By Yvonne Pflieger
We all want to smell nice and look good. Advertising tells us what to buy to be our best. Excessive fancy, colourful packaging and products full of chemicals is often what is offered. Wouldn’t you prefer to know what exactly is in the products you put on your skin and body? And isn’t it better to look for reusable or no packaging at all? Plastic Free July is the perfect time to change habits, look into alternative products or even make your own! Read on to learn about the how tos of Plastic Free Beauty and Health and join us for our DIY Health and Beauty Workshop on Tuesday, July 31. 🙂
We all need a Moisturizer and protection from the elements. The more natural, the better for our skin. This is why we stock the lovely products from the sister duo from SkinMade. As a bonus, they take back all their jars and containers and reuse them for their next batch (after sterilizing them of course) and you get a small discount if you bring back your empty SkinMade container. We have a couple of links at the bottom of the article where you can get inspiration for making your own skin care.
We love the many uses of Coconut oil. One of them is that it is a great make-up remover. And instead of using the little cotton make-up remover pads that come in plastic packaging, why not just cut up some old soft cotton t-shirts or towels to make your own zero waste pads? No need for fancy cuts or how tos. After use, soak in hot soapy water before adding to your next towel wash and reuse them over and over again. At the end of their life, you can compost them.
Body Lotion is hard to find without plastic-packaging. Have you tried pure coconut oil? Such a lovely smell and so great for your skin. If you are after something a little more fancy, why not make your own body lotion bars?
You need equal parts of grated Beeswax, Shea butter and Coconut oil. Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice.
Fill all ingredients apart from the essential oil into a glass jar and put in a pan with hot water until they melt. The beeswax needs the highest temperature to melt, so you might need to heat up the pot. Just ensure the bottom does not get too hot. The other option is to use a double boiler (a water bath with a bowl on top that does not touch the water). Heat it all up until everything melts and dissolves. Stir constantly. Ensure there are no little pieces left. Let cool a little before adding the essential oil, then fill into moulds of your choice. Pop into the freezer for an hour or so until set and they are ready to use. We recommend to keep them in the fridge during summer so they don’t melt away when it gets hot.
Deodorant is often packaged in excessive plastic and full of unpronouncable ingredients. Why not try and make your own? It is is easier than you might think. All you need is:
- 1 part bicarb soda
- 2 parts arrowroot starch (or corn starch or clay which we are looking into stocking soon)
- 3 parts melted coconut oil
- 5-10 drops of an essential oil of your choice
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and combine well with a spoon, ensure that no clumps form. Add more of each ingredient depending on desired texture. Fill into jar. Done. The mixture will harden once the coconut oil comes to room temperature. To apply just scrape off a pea size amount and apply to your underarms. Some people react to bicarb soda, so you might want to play around with the recipe or even leave out the bicarb soda completely.
If you’d rather buy ready-made deodorant, look for natural ones, ideally in glass jars. Now you can also bring your own jar or roll-on and fill up on the liquid deodorant that we now have in-store in bulk.
Why not try a tooth powder (we have 51raw in-store now) or make your own tooth powder or tooth paste. All you need is bicarb soda (again), mix it with liquid coconut oil, add a few drops of peppermint oil, stir well and it is done. You can either dip your toothbrush in or use a small spoon to scoop out the amount you need. You can add bentonite clay or similar to reduce the amount of baking soda which is might be a bit too abrasive for sensitive teeth. For tooth powder leave out the coconut oil and add spices like cinnamon or ground cloves. Just be warned, the taste and texture are different to store-bought tooth paste, so it might need a little getting used to, but definitely give it a try. 🙂
Have you made the switch to bamboo toth brushes? They are compostable at the end of their life (just remove the bristles) and you can buy them in-store.
Body Wash and Hair Care
This is an area where plastic-packaging quickly creeps in, but it can be avoided. Have you checked out our lovely range of all natural soaps? They are palm oil free and come in many different varieties. The primrose soap can also be used as a shampoo bar and we stock Soaps by Heather shampoo bars and nuebar conditioner bars. Just work up a lather in your hands or apply directly to your wet hair. Don’t expect a lot of foam like with traditional liquid shampoos, your hair will still be clean though and smell amazing. As an alternative to packaged conditioner, you could try an apple cider vinegar rinse (add 1 or 2 tea spoons of ACV to 250ml of water and fill into a spray bottle. Use less ACV for dry hair and more for oily hair. Spray a little onto your wet hair and let sit for 1-2 minutes before rinsing with water).
We also have bulk body wash, liquid shampoo and conditioner if you prefer. Just bring your own containers or grab some of ours and refill as little or as much as you need.
One last thing! One of the most found items at local beach clean-ups are the plastic stock of cotton buds. They are nasty and bad for our wildlife. If you still use cotton buds, please switch over to fullly biodegradable and compostable ones like our Go Bamboo buds. Just pop them into a compost after use.
Plastic Free Beauty alternatives are out there, you just need to look for them. 🙂
We hope we have inspired you in getting onto trying out some of these Plastic Free Beauty and Health recipes for yourself.
For more recipes and other tips and tricks, check out these resources:
About the Author
Yvonne is leading our Marketing efforts and is a member of the board. She is passionate about plastic-free living and has been on a journey towards zero waste since 2014. She works in digital advertising during the week and when she does not spend time doing things for the Co-Op, she can be found by the ocean, cooking, doing yoga, writing her blog (sustainabilityqueen.com) and spending time with the dogs at Monika’s Doggie Rescue. 🙂