Lately, we've been finding solace (and stress relief) in spring cleaning, particularly in sprucing up our bathrooms while transitioning to clean beauty and eco-friendly products. Switching to clean beauty brands helps keep harmful ingredients out of our systems, and switching to eco-friendly brands with low waste and sustainable packaging means you won’t have to declutter as often!
Here, we share what exactly is clean beauty, and lay out a four-step plan to make the organization project feel less intimidating. The end result? A lot of satisfaction, and a sanctuary of a bathroom that helps to keep your skin and the environment clean.
Clean Beauty Makeover Step One: Toss the Toxic
Before jumping straight into the bathroom and purging all of your unwanted items, come up with a game plan for your keep/toss criteria. For transitioning to clean beauty, the question that we get a lot is, What should I look for in clean beauty products?
Clean beauty is free of toxic ingredients. There isn’t a set standard across the industry of what exactly these toxins are, and each clean beauty brand has their own criteria. At Bubbsi, we have a list of ingredients that clean beauty should be free of that we call “the yuckies.” We avoid anything that could potentially pose a threat to skin and overall health. This includes:
- Potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors (think parabens and phthalates)
- Harsh chemicals like sulfates and potential skin irritants
- Common natural irritants and allergens
- Any non-EU compliant cosmetic ingredient
For a dive deep into these ingredients to avoid, and what we put inside our products instead, check out our What do we mean by “clean”? blog post.
Use the chart above as a refresher when you are doing inventory on your beauty and bath products. When you identify the products that aren’t clean beauty brands, you can start the process of transitioning over to clean beauty products.
Clean Beauty Makeover Step Two: Declutter Your Cabinets
Once your game plan is down, it’s finally time to start the organizing! This process should take 3 to 4 hours, which you can tackle all at once, or more realistically, spread throughout the day or evening. We like to start off by taking out all of our products from the bathroom cabinets and into a separate room. From here, separate everything into piles: what to keep, what to toss, and your “maybes.” Toss out your empties, whatever you don’t use frequently, and expired products. As a rule of thumb, makeup products can last anywhere from 3 months to 1 year, skincare products 1 to 3 years, and hair products up to 3 years. And if you’re making the transition to clean beauty products, you identify anything with harmful ingredients. If you’re not ready to toss those just yet, at least you can start the process of searching out clean beauty products to replace them.
Clean Beauty Makeover Step Three: Recycle Your Empties (When Possible!)
With your toss pile complete, you may find yourself stuck, feeling unsure about what to do with these products. Are beauty samples trash, or can they be recycled? And on top of that, recycling itself seems like a hassle, with lots of rules and contingencies, but there are ways to simplify this experience. Recycling rules can differ from place to place; here are some general guidelines you can follow.
1. Before you toss out your products, look for the chasing arrows symbol on the packaging.
There are 7 different plastic codes that determine if the plastic is recyclable or not. For example, your shampoo bottle may have a #2 symbol which is widely accepted at recycling centers, while baby bottles with a #7 symbol are recyclable on a case-by-case basis. This guide is helpful in determining which products are recyclable based on their label. If you’re unsure about what category your item falls under, it’s better to throw it away, as trying to recycle items that can’t be recycled can taint the whole bag.
2. Clean and dry containers before recycling.
It's a best practice to get as much product out of the container as possible, but a quick rinse with water to get rid of most of the residue works fine.
3. Pump dispensers can’t be recycled.
Pump dispensers are made of a bunch of small parts, making it tedious to recycling centers to take apart and salvage the reusable parts. Either toss these away or save them for reuse with another product. Related: Customers who purchase Bubbsi’s Shampoo refill can request not to get a pump if they already have one from a prior bottle!
4. Sample bottles or other small containers are recyclable on a case-by-case basis.
Plastic items that are three inches or smaller can be a hassle for recycling centers to deal with; their small size makes it easy for them to get stuck in the machinery's nooks and crannies. While it is recommended to contact your local recycler for guidance, we know you’re probably too busy for that. We like Terracycle’s zero waste boxes, where we collect our recyclables and send it back to them to recycle.
5. Reducing waste reduces recycling.
Shop for brands with sustainable packaging—i.e. are easily recyclable; have minimal packaging; or are refillable. Bubbsi offers 32oz refill sizes—for our Body Cream and Shampoo + Wash (the Oil Balm is still in the works)—which can be used to fill up our silicone animal bottles four times.
Clean Beauty Makeover Step Four: Reorganize with a Conscious Mind
Prep your bathroom by cleaning and dusting off all of the empty spaces. As you place everything back into your drawers or cabinets, organize items by category—makeup, skincare, haircare, bath products, etc. We like to use small containers to keep everything in place. There’s no need to buy a bunch of fancy baskets or boxes: Just repurpose what you already have around the house, such as old shoeboxes, jewelry boxes, or lids. Vertical storage tends to keep products neater and easier to see at a glance, improving your chances of keeping up all this beautiful organization.
Now, step back and admire your newly edited and reorganized bathroom cabinets, which are ready to house clean beauty brands that use sustainable packaging. Becoming more conscious about what you are buying by looking for clean beauty brands that are low-waste helps keep your skin—and our environment!—clean.