[Features some gifted items]
You might have noticed that in my Zero Waste Bathroom post I kind of skipped over skincare, even though for most of us that is generally a bathroom activity (it is for me anyway!) I know skincare is at the top of a lot of peoples plastic-woes so I wanted to give it its own space so I could mention a few different things aside from just my personal skincare right now – as our skin is individual and what works for one may not work for another! Not every element of your skincare routine is going to be completely interchangeable with a zero waste option and if it’s at the detriment of your skin health, I would never advise that you switch and definitely always do patch tests if you have particularly sensitive skin. However, I’m going to highlight a few ideas for options to try, to add-in or switch for and then even if you reduce waste in just one element of your routine we’re still doing better than yesterday – every little helps!
1 – Cleansers
Just in time for Veganuary, Lush brought out a brand new naked, vegan skincare range and I was gifted a selection from the range to try out and review for the Blog. I haven’t made my way through them yet but I already love the couple that I’ve tried. These are solid cleansers (imagine little soap bars!) that you literally smooth over your face and they leave a trail of cleanser for you to utilise, completely getting rid of any need for packaging. They really are great, they’re also only £4.95 so not too bad if you want to try it out yourself! I absolutely love Like a Virgin – it’s verrrry similar to Ultrabland which is what I usually buy myself. I really love Ultrabland but it’s not vegan and it does come in a recycled plastic pot but you can return these to the store to be reused and if you collect five they’ll even give you a free fresh face mask to say thank you! The Like a Virgin solid bar cleanser is very similar formula to Ultrabland with the beeswax and water removed to make it a more concentrated formula. I massage it onto my face before I get in the shower and then use a warm, wet flannel to remove it from my skin, which always feels so clean and smooth afterwards. I’ve recently started using Gritty Politti (pictured above!) which has a super cute speckled appearance created using a hydrating blend of ground coconut shells with coconut oil and kokum butter. This is an exfoliating cleanser, so as you smooth it over your skin little bits appear (it looks similar to tiny coffee grounds) so that when you massage the cleanser into your skin properly it gets a little extra exfoliation. I use this one a couple times a week.
The main thing I always get asked about via Instagram is how these are with getting make-up off, since they don’t contain a lot of the chemicals many are used to using with make-up wipes and removers. I’m sure some of it probably comes from what kind of make-up you’re putting on your skin, how much and how often but if you have a heavy face of make-up and you want it all off then you can honestly look no further than Ultrabland. I’ve been buying this years and it’s great for sensitive skin but it just melts make-up right off your face – even mascara. It’s actually quite funny to use, I’ve posted the process on Instagram before but it feels quite greasy and fully smears your make-up all over your face making it look like you’re wearing ten times the amount than you thought you put on and then with the use of a warm, wet flannel it just completely disappears like magic! Could not recommend this product more.
2 – Cotton Pads
Reusable make-up removal pads are one of my top must-have zero waste replacements along with the razor in my last blog, I’ve been using mine almost a year now and they’re still going strong…I’m only annoyed that I didn’t switch to them sooner! They are SO MUCH BETTER than disposable cotton pads. They feel better, they work better, they look better, they just ARE better – No more little bits of fluff getting in my eyes or stuck to my eyelashes. There’s quite a selection in the Cheeky Wipes store – I was gifted a few different ones and personally love the exfoliating pads, but the softer ones are great for days when Im just cleansing and haven’t worn make-up. I love the black ones as they never appear to age, I’ve washed the white ones in with colours for a year so naturally some have started greying a little but they’re satisfying to use when you want to make sure you’ve definitely got all your make-up off as you can clearly see it on the pad. The larger, luxury pads are perfect for if you’ve had a full face of make-up on that you want to get rid of in one go. I was gifted this particular make-up removal kit which is only £22.95. If you’re after something a little different, Hookaway4Crochet who I mentioned in my previous blog also hand-makes little crocheted scrubbies, perfect for getting make-up off and come in an array of colour choices. They just look so lovely on the side that I don’t want to dirty them up with my face!
