Clogged drains can be a frustrating problem in the home. They can prevent proper water flow and cause hygiene issues. There’s also the added risk of overflowing water if the blockage worsens.
A clogged drain is often caused by a build-up of hair, dirt, or grease, however, beauty and skin products can often be the culprit.
Mira Showers have uncovered the top natural ingredients found in skincare and beauty products to reveal which products are the most and least harmful for our drains.
Our study shows that papaya is the most popular skincare ingredient we use on our skin. Papaya is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage to skin cells. This promotes smoother, healthier, and younger-looking skin.
Papaya is also a natural source of vitamin A, which can help stimulate new skin cell production and increase hydration. This powerful ingredient also contains enzymes which can relieve sensitivity in the skin and remove dead skin cells.
Not only is coffee part of many people’s morning routines, but it’s the second most popular skincare product. When used on the skin, coffee grounds can reduce inflammation and decrease the appearance of sun damage, redness, and fine lines. Coffee may also diminish visible cellulite and help prevent acne.
Baking soda is the third most popular skincare product and has a multitude of uses. It can act as a brilliant natural exfoliator, removing dead skin cells on the face and body. It’s also an excellent natural deodorant, removing odours and neutralising acids.
While natural ingredients can be incredibly beneficial for our skin, they can sometimes have the opposite effect on our drains. It’s important to be aware of the consequences of incorrect disposal of these skincare ingredients.
Vaseline and oil
Vaseline can ease dry skin, prevent chafing and heal minor wounds. However, petroleum jelly is a viscous solution, making it one of the worst culprits for clogging drains. It solidifies in pipes, and other products cling to it.
Baking soda and vinegar are known to clear blocked drains. However, as they are highly caustic, the naturally abrasive substances can cause significant erosion over time, permanently damaging your pipework so are not a good long-term solution for clearing clogged pipes.
Creams and lotions
Many skincare products come in creams and lotions, which can often end up down the drain during our morning and evening skincare routines. While the small amount of product may not seem damaging individual, gradual build up can remain in drains for a long time, leading to blockages.
Clays and mud
Skin masks containing clays and mud can reduce excess oil and help combat acne or impurities, but the thick substance can harden in pipes.
Honey works wonders for your skin, acting as an incredible natural moisturiser and antiseptic. However it crystalises in drains, contributing to clogged pipes.
Despite being a great addition to your skincare and morning routine - coffee grounds do not break down in water. They clump together in drains, causing issues. Alternatively, coffee grounds can be a great natural fertilizer for your garden as coffee grounds contain several key minerals for plant growth and can even absorb heavy metals that can contaminate soil.
While body scrubs and exfoliants can clear your pores, they have the opposite effect on your pipes. Some salts, sugars and other exfoliants won’t dissolve in water, leading to clogged pipes.
According to a Kerry Hale at Mira Showers:
“If you end up with a blocked drain, it should be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid further problems. While it is encouraged to seek professional help from a plumber, a light blockage in your drain can often be solved using products you have in your own home for a fraction of the price.
A solution of fairy liquid, bicarbonate soda, vinegar and boiling water can be poured down the drain to dislodge the blockage. When combined, bicarbonate soda and vinegar create a mild chemical reaction, while the fairy liquid works to remove grease and oil.
If this home remedy doesn’t work you can also purchase chemical drain unblockers from many home stores. When using these products, always read the instructions and be vigilant as the chemicals can be very corrosive.”
It’s also important to be aware of the water usage required for your skincare and how to avoid using water excessively. On average, we use 64 litres of water for our morning skincare routine, increasing to a staggering 120 litres in the evening.
To be more environmentally conscious and cost-effective, turn off the tap during each step, as the average skincare routine uses 671,600 litres of water each year. Alternatively, try doing parts of your skincare routine in the shower!
Besides being more efficient with your product usage, the type of shower you use can also have an impact. Mixer showers can be a great choice, as they take water from your hot and cold water supplies to create the perfect temperature and maintain it efficiently. Mira Digital showers, such as the Mira Activate is another great solution. The water usage function within the product app means that you’re able to keep an eye on how much water you’re using, and along with other experience settings you can even set up your own showering experience within your showering profile! Explore our full range of mixer and digital mixer showers to find the best style for your water system and showering preferences.
The data was collected based on keyword volume and search results between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2022.