With last week’s UN Climate Action Summit, and teen activist Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speech to ambassadors and lawmakers, we’re all thinking a lot more about what part we play in climate change. Many brands have already taken the steps to clean up their beauty products, from sourcing ingredients with lower carbon footprints, to using recyclable eco-friendly packaging. Now we can’t all sail to our local beauty stores to get these products. But there are smaller things that we can do in our beauty routines that will have big impact if we follow them over time. They’re more tangible, easy to start now, and easy to keep up.

“I’m that girl who, whenever I stay over a boo’s house or a friend’s house I’m like, ‘Why are you brushing your teeth with the water running?'” said TV personality and beauty influencer Julissa Bermudez when we chatted with her at the #ORIGINS72HRCHALLENGE launch breakfast.

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We had a laugh about it but she was serious and we share Julissa’s sentiment. Any way we can conserve water and prevent waste is a plus. So we offer five things you can change about your beauty routine that will help you do your part in caring for the planet.

Use washcloths instead of face wipes. We all have our favorite brand of face wipes and they each do a special thing—some are infused with rose water, some with aloe, some with vitamin C. But let’s face it, we’re washing our faces with a cleanser after we wipe so why not skip that step, and do away with wasteful wipes. Try a washcloth or handkerchief instead. Keep cleaning and reusing the same ones.

Nix your cotton balls for toner and other skincare products. Try a glass dropper for your toner and apply it the same way you do your serums. This way, not only do you cut out the cotton balls and excess waste, you save money from buying them. And by applying product directly to your face from a dropper, you get more product without the middleman.

Swap your disposable head ties for a satin sash to lay your edges and lace frontals. Some influencers have been known to use those disposable paper head bands to lay down edges in their hair tutorials. But aside from just being better for your hair, a satin band or yard of fabric would be usable over and over. You can also use the same satin band underneath wool hats when the weather gets really cold.

Try battery operated tools instead of disposable ones. This will be hard for some tools, but for things such as razors, you can replace those throwaways. Sure you’ll have to replace those heads at some point, but it’ll be so much less frequent, and much better than those single use razors made of mostly plastic. In the long run this option costs you less money anyway. And these razors have gotten better at hair removal over the years, and they tackle legs, underarms, and bikini in most cases.

Recycle your skincare packaging. It seems simple enough but so many people simply throw their bottles away or drop them in their blue buckets at home. But there are companies, such as Lush, who encourage you to bring back your clean bottles for them to recycle in exchange for product perks and free services. Use this as leverage to encourage all your favorite brands to do the same to ensure that you’re doing your part, as so are the brands you love and invest in.


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