January Zero Waste Goal: Creating a Zero Waste Beauty Routine

This post is part of our 2021 ZERO WASTE CHALLENGE. You can follow along with us and complete challenges by downloading our FREE Zero Waste Calendar here.

Welcome to your first month of taking the Zero Waste Challenge! This month, we will be focused on improving your beauty routine with simple challenges and tips to help you reduce waste. 

As you complete this month's challenge, keep this important note in mind. Zero waste doesn't mean that you have to be perfect or immediately dispose of all your non-eco-friendly beauty products. You should plan on replacing things as needed instead of running out and buying a slew of new products. Make thoughtful purchases and buy only what you need, as you need it. 


Here are the 5 challenges for you to complete this month:


Woman cleansing face with a reusable makeup remover wipe

1. Use reusable makeup remover wipes instead of disposable

If you haven't yet ditched the single-use, disposable makeup wipes - consider this your sign to stop using them immediately! Literally, they are the worst and can cause skin irritation and inflammation from formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, solubilizers, surfactants, and emulsifiers hidden in the wipes. Not only are they bad for your skin, they can also wreak havoc on our environment. 

“The biggest environmental problem with makeup remover wipes is the sheer volume,” says Diana Felton MD, state toxicologist with the Hawaii Department of Health. “One group estimates that 20 million pounds of single-use wipes (including baby wipes and disinfecting wipes) are disposed of every day in the U.S. Many wipes are disposed of in landfills, and despite claims to the contrary, most are not biodegradable and do not rapidly break down, creating too much trash to fit in our landfills.”

You can switch to reusable makeup remover pads, they can remove makeup with just water and be washed and reused. Not only will this save you money over time, but it also decreases the amount of disposable wipes clogging our environment and landfills. They are super handy for removing mascara, lipstick and foundation. You can also make your own makeup removing wipes and cotton rounds by using old cotton fabric you might have around your house. Get creative!



Elate cosmetics in bamboo cases including mascara eyeshadow and brushes

2. Shop for cruelty-free beauty products

When shopping for cosmetic brands, you'll often find that low waste brands and cruelty-free products go hand in hand. Even with all the negative publicity around animal testing, many big name brands still test on animals. 😱 

With that said, resist the urge to dump your entire makeup bag in the trash. Instead, plan to transition out to a low-waste, cruelty free brand as your replace your products over the year.

Brands we love: Elate Cosmetics and Kjaer Weis.




Bar soap on a white background with green leaves around it 

3. Use a natural konjac sponge and facial bar soap

Here at Green Estate, we're big fans of double cleaning! We often start our skin care routine by removing makeup with our reusable makeup remover wipes so that the cleanser can easily penetrate your skin. Then we like to use a konjac sponge and a facial soap bar to cleanse skin. 

Traditionally used in Japan, the Konjac sponge is naturally derived from the Konjac vegetable plant root, making it vegan, sustainable and compostable! These sponges will gently buff and exfoliate your skin, leaving it feeling bright and fresh. Use with your favorite facial cleanser or after removing makeup with our reusable makeup remover pads. You can compost them at the end of their lifecycle in your backyard compost. 

Lastly, by using a facial bar soap instead of a facial cleanser packed in a plastic bottle, you are helping to reduce plastic waste. 




Naked Facial Oil Light Touch by Lush cosmetics

4. Use package-free lotion bars to moisturize skin

Lotion bars are a great alternative to lotions packaged in plastic. While there are a lot of brands to chose from, we love the lotion bars by Lush Cosmetics. You simply rub them into your hands or directly to face to apply the moisturizer after cleansing. They are package-free and smell GREAT!





Glass container on white marble surrounded by citrus

5. Uses serums and products packaged in glass containers

Plastic waste in the world of beauty and skincare is a major problem. Companies are notorious for hiding a small amount of product in a lot of plastic packaging. Luckily, there are more products available in glass and metal containers. Brands like The Ordinary have popularized products in glass vessels and you can find a replacement for many oils, serums and even sunblock in low-waste containers. Making the switch to low-plastic or plastic free products adds up over the course of a year - so plan to phase out your plastic containers.

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