I previously wrote a blog post called: 10 Beauty Products I Regret Buying, and I got positive feedback on it, so I thought it was time for round two! Evaluating which products we regret buying makes us think twice for future purchases. Do you really need the product at all? Can you buy a better option? Reading negative reviews are equally important as the positive reviews, as they help us steer clear of products that are ineffective, wasteful, and not worth the money. Here are some of my beauty and home decor product regrets.
In this post I cover ten more products that I regret buying, and this is a mix of beauty and homeware. Some of these products I regret purchasing because they didn’t work, while others I regret buying because of how wasteful and damaging to the planet they are. I hope I can convince some of my readers that they no longer need to buy these things.
Regarding beauty, I cringe when people do massive hauls just to test makeup, as so many of those products go straight in the garbage after 1-2 uses. If you choose to use makeup and skincare products, looking carefully at reviews and buying only one product at a time is a much more consumer-conscious approach, financially and environmentally.
As you can tell from the recent content on my blog, my lifestyle has changed as I’m trying to live as sustainably as possible. I’m not buying anything new at the moment, because I still have lots of makeup to use up. If you choose to buy beauty products (makeup and skincare), then here are some products that didn’t work for me. As for the home decor, my message is simply to think twice before buying.
1. Makeup Wipes
For a long time I fell for the convenience of using makeup wipes, both in the evening and when travelling. These single use items are incredibly bad for the environment. They’re resource intensive to produce, shipped across the world with a huge carbon footprint, come in non-recyclable packaging, and are thrown away after a few seconds. Moreover, they’ve got so many chemicals in them that they aren’t good for your skin (despite their claims). They dry your skin out and don’t cleanse very well. Not so convenient after all.
The beauty industry has now cottoned on to the fact that consumers want more environmentally conscious options, which is an oxymoron when it comes to the chemical-based, plastic packaged, multi billion dollar industry. Simple are greenwashing by claiming their wipes are now ‘biodegradable’. Biodegradable isn’t a legally defined term, and the reality is that these wipes end up either being burned or put in landfill. Simple is claiming that their wipes biodegrade in “compostable conditions” in 42 days. Not only are they confusing the terms biodegradable and compostable, a landfill often does not have these suitable conditions to biodegrade because of the lack of oxygen… and they certainly aren’t compostable. If you’re switching to a product for these claims, with pictures of trees on the package, then think twice!
For more on greenwashing see: Companies that are Greenwashing
Alternatives to face wipes include a face cloth and treating yourself to an organic face cleanser with ingredients you can pronounce, purchased from an ethical company. Or, coconut oil works well as a makeup remover with a damp fabric cotton round/flannel!
2. Sheet Masks
Similar to the wipes, sheet masks are a single use item that don’t really do anything. There are lots of face masks on the market that come in glass jars, or DIY a mask. I’ll be sharing some of my favourite DIY face masks soon.
See: DIY Skincare
3. Micro Beads
I haven’t used products with micro beads in them for years, and they are banned in the UK, but I still regret having bought skin cleansers with micro beads in them as a teenager. My micro breads are still out there in the ocean/water systems.
I LOVE glitter. Anything sparkly makes me happy. But, when those glitter particles get in the water or anywhere else in nature, that does not make me happy. I regret buying craft glitter that was shipped from China and now sits unused on a shelf. I regret buying an aerosol tin of body glitter for when I used to do dance performances. Glitter on wrapping paper, gifts cards, clothing, makeup, homewares, etc. is everywhere, and all those glitter particles are plastic that end up polluting the environment. Please avoid purchasing things with glitter on them!
These release VOCs into the atmosphere. From a beauty perspective, I never use my hairspray, and Lucy finds products like texturising spray just make her hair greasy. For me, they’re a waste of money, and bad for the planet.
6. Honey hand and foot mask
I bought this product for a post on eighteenth-century beauty treatments. The product itself does not work very well, and it is cheap paraffin wax with a bit of honey and a load of chemicals. You’d be better off with a natural exfoliator and a bit of honey or olive oil as a moisturiser.
7. Benecos Foundation
This was the first “green” beauty product I tried. While I want to encourage my readers to choose organic and eco friendly beauty products over drugstore brands, this foundation didn’t work for me. It has a low price point, so I’d recommend spending a little bit more and opting for either a mineral powder foundation, or tinted moisturiser, as these green beauty alternatives tend to perform better than foundation, which can be cakey and can oxidize.
8. Eye sheet masks
These are terrible for the exact same reason as wipes and face sheet masks- they’re single use. In terms of a product review, they didn’t stay on my face and they didn’t make any difference (see cover photo for brand). They’re a complete waste of money. Try cucumber slices, or a bit of dried seaweed blended with oil to get rid of puffy eyes.
9. Cheap Candles
Synthetic candles may make your home smell nice, but please think twice before buying. Candles with paraffin wax and artificial fragrance are dirty and have left black marks all over our ceiling that won’t come off. I don’t even want to think about all the toxic smoke we were breathing in. Fragrances are also unregulated so you have no idea what is in those candles. I have allergies, and most candles give me an allergic reaction. You’re better off buying soy or beeswax candles with wood or non smoking wicks, and opt for candles made with essential oils. I’m going to try making my own candles soon! I’ve found that Yankee Candles and Bath and Bodyworks candles are some of the worst for smoking as they contain cheap fragrance.
10. Artificial Flowers
For a while, I was really into buying seasonal home decor and I bought some artificial flowers. The most envriomentally friendly choice for decorating your home would be to keep houseplants, or cut flowers from your garden. Otherwise, good quality silk flowers can last a lifetime. I made the mistake of ordering cheap plastic flowers off Amazon. Don’t do that. They look tacky, fall apart, and were incredibly wasteful to produce and ship. I’m sure the factories that manufacture plastic flowers aren’t exactly fairtrade either.
Lucy’s product regret is buying a pack of those single use floss-toothpicks. They are bad for the environment, and floss and a wooden toothpick work just as well.
I hope this post has been helpful. I realise that not everyone wants to live a zero waste lifestyle, but cutting out some of these wasteful products can make a huge positive impact for the planet!
Thinking twice about your purchases and looking at negative reviews can help you save money and pick better performing beauty products, and home decor that’s healthier for you and your environment.
What are some of your beauty and home decor product regrets, and have you found sustainable alternatives?