How to replace your single-use plastic beauty products
Updated: Feb 28
Few months ago, early in the morning, as per my daily routine I was in my bathroom half asleep, washing my face and brushing my teeth before heading down for breakfast. I looked into the mirror and all of a sudden realized how horrible my bathroom shelf looked like. Standing one next to each other there were at least four different sun cream bottles, three face wash bottles, a couple of toothbrush with a toothpaste tube, a couple of mosquito repellent, some day and night face cream containers: all made of plastic. I bet there was something more but I just can’t recall; however, the focus on this is not really going through my “beauty routine” but to openly admit how my use of plastic was far from being good for the planet.
That day I felt really bad about myself; how can I shake my head underwater when I am collecting garbage (mainly plastic) and then I am the first one using so many products coming in plastic containers? I really would be deceiving to point fingers at other people when I should start pointing the finger at myself instead! From that day I started doing some intense researches online to understand what I can and will do from now on, at home and when traveling around the world, especially to remote locations where recycling is still very difficult.
FROM THE BOTTLE TO THE BAR
Did you know that shampoo can be found in bars? I didn’t, until a few months back. Usually we go to the supermarket, we find shelves full of colorful containers and probably what we focus more on is the shape of the bottle, the scent of the shampoo, the brand, so we end up buying one or two or more, to try something new, to see how it feels, to find our favorite, that will be most likely replaced by another one in a couple of months anyway. Now just think about the (huge) number of plastic bottles we use every month to wash our hair. Solution to this problem comes in shampoo bars or cubes. A different packaging, plastic-free of course, and a more natural selection of ingredients; it will only take few washes for your hair to adapt to the new shampoo and you will be able to say goodbye to those colorful, and yet very bad for the environment, bottles! You don't have to give up on the colors when switching to bars check how amazing these bars look! They are also 100% vegan and chemical-free.
But My hair NEEDS conditioner!
I feel you so much on this matter; years of diving and when I get to go back home and enjoy a hairdresser treatment what I get asked is always “What have you done to your hair?!”. Honestly, nothing and you can clearly see that. I have been trying to keep my hair beautiful but it just doesn’t seem to work. If this is the price to pay for me discovering the underwater world, I am super happy to pay it. Nevertheless I can’t give up on conditioner, but I can give up on the classic liquid one. How? Here the bar comes back! Not only shampoo but also conditioner can be found in more convenient plastic-free container, in the shape of bars or smaller cubes, easy to use and good for the environment.
However, we can also find a middle ground, by finding liquid natural shampoo & conditioner in recyclable containers. So there is a choice for everyone if you feel not ready to switch to the solid version of it.
Now that we figured out how to keep ourselves clean from hair to toes (no need for me to mention that clearly soap bars are great to wash your body), let’s see what else we can pack in our luggage for a good beauty routine when traveling.
SMILE LIKE YOU MEAN IT
Say goodbye to your plastic toothbrush and switch to an eco version of it: the bamboo toothbrush. Nowadays widely spread on many online shops, you have no excuses for not making the change. It costs around $2 only and it comes in different colors and sizes too! With it, you can clearly change to a much more environmentally friendly toothpaste. How annoying is to find along the beach you are having a romantic walk on, an empty tube of toothpaste? Say no more! Do a quick search online and you will find a good selection of natural toothpastes that come in recyclable jars, have several flavors, last longer and your wallet will also thank you. Some good reasons to smile!
REPACK YOUR BEAUTY CASE
I can promise you that with a small time investment online, you can easily and quickly repack your beauty case with eco-friendly products such as reusable sanitary pads, natural deodorant, bamboo cotton buds, reusable make up pads and of course reef-safe sun creams, good for you and the beautiful sea we want to dive in. You can easily find most of these products online. If you are looking for one place to get them all and maybe add also a shaving foam for your partner try PURC store by Cindy and Brian. Their shop is full of ideas on reducing plastic use while at home or traveling.
If when traveling, we could think and plan ahead how to pack our suitcase, we would be able to travel almost plastic-free or at least be able not to leave any source of plastic in the country we are visiting.
What is incredible for me about this is that, once I started looking for solutions, I found them easily. I believe sometimes we give up on something just because we can’t figure out how to do that differently from what we are used to, but here someone did the homework for us. You don’t have to peel vegetables and squeeze fruits to create your own environmentally sustainable shampoo (but please do if you feel creative!) because someone has done this for us already; not only this, but we can easily find these products on online shops (no excuses if we live in the middle of nowhere, just have to find a good friend who can come and visit us to deliver the goodies) and get inspired by discovering how many items we use on a daily basis can actually be replaced in order to help saving the planet.
You might have found my use of the word plastic in this article quite redundant. Would it be much nicer for us to get finally rid of it?! We only have to start.