7 Tips for a More Sustainable Beauty Routine - HERBES FOLLES

7 Tips for a More Sustainable Beauty Routine

Creams, toners, oils, balms, shampoo, sunscreen, etc etc etc. There are many products that are part of our routine and I'm sure many of us don't live without those little minutes of self-care.

But what if we want to make our routine more sustainable? Many people may think that this is some kind of mission impossible or that they have to change all their habits radically and that this "takes a lot of work". But no, there are actually many ways to make our daily life more sustainable and with very simple gestures.

1. Chose products from eco-certified brands
Yes, it may seem like something basic and a "more of the same", but in fact many people end up not looking at product labels and trust the 2 or 3 promising phrases that are on the front of the packaging and take it without thinking much about it. However, this is a great start towards a sustainable and conscious routine. These products respect our environment, having in their composition only sustainable ingredients which respect the wildlife of their harvesting sites, and despite this, they still keep the commitment of non-animal exploitation, which is still a big wake-up call in the beauty world. When we choose products with the eco labels (such as Natrue, Ecocert amongst others) we contribute to the combat of these practices and a more sustainable world, and for sure there has never been so much choice and so many products with this origin.

2. Washable cottons
A big trend relatively recently on supermarket shelves is washable cottons, and not for nothing! Many people do not understand the advantages of using this alternative because after all cotton is cotton, how can using it pollute? Well, let's briefly explain: the first concern is the rubbish produced, if we stop to think about the amount of discs we use daily we reach an absurd number, now multiply this by one year and it is a frightening amount of rubbish produced by just one person, isn't it? However, besides the rubbish we still have another problem to consider, its production. Many people don't know, but the cotton industry is in fact quite pollutant, pesticides, chemical agents and absurd amounts of water are used daily to maintain these productions, and as we know all these factors contribute to the pollution of our environment, especially of our soils. Of course, this change can be strange in the first weeks and take some time to get used to its daily use, however the old saying of Fernando Pessoa has never made more sense, "first you find it strange, then you understand it".

3. Solid shampoo and conditioner:
Another product that has been very successful recently and has gained a special space in the bathroom and routine of many. Solid shampoo, conditioner and even masks, these little revolutionaries have sparked a huge curiosity and make a huge difference when it comes to cutting down on waste. But then why should we consider swapping our liquid shampoos we're used to for this format? Well, the first obvious answer is the extreme use of plastic packaging which is a big contributor to plastic waste worldwide, and we all know that already, but there are more differences worth talking about. A major difference of this format is its concentration of active agents, which is much higher than the liquid version. Liquid shampoos come previously diluted inside the bottles, and in most cases 80% of its composition is water. As the solid shampoo is a bar shampoo, it does not need water in its formula, so this dilution process happens during the washing of the hair in contact with the bath water. And all this water inside the bottles leads to another problem, the risk of growth of microorganisms in water, to which the manufacturing companies have found a solution, the inclusion of chemical components to prevent the growth of these microorganisms. Yes, you read that right, and besides the fact that these components can cause health risks they can also be responsible for several environmental problems due to the pollution they cause in sewage systems. As they do not have any concentration of water in their composition, shampoos and conditioners tend to last much longer when compared to the liquid versions.
Liquid shampoos come previously diluted inside the bottles, and in most cases 80% of its composition is water. As the solid shampoo is in bar form it does not need water in its formula, so this dilution process happens during the washing of the hair in contact with the bath water. As they do not have any concentration of water in their composition, shampoos and conditioners tend to last much longer when compared to the liquid versions.
This product is a very interesting option in many ways and many have already become fans of this alternative to the traditional ones and if you are considering a more sustainable beauty routine they are a great way to start.

4. Reusable cotton buds
This alternative may already be scaring some people away but calm down, let's talk a little bit about what reusable cotton buds really are and why they are so important.
Q-tips, like cotton pads, are some of the most polluting materials used in everyday routines. In addition to being used for cleaning, cotton swabs are also very famous for their help with make-up, a touch-up here, another one there and you've already had 3 or 4 swabs. And you may be thinking, why can't I use wooden, bamboo or paper ones? Although these materials are less polluting than plastic, it doesn't mean they don't pollute. Millions of cotton buds are discarded every day having the oceans as their final destination, so why not minimize these absurd quantities and opt for a sustainable alternative? And if some are still scared of using them more than once, know that all it takes is a little bit of water and soap and they are ready to be used as good as new.

5. Loofah:
The so famous exfoliating sponges that are doing the rounds. We all like the sensation of freshly exfoliated skin, but we must be very careful when choosing a scrub, because many of them contain plastic particles in their composition, yes, plastic. If you have never wondered what the microparticles of exfoliators are made of, or also called "sand" or "balls", many of them are made of plastic. And when you exfoliate your skin with this type of product these microparticles fall down the drains and end up most of the time in the oceans. This results in a great chain of toxicity, because many fish eat or absorb these particles causing them a series of health problems and in case they are caught and consumed, the person who ingests this fish will end up ingesting these plastic particles as well. So what is so innovative about our Vegetable Oil Sponge? In addition to replacing plastic sponges that are not only polluting but also impossible to recycle, and to replace the famous traditional liquid exfoliators, the vegetable sponge does not accumulate dirt, can be boiled to clean and can also be used as a sponge for washing dishes. Most, I would even say around 98% of the sponges sold in supermarkets are made of plastic and this type of material that they are made of cannot be recycled, which means that more rubbish is discarded. Vegetable sponges, as well as originating from a plant (a summer vine) are biodegradable and compostable.

6. Reusing empty packaging
This is a very simple tip and many of us do it unconsciously, but reusing non-recyclable packaging is a way of helping our environment and giving new life to things that could end up in the trash. The most common way we do this is to reuse those Take Away plastics for a new improvised Tupperware, a trick that many of us learned with our mothers or grandmothers and besides being very handy we are still reusing a package that could end up in the trash, it may seem like a ridiculous example, but it is actually a very sustainable thought. But why not take the glass jars and turn them into new bases for candles, vases for plants or flowers or even reuse them as jars to store jewellery. And if it is such a beautiful jar that looks perfect as decoration why not use it to add a special touch to our home. There are so many ways to use these containers that the chances are practically infinite, all you need is a little creativity or even the help of some research on the internet and that's it.

7. Less is more - for everything!
Less is more and this also applies to our skincare routine. 
For good skincare you don't need 1001 expensive products and a 40 minute routine every morning and night, let's simplify! A good skincare starts with good products and only the necessary ones, there's no point in buying all the creams we see because remember, besides having an expiry date, there's no point in using several and varying them constantly. A good serum, eye cream, moisturizing cream and sunscreen is enough, taking care of our skin is important, but it's not worth giving it more than what it needs, and not forgetting that a healthy diet and regular water intake is the key to beautiful and healthy skin from the inside out.

These were just a few tips for a more sustainable life and for all of us to reduce our ecological footprint as much as possible. At the beginning of the journey it can be challenging to change our habits, but in the end it is always worth it if we can contribute to a greener world.

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