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Having a beauty routine is a little way for us to treat and celebrate ourselves. Some of us relish in the creativity of an everyday makeup routine. Others of us find delight in more simple pleasures like unwinding at night with a basic skincare regimen. It doesn’t matter how you prefer to pamper yourself – what matters is how you go about doing so. Why? Well, in short, cosmetic products can have a significantly negative impact on the environment. Last year, for instance, the beauty industry produced over 120 billion units of cosmetic packaging globally. But 70% of the $25 billion industry’s plastic waste isn’t recycled, according to Forbes.

More cosmetic brands are practicing sustainability, and we should do our part too. So let’s make our beauty routine green! Below are some easy changes you might implement into your beauty regimen that can benefit the environment and your health:

1. Reduce your water usage

The USGS estimates that the average person uses between 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. At this rate, however, the WWF claims that two-thirds of the world’s population is at risk for facing water shortages by the year 2025. Therefore, it’s imperative to find ways to limit our water usage, like being mindful while getting ready. Easy hacks include selecting showers over baths and taking shorter showers, as well as turning off the faucet while shaving and brushing your teeth. Even minor considerations like turning the water off before drying your face or hands after washing them can save more water than you’d think! Last but not least, search for sustainable brands with water-free products, like LOLI Beauty.

faucetHolger Link / Unsplash

2. Use natural ingredients

It’s easy for a product to convince us that it’s advantageous, especially when its label promises things like “instant” or “over-night” results for “youthful” or “glowing skin.” But remember: our skin is extremely porous and therefore vulnerable to absorbing synthetic chemicals and preservatives found in these everyday cosmetics. So if you desire skin that looks and feels healthy, use beauty products with plant-based ingredients whenever possible, which includes edible and DIY beauty products too! Caffeine from coffee is an excellent natural ingredient in products that you can incorporate into your beauty regimen (and no, we don’t mean by visiting your local Starbucks every morning). When applied topically, caffeine can be an effective skincare treatment. Its natural properties can reduce inflammation, smooth skin, and slow down premature aging from UV radiation. Not to mention, you can use coffee as a natural hair dye!

Homemade beauty productsDaria Shevtsova / Pexels

3. Understand product labels

As we mentioned earlier, many cosmetics contain chemicals that can be detrimental to our health, and not to mention the environment and wildlife. Although in all fairness, we don’t always know which ingredients to avoid. For starters, when reading a product’s ingredient list, stray away from preservatives such as parabens, which have a known link to cancer. But pay close attention because they often disguise parabens as other ingredients like butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Moreover, when striving for more natural and sustainable beauty products, learning to identify the difference between labels like “cruelty-free,” “vegan,” “organic,” and “natural” can be crucial because these terms are often misleading or misused. For more information on how to decipher product labels and phrases, check out this guide.

Pacifica face washPeaceful Dumpling / Flickr

4. Find environmentally friendly alternatives

A significant component of green beauty is finding eco-friendly substitutes for personal care products. A simple solution for beginners is to swap out single-use cosmetic products, like makeup wipes, for reusable options like makeup-removing towels. Alternately, consider making DIY beauty products at home. Homemade products reduce your carbon footprint by cutting back on CO2 emissions from shipping products, and you can use reusable containers to eliminate waste.

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