15 Tips for the Most Sustainable Makeup Routine

girls using makeup
  • Nov 4, 2019

The global cosmetics industry takes a serious toll on the environment. Every year, the industry produces more than 120 billion units of packaging—the majority of which end up in our landfills and oceans. Here are 15 ways you can make your makeup routine as sustainable as possible:

1. Clean your brushes regularly to make them last longer, and don’t throw out your tools before you really need to.

2. Don’t buy more tools or makeup than you need. Think about if you really need that 12-pack of brushes or the 24-shade eyeshadow palette.

3. Buy makeup without glitter or SPF, which are both harmful to our oceans.

4. Look for products made without palm oil, which contributes to deforestation.

5. Choose products with refillable or recyclable containers that won’t end up in a landfill after just a few months.

6. Use a washable makeup removing cloth or reusable rounds instead of disposable wipes or cotton balls. 

7. Use biodegradable or compostable wipes (but make sure to properly dispose of them).

8. Make your own makeup! Check out our Pinterest for simple DIY makeup recipes.

9. Choose reusable lashes to minimize waste.

10. Buy brushes made with sustainable bamboo wood rather than plastic.

11. Choose brands with recycling solutions for their products, such as recycling empty containers in-store or through TerraCycle.

12. Choose products packaged in aluminum rather than plastic. Aluminum is 100% recyclable and can be reprocessed repeatedly.

13. Be wary of products labeled “natural,” “clean,” or “organic.” While these terms may sound “green,” these products are not necessarily eco-friendly or sustainable. 

14. Be mindful of the non-recyclable components of your products, including lip gloss applicators, mascara wands, pumps, mirrors, and magnets.

15. Choose sustainable makeup brands! Here are ten eco-friendly makeup brands that will make you feel good about your purchase:

  • Alima Pure has been 100% carbon neutral for 10 years, and they donate 1% of annual revenue to environmental organizations. They also have refillable foundation, concealer, and eyeshadow compacts.

  • Antonym makes their brushes, compacts, and palettes with sustainable bamboo rather than plastic, and all of their products are Ecocert-certified.

  • Axiology has recyclable and compostable packaging made from recycled paper in Bali, as well as recyclable aluminum lipstick tubes.

  • Burt’s Bees has donated more than $3.5 million to support honeybees. Their operations are carbon neutral with zero landfill waste, and their products are recyclable through TerraCycle.

  • Elate sells flawed bamboo palettes at a discount to reduce waste. Their packaging is 75% waste free, and every refill comes in seed paper.

  • Kjaer Weis has compacts, mascara, and lipstick that are all easily refillable to reduce waste. Their compacts are made with recyclable metal rather than plastic.

  • Juice Beauty owns a farm in California where they grow their own organic ingredients such as grapes, apples, olives, roses, aloe, and lavender.

  • Origins has planted more than one million trees and has a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2020. They offset 100% of the electricity they use and recycle makeup containers from any brand (more than 17,000 pounds recycled so far).

  • Vapour has a goal of powering its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2022. 97% of their products are formulated without water. They partner with TerraCycle to recycle empty containers.

  • 100% Pure donates one tree for every order to Trees for the Future (more than 260,000 so far). Their office is powered 100% from their solar panels. Their products all have plant-based formulas and are fully biodegradable.

While all of these tips and brands can help you reduce the impact of your makeup routine, one of the best ways you can help the environment is to make the switch to clean energy. Our planet deserves to look as beautiful as you! 

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