Guest post by Lillian Connors.
What’s the simplest and most effective way of looking and feeling good? It all rests on your skin, the largest and most visible body organ. Having youthful, beautiful, and healthy skin gives you a lot of much-needed confidence. You look good, feel good, stand a little taller with your head up, and can look people straight in the eye.
Using skincare products and applying a set of skin-care routines can help you achieve that beautiful skin. While seemingly harmless, there is a dark side to skincare activity. That’s because many of these products and these routines are harmful to the environment.
According to the latest medical waste disposal guide, the US generates more than 5.9 million tons of medical waste every year. However, this does not include medical waste produced from other sources, including from your home. Even that seemingly harmless wad of cotton, you used to clean your face can contain microbes that may cause pimples or acne breakouts on people with a weak immune system or those who have particularly sensitive skin.
The other problem is improper waste disposal. The fibrous wipes that you use to clean your skin can stay in the environment as they decompose ever so slowly. Some facial creams, tonics, powders, and other regimens you use can become pollutants when released into the environment. They may be toxic to wildlife or can contaminate the environment where they’re disposed of.
Does that mean you shouldn’t take care of your face altogether? Of course not! Skincare is definitely important for your overall health, well-being, and confidence. But you need to put a little bit of consideration into the environment. Here are some ways on how to clean, freshen, treat, and make your skin glow while ensuring you’re not compromising the health of the environment.
Believe it or not, water and a little bit of mild soap are actually enough to thoroughly cleanse and freshen your skin. Long before skincare products were invented, our ancestors used nothing but water, herbs, and leaves to keep their skin healthy.
Wash your skin with warm water to open up the pores of your skin and draw out dirt, oils, and sebum. Gently lather mild facial soap on your skin to break down oils and stubborn dirt. Then wash the lather off with cool water to close down the pores.
Mulling over hundreds of creams, serums, and other skincare products is a waste of time and money. Come to think of it, a lot of products have similar ingredients but with different branding. Worse, you’ll be left out with hundreds of plastic tubes, sachets, and containers that you need to dispose of.
What you actually need is just a cleanser, toner, and a moisturizer that’s right for your skin. By keeping your skincare routine simple, you save a lot of money while reducing the volume of household waste.
When you wash your face, you will most likely use soap. If you do, use biodegradable soap. Biodegradable soap is made of natural oils, emulsifiers, and other ingredients that bacteria can easily break down. Biodegradable soap breaks down to 90 percent water, carbon dioxide, and organic material within 6 months. This makes the soap residue chemically inert, which makes it safe and non-toxic.
A perfect example of biodegradable soap is Aleppo soap, which is a hard bar soap usually associated with Aleppo, Syria. Traditionally, it is made of natural laurel berry oil, olive oil, water, and lye. All ingredients are natural and thus can easily be decomposed.
A lot of facial creams contain petroleum-based ingredients, which are derived from fossil fuels. When buying skin-care creams, you should avoid products that contain ethylene, propylene glycol, or paraffin oil. Rather, opt for products with gentle, natural ingredients such as vegetable oils, cocoa butter, or beeswax.
Another option is to avoid synthetic formulas completely and rely on natural ingredients like Rosehip Oil, essential oils, and natural butters.
People typically use cotton pads and wipes to apply makeup, serums, and other facial regimens, or remove them away. Unfortunately, these pads and wipes are made of non-biodegradable fibers that can clog waterways, pollute the environment, and pose a health hazard for wild fauna.
A better alternative is to use natural sea sponges, which are available in all sizes. Natural sea sponges can be used as makeup applicators or removers, lathering agents, or exfoliating materials. Not only are they soft and gentle, but they are also naturally anti-bacterial. Because the fibers are tough, they can be reused several times. Because they’re biodegradable, sea sponges can be disposed of by burying them in your potted plants; the action of decomposition even fertilizes your plants
Finally, natural sea sponges are a renewable resource. They are easily grown, and they can reproduce quickly and easily.
Ask any dermatologist how to really achieve beautiful skin. You can bet your last dollar that the real beauty comes from within---literally! No amount of commercial skincare products can make you beautiful if you don’t take care of your health.
Thus, eat a balanced diet, focusing on healthy foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables. Have adequate rest and sleep. Drink lots of water and exercise regularly. Make sure you defecate every day. Keep yourself clean and live a positive lifestyle. Good health is the secret to real beauty!
You want to look and feel great. That involves a little bit of skincare. By following the tips mentioned above, your skin stays clean, vibrant, young-looking, and glowing while ensuring that you're not inadvertently damaging the environment.
Lillian Connors is a Senior Content Developer at ACT-ENVIRO, with years of experience in developing content. Throughout her career, she always looked for ways to contribute to the environment in recycling efforts, while providing valuable information with her written articles.
She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainability not only makes us far less dependent on others regarding how we live and do business but also contributes to our planet being a better place to live on. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini.