The Ingredients List - Breaking down the what, where and why of natural and eco-friendly beauty.
Sustainability-shaming our beauty routine seems to be a craze at the moment. Don’t get us wrong, we need to change our ways but it’s a minefield of trying not to do more harm than good. But, one easy and sure way to help reduce wastage is to take single-use cotton out of our routines.
Sounds simple right? Actually, it is. Scrap the cotton buds, leave the single-use pads at home, and embrace a more sustainable addition to your everyday beauty routine.
According to , the amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton, which is one of our basic white T-Shirts, is the same amount of water one person would drink over three years. Bearing that in mind, we at least keep our trusted t-shirts for longer than a day, so imagine the amount of water we waste on a single-use cotton pad.
Not only would removing them from our beauty routines reduce water wastage but think of how much less we’d be emptying our bins if we weren’t chucking a cotton pad away every time we apply our toner in the evening. Less cotton pads thrown away, equals less cotton pads going straight to landfill.
However, the largest environmental impact is due to the pesticides used to grow the cotton in the first place. Pesticides deplete soil quality and then as a direct result, leach into the water systems which affects the animals and people living within in the growing areas.
WWF Textiles and Cotton Lead, Laila Petrie recommends trying to, 'replace disposable beauty products with reusable ones where possible to cut down on waste and to look for alternatives made from recycled materials.'
One exciting new alternative is . The sheets are made from 80% pulp and 20% rayon, which is a renewable cellulosic plant made from biodegradable fibres. A bonus for not only our bank accounts but our planet too, is that, when compared to regular cotton pads, Hydrapuffs deliver up to 50% more product onto the skin, meaning our favourite toners will stick around for longer and aren't being unnecessarily absorbed.
founder Karen Hong, believes that, ‘removing cotton pads from your skincare routine is essential if you want to minimise the impact your beauty routine has on our planet.
'Regular cotton pads don't biodegrade due to the bleaching and mixing processes used to create them. The beauty industry has progressed so much now, there’s no need for cotton! Plus, by removing cotton pads from your routine, you're also reducing the amount of plastic packaging waste you produce, which is an added bonus.’
Petrie suggests another ideal cotton alternative is muslin cloths. Despite being made from cotton, ‘using them as part of your daily routine can reduce waste and environmental impacts as they can be reused frequently’. Petrie recommends buying from brands which have a strong commitment to sustainable sourcing and manufacturing and looking for organic or recycled products.
Muslin cloths also have the added benefit of being hygienic due to their open weaving, meaning they dry exceptionally quickly, which prevents any bad bacteria from growing. Win for the planet and a win for your skin.