Reason to care: The beauty and wellness industry overwhelms us with more products than we know what to do with and with constant calls to buy more. It’s an industry that pushes hard at convincing us that we need the next-best-thing to stay relevant and “beautiful”. But falling for the trap contributes to the creation of excessive waste.
To counter this, there is a rise of an alternative approach to skincare and wellness – clean, low-impact beauty. In general, clean skincare and natural beauty means that no harmful ingredients have been used and that the ingredients are usually plant-based. It’s also important to take note of the packaging and make sure that it is as eco-friendly as possible.
Just a reminder: holistic self-care has nothing to do with consumption and can take many forms, which are often found in quiet moments outside of the mainstream system.
Small actions with big impacts:
- Use eco-friendly face and beauty products, including eco-friendly sun creams. Many sun creams contain Oxybenzone which has been found to contribute to coral bleaching which kills corals and is toxic to other marine life, such as algae, fish and mammals, according to Ocean Service. Click here for easy ways to switch up your bath and beauty routine to lower your impact on nature.
- Use an eco-friendly bar soap and shampoo. Finding ones that suit your skin and hair type will simplify your life dramatically. You’ll save money, time and reduce the waste you generate. Click here for nine zero-waste beauty products to change up your routine.
- Limit plastic packaging. The beauty industry is known for excessive packaging that often leads to unnecessary waste. Try to choose products with minimal packaging, or packaging that can easily be reused or recycled. Click here for 20 ways to cut plastic and other waste from your bathroom.
- Less is more. The skincare and beauty industry is notorious for constantly trying to convince us that we need more products than we can realistically use. Consciously cutting back and finding multi-purpose products will help you generate less waste. To learn more about the benefits of skin minimalism and how to cut back on your skincare routine, click here.
- Support local. Often locally manufactured products have a more traceable supply chain and supporting local means investing in the dreams of a local maker. For 9 local, Black-owned hair care brands for natural hair, click here.
- Make your own. DIY skincare can be a fun project and helps you get in touch with the ingredients that you are using to nourish your skin. Take a look at this Naked Beauty DIY Guide to face masks, hair treatments, and body soaks.
- Take shorter showers. Cutting back on the length of your shower, will save water and reduce your carbon footprint. Most electricity for heating water in South Africa requires fossil fuels.
To learn more, begin here:
- Tiny plastics hiding in your skincare could be damaging the ocean
- 5 South African products for a sustainable skincare routine
- Sustainable sunscreens for your summer beach bag
- 5 Clean, local and sustainable lip balms for winter
- It’s fact: Menstrual cups are cheaper and more sustainable than tampons or pads
- Earth-friendly period products made in South Africa
Places to invest in Earth-friendly bathroom and beauty products in South Africa:
Image: Pexels / Monstera Production