Recently I’ve tried to be more conscious of the choices I make when it comes to single use beauty waste but it can be overwhelming. It’s a hot button issue that can be difficult to discuss without judgement and you can come away feeling as though any effort is pointless unless you’re prepared to live off the grid and go vegan.
The more reasonable eco-warrior, however, encourages small changes wherever possible and acknowledges that EVERY LITTLE HELPS! So maybe you’re not ready to switch to a bamboo toothbrush or you don’t ALWAYS remember your refillable water bottle (for SHAME!) but if every one of us commits to changing what we CAN, it will have an impact. The all or nothing mentality really grinds my gears (I don’t know if you can tell) and it’s put me off talking about the changes I’ve made for fear of ‘well that’s not enough’ but I believe it all adds up and so I’m sharing 5 EASY and affordable beauty swaps that are no less convenient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
1. Flannels > Face Wipes
I made this switch years ago and I’d be lying if I told you it had anything at all to do with the environment. I like the hot cloth cleanser method (though Liz Earle is too rich for my blood) and a thick balm followed by a warm washcloth gives me the clearest, smoothest skin. Selfish with a knock on benefit for the world.
2. Bamboo Cotton Rounds > Cotton Pads
This is the most recent swap for me and the one I resisted the longest. Since I use the hot cloth method I don’t use cotton rounds for makeup removal but I go through a few a week for toners and my main concern was having enough in rotation that there are always clean ones when I need them. Of course, that’s ridiculous because I have 20+ flannels and manage that just fine so I just bought a couple of packs, keep the used ones in a net bag and throw them in the washing machine on towel day. I have my nails done these days so haven’t faced the nail polish remover issue but if you have any tips for that, let me know!
3. Silicone Face Mask > Sheet Mask
I am a mask FIEND and I know it sounds stupid but I didn’t consider the massive single use packaging waste I was creating until it was pointed out to me. The masks themselves are often the same material as wipes (though there are biodegradable ones on the market now) and the foil packet is rarely recyclable. I’ve given these up now in favour of serums with a reusable mask and (although at first I did) I can honestly say I don’t miss the paper version.
4. Jade Roller > Eye Patches
I LOVED an under eye mask. LOOOOVED. I do still have some in a pot (the stacked ones, not the individually wrapped ones) which I’m using very sparingly but day to day, for depuffing I’m using my cheap, Amazon jade roller to cool my morning eyes and perk me up. There are other skincare benefits to the facial massage (lympthatic drainage etc) but I enjoy my new morning routing of sitting in bed, ‘rolling’ my face!
5. Safety Razor > Disposable Razor
I didn’t even know what this WAS a month ago but when I mentioned razor burn and rashes several viewers recommended this switch and I can’t believe I ever lived without it. I’m going to dedicate a video to this soon because it really needs a more in-depth discussion but effectively you use single blades that are dirt cheap and are easier on sensitive skin. I was obsessed with Gilette Venus disposables but I went too long before replacing and they cost a fortune – before you even consider the waste element.
These changes are obviously better for the environment but they’re also cheap to implement and save you a fortune long term, so even if you’re on the fence about whether you care about the eco bit (let’s be real – we’re all lazy, that’s why we’re in this mess) it’s going to save you money!
A friend of mine messaged me this week, having watched this video. She said she saw it and (as you would) suspected I was jumping on the bandwagon of something that is trending. It CAN appear to be virtue signalling when someone talks about these issues and hopefully (as she did) you will understand that my stance is that the virtue signallers are putting the average joe off even considering making really simple changes. We’re all capable but if you start using flannels, don’t start giving your friend shit for buying face wipes. None of us are perfect and that’s not the way to encourage change.