We are still buying makeup and skincare products packaged with non-recyclable materials. As handy as plastic jars are, many cannot be recycled. Glass is much easier to re-cycle, so look for your favorite natural and organic beauty products in glass or other recyclable containers.
If you must use plastic (glass bottles falling on a tiled bathroom floor are dangerous), become familiar with the recycling number system. Containers which are marked 1 or 2 are easier to recycle than those numbered from 3 to 7. Find the number on the bottom of the jar, next to or inside the triangle recycle logo. Sometimes the information is pressed into the plastic instead of printed, so you might need a bright light and your glasses.
If you can't find the number on the product or the box it comes in, at least look for the circular arrow logo, which indicates a recyclable material. Still can't find it? Just email the company and ask, by going to the company's website and looking for a "contact us" button.
2. Not checking for questionable ingredients.
Even if it is a brand I trust, I always read the ingredient list. Before buying a new makeup or body lotion, run questionable ingredients through your search engine to check for toxicity, safe levels of an ingredient, and potential allergies. Everything you put on you or your children's skin, including hair products, can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
3. Creating more garbage.
Remember to bring a re-usable shopping bag to the store with you when you shop for your natural beauty products, or anything for that matter. Every time. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. It can be as simple as re-using a plastic or paper bag, or dusting off an unused tote.
4. Buying disposable for convenience.
Companies are marketing disposable beauty aids - and we're still buying them. We don't need disposable makeup remover cloths when a washcloth will do just as well. We can even cut back on cotton swabs and facial tissue, using foam makeup wedges instead.
5. Buying products that are clearly over packaged.
Even if a box is recyclable, excessive packaging is unacceptable. Something small to protect a product from being opened, or a box that's already made of recycled material, is fine. But boxes within boxes, cardboard shelves within the box to make a small jar appear larger, even tissue paper used to wrap cosmetics at the department store - are all wasteful. The over packaging of cosmetics and skin care is a major problem right now.
6. Buying a product that is tested on animals.
In addition to checking the ingredients for toxicity, too many of us are still buying lotions and potions that require the abuse or death of an animal in their creation or testing. Beauty involves compassion. There's no way we can be truly beautiful if it's at another creature's expense.