of our annual sales, to environmental organizations worldwide in support of their missions, through 1% for the Planet.
- Finish products before trying new ones and use every drop. Take it from me, it can be very tempting to want to try new products, but it’s more eco-friendly (and better for your wallet), to finish up your products before buying something new. Once you do try a new product, or are currently finishing another one, make sure to use every last drop! Did you know that packaging won’t be recycled if there’s more than 10% product residue remaining? Crazy right?! Not that we need any more reason to use up every drop of our favourite products, but we don’t want them ending up in the landfills either.
- Buy products in recyclable / low-waste packaging. Similarly when opting for products with eco-friendly ingredients, choose products that have sustainable — reusable, recyclable or biodegradable/compostable packaging. Refillable products are also great, so you can continue to use the same packaging over and over.
- Repurpose your empties. If your products do come in packaging (try to choose products that use glass over plastic), a great way to keep it from ending up in the landfill, is to reuse or repurpose your empty vessels. You can also read about our favourite ways to up-cycle and reuse Nourish bottles here. It’s fun to get creative with it!