Simple swaps to your beauty regime can make a big difference to the amount of rubbish you produce, as well as how much money you spend on products.
Here are clever ways you can reduce, without compromising on essentials…
1. Buy fewer plastic bottles
The problem: Did you know that just 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide? The rest piles up in landfill or makes its way into our oceans.
Though it’s tricky to completely cut out buying plastic, more and more brands are coming up with eco-friendly formulas and packaging alternatives…
*Your regular shampoo bottle for a solid bar
You may wonder how a bar could wash hair but we’re won over by Beco Honey Blossom Argan Oil Shampoo Bar, £3.99 . Wet it, then rub it from your scalp to your lengths and it’ll even give you a classic shampoo-like lather.
Even better, it comes in fully recyclable cardboard packaging.
*Shower gel for soaps
Classic bars are making a comeback, which is great news for the environment as they come wrapped in little to no plastic.
We love Soap & Glory’s Multi-Tasking Soap Bar, £5 , which has a scent to rival any gel and will last you much longer, saving you more money!
*Virgin plastic bottles for recycled ones
With Unilever pledging to cut half their use of virgin plastic by 2025, there’s going to be a big push this year from other brands like L’Oreal and Garnier to increase their use of recycled bottles, instead of creating new ones each time (very bad for waste levels).
2. Avoid aerosols
The problem: According to Lush , the UK uses around 600 million aerosols each year (that’s 10 per person) and it’s thought the fumes could have a negative impact on CO2 emissions.
While they can be recycled, they have to be empty, dry and clean to do so – which is an almost impossible task.
If you usually use a spray deodorant, try swapping for roll-on versions, which are more easily recyclable and produce no chemical spray fumes. If you want to go even more eco-friendly, Lush have an Aromaco Solid Deodorant, £6.50 , which has no plastic or chemicals.
If you’re a dry shampoo fan, you could also swap your regular aerosol to Klorane’s Eco-Friendly Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, £9 , which is packaged without propellants.
3. Ditch your face wipe habit
The problem: A report by the Marine Conservation Society says the number of wet wipes washed up on British beaches has increased by 50% since 2013 – with about 35 found for every kilometre of beach.
They also take about 100 years to biodegrade.
Save the environment and your money by investing in a reusable cloth, like the Face Halo, £17.95 . Buying just one of these can replace the use of 500 make-up wipes and save you anything from £400 upwards a year.
If you can’t go completely cold turkey, swap to The Cheeky Panda Handy Wipes, £1.50 , which are made from natural bamboo and are biodegradable.
4. Use less product when you shower
The problem: The large amount of shampoo we use each time we shower means we’re getting through plastic bottles and cash quicker than we actually need to.
‘Most people use too much shampoo, which isn’t going to make their hair any cleaner and will just mean expensive product gets washed down the drain,’ explains Gorka Arraras, head of creative at Charles Worthington Salons .
‘Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you only need to use a dollop the size of a 20p to a £2 coin to clean your hair properly. The same principle goes for conditioner.’
TIP: Cut your showers down by eight minutes per week and you can save almost 900 gallons of water per year!
5. Make your beauty essentials go the extra mile
*Use a shower pouf
One of these can lather up the smallest blob of shower gel (or soap) and make it enough for a full-body cleanse.
*Repair cracked face powders
Crush the remaining powder then add a few drops of rubbing alcohol and press the pieces back together in their pot. Leave to dry then use as normal.
*Don’t over-wash your hair
Of course, clean it when it’s greasy but many of us wash our hair when it really isn’t dirty – which can cause hair to become greasier in the long run. Save your products and cut hair washing to around three times a week, advises Gorka.
*Revive old nail polishes
If your polish has gone a little gloopy, add a few drops of nail varnish remover to the colour and mix with the brush.