4 MIN READ
Why are personal care swaps so important to a more sustainable routine? According to the Environmental Working Group, women use 12 personal care products each day on average (and I personally use more for sure). Not only does the number of products we use generate waste, but also how frequently we use them and how long those products last. Before we get into the swaps, let’s define what is considered a personal care product.
According to the FD&C Act ‘cosmetics’ is a term to describe any product that is “intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.” Because personal care is such a large category that includes both makeup and skincare products, we want to first recognize ‘toiletries-esque’ personal care product swaps that are easy to adopt and use going forward. P.S: Stay tuned for a separate blog post specifically for sustainable makeup and skincare swaps!
Deodorant is one of those personal care products that many people have already made the conscious effort to swap for cleaner alternatives, however; finding a deodorant that is sustainably packaged is a bit more difficult. One of our favorite options for a refillable deodorant is from Myro, which allows you to get personal by picking a refill case color, a scent, and a refill frequency. Another great option is PiperWai, which is packaged in OWP (ocean-waste planet) and makes a great case for cleaning up our oceans while shopping for a clean deodorant.
Traditional cotton balls in (addition to not being reusable) actually contain plastic! Yup. Not only that, producing cotton uses large amounts of water while using pesticides that can deplete into our environment over time. One easy swap is switching to reusable bamboo and/or cotton rounds which is a way to reduce the amount of cotton (and plastic) ending up in a landfill. Cocokind makes some super cute ones.
You will typically find dental floss packaged in tiny plastic containers which are near impossible to dispose of sustainably, because they also contain metal pieces + labels that aren’t recyclable. Upgrading to refillable formats like one from Quip is one way to reduce waste. Cocofloss also creates refillable floss with many flavor options if you’re looking for more choices!
There is no doubt our hand hygiene has become a large priority in our everyday lives since the pandemic, which means greater demand for hand soap. Refills are readily available, however most mainstream cleaning brands use plastic bags that combine soft and hard plastic packaging for their refill solution. Soapply not only sustainably ships their refills in glass, but offers clean, waterless formulas that are beautifully stored in glass containers as well! Not to mention their hand soap is so moisturizing you can wash your hands 100 times a day without developing dry skin, eliminating the need for a hand lotion.
A traditional liquid shampoo uses water as its main ingredient, taking up 80% of the formula on average. Water conveniently adds more product volume, reducing cost of the overall formula. This, however, results in more packaging to house the product and dilutes the other ingredients in the shampoo. At Susteau we created a concentrated, powder-to-lather shampoo that doesn’t compromise on quality. Moondust Hair Wash is also packaged in over 95% ocean-bound plastic and one of our bottles is the equivalent of 4 bottles of conventional 8 oz liquid shampoo. You can learn more about waterless beauty here in a recent blog post.
As always, the first sustainable choice you can make is to reduce consumption by using what you already have. Then, refill/repurpose your empty packaging, and finally recycle.
Image Source: Paul Milinski https://www.paulmilinski.co/
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