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Plastic Free July is coming to a close, so I wanted to share some Eco Beauty alternatives that I have found. I am nowhere near living a plastic free life, but I am trying to make changes to reduce my impact on the planet, whether that means buying products that are reusable, recyclable or have zero waste packaging. Some of the products I’m going to mention are long time favourites, but others are very new to me, so if you want a full review on anything I mention, let me know in the comments. This post has affiliate links for Flora and Fauna, Biome Eco Stores and Nourished Life. I buy my eco-friendly products from these online stores and therefore know that they have good quality items and good customer service. Buying products though my affiliate links helps me to keep this blog running, but you can just google the stores if you don’t want to use the links.
Eco-friendly cosmetics can be one of the hardest things to find, when trying to switch to more sustainable options. I do however have some brands and products that I have found, that are worth looking in to. The main eco beauty brand that I have in my collection is Elate Cosmetics. Flora and Fauna is the official Australian stockist, so I buy all my Elate products from them. Many of their products come with re-usable bamboo packaging. The pressed powder foundation, cheek products, eyeshadows, concealer, and brow balms can be purchased individually in their pans, or with the bamboo case. When the product is finished, it’s really easy to remove the pan from the bamboo case, so that that the bamboo case can be re-used for the next product. I have been collecting Elate Cosmetics items to do a big brand review, but unfortunately some of the products have already been replaced with newer versions. However, I’m still planning on getting the review together soon. Elate make my all time favourite highlighter, which I mentioned in my 2018 Favourites blog post, so I know I need to try more of their cheek products. Each pan product is sent to you in a a cardboard packet that has seeds embedded, so you can plant it and watch flowers grow. Elate are working on cutting out plastic from every area of their business, and I love that.
I really love the look of bamboo, so I tend to gravitate towards products that are using it, however many brands are utilising cardboard as a way of reducing waste in their product lines. My favourite lipsticks, the Eye Of Horus Bio Lipsticks, that I’ve done a full review on, have cardboard packaging that you can put in the recycling when you have finished the lipstick. Other brands are doing this too, I mentioned the Nur Organics vegan and biodegradable lip balms in my 2018 Favourite Lip Products blog post, and have since come across many other brands doing the same thing. Flora and Fauna sell cardboard packaged lip balms from Happy Skincare and Dirty Hippie Cosmetics. Dirty Hippie also make Lip and Cheek Tints that either come in 100% recycled paper push up tubes or recyclable aluminium tins, which are at the top of my wish list to try. I recently bought a Dearest Lips cardboard packaged lip balm from Biome as well as a tin packaged lip balm called Winter Lips made by the Physic Garden (also available at Flora and Fauna).
Other brands are focusing on making their plastic packing re-usable, so that you only ever need one plastic item that can be re-filled every time you run out of product. Eco Minerals is the first brand I came across doing this. I reviewed their Perfection Mineral Foundation early last year, and it quickly became a favourite of mine. The loose powder foundation comes in a plastic tub, but it can be opened up and refilled when you run out. Eco Minerals sell cardboard packaged refill sachets which make it really easy to reuse the original package. Biome sell the Eco Minerals pots and refill packages, as well as their new lipstick. The Eco Minerals lipsticks are packaged in recyclable aluminium tubes, so you don’t have to throw out any plastic when done with them. I just received an Eco Minerals lipstick in the mail, so stay tuned for that upcoming review.
Another brand that has a reusable product is Ere Perez. Their Chamomile Eyeshadow palettes can be refilled when you run out of your favourite shade. I reviewed the Pretty Palette, but they also have Beautiful, Gorgeous and Lovely palettes, that have different shade ranges (all available at Flora and Fauna). Many other brands sell eyeshadows as singles so you don’t need to buy the palette at all, like Colourpop Cosmetics, Makeup Geek Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, as well as many others. These products aren’t typically included in the eco beauty area, but they are a more environmentally friendly alternative to buying a plastic eyeshadow palette every time you like a new eyeshadow shade. I am in the process of swatching my single shadows, to share with you at the moment.
When it comes to makeup tools, there are a few brands out there producing makeup brushes that are made with eco-friendly materials. EcoTools is probably the most well known brand to be doing it. They make vegan bamboo brushes that have recycled aluminium ferrules. Eco Minerals and Elate Cosmetics also make bamboo makeup brushes, and I’m sure there are other brands out there that do too.
