Updated: Jul 9
Hey there! In this post I’m going to be talking about how to find plastic free beauty products in the mainstream! It can be really difficult to find plastic free skincare and makeup options but believe me; they’re out there!
Keep reading to find out some key tips for finding eco-friendly beauty products, and some plastic free recommendations of mine.
Why plastic free?
If you’re here reading this post, I assume you already know why it’s a great idea to try and replace some of our plastic beauty products with plastic free or low-plastic alternatives. But if you don’t know what it’s all about, you can find out here.
For a long time now, plastic has been the norm. Plastic in and of itself isn’t a bad thing; it’s a fantastically versatile material that has so many forms and uses- and it’s a cheap material. For this reason it’s everywhere, and it’s hard to find products that don’t come in plastic (and this includes beauty!).
Although plastic is very versatile and cheap, it’s bad for the planet. Some plastics can be recycled, but many can’t, and the majority of recyclable plastics AREN’T recycled!
Of all the plastic ever produced, only 9% has ever been recycled world-wide (source: National Geographic).
This means that most of the plastic which we use for our beauty products, cleaning products, food packaging etc is either incinerated, buried underground, sits in landfills or ends up in the ocean. All of these outcomes are harmful to the environment. The burning of waste is a huge contributor to global warming, and plastic waste is damaging to animals which is why I personally am trying to reduce my plastic consumption and opt for less harmful, more recyclable materials.
Some great materials to look out for instead of plastic are glass and tin. These are easy to recycle which is why they’re great alternatives. All we have to do is to rinse them and set them into the recycling bin!
It’s becoming more and more common to see beauty products in tins and glass jars and bottles. However, aluminium tubes (like the kind used for medicated creams) are often not recyclable as it’s not possible to rinse them out before recycling.
Here are my 5 top tips to finding plastic free beauty products
1) Check out your favourite beauty brands to see if they have any eco-friendly options.
It’s always great to start with brands that you already know and trust. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and discover they carry products that are in eco-friendly packaging! For example, I recently noticed that The Body Shop have quite a few products that have very little plastic packaging.
2) Try to support small eco-friendly brands
I highly recommend supporting eco-friendly brands (especially when they’re not very well-known), as these guys could do with our support more than the bigger brands! I think as a consumer it’s really nice to put your money into brands that really care about the causes you believe in!
3) Be ready to shop around
I will warn you now: Not every plastic free or low-waste option is a winner! Sometimes it can take a while before you find that new favourite product- but stick with it!
4) Ask around
When I’m looking to replace one of my beauty products with plastic free options, I always ask my family and friends if they know of one that comes in little to no plastic packaging. This way, you find options that you might not have found otherwise and you also raise conversation on shopping plastic free!
Here are some plastic free or low-waste skincare options!
I’ve seen cleansing balms come in glass jars and metal tins before! I’m currently testing out The Body Shop’s Chamomile Cleansing Balm (tin packaging), and I would like to try Beauty by Ané's Cleansing balm (glass jar).
Likewise, Revolution Beauty have recently released a cleansing oil that comes in a glass bottle (with a plastic pump). I’m trying this one soon!
There are several options for plastic free facial cleansers. I always repurchase Carbon Theory’s Charcoal Cleansing bar (for my review of this one, check out this post) which comes wrapped in paper. Face Theory and Revolution beauty also make facial cleansers that come in a glass bottles with a plastic pump.
It’s easy to find serums in plastic free or low-waste packaging as many brands opt for glass bottles and glass droppers anyway as these protect the ingredients well from UV rays. A brand which packages all of their serums in glass is The Ordinary, sold under Deciem. I really love this brand and I have written several reviews of their products recently. To give these a read click here!
It’s a bit tricky to find facial moisturisers that are low-waste or plastic free. This is because using a squeezy tube helps to keep bacteria out of your product. You could look out for glass bottles with a pump or glass or tin jars. Face Theory carries a couple of facial moisturisers in glass jars with tin lids! Also, you could opt for facial oils such as rosehip oil and squalane oil which are easy to find in glass bottles with a pump or dropper. For example, Lyonsleaf and The Ordinary carry some great facial oils.
For the body, it’s really easy to find plastic free moisturisers, as you can be less picky about the ingredient list. What I mean here is that you wouldn’t want to use something too heavy for the face, whereas this is just right for the body! I was recently gifted Lyonsleaf body moisturisers and I really enjoyed them (to read a review of their whole range check out this post), and you can also make your own body moisturisers really easily! I enjoy making my own because it’s fun and it’s nice to know exactly what’s in your products. If you’d like to make one but you don’t know where to start, here is a recipe.
I haven’t found a plastic free SPF yet but I will update this post when I do find one. Please comment below if you know of one!
It’s relatively easy to find plastic free lip balms. Even humble Vaseline is a great plastic free option. If you’re looking for something more moisturising though, check out Literary Lip Balms. Their stuff is really cute and is really good for the lips.
Here are some plastic free or low-waste makeup options!
For mascara, you can try cake mascara. Cake mascara is the OG type of mascara that was used before the 1960s. This is a thicker type of mascara which comes in a tin. To use cake mascara, take a reusable mascara wand (or recycle one from an old mascara tube) and roll it gently in the tin until it is covered. Then brush it over your lashes like normal. Clean Faced Cosmetics on Etsy make 2 different types of plastic free mascara, one of which is cake-mascara in a tin and the other is a liquid mascara in a glass jar.
You can find plastic free lipstick options that come in tin (such as Clean Faced Cosmetics), and Lush makes lipsticks that are wrapped in wax.
Here are some plastic free or low-waste haircare options!
It can be tricky to find plastic free haircare! Nevertheless, Anita Grant produces shampoos and conditioners that come in a glass bottle with a pump, and the Afro Hair and Skin Company also produces some of these as well as an eco-friendly hair butter. These two brands also make shampoo bars (and so does Lush); which are shampoos in solid bar form. These are great plastic-free and zero-waste options as they don’t need to come in packaging.
I’m very excited to share these two eco-friendly haircare brands which focus on afro haircare! Seeing as this is a black-run blog that tries to be as inclusive as possible, it makes me really happy to shed some light on some plastic free options that are designed with black people in mind.
I know that it takes time to find zero-waste, low-waste or plastic free options, but finding new products and brands which are eco-friendly is a fun process! It might not be possible to find eco-friendly versions of everything you’re looking for; but that’s ok. The main thing is that we’re trying!
I personally still have many plastic products in my collection, but I think it’s good that I’m always trying to support smaller brands and eco-friendly brands where possible.