Yes! I’m back with more simple zero-waste swaps you can add to your life. This one is specific to zero-waste beauty swaps. As mentioned in the past, beauty products have been some of the last products I have swapped out for zero-waste alternatives. That said, I’ve been doing a ton of research on the topic and have found how easy and simple some of these products can be to swap out. Here’s a list of some simple ones you can try, too!
Just a heads up, this post does contain some affiliate links.
Re-usable face wipes
This is one of the very first zero-waste beauty swaps I made! In the past few years, I started taking care of my face more. In the past, I would go to bed with a face full of makeup. Admittedly, I have really good skin, so taking care of my face never really came up. This is until the past few years when a few wrinkles started showing up. I decided to start a whole face routine, which included single-use face swaps. When I started looking at zero-waste alternatives, I found re-usable face wipes to be a really great alternative. Not only are they easier on the skin, they’re also easier on the environment. It’s a win-win.
I started with something similar to this (I can’t find the one I purchased). It works wonders! I have used it while on the road for over a month and washed it with my clothes – the makeup comes off your face and off the cloth! With the ability for it to pack small and dry quickly, it’s a great travel addition. It was really gentle on my face as well, which is a plus since I have fairly sensitive skin. There are many other alternatives to this as well, including smaller face rounds. You can find those on Amazon here, on Etsy, or even through this Zero Waste Face, who donates 10% of profits to Clear Blue Sea.
Zero-waste hair products
With all the plastic bottles involved in shampoo, conditioner, and various hair products, I started getting overwhelmed by the impact of my hair products in my overall waste. As someone with extremely finicky curly hair that has taken years to cultivate, I have been extremely hesitant to change my hair routine for zero-waste alternatives. Throwing out each large mega plastic bottle of conditioner, though, proved to be too painful and I reached a breaking point where I needed to change something up.
I started by trying a conditioning bar. This is a really excellent zero-waste beauty swap. There are also shampoo bars, for those of you who shampoo your hair. These are the best zero-waste swaps because you can use all of it and there’s no plastic packaging – some don’t come in packaging at all! I tried this Ethique conditioner bar. My hair was still in desperate need of more moisture, so this didn’t work for me, but the Ethique bars have a ton of rave reviews. This bar alone is rated at 4.5 stars with 1,505 ratings. That’s pretty good!
If you’re like me and need some liquid conditioner for your dry hair, look no further than Simply Curls Co. I’ll be writing about my zero-waste curly hair routine with the products from Simply Curls Co. in the near future. I use their conditioner and gel. This is a great alternative to bars because you can send your bottles back when you’re done for refills. They offer most of their products in metal bottles to ensure a better end-of-life cycle.
Next up in our zero-waste beauty swaps is zero-waste make-up. Make-up bottles and boxes all seem to have some sort of plastic to them, or at least mine do. It’s hard not to think about every single bottle of mascara I’ve ever thrown away rotting in a dump somewhere. Furthermore, mainstream makeup can often be filled with harmful and unknown chemicals. Fear no more! There are plenty of zero-waste make-up swaps you can make. I would like to note that a lot of the makeup available is for people wanting to achieve a more minimalistic make-up look, although I would love to hear from make-up fiends on what they’ve found.
There are a ton of zero-waste and low-waste makeup brands out there, which deserves a whole article on its own. For simplicity of time, I’ve picked out one that seems to get high reviews and has a good variety of makeup options. Elate is a good place to start. They offer refillable makeup in bamboo containers, making sure most of their products have an end-of-life cycle that’s compostable or recyclable. Here’s a tip if you like the mascara brush you currently have: keep it and use it with the new mascara you get!
As I mentioned, there are a ton of options out there for make-up. You can find re-fillable cake mascara on Etsy and there is a myriad of other brands that sell various zero-waste cosmetics. This is a great place to start performing zero-waste beauty swaps!
Face toner & moisturizer
This is another great zero-waste beauty swap category because it can be done on several different budgets. Both face toner and moisturizer can be DIY’d and made at home, reducing the costs and increasing the ability to make bulk products. There are a ton of different recipes for each, and many are zero-waste conscious. Even better? You know exactly what’s going on your face.
Not into DIY? That’s fine, too. There are plenty of brands moving into the zero-waste beauty product world, and many have zero-waste face toners and moisturizers. One of my favorite stores, whose owner was recently featured in my top sustainable influencers post, has both facial toner and face cream as well as many other beauty products.
Did you know a toothbrush was the first zero-waste product I swapped? The very first thing I purchased as part of my zero-waste journey. I chose this toothbrush out on Amazon after reading about ways you can compost bamboo toothbrushes when you are finished with them. Toothbrushes are something you’re constantly replacing, why not choose something with a better end-of-life cycle? For most bamboo toothbrushes, you must cut off the bristles and throw those out before composting the handle, but they vary from toothbrush to toothbrush, so definitely do your research. Need some extra motivation? I read once that every toothbrush you’ve ever used in your life still exists in a landfill somewhere. Now that’s motivation!
Is deodorant considered a zero-waste beauty swap? I don’t know, but I’m adding it here! I’m going to be real with y’all: I sweat a lot. I’m a very sweaty person. I don’t know why I’ve just always been that way. And then I moved to North Carolina and it got much worse. In the past, I’ve used a prescription-strength antiperspirant. As most of you know, adding a bunch of chemicals to your armpits is not super healthy for you. I knew I had to come to terms with my sweat but also smell good, and I wanted to find a safer and zero-waste option.
I’ve tried two different types of zero-waste deodorant, as my budget has allowed (I try to use up all my products before purchasing new ones). First, I tried a cream deodorant. It smelled awesome and felt nice, but putting something wet in my armpits wasn’t a great solution for me and my particular situation. Next, I tried the zero-waste deodorant my husband uses. I’m still using that tube and it’s going okay. It has a bit of a cooling effect, so that feels nice and I’ve stayed fairly dry. The downside, however, is that it leaves a layer of black on your underarms because of the charcoal. I will fill you in on further options in the future!
This was also one of my very first zero-waste beauty swaps! This is another beauty category that has a lot of options out there. Your local gift shop or co-op might even have some options for you. I have very dry lips and have always struggled to feel like lip balm is working at all. That is until I discovered this amazing vegan zero-waste lip balm. Not only does this stuff moisturize my lips and has healed them, but it comes with a bit of color and looks nice as well. I swear by this stuff – I’m even on my second tube of it. Get you some lip balm today!