Who doesn't love a good evening beauty routine?
For so many, this sacred time allows for processing the events of the day, as well as a zen-refresh to prepare you for some much needed R&R. The last thing we want to be thinking of is how that bottle of lotion is going to end up at the bottom of a reef.
It is, however, a reality.
So let's get some education and find ways we can make better choices for a greater impact.
Always, always read your labels. Asides from steering away from plastic and single-use packaging, we'll look for items that are:
- Palm-oil free
My usual process begins with getting the gunk off my face for the day. I get it, that waterproof 'scara really clings. Remember when Coconut Oil had its spot in the limelight? And for good reason! At $8 for a jar that will last a year, Coconut Oil is a safe, easy, affordable way to remove makeup, and you just saved how many plastic containers?
After taking off the first layer, it's time to deep clean! Take a look at the ingredient list of your usual face wash. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Is the first ingredient water? "That's great," you think, "Our bodies are mostly water, that makes sense. Water is good for us." Now I'd like you to consider how much money you spend on face cleansers and give a rough estimate of how much you pay for water. Seems silly, doesn't it? Allow me to introduce you to two viable alternatives:
First up, we have this Hawaiian-Made, Powdered Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Face Cleanser.
Not only does this last forever (activated with water in your hands), Enzymatic Papaya and Grapefruit Seed Oil are gentle, natural skin brighteners. I keep this in the shower and use it as a mask during my conditioning cycle.
Another excellent company for facial cleansers is Ethique. These folks are dedicated Earth-Warriors with 100% Zero-Waste products. And they're good! These solid bars work the very same as your pumps, but you add the water. Rub the bar under water in your hands or wet a facecloth. For whatever reason, a wet washcloth in the bathroom annoys me, so I love these cute little machine-washable minis.
Stack them in a cute dish on the counter and throw them in the included wash bag when you're done.
Now let's take a peek behind the curtain, if you will.
If you aren't quite ready to part with your skin-care routine, let's start small. Ethique conquers Shampoo & Conditioner Bars with this incredible sample pack.
The adorable heart shapes make me happy, and I was more willing to try a variety box than a full commitment to one item. And if you hate slimy shower bars (eek), add their storage container (made from sugarcane and bamboo) to your cart. I would recommend getting the sample box before running out of the shampoo/conditioner you love.
It's a security thing, so you don't feel stuck.
But these bars are the bomb. Ask all the wildlife that's completely unaffected by the waste that doesn't exist from using these.
If you're feeling exceptionally stubborn switching from plastic bottles, please then feast your eyes on this amazing partnership between TerraCycle and Garnier.
TerraCycle is the company leading the charge against single-use plastic and waste. Recycling any brand of hair and skin care is as easy as printing a free label. If it seems silly to send a single empty bottle of conditioner across the states, ask your friends if they'll save their plastics for a good cause. Unity and normalizing, it's how we make a better future for our kiddos.
Next, we move on to those pearly whites! If you've gone this far in your life without flossing regularly, your dentist is likely to shame you. I personally love flossing, but decided to look up statistics of waste at some point. Now, it's all I think about. We know flossing is a necessary hygiene habit, but how do we combat the 3 million miles of dental floss discarded annually in the US alone, not to mention all the plastic dispensers? Boy, am I glad you asked!
Dental Lace is an example of making good choices for the world that benefit your pocketbook, too! Made from bio-degradable silk (vegan options available here), this floss is packaged in a decorative glass tube with easy refill spools. I purchased several and gave them away as gifts.
The best gifts are ones people are likely not to purchase themselves
As mentioned in an earlier post, if you want to really go for the gold, add Unpaste Tablets to your routine and swap out that Colgate! (It's worth noting, TerraCycle also has a Colgate-Sponsored Recycling Program with fundraising opportunities, just sayin).
As we conclude our 5-Day Eco-Upgrade Series, I hope these posts have sparked curiosity, if not motivation, to take a true, kind look at your routines and try a couple new things. Live your creed, support your values, treat the earth as though we only have one. Because we do.