While there are few things as luxurious as soaking in a fragrant bath, the drought in the Western Cape and in other parts of South Africa means that everyone needs to be doing what they can to save water…

Luckily there are many clever ways to save water in your beauty routine without sacrificing your style. Here’s our pick of the best beauty tips and products to help you save water.

Start with your face

It’s fairly easy to save water with your facial skincare routine. For starters you can use a dampened face cloth to remove your facial cleanser or face mask instead of filling a basin or splashing it off with running water.

To go completely waterless, try using micellar water on a cotton pad for cleansing. Facial wipes also come in handy when you’re in a pinch.

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Bearing this in mind, think about the type of products you’re putting on your skin. Waterproof mascara and super duper long-wearing eyeliners are great for hot summer days, but you need more water to take them off.

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In the shower

Keeping clean uses the most water by far, so keep your showers as short as possible. If you want to use a body scrub, hair mask or any additional extras; apply the products before you open the taps and then just rinse them off when you get in the shower.

A great trick is to set a (loud) alarm and place it a few steps away from the shower. If you’re in Cape Town, you should be making sure that your shower is on for no longer than two minutes.

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Another great way to cut down on shower time is to forget your old ways of luxuriously doing everything under running water. After you’ve wet everything that needs wetting, close the taps and lather up. You can open them again when you’re ready to rinse.

Lastly, get a water saving shower head if you haven’t already. These regulate the amount of water that is distributed, which can save up to 80% when compared to older, ‘regular’ shower heads. Still be mindful of keeping the water pressure low, as you can further reduce your usage significantly.

Water wise hairstyles

There are loads of ways to save water when it comes to hair care – the biggest and most obvious is to wash your hair less often. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk around with greasy hair though, there are lots of options to help you save water in your beauty routine.

Try and see dirty hair as a chance to pull off the ultimate braided hairstyle. It’s much easier to get your hair into a creative braid or even a sleek ponytail when it hasn’t been freshly washed.

And when your hair starts to look a little more than slightly unwashed, it’s time to turn to your new water saving best friend: dry shampoo. Just a few sprays aimed at your roots is all you need to keep your hair looking stylish for another day.

Also think about your hairstyle – would a different or shorter cut be more practical and water wise? Sometimes a good excuse is all you need to change up your look. Talk to your stylist about hairstyles that don’t require loads of product, as they will need more frequent washing.

Leave it in

When you’re trying to save water in your beauty routine, any products that don’t need to be rinsed out are winners. A great option to try out is a leave-in conditioner, which should save a few minutes (and many litres) of rinsing in the shower.

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Alternative options

Consider medium- or long-term options that will save you time and water on a daily basis. Waxing your legs and underarms will eliminate the need for regular shaving for up to six weeks – this is a great option if you’re heading off on holiday too.

And if you’re looking for something more permanent, think of investing in laser hair removal. That way, shaving could become a thing of the past (just think of how much time, and water, you’ll save!).