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Wednesday 12 February 2020

Keener to be a little greener and plastic free: The beauty edit

Over the past year I’ve become a lot more aware of how wasteful my habits can be on the environment so I’m taking steps to start being a little greener and more plastic free .The first area I’m looking to hit is beauty. Over the coming year I’m planning to hit other areas of my life such as, packaging, cleaning and more so watch this space but so far here are some of the changes I’ve implemented.

Cotton Pads

I’ve never been a fan of makeup removing wipes thankfully but I am a sucker for cotton pads. Slap on some micellar water, wipes away the day and then bin. It’s been my routine for over ten years but it occurred to me how wasteful and unnecessary disposable cotton pads are so I set about finding an alternative. Etsy has some amazing makers providing re-useable cotton pads and I picked up these beauties from Gilly Anna (the larger cotton pads in the photographs.)

They're washable and re-usable makeup pads are just as good if not better at removing makeup and cleansing your face. I’ve found they’ve slotted perfectly into my routine and have added benefits. I no longer run out of cotton pads- forgetting to add them to the shopping list was a regular occurrence! They have also saved me money. Yes it’s not a phenomenal amount but who wants to pay this kinda stuff anyway? My bathroom bin is also hardly used anymore which is great. Less waste and less having to empty bins- my least favourite chore.

After buying these beauties, my inner crafter kept wondering…could I make these myself? Well it turns out you can! If you are a crafter, I guarantee you have lots of scrap fabric or those fat quarters that you don’t know what to do with. They are perfect for making cotton pads! I picked up some brushed cotton from ebay for the side of the pad to wipe away your makeup and made a small mountain of cotton pads. Whilst half are in the wash, the others are ready and waiting to remove the day.

When it comes to making them they’re pretty simple. Cut the to the shape and size you like and sew them together. The one drawback? They can fray a little but if you have an overlocker- you’re fine. I personally don’t mind that mine have frayed. It doesn’t affect their use and I think they’re kinda cute.

Sanitary Pads

This one will be like marmite I know but with the rise in tampon tax, a “luxury” item for us ladies, I wanted to find an alternative. A lot of women rave about the moon cup but my preference was a pad. This option won’t be for everyone. I personally don’t have proper periods due to my contraceptive pill so for me this is perfect but I can’t comment on how effective this method would be for ladies with a heavy flow. Other alternative could be biodegradable tampons, moon cups and more which I have heard are much better for you than traditional sanitary products which can contain bleached materials!

The ones I have bought are from Gilly Anna’s Etsy shop again and have slotted into my lifestyle easily. They’re washable and in my opinion that’s not a gross thing. You think of the other bodily fluids that go through your washing machine. If you use re-usable nappies you’re putting sh*t through the wash, the same with snot covered garments, the list goes on… but don’t get me wrong I can see why people wouldn’t be overly keen on this option. My husband was pretty reluctant for me to go down this route but I’d rather re-use and reduce waste as well as saving a bit of money in the process.


I did a podcast episode on being greener with my mama and during the recording it dawned on me that plastic razors are bloody awful for the environment. It’s an obvious one but it just hadn’t occurred to me at that point! So what’s the alternative? I’ve gone old school and picked up a metal razor and disposable razor blades. The razor blades are incredibly sharp which yes is obvious but I can’t stress that enough. The first few uses I had some accidents and chunks out of my legs but now I’m used to it and incredibly careful, it’s all good. It shows just how crap the blades are in plastic disposable razors and I’ve found that the replacement blades for this razor last me a heck of a lot longer. Once I’m finished with them, they can be recycled- job done.

Shampoo and conditioner

Another chord that struck with me when recording the podcast was when my mum said she thinks about the amount of shampoo bottles she’s thrown away over the years that will still be in landfill now and I thought shit she’s right! That led me on to try going plastic free with my shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo has been an easy move for me as I already enjoyed the Lush Soak & Float for my sensitive scalp- it’s a bloody lifesaver as the cade oil it contains is known to help with eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. It smells good, its natural, helps to calm down my irritated scalp and it lasts forever- what more could you want from shampoo? It’s also fantastic for travelling. No longer will you worry about leakages in your suitcase and as it’s a solid it can go in hand luggage too. The conditioner was a tricky one…I’m still working out what works best for me but so far I’ve been using the Lush Jungle Solid Conditioner Bar. I have to mush it up a bit in my hands first to spread it through my mane which has taken some  getting used to but again its great for travelling and is packaging free.

So that’s where I’m at with my greener beauty regime. There are many other avenues to explore and I’m definitely not perfect. I’m still navigating my way on this journey but I think next will be perfume companies that re-fill your bottles to reduce waste and make-up brands with recyclable packaging/ plastic free packaging. If you have any recommendations and tips of your own I’d love to hear them in the comments!

What are your views on being greener? Would you change out any of your products for the ones I’ve featured in this post?

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