*This piece was previously published in Bath Life Magazine January 2020
Here are a half-dozen great new beauty routines to get into for 2020, none of them difficult, and they'll each be better for the planet, your skin, or both.
We may be coming to the end of January with some of our best intentions becoming a thing of the past, but there's one thing we shouldn't give up on. It's never too late to overhaul your beauty routine.
With that in mind, here are six simple beauty habits are my year-round tips for happier skin, even better - some can make a difference to the environment too.
This is always my number 1 go-to skincare tip, at any age. Just incorporating the simple daily habit of using broad spectrum sunscreen as part of your morning skincare routine can put you ahead in the anti-ageing game.
It’s easy to spend a lot of time, money and energy on skincare products and treatments, but skipping your daily sunscreen could mean that you just don’t see the results you want long term
Let’s face it - we all know that it’s not a good idea to go to bed with a full face of makeup after a long day or night out. Even if you don't wear makeup, your skin is still exposed to pollutants and bacteria during the day - not to mention the build up of oils, sweat, and dead skin that clog your pores in the process.
Aside from sunscreen, cleansing really is the most important step in your skincare routine. Skip this key step and it can result in issues such as breakouts, irritation, dehydration, a blotchy complexion and even signs of premature ageing. It also reduces the effectiveness of the follow on products in your routine.
There is no need to overdo cleansing, but creating a cleansing / skincare routine that you actually enjoy and look forward to can go a long way to get into the habit every day.
Wash your makeup brushes and blenders at least once a week.Dirty makeup brushes can wreak havoc with your skin and can cause much more damage than just a simple breakout or skin irritation.
Daily use accumulates sebum, impurities, pollution, dust, product buildup and dead skin cells that can even include harmful bacteria like staphylococcus, streptococcus and E. Coli.
Putting time, energy and money into a skincare routine and then top it off with dirty makeup brushes is counterproductive. Taking care of your brushes will also help with more flawless application and make them last longer.
And don’t forget to regularly clear out and clean out your makeup bag as well!
As convenient as they may be, face wipes are incredibly damaging for the environment and they take years to break down in landfills. A 2019 report by Water, UK, found that around 9 million wipes (including baby wipes) are being flushed down toilets every day, often causing severe blockages in sewers.
Both The Body Shop and Holland & Barrett took the lead in banning their face wipe ranges in 2019, championing more environmentally friendly alternatives such a bio-degrable options. Better still - switch over to reusable, washable face cloths.
These are not only better for the environment, but can provide a much better, more thorough cleanse too. I created my own double-sided face cloths and, combined with your favourite cleanser, guarantee they will help your skin feel beautifully clean and fresh.
Very few sanitary products on the market are biodegradable, which leads to the same concerns about landfill and waste pollution as face wipes. Importantly, however, we also need to consider the materials used to manufacture sanitary products and how that could impact our bodies, especially when it comes to tampons.
Synthetic fabrics used for sanitary products are often derived from crops sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, whilst the pearly white colour comes from chlorine bleach and chemical additives.
Companies like OHNE ohne.co provide 100% biodegradable, unscented and bleach-free organic cotton tampons, wrapped in a hypoallergenic, recyclable plastic for protection. Then there are of course also a tampon-free solution such as Moon Cup, or Modibodi, leak-proof, washable underwear for periods.
The 3 ‘Rs’ rule in the beauty world: Recycle, Reuse or Re-gift.
Regularly taking stock of unused, no-longer-needed or maybe well-intentioned birthday or Christmas gifts that didn’t quite fit in with your routine can be of great use to someone else that may need it.
Instead of throwing out, you could re-gift or donate to a charity such as the Beauty Banks that redistributes personal care and beauty items to women, children and families who need it.
Locally in Bath you can find a Beauty Banks drop-off point in Found, on Argyle Street.