Cleanliness doesn’t depend on an overstuffed bathroom cabinet. I know that now.
I used to love the drugstore aisles and all the shiny, colourful packages. I’d restock colour specific shampoo before I was even close to running out. Since transitioning to a low waste lifestyle, I still wear deodorant, shampoo my hair, and shave my legs. But differently. I skip the hormone disrupting chemicals, and micro-plastics. Some of the products I used pre-zero waste aren’t important enough to me to find an alternative for. I can say with utter certainty that nail polish added no value to my life.
What I use on my face, body and hair
I ‘need’ fewer products overall, and those that remain have fewer ingredients. Often one or two, from the pantry. Let’s bust that myth that reducing waste is time consuming and difficult. Here’s what I use on a daily or weekly basis:
Deodorant: I make this recipe.
Face cleanser: jojoba or rosehip oils or castile soap (a mild olive oil based soap, in bar or liquid form).
Face scrub: a sprinkle of bi carb + water works wonders. You can read more about other plastic microbead-free exfoliation options in this post.
Makeup remover: jojoba or coconut oil.
Face moisturizer: any of jojoba oil, rosehip oil, piece of aloe vera or I make this lifesaving rosewater serum in the winter.
Acne spot treatment: dab of tea tree oil or green clay + water to form a paste. Leave on 15 min.
Hand soap: unpackaged bar soap or liquid castile soap in a pump dispenser, diluted with water.
Body soap: unpackaged bar soap.
Shave soap: unpackaged bar soap. Not a fancy shave soap either.
Body moisturizer: fresh aloe vera, shea butter or sesame oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Body scrub: white sugar + coconut oil to form a paste (pictured topmost), or a hemp mitt or loofah.
Lip and cuticle balm: I make this recipe.
Shampoo: refilled liquid shampoo or a shampoo bar.
Conditioner: diluted apple cider vinegar rinse – a spray bottle is useful. More about my hair care routine in this post.
Dry shampoo: arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) with a dash of cocoa powder.
Where to find unpackaged DIY ingredients in Sydney
I aim to source all my ingredients unpackaged. In Sydney, most bulk food stores will have the ingredients you need, and selection is getting better all the time. Another option is to buy a larger amount to split between friends. And even if you aren’t able to buy your ingredients in refill, you’re still reducing your chemical burden, becoming more ingredient literate and hopefully spending less time in the drugstore.