Green Beauty

Making Your Own Eco-Friendly Cosmetics | A Guest Post

Hello, friends! This Tuesday night I am watching the Lady Gaga documentary (so good. I have cried more than once and I’m not even done. Taking a break to post this!) and also sharing this guest post from my friend Jenica Barrett from the blog www.zerowastewisdom.com. I have to admit, making my own eco-friendly cosmetics seemed a little daunting, before I read her post. It’s still something I need to invest time into learning to do well, but after reading her tips, it seems a lot easier (because of good ol’ Google!) and a great way to help reduce waste (choose your own packaging! Woohoo!).

I think that DIY projects like this are awesome because A) it’s fun to try new stuff and B) you get to control what goes into it from start to finish. You even get to control how you store it! Eco-friendly cosmetics don’t have to be crazy expensive or complicated. So I hope you find this post encouraging. Enjoy!

 

handmade cosmetics

 

Raising Awareness

Many of us are now very aware of the environmental impact our cosmetics have on the planet. We search for products made vegan friendly, palm oil free, or fair trade. All of these labels help us understand what exactly goes into our products and leaves us feeling ethical about our choices. But how many of us think about the packaging the product actually comes in?

The average U.S. citizen throws away 4.5 pounds of trash each day. And some of that waste is coming from our bathrooms. We are gaining awareness around the chemicals put into products and the environmental damage the ingredients have, but most of us are still avoiding the issue of packaging. One way to combat plastic packaging is to purchase items in bulk or straight from the supplier. In the case of cosmetics however, that is often difficult. There are a few companies out there that have recycling programs (such as Pacifica and Aveda) or that refill containers (like Kjaer Weis or many Etsy companies) but these may be expensive or unavailable in your area.

To combat the plastic and wasteful packaging in my cosmetic routine, I’ve switched to making some of them myself.

 

Making Cosmetics

By making my own cosmetics, I am able to hand pick ingredients from sources I can trust and purchase them in ways that are sustainable. Many ingredients I use such as beeswax, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and oils can all be purchased in bulk at a local store. This eliminates the need for packaging and places the power directly in my hands.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects don’t have to be hard either. You may have seen thirty five step recipes showing you how to create a creamy facial foundation that leaves you with a messy kitchen and no closer to a product you can use. But don’t despair! Let’s walk through some techniques step-by-step to start making your own make-up today!

 

handmade cosmetics in repurposed containers

Picking a Recipe

The hardest step in a DIY project is picking a recipe that you will be successful at and that will actually work. Pinterest is filled with millions of recipes for lotions, mascaras, and foundations, and it can be overwhelming to pick one. In general, I would avoid Pinterest unless you really know what you’re looking for. Instead, do a google search for cosmetic-centered bloggers and read about recipes they have actually tried and liked. Make sure to read the comment section as well because if the majority of people can’t get it to work, it’s probably not as straight forward as it looks. You can find many of my cosmetic recipes on my blog!

 

Getting the Ingredients

Once you’ve picked a recipe to try, make sure you have all the ingredients! If it’s truly an eco-friendly and simple recipe, you should have close to all the ingredients in your kitchen already. My facial powder, for example, is made up of cocoa powder and corn starch. My make-up remover has witch hazel and coconut oil. All of these items will start to collect in your cupboards till you have an arsenal of ingredients to pick from!

If you don’t have an ingredient on hand, the best places to look are at local co-ops, health food stores, and soap making shops which often have bulk ingredients.  To purchase something in bulk, bring your own bag or glass container, have the cashier weigh it before adding anything (called “taring”), and then fill it up with your desired ingredient. This not only saves packaging but also allows you to purchase exactly how much you need for your recipe so you’ve not letting the leftovers waste away on your shelf.

handmade costmetics in repurposed containers

Storing and Using your Product

Since your goal of making your own cosmetics is to reduce packaging, make sure you have a sustainable way to store the item once it’s finished. Saving old make-up containers and reusing them is a great idea. If you do choose to purchase a new container, splurge for the glass ones and ditch the plastic.

 

Now you have this beautiful product that you made yourself! You have the freedom to tweak the recipe, get rid of any allergen ingredients, or change it up completely! You’ve avoided plastic packaging and saved money along the way. Sounds pretty great right? Find a recipe today on my blog, www.zerowastewisdom.com, and start creating your next make-up craze! – Jenica


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