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Three Ways To Make Your Skincare Routine More Sustainable
Sustainability is about making socially responsible choices to preserve the health and well-being of our planet. From food consumption to recycling habits, many of our everyday decisions have an immediate impact on the environment. The more we know, the more we can make informed decisions about what we use and consume. Here are three easy ways to make your skincare routine more sustainable and reduce your ecological footprint.
Check your ingredients
Take some time to read the label on the next product you’re considering. It’s a sustainability deal breaker if it contains any phthalates, mercury, toluene, lead, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, parabens, or BHA. These toxic chemicals are some of the most detrimental to your health as well as the planet. For a comprehensive list of skincare ingredients to avoid, read this post. In general, opt for clean beauty products that don’t include harmful ingredients.
Stay away from palm oil or palm oil derivatives which are found in many personal care products. The palm oil industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, indigenous rights violations, and extinctions – affecting some of the most vulnerable species on the planet. In fact, the World Wildlife Fund reported that 300 feet of rainforest are cleared every hour to make way for palm oil production.
Steer clear of anything containing microbeads. Until recently, these tiny particles of plastic were often found in exfoliators and toothpaste. Since they aren’t biodegradable, once they go down your drain, they end up polluting the ocean and harming marine life. They’re also too tiny to be filtered out by cleanup efforts, making them a permanent part of the ocean’s ecosystem. By 2050 our oceans are expected to contain more plastic than fish. Though some countries are moving to ban microbeads, they are still found in many products.
Overall, always do your research to make sure that the companies you support share your sustainability standards. Choose skincare and beauty companies whose values are rooted in your health as well as the health of the planet. To check ours, check here.
Try a cold shower
While a warm shower on a cold day can be amazing, giving your water heater a break from time to time can actually have its benefits. Even just a cooler than usual shower will help reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, hot water can strip your skin of natural oils leaving it dry and itchy.
If you can stand it, cold showers are an recommended Ayurvedic practice. Health benefits include improved circulation and toned skin. For a traditional routine, do a full body dry brush to get your circulation going and exfoliate dead skin followed by a massage using either sesame or almond oil. Then turn the shower to cold – or as cold as you can stand – and hop in. If you can’t take the cold all at once, try starting with warm water and gradually moving to fully cold. Stay in the shower until your body temperature rises to where you’re toasty and warm – this is your circulation increasing. Make sure the bathroom is warm for when you get out and that your towel is close at hand!
Recycle your empty skincare and beauty products
Over 29 million tons of plastic ends up in landfills every year. The average American throws away 159 pounds of plastic every year, with more than half of throwing away empty skincare and beauty products. But many of those empties are actually recyclable. Product packaging, lipstick tubes, eyeshadow pans, glass bottles, and plastic bottles are all recyclable. Always check the bottom before you chuck. If there is a 1 or 2 on the bottom, rinse it out and recycle it. FYI, Poethique bottles are 100% recyclable.
You can also join something like TerraCycle’s Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program. All you have to do is rinse your containers and ship them out. One Terra Cycle collects them, they sort the plastic by polymer type and extrude it into plastic pellets. These are then made into new recyclable plastic products so the cycle can continue. Here’s a full list of what they accept.
The same attitude can be applied to your clothes as well. When you sort through your closet, donate your gently-used clothing to a local shelter or Goodwill instead of throwing it away. That way your pieces be will be re-loved and reused by someone else instead of ending up in a landfill!