Like that dysfunctional relationship you thought was impossible to shake off, break it off with single-use plastics right now. We’ve got clean, sustainable beauty swaps to add to your routine.
We’re already down with cruelty-free and vegan make-up and natural, organic beauty brands in Singapore. But think back to your last beauty haul and all the single-use plastic bags, wrappers and cellophane you had to peel off, sometimes more than once for a single product. Along with every non-recyclable bottle of body wash, shampoo and serum… they all end up in landfills and oceans, not decomposing for 1000-odd years. Before it turns into a Wall-E situation (without the cute sentient robots), it’s not too late to make some changes of your own. We’ve scooped out these seriously luscious, effective and sustainable beauty swaps right here in Singapore to help you cleanse your dresser and life.
Guide to zero-waste and sustainable beauty products in Singapore
1. Shampoo bars that won’t hurt
Love a good lather? Oasis Skin has a variety of handcrafted solid shampoo caneles that are made with quality natural ingredients. We’re particularly fond of the ginger one, filled with nourishing herbs to combat hair loss, stimulate hair follicles and boost hair growth.
Plus, we simply can’t get enough of The Clean Attempt’s zero-waste shampoo bars. There’s even one for pets! Pro tip: pick up a soap saver bag to help your shampoo bars last longer.
2. Lip balms and scrubs that won’t bite
Kiss single-use plastic lip balms and lip scrubs goodbye with Hurraw! Balm’s vegan lip balms. These babies are crafted with organic and raw ingredients with flavours ranging from chai spice to Earl Grey. Get ‘em at the Naturally Better Co. Though the packaging isn’t 100% plastic-free, up to 50% of it is made up of recycled pellets. The brand has also reduced plastic usage by choosing more readily recyclable packaging such as aluminium, glass and tin.
Or, give your lips a quick detox with Handmade Heroes’ ultra sexy lip scrubs. Gently exfoliate your pout with goodies like jojoba avocado and coconut oil.
3. Body scrubs that don’t get into our food
You know those exfoliating body scrubs with colourful microbeads that are supposed to exfoliate your skin? Oh, they’re doing much more than that. They’re deadly dangerous! About 1 millimetre to 1 micrometre in size, these plastic beads (banned in many countries) are polluting our oceans. They get eaten by fish and have entered even our bodies via food and water.
So do your bit and pick a natural body scrub like the ones by MandyT. The scrubs are made with all-natural ingredients and packed in a sleek, eco-friendly glass bottle. Our pick? Try the calming and gorgeously scented Lavender + Chamomile + Bergamot one.
4. Skincare that doesn’t turn on us
It’s rather easy to spot an Aesop store in a mall. But its cult status products and alluring storefront aren’t the only reasons to love this brand. To reduce its environmental footprint, Aesop has made a conscious choice to use amber glass bottles to retail its famous formulas. Take the skin toners for instance. Packaged in apothecary-style glass, it extends the shelf life of the product and can be easily recycled too! Closer to home, we’ve got Kew Organics’ eco-friendly skincare packaged in energy-enhancing Miron Violet Glass. It’s not only plastic free but activates and energises the molecules of the contents in the glass too.
5. Shampoos & body washes? It’s all about the refill…
You know we love The Social Space for all sorts of reasons. This lovely little ethical boutique, social enterprise and cafe has its own refillery for shampoos and body washes. It’s got some good stuff on tap – Ecostore for shampoo and hand wash, and Vermont Castile for castile soap that can be used as a body wash. It’s best to BYOB here – bring your own bottle to eliminate wastage.
6. Face masks that won’t end up in landfills
Rolled oats and chamomile might sound like breakfast but they’re actually ingredients of this lovely, natural face mask and cleanser. Trove of Gaia stocks Espoir & Co Fuller’s Earth & Chamomile Cleanser & Mask, which comes in a reusable and recyclable aluminium jar. When you’re done, use it as a travel kit for slices of soap, store sweets or earrings or even turn it into a desk organiser.
7. Hair dyes that don’t kill
Changing your hair colour is good but changing your relationship with chemical-heavy, plastic-packaged dyes is even better. Get rid of those greys with plastic-free hair dyes by Lush made of henna, essential oils and cocoa butter – because we gotta condition. These dyes come with no plastic wrapping, multiple sachets of random powder or disposable gloves – they’re just bars of dye with a paper label.
8. Face oils that don’t clog our oceans
Give your skin the TLC it deserves with toxic-free face oils. Frank Skincare’s line of face oils is made in small batches and sold in recycled or recyclable packaging as much as possible. We’d call that a win-win for you and mama earth. Once you’ve used up a dropper bottle, put them back to use. Custom-make essential oil blends or sterilise them before storing things like hot sauce or homemade vanilla extract.
9. Soaps that don’t slip up decades later
Get your hands on Rough Beauty’s bar soaps that’ll make you feel great about your life choices. These handcrafted bars of wonder are wrapped in donated magazine paper if you opt for the low-waste option at checkout.
Likewise, homegrown brand Oasis Skin’s soaps are made with no nasties and no single-use plastic packaging. Almost all the soaps come in sweet cloth bags that can be easily reused at home. We’re also crushing on the eco-friendly natural hemp soap bags for daily exfoliation.
10. Deodorants that do good
We’ve got a nose for natural deodorants and we’re loving Jomingo for more than its au naturel, chemical-free ingredients. This handmade roll-on is packaged in a biodegradable, plastic-free casing. It lets you free all kinds of pits (if you get the drift).
11. Remove your makeup the right way
After a long day, removing makeup with makeup wipes is super tempting. But stop right there! Not only is it one of the worst ways to remove makeup, some wipes are non-biodegradable. Wipe your face clean with reusable cotton pads or makeup remover towels from The Clean Attempt. Eliminate cotton buds from your routine with Frank Skincare’s reusable swabs, made with food-grade silicone.
See? Staying eco-friendly and having a solid sustainable beauty routine can go hand in hand.