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How to Waste Less in Your Beauty Routine

The beauty world is one of fastest growing industries out there; it’s also one of the most wasteful. Just take a look around your bathroom: Between the plastic shampoo bottles, single-use swabs, and excess packaging that enclose some of our most treasured cosmetics, it’s safe to say we could be doing better. In fact, that’s one of the reasons sustainability is a core tenet of Versed. We want to be a part of the solution.

If Earth Day has you wondering how you can do better by our planet, your beauty routine is a great place to start. It may seem intimidating, but it’s actually not as hard as you may think. Scroll down for 8 simple hacks for making your routine a bit more eco-friendly. 

Add a Recycling Bin to Your Bathroom

And actually use it! According to a study, only 1 in 5 Americans recycle personal care products. While we often toss our kitchen recyclables in the bin without a glance, adding one to your bathroom serves as a reminder to recycle other items such as shampoo bottles, deodorant, toilet roll tubes, and of course, your skincare. 

Use Every Last Drop

Before you recycle anything though, make sure it’s completely empty. Cut into tubes to remove the excess product (you’ll be surprised by how much you can squeeze out of an almost-empty tube!) or use a beauty utensil, like a spatula, to scoop out remaining creams and gels. Items with more than 10% residual product won’t get recycled, so don’t forget to thoroughly rinse the container before you toss it. 

Finish Before You Purchase 

As skincare enthusiasts, we understand how tempting it can be to stock up on all the new, buzzy products we want to experiment with. But considering that beauty products do expire, it’s much more beneficial (for the planet and your wallet) to finish up what you have first before diving into something new. And if you don’t like a certain product, try finding another use for it before you consider tossing.

Repurpose Empties

The number one tip for reducing waste? Find another purpose for something you’d otherwise discard. Empty toner containers make great travel shampoo bottles while jars can be used to hold jewelry while away from home. Use old mascara wands as a spoolie to shape your eyebrows. Serum droppers are perfect for measuring essential oils into your diffuser or adding coloring while painting and baking. Easily water your plants by using our Wash It Out Gel Cleanser as a water bottle. Get creative!

Pay Attention to Ingredients

If you want to become a more eco-conscious shopper, start by paying attention to what your products are made of. Vegan ingredients help protect Earth’s ecosystems and waste less water overall. Microbeads, found in many facial exfoliants, body washes, and even toothpaste, contribute to the ever growing microplastic problem. Parabens, phthalates, and other synthetic chemicals (like those found in chemical sunscreen and artificial fragrance) can also negatively impact the health of aquatic life. Read those ingredient labels and, when in doubt, look for non-toxic brands. 

Swap Out Single-Use 

Between sheet masks and disposable razors, makeup remover wipes and cotton balls, the amount of single-use items found in most beauty routines can be staggering. A good place to start when cutting back is to consider what items you can swap out for reusable ones. Washcloths can be used over and over again while plastic poufs only last a few months before needing to be replaced. Steel safety razors are more sustainable than plastic disposable ones. And our Down to Earth Reusable Cottons Pads are a more eco-friendly swap for cotton rounds. Your routine won’t even notice the difference, but the planet certainly will.

Watch Your Water Use

Our water supply is often taken for granted, particularly when it comes to our daily personal care routines. Freshwater is a finite resource, and we can protect our supply for generations to come by taking steps to conserve it now. When cleansing, skip that initial splash of water on your face and wet your fingers instead, turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and washing your face, and save liters of water a day by keeping showers short. 

Opt for Less Packaging

Over 120 billions units of packaging are produced by the cosmetics industry globally, yet, most of it just ends up in a landfill. Packaging has virtually no effect on the quality of your beauty routine so you might as well purchase products from brands that utilize eco-friendly packaging with recycled and recyclable materials. Or perhaps, choose ones that do away with any packaging at all, like shampoo bars or refillable deodorant


Looking for more sustainability tips? Read more about
how to recycle your beauty products.