Smart Consumption in the Mediterranean

» Hygiene and cosmetics

Keep this in mind!

Soap and shampoo, moisturising cream, nappies, intimate hygiene, suntan lotion, etc. Today we are all used to the sight of a drawer or shelf full of bottles and pots containing products for personal care and beauty. Although they seem to be very carefully prepared, we need to ask what chemical products they contain, how they affect us and whether we really need the product.

We should remember that many of our needs regarding hygiene and cosmetics are generated by advertising, which sets unattainable standards of beauty. We should not allow ourselves to be misled. In the case of products we do need, we should check their composition and the reputation of the firm manufacturing them (see Shampoo and shower gel, Toothpaste and Suntan lotions in the List of products).

Some questions we can ask ourselves:

1

Do I really need so many hygiene and beauty products?

How many pots have passed their expiry date or been forgotten in the cupboard? Where is the boundary line between taking care of your appearance and being obsessed by it? Do you need to have a shower every day?

The need to use certain products for beauty and hygiene is a complex issue, as it may be related to a question of health. However, in many cases they are overused because of social pressure to achieve a perfect appearance and aseptic cleanliness (unattainable goals).

2

Do I need to buy new products which are only used once or can I choose to reuse things?

In the case of nappies and sanitary towels, can I avoid or minimise the use of disposable products?

We often have no choice, but if we stop to look at all the things we use and throw away in the bathroom we are sure to find many opportunities (each person will go as far as they want to and can). See Nappies and sanitary towels in the ‘List of products’.

3

Do I have information about the source of the product I am going to buy?

What company is behind the brand I’ve been using all my life? Can I be sure that the chemical components of this product will not harm my health? What are the best shops to buy certain products?

In view of the close links between many hygiene and beauty products and health there are today an increasing number of ecological alternatives. It is also important to bear in mind the environmental and social impact of certain products and businesses.

4

How can I make better use of products?

Here are some simple ideas that can help you to review the way you use products and extend their life: When you’re cleaning your teeth the important thing is the brush; using more toothpaste will not improve results! Washing your hair too often can make it greasier! The longer we make products last, the better for the environment (and your wallet).