If your New Year’s resolution is to go green, adopt these eco-friendly beauty habits.

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It’s no secret the beauty industry could use an environmental makeover. Every year, makeup, skincare, fragrance, and haircare companies produce over 120 billion units of packaging—most of which cannot be recycled. The ever-quickening trend cycle doesn’t help either, as brands and consumers generate more waste with the rise and disposal of each new “it” product.  

But we don’t have to sacrifice beauty for the environment. Thankfully, many sustainable brands and trends have popped up to combat this waste. I’ve personally felt better about my beauty consumption after adopting products like reusable makeup remover pads and “naked” soap bars packaged in paper.

If you’re looking to be more sustainable in 2024, we have several eco-friendly beauty trends for you to try paired with a few product recommendations. Just remember, it’s always greener to use up what you have and buy in bulk. 

1. Bar Shampoo and Conditioner

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The best ingredients of your shampoo and conditioner—minus the water. These bars are plastic-free, and they’re lighter than bottled hair products, leaving a smaller carbon footprint from shipping. They’re leak-proof (obviously), easy to pack when you travel, and they’ll last longer than bottled products because they’re highly concentrated. Just make sure to lather the bar in your hands before putting it directly onto your hair to prevent buildup. 

Downsides: You can’t leave shampoo and conditioner bars in the shower, or they’ll just melt away. Leave the bar out to air dry between each use. 

Kitsch Bar Shampoo and Conditioner

Courtesy of Kitsch

Clarifying Shampoo & Deep Conditioner Bundle, $45

This highly rated brand also happens to be female-owned and California-based. 

Viori Bar Shampoo and Conditioner

Courtesy of Viori

The Haircare Duo Bundle, $36

A current favorite on TikTok right now. Viori partnered with the women of the Red Yao tribe in China, known for their long, healthy hair, to include rice water in all of their products.

2. Reusable Makeup Remover Cloths

This product is probably the best opponent to disposable makeup wipes, a true environmental villain in the beauty industry. These makeup removing pads are going to save you money and reduce waste—but the real magic of this product? All you need is water. The densely packed microfibers on the cloth release and absorb makeup. Just wet the pads and wipe away. If you need a little extra clean, you can still use micellar water or another makeup removing cleanser with the pads.

Downsides: You have to wring out the cloths and wash them weekly to prevent bacteria buildup. I also recommend hanging them to dry between uses to prevent odor. 

The Makeup Eraser

Courtesy of The Original MakeUp Eraser

The Original MakeUp Eraser 7-Day Set Classics, $25

I was actually gifted this brand over the holidays, and I promise, the pads will remove your makeup. They’re also super soft. 

Courtesy of Take My Face Off

The Makeup Mitty Single-Pack Ultra-Gentle Reusable Makeup Remover, $14

The teardrop shape makes these cloths especially effective at removing eye makeup.

3. Refillable Products

Many major beauty brands are going green with refillable products. Lotion, lipstick, perfume, powder—plenty of products now have a refillable option. The idea is to keep the container and purchase the refill with packaging that uses little to no plastic. Your wallet will also thank you! The refills are sold at a discount.

Downsides: The refills aren’t usually waste-free, and they aren’t totally mainstream yet either. You’ll probably have to order refills online.

Dior Addict Lipstick Refill

Courtesy of Dior

Dior Addict Refill, $35

The refillable container of the Dior Addict lipstick lets you try all 46 shades with far less harm to the environment.

Ouai Detox Shampoo Refill

Courtesy of Ouai

Detox Shampoo Refill Pouch, $64

Ouai has a line of refills for all of their major products. I personally love their detox shampoo. It’s ultra cleansing and smells so good.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream Refill

Courtesy of Sol de Janeiro

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream 240 ml Refill, $44

This brand is having a well-deserved moment for their fragrances and body creams. I’ll definitely be getting the refill for my Brazilian Bum Bum Cream with 89% less plastic.

4. Sustainable Packaging

While the refillable products are a step in the right direction, some brands have taken the initiative to package all of their products in sustainable materials, like aluminum, bamboo, paper, and even biodegradable packaging. Typically, these materials are lighter to ship, which reduces carbon emissions during transportation. Many of these products are also designed to either be reused or decomposed, making them waste-free.

Downsides: These brands tend to be pricier because of the quality and packaging costs. The materials may also be more susceptible to damage.

Lush Charity Pot Coin

Courtesy of Lush

Charity Pot Coin Body Lotion, $2.50

This popular brand has been a green leader in the beauty industry. They use a number of sustainable strategies for their packaging, like paper bags, aluminum tins, and “naked” package-free products.

Everist Haircare Concentrates

Courtesy of Everist

The Haircare Concentrates Starter Kit, $48

Everist packages their waterless hair and body creams in aluminum tubes. They even recycle the caps with their closed-loop CapBack program. 

5. Multipurpose Products

Probably the easiest way to minimize consumption and carbon emissions, these products are as simple as an eyeshadow that can double as highlighter, or lipstick that you can put on your cheeks as blush. You could start getting creative with the products you already have, but you can also check out the brands developing products specifically for multi-use. 

Downsides: Not every multipurpose combination is effective, like the paradox of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. Beware of antithetical functions.

Nars The Multiple

Courtesy of NARS

The Multiple, $39

Several brands are starting to sell multi-use sticks, but NARS claims The Multiple is the original. Use the rosy cream on your eyes, cheeks, lips, and body.

Rare Beauty 4-in-1 Mist

Courtesy of Rare Beauty

Always an Optimist 4-In-1 Mist, $47

Fans have obsessed over Selena Gomez’s beauty brand since its launch, and the reviews for her Always an Optimist 4-In-1 Mist are no different. Spritz your face at any phase of your makeup routine, from pre-makeup to setting the look.

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