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Six everyday sustainable beauty swaps

When it comes to the beauty industry and the negative contribution it makes to toxifying our oceans, poisoning our marine life and polluting our oceans, the facts are pretty shocking.

According to Zero Waste the cosmetics industry is responsible for producing over 120 billion units of packaging every year, most of which is not recyclable and could take up to 1000 years to decompose. Added to that you have the problem of harmful chemicals and non-sustainable ingredients.

But not all is lost. Beauty brands across the industry; from the giants to small independents have taken huge strides in reducing the harmful impact the industry has on our planet and as consumers, it is time for us to play our part too. With a wealth of information about sustainability at our fingertips and access to innovative alternative products, we are able to make simple everyday swaps which don’t compromise on our beauty regimes or the planet.

 

1. SWAP DISPOSABLE FACE WIPES FOR REUSABLE FACE CLOTHS

Traditionally made face wipes contain plastic and once they are disposed of, plastic particles find their way in to the oceans where they break down in to smaller microplastics. Microplastics are ingested by plankton and invertebrates, eventually working their way up the food chain and poisoning fish, turtles and even humans.

Reusable cotton muslin cloths are a great alternative to face wipes and can be used with your cleanser to remove make-up. Not only does this swap reduce plastic pollution and waste, but it can also save you a few pennies!

GAIA recommends: Romilly Wilde Muslin Gift Set – £22

 

2. SWAP DISPOSABLE BUDS FOR REUSEABLE BUDS

In October last year, the government demonstrated its commitment towards tackling plastic pollution by imposing a ban on the sale of all single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cosmetic cotton buds. There are now a number of alternative eco-friendly cotton buds on the market including those made from bamboo and paper stems. Why not take it one step further and go zero waste by trying out reusable cotton buds.

GAIA recommends: Last Object Basic Lastswab Reusable Cotton Bud – £9.95

 

3. SWAP MINIS AND REGULARS FOR SUPERSIZE VERSIONS

A whole range of the beauty industry’s most loved brands have now launched 500ml supersize versions of their product. Supersized products not only use less packaging and create less waste, but also require less regular shipping making them all round more ecologically friendly. What’s more, they also end up saving you money!

GAIA recommends: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash – £27

 

4. SWAP LIQUID SOAPS FOR BAR SOAPS

An easy way to reduce plastic waste is by replacing bodywash that comes in plastic bottles and tubes with sustainably wrapped, carboard and paper packaged body bars. Not only is the packaging more eco-friendly but generally bar soaps are more likely to by made from natural and less-harmful ingredients.

GAIA recommends: Le Labo Bergamote 22 Bar Soap – £33

 

5. SWAP A PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH FOR A BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH

Over a billion plastic toothbrushes are disposed of each year making them a key enemy in the war against plastic. Bamboo is a perfect more green alternative due to the fact that it’s one of the fastest growing plants on earth and doesn’t require chemicals or pesticides, making it toxin free.   

GAIA recommends: The Humble Co Soft Toothbrush – £3.99

 

6. SWAP DISPOSABLE COTTON PADS WITH REUSABLE MAKEUP REMOVER PADS

It takes approximately 20,000 litres of water to produce just 15 packs of cotton wool. The largest environmental impact however are the pesticides used to grow the cotton which deplete soil quality, contaminate water systems and affect plants, animals and plants living around them. Switching out disposable pads for reusable pads is easy and won’t compromise on your beauty regime.

GAIA recommends: Face Halo Set Of Three Makeup Remover Pads – £18

Shop the full Everyday Beauty Swaps Edit here.

About the Author

Kim Matrljan

Kim Matrljan

Founder of GAIA. After working in digital marketing for brands like Vivienne Westwood, Selfridges, COS and Rolex, I realised the fashion industry needed change and I wanted to be part of it.

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