Updated: Jun 22, 2020
There is no doubt that the beauty and toiletry industry are a huge contributor to waste and pollution in our environment. The pair of us have been on a long journey to swap out the more toxic and less sustainable items in our beauty bank for eco-friendly, green and sustainable alternatives! We have linked all the products mentioned throughout the blog for you so that they are easy to find.
So without further ado, here are our top swaps!
Laura's Top 3
I have been on a quest for the best natural beauty and toiletry products for over 5 years and have found some incredible brands along the way, but finding a natural deodorant that actually works has been the toughest to feat. But finally, I have found one that truly does the job! I started using Native Unearthed Natural Deodorant Balm for almost a year ago and I couldn’t be happier. The smooth paste is simply massaged onto your underarms, and hay presto, you’re protected from body odour! Now, it is important to note, this is not an antiperspirant, so you will sweat, but the point is that you won’t smell. I personally love the coconut and vanilla scented balm, but there is a variety of other scents to choose from.
Traditional antiperspirants and deodorants usually contain toxic chemicals and aluminium which may be directly linked to breast cancer, so ditch that nasty unhealthy and non-eco-friendly stuff and opt for a cleaner, more natural option.
This has to be the best sustainability swap I have ever made. In the UK alone, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day, entering our waterways and polluting the ocean. Not only do tampons and sanitary pads pollute our environment, but they can be extremely harmful to our health. Unless you choose organic products, the cotton used in generic sanitary products is sprayed with a myriad of toxic pesticides and herbicides.
I switched to a menstrual cup in 2015 and never looked back! The amazingly flexible, sterile and reusable cups are made from medical grade silicone and can last for up to 10 years, providing you look after it properly! I have used a few different brands over the years but by far OrganiCup has to be my favourite. It has the perfect amount of firmness and is super easy to insert and remove. If there is one thing you do to become more sustainable today, swapping your single-use sanitary products to a reusable option should be it!
Two billion disposable razors end up in landfill every year. Now, I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sit right with me! But do not fear, you don’t have to stop shaving! All you do is swap those nasty plastic-laden single-use razors for a high-quality, re-usable safety razor!
I have used a safety razor for several years and honestly can't tell the difference from the more ‘traditional’ and mainstream brands, except less trash in my bathroom waste bin and fewer hairs on my legs! Steph recently invested in this razor by BamBaw, and so far, she’s impressed! You can even collect your old razor blades in a jar and send them off to be recycled, so nothing goes to waste!
Steph's Top 4
To add to Laura’s shout out to the safety razor, I set about seeing how I could reduce my waste and find a kinder shaving foam to go with my new BamBaw razor. While I haven’t managed to try one yet, I have ordered a vegan and plastic free shaving soap from Etsy with a daisy fragrance, which I am excited to try. A quick search on Amazon showed a fair few results for vegan shaving soaps, which is definitely something I am keen to explore!
I have tried the safety razor and am already recommending friends to make the switch. Not only did it come beautifully packaged with no plastic, but the product itself is flawless. I ordered a rose gold colour, which came with a stand and a razor blade packaged in paper. While I was nervous to use the razor at first, after one shave I can already see the benefits and can't imagine why I haven’t made this money saving and eco-saving shift much earlier.
In the age of "Instagram makeup", it can feel particularly challenging to equip your make up bag with worthy AND sustainable products. Consider investing in long lasting products that you won’t have to throw away after minimal usage.
When it comes to brushes, Ecotools seems to have it covered. You can find a selection of brushes for various techniques at very affordable prices. Most importantly, these tools provide a less wasteful option for makeup application. The brushes are made from recyclable materials and the handles are created from renewable bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.
I have had a few of their classic foundation brushes for years now and they are still going strong, with no hair loss when cleaning!
It is estimated that the average person uses around 10 bottles of shampoo per year, an unforgivable number when you consider that about 9 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year.
I incorporated a Lush shampoo bar into my routine about 6 months ago and I generally love the results. The bar lathers quickly, matching usual shampoos for the amount of foam. As I am fairly new to the shampoo bar game, this is the first one I have tried, so I've been alternating using this with other shampoos to avoid build up, although I am sure, as I discover more shampoo bar products, I will be able to fully convert and ditch all those plastic bottles! I am still on the same bar I purchased 6 months ago so it has definitely been a win on the cost saving front. Laura is more experienced with shampoo bars and recommends the Friendly Soap shampoo bars!
When it comes to minimising products, I have found investing in longer lasting beauty routines beneficial on many fronts.
Since becoming a fan of a lash lift and tint, I have completely ditched mascara from my makeup bag and in turn, all those horrible plastic tubes. While there are some brilliant cruelty free makeup brands (Smashbox, NYX, Urban Decay) it seems we haven't yet moved away from plastic coated items and packaging. Any cruelty free swap that avoids plastic is a winner in my opinion! Reducing my daily makeup application saves me loads of time and, not to mention, helps me avoid unhygienic mascara application! While beauty treatments may be more expensive, I personally find there is no competition with regards to results and the amount of time each day this saves me. An increasing number of beauticians use or offer vegan and cruelty free products in their practice. You can also feel great about supporting a local business!