By Lottie Jackson, Journalist, beauty nerd and diversity activist.
From high-shine vinyl lips to Euphoria-inspired sequin lashes, there’s been an influx of shiny new beauty trends for 2020. But, undoubtedly, conscious beauty remains the leading trend. If you’re swayed by the fact that more and more beauty enthusiasts are eschewing their old habits to join the clean beauty movement, now is the time to hit refresh. From organic ingredients to cruelty-free makeup tools, there’s an array of eco-friendly alternatives to explore. Here are five key areas to transform your existing beauty routine...
Go plastic free
Right now, plastic is the bête noire of the cosmetics industry. But adopting an entirely plastic-free beauty regime still feels like an impossible endeavor. Haircare products in particular generate shameful amounts of waste plastic—with shampoo and conditioner accounting for about 80 billion bottles per year, it’s streaming into our oceans at an alarming rate. When you consider that the average bottle of shampoo is made up of 80% water, surely there’s a better way to formulate these products. Shampoo and conditioner bars aim to tackle this problem by delivering concentrated ingredients into a (plastic-free) bar of product. Not only are they incredibly easy to apply — swiping the solid bar down the lengths of your tresses takes mere seconds — but the highly-concentrated ingredients are placed in direct contact with your hair to give a salon quality finish.
Cotton pads aren’t something we pay much attention to when powering through our skincare routine each day. But considering that cotton is one of the most environmentally demanding fibres — producing a simple white t-shirt requires the same amount of water that one person would drink in three years — throwing away cotton pads without thinking should be enough to fuel anyone’s eco-anxiety. Instead, opt for reusable cotton cleansing pads which you can slip into your washing load after use and have on repeat. Likewise, a natural muslin cleansing cloth will reduce your need for disposable cotton pads, or why not just use a good old-fashioned flannel? If you can’t move to entirely reusable alternatives, ensure you are buying organic cotton pads that are easily identified by the Soil Association logo.
Swap to cruelty-free brushes
When you’re next shopping around for a new makeup brush, try to avoid so-called “natural” brushes which are derived from animal hair and a product of the fur trade. Although synthetic brushes have a bad rap, these cruelty-free alternatives have become far more sophisticated over the past few years. The majority of makeup artists actually prefer synthetic brushes as they’re less likely to shed and trigger allergic reactions. They are also much easier to clean and, therefore less likely to harbor bacteria.
Give natural deodorant a try
For years we’ve known that the compressed gases in aerosols have a harmful impact on CO2 emissions. But with very few eco-friendly deodorants on the market, the alternative of ‘going naked’ has been unthinkable. Now there are hundreds of natural deodorant brands popping up — they work by neutralizing the bacteria on your body rather than blocking sweat glands, and keep you smelling fresh with naturally-derived ingredients like mint, lemon or cedarwood. What’s more, the aluminium-free formulation of these products is reputed to be better for your body than traditional spray-on deodorants.
Natural ingredients, always
There’s a huge amount of jargon in the beauty industry, which means it’s easy to be misled by greenwashing and false promises. What does ‘clean’ or ‘natural’ beauty really mean? It’s not uncommon to buy into a product thinking it’s eco-friendly, only to have a moment of stark realization that it’s, well, not.
Buying into a beauty brand you trust is the simplest way to ensure your skincare contains only the best natural ingredients. At woods, every product is formulated with a “less is more” approach that’s reliant on only powerful ingredients harvested from raw nature. Take for instance, the Cloudberry Seed in the Woods Vitamin Face Oil
. This potent Nordic berry is packed with nurturing antioxidants that help protect the skin, while its essential fatty acids help the skin to retain a healthy glow. If you still haven’t joined the eco-friendly beauty movement, now is the time to strip back your skincare regime and start afresh — and Woods’s range of organic skincare is the perfect place to start.