A greener routine doesn’t have to mean swapping out all of your favourite products.
Recycling your old clothes can be as easy as reselling them online, gifting to a friend or dropping them off at your nearest charity shop. When it comes to cosmetics, it's not that easy. While unused products can be recycled the same way your old clothes can, used and finished products are much harder to dispose of in a sustainable way meaning more times than not, that foundation you bought before swatching on your wrist ends up in a landfill.
More than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the 1950s and roughly 60 per cent of that has ended up in either landfills or the natural environment. Only recently, the UN predicted that the amount of plastic in our oceans will soon outweigh the fish.
According to Zero Waste Week, the beauty industry is responsible for producing more than 120 billion units of packaging which were mostly non-recyclable.
With those alarming statistics in mind, there are ways to prevent your beauty products from ending up in the ocean or landfills. As all eco-warriors will know, the first step is checking the product's packaging before you buy but should you have any existing products you've been contemplating chucking in the bin, take them to your local recycling program - even if the lid is the only part that is recyclable.
Below are just a few more ways to make your beauty routine that bit greener.
When you find your signature scent, you tend to buy bottle after bottle. With that in mind, Le Labo offers a 20 per cent discount on refills at selected locations when you bring in your used bottle.
Thé Noir 29, €155, Le Labo
Hourglass is cruelty-free, they donate one per cent of all profits to the Nonhuman Rights Project and they offer sleek gold lipstick tubes that are refillable in over 30 shades.
Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick, €35, Hourglass @ Arnotts
L'Occitane now offers a selection of your favourite products in an eco-friendly refill format. Using 90% less plastic than their other products, each pouch offers 500ml of your favourite gel or lotion enabling you to refill and not rebuy.
Shea Buttler Lavender Liquid Soap, €16, L'Occitane
Sculpted by Aimee Conolly
No matter how wearable each shade in a palette may be, there will always be one that hits pan ahead of the rest. When that happens, you bin that palette with plenty of product to only go out and buy the entire palette again - not anymore. Sculpted by Aimee Conolly offers a refillable palette. Choose your own pans, fill as you please - it's that simple.
Royal Rose Palette, €41, Sculpted by Aimee Conolly
Without any plastic to speak of and up to 80 washes per bar, a shampoo bar from Lush is the perfect eco-switch. Like all Lush products, there are endless varieties, a full transparency on ingredients and when your bar gets too small to use, simply buy a second bar, wet both and stick together. Zero waste.
Solid Shampoo, €9.95, Lush
The Skin Nerd
There are many reasons why you shouldn't be using face wipes - and saving the planet is one of them. The Cleanse Off Mitt quickly removes all makeup naturally with just water, no cleanser needed. Once your makeup is removed, pop in the wash and use time and time again.
Cleanse Off Mitt, €5.95, The Skin Nerd
In keeping with their conscious fashion label, H&M are bringing sustainable beauty to the high street. With each product in their conscious beauty range being all Ecocert-approved with organic certification, the one hero product is the natural deodorant. Aluminium free deodorants are renowned for not only being better for the environment but they last longer too.
Gentle Deodorant, €6.25, H&M
A general rule with makeup sponges is to throw them out every 6 months and given the fact they're not recyclable, this is a problem. A great alternative to makeup sponges is reusable silicone makeup applicators from Topshop. Not only do you not have to throw them away, ever but they also don't absorb half as much product. No more wasted makeup sponges, no more wasted product.
Silicone Sponge Blender, €7, Topshop
A greener routine doesn’t have to mean swapping out all of your favourite products. MAC Cosmetics offers a full-sized lipstick of your choice when you return six empty full-sized containers, so feel free to stock up on Ruby Woo guilt-free.
Retro Matte Lipstick in shade Ruby Woo, €20, MAC
In honour of Earth Day, Kiehl's have introduced a recycling scheme to their stores. In exchange for your empty bottles, tubes and jars, Kiehl's will dispense your products and reward you with free products through a loyalty card scheme.
Ultra Facial Cream, €29, Kiehl's
Instead of dumping your unrecyclable beauty products in the bin, bring those mixed materials like bottles with pumps and lipstick containers to your nearest Origins. They also make efforts to ship and package their products using recycled materials.
Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Face Mask, €48.50, Dr Andrew Weil for Origins
Garnier has partnered with TerraCycle to create a recycling program that allows people to send back their empties including shampoo caps, conditioner caps, hair gel tubes and caps and hair spray - with free shipping.
Micellar Cleansing Water, €7.69, Garnier @ Boots
Main Image by Melissa Westbrook