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Four Easy Tips For a Greener Beauty Routine

Any time is a good time to be more environmentally cautious, but Earth Month is the gentle kick in the pants that gets me going hardcore green. We'll have more earth-mama ideas and reviews as April progresses, but for now, check out these ideas to kick-start your eco-friendliness.

Choose natural scrubs: Face and body scrubs with plastic beads create debris that ends up in the ocean. Unless you want to be a polluting dolphin-choker, opt for scrubs made with salt, sugar, or fruit kernels.

Ditch the cotton: Cotton balls usually go through an environmentally unfriendly bleaching process. Use a washcloth or muslin cloth to remove makeup instead, and if you do use pure cotton balls, compost them when you're finished.

Lose the wrapping: Avoid buying products that come with unnecessary packaging. (Ahem.) Instead, choose products that have little or no packaging, such as Lush's solid shampoos.

Go vegan: While you might not be ready to give up eating meat, you can make your beauty routine more animal friendly. Brands such as BeFine, Nature's Gate, Yes to Carrots, and Sevi deliver good looks while leaving sheep and bunnies alone. (FYI, though, my esthetician insists that vegetarians look younger longer. Just saying.)

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