By Rebecca Hitchon
A new year traditionally symbolises a time for reflection, yet we all know that this year has not been typical. I’m sure there are plenty of resolutions that we would all love to but can’t realistically make for 2021. Spend more time with family or travel more, perhaps. But there are still goals that we can work towards when it comes to our beauty routines. Changes we make can not only improve the health of our bodies, but also the world we live in.
Re-evaluate your beauty needs
At KeiSei we’re all here for long lasting beauty products in terms of their sustainable value, but let 2021 be the year when you ask yourself ‘are my products outdated?’ Maybe you’ve been using the same face mask formula for years or maybe you’ve just stuck to the hair care products that you know. However, the chances are that your skin, body and hair have changed in some way and your beauty routine needs an update.
I thought I knew my relatively straight hair until the UK lockdown in March, when I ditched my styling products. I was surprised to find that au naturel for my hair meant a head full of bouncy curls. Think about what you really need from your beauty for the new year, whether that’s moisture, restoration, radiance or a different need.
Keep it minimal
When you re-evaluate your beauty products, it is good to keep what you use to a minimum. As we discovered when we talked to founder of Minimalist Skincare, Jaina Shah, the release of new products might be enticing but product hopping is actually harsh on our skin.
Although the beauty industry might make us believe that we need a huge collection of products to tackle every concern, using too many products results in the opposite of what we want from our beauty routine. It makes skin sensitive, irritated, dry and more prone to breakouts. Likewise, too many hair products can damage the hair and scalp, stripping them of moisture. So next year, go for a more soothing approach and look out for minimalist beauty brands such as Circumference and Lesse.
Go zero waste
Whenever a new year comes, reflecting on how to reduce our individual strain on the environment is important. Alongside making changes throughout the home, it is crucial to minimise the damaging consequences of our beauty products. Packaging has a large part to play, with the beauty industry generating over 142 billion units of packaging in 2018. Sadly, most of that ended up in landfill or the ocean, highlighting what we want to avoid in years to come.
There are plenty of innovative brands showing how a zero waste beauty routine is more attainable than you would think. From hair care to cleansing to sanitary products, it only takes some simple changes to avoid that extra bit of single-use plastic sitting in landfill or floating around the ocean for the next 500 years.
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Opt for refills
2020 has been the year of another environmentally kind beauty design, refills. This packaging alternative is providing an exciting solution against the wasteful nature of the beauty industry and 2021 is set to see even more parts of our beauty routine become refillable. As well as more brands rolling out this kind of reusable packaging, beauty refill stations will be introduced across the UK next year.
Not only are refills a more sustainable beauty choice, but they will also save you money. Whatever you’re looking for, it is likely that you’ll find a refill, whether that be available online or as a top-up in store. So next year, there’s nothing stopping you from opting for this alternative, eco-friendlier way to do beauty.
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Prioritise natural products
When you consider the hoard of benefits for the body and the environment, natural beauty seems like a no brainer. It provides a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants that improve skin health and protect from damage in the long term. Alongside this, natural products are less irritating than synthetic products, due to their naturally-derived, often plant-based ingredients that have no impact on the environment.
Non-natural beauty products may generally be less expensive, but this is only because they are mass-produced with cheaply manufactured ingredients. In fact, natural products are a worthwhile investment for your beauty routine in the new year. Plus, as natural beauty grows and gains recognition, prices are becoming more accessible.
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Don’t forget about your hair
When we think of natural beauty routines, it’s easy to just think of how to look after our skin. But we can’t forget about our hair and the benefits of natural hair products. While hair may look shiny or smooth, these factors are no indication of its health. Synthetic hair products can create a layer of gloss or create the appearance of radiant hair, but they are actually damaging hair fibres.
Natural hair care has the same long-term benefits as natural skincare. For a healthier scalp and head of hair, make sure to check the ingredients list of hair products before buying them. Avoid parabens, alcohol, sulphates, silicones, phthalates and formaldehyde.
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Wear SPF every day
While you might think that sun protection is only for summer, did you know that you should wear SPF daily? Every time we go outside we are exposed to up to 80% of the sun’s rays, whatever the weather. Even though we might not have been outside so much due to the pandemic, it only takes 10 minutes, or less if you have particularly pale skin, to warrant an application of SPF.
Without applying SPF every day, the sun will be damaging your skin and this damage will build up, resulting in early signs of aging and potentially causing skin cancer. Beauty specialists recommend that you use a SPF of at least 30 as the last step in your morning skincare routine, at least 15 minutes before going outside.
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Clean makeup brushes more
This is something that is crucial to implement in our beauty routines right now, with hygiene more important than ever. The fibres of our makeup brushes easily become clogged with the skin’s natural oils, dead skin cells and bacteria. Using dirty brushes could result in irritation, breakouts and infections.
The brushes that need the most cleaning are the biggest brush that you use for foundation, blusher or bronzer and your eyeshadow brushes, due to the moist nature of the eyes and the increased the risk of irritation. If you have oily skin or have been ill, you should be cleaning your brushes as often as possible. But the general consensus is that makeup brushes should be washed once a week.
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Make self-care part of your beauty routine
2020 has been a tricky year to say the least and the start of 2021 is looking to be much of the same. That’s why in such challenging times it is crucial to prioritise self-care. Not enough of us make self-care a regular part of our beauty routine, even though this will not only have a positive effect on the health of our bodies, but also our mental wellbeing.
Keep in the know
Our final resolution for the new year is to keep informed about sustainable beauty brands and their products. From knowledge comes power, the power to change your way of living and increase its positive impact on the earth.
As well as destinations like Ethical Consumer, which provide sustainable beauty brand guides and ethical ratings of companies, you can rely on KeiSei to be your go-to destination for that knowledge. We are always researching so that we can help guide you towards a more mindful beauty routine. By not standing for greenwashing, we make sure that the brands we tell you about are genuinely motivated by a passion to be ethical.
What new year’s resolutions will you be making for 2021? Let us know in the comments section!