Replacing disposable health and beauty tools with reusable alternatives is a great way to stabilize the environment while alleviating climate anxiety (and without sacrificing the sacred bond you have with your beauty routine. ). When you come together with reusable things, the initial learning curve of when and how to properly maintain them can be overwhelming. is.
“Many people don’t read, let alone track the recommended expiration dates for each reusable product,” says Dawn Gilliam founder date my makeup, a health and beauty brand that specializes in tracking expiration dates. “Then months or years go by and he of the tools has no idea how to tell if one needs to be replaced.”
If tools are not properly cared for or discarded frequently, they can retain bacteria and germs that can lead to skin irritations, infections and rashes. To keep your health and beauty sustainability efforts on track, here’s an overview of how to keep reusables, when to replace them, and the best ways to dispose of them.
reusable cotton swab
Replace every 2 years.
Reusable swabs feature a durable silicone tip that can be used approximately 1,000 times. With an average of 35 uses per month, one swab will last him over 2 years.
“Cotton swabs can form bacteria that can get into your eyes and ears if you don’t clean them properly after use,” says Gilliam. After each use, wash with warm water and soap and let it dry completely before putting it back in its case.
Disposal of reusable cotton swabs depends on the rod. Silicone chips can be used as garbage, and rods made of bamboo can be composted. For plastic, check to see if the brand participates in recycling programs such as: Pact Collective,or Earth 911 Search to find local options.
reusable facial round
Replace every 3-5 years.
Facial rounds are typically made from cotton, bamboo, microfiber, or a combination of all three. Depending on the brand, one wash can last up to 1,000 washes. Rounds should be cleaned after each use.
“Hand washing with cold water and a mild cleanser will make your rounds last longer than machine washing,” says Gilliam. “Store your pills to avoid potential bacterial and fungal growth.” Let it dry completely before.”
If the rounds start to fall apart or look dingy after you’ve thoroughly cleaned them, it may be time to replace them. I can.
Replace every 1-3 months.
Eco-friendly makeup sponges — plant-based and biodegradable silicone — last up to 3 months. “It’s best to wash it with a gentle cleanser after each use and let it dry completely before storing,” says Gilliam. (To clean the silicone applicator, soak it in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.)
If your sponge is scratched, torn, or looking dull, it’s time to replace it with a new sponge.The 100% plant-based or biodegradable variety can be composted or recycled. Brands that sell partially plant-based or silicone-based products may have recycling programs that allow you to return them.
Replace every 1-3 months.
A reusable blotting sponge lasts an average of two months, depending on how oily your skin is and how often you use it. As with any makeup sponge, wash the blotting pad after each use. “Hand wash with a gentle cleanser and dry thoroughly before storing,” says Gilliam.
If the sponge loses its shape or has scratches or tears, replace it with a new one. Since these pads are made of medical grade foam and require a specific recycling process, the brand that makes them may have a recycling program you can use to return used blotting pads. there is.
Replace every 2-3 years.
Made from certified organic cotton, each reusable tissue can be machine washed more than 500 times. “Be sure to unroll before washing,” advises Gilliam. If your reusable tissues fall apart or become badly discolored, recycle them with textiles.
Replace every 4-6 months.
Manual facial cleansers are commonly made of silicone, which is durable and gentle on all skin types. After each use, wash with face or body wash and allow to air dry. They can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months.Replace when deformed or falling apart.
Although silicone is recyclable, it cannot be disposed of in most household recycling bins. . terracycle When Eco USA.
Reusable sheet and eye mask
Replace every 1-10 years.
Depending on the care and quality of the silicone, reusable sheet masks can last up to 10 years, or even longer. “Regardless of quality, wash with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser after each use,” says Gilliam. “Once it’s completely dry, put it back in its storage pouch.”
Reusable eye masks, on the other hand, can last up to a year with daily use. If you only use it a few times a week, you can use it longer. Gilliam recommends washing it with a mild cleanser and warm water after each use and letting it air dry with the sticky side up before putting it back in its storage container.
If your reusable mask is starting to lose its shape or tear, it’s probably time to recycle and replace it.
Replace every 1-3 months.
These sponges are made from the root of konnyaku, a root vegetable that grows in Asia, so when it’s time to replace them, you can throw them in your compost bin.
“Sponges can become breeding grounds for bacteria if not cleaned properly and replaced regularly,” says Gilliam. We recommend replacing it every 1-3 months.
For longevity, wash with soap after each use, rinse any residue, and dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area.
napkins and sanitary underwear
Replace every six months to two years.
With proper care, reusable napkins and underwear can last up to two years. Although it’s best to follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions, after taking these items off, it’s a good idea to rinse them in cold water until clear and dry them completely before placing them in the laundry basket.
In general, menstrual underwear and reusable pads should be washed in cold water on a delicate setting using a mild detergent. If possible, place in a mesh garment bag to prevent snags and maintain structural integrity. Never use bleach or fabric softeners as they can reduce absorbency and hang to dry. please.
It’s time to change your menstrual underwear or pads when the elastic or thread begins to stretch, break, or no longer seem to be absorbent. Check with the brand to see if they have a recycling program for old underwear and pads.
“Another option is to find a clothing recycling program. HealthyEnvironmental science expert and nonprofit founder Heather White said: one green thing.
Replace every 2-5 years.
Menstrual cups are usually made of silicone and last for 5 years or more. Rinse with hot water after each use, and when the cycle is over, wash the cup with boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not use harsh cleaning agents or fragrance-based soaps. [which] It may compromise the integrity of the product. “
If you notice a bad smell, white powdery residue, tears or cracks in the rim or stem of the cup, it may be time to replace your menstrual cup. Some companies have recycling programs in place. If your go-to brand doesn’t, cut the cup and throw it away.
Replace every 1-2 months.
According to Gilliam, “Bacteria, dead skin cells, and germs get trapped in the fibers over time, no matter how well you use them. Clean them up.”
Exfoliating gloves are typically hand washed using mild soap and warm water and hung to air dry. Some types of gloves can be machine washed once a week, but check the label first.
Gloves made from natural plant fibers, silk, rayon and bamboo can be washed, cut into small pieces and composted. However, since nylon is made from petroleum products, nylon gloves are not biodegradable. We recommend checking to see if the manufacturer has a recycling program.
A microfiber bath mitt can last up to two years with proper care. Unfortunately, it’s also not biodegradable. These should be thrown in the trash or returned to the manufacturer if there is a recycling program.
Replace every 1-10 years.
The lifespan of your water bottle depends on the material and maintenance conditions. Plastic bottles have a short lifespan of 1-2 years, and glass bottles about 2-3 years. (“Glass is the safest option as long as it is tested for lead and cadmium content,” says Gilliam.) Stainless steel water bottles can last up to 10 years, depending on the quality of the material. increase.
Water bottles should be cleaned after each use. Some are dishwasher safe, while others need to be hand washed using dish soap and hot water. Take special care to keep the lid clean and dry. Nooks and crannies can grow mold and harmful bacteria if not cleaned properly. Make sure all parts are completely dry before storing.
If your water bottle has an odor that won’t go away, the lid contains stubborn gunk or buildup in the corners or has dents or cracks where bacteria can grow. For stainless steel water bottles, the amount of time your drink stays hot or cold—it’s definitely time to replace the bottle. You can find a recycling center near you that accepts old water bottles by searching for . Earth 911.
Krissy Brady is a health and wellness writer, cosmopolitan, shape, parade, eat well, huffington postWhen healthFollow her on Twitter @club_meh.
Get Shondaland straight into your inbox: Register now