January 06, 2021 4 min read

From reusable Q-tips to eco-friendly shampoo bars, we’ve rounded up some of the simplest yet most effective sustainable makeup and beauty swaps you can make in 2021.

Wow, 2020 was a tough year!

Having been stuck in multiple lockdowns, it can seem like many of us didn’t accomplish much.

But in reality, the past year taught us many things...patience, the beauty of human kindness,  how to wear a mask without ruining our makeup, and the sustainability wins we can achieve if we all make a few simple changes.

From a  25% reduction in China’s carbon emissions to a pod of orcas enjoying the quiet waters off the coast of Metro Vancouver, the pandemic has shown us just how easily humans can have a positive impact on the environment.



Now the New Year is upon us and it’s time to make those resolutions. 

And what better way to make yourself feel amazing inside and out in the New Year than by making a few easy sustainable changes to your beauty routine?

Sustainable beauty swaps for eco-friendly resolutions

How can I make my beauty routine more sustainable in 2021?

From reusable Q-tips to eco-friendly shampoo bars, there are plenty of simple and effective sustainable makeup and skin care swaps that can make your beauty routine more eco-friendly.

Including these easy swaps as part of your New Year’s resolutions will help you to stay accountable and have a positive impact on both you and the environment in 2021.

Sustainable beauty bar and wooden skin care brush

The 5 Easiest (Yet Most Effective) Sustainable Beauty Swaps:

It’s time to clean up our act in 2021 with these environmentally-friendly beauty swaps!

1. Switch plastic Q-tips for eco-friendly swabs

    It is estimated that  8 million pieces of plastic enter our oceans on a daily basis and Q-tips are one of the main culprits.

    As a single-use beauty product, more than  1 billion of these plastic handled swabs are produced every single day, which is not very eco-friendly! 



    Therefore, our top sustainable beauty swap for 2021 would be to switch plastic Q-tips for eco-friendly swabs.

    For example, you could buy some biodegradable bamboo Q-tips instead.

    Or, to cut out single-use products altogether, why not buy a reusable swab such as LastSwab? They even have one specifically made for makeup!



    2. Swap beauty wipes for reusable or biodegradable wipes

      The convenience of a disposable beauty wipe can make the chore of removing makeup that bit easier but reports suggest that these single-use products are the  third-most wasteful product in the world!

      A woman removing her makeup using an unsustainable single-use beauty product

      And with 20 million beauty wipes thrown into the trash every single day, switching to a sustainable makeup remover such as  Yubi’s Lift Off Makeup Remover Puff, is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact in 2021.

      What’s more, Yubi’s microfiber makeup remover puff removes makeup with just water, so you’ll save money on beauty wipes and soap!



      3. Switch to plastic-free beauty products

        Upgrade your sustainable beauty routine by cutting out products that come in plastic packaging.

        For example, you could use eco-friendly shampoo and soap bars instead of products that come in plastic bottles. 



        Swapping to naked products can have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment; consumers have helped to save 124 million plastic bottles from being produced simply by buying Lush shampoo bars!

        That’s approximately 3417 tons of plastic saved, or about the weight of 30 blue whales.

        Now imagine how much plastic we could save if we all switched to plastic-free beauty products as part of our sustainable New Year’s resolutions...

        Sustainable beauty products that are plastic-free

        4. Use refillable beauty products instead of single-use

          We’ve talked about going plastic-free and using products made from biodegradable materials but what about swapping to beauty brands that completely break the packaging cycle altogether?

          Over the past few years, some brands have made real progress toward sustainable beauty.

          Refillable toothpaste powder offered by eco-friendly beauty brands

          In fact, a number of skin care and makeup products are now completely zero-waste!

          How have beauty brands reduced their waste to zero? By implementing eco-friendly refill programs.

          Buy a subscription of shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and much more from by Humankind.



          Or check out the amazing refillable and recyclable cruelty-free beauty products from Kjaer Weis.



          5. Swap to cruelty-free beauty products

            By choosing to use vegan brands, not only are you preventing any unnecessary cruelty to animals, but you are also helping the environment.

            Cruelty-free beauty products are usually more sustainable because they tend to use natural ingredients rather than chemicals that are harmful to the planet (and our skin).

             Natural and sustainable ingredients used in cruelty-free beauty products

            Moreover, eyelashes and makeup brushes that use animal hair can contribute to biodiversity loss (the fur industry further endangers European minks) and even future pandemics (Denmark recently culled 17 million minks to prevent the spread of a coronavirus mutation).

            As part of your sustainable beauty resolution, why not switch to a cruelty-free makeup brush or buy your next foundation from one of these vegan makeup brands at Sephora?



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