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How Sustainable is Your Skin Care Regime?

Ayurveda Lifestyle: How Sustainable is Your Skin Care Regime?

Most of us (me included!) like to look the best we can and take a certain pride in our appearance.

I don’t mean plastering loads of makeup on everyday, just in case I have to answer the door (I have to admit I used to in my 20s though!), but feeling clean and fresh can really affect our mindset for the day.

Some of us also need a bit of a helping hand to avoid dry skin and eczema, so moisturizing is more than just a beauty treatment.

To look and feel good many of us use a scary variety of self care and personal hygiene products on a daily basis:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower gels
  • Bubble baths
  • Moisturizer
  • Facial scrubs
  • Lip balms
  • Not to mention all / any makeup you may use!

Many of these are packaged in a way to grab our attention and stand out from their competitors.

This often leads to packaging that is either non-recyclable or difficult to recycle. Even if they are recyclable then that means putting faith in customers doing the right thing and recycling them appropriately and then for the waste companies to recycle them in an effective and safe way.

Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen and many of our skincare and personal care products end up in landfill where any leftover contents can leach into the ground and the packaging will still be there in hundreds if not thousands of years. What a legacy we are leaving!

So what’s the solution? 

Well as with all these things, first of all ask yourself – do I really need to buy anything new? The most sustainable products are the ones you don’t buy! Do you really need that new moisturiser or lip balm?

Sometimes the answer is – Yes I do, so what’s next…?

Use up what you have already!

The next best solution is to use up the products you already own. So use up what you have before buying any more, the worst thing you could do is to throw out something that is half used! Alternatively if you have really fallen out of love with a product, then see if any of your friends want it.

So you have used up the last of your old product and need a replacement…

Whilst many mainstream companies are slowly catching on to the fact that their business models are totally screwing up the planet, most of their efforts seems half hearted – making their packaging more recyclable, or promising not to test their products on animals.

I mean this isn’t the 1990’s anymore and they need to do much better!

Fortunately there are companies out there who are doing things in a more sustainable way. A new wave of skincare companies is pushing this agenda by encouraging a closed loop approach.

That is you return your product once it has been used and then they clean and reuse the packaging for the next customer. We used to do that with milk & beer bottles before the world went crazy for the use-and-throwaway model.

In this article I have focused on packaging, but there are a number of other issues that we all need to be aware of when buying personal care and beauty products. These can include:

The use of potentially toxic and carcinogenic chemicals 

There has been a lot of coverage of the potentially toxic chemicals that many of our favourite beauty products contain. Many of these have been linked to disruption of our endocrine systems and can act as carcinogens. I’m not an expert, but even a little bit of research produces some worrying reports.

Animal testing

Yes it still happens! The UK has banned the testing of beauty products on animals but it still goes on in other parts of the world. Check out PETA’s website if you are interested in who they are. Look for the leaping bunny of Cruelty Free International which tells you the product is cruelty free.

Ayurveda Lifestyle: How Sustainable is Your Skin Care Regime?

Animal products

Animal products find their way into many of our skincare, personal hygiene and beauty products. These can range from anti-aging creams, to shampoos to numerous cosmetics. If you are concerned look to see if the product is certified vegan.

One of my favourite skincare companies that I have discovered is UK based Urban Veda!

Urban Veda is a vegan Ayurvedic skincare brand and they tick many of the boxes that are important to me:

  • Carbon negative workforce
  • Certified vegan, cruelty free and COSMOS Natural
  • 100% natural products
  • Zero waste

I personally use Urban Veda’s Purifying Range which is for oil-prone Kapha skin types. 

If you don’t know your Ayurvedic Dosha (mind-body type), I highly recommend taking my Dosha quiz! You will then receive some practical tips & recommendation on which foods, lifestyle habits and Yoga style are best for your specific Dosha.