First things first, do a little skincare audit and see where you are wasting money (too many lip balms was my issue, I never met one I didn’t want - until I found out what was in them!!) and just stop buying the things you don’t use.
Then do some research, use the Think Dirty app or EWG Skin Deep app to have a look at the products you do like and use. Maybe if you knew what was in them it might make it easier to decide on whether to keep buying them.
In terms of impact on your health and the planets’ health, learning to make some of your own products or supporting local small batch makers is the best choice. DIY is probably the most fun: you can control the ingredients, save money, and get creative using what you have in the kitchen. If it’s good enough to eat, it;s good enough to use.
SWAP Face cleansers for Oil (use what you have in the kitchen)
Sunflower (oily-acne prone) or Olive (dry-sensitive-mature) Cleansing Oil - cleans all face types, is gentle, and removes makeup. Use a little oil on fingertips and gently massage into a damp face, use damp washable face wipes or face cloth to gently remove makeup.
SWAP Shampoo and Conditioner in plastic bottles (that are generally not recyclable and are not getting recycled even if they are) for Shampoo Bars (try Lush, the ANSC, or Beauty and the Bees - or find a small batch maker close to you) and a Vinegar rinse (DIY - 50/50 with water, does not matter what type of vinegar though I use white).
SWAP Scrubs made with micro beads for a bit of brown sugar and oil (or if you drink coffee, use up your coffee grounds!). You can use this scrub head to toe, just don’t over-scrub your skin and try not to eat it!
SWAP ready made Face Masks filled with synthetic preservatives and often sold in plastic jars for powdered clay (lasts forever). Or my favourite is to use Honey, raw of course, and wash it off with a warm face cloth. Seriously try it - it’s amazing.
SWAP Body oils that promise to reduce your stretch marks (you know the one, its orange) for good old olive oil. If it’s too thick do 50/50 with sunflower oil. It was good enough for Cleopatra, who also bathed in milk and honey, and over the centuries it’s proven to be good enough for us!
SWAP toners for cold green tea, or steep some fresh herbs or citrus peels in white vinegar for a few weeks and use that (40/60 water). Vinegar balances ph levels and kills bacteria (you can even use the same flavoured vinegar to rinse your hair and clean your bench tops - so useful!)
These are just a few DIY and easy swaps to consider. By making things yourself you are reducing the toxic load on yourself and on the planet, reducing your reliance on plastic containers, and keeping money in your pocket and out of the hands of companies who don’t actually care about the impact they are having on us or the world. It’s a quiet and fun form of defiance! If you’d like to know more about making skincare, you should come along to one of my skincare workshops which you can find more info about on my Facebook page!
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