We need to talk about plastic and skincare

The beauty industry is problematic. To say the least. It’s heavily reliant on plastic packaging and some products even have plastic in them. One such product is the kind of physical (also called mechanical) exfoliant with so called microbeads in it. Another product that typically contains plastic is cleansing balms. But not all exfoliants, scrubs or balms have plastic in them though and you can check the ingredient list to find out. If a product contains for example polyethelene or nylon, it has plastic in it.

But while plastic in the product is one thing that can be relatively easily avoided by switching to another product, plastic packaging is a whole different problem. Only in rare instances will companies (usually the more expensive ones) package products without plastic and instead use glass which is easier to recycle. And even more rare is it to see replaceable inner packaging or no packaging at all.

I am personally struggling A LOT with coming to terms with the amount of waste I create from using skincare.

I have just recently become a self-proclaimed skincare junkie. I kind of did a 180 at the start of Covid-19 and went from not being interested at all to being so deep in the skincare community that I only just emerged to find out that it was the beginning of September already.

Before this flip, I was not interested in purchasing products containing plastic and chemicals. I was, to be honest, downright afraid of it. My reasoning was that it was impossible that something that wasn’t completely natural could be better for my skin than products I made myself using natural ingredients.

*barf*

I know some people might read this and fall off their chairs right away. The image of DIY TikToks comes to mind where people to crazy things to their faces like egg or straight up lemon juice. And although I never put egg or lemon on my face, I wasn’t much better.

But was I doing something better for the environment than I am now?

The reason why I switched from completely DIY to regular skincare was because after more than four years of using DIY natural skincare, I had zero results to show for it. I have self-diagnosed (yes, I know. I really should go to a dermatologist and maybe one of these days I will) Rosacea. Some people call it adult acne because it can for some people look like acne. For me, my biggest problem is and has always been the redness. And after several years nothing – absolutely nothing – had changed. In fact, it just seemed to have gotten worse over the years and I was sick of it.

Now, here’s my dilemma: is it worth sacrificing the health of the planet for your own skin?

Most (hopefully) would say “No”, including myself. But if it comes to feeling good about myself, I have to reconsider this. Because a big part of feeling happy with myself is feeling like I look good.

It might be shallow, but I think a lot of people appraise themselves based on how they look (and if you’re not one of those people, I can only say: Congrats, you cracked the code!). But if I choose to buy skincare that makes me look better but comes with a massive amount of packaging, then I cannot be of the opinion that my life is more worth than our planet, right?

There will be more on skincare in the future. But for now, I’ll just end this post by admitting that I am nowhere near perfect and maybe I am even further away from it than I was before. Sadly.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the problems of waste in the beauty industry, check out the links above.

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