Sustainable beauty is trending right now, but greening up our beauty routines is more than just a fad — it’s a necessity for the future of our planet. The sad truth is that the beauty industry is a top contributor to plastic waste, generating 7.9 billion rigid plastic packaging units per year in the United States alone. While much of this waste is technically recyclable, only nine percent ever makes it to a recycling facility.
So if you’re shopping for a beauty lover this year, why not consider some greener, low-waste options? From plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars to refillable makeup, there are tons of sustainable beauty gifts that promise to make your loved ones feel glam while also minimizing their impact on the planet. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that your money is going towards a gift that makes a positive difference.
Ahead, check out a few sustainable gifts that the beauty lover in your life is bound to appreciate this holiday season.
1. Shampoo Bar
If your beauty-obsessed pal is always on a quest for better hair, they need to get their hands on a shampoo bar. Highly concentrated with plant-based ingredients, these sustainable little bars are known to deliver salon-quality results while steering clear of bad-for-hair ingredients — like parabens, sulfates or silicones. The best part? They’re entirely package-free. By giving your friend a shampoo bar, you can save two to three plastic bottles from a landfill.
2. Conditioner Bar
You can’t give someone a shampoo bar and not get them a conditioner bar to go with it. (Well, technically, you can, but you’d be doing their locks a huge disservice.) Like shampoo bars, conditioner bars come package-free and are typically jam-packed with vitamins that help lock in moisture and soften hair.
They’re also travel-friendly, silicone-free and suitable for all hair types, including color-treated and curly hair. After a week or two of using a shampoo and conditioner bar, your beauty-obsessed friends are going to be hooked!
3. Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Plastic waste isn’t the only thing we should be nixing from our beauty routines. Those small, disposable items we reach for every day are also a major contributor to climate change. Help the makeup lover in your life say goodbye to single-use makeup wipes with a set of reusable makeup remover pads.
Along with removing stubborn makeup, reusable makeup pads are great for applying toners and face oils. Not to mention, they’ll help your friend save money in the long run! It’s a win-win for the environment and their wallet.
4. Bamboo Beauty Tools
Is your beauty-loving friend in the market for a new brush or comb? Skip the cheap plastic combs and get them a stylish bamboo comb that will look great on their vanity. Not only do bamboo combs glide more easily through hair than plastic ones, but they’re also much better for the planet. Bamboo is fast-growing, requires little maintenance to farm and is biodegradable, making it a great alternative to plastic.
Does your friend already have a bamboo comb? Spoil them with bamboo makeup brushes and a bamboo makeup holder.
5. DIY Spa Kit
Looking for a thoughtful gift idea that’s both budget-friendly and sustainable? How about a DIY peppermint-scented spa kit? Cold weather is known for causing all sorts of skin issues, from winter rash to dry skin. With a rejuvenating trio of spa gifts — exfoliating scrub, whipped body cream and a foot soak — they can keep their skin moisturized and soft all winter long. Get the DIY spa tutorial from POPSUGAR.
6. Biodegradable Hair Ties
Hair ties may be small in size, but they can have a surprisingly big impact on the planet. For one thing, they’re usually made from synthetic materials that don’t biodegrade. So when they inevitably get lost on the ground, they end up polluting the environment and harming wildlife.
A more eco-friendly option? Biodegradable hair ties. Made from plastic-free materials and colored with natural dyes, biodegradable hair ties are usually softer and more durable than standard hair ties, which means they’re better for your strands and the environment. Plus, the packaging is typically eco-friendly as well!
7. Reusable Face Mask
Yes, sheet masks work wonders on your skin and feel amazing on your face. But the unfortunate reality is that our beloved facial masks are pretty terrible for Mother Earth. The majority of sheet masks are made from petroleum-based materials and meant to be tossed away after only one use.
For an eco-friendlier option, give your sheet-mask-loving friend a reusable silicone sheet mask. Not only are reusable sheet masks better for your skin, but they can also be reused over 50 times. That’s 50 disposable sheet masks your friend won’t have to buy or throw away!
8. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Winter may be in full swing, but that doesn’t make wearing a daily sunscreen any less important. On the contrary, winter sunlight can still burn and damage your skin, which in turn can increase your risk of skin cancer.
If you want to help protect your friend’s skin sustainably, a reef-safe sunscreen would make a great gift. According to the Ocean Conservancy, chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients — most notably, oxybenzone and avobenzone — that hurt our coral reefs and the precious marine species living inside them.
By giving your friend a mineral sunscreen, you can protect the coral reefs that in turn help protect our shores from erosion and storms.
When you’re searching for a gift for the beauty-lover in your life, think outside the box! With sustainable gifting, you can give a unique gift that they’ll enjoy and you’ll feel good about giving.
For more tips and ideas for all those beauty-lovers out there, check out Soulfactors about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle for women.