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Sustainable Skincare: Being More Green in Your Routine

Developing a skincare routine is difficult as is, but finding products that are both good for you and good for the planet is a whole other challenge. Incorporating sustainability into our lives is both critical and less intimidating once you’ve done a bit of research. Keep in mind that implementing even the smallest swaps in your routine could make a big difference for the planet.

Reducing Your Package Waste

One of the easiest ways to shop sustainably is by reducing your package waste by shopping from bulk zero-waste stores that let you reuse old containers. However, many of these stores aren’t available to everyone, so researching your area to find out if there is one nearby is worth your time. Online outlets offering a sort of “package-exchange” program, where you return empty containers after their use, is another way to reduce physical waste from your skincare routine. Some brands, like Lush, even offer incentives to return empty containers. You could even try repurposing empty containers for use around your home rather than sending them to the landfill.

Swapping out products that need containers for package-free skincare is another great way to reduce waste in your skincare routine. To find package-free alternatives, try reading the active ingredients in your current products and search for sustainable products containing these ingredients so you can maximize your skincare benefits and make an eco-conscious swap.

Sustainably Sourced Ingredients

Reducing waste produced by the beauty industry is crucial, but harmful environmental effects from ingredient production are highly prevalent. Parabens, for example, are a common ingredient in skincare products that have a devastating environmental effect. Specifically, their accumulation in waterways has been associated with damage to aquatic ecosystems. 

Also, palm oil is an ingredient commonly found in beauty products, but its use is disastrous for the environment. The palm oil industry has promoted the deforestation of thousands of acres of forest and the destruction of delicate ecosystems. Opting for products that do not include palm oil is another simple way to incorporate sustainability into your skincare routine.

Shop Ethical Brands

Shopping brands that support ethical practices and sustainable sourcing of ingredients is a good way to incorporate sustainability into your beauty routine. Finding these brands can be difficult without extra support, but there are plenty of resources for sustainable skincare newbies. Using an app, like EWG Healthy Living or CosmEthics, that rates a product’s environmental effects and ethical practices can help you make informed choices about your skincare and beauty.

Incorporating sustainability into your skincare routine takes only a few simple steps. Remember, the environment benefits exponentially from many people practicing sustainability, even imperfectly. Doing your best to make conscious choices and promote environmentally friendly practices can make a big difference in the long run.

Alli Kane

Northwestern '24

Alli is a Sophomore at Northwestern University studying Neuroscience and Global Health. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends, working out, and exploring the Chicago food scene.
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