If you’re looking to reduce your plastic footprint in the beauty world, read on for our top picks of the best green beauty brands and plastic-free swaps on the market…

1. Circla: The London-based green beauty brand on a mission to reduce single-use plastic

green beauty circular beauty plastic free

Circla is a circular beauty company that focuses on providing beauty-lovers with refillable products, to reduce the huge amount of single-use plastic waste that the beauty industry is responsible for. According to Circla, every year, UK manufacturers produce 2.1 million tonnes of plastic waste. While we are told we can simply recycle this waste to counteract the environmental damage, we should be turning our attention to refillable products.

Based in London, UK, the company offers a range of sustainable beauty products, all in eco-friendly, refillable bottles. You can sign up for delivery slots with the auto-replenishment service, to ensure you’ll never run out of your favourite products. At present, the circular delivery service caters to Zone 1 and Zone 2 in London. Circla hopes to expand this soon!

As well as reducing plastic waste, Circla sources products from the UK to minimise its carbon emissions. The company also uses renewable energy when cleaning bottles, and electronic vehicles or bicycles when making deliveries. Green beauty at its finest!

2. Swap single-use make up wipes for reusable cotton pads

plastic free cotton pads green beauty from upcircle

Ditching single-use cotton pads or make up wipes for reusable cotton or bamboo pads is a simple but significant zero-waste swap for your bathroom. While many single-use cotton pads are made using biodegradable materials, they are often wrapped in non-recyclable plastic. Over time, this adds up to a lot of plastic waste.

Try the Reusable Hemp and Cotton Pads from UpCircle Beauty (£8.99). The 7 pads (one for each day of the week!) are made with three layers of natural materials. They are large enough to thoroughly remove a full face of makeup – plus, they feel silky soft on your skin! When you’ve used the pads, simply put them all in the included mesh wash bag to keep them together, pop them in the washing machine, then use them again and again.

3. Give your oral hygiene routine a green beauty makeover

happier toothpaste plastic free green beauty

Fed up with plastic toothpaste tubes? Happier Beauty packages its toothpaste (from £12) in aluminium, which is an infinitely recyclable material. The company has also ditched the traditional box that toothpaste comes in, to save on unnecessary waste.

The toothpaste itself contains 100 per cent natural flavours such as papaya extract, for natural whitening, and dentist-approved minerals to strengthen enamel. It is cruelty-free, vegan certified and 100% recyclable. You can also sign up for a subscription service!

4. Save on plastic waste with green beauty refills from The Body Shop

The Body Shop is adding refill stations to many stores across the UK and Ireland. The beauty brand hopes to add these stations to 155 UK and Ireland stores by the end of the year, and 800 globally by the end of 2022. Click here to find your nearest!

This refill scheme introduces new 300ml aluminium refill bottles (from £2) which will be available in stores around the world to fill and refill. The refillable products include The Body Shop’s best-loved shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, and hand washes.

By switching to Refill, every customer could prevent up to 32 plastic bottles from going to waste each year. Plus, you could save around £76 every year. It’s a win-win!

5. Give your electric toothbrush an eco-friendly boost

If you’re an eco-warrior who prefers using an electric toothbrush, it’s easy to feel frustrated by the wide range of manual bamboo toothbrushes available, and the lack of plastic-free electric toothbrush heads in comparison. That’s where booheads comes in! This company created the world’s first biodegradable bamboo heads for electric toothbrushes (from £7.99 for two). The heads are compatible with Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes, and come in a range of colours. You can also get ones infused with charcoal, which naturally whiten teeth. Got an Oral-B toothbrush? ‘OralBoo’, a bamboo brush head for Oral-B toothbrushes, is currently in the works too. Click here to register your interest!

6. Make that time of the month a little greener with BeYou

According to Clean Up Australia, over the course of a lifetime, a single menstruator will use somewhere between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons. 90% of these contain plastic, and most will end up in landfill, where they will remain for hundreds of years to come.

Make your period greener with the BeYou Menstrual Cup (£14.99). These cups hold up to 3 tampons worth and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Each cup is made of 100 per cent soft medical-grade silicone, and they are free from BPA, latex, and dye. Unlike single-use pads and tampons, the BeYou menstrual cup can last for up to 10 years. So, you’ll be saving the planet, and money!

7. Plastic-free green beauty – for your pits!

Swap your plastic deodorant bottle for a more sustainable option with the deodorant balms and creams from The Natural Deodorant Co. (from £12.50). Each green beauty deodorant is packaged in a glass jar and tin plate lid, to help you cut down on plastic waste.

These innovative deodorants zap bacteria that cause body odour while also hydrating and soothing delicate underarm skin. They don’t contain aluminium, so won’t plug your pores like antiperspirant. Plus, they also avoid harsh ingredients such as alcohol and artificial fragrances that can cause irritation, redness, and dryness. Instead, The Natural Deodorant Co. uses an all-natural blend of skin-friendly antibacterial and deodorising compounds including magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, and shea butter. We love the range of scents on offer!

8. Give the planet a kiss with Hilltop’s Original Beeswax Lip Balm

green beauty lip balm

Lots of lip products come packaged in non-recyclable plastic tubes, many of which end up in landfill. Give your lips and the planet some love with the Original Beeswax Lip Balm from Hilltop (£4). This super hydrating formula contains just six, all-natural ingredients: beeswax, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, avocado oil, and tocopherol. Plus, the packaging is 100% plastic-free and biodegradable, making this a perfect purchase for Plastic Free July.

9. Give your haircare routine a green beauty upgrade with KinKind shampoo and conditioner bars

Fed up with palstic shampoo bottles? Try the new Give Me STRENGTH Shampoo and Conditioner Bars from eco-conscious brand KinKind (£12.50). Each bar is plastic free, silicone free, sulphate free, paraben free, vegan-friendly and cruelty free. The bars last up to 50 washes and create a luxurious lather, to thoroughly clean and condition the hair. They’re also packed with high-quality, hair-loving ingredients such as coconut oil and cocoa seed butter, to keep your locks in tip-top condition.

If you usually struggle to take your shampoo bars on holiday with you, fear not: KinKind sells handy travel tins for its shampoo and conditioner bars! Simply place your bar in the tin, pop in in your bag, and go!

10. Sustainable beauty products from Green People

green people beauty

Eco-friendly beauty brand Green People always strives to put the planet first: from its carbon-neutral sugar cane squeezy tubes to its 25 per cent grass pulp cardboard cartons. The brand’s latest green beauty buy is One Balm (£20). Suitable for all skin types, this zero-waste beauty balm is presented in a petite wood dust pot that degrades in soil after use, leaving no trace of waste or microplastics behind.

The organic balm features sustainably sourced ingredients including Pomegranate, Frankincense and Myrrh. Plus, as a multi-purpose product, the uses are infinite. Why not try using it as a cracked-heel balm, a cuticle care cream, or to remove makeup in a double-cleansing routine?

Click here to discover our picks of the best vitamin C beauty products!