There are many problems related to the beauty industry such as animal cruelty, rainforest destruction for palm oil (yes it's even used in lipstick!) and masses of plastic packaging. Below we’ve put together a list of tips and alternatives to reduce your environmental impact with your beauty regime.

TOP TIP: Most local council recycling schemes don't accept makeup containers so all of that plastic packaging just goes to landfill! Terracycle have a scheme where you can recycle cosmetic packaging like mascara wands, lipstick tubes and eye shadow cases.

Remember if you're purchasing more than one item online then it's worth trying to order from the same website in order to reduce the impact of packaging and delivery. 


OUR FAVOURITE: Lush sell a variety of makeup, cleansers and brushes. They're all cruelty-free and palm oil-free and many are refillable or packaging-free. It's better to shop in your local store, that way you could take a reusable produce bag to put your purchases directly in instead of a paper bag. They also have a suggestions page for how to store your naked makeup.

Zao sell organic, cruelty free, vegan makeup. Their products only ever use sustainable palm oil, are all either refillable or recyclable and they try to avoid plastic where possible. They also sell removers, brushes and accessories like their bamboo compact mirror.

Plastic Freedom stock a great selection of Zao's makeup as well as removers, brushes, reusable removal pads and makeup bags. They also plant one tree for every order made and have lots of other eco-friendly product available.

Peace with the Wild sell a range makeup , removers and brushes as well as lots of other brilliant green-living items.


Cotton pads are single-use items of waste and come wrapped in unrecyclable plastic packaging. Cotton is a very unsustainable crop which uses up masses of water to grow. There are much greener, reusable alternatives available made from either sustainable cotton, bamboo or hemp.

Wet wipes are even worse for the planet. Not only are they packaged in unrecyclable packaging but the majority of wipes also contain plastic and so won't biodegrade! Again there are reusable alternatives available which can be washed. If reusable isn't practical then there are also biodegradable wipes available although these still often come in plastic packaging.


Sadly even glitter is made up of harmful microplastics! There are now biodegradable, plastic-free options available so you can still sparkle with a clearer conscience.


When it comes to what we use for our hair, almost everything is either made of plastic, comes in plastic packaging or both.

Cosmetics for hair are now available plastic-free and even packaging-free, for example shampoo and conditioner bars. Have a look at our page for plastic-free cosmetics.

There are also plastic-free alternatives to hairbands, brushes and combs. Aside from being better for the environment these are also better for your scalp and less damaging to your hair.


Many popular nail polish brands are not vegan and cruelty-free and their products use unnecessary plastic and harmful ingredients.

Zao have also produced a more eco-friendly nail polish free of toxic chemicals. There is still some plastic used only for the applicator however, if removed, the glass container can be recycled and bamboo lid will biodegrade. Zao also have a natural remover much kinder than toxic solvents such as acetone.

Peace with the Wild also sell a selection of Zao's nail polish as well as a natural remover which comes in recyclable packaging. They also have reusable nail varnish remover pads to help cut down on cotton and plastic waste.


Switching to plastic-free shaving is a really simple eco-friendly swap. Using metal reusable razors instead of disposable plastic ones is much better for the environment as these can be recycled when they come to the end of their life. The disposable ones are unlikely to be recycled so end up in landfill sites or worse. Shaving soaps or creams which come in paper packaging or metal tins are also much kinder to the planet than foams with plastic lids.

If you have any other suggestions for more eco-friendly beauty products, especially on the high street, please get in contact so they can be added to this page!