With my best efforts I am hoping that from this day forward, this will be the most plastic products I will ever have to see in my beauty bar again. I am working on plastic-free alternatives to each of these products, and I hope you will learn some tips today to do the same!
I know this is not just an issue I face; just about every personal care product I own and am accustomed to buying is in a plastic container! (Which is an issue for obvious reasons!)
Most of my makeup and body care products are in plastic cases, with plastic labels on them. Being a makeup lover, I have mountains of products for my eyes, lips, face, and body. And the products I prefer are usually from big brand-name retailers that I have grown to trust and be loyal to over many years.
My problem was, (until recently,) which I’m sure many of you have faced as well, is that I thought there was no plastic-free alternative to my products. But after doing some research, I have quickly learned and implemented some new great tips that help me maintain my daily routine, all while being environmentally conscious.
In this article, I am going to tackle some problematic areas of your daily personal care routines, with alternative solutions to follow them. It is my hope that you will take this knowledge and use it to change not only your daily life, but to change the amount of long-term plastic we have all been so used to using so excessively! By doing so, no matter how small you think these changes are, we are making BIG advances for our plastic-free future.
1) Check labels before buying anything
Did you know that some facial scrubs and other personal care products contain tiny plastic beads?
Microbeads are added to face wash and body wash with the purpose of exfoliating the skin, and whether they work or not is not the issue here. The problem is that environmentalists and scientists have found these tiny beads to be harmful to the Earth’s water supply.
Since they are so small, they cannot be filtered out of the water treatment plants after they are washed down sinks. They end up in the environment, in lakes, rivers, oceans and ponds. Since they are not biodegradable like most plastics aren’t, they are harmful to the environment and its inhabitants.
Lesson learned, avoid anything with “polyethylene” listed as an ingredient.
Instead, try to exfoliate naturally using honey, yogurt, and sugar!
2) Use a bar of soap instead of your usual plastic bottle
People have prejudices towards bars of soap because they think they are less sanitary, but if you think about your big plastic bottle and compare it to one simple bar of soap, which do you think is cleaner? I think the bar of soap, because every time I shower with it and hold it, it cleans itself under the hot water! When was the last time you cleaned your bottle of body wash?
3) Deodorant alternatives
All store bought deodorants are in plastic containers, not to mention full of chemicals, so forget those! Here are other ways to keep your underarms dry and smelling fresh.
• Baking soda and corn starch! No excuses not to try these, because who doesn’t have these around the house?! “Mix an eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda with a little bit of water — don’t dissolve it — and rub it under your arms. You can also create a baking soda and cornstarch mix to fight odor and help prevent wetness. Simply mix one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch and dust a little on your underarms.” (Source: Mother Nature Network)
• Lemon Juice- the citric acid in lemon juice is known to kill odor causing bacteria!
• Rubbing alcohol- another product to kill odor causing bacteria! Just pat some on your pits and you should be good to go!
• Homemade deodorant: Make your own! Here are two recipes I found on Mother Nature Network.
Tammy Luna’s deodorant
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrow root powder or corn starch
5 tablespoons coconut oil
Combine baking soda and arrow root powder in a bowl and mix with a fork. Start with about 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and add it to the baking soda mixture, working it into a paste. You can store the deodorant in a small, air-tight container or put it into an empty deodorant stick dispenser.
Amy Karol’s deodorant
3 tablespoons shea butter
3 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps (squeeze out the oil)
Melt all the ingredients except the oils and stir. Then mix in the oils, pour the mixture into a container, and place the container in the fridge to set. This recipe filled a 1/4 pint jar.
Source: Mother Nature Network.
4) Wooden brushes
Luckily, it is not hard to find wooden brushes instead of plastic ones! Just shop around and you’ll be sure to find one. Not only does it probably look sleeker, but it is surely more durable than plastic!
5) Ditch shaving crème
Shaving crème is not natural to use on your body, and it always comes in containers that are not biodegradable. Instead, take one for the planet and just use a regular bar of soap. Or, better yet, try coconut oil! All natural and much better for yourself and the environment.
More beauty care product tips coming soon!