A Millennials Guide to an ECO-Chic Beauty Cupboard

Its no secret, that us millennials are said to spend too much time on social media and the internet, but recently after watching a few overwhelming documentaries such as Fashion’s Dirty Secrets and one that I know a lot of people have been talking about – Drowning in Plastic on BBC One, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and celebrities using the power of the internet for positive reasons, to influence and educate and try to promote change.

If you didn’t see the Drowning in Plastic documentary at the end of last year, and this is something you’re interested in, I would 100% recommend to watch it. Its completely eye opening and I know I had no idea just how damaging plastic is to the planet, the poor animals and sea creatures dying, because of products that we are using, things we are doing and the way most of us are so unaware about how much damage its causing.

Josie from Fashion Mumblr, wrote a fabulous blog post on her approach to becoming more eco-friendly and ‘eco-chic’ as she calls it, and it made me realise just how achievable it is to make a few small changes, and how over time those few small changes can really make a difference.

Stop and think for just five minutes – from the moment you wake up, how much plastic are you using? When I worked out how much I could change within my daily routine, even the first hour of my day every day, I realised just how many small steps I could take, and as a beauty blogger, one of the main things I wanted to educate myself more on, is just how much beauty products are effecting the planet. From plastic packaging, to micro-beads, to harmful chemicals inside the formulas, this is one of the biggest changes I wanted to make, but its harder said than done.

I’ve realised that becoming Eco and environmentally friendly in the world of beauty just isn’t quite as obtainable, but never the less, I have decided to look for ways to do what I can, and its important to remember not to feel guilty about what you’re not doing, but to focus on what you are doing.

My top tips for a more sustainable beauty routine are;

Reduce use of Cotton Pads & Makeup Wipes

Makeup wipes are the perfect example of a modern day convenience, but it takes years for make up wipes to breakdown in the landfill which is where they are likely to end up. Most make up wipes are made up polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, and rayon fibres, many of which are not biodegradable. 

Fortunately, beauty brands are coming out with alternatives to cotton pads and makeup wipes, and I’ve been loving using reusable cleansing pads and cloths. If I’m honest, I find them much easier.

If you are normally a make up wipe kinda gal, and like to remove your make up quickly – Magnitone London have an amazing microfibre cleansing cloth that will remove even the toughest, long-wear and oil-based makeup, with just warm water, meaning its super quick and easy.

If you are looking for a 2in1 eco-chic cleansing routine Liz Earle cleanse and polish comes with exfoliating cloths which leave your skin feeling super soft. 

If you are a fan of cotton pads, but are looking to be more environmentally friendly Face Halo is like a luxury towel in cotton round form. The 3D texture is really good at breaking down mascara and removing lipstick even without makeup remover. Also it’s the size of about three classic cotton rounds, so you can get your whole face done with one.

Packaging

Always look for products that are in recycled bottles, or bottles that can be recycled. REN have created a 100% recycled bottle using 20% ocean plastic which is amazing. I think even just the message these big brands are sending out is great. REN have pledged to work towards being ‘Waste Free’ by 2021.

Something to look out for when buying your beauty products is to go for glass packaging where you can – a lot of beauty products actually last better in glass packaging too, not to mention how much nicer they look on your dressing table.

Also try not to buy products wrapped in cellophane, the extra packaging is just not needed.

Micro-beads

Micro-beads have been banned in the sale of products since June 2018 in England and Scotland due to the effect they have on the environment.

Micro-beads are tiny plastic spheres and are used for their exfoliating or abrasive effect. Taking a single shower using gel containing micro-beads can result in 100,000 being washed down the drain. They are too small to be filtered out by sewage plants and make their way into the ocean, where they are ingested by shellfish and can end up being consumed by humans. 

Go through your beauty cabinets and try and discard any products containing micro-beads. Alternatives are available. 

Homemade Products

There’s loads of natural alternatives to micro-beads that mean you can save the planet, one scrub at a time.

Whole Oats

Oats are one of the most gentle natural exfoliants, perfect for sensitive skin, they soak up excess oil on the skin and work perfectly when ground in a blender and added to water to make a paste.

Sea Salt

Salt scrubs are an abrasive alternative to micro-bead filled beauty products and work amazingly to soften rough skin on the body. Sea salt is a natural purifier that removes toxins in the skin and sea salt scrubs also improve circulation and tighten the skin. Add some essential oil for a luxurious treatment.

Coffee

There are so many coffee scrubs on the market at the moment, but this again is super easy to make at home, without the fancy packaging. Ground coffee is a natural exfoliator renowned for treating cellulite as an exfoliant and works perfect on stretch marks and feet while stimulating blood flow.

Sugar

Something slightly more gentle for a homemade facial scrub, sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, boosting cell production and breaking down proteins that keep dead cells attached to your skin. Mix fine sugar with a natural massage oil like olive, jojoba or grapeseed, or honey to make a paste. Gently massage into your face and rinse with water.

Recycling

Remember to recycle any of your beauty products that come in plastic packaging.

If you’re a fan of Mac makeup, they have been running their ‘Back to Mac’ scheme for years, where once you have used 6 Mac products, you take them into the store and receive a complimentary Mac lipstick.

L’Occitane are also offering an amazing service where they provide collection and recycling for ANY of your beauty and skincare products from ANY brand in their boutiques.

Sanitary products

In the UK, every woman uses an average of over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her reproductive lifetime and I was shocked to read that on average two plastic bags are used to make your daily use of applicator tampons. I recently heard of the brand Albany Mae, their tampons are made with organic cotton, as well as being hypoallergenic and biodegradable. They also come in super chic minimalist packaging, and they even offer a subscription service. This is such a small and easy change to make.

Cruelty Free & Not tested on animals 

Finally, another thing to look out for where you can is using cruelty free beauty products that are not tested on animals. Look out for the bunny symbol – this signifies a product is cruelty free. You can view the whole list of cruelty free beauty products on the PETA website.

I’d love to know if you have been making any eco changes and what your thoughts are on becoming eco-chic. Leave me a comment below letting me know.

CL x

(This post includes gifted items, but as always all views are my own)

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