Of all the fields in which a sustainable or Less Waste approach can be used, cosmetics and cleaning are the ones I have a longer and more thorough experience with, compared to alternatives for plastics for instance. Those two topics have also been more fun and thus a bit easier for me to adapt to. In this article I’ll concentrate on the cosmetics part.
I’ve been using sustainable products that have a positive effect on my skin/hair and thus for my health for about 10 years. As a teenager I worked in a shop that sold organic products. Seeing the shampoos, conditioners and body butters sparked my interest due to the simplicity of their ingredient list. I’ve always wondered why fairly simple products such as a regular shampoo had 20+ ingredients mentioned on the bottle. When reading the much shorter ingredient list on their organic counterparts, with ingredients I recognized or that made sense after looking them up online, I was convinced.
Also, having had hair damage from aggressive products during that time made me realize the importance of using good products, not just products that looked nice on the outside.
Not all the products in my bathroom or kitchen are sustainable. Shampoo bars or co-washing bars don’t work because I have a lot of volume in my hair (and I mean a lot!) so a liquid shampoo is most effective (I like Urtekram shampoo and despite its plastic packaging will use it for now).
The focus in the description below is on a small selection of products that are (mostly) recyclable and/or biodegradable. These products appear in the picture above.
Bamboo toothbrush: purchased in a local organic store (Sequoia) by the brand Next Brush. It is more expensive than my former plastic toothbrush but I’m willing to make this effort as the price of € 3,70 doesn’t seem too extreme. The bristles are really soft and long, the toothbrush as a whole is quite large so in the beginning that takes some getting used to.
Make-up brushes with a wooden handle and synthetic bristles, by Barbara Hofmann for Di.
Coconut oil by Aman Prana. I use it as a lip balm at home, or to keep my eyebrows in place, occasionally to take under-eye make-up off. It’s important to note that this oil can be ‘too much’ for some people’s skin due to its very high content of saturated fats. Aman Prana is a pricey brand but the quality of this product is very good.
The little square cube at the bottom is a Bloc of deodorant from lush. It’s so handy to transport because this deodorant even fits in small purses or clutches. Because it’s so gentle on the skin I even use it right after shaving my armpits. This deodorant works best when sweating mildly to medium-ish. It’s not heavy duty (but that’s mostly ok for me)
Make-up removing pads/Face cleansing pads were one of the first less waste purchases at the start of this journey. Using a stain remover before putting them in the washing machine works so well (even for mascara and concealer stains)
Tadadadaaa! Dry Oil in a glass bottle by Belgian brand Cîme. This smells heavenly, which is mainly why I bought it, even though I didn’t run out of oil. Maybe it’s the sea buckthorn or the Dhatelo oil that smells so amazing. Cîme’s oil is sold in a rectangular glass bottle, which makes it look like a bottle of perfume. You can use it on your hair, face, body or pour a little bit in your hot bath…Mmmm.