Zero Waste Skincare: Making the Switch to a Sustainable Beauty Routine

Zero Waste Skincare: Making the Switch to a Sustainable Beauty Routine

Overconsumption in the skincare industry is a void. Yesterday, I was surfing YouTube in hopes of finding something good to watch while having lunch and I stumbled upon a video from a beauty creator who had a 21-step beauty routine. Twenty-one, yes.

Moments like these make you wonder about your actions that are blatantly damaging our planet and we’re doing nothing but getting sucked into that void. The environmental, social, and economic implications of overconsumption in the skincare industry are abysmal which is why we are going to discuss zero-waste skincare. We will help you start at square one and make the switch to a sustainable beauty routine, keep reading!

What is Zero Waste Skincare?

Zero waste skincare is aimed at minimizing the environmental impact caused by the disposal of skincare products. The fundamental goal is to significantly reduce the amount of waste that ultimately ends up in landfills, disrupting ecosystems and contributing to the alarming plastic crisis.

This approach is not about the complete elimination of waste, but rather about adopting strategies like reducing, reusing, refusing, and composting to mitigate the environmental burden of traditional beauty routines. By embracing zero-waste skincare, we can help alleviate the environmental strain caused by the skincare industry's packaging and product waste.

Step 1: Learn and Unlearn

Let’s start by expanding our vocabulary. Understanding terms like sustainability, clean beauty, and paraben-free is important. Clean beauty advocates for products that are made without ingredients perceived to be harmful, while being sustainable emphasizes the need for practices that support ecological balance and preserve natural resources. Let's also acknowledge the necessity of unlearning our shopping habits, characterized by overstocking and unnecessary purchasing – these are the first steps toward embracing a conscientious and eco-friendly beauty routine.

Step 2: Declutter 

Transitioning to a sustainable beauty routine doesn't mean tossing out your existing products. Finish what you have, using every last drop. Zero waste means maximizing the utility of what we already own. By fully consuming your existing products, you contribute to the goal of lessening the volume of waste that ends up in landfills. 

Step 3: Look for sustainable brands

In our quest for a zero-waste beauty routine, let’s also devote time to researching sustainable and organic skincare brands. This involves scrutinizing the ingredient list and delving into the practices of various brands to ensure their commitment to sustainability. Look for brands that prioritize eco-friendly packaging, utilize natural and ethically sourced ingredients, and implement environmentally conscious production methods. By supporting these sustainable brands, you are actively contributing to the reduction of waste and the preservation of our planet. 

We have made things easy with this list specifically created for you! Here you go:

Step 4: Avoid greenwashing

Let’s discuss greenwashing 101. Greenwashing refers to the deceptive marketing of products as being natural or environmentally friendly when they are not. To sidestep greenwashing, scrutinize the ingredients of skin care products and watch out for terms like "natural" or "eco-friendly" without supporting certifications. Look for products with clear labels and certifications such as COSMOS or Ecocert, verifying their organic and sustainable nature. Opt for skincare items from transparent and ethical brands that openly disclose their sourcing and production practices. 

Step 5: Embrace minimalism and DIY culture

Explore the beauty of simplicity by embracing DIY skincare recipes passed down through generations. Who knows, you might rediscover the joy of creating your own scrubs and masks using natural ingredients! The adoption of minimalistic practices in skincare routines not only reduces waste but also promotes a deeper connection with the ingredients and their effects on the skin. 


Step 6: Turn off the water tap

Let’s time-travel back to our second grade environmental science class for a second! Turning off the water tap during your skincare routine can make a significant impact in reducing water usage and environmental strain. By conserving water while cleansing and performing other skincare tasks, you actively contribute to minimizing your overall environmental impact. Each small action adds up, and by making a conscious effort to turn off the tap when it's not in immediate use, you're taking an important step toward embracing a sustainable skincare routine. 

Step 7: Follow the 3 Rs

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Have you ever considered returning your empty skincare product bottles for discounts or repurposing them into home decor? This simple step not only helps you save money on your future skincare purchases but also minimizes waste. You can also repurpose or upcycle empty containers into home decor adding a creative and ecological touch to your living space. Show off your crafty side

Step 8: Stay mindful!

Above all, cultivate mindfulness in your skincare choices. Be conscious of where your money goes and the impact of your purchases. Every cent spent is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. This entails considering the ingredients, packaging, and overall production process to ensure that our choices align with eco-friendly practices and minimize harm to the planet. 


Transitioning to a zero-waste skincare routine is not just a trend; it's a conscious decision to minimize the environmental impact of beauty practices. We hope this guide was helpful in putting things in perspective for you. We must demand and work for a healthier planet. By following the steps, you can contribute to reducing waste and promoting eco-friendly practices in the beauty industry. Beware of greenwashing and focus on staying mindful in the process!

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