3 – Moisturiser
I’ve been buying Dream Cream from Lush for a few years now – it was only when writing a previous blog post that I realised they don’t actually market it as a moisturiser for your face and more of an all-over-body one…Well, lots of people I know use it on their face including myself so never mind! It’s great for sensitive skin, and whilst there are loads of lovely face moisturisers at Lush (I’ve bought a few and never been disappointed) this is a good all-rounder and just works out a bit cheaper than some of the others I think. Wherever your skin is dry, slather this on! Great for all the family and can be particularly good if you’re looking to sooth eczema, psoriasis or a number of other skin conditions. (In my experience and hearing from those around me, I am quite clearly not a Doctor (I have a photography degree so I’m not sure that counts) and know nothing about your skins condition or problems, so do your own research if you’re unsure and please, please always patch test if you’re particularly sensitive)
Aside from lotion, more and more people seem to be using facial oils which I’ve always been really interested in but have very limited experience with so I can’t personally speak to the benefits but I can let you know a few that I’ve put aside to try when i’m done with other products. I was gifted a skincare set from Soap Daze last year that came with a little glass bottle of rose-hip oil (which seems to be the one all the ladies on instagram talk about most!) and just a few drops morning and night are said to be enough, lock in moisture and have many other benefits like anti-aging properties etc. So a little bottle lasts a long time! It’s strange as it feels so oily when I put it on but doesn’t look oily at all but then I only use small amounts as suggested so definitely don’t over do it. This set also comes with the most gorgeous handmade facecloth. They gifted me their Sensitive Skincare set to check out last year which is vegan and fragrance free, so it’s absolutely perfect for sensitive skin. Sharon makes her products in her garden workshop in Devon, using plant oils, botanicals and essential oils with herbs and spices meaning that her products are 100% natural and preservative free. Lush also do solid facial oils that look very similar to the cleansers above and you can see more about those in my recent blog post here.
As for body lotion, it will always be Sleepy for me. I absolutely LOVE the smell of this, so much so I also bought the shower gel version but it’s just the most amazing smelling blend of oatmeal and lavender EVER. Add in sweet tonka absolute and it sounds weird, but it just smells like bed time – sometimes I don’t even use it (I’m a bit lazy with moisturising) I just like to smell it so I always keep this on my bedside table. It’s suitable for vegans and, as previously mentioned, you can collect the pots to swap for freebies.
4 – Face Masks
Who ever said that lowering your waste means skipping out on your self-care routine or favourite luxuries? No one, there’s no need. The cleansing grains in the sensitive skincare set from Soap Daze that I mentioned above (also available separately) are really cool, a little glass jar of powder that you simply add a few drops of water to and use as a mask or exfoliator – you could even use oil, milk, yoghurt etc for the masks if you have a favourite for your skin type. Wild Sage & Co also gifted me with a couple clay-based face-masks that work in much the same way. There are a few different options and they’re all £12 each, decent sized jars. Plus, all of their packaging is 100% biodegradable and compostable – including ECO FLO Loose Fill packaging nuts.
Lush have a great face mask selection available in their recyclable pots – I particularly love Cup-O-Coffee even though I haven’t had it for ages. I tend to just get whatever is available at the fresh mask station when I have five pots ready to get a freebie! I absolutely love the smell of it and it’s a fab exfoliator that doubles as a mask, so just smooth on and then rinse off 15mins later. Plus, it’s great to use on your back and shoulders or anywhere else you’re prone to getting spots as a little extra TLC and exfoliates without scratching up your skin like some chunkier scrubs can.
5 – Deodorant
Yep, arm pit skin is important too! I’ve been using a Ben & Anna deodorant that I got in a Greedy Lama beauty box I was gifted a while ago which was really exciting as I was really, really wanting to try this brand! It was definitely my favourite thing in the box and I really love the smell of it. It’s super creamy and your apply it like you would chapstick but to your armpits (obvs) and then I’ve been rubbing it in a little more with my hand as well so there’s not any excess but I’m probably just using a little be much. It does tend to get on my clothes a bit which are obviously all black, so I usually get dressed first and then apply it. It’s vegan, natural and comes in a paper tube which is great but the shipping is almost the price of the deodorant itself so definitely check if you have it stocked in any of your local independent health stores. I’ll definitely be trying a few other options before I decide my favourites and I already have a couple Kutis deodorants to try from Eco Green Revolution where the shipping is much cheaper (as they are a UK company) and theres loads of different deodorants and products on offer. Kutis are handmade in Wales so that’s the one I’ve opted to try and they’re only £6 on Eco Green Revolutions store as you can get the smaller version to try it before forking out for anything bigger.
That’s it from me today, but please do let me know your best zero waste skincare swaps – maybe you even have a recipe to make your own?! I know face masks etc are very easy to make and it’s definitely something I’ll look into in the future once I’ve made my way through this years Christmas presents haha.