Beauty is an area in my life where I’ve been finding it difficult to make sustainable swaps. It’s not vanity – oh weary sigh – that prevents progress. I blame my highly sensitive, eczema-prone skin and inability to tolerate many fragrances and natural ingredients.
But with the climate emergency and the recycling industry in my home state of Victoria on the verge of collapse, I’m more motivated than ever to transition to a lower-waste situation.
In the name of cleaning up my beauty game, I’ve tried unpackaged bar soap for face, body and hair; bulk oil as a moisturiser for face and body; and many, many natural creams, balms and elixirs. All of which drained my wallet and made me variously break out with blemishes or angry, bubbly red rashes that took weeks to calm down.
My happy place is one where I don’t do too much in the way of grooming, but still look as pulled together as is possible for a toddler mother who is very bad at mornings. In said happy place, I’d preference Earth-friendly ingredients and make minimal waste. Maybe I’d even relax and sink into a bit of me-time!?
Lately I’ve been trialling a few things that have been giving me hope. From Lush, of all places. You know, the shop with the crazily colourful bath bombs and shouty all-caps-on-black labels? I have heard that Lush is a bit controversial in the zero-waste world, but I like that I can go to a local shop, browse the wares in person and then select something unpackaged to take home in a BYO container.
The Argan Naked Facial Oil (oval bar in metal tin pictured above) is working well as part of my night routine. It has a base of cocoa butter, shea butter and argan oil. I warm it on my fingertips and use it very sparingly after washing my face. So far, so good. The texture is surprisingly not greasy at all and I like the feeling of not having anything heavy layering my skin.
I’m also loving the Scrubee (pictured below), which is a body butter with exfoliating grains that is meant to be used in the shower. It also has a base of cocoa and shea butters. I’ve been using this little bee dry, as a body moisturiser, and even though it’s quite fragranced, it miraculously seems to work and I’m okay with smelling like a dessert. I’m rotating the Scrubee with my conventional eczema-friendly moisturiser to ease into things gently.
Now, if only I could find a good natural (and/or package-free) swap for my SPF 30 face cream. My usual cream contains chemical and physical sunscreens as well as undeclared ingredients (grrr!). Living in Australia, I consider a morning SPF mandatory, so if you have any recommendations for products that hit a more sustainable note yet are sensitive-skin friendly, I’d love to hear from you!
Transitioning to greener beauty is definitely an ongoing project. I’ll post more as I start to collate my thoughts on all my lower-waste experiments in this area. Till then! x