How sustainable is your skincare routine?
With Earth Day just around the corner, we’re thinking about the health of our planet and how we can all contribute by creating less waste.
We all live busy lives, so it’s not often that we stop to think about the skincare and makeup products we’re using in terms of how they may be affecting the planet. What are they made of? How are they packaged?
We invite you to take a moment and examine your current routine, then consider these five recommendations for how you can revamp your routine to lessen the impact on the environment.
Why a Sustainable Skincare Routine? Cosmetics Can Damage the Environment
The skincare and makeup products we use every day can indeed harm the environment.
The biggest impact comes from product packaging. We all love those luxurious, fanciful boxes, bottles, jars, and more, but unfortunately, a lot of that is wasteful. According to the British Beauty Council, about 70 percent of the beauty industry’s waste comes from packaging.
Though beauty product packaging can be made of paper, glass, and metal, much of it is made of plastic. Though some of that is recyclable, it can be confusing for consumers because plastic is often created with mixed materials.
Plastic is not biodegradable, which means it doesn’t decompose. Instead, it shatters and breaks down into microscopic sizes, and even that takes hundreds of years to complete. Currently, 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year where it can kill dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and even whales.
Chemical ingredients are problematic too. Parabens, plasticizers, nanoparticles in sunscreen, polyethylene, triclosan, BHA and BHT, 1,4-dioxane, and more can damage coral reefs, disrupt reproduction in animals, and kill aquatic life—say nothing of their potential impact on human health.
Cosmetic products are also creating water waste. Water is the industry’s most-used ingredient, and although it is safe and natural, it can contribute to the current water-stressed situations we’re seeing in much of the world—and even in the United States.
For these reasons and more, it is worthwhile to consider what you’re using in your beauty regimen and see if you can take steps that will create a safer world.
6 Ways to Create a Sustainable Skincare Routine
1. Recycle or Re-use Your Plastic Containers
First, check to see that the products you’re buying come in recyclable containers. Check the label. Most products come with a label that specifies if they can be recycled and how.
All CV Skinlabs products, for example, come in bottles, tubes, and boxes that are BPA-free and recyclable. With safety in mind, we do not use glass—only one-way evacuation tubes and pumps to avoid risk of contamination. Our customized bottles were created so that they are functional, yet easy to hold and use, especially for those with arthritis, neuropathy, or other movement challenges.
We also reduced our ecological footprint by printing the product brochure on the inside of product packaging when possible (rather than using extra paper).
No matter which product you use, remember to recycle rather than simply throw your products away. (Pumps, sprays, and actuators sometimes need to separated as they are not recyclable.) Recycling is easier today than ever before. Every time you recycle rather than throw away a product, you’re helping to prevent plastic from polluting our waterways and oceans.
You can also reuse some product containers—just make sure that you are aware of any bacterial contamination and always keep containers disinfected.
2. Use Natural and Safe Products
Though consumers are demanding more natural and safe ingredients in their products, many beauty companies aren’t really listening. They may throw in a natural ingredient or two, but then continue to use parabens, phthalates, and other harsh chemicals that can not only damage the planet but aren’t good for your skin either.
Read labels. (We have a handy list of toxic ingredients to avoid here.) Then choose to buy from conscientious companies that are careful about the ingredients they use. CV Skinlabs products were thoroughly researched, tested, and formulated to protect and deeply hydrate without chemicals.
3. Reduce Your Water Usage
Look for cosmetic products that use less water. Our CV Skinlabs products, for instance, use aloe leaf juice as our number-one ingredient.
Then try to lessen your use of water in general. Turn off the tap when you’re not actively using it, such as while you brush your teeth. Take less time to warm up the shower, use a dishpan for washing and rinsing dishes, sweep driveways rather than hosing them off, check your toilet for leaks, and install water-saving appliances.
4. Cut Back on One-Use Products
Non-biodegradable face wipes, Q-tips, one-time face masks, and other one-use products are big contributors when it comes to waste. Yes, they’re convenient and perfect for traveling, but you can likely use them less often to cut back on waste.
Look for biodegradable and reusable, washable alternatives. A soft washcloth can work in most cases. When you need a cotton ball or Q-tip, look for biodegradable options. For those one-use items you can’t be without, try to find those in reusable packages like glass jars.
5. Check Your Tools
Many of the tools we use in our daily routines are made of plastic and can end up in the landfill or oceans. Look for bamboo-based utensils or eco-sponges that can be washed and reused. This will have a small impact on your routine, but every little bit helps!
6. Limit Your Consumption
Everywhere we turn these days, someone is trying to get us to buy something. Beauty products are fun, so it’s easy to fall for the temptation.
But many of us buy way more than what we need, and much of that ends up going to waste. Think about how often you truly use up all of any one beauty product that you buy.
At CV Skinlabs, our minimalist approach relies on fewer products (four total) for less environmental impact, but with all the effectiveness you need to transform your skin.
Safety, effectiveness, and sustainability are critical elements of our mission as a company. We are committed to the continual improvement of mindful sourcing of ingredients and materials, while using recyclable containers that reduce the impact on the environment.
We even won an eco-excellence award for our efforts for sustainable and socially responsible excellence!
No matter which product line you use, try sticking only to what you need, then replace those items when necessary. You’ll not only be helping the planet but your wallet as well!
Have you changed your skincare routine to be more sustainable?