Skincare forms an important part of self-care, and a clear complexion is what the majority of people strive towards when keeping the face clean.
It would only take a quick glance down the aisle of the closest supermarket to realise how many skincare products are available on the market. There are elixirs for this, creams for that, and enough face wipes to stretch to the moon and back.
However, if there’s one thing that many of these products have in common, it’s the fact that quite a lot of them may be kind to your skin, but they’re not quite as kind to the earth.
The first crime is in its plastic packaging. According to the data, some 95 per cent of the plastic in beauty products is thrown out after just one use, whilst only 14 per cent of plastic ever actually makes it through recycling.
When it comes to considering what’s in these products, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to artificially inflate the stretch of their skincare products and cut corners in their promises. For these reasons, irritants like parabens, phthalates and retinol are common ingredients in many skincare ‘solutions’, and they’ll only end up hurting your skin just as much as they do the earth.
When we look to some of the more single-use forms of skincare, one of the worst abusers of the environment is face wipes. These face wipes are designed for convenient cleaning, but they’re often made from damaging materials like polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp and rayon fibres.
These materials can take many years to break down, and the face wipe never really disappears; bound to sit in a landfill or float through the ocean for eternity. Not to mention the fact that generic face wipes can cause infrastructural havoc, and are a big no-no for drainage pipes and toilet systems.
The tools you choose to use when breaking up with your breakouts are crucial, and they’ll be tools that you’ll use every day as part of your daily hygiene routine. But it’s equally as important that these tools aren’t hurting the earth, and fortunately, innovators in this space have found the perfect solution to our throw-away culture in one of the most unlikely places.
The Rise of Bamboo
Bamboo is one of the most natural and sustainable materials out there. It’s very easy to grow and grows quickly when it gets going.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, and there are some variations growing in Asia that can grow almost a metre in a single day. It’s also one of the strongest natural materials too.
Like other plants, bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide, but unlike other plants, it’s able to produce 35 per cent more oxygen. It also needs much less water to grow when compared to conventional cotton.
But what’s interesting about bamboo is that it has an antibacterial bio-agent called bamboo kun, a secret and singular ingredient that can fight bacteria and deter pests in its natural growing environment.
Although it’s less common in single-use wet wipes, when bacteria builds on cotton cloth alternatives, it can cause friction against the skin when it’s used, which can damage the skin’s surface; ageing the skin prematurely.
Bamboo doesn’t have this problem thanks to bamboo kun, and since the beauty industry is in desperate need of a sustainable and practical resource, the use of bamboo couldn’t seem more appropriate right now.
In terms of how well it’s able to actually clean your skin, bamboo is one of the most absorbent materials on the market and can be four times as effective at removing deep-set oil and dirt as cotton cloths or wet wipes. It’s bamboo that we’d really recommend for oily skin types.
And not only is it super absorbent, but bamboo also dries really fast when it becomes wet, and goes to show why bamboo in beauty is becoming this year’s must.
However, nothing lasts in life, and when the time comes to eventually throw out your bamboo cleaning pads, it’ll be able to decompose fully within a couple of years and will leave no toxic chemicals floating about when it’s gone. However, this stage of disposal might be some time off, as products that use bamboo as a base material are very easy to keep clean, and can be reused over and over again.
There’s a lot that bamboo can give to the earth and even more that it can do for your skin. When trying to address the scale of our current throw-away culture, it’s the smallest contributions and changes that will have the biggest impact.
Bamboo Cleanse Pads
Sustainability is at the core of what we do here at SMUG. We introduced eco-friendly packaging during the pandemic, and we continue to use the highest grade materials in the design of our products to prolong their use-life and minimise waste.
In addition to this, we’ve got a lot of different products that do a great job of loving the skin. Our satin sleep masks for example protect the skin from sleep’s crush wrinkles, whilst our hair scrunchies work to keep the hair hydrated and healthy.
And so, in many ways, sustainable skincare remains a natural interest for us, which is why we’re so excited to be finally launching our reusable bamboo skin pads!
We’ve been working to make these as environmentally friendly and as sustainable as possible, and bamboo has been an extremely interesting material to work with.
The versatility and convenience of cleansing pads make them the ultimate skincare staple, and these seven sustainable alternative pads will make removing make-up and keeping the skin clear easy and simple.
Because we wanted our pads to be as reusable as possible, we’ve paired them with a mesh wash bag, so that when the pads are ready for a clean, their life can be renewed again and again with a short cycle in the washing machine.
Although these pads will dry quickly because they’re made out of bamboo, it’s key that they’re kept as sanitary as possible when they’re not in use. Any dirt that accumulates on its surface will transfer onto your skin and will eliminate the purpose of the pads.
With this in mind, we’ve also included a BPA and PVC-free storage bag. Everything, including the mesh wash bag, will be able to fit inside here, and the bag will make carrying the pads and keeping them clean a much more manageable task.
The storage bag is also completely sealable and 100 per cent waterproof, so that your pads and the benefits of bamboo are ready to use when you need them.
A Sustainable Future
There’s so much that needs to be done for the environment that for the average person, finding a place to start can be difficult. But in the end, it’ll be the smallest changes that’ll make a difference. Bamboo is set to transform what we know about sustainability, and how we incorporate sustainable materials and mindsets in our everyday.
We’re so happy to finally be launching our chemical-free reusable bamboo cleanse pads and look forward to achieving our environmental mission through our most innovative products.
For bamboo cleanse pads, skin-loving sleep masks, and the very best of the SMUG collection, please visit here.
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