This year is finally coming to a close, which means it’s time to ‘Marie Kondo’ anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ and make way for yourself to become a better person. Globally speaking, we are burnt out: working from home has blurred the boundaries of our work/non-work life; financial security has been called into question; anxieties over the physical and mental health of loved ones and general fears for the future have never been so rife.
Of course, world events are out of our hands, but there are some things we can control. In 2021, it’s time to look after yourself, look after each other, and help take care of our beloved planet.
You can do all of this by making a few simple changes to your beauty and wellness routine. Here are your nine beauty resolutions for 2021.
Support local and regional beauty businesses
It’s been a long, gruelling year for business owners, and even with the various government schemes and grants, the light at the end of the tunnel still seems miles away. As we learn to get by each day, banding together and supporting one another—in whichever way or capacity—is imperative, and as Napoleon Hill once said, the “quickest and fastest” way to succeed. As beauty aficionados, one way to show support is by shopping for local and regional beauty brands. For make-up, there’s Liht Organics, Candela Cosmetics and Kuby Beauty. For skincare, try A for Apothecary, Balm Kitchen and Sigi Skin. To keep our tresses looking their best, how about BioRoyale or Oasis:Skin?
Opt for brands with eco-friendly packaging
Every year, the beauty industry produces more than 120bn units of packaging, while annually 8m metric tonnes of plastic enter our oceans with devastating consequences for marine environments. Help make a difference by choosing brands who use environmentally conscious packaging, whether that’s glass bottles or ocean-made plastic, including Lush , Aveda, ILIA Beauty , and BYBI beauty. But if you’re the kind to stick to your ride-or-dies, you can opt for refillables instead—like Hera’s Cell Essence Biome Plus Refill Set
Invest in a refillable lipstick
Finally: an alternative to single-use plastic that doesn’t cost the Earth — enter the refillable lipstick tube. Instead of consigning your empty lippies to landfill in 2021 and slowly contributing to the destruction of the planet and its inhabitants, why not invest in a refillable lipstick? Brands offering refillable lipsticks, as well as other cosmetics, include Charlotte Tilbury, Guerlain, Hourglass, and Hermès.
Enjoy beauty without harming animals in the process. In 2013, cosmetic testing on animals was banned in the EU, and yet research shows that at least 115m animals are still experimented on worldwide every year. In 2021, it’s time to shop responsibly and think of the animals. These brands are among those doing just that: Drunk Elephant, Bare Minerals, Handmade Heroes, Corsx and NYX Cosmetics.
Switch to solid shampoo
From the plastic bottles they’re in to their high carbon footprint, liquid shampoos can do quite a bit of damage. Next year, why not try a shampoo or facial bar? Incredibly eco-friendly, these bars are usually vegan, cruelty-free and free from harmful chemicals. They are also lightweight by nature, which means a low carbon footprint, they come without plastic packaging and are concentrated so they last longer. Try Gallinée, Herbivore Botanicals and Christophe Robin.
Back brands who support the LGBTQ+ community
Conversations about inclusivity have never been so commonplace, and representation for LGBTQ+ communities is at an all-time high. Now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Don’t just buy from brands who wheel out a rainbow-coloured gift set every Pride. Instead, support brands who are authentically inclusive all year round and who give back to those communities in need, including Jecca Blac, KimChi Chic Beauty, NOTO Botanics and Fluide.
Up your self-care
It has been a traumatic year for many. We’re worried about jobs, finances, health, mental health, friends, family and of course the planet — all of which takes a toll. It’s time to step back and take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically. Beyond lighting some incense and charging a couple of crystals, the act of self-care requires you to truly nourish yourself and be fully present. From meditation and breathwork, which encourage a sense of mental calm, to physical activity, which causes the body to release stress and tension, there are numerous ways to recharge and reboot both body and mind. For more wellness and self-care inspo follow these accounts: @mysafesphere, @LizzoBeeating, @realdepressionproject, and @SadGirlsClub.
If you’ve watched The Social Dilemma, you will know that social media is unequivocally bad for your mental health. If you haven’t seen it, do. It will make this next bit easier. If you want to commit to protecting your mental wellbeing, switch off all notifications on your phone, cut out social media before you go to bed, and introduce sporadic digital detoxes.
According to studies in nutritional psychiatry, there is a direct link between the food you eat and your mental wellbeing. Experts advise a varied diet including oily fish — which is rich in Omega-3 and is said to help reduce feelings of anxiety; whole grains, which are high in tryptophan — an amino acid that helps produce serotonin; yoghurt, which contains probiotics that can lower levels of stress, and berries, which are high in antioxidants and can assist in improving symptoms associated with depression. Try eating seasonally — not only is it better for you, it is also better for the planet as your food has less far to travel thereby reducing its carbon footprint.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.