3 tips to “green” your beauty routine

Whether you rarely ever remember to apply lip balm or you commit to a full face makeup routine every day, there is always room for improving the footprint associated with your self-care routine. As environmental consciousness grows among both consumers and companies, more brands–beauty and otherwise–are shifting to or at least implementing more products geared towards sustainable ingredients, manufacturing, or overall goals. Here are a few tips to make your beauty routine more green:

1) Use coconut oil as a makeup remover!

As convenient as cosmetic removal wipes are, it’s easy to go through several packages in a short period of time. These disposable wipes are single-use, which not only makes them less cost efficient but creates a lot of waste in both the plastic packaging of the wipes and the wipes themselves, which are generally a mix of cotton, polyester, and other materials. Coconut oil is not only less harsh on the skin–particularly around sensitive areas of the face such as around the eyes, mouth, and nose–but prevents drying by nourishing the face with rich hydration and potentially preventing acne with its innate microbial properties. This can be applied either directly with the fingers and massaged into the skin or gently rubbed on with a microfiber cloth or rag for more intensive makeup removal. Coconut oil itself is also an extremely versatile product–it can be used as a cooking and baking ingredient in place of butter and other oils, works extremely well as a hair mask or daily moisturizing treatment, can double as a lip balm, and more!

2) Make your own DIY beauty products!

As fun as shopping for makeup is, many products can be rather expensive and impractical to keep buying to renew your supply. Consider making your own products for a fraction of the price with ingredients you likely already have at home! This is a great way to indulge in self care without breaking the bank. Try a batch of DIY sugar scrub with just three simple ingredients: one cup of granulated sugar mixed with ⅓ cup of oil (coconut, olive, argon, almond, or any oil you have should work fine) along with 20 to 30 drops of an essential or fragrance oil of your choosing (some great ideas are citrus, almond, lavender, peppermint, rose, etc). Feel free to play around with the ratios and ingredients to your liking–if you like, add some used coffee grounds to the mix for deeper exfoliation to both make use of your leftovers and reduce waste. Some other additional ingredient ideas include honey, ground oats, a teaspoon of soap of your choice for deeper cleansing action, cocoa butter, lemon or orange zest, etc–the sky’s the limit. The best part is, you know exactly what’s going into the products that you’re using on your skin and body, so allergens, irritants, and unknown chemicals aren’t an issue you have to worry about! Similarly, try this easy DIY face mask recipe the next time you have half an hour to sit and relax: mix equal parts aloe vera and honey (one tablespoon each may be optimal for a one time batch) and spread evenly across your face, then let it sit for at least 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Again, there are infinite variations of ingredients to choose from, so consider adding full fat yogurt, mashed avocado, cacao powder, baking soda, milk, nutmeg, oatmeal, or even matcha powder to the mix. Treat yourself to an easy, at-home spa experience!

3) Repurpose makeup tools and packaging!

Have any old mascara wands sitting around? Don’t throw them away just yet! Clean out your old mascara wands to use as a spoolie to comb through your eyebrows or eyelashes or even those pesky flyaways with some hair gel to sleek down your hair. Soak the wand and the mascara tube separately in hot water for at least half an hour to break down any leftover, dried product. If necessary use some makeup remover or isopropyl alcohol to scrub any stubborn bits out before soaking in hot water. You can also repurpose old lipstick or chapstick tubes to make your own DIY version: heat one part cocoa butter with one part beeswax and four parts oil and a few drops of essential oils to your liking for a simple but easy lip balm recipe to save money and reduce waste, ultimately reducing the footprint of your beauty routine!


Written by Carole Wilay (‘25)

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash