My Top 4 Low Waste Beauty Buys

My mission to limit my waste continues. If you enjoyed my last post in the sustainability series My Low Waste Bathroom Essentials, then stick around to find out what beauty swaps I've made over the last year.

The beauty industry is one of the biggest offenders of plastic waste, with many single use items and packaging that's often difficult to recycle. It's an industry we're unlikely to stop supporting any time soon, but thankfully there are many eco-conscious brands popping up with low waste alternatives, helping us to save the planet and a little of our hard-earned cash at the same time.

Face Halo

Did you know that we use around 11 billion wet wipes in the UK each year, and that they're responsible for 93% of sewer blockages? They're often made with plastic and so they don't break down when flushed. Google 'London Fatberg' to see just how gross and problematic this is.

We use wet wipes for a myriad of tasks - removing makeup, wiping surfaces, cleaning sticky fingers, polishing wood or television screens. I've pretty much banned them in our house, and the first to go was the face wipe.

To be honest, I hadn't been using them much in recent years after reading an article about how they don't really remove make up as much as they smear it around your face. Instead I'd been using  disposable cotton pads day-to-day and only taking a pack of face wipes with me when I travelled. But single use cotton pads are still no good for the environmentally conscious, so the first change I made was buying myself a pack of 10 reusable cotton rounds from Etsy.

They're used in the same way, with whichever remover or micellar water you favour, and then they can be thrown in the wash and used again and again. These were great, and I do still use them regularly at my vanity for makeup clean-ups, but they can be a little rough on your skin, especially when trying to remove eye makeup, plus you still need to buy plastic bottles of makeup remover to use with them.

Enter my new favourite way to remover makeup... the Face Halo!

It's the ultimate low waste item because it will last for around 200 washes and you don't need any makeup remover or soap, you simply dip the Halo into warm water and gently rub it in small circular motions around your face. The microfiber material pulls makeup and dirt from your pores, leaving you with skin that actually feels clean. I've always avoided using soaps and lotions and chemicals (except for those in makeup products of course) on my face and so I love that now even my makeup removal routine is completely natural, too.

The Halo is super soft and gentle, and it really works - even on tough eye makeup. At just £7 it's an absolute steal. I rinse mine with soap immediately after each use to prevent staining and then just pop it in the wash after a few uses to prolong it's life.

Moon Cup

The Moon Cup is the original low waste menstrual cup. I started using it a year ago and I couldn't be without it now.

Think about this: the average woman uses around 11,000 tampons over her lifetime, and it takes longer than her lifespan for a single tampon to break down. That's a lot of period waste we're sharing the planet with!

Women also spend around £128 per year on period products. It's insane that we spend so much of our hard-earned cash on basics that we need. And what's more upsetting is that many women and girls can't afford this. Period poverty is real - read my blog post if you're interested in finding out more.

When trying to limit my waste, I researched the menstrual cup. I'd always favoured sanitary towels and the idea of putting something as big as a Moon Cup appeared to be in my vagina was rather daunting. I decided to give it a go for the good of the planet and after a bit of fiddling and readjusting (and a bit of bearing down at times) it was in, and it wasn't bad. The Moon Cup website says it can take up to three cycles to get used to it, but I was a convert after the first couple of days.

It's comfortable, discreet, completely zero waste, chemical free, hygienic and healthy. It's made to last for years, so at £21.99 it's more cost-effective than any disposable product.

Of course, this won't be an option for everyone. Some won't be able to use it and some won't get on well with it, and that's okay. There are plenty of other eco alternatives out there that could work for you. There are period pants, reusable pads and reusable tampon applicators. Do some research, experiment and find out what works for you and yours.

Arrowroot Powder

Perhaps an odd item to add to a list of essential beauty buys, but arrowroot powder has replaced dry shampoo aerosol cans in my home.

Trying to wash my bleached hair less, I began using more dry shampoo but I wasn't happy about the waste so I Googled 'DIY dry shampoo' and was surprised to find that a sprinkle of this cheap store-cupboard staple could have the same desired effect. If you don't already have this in your pantry, then it can be found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.

Not only is it far cheaper and low waste, it's also completely natural, meaning you won't be spraying nasty follicle-blocking chemicals on your scalp.

For brunette hair, just add cacao powder and mix together. I decant my arrowroot powder into an old spice jar and add a couple of drops of rosemary and lavender essential oils for stimulating hair growth and giving it a nice fragrance.

Yes, it's that simple to give your hair a bit of eco-friendly oomph between washes!

Eden Perfumes

There was a time when my vanity would house dozens of half-empty perfume bottles, but recently I've moved away from the ritual morning spritz. Wearing perfume is something I now only really do only when going out to dinner, or to an event, something to make me feel special.

Isn't it funny that when we buy a bottle of perfume, we're largely paying for the packaging which we then dispose of? When I moved to Brighton I discovered Eden Perfumes, a vegan and eco perfume shop which offers discounted refills when you take your empty bottle in.

The best thing about Eden is that you can also buy perfumes and arrange refills online - a company that's truly trying to save the planet! The perfumes and refills are reasonably priced and they offer dupes of designer brands, too.

What are your essential low waste products?

Share your thoughts :