We buy more products than we have use for. To be fair, we need them but it’s impossible not to focus on how much we are wasting on plastic tubes and other non-degradable packaging. As we’re trying to minimize our carbon footprint and the negative effects of consumerism, it becomes increasingly important to reevaluate our lifestyle habits. This includes our beauty regime as well. The Week has a few tips and suggestions for you to get started on zero waste beauty.
Change your toothbrush and toothpaste
Research confirms that DIY toothpastes are as effective as regular toothpastes if not better. Among a torrent of recipes online, the one with coconut oil and baking soda works best. Mix three tablespoons of coconut oil with one and a half tablespoon of baking powder and some essential oil (peppermint preferably). You will save all the unnecessary plastic tubes that go straight into the bin month after month. There are toothpaste tablets available in the market as well. You pop one into your mouth with some water and the toothpaste dissolves into lather. Look into buying bamboo toothbrushes as well. There are many online stores that sell biodegradable toothbrushes these days for you not to make the switch.
Use shampoo and shaving bars
There’s a bar for everything. Besides the traditional bathing bar, you have shampoo bars, conditioner bars, cleansing bars, hand soaps and everything else. You also get an all purpose bar, but frankly this one may not work for everyone. Nepali producers like Naturo Earth have handmade soap bars with blends of essential oils and organic ingredients (marigold, mint, rose) that are not just smart zero waste switches but also very beneficial to the user. They have very less or no chemicals at all. Shaving soaps are also available for both men and women. Swapping soap for coconut oil for shaving purposes is also a good thing to consider.
Make your own makeup
This is quite a change to make because all of us have our own go-to brands and preferences. And DIY makeup can barely hold a candle to factory produced makeup products. But for the basics, you will find many zero waste alternatives. Take lip balms for example. You can easily make them yourself. Microwave some petroleum jelly and mix in some color – consider edible shimmer dust. It’s all according to your liking after all. Pour in some coconut oil for nourishment. Now pour the mixture into a vessel and let it chill. Switch to kohl, it is organic and homemade. With kohl powder you can also make some mascara. And you can just as easily use essential oils mixed with a base like coconut or almond oil as makeup remover. This can also function as a moisturizer.
Bamboo is your new best friend
Everything that has a plastic handle can be swapped for a bamboo one. From your hairbrush to your toothbrush, combs and even your makeup brushes, there are sustainable alternatives. Bamboo is biodegradable and not to mention harmless to human skin. In fact, Nepali clothing lines such as Bora Studio have an entire line of clothes that use bamboo fabrics. Bandages of bamboo fabrics are also available and perhaps better than cotton bandages. There are makeup products available that use bamboo as their main ingredient. And the best thing is that they even come in glass/paper packaging.
Replace regular deodorant with DIY deodorant
The reason this one is in here is because we simply can’t stress more on the importance of making your own deodorant stick or using deodorants from brands that use natural materials and are packaged accordingly. Store bought deodorants can be harmful to your skin. From rashes to skin darkening, they often cause a lot of trouble. But they are necessary so there’s a great alternative you can opt for. Make a deodorant stick yourself. Use coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, essential oil of your choice, and some starch to make a mixture and freeze it. There are many recipes on the web so choose ingredients that would you think is good for your skin. Lavender is always a good choice and so is tea tree oil.
Little things that matter
For shaving, use a safety razor (made of steel) instead of plastic razors. These razors will last longer and since they have better precision than plastic ones, this is a great swap idea. If you have to buy lotions and creams, avoid products with plastic packaging. Get ones that come in glass containers. You can always find an alternate use for them later on. And have you given menstrual cup a thought? Maybe you should. They aren’t the most comfortable to get used to but after a while you don’t feel a thing. Since a cup can last for years, imagine the numbers of sanitary pads you will not be using. Little swaps like these can help you save some money while saving your skin and the planet in the long run.