27 Aug The Green Goddess Guide: Earth-Friendly Cosmetics
It is often said that from dust we came, and to dust we shall return. We are all creatures from Mother Nature. It only seems fitting, then, that we work to honour and preserve her the best way we can. As women, we have a more intimate connection to the planet – she boasts the miracle of life, and we have the ability to do similar by giving birth to children. So by celebrating Earth, we celebrate an entity not much different to ours.
There are many ways of doing this. In the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing how every green goddess can do her bit to protect our big blue marble in fashion, camping and adventures, and cooking. My final installment is on cosmetics and make-up.
ADOPT A GREEN ROUTINE
In Green Goddess Guide: The Eco-Friendly Fashionista, I spoke about how less is more (chic) and the same can be said for cosmetics. A streamlined toiletry bag is as environmentally responsible as a minimalistic wardrobe.
Consider investing in a body wash that doubles as shampoo and conditioner. Not only are the combination products more cost effective, but you’ll be cutting down your waste by over 60%.
Since we’re on the subject, you really don’t have to wash your hair every second day. Instead of hemorrhaging through water and stripping your luscious locks of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and glossy, wash your hair twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday night or Monday and Thursday morning) and experiment with some fun French plaits or daring hats and headwraps in between. For advice on how to train your hair into a more eco-friendly routine go here.
Lastly, biodegradable soaps shouldn’t just be used on camping trips. The earth-friendly products make it possible for you to catch your grey water from the shower and use it to water your plants and garden.
The golden rule for my skincare regime is: if I wouldn’t put it in my body, it won’t go on my body.
I did away with toners containing alcohol and face creams heavy in Mercury, Nickel and Titanium Dioxide a very long time ago. They claim to have anti-aging properties but all they do is poison your skin. Grapes, honey, strawberries, cherries, orange peels, papaya and full-cream yogurt are equally (if not more) effective and completely natural.
You needn’t look far for fantastic recipes for face masks, body scrubs and skin lotions. You can literally make toothpaste and mosquito repellent at home. The more experienced green goddess might go as far as to make her own perfume from essential oils or eyeliner from activated charcoal and coconut oil. The possibilities of homemade cosmetics are as extensive as your creativity, patience and commitment to preserving the earth will reach.
Don’t keep these natural gems to yourself either. A jar of foot scrub would make the perfect birthday, anniversary or appreciation gift.
READ YOUR LABELS
Though it continues to astonish me that cosmetic companies still test on animals, and that it hasn’t been outlawed yet, you’ll certainly be doing Mother Nature a service if you avoid those labels all together. You can identify cruelty-free cosmetics by the bunny logo printed on the product.
It’s incredibly important that you not only read what beauty brands are legally required to brandish on their products, but that you understand what you are reading too. Knowing what to keep an eye out for can save you from purchasing single-use plastic, ditch anything that comes in a plastic container. The switch might be a little more expensive but you can reuse a glass pot for your homemade masks, facial scrubs or as mini-planters for herbs and spices you’ll eventually transfer to your kitchen garden.
Look out for the mobius loop. The triangle made of arrows speaks to the lifespan of the products packaging. If the symbol is placed inside a solid circle, you can be sure that the tub or tube is made from recycled materials. The ECOCERT symbol is an organic certification. Reading, and understanding, the labels on your favourite mascara, toner and nail polish takes only a few moments but has the potential to save the planet in the long run.
So you see, being more eco-friendly is extremely easy. Embrace your inner green goddess and honour Mother Nature through your cosmetic choices.
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