Minimising my health and beauty products was one of the easiest things to do. I didn’t have a huge amount of make-up and toiletries so there was hardly anything to clear out!
So my main focus has been on cutting back on waste and moving over to natural products… and that’s a bit more complicated.
A lot of eczema sufferers (including me) need to use soap substitutes, body washes, emollients and moisurisers which come in plastic packaging. If I find make-up or a skincare product that works for me then I stick with it and get really annoyed if it’s discontinued!
Making changes to what products I use is a slow process. I need to change one thing at a time because that makes it easier to work out the cause if I have an eczema flare-up. So I’m currently getting frustrated with the amount of plastic waste I’m creating but trying to remain patient and change one thing at a time.
Here are the first few things I’ve made changes with:
I switched to using solid shampoo bars about six years ago but that was mostly because I found they suit my hair better – being plastic free was just a bonus! Lush recently stopped making my favourite (Copper Head) so I’m on the look out for a new favourite if you have any tips?
I thought this would be a really difficult thing to change because my skin is so sensitive on my face but I’m loving the Tea Totaler naked cleansing bar from Lush. It’s really gentle, lovely and plastic free. Fyi – this blog isn’t sponsored by Lush… I just love their stuff!
This is still work in progress! Whenever I’ve tried to switch deodorant in the past I’ve developed a rash and/or eczema so it’s taking me some time to find something I don’t react to… that also works!
My first attempt was a solid stick from the local vegan shop which came in a cardboard tube. It made my armpits a bit sore, but I was trying to stick with it. I was just starting to get used to the interesting ‘earthy smell’ when it dried up. I think the cardboard tube soaked up moisture so it went all crumbly and impossible to apply.
My second attempt was a Lush solid deoderant. It had very mixed reviews but as it was packaging free I figured it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it didn’t work out for me. It was easy to apply and keeping it in a glass jar stopped it from drying out. But I only used it for a few days! I personally thought I smelt like a field in a not so good way. It felt too heavy – like a waxy coating and although I’m not a particularly smelly person… I felt smelly by lunchtime. Some of the reviews were great so this was maybe just not for me.
I’m currently on my third trial – which is handmade deodorant! I’ve been using it for a few weeks and it’s a bit weird but really easy to make and seems to be working to keep away body odour… which is ultimately the goal! I based mine on this recipe but only used 10 drops of essential oil.
If you don’t want to read about periods and sanitary products then please pop off now and I’ll see you next week!
I read somewhere that one sanitary towel is the equivalent of two and a half plastic carrier bags… I can’t remember/find where I read that so I might have made it up! But still… the amount of plastic waste form tampons and sanitary towels is pretty shocking and I know a lot of people are changing what they use.
I personally switched to period pants and a Mooncup about two years ago. I use the Thinx period pants and they’re great but they are pretty expensive – when I bought them there weren’t many options but I think there are more brands/choices now – so please share in the comments if you love a certain brand!
If you use tampons and don’t want to change to a cup/period pants then it’s still worth shopping around. It looks like a lot of new brands have popped up who are focusing on natural products, less waste and working to battle period poverty. Ohne looks good to me, but again – if you have any favourite brands do share!
If you have any questions about sanitary products/period pants but don’t want to chat on here/social media then please feel free to message me.
This is the final blog in my minimalism 2019 series – I hope you’ve enjoyed them? It’s been lovely hearing from some of you about what you’re up to!
Keeping things simple, reducing waste, reducing environmental impact and shopping thoughtfully are all ongoing things. But one more thing that I want to have a serious look at is digital minimalism.
I know that I could tidy up my digital world and reduce the amount of time I spend on my phone – so that will be something to get stuck into next year. For now I just want to enjoy the extra time and space that I’ve gained from simplifying!