Go green: zero waste bathroom
I was watching a video about the zero waste trend the other day and realized I was already doing few things for years without really naming it. Although I am not the most active ecologist out there, I believe that these few steps make a difference, for the environment, for ourselves and for your savings.
It really started over two years ago when I decided to adopt a more natural approach in beauty and cosmetics. I read a lot of articles about slow cosmetic and what nature offers. At this time, my husband started contracting serious skin reactions to phenoxyethanol which is a synthetic preservative and a stabiliser in perfumes widely used in many beauty products. Therefore, I naturally started making some changes with the bathroom. I think it is the easiest room to start a Zero Waste lifestyle. I am not into it at 100% yet I already do small things that I am satisfied with and that might count at the end of the day.
|alum powder, bamboo pads, menstrual cup|
1. Replace disposable items
Ban the usual cotton pads and remover wipes
They are wasteful, expensive and contain toxic chemicals. The amount I used to need only to remove my makeup and apply a toner was incredibly high so I bought a pack of ten reusable pads made with bamboo. Ten of them replace around three thousands of disposable cotton pads! I have been using them for two years and they are still in a good condition although I put them in the washing machine every week. They are not only reusable for years, they also need less product because bamboo absorbs liquids very well. You can order bamboo makeup remover wipes from the UK brand Boobalou here.
As for the Q-tips, the fact that they are not to be used to clean ears is not a secret yet we are many to still do it. Doctors say they are useless and they do more harm than good to the ear canal by pushing the earwax further inside. The best way to clean ears is simply using your little finger and water. It is as simple as that.
Replace your shower pouf
Instead of the plastic shower pouf, I use a Loofah (or Luffa). It is basically a tropical plant of the cucumber family. Loofah is the dried fruit that ends up looking like a fibrous sponge. It is therefore 100% natural and very good for skin polishing. I wash my body with it, starting in circular motions from the feet to the top help blood circulation. If you take good care of a loofah, it can lasts months.
Replace conventional feminine hygiene products
The other main change I performed is regarding disposable feminine products. I bought a menstrual cup last year and it literally changed my life. It deserves a whole post but in a nutshell, it is way more hygienic, convenient, long lasting, money saving and it is healthier than the conventional products full of chemicals and perfumes. Mine is from Diva cup (link). This part of the body is so fragile it requires appropriate care and we don't need as many products as we may think.
|Aloe vera gel, Rose hip oil, Argan oil, Avocado oil, Papaya oil|
2. Natural homemade substitutes for cosmetics
Use what you have in the kitchen
There are many edible ingredients to be used in your masks! Avocado, honey, banana, eggs, yogurt, coconut cream, turmeric, cinnamon, natural syrups, oils... The list is endless. You can be creative and choose the ingredients depending on your needs!
Alternative to makeup remover
Any pure oil is a great makeup remover though some are more suitable than others depending on your own skin type. Oils remove every kind of makeup away, waterproof, mascaras, foundations etc. Best thing to do is to use your fingers. Of course, it takes a bit longer but it's worth it since your skin also benefits from them.
For instance, jojoba oil is perfect for oily and combination skins because it helps modulating the sebum production.
Substitute to replace deodorants and antiperspirants
Antiperspirants and deodorants are the most harmful beauty products. There are many reports about the dangers of some ingredients such as aluminium, parabens, talc that are all linked to cancer. Even the word "antiperspirant" doesn't mean anything since sweating is a natural mechanism for the body to regulate its internal temperature.
I started first buying organic deodorants but none was good enough so I opted for alum stone but I didn't like it either. It wasn't hygienic nor effective. And then my grandmother had a brilliant idea: she mashed alum stones in her traditional mortar and added Saudi musk to add perfume. It is so effective that way: no smell whatsoever, long lasting, money saving, harmless...
I also tested baking soda and coconut oil and it's just as effective.
The magic of oils and aloe vera gel
I swear by vegetable oils. Avocado, jojoba, papaya, almond, argan, black seed, coconut, rosehip... They are the nature's treasures. I don't use them all at once of course but each one has its benefits for hair, skin and body. For instance, avocado oil helps hair growth and is anti-aging. Black seed oil has skin healing properties. Rosehip oil is great for scars, premature aging and stretchmarks.
It is important to buy first cold pressed and pure vegetable oils.
Essential oils are also great and have many benefits, I told you about my two favorites here.
Aloe vera gel is another important ingredient because it hydrates both hair and skin. It also helps healing minor wounds.
|Loofah sponge, Aleppo soap, Solid bar Shampoo|
Body and hair care substitutes
As I said, my husband's skin reacts every time he uses products containing phenoxyethanol, an ingredient that is almost everywhere. Shower gels are can be a waste of money regarding the limited life span of one bottle for two. Therefore, we decided to use natural / handmade solid soaps for both face and body. I currently like to alternate between Aleppo soap, the soap of Marseille and donkey milk soap instead of shower gels. I also use Aleppo soap to wash my face (you can check last year's post here).
Soaps have a more important cleansing power than liquid shower gels. It also lasts longer hence it is money saving and it doesn't produce much waste nor harm for the planet (no plastic bottles, no harsh chemicals).
As for my hair, I discovered the solid shampoo bar with coconut and argan oil from J.R. Ligget's I told you about it on my iHerb haul post here. It leaves the scalp perfectly clean without drying out the hair.
I hope these few tips inspire you to get more environment-friendly habits. Do not hesitate to share yours with me as I know I am far from doing everything perfectly.