Five easy ways to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly – from simple swaps to recycled packaging

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Approximately eight million tonnes of plastic makes its way into our oceans each year, and just nine per cent of plastic is recycled worldwide. And the beauty industry – with its large amount of packaging and non-recyclable items such as cotton buds and face wipes – has historically been one of the number one culprits.

Fortunately, the beauty world is now catching up, with many brands making concerted efforts to adopt more sustainable practices in an effort to limit their impact on the environment.

From refillable products to recycled packaging, it has never been easier to make your beauty routine more green. Here’s how…

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Look for recycled packaging

Historically the beauty industry was guilty of using a large amount of unnecessary packaging, with much of it eventually ending up in landfill, but nowadays more and more brands are coming up with smart eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Take Baylis & Harding's Goodness range, for example, which comes in bottles made from 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic and tubes, pumps and caps that are fully recyclable through Terracycle. the products themselves are also vegan, dermatologist-approved and made with 98% naturally derived ingredients.

We love the Goodness Rose & Geranium Hand Cream, and you'll find a full-size tube of it inside the latest OK! Beauty Edit box. This month's limited-edition selection of pampering treats has been specially selected by I'm A Celeb star Jess Plummer and contains six of her favourite beauty must-haves. It's worth over £50 in total, but you can pick it up for as little as £16.50.* Even better, the first 500 customers can get an extra 25% off – so move quick!

Buy the OK! Beauty Edit by Jess Plummer box here from just £16.50.

Swap your cotton pads for reusable ones

Cotton pads are a quick and convenient way to remove make-up and nail polish, but most aren’t recyclable or biodegradable. Switch instead to washable ones, which are usually made of bamboo or cotton.

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There are plenty on the market now – Garnier Micellar Reusable Eco Pads, £8.99 for three here, are made of a soft, fleecy fabric that effortlessly removes make-up (especially when used with one of Garnier’s micellar waters), while Bambu Babe Daily Care Bamboo Face Pads, £17.50 for 10 here, are made from a bamboo-based velvet and come with a handy pouch for chucking in the washing machine.

Ditch the face wipe habit

Did you know that the average face wipe takes about 100 years to biodegrade? Not to mention the fact that they actually don’t actually do a great job of cleaning the skin, as this viral video shows.

Save the environment – and your money – by investing in a pack of Face Halos, £18 for three here. Celebrities such as Chloe Ross and Dani Dyer are big fans of this face-cleansing disc, which miraculously removes make-up just using water. One pack of these can replace the use of 200 wipes and save you anything from £400 upwards a year.

If you can’t go completely cold turkey, swap to The Cheeky Panda Handy Wipes, £1.50 here, which are made from natural bamboo and are biodegradable.

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Recycle your make-up

Because of its fiddly packaging and tough formulas, make-up used to be one of the trickiest beauty products to recycle. In fact, Maybelline found that a third of make-up wearers didn’t even know that these products could be recycled.

Here to tackle the problem, Maybelline has teamed up with Terracycle to introduce make-up recycling bins in over a thousand Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury’s and Superdrug stores across the country. Simply drop in any old cosmetics, from ANY brand, and you can be sure they’ll be properly recycled. Click here to find your nearest drop-off point.

Switch from a liquid soap or shampoo to a solid one

Classic soap bars are making a comeback, which is great news for the environment as they usually come wrapped in little or no plastic.

L’Occitane has a huge range of chic soap bars, from the fragrant Bonne Mère Collection, £6 each here, to 2-in-1 Scrubbing Soaps, £10 each here.

Meanwhile, Garnier launched its Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bars, £7.99 here – the UK’s first mass-market solid shampoo – at the end of last year, and they’ve been an immediate hit. Garnier’s guinea pig has been none other than Holly Willoughby, who’s converted her entire family to the Softening Oat version and says it leaves her hair “super silky”.

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