Eco-Friendly Updates You Can Easily Make to Your Hygiene Routine
When we read about climate change, plastics infiltrating our oceans, and all of the waste that we accumulate on a daily basis—not to mention the fact that, per National Geographic, 91 percent of plastic isn't even recycled anymore—it's understandable to feel overwhelmed. We feel like want to do everything, right now, all at once, in order to help the environment. But we've learned that you have to start by thinking small, because small changes can make a difference.
Little by little, making simple swaps, one at a time, and incorporating them into your routine until they become habit, can become major forces for change. We decided to start by green-ifying our self-care routines, and during the process, noticed that so many brands (both new and old) are making innovative updates and challenging conventional norms in an effort to have a positive ecological impact. We've learned that there truly are a variety of little ways to make a big difference. Here, we've rounded up a variety of eco-friendly changes you can easily make in your own hygiene routine.
Swap cotton balls for muslin cloths.
Not only are they reusable, but muslin cloths are actually better for your skin. Used with a face wash, their soft, fine material gently exfoliates your face. Looking for a tried-and-true option? Try Shiffa's muslin cloth ($20, www.nordstrom.com).
Trade conventional liquid shampoo for solid bars.
Reducing your plastic consumption isn't as difficult as you thought. For starters, you can trade your go-to plastic shampoo bottles for a solid bar. We like Ethique's Tip to Toe Shampoo and Shaving Bar ($15, amazon.com)—but the brand makes a variety of bars for each hair type, too. They're also major cost-savers: One solid bar is equal to three bottles of liquid shampoo.
Opt for multipurpose products.
Finding great do-it-all products won't just save you money—they'll also help save the environment. Right now, we're loving Dr. Natural Pure Castile Soap ($10.99, walmart.com), which can be used as a hand soap, body wash, facial cleanser, shaving cream, and bath soak. We also like Sky Organics Sweet Almond Oil ($14.95, amazon.com), which doubles as a body moisturizer and massage oil.
Trade a plastic toothbrush for one made of bamboo.
Imagine if everyone replaced their plastic toothbrushes with a bamboo alternative—general plastic consumption would significantly decrease. Another bonus of making the switch? Bamboo toothbrushes, like this one from Package Free Shop ($4.49, packagefreeshop.com) look much chicer than their plastic counterparts.
Use deodorant paste.
Toss (and by toss, we mean appropriately recycle!) that stick solid that comes in plastic packaging and try a natural deodorant paste—we like Primal Pit Paste ($10, primalpitpaste.com)—which is stored in a glass container. The best part? Aluminum-free formulas and plastic-free packaging is better for both your health and for the environment.
Buy a few glass dispensers for hand soap.
Whether used for moisturizer, hand soap, oils, or cleaning products, these chic glass dispensers from Zero Waste Store ($7.50, zerowastestore.com) can be used—and filled with just about anything—over and over again.
Use refillable makeup.
Kjaer Weis doesn't just make some of the best natural makeup (lipsticks, foundation, blush, eye shadow, and mascara, included) on the market; the brand also packages their products into the prettiest metal containers. After you use up the formula, you can simply buy the product again and pop it into the original container.
Stop using sheet masks.
The sheet mask trend was everywhere for a second, but now, we're starting to recalibrate—and realizing how wasteful these single-use masks really are. It's time to go back to the tried-and-true cream-or clay-based masks, like Tatcha's Violet-C Radiance Mask ($68, sephora.com).
Know the beautifying benefits of coconut oil.
Coconut oil can be a lip balm, antibacterial agent, moisturizer, shaving cream, makeup remover…need we go on? Something that is so multifunctional is definitely a waste reducer. Try the RMS Raw Coconut Cream ($18, www.nordstrom.com) and you'll never go back.
Use plastic-free hair ties.
Plastic-free ties are also better for your hair, since they're softer and won't tug or create friction, which can lead to hair breakage and loss. Plus, as these Kooshoo Plastic Free Organic Hair Ties ($18.95, amazon.com) prove, they're pretty cute, too.