If you’re going on vacation in the near future (hooray!), then you’ve probably thought about which beauty products deserve to take up space in your suitcase. Do you stick to the bare essentials? Pack everything with zero shame? Play itfeel? Decisions, decisions…
One thing you may not be thinking about, though, is how much your on-the-go beauty routine is contributing to our plastic waste crisis. In case you missed it, there’s a lot of plastic waste in our oceans — about 150 million metric tons and counting — and the beauty industry shoulders a lot of the blame.
Thankfully, between shampoo bars and reusable makeup wipes, there are plenty of beauty products that are just as good for the road as they are for the environment. Below, check out a few of our favorite eco-friendly beauty options that are perfect for any getaway.
Solid Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Whether you want to get your best vacay hair ever or you’re simply tired of asking the TSA agent how many liquids you can bring on the plane, shampoo and conditioner bars are a traveler’s best friend. As their name suggests, these travel-friendly bars are the solid version of liquid shampoo and conditioner. Unlike the liquid stuff, though, shampoo and conditioner bars last much longer (anywhere from 50 to 75+ washes) and often contain nourishing ingredients for your hair, so you can get salon-worthy locks even while you’re on vacation. The best part? They’re completely plastic-free!
Reusable Facial Cleansing Mitt
If you’re a hodophile (the word for travel-lover) who takes their skin care routine seriously, you’re probably no stranger to using cleansing wipes on your travels. These convenient little cleansers are great for giving your face a quick refresh after spending a long day in the car or on a plane. But the truth is, cleansing wipes aren’t good for the planet since they often contain a blend of plastic materials that don’t break down.
For a more eco-friendly cleanse on the go, wipe your face with a reusable facial cleansing mitt. Simply soak the mitt in warm water, squeeze the excess water out and massage in circular motions to buff away your makeup. It’s better for your skin, the planet and your wallet!
If you can replace any of your liquid beauty products with a solid product,all means do it. Replacing your body wash with a bar of soap not only makes traveling less stressful, but it also means creating less plastic waste.
Like shampoo and conditioner bars, bar soaps take up less space in your carry-on and make it easier to fly without needing to check a bag. Plus, they’ve gone through a renaissance lately. Many bar soaps are now made with hydrating ingredients that clean the body without stripping the skin’s natural oils.
If you’re looking for an easy way to ditch plastic on your travels, start with your toothbrush. The plastic toothbrushes that you get from your dentist are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon, which are derived from crude oil — and according to National Geographic, Americans toss away one billion of them each year.
Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a much better option for the planet. Bamboo is a fast-growing material that’s highly sustainable. While there is currently no suitable replacement for nylon bristles, the handle of a bamboo toothbrush can be composted at the very least.
Solid Toothpaste Tablets
Speaking of clean teeth, have you tried toothpaste tablets yet? An alternative to regular toothpaste, these chewable tablets are perfect for frequent travelers and campers. Toothpaste tabs are formulated without water, making them easier to transport and use on the go. They’re also better for the environment since they’re often housed in plastic-free packaging.
One thing to note about toothpaste tablets is that most don’t contain fluoride, which is something that dentists generally recommend. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative to travel-sized toothpaste, these little tabs are definitely worth trying.
Zero Waste Deodorant
If you’re an active traveler who enjoys going off the beaten path, a zero waste deodorant is highly recommended. After all, you’re probably going to be sweating a lot — and that’s a good thing! Sweating is a natural process that provides a host of health benefits, from detoxification to healthy-looking skin.
Unlike traditional antiperspirants, a zero waste deodorant won’t block your pores and trap sweat. They’re often made from natural ingredients that you feel good about putting on your skin, so you can reapply as much as you want without worry!
Did you know that two billion disposable razors get tossed in the trash every year? Yikes.
Fortunately, there’s an easy swap you can make to lower your carbon footprint while getting a better shave: switch to a safety razor. Made from stainless steel, these old-fashioned razors are fully recyclable and corrosion resistant.
Safety razors might seem a little intimidating, but they’re really easy to use once you get the hang of it. The key is to not press the blade down — just let it glide over the skin for a smooth, eco-friendly shave.
A Better Way to Travel
With travel back on the agenda this summer, many of us are eager to get out there and see the world. But before you book your next trip, consider making a few eco-friendly changes to your beauty routine. Let’s all do our part to ensure that everyone has a chance to see this beautiful planet!