Behold! Natural, eco-conscious ways to get gorgeous and protect the earth
By Jenna Mahoney
Clean your beauty routine
No one's asking you to slap mayo on your face, bathe in patchouli or give up your highlights. A few easy tweaks can make a world of difference to your looks and to the planet.
Face: Wash wisely. Single-use synthetic cleansing pads may be handy, but they also clog landfills. Consider removing makeup with a washcloth made from organic fibers such as bamboo. "The ultrasoft material gently exfoliates even the most sensitive skin," says Victoria Raisky, holistic beauty therapist at Greenhouse Holistic, a spa in Brooklyn, New York. Plus, the textile, taken from the pulp of bamboo grass, is naturally resistant to bacteria-that's good for your face and your laundry pile. De-stress your skin in 3 easy steps!
Body: Save H20. Could the runoff from your showers fill a swimming pool? 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, suggests Jeannette Graf, M.D., a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. 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.
Hair: Beat the heat. It would take two trees 10 years to absorb the carbon dioxide you create from blow-drying 10 minutes a day for just one year. To lessen drying time, use a towel to soak up excess water, then air-dry hair almost completely. At the salon, ask for Baliage, an aluminum foil-free highlighting method that doesn't require sitting under a dryer. "Hair will be stronger and shinier," says Clay Patané of The Loft Hair Lounge & Green Spa in Beverly Hills, California.
Kitchen beauty solutions to try: Uncover a gorgeous complexion with these DIY recipes.
A refillable bottle here, a canvas bag there. When saving Mother Nature, it all counts. These tips minimize your carbon footprint and maximize your beauty benefit.
Precycle: Eyeing a 0.01-ounce skin cream housed in an elaborate three-tiered box? Bells and whistles may look pretty, but they won't do a thing for your complexion. Opt for containers that limit solid waste when tossed. "Recyclable, biodegradable packaging and soy inks are best," says Lisa Rogers Sykes, an eco-friendly skin-care specialist for the Green Spa Network in Occidental, California.
Extend cycle: One way to create less waste: Use every last drop of lotion and potion. Here, SELF readers offer savvy advice:
"When I'm nearing the end of a cream, I use nail scissors to cut the bottom off the tube. I scoop out whatever's left and put it in a recycled bottle." -Suzanne Brown, Denver
"A lip brush gets every last swipe out of my favorite lipstick." -Sandra Micek, Menlo Park, CaliforniaRoll out the green carpet! These stars share their earth-saving secrets.
Recycle: Sure, you remember to separate your kitchen garbage. You might even take pride in rinsing out goopy cans and stockpiling old newspapers. But what about the wastebasket in your bathroom? It could hold plastic shampoo bottles, cardboard makeup packaging or glass vials of perfume that can be recycled. Before taking out the trash, rifle through the tiny bins around the rest of the house, too!
Reuse: After you empty any beauty goodies that come in glass jars, clean them (rinsing with soap and water should do the trick) and use them as storage for makeup brushes, cotton swabs and homemade scrubs. Or pop in a soy-based votive candle with a cotton wick to create a spalike glow around your tub. These sparklers don't emit polluting black soot the way paraffin wax and zinc wicks do.Here's how to decode label lingo and find out what eco-buzzwords really mean!
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