We’re all about living more sustainably and mindfully to reduce our consumption, but it seems that the beauty and self-care industries' impact on waste is often overlooked. According to Zero Waste, more than 120 billion units of plastic and packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, most of which are not recyclable. If you’re using Q-tips and cotton pads to cleanse your face, single-use plastic razors to shave and have a plastic toothbrush, we hate to break it to you but you are adding to a major waste problem! Have no fear, though, we have put together a list of some reusable, recyclable products that you can add into your routine that are not only sustainable and environmentally-friendly but won’t break the bank and may even save you money!

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A Q-tip that doesn't get thrown away

A reusable q-tip made by The Last SwabWe know what you’re thinking, how could you not throw away a Q-tip after it was used in your ear? We thought it was a tad disgusting at first too, but hear us out… The Last Swab by Last Object fulfills all your Q-tip needs and comes with a biodegradable carrying case in the cutest colours! It is made from TPE and PP (thermoplastic polymers) and can be cleaned by using just soap and water. There are two options to choose from, basic, which resembles a Q-tip and beauty, which has a more angled tip so you can clean up eye make-up easier. One swab is just $16 and can replace up to 1,000 Q-tips!


A reusable razor

A bamboo handle razor with a metal top, made as a sustainable option for shaving by The Women's CompanyThe first step to being more sustainable in your razor use is to avoid single-use razors. If you use a reusable plastic razor and buy new razor heads from the drugstore, that’s a great start! That said, the razor heads do contain plastic that needs to be disposed of and eventually, the handle needs to be replaced to.  An even more sustainable option is produced by a company called The Woman’s Company! They are on a mission to make the world a better place for women and the planet through eco-conscious wellness products. Their Bamboo Razor is made with natural bamboo and the metal consists of grade 5 stainless steel, so your razor won’t be filling up the landfill when you get rid of it. It comes with 10 blades and you can use it wherever you please as it’s ergonomically designed to give you fewer nicks and cuts!


All purpose rounds you can throw in the wash

All purpose cotton rounds made for beauty purposes by The Detox MarketCotton pads are arguably one of the largest continuous contributors to beauty waste. Ditch those disposable round pads and makeup remover wipes by making the switch to reusable rounds, like the ones from The Detox Market! These rounds are simple, soft and sustainable so you will never have to purchase a regular cotton pad again. They’re made from 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton, so they feel just like a luxury cotton pad. They are labelled for each day of the week so you can keep track of which ones have been used. At the end of the week, simply just throw them in the wash and voila, you’re ready to go. A pack of seven is $25 which equals about two packages of luxury cotton pads, so after about three months of use, they pay for themselves!


An eco-friedly toothbrush

A bamboo handle, compostable toothbrush made by Twiggy FreshThose cheap, manual toothbrushes you get from your dentist after a visit or at the drugstore are not the most sustainable option when it comes to brushing your teeth. These brushes are made almost entirely of plastic, meaning they’ll end up in a landfill. If you use a manual toothbrush like this, consider switching to an eco-friendly, sustainable manual brush, like a bamboo brush! We love Twiggy Fresh's products because in addition to being eco-friendly, it's an opportunity to support a black-owned brand! Most bamboo brushes are 100% compostable and you can typically find bamboo brushes at any health food store. If you’re an electric toothbrush person, don’t worry there is still a sustainable option available for you too! The Foreo Issa toothbrush is made of silicone meaning it’s 100% plastic-free!


Plastic free feminine hygiene products

Sustainable tampons made to be more eco friendly using organic cottonThe waste that traditional feminine hygiene products produce is astronomical. Did you know it takes 500+ years for a plastic pad to decompose? Even worse, plastic tampon applicators are not recyclable and go straight to the landfill. Switching to eco-friendly alternatives can prevent thousands of non-biodegradable sanitary waste each month! Our favourite sustainable brand is TOP: the organic product. Their tampons are made of 100% organic cotton and the applicator is plant-based, meaning it’s eco-friendly and biodegradable! They also offer eco-friendly pads that are made of cotton and plant-based adhesive and the wrapper is plant-based as well! If you’re looking to cut out your period waste altogether, opt for a menstrual cup as they are reusable and can last for years! You'll end up saving a lot of money with a menstrual cup as well since you'll never have to buy sanitary products again!


These are just a few options to introduce into your beauty regimine that aid in reducing the waste generated by self-care.  There are so many more great products available, but like all things in life, you have to start somewhere! Try to commit to reducing two waste-generating items per month - you'll be shocked at how quickly (but manageably) you approach zero waste!

about primped

Primped is an online booking technology that combines the availability of multiple freelance beauty pros who will bring their services to you, meaning you can book appointments according to your schedule and enjoy the convenience of in-home service.