I have struggled to find a good quality skincare brand that has all eco-friendly packaging. I am very picky with my skincare, and really love actives, so it has been hard to find brands that fit into that. Trilogy, one of my favourite skincare brands, does package most of their products in glass. I recently spoke to them about their packaging, and they responded saying that most of their packaging is recyclable but that they are working to find alternatives to reduce their footprint. Dirty Hippie Cosmetics and Simple As That both have some glass packaged skincare items (both available at flora and fauna), as does the Biome house brand. The only skincare brand that I have seen run refill days is MooGoo Skincare, however I have only seen them done in Queensland so I’ve never been able to take my MooGoo containers to be refilled. That is really all the eco-friendly skincare packaged products that I could find but I will continue searching for more to share with you.
Some skincare related changes I have made include using the Eye Of Horus Bamboo Cleansing Cloths. They’re really soft, reusable, and don’t wash microplastics down the drain like alternative microfiber washers do (looking at you Face Halo). They’re $25 for a pack of 4 from Flora and Fauna, so they’re also cheaper than buying single use wipes in the long run. If you prefer to use makeup rounds, Flora and Fauna and Biome sell reusable makeup remover pads too.
Eco-friendly alternatives for the bathroom that I have, include a Flora and Fauna Eco-friendly Bamboo Toothbrush. Nourished Life and Biome also sell Bamboo toothbrushes, so there are a lot of choices on the market. From Biome, I bought the Go Bamboo 100% Biodegradable Cotton Buds. They have a bamboo stick with cotton on the ends, which makes them both compostable and biodegradable, and therefore a much more sustainable option than the normal plastic cotton buds. Biome, Nourished Life sell the Simply Gentle Organic Cotton Buds, and Flora and Fauna sell the Organyc Cotton Beauty Buds and Green and Kind Cotton Bamboo Buds, so there’s multiple brands you can try.
I also just recently bought eco-friendly band-aids from Biome, called Patch. They’re made out of bamboo and come in a cardboard cylinder. You have a choice of four styles, Natural, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera or Activated Charcoal. I went with the natural, but the coconut oil has pandas on the band-aid, if you are looking for something for kids. This is the only brand of eco-friendly band-aids that I’ve come across.
When it comes to soap bars, there is an endless amount of options you can try. There are normal hand soaps bars, body soap bars, shampoo bars, conditioner bars and shaving bars. This is an area that I haven’t explored much, so I can’t give any recommendations, but if you have any yourself, leave them in the comments. There are also a lot of cardboard packaged deodorants on the market now, if that is something you want to try.
I am very very new to the sustainable fashion, but I just wanted to quickly mention that cork products are a great eco-friendly alternative to many materials out there. I have reviews on the Arture Design Willow Cork Wallet and SewGnar Handmade Cork Passport Wallet that you can check out to see how cork can be used for accessories. I hope to try more cork products in future, and of course I will share them with you when I do.
Disability and Access
Before I wrap up this post, I just wanted to quickly touch on a couple of things that are important to be aware of. There has been a huge amount of attention placed on single use plastic straws lately. If you are able to stop using them, or can take a reusable straw with you, then that is great, it’s worthwhile doing for the environment. However, there are many people out there with disabilities that need to use straws to survive. Sometimes these disabilities can be invisible to you, so please do not police other people using plastic straws, and don’t encourage governments to ban them either. If you genuinely want to help reduce plastic in the ocean, then stop eating seafood, and put pressure on your government to make commercial fishing operations accountable for the ocean waste they produce. 46% of all ocean plastic is from the fishing industry, so something needs to change there.
The other topic I have seen come up a lot in the environmental awareness area is reusable feminine hygiene products, especially menstrual cups. Again, if you are able to change to using menstrual cups, that’s great – there are a lot of options on the market that you can try now. However, for various reasons, some people cannot make this switch. There can be health issues or financial reasons that prevent them for using these products, and some people lack access to an area where they could sanitise or wash these products. So please just be aware of this when advocating for change.
I am only new to finding eco-friendly alternatives, especially eco beauty products, but I want to find more of these environmentally friendly alternatives in future. There are a couple of eco beauty brands that are high on my list to try including Dirty Hippie Cosmetics, Antonym Cosmetics, Zao Makeup (waiting for them to reply to animal testing emails), Neek Skin Organics and many smaller indie brands that are using sustainable packaging options. I am hoping to find more eco-friendly skincare brands to share with you too. If you know of any eco beauty brands I should try, let me know in the comments. Are you interested in seeing more eco-friendly posts in other areas, like the home, or do would you prefer to just hear about eco beauty in future? I plan on doing a big Elate Cosmetics review, but let me know if there’s something else want to see a dedicated review on too. You can sign up to email updates to get all my new blog posts sent to your inbox and see what I’m up to on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
What do you think of these eco beauty products I’ve found?