Beauty products to stop buying to save money, space, and the Earth: Sheet masks, SPF 100 sunscreens, etc

Beauty products to stop buying to save money, space, and the Earth: Sheet masks, SPF 100 sunscreens, etc

Waste not, want not

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @overglowedit
Image: Instagram | @jamienelson6

While we're not above making the occasional quip about our overflowing vanities, hoarding is shaping up to be a real issue within the community. Blame it on consumerism culture — or, well, our weak-wills in the face of stellar skincare and makeup formulations. Nevertheless, we're leading into the new year with a clean slate; a chance for us to recharge, revamp, and reorganise our stash to make room for offerings that truly make a difference to our regime. To get you started, a helpful guide as to the dispensable beauty goods you probably own — and should cut loose — below.

Sheet masks

Is it a coincidence that sheet masks are now drawing comparisons to plastic straws? We think not. Much like the aforementioned plastic pipes of death, sheet masks are made from synthetic materials (see: nylon, plastic fibres, polyester) that prove impossible to be composted. Couple it with the fact that each comes in plastic packaging that may take hundreds of years to decompose, and you basically have an ecological disaster on your hands. We say break up with the #sheetfie hashtag and invest in jar formulations instead.

Alcohol-based toners

Skincare professionals and experts might still be torn on the necessity of toners, but if there's anything they can agree on, it is that those containing high levels of alcohol are bad news. Accredited dermatologist and founder of HM Liew Skin & Laser Clinic, Dr Liew, points out that users should avoid toners with high-levels of antiseptic, too (think chlorhexidine or triclosan), as they can dry skin out immensely.


Cotton rounds

Newsflash: single-use hygiene products are as toxic to the environment as they are to your skin. Made With Respect, a portal supporting the sustainable lifestyle movement, reveals in a report that there has been an increased usage of cotton rounds as of late, leading to the ongoing production of non-recyclable, non-compostable, and non-biodegradable versions that contribute to a flood of polluting particles — which, naturally, isn't all that great for your skin. Counter this with reusable variants made from soft, organic cotton.


High SPF sunscreens

In this case, bigger sure isn't better. To put it simply, splashing out cash on SPF100 products doesn't guarantee double the protection from SPF50 — in fact, the disparity of protection between the two is about 1%, according to activist company, Environmental Working Group. That's right. While SPF50 offerings provide up to 98% sun-protection, SPF100 provides a staggering... 99%. The price difference between the two, however, can rise from tens to hundreds of dollars. Eep.


Pore-shrinking products

There's a huge difference between products claiming to reduce the appearance of pores and shrinking them entirely, mind. The latter holds no weight. Our recent interview with Singapore's top dermatologists reveals that it is biologically impossible to diminish pore size. Your best bet? Tightening and firming creams, gels, and other formulas that support the oil glands, which, in turn, makes for less discernable pores.