10 Eco-friendly beauty practices for student budgets!

  • 5 min read
Freshers is here! We all know that managing your money isn’t always easy as a student, especially when keeping up with beauty essentials. For many students, it'll be the first time handling your own finances. As a result, it can feel intimating when you have many things to pay for and feel like you must sacrifice your sustainable values. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of money to live with the planet in mind. In reality, it's completely doable to do better for the world on a small budget. UpCircle are here to prove this is possible by sharing 10 eco-friendly beauty practices that put your values first - on a budget!

1. Switching to solid products

Swapping your liquid body wash, liquid cleansers and shampoo to solid bars will not only significantly reduce plastic waste, but will also help you save money. Solid products use much less packaging to store and less water to produce. Plus, they tend to last longer- a double win! If you’re looking for a substitute for your liquid products, UpCircle’s organic Cinnamon + Ginger Cleansing Bar is the perfect alternative. It gently exfoliates, purifies, and energises the skin for only £4.99! Good for the world. Good for your skin. Good for your wallet. (We recommend buying two soaps separately if you want to use one for your face and body.)

2. Try Samples Before Splurging on Full-Size Beauty Products

We've all been there - buying a full-size product which ends up not being suitable for our skin. In order to avoid buying a full-size product that will then be wasted, a simple tip is to ask for samples to make sure it’s right for you. This tip saves packaging, decreases the carbon footprint, plus it saves you money! Is there a clean beauty store nearby that you can go to test out potential products in person? If you happen to be in London, UpCircle is stocked online and in-store in Space NK where you can try out our products to see if they're suitable before committing! In addition, did you know that UpCircle also have a Pamper Kit filled with ELEVEN of UpCircle's best-sellers in sample size! An accessible way to decide your faves before committing to the full sizes.

3. Ban single-use wipes from your beauty routine

Face wipes may be convenient, especially when you've just got back from a late night out (we all been there!). However, single-use wipes aren't great for your skin — and are even worse for the environment. Most disposable wipes contain plastic fibres which, over time, turn into microplastics that are harmful to marine life and birds in particular. Instead, use reusable makeup remover pads or organic muslin cloths. All you need to do is put them in the wash and reuse. This saves you from throwing anything out and saves you money long term!



4. Restore broken eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, foundation, and lipstick with a simple trick


 Do you have a favourite bronzer, blush powder that you broke but don’t want to splurge on a new one? What if we told you that you can restore it instead of throwing it out?! With powders, you can repack them using rubbing alcohol. Just add a few drops to the powder, mix, and press it firmly back into the container until it's compressed. Let it dry out completely, and there you have it—perfectly (re)pressed powder! For lipstick, you can always reform the mould into another container, freeze the broken bits together, or use heat to reform the shape. Now you can share this handy but super easy hack with friends and family!


5. Check out refillable product lines and subscription services

If solid products really aren’t for you, look for product ranges that are refillable! Each brand is different, but sometimes you can send in the product for a refill or visit an in-store location to top off your empty packaging. Other brands have parts or elements you purchase while keeping the same main container. Being part of the refill clan does not only save a lot of wasteful packaging but also saves you money as the refill versions of a product tend to be cheaper. If you don’t already know (where have you been?), UpCircle has a Return, Refill, Reuse Schemewhere you can return your empties to us, we’ll sterilize and refill them and send them back to you. We return to you your specific packaging, not someone else's, and when you refill the prices are 20% cheaper than the standard "new" product prices!


6. Use tube squeezers and small spatulas to get out every last drop of product

An obvious but often neglected tip is to always make sure you use every available drop of a product before buying a new one. Often, people think they reach the end of a container or tube and throw out the item while there still is more product inside. Don’t be afraid to take apart the container or cut the tube in half to reach all of the remaining product. UpCircle have the perfect plastic free accessories to get every last bit of product, and all of these accessories cost less than £5! Up first is the Tube Squeezer Key which is the perfect accessory to help you squeeze every little bit of your favourite products. Also, the Cosmetic Spatulas will ensure you can get scoop your products out in a sanitary way. They are also washable and reusable, so you only need purchase once and never have to throw them away. Say goodbye to waste and hello to sustainable satisfaction!

7. Switch to a plastic free non-disposable razor

Although disposable razors are “cheaper” you can save a lot more by investing in a plastic-free safety razor. Safety Razors are designed to only be bought once. With a disposable you throw the whole thing away when the blades become blunt, with a safety razor you only replace the blades, and the blades are a lot cheaper than a disposable razor. We sell them in packs of ten! Plastic razors find their way into landfills every year, and when they decompose, they become harmful microplastics. Not what we want.

8. Look out for Multifunctional Products

A simple way to save packaging and reduce costs is to look out for products with multifunctional benefits instead of purchasing a product for each step of your beauty routine. This tip will allow you to be conscious of how you use your products and why. You can start of by taking a look and seeing what products you use that can favourably be replaced with a more multifunctional one. A multifunctional product is also super useful when travelling as this will save luggage space! For example, UpCircle’s Coffee Face Serumcan be used in many different ways! As a face serum, a natural highlighter, mixed in with foundation for a dewy look, as a cuticle oil, beard oil or as a hair oil - the possibilities are endless!


9. Look out for student discounts from your favourite sustainable brands and influencers!

There are discounts everywhere! Make sure to check if your favourite eco-friendly influencers or eco-friendly brands have exclusive discounts, or specifically, student discounts. To do this, make sure you're following them on social platforms and if it’s a brand, subscribe to their mailing list. For example, we offer student discount code for 15% off orders.

10. Be mindful of water usage!

Seems like an obvious one, but if you're paying for the water bills and wonder why they're so expensive, maybe this is why... We're all guilty of leaving the faucet running while brushing our teeth or washing our face, but this will not only add up cost-wise but also contributes to water shortages across the country. Make sure not to leave the tap running when you're not using it.

If you have any other tips and hacks please feel free to share with us on our social platforms or in the comments below - we would love to hear your eco-friendly beauty ideas!