How to reduce waste

So you’re already using your own carry bag for shopping… and repurposing those glass jars your honey, sauerkraut and jam arrive in. Maybe you even have a fleet of Kilner jars making your own yoghurt, kefir and kombucha.  So now you’re looking at your beauty products and asking yourself, how do you reduce your impact when it comes to your skincare?

The Marie Kondo method!

My first suggestion would be that you reduce the number of items that are in your bathroom and beauty cabinets. Be more selective about what you buy so that you use every last drop. Many women tell me how they s-q-u-e-e-z-e out every last drop!  (And keep reading for a money saving tip later) Yes, Marie Kondo would approve, only items that spark joy.  And let me add, only use items that enrich your life with health-giving properties. Kick the junk foods or junk products.

This means buying only what is healthy for your skin.  Avoid petrochemical based ingredients like paraffin, petroleum, vaseline, that do nothing good for your skin. If your skin is itchy, dry, troubled and you’re using Oleam cream – quit!!!

Go clean go green

Look for ingredients that are clean, green and natural that suit your skin type. Consult a kineseologist to check for allergies eg peanuts, wheat etc. And stop buying those products. In fact before you buy, do some legwork and check the ingredients listing. Order a sample size. The brands doesn’t reveal their ingredients? Oh ho, what are they hiding?

Better to invest in one powerful jar than a fleet of compromises.

Artisanal skincare

Support artisans who handmake products – small batch items are less likely to result in being sent for disposal/landfill when they reach their five year shelf life from a  100, 000 unit production run. Yes those Big Boys churn out mountains of product, that are pumped full of preservatives to make them inedible to bacteria for 5 years or longer. Those items sit around in warehouses for years! Not fresh. Small artisans cannot afford to have products go to waste, so we are cautious and make batches of a size that we can sell.


Support brands who ship in cardboard boxes and don’t use additional layers of packing materials. Store the tissue paper and carboard boxes for your own shipping or storage… or compost them. (gerbils offer an eco-friendly tissue paper disposal service) If you do need to make a Xmas hamper, buy a reusable wicker or bamboo basket… or wrap items in linen tea towels with satin bows… or recyclable paper. If you are Arty, now is your moment to shine – make collages and cards with your stash.

Bathroom Etiquette

Brush your teeth with a bamboo/castor bean bristle brush instead of plastic.

Reduce the frequency of hair washing  – this also saves on water!!!  The Blue Gold of the planet that we don’t worry about until water supplies run low eg Cape Town, Perth, California. Many years ago I tested the No-Poo method of haircare… actually I tried it three times .. I used the ACV and clay and whatnot – but my hair felt like straw, scalp itched and I wasn’t living the Bob Marley lifestyle where dreads were in!  The No-Poo method is definitely not for me. There are new ingredients out there that are being made into solid shampoo bars…. interestingly you need to wear a protective dust mask (!) while working with them so that doesn’t make me feel eager to experiment.   Regular cold-process soap did not suit my fine hair.

Recycling and re-purposing glassware

With glass bottles eg the Miron glass used in Empress Elixir and Drench, you can easily repurpose these. Read my post with ideas (this was written ages ago before recyling became the latest buzz word). Scientists are working on ways to recycle single-use plastic (polythylene) into liquid hydrocarbons

Why do I use the airless containers for my face creams?

Simple – in a  quest to be free from preservatives, going airless was critical. Being airless means no oxygen going in. Oxygen is needed by bacteria. By going airless it removed one of the hazards to your skin’s safety.  It cost a lot in time, money and ingredients  to develop a formula that was safe for your to use without preservatives.

All screw top glass jars require preservatives to keep the product safe to use. And just because you can’t see the contamination with your naked eyes, does not mean it’s safe to use. That’s also why we have Use By dates… and why you should not be using outdated products.  Anything nature makes, nature decomposes. Apples decompose. Milk. Fish, even your Nut-Mylks – leave those out on the counter and watch what happens.

As soon as Miron, or somebody else,  make airless  face cream dispensers I’ll be among the first to test them out.  But as my face creams are so concentrated, they are like applying 12-20 layers of inferior products on your skin, so you are reducing waste that way, by needing less.  One jar replacing 20.  It’s funny when I designed Heart of Eternity, I was on a mission to make one jar do much more than a conventional face cream.  There’s no filler no fluff no rubbish and that’s why the price is higher because it’s filled with the Good Stuff.

And by the way, you can dismantle your airless jars to eek out a few more doses of cleanser or face cream. You can pull them apart. I use my teeth (don’t tell my dentist) but if your biceps are stronger or you are handy with DIY you will have a better way.

The supply chain

And I’ve noticed my raw materials suppliers over the years switching to re-usable or extremely lightweight containers so that reduces the amount of plastic in the system. The white packaging chips in use now are totally compostable – they dissolve in tap water in moments.  And I re-use as much as I can – the tubs that shea butter comes in, for example, are perfect for mixing soap. Or storing gardening supplies. Any bubble wrap accumulated from Amazon orders etc I cut to size to wrap your precious glass bottles in. I will reuse that until it is gone. You can re-use it when mailing fragile gifts, or for art projects, or even as stress relief (the joy of childhood when bubble wrap was scarce and a piece of it provided such innocent fun).

One of my suppliers ships actives in the most adorable containers that I re-use for experiments.

So yes, behind the scenes… Glow is reducing waster and recycling and helping the planet. In fact, Glow Skincare was one of the first, a pioneer in the production  of a Palm Oil Free face cream!!  I was considered a weirdo tree hugger and possibly the No -Poo haircare method contributed to that idea, lol.

Anyway… please continue to reuse, upcycle, compost, recycle and live as gently on the planet as you can.

So to summarize, become a skincare detective. Marie Kondo your bathroom cabinets and fill them only with healthy life-afforming products that bring you joy.

Your skin’s health and safety will remain paramount.  And Glow Skincare has ALWAYS been planet aware!!!

wendy gardner

About Me

Wendy Gardner is the aromatherapist and skincare alchemist at Glow Skincare. She's the author of Dare to Go Bare and host for the Aspie in Menopause podcast. When she's not making creams, or looking after the wild birds, she likes to draw and read.

Diploma in Aromatherapy (ITHMA London, 2003)

Usui Reiki Master. Bardic Grade (OBOD)

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