In trying to break my single-use plastic habit, the move away from plastic-packaged beauty products has been one of the more difficult endeavors.
The bathing options were easy:
1. Shampoo bar
2. Conditioner bar
3. Bar of soap
4. I also use the conditioner bar I didn’t like as much for shaving lotion
Glass-jarred coconut oil in place of plastic-bottled lotion, easy. And I love the lotion bar my friend found.
But deodorant, toothpaste and, most of all, make up? Difficult!
I searched for the 40 days for alternatives to the make up situation, and ended up having 2 choices by the end:
1. DIY to avoid plastic:
Homemade lip balm, super easy - all you have to do is buy beeswax and melt it with coconut oil in the microwave, then pour it into something.
Homemade face powder - stupid easy and worked great. Just add small amounts of cocoa powder to cornstarch or arrowroot starch until it is close to your skin color. Done. And CHEAP.
Blush, ummm nope. Really hard. Bad result. Homemade mascara? Hmmm...pass for the time being.
2. Fork out some $$ for alternative products in cardboard or tin
The eyeliner pencil was the only cheap and easy plastic-free purchase. Just replace plastic eyeliner with a wooden eyeliner pencil. Ta da! Tiny bit of effort to sharpen it, I think I can handle that.
In these early stages of breaking free from plastic, supporting companies pursuing alternative packaging is important.
We certainly don’t have a big budget, so I chose carefully. While many of my substitutions were nearly free (homemade face powder, for example), and other purchases last a really long time (shampoo and conditioner bars that lasted over 50 days, being used by three long-haired ladies), it doesn’t break the bank to order the deodorant in the cardboard tube or the mascara in the little tin.
Supporting the businesses trying to offer alternatives to cheap, disposable plastic is a way consumers like us can drive change. Especially if we don’t have ideas for a start-up company to join in the movement. If you do, shout out and I’ll join in!
Here is a really good article about the beauty industry, the plastic problem, and the companies doing something about it: National Geographic: Planet or Plastic?
Here’s the plastic-free mascara and blush I found on Amazon. So far so good.