Men’s grooming. Sounds harmless enough, right? Sadly, in most cases, wrong.
The cosmetics we buy and the grooming regime we follow each morning can have detrimental effects on the environment if we don’t choose them thoughtfully. It’s important to opt for eco-friendly grooming products to avoid seriously damaging the planet when following your morning and evening grooming ritual.
Guys, here’s your guide to sustainable grooming. Your skin and the planet will thank you for it.
Why use sustainable grooming products?
Think about it. There are over 25 million people living in Australia. Imagine if every one of those people owns a toothbrush, which will inevitably end up in a landfill.
Next think about all the bottles of shampoo, moisturiser, eye drops, hair wax, hand sanitiser and more. That’s a lot of plastic and nasty chemicals if the cosmetics being used aren’t made from natural ingredients.
It might appear like everything’s getting neatly recycled and everything is under control. It isn’t. Much of what we think is being recycled is either ending up in landfill, incineration or in the sea – cue greenhouse gases. Besides, the majority of plastics can’t even be recycled more than once.
And that’s just the packaging. There are countless cosmetic ingredients that are bad for the environment (and your skin for that matter), which are best to be totally avoided. These include (but are not limited to) BHA and BHT, triclosan, silicones and synthetic fragrances. Nasty!
How to make your grooming routine more eco-friendly
So how do we avoid damaging the environment in the quest of looking good each day? Here are some simple but effective ways to turn your grooming regime green.
Be mindful of packaging
When shopping for grooming products, the goal should be finding cosmetics that come in plastic-free packaging. This is no easy task, so when you do have to succumb to purchasing plastic packaging, try to find ways to reuse it and remember to buy in bulk. Keep an eye out for grooming products without any packaging at all such as ‘naked’ shampoo and shower gel bars – brands that package in this way are likely to create more eco-friendly products.
Bypass disposable products
Whenever you can, choose more eco-friendly, reusable grooming products over disposable ones. Steel razors look much better than their plastic counterparts and are a whole lot better for the environment. An electric toothbrush might seem like a good idea, but you’ll still need to replace the head every few months, meaning you’ll be wasting more plastic. Seek out biodegradable alternatives, such as toothbrushes made from bamboo!
Buy from eco-conscious brands
More and more cosmetics brands are opting for a more environmentally-friendly approach, not only to their products – but the way they manufacture those products. This includes using renewable energy sources through wind-powered factories. Do your research before purchasing a product from any brand and committing to using their grooming products. You want to be sure you’re aligning yourself with a brand you believe in.
Check the label
Just the way you’d analyse a food label, it’s important to read the label of your grooming products thoroughly to ensure there’s no nasty surprises. What you’re looking for are environmentally-friendly and alcohol-free ingredients that will have the most positive environmental impact (while also being good for your skin).
Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that go from the body wash you use into the ocean. These nasty little beads pollute waters and contaminate the food chain with toxins. Following the Microbead-Free Waters Act that was passed in 2015 in the US, which banned microbeads from being used in any formula, Australia is finally starting to phase microbeads out of beauty products, too.
If you do see them on sale now, refuse to buy them – we need them to become a thing of the past for the sake of our shores.
Use eco-friendly products
Finally, it’s essential to keep sustainability top of mind when shopping for men’s grooming products. In your search for natural and organic products, look out for cosmetics that are pesticide-free and avoid toxic ingredients like parabens or petroleum. It’s also essential to keep an eye out for that ingredient you’ll find in so many cosmetics – palm oil.
Extracted from the pulp of the fruit from the oil palm tree, palm oil is an edible oil used in many types of food. Palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit and is often used in the manufacturing of cosmetics.
Palm oil plantations are the main driver for deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. These two regions account for 85% of the global production of palm oil. In short, say no to palm oil!
So there you have it, guys. With a little bit of research and thoughtfulness, your grooming regime can be much more sustainable. It's worth putting in the effort.