Nix Plastic from your Beauty Routine

This week, it seems like everyone’s talking about plastic.  I wrote about the impossible task of cutting plastic out of your life over at EarthFirst.com, and it really got me thinking about the areas of my life where I could still improve.  Why cut back on plastic?  To be as brief as possible, it often contains toxic substances (BPA and pthalates), is usually made from petroleum and pollutes the earth and our oceans.  One thing I realized is for many of us, our personal care products and cosmetics are some of the biggest culprits of plastic consumption.  Here are a few ways we can all reduce plastic use in our beauty routines.

Use bar soap and solid shampoo.  Body wash and bottled shampoo nearly always come in plastic bottles.  Companies like Lush, Burt’s Bees, Herbaria and Oyin Handmade offer shampoo bars in various scents and formulations that will leave your hair looking just as gorgeous as any bottled shampoo could.  Plus, they’re usually wrapped in recycled paper.

Buy in bulk when you can, and fill up reusable glass or ceramic containers.  If you’re not crazy about bar soaps, give castile soap a try – many health food stores have large gallon-size bottles meant for refills.  Check out your local natural foods store; they might have more of a selection of refills than you’d expect. You’ll save money and packaging at the same time.

Look for multi-use products, like this Kiss My Face pigment that functions as lip color, blush and eyeshadow all in one.  It comes in a plastic container, but at least it will only be one plastic container instead of three.  Aveda also offers powdered foundation cakes with no plastic to be seen – it’s meant as a compact refill, but works perfectly fine on its own. Or, if you’re the brave and naturally beautiful sort, you could forgo makeup all together!

And of course, eco chicks always refuse senseless plastic junk like the Neutrogena Wave Power Cleanser.  And when you do have to buy items that have plastic packaging, at least try to go for brands that use recycled plastic.  Check the label before you buy.

Now I’m wondering, where are our reusable razors with flax handles? Why aren’t cosmetics packaged with biodegradable materials? Get on it, manufacturers – there’s a huge market out there!

Stephanie Rogers is a fashion- and beauty-obsessed freelance writer with an abiding love for kale and organic wine, living in Asheville, North Carolina.