Over 1.1 billion people lack access to water, but if you’re one of the lucky ones it’s easy to take it for granted. Being a new mom has made me think a lot about what I could be doing to provide a better future for our next generation, and recent news has made it clear that we are all impacted by the water crisis that’s gaining momentum. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, our existing water usage habits could cause at least 40 states to experience water shortages as soon as the year 2024. For better or for worse, we’re in this together.
When it comes to protecting our planet and environment, we believe no act is too small. In honor of World Water Day on March 22, we want you to feel empowered to make mini changes to your daily routine that have a major impact — starting with your beauty regimen. Here are a few ways to rethink how you use water in your life:
Don’t wait for the water to get hot
This is tougher to do in the morning, especially on cold winter days, but in some homes, it could take a few minutes of running the water for it to finally get warm. Washing your face with cold water can even be good for your skin: “It constricts the blood vessels on the surface of your skin, therefore [it] reduces any redness or inflammation,” says Dr. Michele Green, a board-certified dermatologist based in NYC and RealSelf.com contributor. It can even minimize the inflammation caused by acne — reducing the size so making them less noticeable — and make pores temporarily appear smaller.
If you absolutely need to use warm or hot water, consider capturing that cold water in a large bucket to use for watering the plants, cooking, water for your pets, etc.
Be smart about your shower water
The average eight-minute-long shower uses about 17 gallons of water, according to studies. Contrary to popular belief, taking a bath doesn’t necessarily save you water, either. A standard half-full tub uses about the same amount of water.
- Replacing your showerhead: Switching out your showerhead for one with a lower flow rate can save you up to five gallons of water each minute.
- Use a water flow restrictor: If you’d rather hold onto your current showerhead, there are restricting devices that will help slow down the pressure so you can save water. Instead of using up five gallons a minute, restrictors slow it down to about three.
- Shorten your shower time: It’s tempting to dilly dally in the shower, especially if it’s the first thing in the morning and you’re still waking up. Put a small clock on your vanity or set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to limit your shower time.
- Turn it off when it’s time to lather up: Whether you’re applying your body wash or massaging in your shampoo, turn off the water. Also, if you’re shaving your legs, consider keeping a small bowl of water on the floor of the shower to rinse your razor so you don’t have to constantly keep turning the showerhead back on.
- Make use of dry shampoo: Daily suds sessions can be stripping for many hair types, so throw on a shower cap and save your shampoo step in the shower. Use a Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo to soak up excess oil and revive your hairstyle on no-wash days.
Head to a water-saving salon
One of the best parts about going to the hair salon is getting that mini-massage while the stylist shampoos your hair, however, the full hair washing experience probably takes a good 10 minutes of constant running water. This year, L’Oréal has come out with a device called the Water Saver that allows their salons (and by 2022, people at home) to conserve water by making each water droplet 10x smaller, which allows for 80% less water usage. You don’t feel any difference in water pressure, and the system allows for L’Oréal and Kérastase hair products to flow directly into the stream of water.
If you’re going to a nail salon, ask them to skip the water soak for your nails. It may seem like a small step in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit helps. Plus, when your nails absorb water it can cause them to expand, which leads to chips and cracks in your nail polish as it dries.
Rethink how you wash your face
First, use a reusable face cloth with some cleansing balm and let it do the heavy lifting for taking your makeup, dirt, and grime off your face.
Dampen your skin and make sure you have the faucet shut off while you’re massaging on your face wash. You also easily have the ability to control the water pressure of your sink faucet so make sure that you’re not keeping it on full blast when you do turn it on. Likely, half the pressure is all you need to cleanse your face.
Try leave-in beauty products
From leave-in hair conditioners to face masks that don’t need to be rinsed off, there are plenty of ways you can be more mindful with the products in your beauty routine that don’t require extra water usage. For instance, we love the Ouai Leave In Conditioner for silky, detangled hair that also protects against frizz.
Save water while cleaning your makeup tools
Instead of letting your makeup brushes and sponges run under the faucet for minutes on end, get a small bowl of water with a few pumps of gentle soap and wash them in there instead. FYI: You should be doing a deep cleaning of your makeup tools about every two weeks. In between deep cleans, consider getting a UV sterilizer to kill bacteria on your tools.
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