My beauty routine is closer than ever to zerowaste in San Francisco. I have found a wider range of smaller cosmetic manufacturers using organic products and sustainable packaging (some of which seem in tune with the city’s hippy dippy past). We continue to make our own toothpaste – the baking soda comes in cardboard boxes here which I found difficult to source in Dublin. I found an amazing face wash – all organic in a glass tub with metal lid (pictured above). I can get refills of epsom salts and shampoo from the bulk refill containers at the supermarket. Our toothbrushes are still compostable bamboo. I’ve found unpackaged soaps in all sorts of lovely scents readily available in several supermarkets and these are often from local companies. I found a facial SPF 50 sunscreen (very important when it’s sunny here) in a metal tin but I’ll probably still use a aluminium can spray sunscreen for wider body use once I run out of my current plastic bottle. I still use my oil and reusable organic cotton rounds to daily cleanse. I have a wooden body brush and a stainless steel razor. My make-up is mostly from RMS beauty now in glass and tin packaging. I have a few leftovers, like eye liner and nail polish, and I received a few gifts during the year that I’m using up. So I still have things to switch to zerowaste but overall I’m incredible happy about my personal care zerowaste progress.
Here’s the Listicle Format copied and updated from my post last year on this topic:
Toothbrush: wooden & compostable
Toothpaste: I just combine a few spoons of baking soda and a teaspoon or two of peppermint oil (food grade). Sometimes if I’m lazy it’ll just be the baking soda in the jar. I don’t really see the need for coconut oil in this mix and I like the consistency better without it.
Shampoo: I was using bar shampoo from lush or other Etsy sources but I switched because my local bulk supermarket has liquid shampoo refills now. I use an old shampoo bottle that was given to me as a gift last Christmas as a container. The bar shampoos are great but sometimes you need a vinegar rinse because I found there was more product build up with them.
Soap: completely package free in lots of scents.
Razor: stainless steel with blade replacements – a better shave and cheaper. The blades come packaged in a small amount of plastic.
Utensils: Nail clippers, file, tweezers are all stainless steel.
Face wash: I am just finishing off the charcoal facewash I bought over a year ago (packaging returnable to Lush) and as a replacement I found a face mask stuff that is quite incredible at clearing out my pores called pimple mud from Fat and the Moon at my local store and it comes packaged in a glass jar with a tin lid. It has bentonite clay and tea tree oil and witch hazel in it.
Cotton wipes: washable organic cotton makeup wipes.
Cleanser: virgin olive oil massaged in and then wiped away with reusable makeup wipes and warm water. I try to steam my face as often as possible too to clear my pores. I can buy olive oil in bulk now too.
Moisturiser: I’m using up a gift I received up at the moment. I had been using rosehip seed oil before that, which is amazing and comes in glass bottles. I’ll either return to rosehip or try a shea butter that comes in an aluminium tin box I found once I finish the current moisturiser. I also have the option of a lotion refill from the bulk supermarket.
Tea tree oil – in a tiny glass bottle in case I get spots. These bottles last me years.
Handkerchiefs instead of tissues – they keep my nose super soft.
Body scrub – a sustainably sourced wood body brush.
Lady products: padkix – absolute success will never go back. Lots of other people have success with mooncups etc too though so there are a number of options out there to find the right one for you you just have to be a little bit brave and try them.
Hair ties – I have some old ties left but I’ve experimented successfully with these upcycled hairties from the minimalist beauty blog.
Cotton buds (Qtips to you Americans) – fully plastic free, organic and compostable.
Make-up – RMS beauty is the best! It’s all organic with glass and metal based containers. I’m off to source or make new mascara this week.
Hairspray – I haven’t needed it in months. There are some online recipes but I’m not bothered about it.
Still Working on…
Nail polish – I’m down to the ends of my remover, I still love nail polish though when I’m going out and might still go to nail salons.
Makeup – I still have some old eyeliner and eyeshadow and lipsticks hanging about.
Dental floss – still going on the last batch. I’ve seen silk floss which is compostable but encased in plastic packaging which is annoying since the company goes to the trouble of making the floss itself eco-friendly.
Lip balm – Can you believe I still have a tins left, I will make more myself when it’s finished from beeswax pellets I found in bulk at my new fav supermarket 🙂
Hand cream – I have a bottle that was a gift at the moment to use up.
Areas I’m still reluctant to compromise on…
Not much has changed in this section since the last update. This is a section most zerowasters won’t include on their blog but I prefer honesty.
contact lenses- I don’t wear them often but I like them when I get dressed up.
medicines – no way around these. Containers or unused medicines can and should be returned to the pharmacy to dispose of safely and to prevent any remaining drugs leaking into water sources from landfills or washing in recycling plants. I would include sunscreen in this. I live in a sunny (sometimes) place now so it’s more important than ever to protect my pale skin.
antiperspirant – I don’t have a sense of smell so I’m not willing to experiment. I found a brand that uses recycled aluminium so that’s something but it still comes in plastic packaging.
*I am not receiving payment from any of the brands listed or linked to here, I have put in links because I genuinely use their products and am happy to support brands who make genuine efforts to reduce their footprint.