How To Minimize Waste In Skincare & Makeup Routines

There’s has been a lot of talk abut the environment recently. I’m not going to go into the various environmental challenges that we’re currently facing, but rather focus on ways to minimize waste in your skincare and makeup routines. Regardless of how you feel about the environment or climate change, reducing our waste is something we can all benefit from. An easy place to start are your skincare and makeup routines. There are little changes you can make here and there that will allow you to be friendlier to the environment.

I’ve personally been trying to put all of these into practice for over six months now. At the beginning, it was definitely not easy, but it’s okay. Every time that you try to be better, it counts. It matters.

how to minimize waste skincare and makeup routines

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Use Reusable Washcloths vs Makeup Wipes

The first thing you can do to minimize waste in your skincare & makeup routines is stop buying makeup wipes. Anything that is single-use is wasteful. Plus makeup wipes aren’t great for your skin and you shouldn’t be using them as a cleanser. During a trip to Walmart I picked up a bunch of small washcloths. A little over 14. I use these whenever I cleanse my face with a balm and a liquid cleanser. Also, if I need to wipe makeup from my hands or arms after doing swatches.

reusable washcloths for makeup removal

The reason I got so many is so that they would last at least two weeks which is around the time I do laundry. Washcloths are really affordable and you can get them pretty much everywhere. You also have the option of going a more luxury route and get extremely soft washcloths if that’s what you want. The options are endless. Some of the ones I have are baby washcloths and they’re so cute and soft.

Replace Cotton Rounds With Reusable Pads

Personally, I only use cotton rounds to apply skincare products like toner. Very rarely do I use cotton rounds to remove my makeup with something like micellar water. Even with my limited use of cotton rounds, they were still causing a lot of waste in my household and I decided to change that. I looked into reusable pads on Amazon and decided to try two different brands. Ones are actually nursing pads while the others are for makeup removing purposes.

reusable cotton rounds to apply skincare products and remove makeup

The good thing about this is that there are so many options available out there. It’s also something I am not too picky about as I just need it to apply a toner, or serum to my skin. Perhaps the only con is that these might absorb a little more product than a cotton round, but to me that is not a big issue. They can be washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer. Super easy!

Online Shopping vs In-Person Shopping

This one is a hard for me as I personally hate going to stores and doing my shopping in person. But, the reality is that online shopping is responsible for a huge carbon footprint. From all the transportation that takes place to the extra packaging used to make sure your product made it safe and sound. While I realize this might not always be possible as the store you’re wanting something from might not be available in your town, you might have some disability that prevents you from going to the store, or so many other reasons. If possible, choosing in-person shopping will help you minimize waste in your skincare & makeup routines.

In addition, when you go in-person you can really get an idea about the product you’re purchasing. If it is a product you’ve never used or tried, and you’re just basing your purchase on reviews or photos, it might not work out. I see so many people reviewing foundations and saying how they chose the wrong shade online and are going to have to return it. The products you return, even if minimally used or not used at all, immediately become waste. Sephora doesn’t return them to the shelves. They don’t get sold anywhere. They become waste. This leads us to our next point.

Make Responsible Buying Decisions

It is easy to be scrolling on your phone, seeing something you kind of like, using Apple Pay to quickly purchase it. When you receive it, it was like nothing you had in mind. You send it back. WASTE. It is completely fair to buy a product you’re excited about and actually think you’re going to get a lot of use of, but then it doesn’t work out. What I am referring to here are impulse buys. Or like mentioned previously, trying to guess your foundation shade online.

You have two unopened moisturizers. Do you really need a new one? Just because it is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Moreover, brands like to use the limited edition marketing to push consumers into buying products they probably don’t need. FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. If you don’t buy it now, you won’t be able to have it ever. Not cool brands. Not cool. In my opinion, if a product is Limited Edition, it just means it is not good enough to be part of the permanent collection.

Overall, there are little things you can start doing here and there to minimize your waste. No one says you have to do them all. Do what works for you, but try to be more conscious of what you’re doing, what you need, and what you don’t need.

What do you do to minimize waste in skincare & makeup?

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Holaa! My name is Maria, twenty-four, Colombian in Oregon, pursuing my Masters degree in Media Studies and using makeup as a procrastination tool. Join me as I learn more about makeup and share my thoughts with you!

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December 4, 2019
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