In my recent Zero Waste Bathroom post I kind of skipped over skincare as 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 review. I haven’t made my way through them all yet but I love the ones that I’ve tried. These are solid cleansers that you 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 so the Like a Virgin solid bar cleanser is very similar formula 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.
In terms of getting make-up off, 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 because it 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 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 daily zero waste replacements. 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 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. I was gifted this make-up removal kit which is £24.95.
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 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. 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 is supposed to lock in moisture and have many other benefits like anti-aging properties etc. So a little bottle lasts a long time and even though it feels oily when I put it on but doesn’t look oily at all. 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 you can collect up the pots to return in exchange 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. Wild Sage & Co also gifted me with a couple clay-based face-masks which are basically 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. 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 but 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 previously used a Ben & Anna deodorant 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. 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’m currently using a Kutis deodorant I was gifted 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 and only £6 on Eco Green Revolutions store as you can get the smaller version to try it before forking out for anything bigger. The grapefruit one is my favourite so far.
What are your best zero waste skincare swaps – maybe you even have a recipe to make your own?! Lush are great but I hope you’ve found some new brands to check out, too!
Continue the Zero Waste series: