Remember how Capetown nearly ran out of drinking water earlier this year? Swimming pools ran dry, showering time was limited and people were panic buying bottled water. That wasn’t a one-off: water scarcity will become a wider problem, especially as only 3% of the earth’s water supply is freshwater (the rest is locked in ice caps, other inaccessible places, or polluted).
London is one of 11 cities across the globe that is likely to run out of drinking water. It draws 80% of its water from rivers because (despite what you might think) rainfall is much lower than Paris and New York. Scarily, the Greater London Authority expects ‘serious shortages’ by 2040… unless we change our habits now.
Though farming and energy production use over 80% of water, the beauty industry is doing its bit to reduce and even remove water from the product equation – and inspire you to do likewise. Here’s what you need to know:
Consider washing less
I know, I know – this goes against everything the modern world preaches about cleanliness, but the over-use of detergent based cleaners ultimately compromises the skin’s barrier function – its ability to keep dirt out. The skin has its own self-cleaning system of sebum and natural microbes that repel and neutralise environmental pathogens. Washing away this protective shield exposes skin so it’s no wonder that there is a reported increase in diseases such as eczema.
“Keeping clean used to be about disease prevention. Now the culture of whiter than white has weakened our immune systems and lined the pockets of the detergent manufacturers.”
Kate Fletcher of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion .
Look for water-free products
The more water present in a product’s formula, the more it will need a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria caused by exposure to air and dirty fingers, especially in a warm, bathroom environment. If there’s no water in a formula or very little water (read the INCI list on the back of pack and if Aqua (water) is within the first three ingredients, then that’s a lot of water) then there is no – or less – of a requirement for a preservative.
BeautyMART’s waterless edit
Dry Facial Cleansing
DHC Face Wash Powder contains no water. Just add a little to a small amount of powder to create a cleansing foam. Wipe off with a damp face cloth rather than splashing with running water, which is wasteful.
Instead of using a cleansing formula, clean skin with just Makeup Eraser, a microfibre facial cloth used damp that removes all make-up even longwear and waterproof.
Cleansers that contain no water include DHC Deep Cleansing Oil which dissolves dirt and sebum, and Oilixia Australian Kakadu Plum Gummy Cleanser, which has a unique tacky texture to lift dirt from the skin. Both can be wiped away with a damp cloth.
Let your hair go another day
Deal with the oily roots with dry shampoo. We love Hair by Sam McKnight Lazy Girl for its great fragrance and minimal white residue. With Colab Dry Shampoo, you can choose from a choice of fragrances.
Invest in eco-conscious brands
Soaper Duper prides itself on clean formulas and it supports the charities WaterAid and Clean the World.