How to Consciously Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine
Whether you're a beauty obsessive or more of a dabbler, you have probably been affected by the beauty product boom over the past few years. As a result, beauty cabinets across the globe are now overflowing with surplus "back-up" products and more serums and oils than any human skin barrier could feasibly handle.
But as times continue to change at an alarming pace (2020 has entered the chat) so do our attitudes about products in relation to our beauty routine and overall wellbeing. Now is the perfect time to refresh your beauty routine and detox your beauty cabinet.
2018 had us piling up our stash of skincare and make-up, partly for the purposes of getting the perfect shelfie for Instagram (seriously, we could count on one hand the amount of those products we actually used). Thanks to Marie Kondo and the promised magic of tidying up, 2019 had us ruthlessly assessing our belongings to the point where our remaining products suffered from survivor's guilt. Then came 2020 and, with it, a renewed sense of perspective. Of course, while any spring clean involves a degree of downsizing, there are many more practical, sustainable and conscious ways to take stock.
While we must admit there's still some actual cleaning involved in our approach (we're sure those cupboards are due for a wipe down), we're also focused on taking a conscious reset of our beauty intentions and exploring how 2020 has changed the way we're interpreting both our beauty, bathroom and self-care routines. Buy less, but buy better? You betcha.
Keep reading for our four-step guide to conscious spring cleaning your beauty routine.
Step 1: Assess the situation and set your intentions
First things first, before you can jump into any actual organisation, take some time to realistically assess your current situation. What are you hoping to achieve? Do you already have a thoughtful edit of products but your organisation requires some work, or are your cupboards overflowing with things you never use? All of this will dictate your plan of action and approach. Ensuring you set an intention about what you want to achieve with your beauty routine overall is the best way to think long-term and avoid any regretful decision making.
Step 2: Mindfully declutter
Whether they were impulse purchases or things that just didn't work for your skin type, you're bound to have a few unfavourable products on hand. Before you automatically throw them away, take a minute to think about an alternative use. Generally, unopened and unused products can be donated to Women's shelters or other similar charities, or offered up to grateful family and friends. For products you've used a handful of times but didn't get along with, think about how you could make use of them elsewhere in your routine. For example, a chemical exfoliant that didn't agree with your face could work wonders on your legs or bikini line at preventing ingrown hairs.
It's also important to consider how long you've had certain products. Anything that smells or has changed in consistency or colour is probably out of date, and could be a breeding ground for bacteria, not exactly something you want to put on your skin—regardless of how chic that limited edition packaging is.
Take note of items you have in pots, glass jars or refillable travel sizes. Are you obsessed with the spray nozzle on a particular face mist? Does your body oil come in a beautiful glass bottle à la Moon Bath Every Body Grounding Body Oil? Consider cleaning and keeping a hold of these items and investigate refillable options or use them to decant products for future travels.
Step 3: Refresh and reset
Although it can be tempting to rush out and buy all the organisational things, it's important to go back and consider the intentions you first set. There's no point spending big on boxes and bins to house hundreds of products, when your eventual goal is to have a tightly edited routine. Instead, try to find a middle ground that allows you to keep the products you are currently using front-of-mind. This will go a long way in making your daily beauty routines more enjoyable and less overwhelming. It's also worth considering organisational items you've already got on hand and could be repurposed, such as empty shoeboxes. If you're wanting to cut back on buying new products, we recommend taking any opened or unused items and putting them aside so they are out of sight (and out of mind). Then, once a gap opens in your routine you can shop your own stash to still enjoy that new-in product high.
Step 4: Break the cycle
Even the most minimalistic of beauty lovers want to treat themselves from time-to-time, however, take a moment to reflect on the process you've just been through and the lessons you've learned. If you were feeling overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff, consider introducing a one in, one out policy. Alternatively, you could limit yourself to a single makeup bag, so once it won't zip you know you can't add anything new. If you uncovered your issue was more about feeling guilty for wasteful purchases, make a mental note about what went wrong or why you didn't enjoy that particular product so you can make more informed choices in the future.
Now for the fun part. Make a list of any gaps you found in your routine or of products you need or want—just don't forget to do your research as part of this process! Personally, we like to keep a secret Pinterest board to keep track of products we'd like to try in the future. There's something about pinning a product that satisfies the need to acquire something new, and practically it's an easy way to keep track of any cool finds. During our Spring clean we discovered our current fragrance is on its last legs, so we're looking to replace it with an Ayu Perfume Oil (we just can't decide which scent yet). We're also counting down the days while we use up our current sulfate-laden shampoo so we can invest in a more hair and scalp friendly alternative—Sisters Body Balancing Shampoo is currently at the top of our wishlist!