Starting a Zero Waste Skin Care Routine
For whatever reason, when it comes to most things in life, including skin care, we tend to think more is better. I was guilty of this for many years constantly buying the next best thing to stop breakouts or just buying a new product because I loved the scent – without ever finishing the products I already had. In fact, this was just one of the many skincare mistakes I made early on. It’s not surprising many of us are looking to start a zero waste skin care routine.
It can be really hard to shake off this mindset of more is always better.
From fast fashion to a seasonal makeup palette to ever-improving electronics, it’s all too easy to catch shiny object syndrome. In regards to your skin, are you guilty of having too many products in your skin care routine? Or do you hop from one new product to the next?
If you said, “YES” to one of the above, you aren’t doing your skin, your budget, or our planet any favors. Changing up your skin care routine too often or applying too many products certainly makes it hard to tell what is working and what’s not. And buying so many products is not only costly but wasteful. How many unfinished plastic bottles of skin care have you added to landfills?
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How do you go zero waste with your skincare routine?
A zero waste skin care routine starts by becoming BFFs with your skin. When I finally stopped fighting my skin and started listening to it (paying attention to what it needed) my breakouts were far and few between. Learning my skin type made this step so much easier. Want to know your skin type? Take this Skin Type Quiz!
Do you have normal, dry, mature, oily, or combination skin? Take our Skin Type Quiz now to discover yours!
The next part involved simplifying the steps of my daily skin care routine at home. I’ve gotten my nightly skin care routine down to just 4 minimal, yet impactful steps. The impactfulness came from choosing the best natural ingredients for my skin type.
Then I used what I learned to make my own plastic free skin care products. We all know the skincare industry is constantly churning out difficult and even impossible to recycle products that get tossed into landfills every single day. And skin care tools are a large portion of this. Take, for example, common disposable tools such as makeup wipes and cotton rounds that create lots of unnecessary waste!
Thankfully, I broke the “more is better” mindset by creating a DIY zero waste skincare routine. And I’m going to show you how I did it with natural and plastic free skin care tools and products.
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How to Create a DIY Zero Waste Skin Care Routine: Natural and Plastic Free
How to Make a Plastic Free Face Wash
Rather you wear makeup or not your face needs a refresh every night! Make a cleansing DIY face wash with gentle liquid castile soap, balancing jojoba oil, and aloe vera. Pour into a glass reusable bottle with a pump for an incredible zero waste swap!
How to Replace Makeup Wipes
When you’re tired reach for a reusable makeup eraser instead of disposable makeup wipes. It removes makeup without face wash – all you need is warm water. A makeup eraser can remove lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, and waterproof mascara.
This zero skin care tool has been so popular – the Grove Collaborative a B certified corp designed their own makeup remover towel! Buy one for your zero waste skin care routine and get a free clean beauty kit on me with your first order here.
How to Replace Your Face Scrub
1. Use a Simple Clay Mask
There are two ways I replaced plastic tubes and pots of face scrub in my daily skin care routine at home. The first is making a simple clay mask. Clay happens to be one of the best natural ways to cleanse and purify the skin. It is particularly beneficial for balancing oil and eliminating blackheads and congested pores.
My personal go-to is French green clay, my daughter teases that I look like The Grinch when I have it on in a face mask. French green clay is perfect for my combination skin type, but you can use any clay to make this face mask.
Easy Clay Mask Recipe:
Mix one tablespoon of clay with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Using a small wooden spoon or face mask bowl and spatula blend together ingredients until a creamy mask forms.
Using clean hands or a beauty spatula apply to your face in a thin layer, avoiding the eye area. Leave this face mask on for fifteen minutes. Then gently rinse with warm water and a washcloth before pat drying.
2. Use the Konjac Sponge Method
Made from the root of the konjac plant this natural skin care tool is a great addition to any zero waste skin care routine. A Konjac sponge is hard when dry but softens to a gentle, pillow-like sponge when wet. When the konjac plant is combined with other natural ingredients such as pink Kaolin clay, activated charcoal, or green tea it becomes possibly the best exfoliator for all skin types!
Learn more about the Konjac sponge and which is best for your skin type here.
How to Make a Zero Waste Toner
1. Ditch this Plastic Bottle with a Homemade Toner
Homemade facial toner is one of the simplest and inexpensive zero beauty recipes you can make! In fact, you can even make it with a homemade hydrosol. What exactly does a face toner do? Its job is to remove excess dirt, traces of oil, and makeup, in addition to rebalancing the skin’s natural pH and bringing back some moisture after cleansing.
2. Swap to Reusable Bamboo Cotton Rounds
And when you use this zero waste toner with a reusable bamboo cotton round you’ll really make headway going zero waste! Think of the hundreds, if not, thousands of cotton rounds you won’t be adding to landfills… buy a pack of eco-friendly rounds or make DIY reusable cotton rounds.
How to Replace Face Serums
Yes, as my grandmother says, “You can have your pie and eat it too!”. DIY face serums can be made at home as well and stored in reusable containers for plastic free skin care alternatives. Make an all-in-one glow serum to hydrate and moisturize (I share the recipe in my summer skin care routine). Or make a tightening under eye cream to combat puffy eyes and tighten skin.
How to Replace Your Moisturizer
As the final step in your zero waste skin care routine apply DIY face cream to help seal in any serums you applied. It’s best used a night to deeply hydrate and repair skin while you sleep. Created with a base of superfood for your skin, I know you’ll love this zero waste DIY too!
Other Ways to Go Zero Waste in Your Daily Skin Care Routine at Home
I’ve found a few other tips and techniques to be helpful when starting a zero waste skin care routine, so let me highlight each for you here:
- Do your best to only buy natural skin care tools such as those made with natural, recycled, or biodegradable materials. This alone helps cut down on waste. Here’s a look at each skin care tool I use.
- Don’t wash your face in the morning. It’s really not necessary. However, allowing makeup to be the first you apply to your skin each day is not a great idea either. I recommend a quick swipe of face toner for oily or combination skin types. Or a spritz of a face mist for all other skin types.
- Keep your skin care products in a cool, dark place to prolong their shelf life.
- Don’t over-exfoliate your skin. Twice a week is plenty for all skin types. By not over-exfoliating, you give your skin enough time to recover while reducing your product usage.
- Make sure you’re applying the right amount of a skin care product. Use this guide to find the exact amount for each type.
- Spend money on the right skin care products and tools. It is much wiser to spend more money on things that you can reuse or refill than it is on disposables.
- Skip the spa and create a spa-like experience in your own home with a DIY face steam. You can cut out the use of fuel to travel and skip all the one-time use products used at the spa.
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Start breaking the “more is better” mindset today with this DIY zero waste skin care routine. Rather you begin by reducing the amount of products used or go all-in and create your own plastic skin care too, know you are making a difference for all of us!
Did I leave anything out? I’d love to hear what you include in your zero waste skin care routine. Let me know in the comments or tag #lifenreflection on Instagram to share yours! And don’t forget to PIN these ways to go zero waste in your daily skin care routine at home.