My zero-waste personal care routine has made me a lot more creative and curious about labels and ingredients. A lot of the times zero-waste means no packaging and since we live in a culture that likes to wrap and store everything in plastic bottles, this task can become difficult. But there are many resources and options out there to help you, and there are companies that actually care about your health and the environment. We’ve already discussed the dangers of plastic – for our health and the environment – but when it comes to personal care products, aside from packaging, you have to be aware of the chemicals and toxins that they contain, and that then go on your skin. I for one like to take care of my health. I want to know what enters my body and I’m not interested in a bunch of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce. So how do I do it? How do I take a shower, brush my teeth, wash my body, take care of my hair and skin without using any packaged products?
One of my first steps (one that is easy for everyone and makes a ton of difference) was to switch over from a plastic toothbrush to one that is biodegradable, made out of bamboo. Along with me, my supportive family also made the switch. I’m happy to say that as a family, we’ve put one plastic consumption to an end. I also have started to use biodegradable floss with paper packaging. Because toothpaste contains disgusting chemicals, and plastic that is impossible to recycle, I have also started making my own with coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oil. It requires a bit of getting used to, but I must say, my teeth are looking pretty white!
Hair and body
Many people use Castile soap for their hair, or make their own using Castile soap in combination with essential oils and coconut milk for a home-made shampoo that works just fine. My personal favourite shampoo has been J.R. Liggett’s Shampoo Bars. There are a number of reasons why I love this product. First, it leaves my hair feeling great. The ingredients are natural and organic and free of preservatives. They also contain no animal products. In addition, because of their natural formula, they don’t strip the hair off its natural oils, so it’s gentle on hair, which means I don’t even have to use a conditioner. Less money! Another reason why I adore this product is the fact that it’s completely bio-degradable – and that includes the thin paper ‘packaging.’ No liquid also is a YAY for all those travelers.
When it comes to face and body, I use soaps as well – again all natural and organic with no packaging (some have a thin paper box that is recyclable or bio-degradable). My favourite soap so far is the Olivella because it’s great for the face and body – who has time for two products? It’s also made from all natural ingredients and is super affordable.
I have started to make my own products. Lip balm, face cream, hand cream and body butter. Sometimes when I run out and I’m too lazy to make a batch, I resort to my good friend ‘coconut oil.’ Recently, I’ve also fallen in love with Aloe Vera gel. It’s great for the skin – super light, and tightens the skin, leaving it feeling and looking great. I buy my oils in bulk, and sometimes I just use them individually. The great thing about making your own products is that you buy the same ingredients and reuse them in different ratios. You also know exactly what you put on your body, and you certainly avoid packaging.
I even make my very own deodorant using arrowroot, baking soda, essential oils and coconut oil. But I have recently realized that a sprinkle of baking soda alone, can do wonders. Give it a try. You’ll save so much money.
So here we have it – this is my personal care routine. Some easy package-free and natural options for you to get started. Have I missed anything? Comment below to let me know. I’m sure we can get creative and find a zero-waste personal care routine as a feasible alternative together.