2020 is the year that Brits go green according to new research. Four in ten of us started the year with a pledge to cut down on single use plastic and buy more sustainably sourced products, and events over the past few months seem to have accelerated our approach to embracing a greener life. Three quarters of us claim we are making more eco-friendly choices than ever before – and beauty is no exception.
Using less plastic in our beauty routines (59%), switching to reusable face wipes and pads (35%) and seeking out eco-friendly alternatives for our personal care routines (61%) are just some of the green lifestyle swaps we intend to make permanent in 2020, according to the study.
But with a third of those surveyed claiming that sourcing plastic free and sustainably sourced products is a lot harder than it should be, Joanne Maclachlan, founder of the Eco Friendly Living Co, shares five easy ways you can incorporate more green into your beauty routine:
1. Banish your plastic brushes – Plastic hairbrushes, make up brushes and toothbrushes are all contributing to the plastics crisis we are facing – 111 million plastic toothbrushes are thrown into landfill sites every year releasing chemicals into the air adding to their environmental impact. But there is a sustainable alternative – bamboo.
Bamboo toothbrushes are toxin free, vegan, eco-friendly, sustainable and come with soft bristles. The bamboo is 100% sustainable and can be thrown straight on a compost heap, just snip the soft nylon bristles off first and they can also be recycled in a normal recycling bin.
Switching to a bamboo hairbrush is not only kinder to the environment, it can also help your hair and scalp health too. Made from 100% sustainable bamboo, the bristles bring natural oil from the roots to the tip, illuminating the hair and preventing the scalp from becoming greasy. It removes all dead cells from the scalp to reduce dandruff and eventually stop it.
2. Ditch the disposable razor – The Environmental Protection Agency estimate that there are at least two billion disposable razors thrown into landfill every year – making a huge impact on the health of our planet. Bamboo safety razors offer a plastic free alternative – and if looked after properly can last a lifetime.
One of my favourites is the Bambaw Bamboo Unisex Safety Razor which has a handle made from sustainably grown bamboo and a stainless-steel head to easily replace your razor blades when needed (these can be recycled).
3. Swap shampoo and conditioner bottles for bars – Switching to shampoo and conditioner bars will not only significantly reduce your household’s plastic waste; bars are often kinder to your hair and scalp with natural ingredients that don’t release toxins into your body.
One of my favourite brands is Superfly Soap – these handmade shampoo and conditioner bars smell amazing, are vegan, SLS free and zero waste.
Superfly Soap use a combination of oils and butters to cleanse and nourish your hair and scalp, ingredients include Macadamia Nut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Rice Bran Oil and Coconut Oil, as well as essential oils making it 100% natural.
4. Wipe out your make up wipe habit – If you’re guilty of reaching for the makeup removing wipes every night then now is the time to save your skin and the planet! Not only do these wipes contain lots of chemicals which can irritate, dry out and even age your skin, they are having a devastating impact on the environment – blocking up sewers, lining beaches and ending up in the sea.
Reusable face pads are an ideal and cost-effective alternative. Made from sustainable material like bamboo fibre or cotton they are kinder to your skin and won’t contribute to the world’s mounting plastic problem. Just use, rinse and throw them in the wash. By switching to reusable pads, not only will your skin thank you but you could save around £50 per year!
5. Lather yourself in leftovers – Sustainable beauty brand UpCircle has taken a novel approach to leftovers, sourcing coffee grounds from London’s artisan coffee shops to make its indulgent body scrubs that work wonders, smell amazing and are kind to our planet.
Their approach is to use leftover natural ingredients, such as coffee granules, chai tai spices and argan shells that would normally end up in landfill, to create all natural beauty products that do wonders for the skin. With UpCircle, you get to enjoy the uplifting benefits of nature’s own skin rejuvenators – and do the planet some good, too. Not only is their range sustainable, it is vegan, cruelty-free, UK-made.
“For some people these eco friendly alternatives can be harder to seek out than products they are used to using every day, but for many people – once they make the switch they never look back. Now is the perfect time to change some old habits – who knows, maybe 2020 will go down as the year that we all started being a little bit kinder to the planet – and ourselves.”