Cleaning and moisturising our bodies is almost as much of a problem as cleaning our homes when it comes to ecology. The products that we use to clean our skin, hair and teeth usually come in plastic and contain various chemicals. Many of them also contain animal product and/or are tested on animals. Keep reading if you want to know how to do better in all of these categories.
One of the most important aspects of being more friendly to the planet is using less plastic. Shower gels usually come in plastic bottles, and the same goes for body lotions and creams. Zero waste shops are the way to go when it comes to this as they usually offer refilling options. Lush has a wide range of soaps, gels, creams and masks, all handmade from natural ingredients. You can even bring plastic containers back to the shop. If you want to avoid plastic altogether, you may want to use a bar of soap instead of a gel in the shower. You can clean your skin (and face) with a homemade scrub: mix ground coffee, sugar and coconut oil.
The same rule goes for soap: buy soap bars instead of liquid soap, and always opt for natural ingredients. There are many shops offering natural soap, but you can also make it yourself, using oils and other ingredients. When it comes to hand creams, you want to go for natural ingredients and as little packaging as possible again, for example products from Wearth.
Did you know that shampoo and conditioner exist in the form of bars too? Again, Lush doesn’t disappoint with their range of shampoo bars, and the same goes for conditioner. It’s also the place to go if you’re looking for hair masks. Plastic Freedom offer refills: you buy the product, use it up and send the container back. Then you only pay for the refill and get it sent back. You can also research your local zero waste shops to find one that offers shampoo and conditioner refill. There are several hair masks you can make at home using simple ingredients.
Many of us are guilty of using a number of different products just to “keep our face clean”. In reality, many of these are unnecessary, and unless you have lots of skin issues, you probably don’t need much more than water and a good moisturiser. You may want to check Lush and local zero waste shops. Superdrug offers a range of vegan moisturisers, but they don’t solve the plastic issue. Just like for hair masks, there are many recipes with natural everyday ingredients for face masks. Instead of buying a scrub, you can use ground coffee on your skin, adding a little bit of coconut oil.
The most important thing is the toothbrush you’re using. Regular plastic toothbrushes are the worst for the environment, which is why many people go for bamboo toothbrushes. Some are more content with electric toothbrushes, which last for years and are therefore also a solid choice. You can read about the best natural toothpastes here, Lush offers toothpaste tablets and jelly, while most zero-waste shops sell toothpaste without plastic packaging.
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