Create a Sustainable Beauty Routine The Simple Way

Create a Sustainable Beauty Routine The Simple Way

Move aside fad diets and obscure new hobbies, there’s a new resolution in town.

As environmental awareness continues to grow more and more with each passing year and within each new generation, the need to change the routines that have been passed down to us grows with it. So if you’re eyeing that graveyard of empty hairspray canisters and half-used chapsticks and wondering how you can create a more sustainable beauty routine this year, you’ve come to the right place.

Take one peek into the environmental impact of the beauty industry and I think you’ll agree things look a little bleak. An estimated 120 million units plus of packaging is produced by the beauty industry each year, and packaging accounts for 70% of the industry’s waste. Just in the U.S, 7.9 billion (yes, BILLION!) units of rigid plastic were created for the cosmetic industry.

Given that only about 9% of plastics actually get recycled according to the EPA, and we can assume that number is even lower for hard to clean cosmetics containers, those stats are more than a little jarring.

That being said, the future doesn’t have to look so bleak. Pushing aside cliche New Year’s Resolutions that usually don’t stick for something more attainable - and sustainable - like creating a more eco-friendly beauty routine is a fantastic first step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

How to Transition to Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

When it comes to transitioning to eco-friendly makeup and skincare routines, our best advice is to keep it simple. It might be tempting to buy all the new sustainable products you’d like to try, but purchasing boxes of new products that you might not even use or like adds up to more waste in the end.

We recommend keeping three things in mind when transitioning to a new beauty routine: start with what you have, replace only when finished, and replace only the products you really use.

When it does come time to purchase new products, carefully read reviews to see if the product will work for you and your lifestyle, and try to be as realistic as possible. If convenience is key for your busy mornings, choosing a low waste mascara that’s similar to what you’re used to in a conventional mascara instead of jumping to a zero waste mascara right away could really help you avoid overwhelm in the transition phase.

Prioritize Eco-Friendly Packaging

The simplest way to green up your beauty routine is to avoid plastic packaging as best you can. Since only a small number of plastics - especially cosmetic containers - actually get recycled, our best bet is to look for products in sustainable packaging. Look for beauty products in more easily recycled containers, such as glass or aluminum, and as little packaging as possible. Better yet, pick out products with no packaging at all such as bars of soap instead of hand wash or body gel. 

At Zerra & Co., all our packaging is either recyclable or compostable, and we ship completely plastic free and carbon neutral. Although some of our products do contain unavoidable plastic components, we offer solutions for you to reuse those components with our refills or send the container back to us to be reused. If you want to avoid plastic completely, you can shop our plastic free, zero waste products.

The Mascara - Zero Waste Packaging

Lotion Bar

Simplify your Beauty Routines

When it comes to creating eco-friendly beauty routines, less is more. More sustainable, that is.

Most conventional brands would convince you that you need a 20 step skincare routine if they could, because that would mean selling more products. Most of which are pretty unnecessary and filled with a lot of “fluff” ingredients and small amounts of the stuff that’s actually effective.

Stick to simple but effective products that work great for your skin and lifestyle, and you’ll find that you need way less products than you might have been led to believe.

Pair down your skincare routine to just the products your skin needs and loves. The planet, your skin, and your bathroom cupboard will thank you.

You can also opt for products that are multi-use. For example, our tinted balms make a great multi-stick! Choosing multi-use products reduces the production, shipping, and resources impact. Plus, it’s far more likely you’ll use it up before the expiration date.



The Routine

Tinted Lip Balm


Swap out Your Essentials for Sustainable Alternatives

You don’t have to change out all your beauty products all at once. Start with your basics and work your way from there. Then as you run out of the things you barely used in the first place, ask yourself if you really need to replace it. 

The Mascara Eyeliner



Refill Your Beauty Products

Even sustainable beauty products can have some components that aren’t easily recyclable or compostable, such as pumps or mascara wands. That’s why it’s helpful to choose products that have refill options.

Many zero waste stores or even health food stores have options to refill your beauty products in person, like many of the stores that carry Zerra & Co. products. Our online store also sells refills that we will ship to you without pumps etc. so you can reuse yours, and send your empty container back to us to be reused through our Container Return Program.


Liquid Lotion Refill Face Moisturizer Refill

Tips for Sticking to your Resolution

It’s no secret that New Year’s Resolutions have a habit of not sticking that is a lot stronger than our habit of sticking to them. That being said, it’s not so hard to build those new habits when we do it in a more realistic way.

Change your Mindset

Primarily, accepting that new habits take time to build. Most of us can’t change overnight, and those who try usually end up falling off the wagon pretty quick.

Instead of jumping in head first, keep your goals reasonable and achievable within your budget and lifestyle. Take your time to do your research, ask around for recommendations, and try a few different kinds. It’s okay if you don’t find “the one” right away. Everyone’s skin is different, and no one has skincare or makeup needs that are universal! Go into the journey with the knowledge that finding what works for you might take some time.

At the end of the day, some swaps just might not work for you. Maybe your Goldilocks moisturizer just isn’t available as an eco-friendly alternative right now, and that’s okay! Small steps lead to big changes.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Once you have the right mindset in place, putting systems into place to guide you along the way from the very beginning will be a major help in holding fast to your new habits.

Think about other habits you’ve mastered and what helped you build them over time. Does having check-ins throughout the year to reassess your goals work for you? Or does leaving motivational notes in key spots do the trick? Use what works best for you.

Along the way, always keep in mind your motivation for your new, more sustainable beauty routines according to your values. For example, if you want to create an eco-friendly beauty routine that’s less wasteful, your motivation might be to achieve healthier, glowing skin while avoiding plastic packaging. For someone else who wants to create a vegan skincare routine that’s more eco-friendly, their goal might be to create a more minimal skincare routine with all vegan products, and less products in general.

Remembering the motivation behind the resolution can help keep you motivated throughout the year.

Have any questions about any of our products? Feel free to reach out to us at and we will happily help you out!


Brittney Kiera

Content Curator - Zerra & Co.