Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eco-Friendly Beauty Habits

Over the past few days I have run across some natural, eco-friendly beauty tips to share. Most of these things are simple and can be incorporated into your beauty routine today.

1. Use a washcloth. Single-use synthetic cleaning pads or cloths may be handy but they also clog landfills. Consider removing makeup with a washcloth made from natural fibers such as bamboo. Plus, the textile taken from the pulp of bamboo grass is naturally resistant to bacteria - good for your face and your laundry pile.

2. Hold off on the H2O. Conserve water by exfoliating before you get under the spray. Some days, swap your favorite scrub for a natural-fiber-bristle brush, sweeping skin in short upward strokes.

3. Oil up. Post shower, pat damp skin with an organic oil such as almond or avocado to lock in moisture. Unlike lotion, oil penetrates skin almost instantly and you can be sure it doesn't contain an alphabet soup of chemicals like most commercial lotions.

4. Air dry. To save energy and cut down on the carbon dioxide created by your blow dryer, soak up excess water with a towel and let hair air dry almost completely before turning on the dryer. FYI, it would take two trees 10 years to absorb the carbon dioxide created from blow drying for 10 minutes a day for just one year.

5. Recycle. Check your bathroom waste basket before throwing out cardboard packaging, shampoo bottles, or glass perfume vials. We all make a habit of recycling in the kitchen so just make sure the bathroom recycling makes it to the bin, not the trash bag.

6. Rethink your razor. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 2 billion disposable razors wind up in landfills every year. To minimize waste, choose a razor that allows you to change the blades instead of tossing a plastic, non-biodegradable razor in the trash. Better yet, invest in an electric razor.

7. Make it yourself. One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to go green is to create your own beauty products. And in many cases, you'll find all the ingredients you need right in your own refrigerator or cupboard. Karla and I look forward to experimenting with and passing along lots of great 'beauty recipes' in the near future.

And speaking of making it yourself, here is one natural beauty remedy I tried today. It not only saves money, but will also save on excessive packaging and waste. Instead of buying teeth whitening strips, try the following homemade tooth whitener. I have to say I thought I noticed a small difference in color after one treatment and my teeth had that smooth, straight from the dentist feeling which tells me that no matter what, it got my teeth really clean!

Homemade Tooth Whitener

2 teaspoons Baking soda
2 teaspoons Hydrogen peroxide

Mix until it forms a runny paste. Brush your teeth with this solution and let it sit on your teeth for 2 minutes. Rinse with warm water and then brush your teeth with regular toothpaste to rid your mouth of the peroxide solution.

You shouldn't brush with this treatment more than once per week.

Note: If you have open sores, cavities, gingivitis or other gum diseases, this may make your gums appear white for a short time. It may not be the right whitener for your teeth if they are very sensitive.

- Shannan


Living A Whole Life said...

Awesome tips Shannan!


Hanlie said...

Great post! I've been using the oil cleansing method for my face since the end of December and am very pleased with how my skin has improved. And I use coconut oil on my body! Love it!

Living A Whole Life said...

Thanks girls. I am going to start doing the oil thing too. Coconut oil sounds great!

daedra said...

My friend Andrea just told me about this
I did it last night and loved it!!

Healthy & Green on the Cheap said...

Shannan, do you know what the eco-damage would be of using wax hair removal vs. shaving? I'm thinking an electric razor isn't going to work well for me. I already use a non-disposable, but the razor blades themselves are still disposable.


Living A Whole Life said...

Hi Ilana,

If you are getting waxed at a salon make sure it is not a petroleum based wax. More eco-friendly would be natural floral waxes or beeswax. Aveda has a plant wax formula.

If you are doing home hair removal, take a look at this - sugaring (supposed to be less painful too).

Hope this helps!


Tami of BrooksGroth said...

And here I thought I was just being lazy when I don't blow dry my hair ... now I can tell others I'm being eco-friendly when I show up with damp hair. :-)

I'll be trying the tooth whitening recipe as soon as I get a chance. -- thanks for the tips!

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