How to give your beauty
routine a plastic detox

How to give your beauty routine a plastic detox

Words: Grace Gargini

‘Detox’ can be a bit of a scary word – don’t worry, there are no celery green juices in sight here! No, I’m talking about plastic. I’m confident 99% of us would say our plastic consumption can be reduced, but if you find it difficult to know where to start, then I’m here to help – at least when it comes to your beauty routine. In the run-up to the launch of Selfridges Project Earth – our new initiative to help change the way we shop – my eyes were opened to some hard truths and it certainly made me question how I shop for beauty products; but it also encouraged me to seek out solutions. So, if a plastic detox is high on your agenda, here are some easy ways you can make more mindful choices to help make your everyday routine a planet-positive pleasure.

Refill all the way

LE LABO – AnOther 13 eau de parfum

Le Labo is one of those cult fragrance brands you’ve most likely noticed before (what was that amazing scent the stranger in the queue was wearing?) but may not have clocked as them. Their perfectly balanced, unisex fragrances are bestsellers for good reason, and their sustainable credentials are legit too. As well as being 100% vegan, their fragrances come in glass bottles that can be refilled in store, limiting the need for excess packaging. I own and enjoy Santal 33, but my current favourite is AnOther 13 – a sharp, sexy scent that leads with ambroxan (a synthetic musk) and 12 other ingredients such as jasmine and moss. It’s truly addictive – I may have gently nudged my boyfriend to give it a try, too.


REN ­– Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser

Recyclable packaging is high on the agenda of more and more beauty brands and although glass bottles are widely recyclable, producing recyclable plastic can be a more complex process. One of my favourite skincare brands, REN, has recently rehomed its bestselling products in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic (no mean feat). Their Perfect Canvas cleanser is a solid all-rounder that ticks a lot of boxes. The oil-jelly texture removes make-up (without stinging my sensitive eyes), properly cleans the skin and can be used on all skin types. And when it comes to recycling your products responsibly, our Terracycle bins in store make sure your products are sorted and recycled where possible.


FACE HALO – Original Pack of 3

Ah, Face Halo…where to start with this magical little product. I got introduced to these unassuming discs by one of our beauty buyers last summer and I’ve been hooked ever since. Coined as ‘the modern way to remove make-up’, they’re the answer to disposable face wipes – which are bad news for our planet and your skin (which is why we stopped selling them here at Selfridges in 2019). With each Face Halo pad claiming to replace up to 500 make-up wipes that sit in landfills and litter our beaches each year, these reusable discs remove make-up with just warm water alone. Simply run over your skin and watch the make-up disappear thanks to the HaloTech fibres. Note: I do follow up with a cleanser as I like to feel like I’ve had a thorough double cleanse (see REN’s one above for a great option).

Zero plastic, total luxury

LA BOUCHE ROUGE PARIS – Refillable Lipsticks

Hands up: I’m a sucker for a good lipstick, but I was shocked to discover the sobering fact that one billion lipsticks are thrown away each year. Enter: La Bouche Rouge, a Parisian brand to recently join the Selfridges family and prove a make-up brand can be just as responsible as it is luxurious. They are the first eco-refill lipstick brand that completely banishes plastic from the entire process – from formulation and products to distribution. And boy are the lipsticks lovely. Yes, they come with a higher price tag, but you get what you pay for – the upcycled leather cases are little works of art to be treasured for years to come, and the shade range doesn’t disappoint.

Clean teeth, clean conscience     

SPOTLIGHT ORAL CARE – Total Care Toothpaste

Sometimes, the most mundane parts of our everyday routine can cause the most waste without us even thinking about it. Brushing your teeth is likely one of those. Billions of plastic toothpaste tubes get thrown out every year, which is why the dentist duo behind Spotlight Oral Care made the decision to make their tubes out of sugar cane, making them the first ever 100% recyclable toothpaste. Their Total Care Toothpaste vegan formula uses clinically proven ingredients to combat the most common concerns, such as decay and sensitivity. And I can honestly say it does the job just as well as their well-known counterparts (even after one of my garlic-heavy spaghetti dishes. Honestly, I’m talking three cloves!).


OUAI – Refillable Fine Shampoo

When it comes to leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s not always about reinventing the wheel but about finding creative, smarter ways of doing things. Jen Atkin and co. over at OUAI have done just that by packaging up their popular shampoo and conditioners in these refill pouches that use 60% less plastic than rigid plastic bottles. So, if the brand’s Fine, Medium and Thick lines are your jam, you’ll be happy to hear you can get a whopping 946ml in one big satisfying pillow of product. My go-to is Fine Shampoo – it bulks up my hair and gives it volume without feeling like I have loads of product in it. Plus, the keratin and nourishing hemp extract strengthens and gives my hair a bouncy new lease of life.

Better periods for you and the planet

DAME – Reusable Applicator Set

Right, let’s talk periods. They happen and they’re inevitable for half the population, but they do cause a lot of waste – namely, the plastic applicators that end up on landfills or the ocean. I’ve recently been introduced to DAME who have some pretty ambitious targets. By 2020 they aim to eliminate 15% of the 1.3 billion UK applicators thrown away every year. (Their branding also happens to be as cool as some of the hippest beauty brands out there.) DAME’s medical-grade applicators can be used with every-sized tampon and are built for life. They’re safe and hygienic thanks to Antibacterial Sanipolymers® (which act as natural sterilisers) and have a smooth ergonomic design for optimum comfort. They really are the way forward.

Feeling inspired?

Discover more plastic-conscious products, right here…


Join us to discover the most exciting design innovations, retail concepts and thought-provoking ideas in sustainability, as we launch a series of new commitments set to radically change our business with the launch of Project Earth.

Discover Project Earth