sustainable beauty

Sustainable Beauty: 8 Simple Swaps for Plastic Beauty Products

Climate change is real, and what we do and how we live our lives can make a difference. Of course, big changes make a huge impact, but small steps help as well. One method of going green is to have a sustainable beauty routine. In other words, using sustainable beauty and personal care products, or making those green choices when purchasing your favorite items.

There are sustainable beauty brands out there, but if you’ve got a favorite that you currently use, then you can still do so while making some of these changes.

This guest post is all about some key swaps you can make during your routine. See if any of these are possible for you! And remember, even the little things count!


Trying to live more sustainably? Cutting plastic waste from your beauty routine is a great place to start. After all, plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and the beauty industry is a big contributor to the problem. Many of our go-to beauty essentials — from shampoo to deodorant to skin care products — come swathed in plastic, which eventually ends up in landfills or the natural environment.

Thankfully, many companies are trying to change this by offering a range of low-waste products that are designed to minimize potential harm to the environment. Want to do your part? Below, here are eight simple sustainable beauty swaps that will set you on the path for plastic-free living.

8 Sustainable Beauty Swaps

1 – Swap Disposable Cotton Pads For Reusable Cotton Rounds

If you use micellar water of any kind of toner, you probably throw away hundreds of cotton pads each year. But did you know that many cotton pads sold today are made of synthetic fibers? In other words, they’re basically single-use plastic. Plus, they almost always come wrapped in plastic.

Do the planet and your wallet a favor by picking up a set of reusable cotton rounds that you can reuse hundreds of times over before finally composting them. And, if possible, try to buy your reusable cotton rounds from a company that uses 100 percent recyclable packaging.

2 – Use Bamboo Cotton Swabs Instead Of Plastic Ones

Last year, England took the momentous step to ban plastic cotton swabs, among other single-use plastics. Although the United States has yet to follow suit, there’s nothing stopping you from kicking plastic cotton swabs to the curb. Be sure to use up your remaining supply before replacing them with bamboo cotton swabs. Bamboo is easy to grow and doesn’t require much water, making it a highly sustainable plant.

Another benefit: Bamboo cotton swabs look so much better on your vanity compared to the pink and blue plastic ones.

3 – Consider Zero Waste Deodorant

Ditch your plastic deodorant and use a zero-waste deodorant instead. Yes, plastic-free deodorants can be harder to find in your local drug store than traditional deodorants, but they can easily be found online. Plastic-free deodorants usually fall into the “natural deodorant” category as well, so they’re more likely to contain ingredients that are good for you and the environment.

4 – Try A Shampoo Bar

Think your shampoo has to come in a plastic bottle? Think again. As our plastic crisis continues to grow, more and more people are making the switch to shampoo bars to clean their hair without unnecessary plastic packaging. Shampoo bars come in solid bar form and are often packed with nourishing, plant-based ingredients that leave hair soft, clean, and healthy without harming the planet. Really, what’s not to love?

While you’re at it, pick up a hydrating conditioner bar to nourish dehydrated strands. They’ll make your hair care routine easier and more sustainable than ever!

5 – Replace Plastic Razors With A Sustainable Safety Razor

It’s no secret that plastic razors are incredibly wasteful. Not only are plastic razors difficult to recycle, but they’re usually tossed in the trash after only a few uses. Plus, most disposable razors come packaged in a plastic shell.

Switching to a safety razor with recyclable blades is a much better option, both for your wallet and the planet. Besides being more eco-friendly, safety razors can give you a gentler, pain-free shave.

6 – Treat Your Skin To A Sustainable Face Serum

Love what face serums can do for your skin? Lucky for you, many serums on the market come in dark brown bottles that are made of glass. The reason why serums are often housed in dark bottles is to protect the formula inside from light and oxygen degradation.

However, not all serums come in recyclable glass bottles. If you’re still using a serum that comes in a plastic bottle, consider switching to a nourishing face serum that is more sustainable. If you absolutely love your face serum and are unwilling to give it up, try contacting the company and letting them know that you’d love to see plastic-free options in the future.

7 – Switch To Reusable Period Products

Disposable pads and tampons are full of plastic and nasty ingredients that could be harmful to you and the planet. Tampons often contain plastic and other synthetic materials such as glue, dioxins, and petrochemical additives. Pads and tampons may also contain nonorganic cotton and rayon, which have been known to contain pesticides and herbicides.

Fortunately, the options for reusable period products have grown exponentially. From period panties to silicone menstrual cups, there are now plenty of ways to have a plastic-free period.

8 – Use A Bamboo Toothbrush

sustainable beauty bamboo toothbrushes
Source: The Earthling Co.

According to National Geographic, one billion plastic toothbrushes are used and tossed in the trash each year in the United States. While most toothbrushes end up in landfills, many of them make their way into our waterways and oceans, where marine life mistakes them for food and ingests them.

We all know that good dental hygiene is important, but it doesn’t need to come at the expense of the planet. Using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic toothbrush is one of the easiest zero-waste swaps a person can make. Want to go completely plastic-free with your dental care? Use silk dental floss instead of plastic-packaged dental floss.

Plastic-Free Beauty Is Better For Everyone

Cutting out plastic and creating a sustainable beauty routine can be a daunting process. Just remember that you don’t need to make all these swaps at once! Start by making one or two changes and slowly work your way up to a waste-free beauty routine. You got this!


Benefits of Going Green

Aside from the fact that it’s good for the environment, going green even in one part of your life can have an affect on your health.

Many ingredients used in beauty products, lotions, cosmetics, fragrances etc, contain chemicals and carcinogens and certain dyes can lead to allergic reactions. Changing even one product to a non toxic alternative can reduce your exposure and provide you with health benefits.

In addition, sometimes products natural ingredients are less expensive and last longer, don’t smell funny and are likely more compatible with different skin and hair types.

Final Thoughts

Sustainable beauty means using sustainable beauty products or sustainable beauty brands; in other words reducing plastic use, waste, and your carbon footprint. While these steps listed above are just the tip of the iceberg, sometimes it takes small steps before making big changes. Plus, when you start to research the products, you realize how bad they can really be.

You can start your research by looking at how beauty products are sourced and which ingredients are used. Many beauty companies are shifting towards a green mission and openly advertise that their products are not tested on animals, that organic ingredients are used and sustainably sourced. Do your due diligence to see what the industry trends are and what also works for you and your lifestyle.

Going green is a commitment. The best way to stick to it is by arming yourself with information and trying different things. You don’t want these changes to be a one time thing!