How to Save Resources by Creating a More Sustainable Beauty Routine

This post is part of a year-end series by MBA students at California College of the Arts’ Design MBA Program. Read more about our annual partnership here.

By Hannah Robinson

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend getting ready each morning? A woman’s daily routine could consist of 5 minutes shaving her legs, 20 minutes applying her makeup, 1 hour per month getting a manicure and pedicure, and another hour waxing her face and brows. It adds up to approximately 7 entire days each year—valuable time that could be spent doing so much more.

Imagine that you could simplify your life by spending less time, money, and other resources on your daily rituals. I would like to share a few ways in which you could have a faster, more cost-effective and sustainable beauty routine.

For example, shaving requires time, water, and products like razors and shaving gel—and maybe a Band-Aid or two. Ultimately, it’s an unpleasant, never-ending, daily battle of a razor searching for your hair. While it is a significantly higher upfront cost compared to razors and crème, laser-hair-removal is an alternative to the traditional art of shaving. Since it’s a permanent solution, it eliminates the day-to-day routine of shaving and helps you spend your time more efficiently. Financially, there is a large upfront payment for the treatments, but if you consider the long-term costs, it would be recouped in a little over a decade. Ecologically, it would mean 480 less Gillette shaving canisters and Venus razors dumped into a landfill directly from your bathroom. And while a handful of razors and canisters are now recyclable, an ultimate reduction in the manufacturing of additional products will help conserve valuable resources. You would also save an equivalent of over 3 days of your life spent waiting in line to pay for your products. Of course, you could also purchase your products online—unless you want to save yourself a lifetime of 5,040 mouse clicks.

Another way you could save time and money is by eliminating your daily makeup routine—by having it cosmetically tattooed onto your face. The average woman spends an estimated $100 per month on makeup, which adds up to more than $48,000 over her lifetime. In comparison, cosmetic tattoos average a one-time cost of $1,000 and last forever. And if you change your mind about the tattoo, you could always have it removed. In fact, you could get 48 separate tattoos with the money you’d be spending on monthly makeup over your lifetime.

While there’s no permanent solution for a manicure and pedicure, there are ways to extend the typical 3-day polish into a 2-week affair by using Shellac gel nails. This exciting new technology requires zero drying time and leaves your nails shiny for weeks, saving you multiple costly trips to the nail salon.

The beauty industry is a booming business. Every year, consumers spend $7 billion on cosmetics. I have examined a few ways in which you could be savvier with your time, finances, and resources. So, what are some other ways can you simplify your lifestyle and become more resourceful?

*All statistics are hypothetically based on a 28-year old woman’s beauty habits over the next 40 years of her lifetime.

These articles were created as part of the course work for “Live Exchange” the foundational course on communication for The MBA Design Strategy Program at California College of the Arts. Read more about the project here.

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