Have you ever thought about how your beauty routine affects the Earth? A ridiculous number of beauty products out there are packaged in plastics, which have a lifespan of 450 – 1,000 years and emit harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere at a startling rate. Not okay.

While some products do have low waste packaging, there’s still more to consider when it comes to sustainability and beauty products, including the chemicals found in the products themselves. Far too many ingredients in makeup and skincare products may increase your carbon footprint without you even realizing it.

Join us and opt to be just a little kinder to the Earth with your beauty routine! Here are five tips to help you have an effective skincare routine that doesn’t harm the environment:

1. Eco Friendly Skin Care: Seeking out brands that work to minimize their environmental impact is up to you! We love seeing more and more brands becoming environmentally aware and switching to more sustainable practices. At Shea Brand we use recycled aluminum for our shea butter canisters and recycled glass for our tincture, spray bottles, and rollers. We highly recommend our stockist Credo Beauty because they rigorously vet all of their brands, making the process of finding the companies that are taking the steps to be environmentally friendly much less daunting.

2. Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Care: Even when you seek out environmentally friendly packaging, always remember to read the ingredients. Here are the environmentally unfriendly ingredients we try and stay away from when we purchase any beauty products:

ParabensPalm Oil (and palm oil derivatives)SulfatesFormaldehydePropylene GlycolButylated CompoundsPhthalates

BONUS! By eliminating these ingredients from the products you purchase, you’ll not only help preserve the environment but may see that the switch improves your skin as well!

3. Recycling Skin Care Products: Choosing products that are completely plastic-free is HARD! However, recycling containers after you’ve used them is an easy step to ensure the packaging gets used and reused. Rinse out bottles and containers to make sure they’re clean and remove labels when possible. Be aware of pumps and droppers, which should be tossed or reused! Recycling whenever possible decreases the demand for new plastics and helps lower the amount of plastics that end up polluting the world’s oceans and poisoning marine life.

4. Use Reusable Application Products: Try to avoid one-time use products like makeup wipes to eliminate waste. Instead, use towels, environmentally friendly cotton swabs or recyclable paper products that play friendly with the environment. Reuse shea butter tins to keep track of small items like paper clips and reuse dropper bottles for kitchen oils.

By taking a few extra steps and being aware of how your health and beauty products impact our Earth can result in a healthier, more friendly environment to live in. Here’s to a brighter, cleaner future!

About the author: Faye Lessler is a California-born, Brooklyn-based freelance writer and founder of lifestyle blog, Sustaining Life. She enjoys writing mission-driven content while sipping black tea in a beam of sunshine.

This post was written by Faye Lessler, a California born, New York City based advocate for holistic sustainable living. Faye is the author of sustainable lifestyle blog, Sustaining Life, and is passionate about making an ethical & eco-friendly lifestyle easier and more accessible for all. Faye is also a freelance writer and the Events + Talent Manager for the Ethical Writers & Creatives. Faye has been featured in Glamour and NY Magazine and has collaborated with sustainability leaders Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, and Klean Kanteen.