From cleansers and moisturizers, to makeup and hair products, it’s true that even the most basic beauty routines often involve using a wide range of cosmetic products. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
It can be a lot of fun to experiment with enhancing the natural beauty we know we already have in order to feel sexier and more confident. The real problem with cosmetic products is that most aren’t very eco-friendly. Many of them contain potentially harmful chemicals and are made from unsustainable materials that only add to the problem once they’re all used up and need to be thrown away.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to do a complete overhaul of their beauty routine by switching to more natural, sustainable cosmetic products. Lucky for us, we don’t necessarily have to.
Just by making a few easy and inexpensive tweaks to your beauty routine, you can make your whole routine a little greener. Here are four of the simplest ways to do just that.
Use biodegradable products.
Biodegradable cosmetic products are ideal because they’re made with ingredients that break down naturally. Traditional products may send harmful chemicals into our environment after they go down the drain, which could be detrimental to both animal and plant life.
Switching to a biodegradable shampoo and conditioner is a great start, but you’d get bonus points for making sure every type of soap that you use (including hand soap, body wash, facial cleansers, etc.) are also biodegradable.
Go for fragrance free or unscented products whenever possible.
Scented products certainly smell nice, but what makes them smell so nice might not be so good for you. According to the Environmental Working Group, cosmetic products that were tested contained 14 “secret” chemicals — some of which are known to cause hormonal disruptions and allergic reactions.
Products labeled “fragrance free” have no fragrances that were added to them while products labeled “unscented” may contain at least some type of fragrance used to mask other odors. Either one is often better than the scented alternative.
Make your own skincare treatments.
Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Believe it or not, a variety of cosmetic lotions, moisturizers, and facial treatments could actually be drying out your skin rather than hydrating it.
Carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, and others not only offer natural moisturization, but also help balance out the natural oils of your skin. Here are three great ways you can moisturize with coconut oil — easy recipes included!
Educate yourself on cosmetic ingredients.
Take a walk down the cosmetic aisle of any store and chances are you’ll see lots of products labeled “natural.” Unfortunately, you can’t rely on these types of labels to tell the whole truth behind what’s in them. Many of them still contain lots of ingredients that aren’t so eco-friendly.
If you really want to start shifting toward a greener beauty routine, your best bet is to invest the time and energy in reading the ingredients on cosmetic labels and understanding what ingredients you should avoid. As a starter, you can refer to the Environmental Working Group’s extensive cosmetic database to look up over 65,000 products and get a detailed summary of how safe or unsafe they may be.
The easiest way to go green when it comes to beauty is to make small and subtle changes first. You can always build on it over time and eventually transform your entire beauty routine so it’s as eco-friendly as possible.