In a previous life (like last year when I actually took the time to get ready), I was somewhat of a product junkie. If we’re being honest, I think it was mostly due to the beautiful packaging a lot of beauty brands carry. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not above getting all the free samples when I’m checking out, but I started looking around my bathroom and thinking ‘holy shit, this is all plastic’. Slightly embarrassed, I started looking for ways to ditch the plastic in my everyday products so my skin and mother nature would be looking flawless.
Here are some of my favorite products that simplify my morning routine and the best part: they’re plastic-free so our oceans and forests stay beautiful and bountiful.
I had been on the hunt for years to find a natural deodorant that really worked. Just as I was about to succumb to a lifetime of lathering on aluminum, I got the most perfectly placed Instagram ad for this deodorant. Let me tell you, this stuff WORKS! I signed up for the subscription service so the first month I received the refillable container and now I get a cute little paper package (all recyclable) that contains my deodorant refill every month.
And for those of you who are curious, the other natural deodorant I found that worked for me was Method Men but because of their sustainable packaging, Humankind gets my loyalty.
While we’re talking about how much I love humankind deodorant, it’s worth mentioning their refillable hand sanitizer. Think about how much plastic is about to end up in the oceans thanks to covid-19 and the need to be armed with sanitizer at all times! This sanitizer comes in a large aluminum bottle that you can easily pour into your plastic containers and personally, I’ll take the grapefruit scent over the alcohol scent any day.
I’ll be honest, this is the newest addition to my routine and it’s taking a little getting used to. It feels a little like I should be camping, but I like camping so I stuck with it and just ordered two more months worth. This reusable aluminum bottle comes with 30 toothpaste tablets that you have to chew with your front teeth (that’s the weirdest part) to form a paste, then wet your toothbrush and do your thing. I’ve tried both flavors and while they are both minty fresh, if I had to pick one I think the charcoal would get my vote. Plus, I ordered on Amazon and had them the next day.
My hairdresser will probably hate me for saying this, but I’m not convinced the expensive shampoos do anything for my hair. Conditioner might be another story, but I can confidently say I’ve never noticed a drastic difference between salon and drug store shampoos. So if you’re more into your haircare routine, take what I’m saying with a grain of salt.
I ordered this through my Grove Collaborative subscription (which is a great place to source eco-friendly household supplies) so I got the Maintain Solid Shampoo (Grove doesn’t carry the entire line). It smells nice and leaves my hair feeling clean. Plus, the bar comes in paper packaging so there’s zero plastic to deal with.
I can’t tell you how much I love this stuff. I went to Morocco when I was 23 and bought some magical face scrub made by hand and sold in an unlabeled bottle. It was amazing and I was devastated when it ran out. I don’t know what magical herb was in my weird Moroccan scrub, but I have a feeling Gatherwise found it. The first time I tried Gatherwise it had the same, memorable smell. I use this face scrub in the morning and it leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Plus, it helps reduce redness so it creates the perfect canvas for the rest of my routine.
But I haven’t even told you about the coolest part yet. Gatherwise is a local, Portland-based, woman-owned brand. The tagline is “seed to bottle skincare” which means seeds and baby plant starts are sourced from local, sustainable farms here in Oregon and each planted seed or starter in the gatherwise farm holds a high medicinal quality. They take their homegrown plants and herbs and blend them into magical concoctions that my sensitive skin loves. And everything is packaged in adorable eco-friendly packaging so really, everyone wins.
Bar soap + loofah
I don’t know why, but for as long as I can remember I’ve always used some sort of shower gel or liquid body wash. This was the first thing I changed in my quest to ditch plastic and in hindsight, I should have done it decades ago. I use a loofah designed for a bar of soap (like this one) which gives me that nice, soapy lather I need to feel really clean. I’ve had a nylon loofah for years and it’s held up, but when it finally bites the bullet I’ll switch to something more sustainable (like these I found on Etsy). I find my favorite bar soaps at local farmers markets, but Etsy is another great resource for some beautiful bars of handmade soap!
I debated about including this one mostly based on price alone, but it has become one of my favorite face moisturizers so I think it’s worth sharing! To bring it full circle, this purchase was based on two factors: bakuchiol and pretty packaging. My skin can’t handle retinol so I made the switch to bakuchiol, a plant-based ingredient shown to have similar benefits. When I saw this moisturizer contained bakuchiol I was pumped that I’d still get the benefits without adding another step to my skin-care routine (or another plastic bottle to my shelf).