Beauty Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Nearly everything in your bathroom
Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Nearly everything in your bathroom can be swapped out for something more environmentally conscious. Here’s what you need.
Image: mashable photo composite
By Leah StodartMashable Shopping2019-11-16 10:00:00 UTC
Reading the words “eco-friendly” and “medicine cabinet” together may conjure up visions of using plants as medicine when you really just need some Dayquil.
But being thoughtful about your bathroom products goes way past switching to organic cough drops: Most relatively-aware people will remember to recycle an empty juice container or soup can. Sure. But while 90% of plastic kitchen packaging is recycled, only 50% of plastics from the bathroom make it to the blue bin.
The other half of bathroom plastics that are thrown away will likely have one of two unhappy endings: ending up in a landfill where they’ll sit for hundreds of years or being part of the 8 million metric tons of plastic dumped into the ocean every year.
On top of simply reminding yourself to recycle your damn shampoo bottles, there are a ton of eco-friendly swaps you can make in your bathroom to reduce your single-use plastic waste and use of environment-harming ingredients. Bonus: None of them require a change to your obsessive bathroom routine.
Here are 10 eco-friendly products to keep in your medicine cabinet:
Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (do it for the coral!)
The sunscreen that seeps off ocean dwellers’ skin is contributing to the ongoing destruction of coral reefs. Oxybenzone, a main ingredient in traditional sunscreen, gets sucked in by the coral and seriously disrupts their ability to absorb UV light and reproduce. An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in coral reefs each year. Mineral sunscreens, like this one from Coola, offer the protection you need sans the toxins (plus antioxidants for your skin). Get it on Amazon for $36.
Super trendy bamboo toothbrushes
Throwing away a plastic toothbrush once every few months doesn’t seem like a huge deal. But consider for a moment that your tossed toothbrush will take up to 400 years to decompose. Now think about the fact that one billion toothbrushes are thrown out every year, making it a habit that becomes problematic real quick. Bamboo toothbrushes offer the same soft bristles and water-resistant handles, but are biodegradable. Get a set of four on Amazon for $12.
You can also get biodegradable floss picks
Image: the humblo co.
Floss picks make the flossing process so much less annoying than those boxes that the dentist hands out. But throwing away so many plastic picks after 30 seconds of use isn’t the move. These revolutionary picks from The Humble Co. are made with corn starch, come in paper packaging, and have double-threaded minty strands. Yes, this is also our way of insinuating that you should probably floss if you haven’t recently. Get a bag of 50 on Amazon for $16.
Opt for sustainably-sourced natural toothpaste
Colgate-Palmolive and Proctor and Gamble were two of the world’s biggest plastic polluters in 2019. They also happen to be the companies that own Colgate and Crest. Average folks can take on these big companies by switching to more environmentally-conscious brands. Made famous by its charcoal toothpaste, hello products also makes all-natural whitening toothpaste made with ethically-sourced mint and the box it comes in is 100% bamboo. Get the toothpaste from Walmart for just $4.
Replace sheet masks with masks from Lush
In an article from Oct. 2019, Vogue posed the question: “Are sheet masks the new plastic straws?” They come in plastic wrapping and the masks themselves aren’t easily recyclable, either. Why add to a landfill when you could get that hydrated glow from a jelly or clay mask instead? Lush has nearly 20 options with different scents and all-natural ingredients, and those iconic black containers are made out of recycled plastic. Shop all the Lush products directly from their site.
Yes, zero-waste bandages are a thing
The materials used in a classic Band-aid seem innocent. Unfortunately, most of them are plastic, rubber, or latex, and don’t naturally break down in the environment. These activated charcoal strips by Patch are still single-use, but are made of 100% bamboo fiber and are 100% biodegradable down to the gauze, adhesive, and packaging. Get a package of 25 here for $7.
These rose-gold razors are pretty *and* reusable
Image: oui shave
If you thought the stats on plastic toothbrushes were bad, just know that double the amount of plastic razors (double as in two billion) are thrown away each year. Oui’s rose-gold stainless steel razors are tailored for sensitive skin, minimize razor burn, and only require you to switch out the metal blade. Plus, this is way more cost-efficient than spending $10 on a new razor every month. Get the reusable razor from Oui for $75.
This refillable deodorant is actually super convenient
The different kinds of plastics that make up a single deodorant tube makes them a pain to recycle. By Humankind is on a mission to keep single-use beauty and hygiene plastics out of landfills with the refillable deodorant. You can choose your stick color, scent, and how often you’ll receive a refill. Not only do they use 90% less single-use plastic than disposable ones, but they’re guaranteed for life. Make your own for just $14.
Biodegradable makeup wipes because traditional ones suck
Image: yes to
Most drugstore makeup wipes do more harm than good. They leave dirt and oil to rot into your pores, and after they’re thrown away, they rot in a landfill for up to 100 years. Yes To is a rare, affordable skincare brand that offers biodegradable makeup wipes that exfoliate and detoxify. The Yes To Cucumbers wipes are particularly soothing. Get two packages on Amazon for less than $12.
Eco-friendly dry shampoo makes no-wash days easy
When it comes to beauty and the environment, haircare products are the number one waste culprit over makeup and skincare. Aside from all the bottles that aren’t recycled, washing your hair on the daily uses over 3,000 gallons of water per year. Dry shampoo lets you skip wash days without looking greasy, and this plant-based one from Klorane has incredible reviews. (For the days when you do need to wash, we’d recommend a solid shampoo bar from Lush.) Snag a 3.2-ounce can of this dry shampoo for $20 at Sephora.