Beauty

PSA: A Low-Waste Beauty Routine Is Actually Doable

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Here’s a shitty fact for ya: The packaging and containers from beauty and personal care products (so everything from used mascara tubes to your face cream’s plastic wrapper) help make up nearly a third—yes, ONE-THIRD—of all the trash in our country’s landfills. This is bad, you guys. Really bad. And being a beauty editor who tests hundreds (hell, thousands) of products each year, I’m feeling especially guilty.

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So I decided to start replacing all my empties with eco-friendlier options. I’m not talking about “natural beauty” (which is great and all, but not always sustainable). I’m talking about products that are plastic-free or come in biodegradable and/or recyclable materials.

First up in my little experiment: the giant bottles of body wash sitting on my shower floor. I swap them for bar soap wrapped in compostable paper (so cute, so easy). Then, instead of rebuying my beloved Oribe shampoo and conditioner, I pick up Ethique’s biodegradable bar versions that can last for 80(!) washes.

But, okay, just the thought of parting with my extensive collection of retinol and vitamin C serums is… horrible. (Plz remember, this stuff is my literal job.) After lots of research, I found some sustainable replacements from brands like Kinship and Ren.

Aside from making really good products (Kinship’s spot treatment= my own personal savior), both companies use ocean-waste plastic, which is basically plastic that’s scooped out of the sea and remade into new containers. Even better: By partnering with third-party group TerraCycle, these brands make it super easy to navigate the whole recycling thing on the back end.

As for makeup? The options are def more limited, and it takes me awhile to find products I actually like. Enter Ilia’s lipstick and Aether Beauty’s palettes, which rival the pigment payoff you’d get with the conventional stuff.

Fast forward and I’m now three months into my low-waste lifestyle, and so far, I haven’t even looked at a makeup wipe. I mean, I’m still no Greta Thunberg—I’d gladly fly private if I could, meep—but baby steps, ppl. Going low-waste beauty is way better than doing nothing.

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