Keeping Your Makeup Routine Eco-Friendly

Maintaining an eco-friendly makeup routine is one of the best ways to help the planet. The beauty industry relies heavily on plastic and as we all know, much plastic isn’t biodegradable and therefore, ends up in our planet’s oceans and causes serious problems for marine life.

Zero Waste Week, a campaign dedicated to demonstrating the means and methods for reducing waste, states that over 120 billion units of packaging by the cosmetics industry each year. Here are some ways to keep your makeup routine eco-friendly.

1. Minimize the number of products you use.

One of the most obvious ways to cut back on your impact with makeup products is to minimize the amount of products you use. Instead of having multiple foundations, concealers, and other makeup products, limit to one or two of each and if possible, use the full product before tossing it in the trash. Developing a minimalist routine is simple and doesn’t just help the planet but also saves you time.

2. Invest in low-waste cosmetics.

Often, it can appear that low-waste or sustainable brands compromise on quality, but with more recognition of the impact of beauty industry packaging, more brands are making moves towards more eco-friendly packaging. For example, Charlotte Libby has launched XO Balm, to limit the amount of waste coming out of the beauty industry.

3. Ditch your makeup wipes.

Instead of buying one-use makeup wipes or pads, opt for reusable, washable pads. Not only will this help cut back on your environmental impact but it will also save you money in the long run. It will also benefit your skin because they’re in a closed, damp area and will require many preservatives to keep bacteria at bay, which means you’re exposing your skin to harmful chemicals.

4. Recycle the containers.

Rather than tossing out your serum and moisturizer containers, recycle or reuse them. You can use those containers for DIY projects such as a new makeup brush holder or at the least wash them out and put them in the recycling bin. But pay close attention to the packaging because for the most part, plastic or glass bottles with the label printed on cannot be reused or recycled.

5. Repurpose mascara wands.

If you’re anything like me, you go through mascara like it’s going out of style. But the wands don’t have to be thrown out. After cleaning off the excess product, I use them as a brow brush. Or they can be donated to a foundation such as Wands for Wildlife, that are then used to save injured and orphaned animals.

6. Give away makeup you don’t like.

Instead of throwing away a foundation or concealer that doesn’t match your shade, give it away to a local women’s shelter. For example, Beauty Bus, located in Santa Monica, California, delivers support to terminally ill patients through beauty.


The beauty industry is a large contributor to our planet’s waste problem that is too often ignored. You can take these simple steps to make a more sustainable beauty routine that will likely save you money, benefit your skin, and benefit the Earth.


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