So I’ve been experimenting with different ways to clean my hair without out using the regular shampoo & conditioner routine. My first experiment was with my favourite buddy baking soda. I’d seen loads of recipes on blogs & Pinterest so I decided it was time to give it a try…on a weekend of course…just in case it fell short of its promise. After a bit of Pinterest perusal & recipe investigation my Baking Soda & headed to the shower. The recipes were simple really, a dash of Baking Soda added to warm water & massage it through. It’s a bit strange though…no foaming & its like you are fooling your scalp into being clean….surely a shampooing conspiracy. Anyways I’d also discovered a recipe for Apple cider conditioner, so I followed my wash with that.
At this stage I smelt a lot like pickled vegetables I & was rather dubious as to how clean my hair was going to be, but after I’d rinsed it, it felt pretty clean & soft. Off to a good start but I would have to wait until it was dry to make my final assessment. Long hair at night takes a while to dry so I managed to whittle the time away by drinking chai & watching my fav junky TV series…taking the odd peek in the mirror to test for effectiveness. Seriously sounds like I have a pretty exciting life right! I have to say it delivered on its cleaning promise but just to be sure I continued on with it for another couple of weeks. I wanted to share an accurate account of it with you all. Now, I have long straight fine hair & while it was clean it just wasn’t super bouncy. Around the 2 week sort of “flat hair” mark I remembered I had a Shampoo bar treasure that I had been given…excellent…time to try it I thought!
Now this I like! It gives you a nice foam & adds nourishing oils at the same time. Its on par with regular shampoo but somehow feels more luxurious. For me this is what I’m going to stick with & finish off with the cider rinse. There are loads of Shampoo bars out on the market when you start looking & Lush have them but they are rather spendy & contain SLS’s, so thats not really for me. The one i tried was from a WA company with the most beautiful products called Corrynnes. I’ve also used their cleaning stuff in the past & that was a bit good as well. Back to the baking soda shampoo assessment though. I think if you had a nice thick mane then the Baking soda recipe would work a treat! Give both a try thought. If you are just not ready to go there, check out your local Bulk store for refillable options. Manly Food Co-ophave a brand new store which looks super & they stock Shampoo & conditioner
So now I want to share with you my seriously simple take on having a plastic free beauty routine…or whatever you fancy calling it.
I read a report the other day that stated “a woman puts up to 500 chemicals on her body before she leaves the house everyday”, thats a lot of extra crap you just don’t need I think! Lately I’ve been asked what sort of “products” I use. I have to admit I stopped using fancy products a long time ago. I can’t tell you if it came down to cost, or complete lack of interest in advertising gimmicks, or apathy at having some extravagant regime….a combination of all I think. For years though I’ve been using a few basic treasures that are not only cost effective & environmentally friendly but also come in glass. I think I’ve always enjoyed things in glass more. Perhaps it feels more luxurious.
Here’s a run down of what i use…these fellows underneath are pretty much it!
Face Moisturiser – I’m a bit lucky that I have an aromatherapist friend who makes me a yummy batch of Rosehip Oil up a batch as I need it. She adds all sorts of yummy essential oils that nourish my skin. It comes in a large refillable glass bottle which I transfer to my glass dropper bottle. This does have a plastic lid but it’s completely reusable & I’ve had it for ages so Im ok with that. Rosehip oil is full of essential fatty acids & nice & hydrating for the skin & I find that it soaks in quickly so you don’t stay shiny. It’s really easy to get hold of & the bonus is it’s often in glass. You can find it pretty much anywhere these days but I can recommend the NZ brand, (no bias they are awesome) Trilogy, its super lush & another good brand is Aēsop. They do loads of their products in glass. Bit more spendy but you will tend to use less is my theory.
Perfume – I completely gave up on the chemical stuff years ago as it didn’t agree with my skin. It would sort of burn it…can’t be good right. So now I use essential oils mixed with sweet almond oil made especially for me by my lovely friend. Sometimes I like to dab a little essential oil on neat for a fancy change.
Coconut oil – This stuff is MARVELLOUS! If you don’t have it in your kitchen or bathroom I recommend your drop everything right now & head to the shops! It’s like Baking soda, it does everything, cooking, baking & as a moisturiser….see below for exciting coconut oil sales pitch….
As a moisturiser – I apply while I’m in the shower as the skin is soft & it soaks in easily. Any excess comes off when I dry myself to avoid oil on clothes. Don’t get to crazy & fling it around in the shower as it can make the bottom a little slippery. Coconut oil has the added bonus of being anti-bacterial & super-duper hydrating as my skin tends to be dry.
It’s also said to have an has an SPF of about 8 & I have to say my experience with it has been good but check out the research for yourself, I am in no way a sun scientist type expert person.
As a make-up remover or mix with a capsule of Vitamin E & its an eye pick me up.
As a hair treatment – pop it in the ends & tie it up. When you wash it in the morning you will look like you’ve stepped out of a spendy TV ad!
Oil pulling – this is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that naturally whitens teeth, reduces inflammation & detox’s the body. Check out this info on how to do it & its health benefits.
Deodorant – My own little homemade blend & I can’t tell you enough how much I love it! If you know me expect some in your next birthday pressie! Check out the recipe here. Easy, cheap & completely natural & healthy & IT REALLY WORKS!! Im working on getting it into my wee shop though if you don’t have time to make it yourself…watch this space….
Toothpaste – Confession time! I’m using a combo of my homemade one & a Weleda plant based gel. I found I needed to vary my paste a bit as my teeth are sensitive & came across this guy which is in a metal tube. It has a plastic lid but I figure using the combo of the two it will last year. Still a plastic saving right! Note I am still using my electric toothbrush, this is on my exception list…its also coming to a desert island with me if i get stuck…yip thats what ill be looking for when the boat is sinking.
Tongue scraper – I was introduced to this practice a couple of years ago & haven’t looked back. An Ayurvedic practice which removes bacteria from the surface of the tongue. The principle is the same as when you brush your tongue with your brush, but you don’t coat your brush with bacteria which is left to grow all over your brush….gross.
Soap – I use the Ecostore coconut soap (can you tell I love coconut), which you can get at the supermarket or health store, for a couple of reasons. It comes in a recycled cardboard box with non-toxic printing dyes, no hidden plastic wrappers, they don’t test on animals, use certified sustainable Palm oil & it contains no nasty chemicals. You can see how shopping with me could be complicated right?!
Natural sea sponge – I’ve had this about 4 years & I love this! It’s travelled everywhere with me & its just the fluffiest treasure you can use. Its makes your natural soap foam up ever so nice. I don’t recall what brand this is now but I did find these fellows for you. Using these avoids those plastic mesh squishys that might only last a few months & end up in landfill…cheaper than a natural sponge but the long-term cost is much much higher & every little bit helps right! A good ol’ fashioned face cloth will work just as well to.
Natural wood face brush – I use this chap once a week to give my skin a nice old brush down. Helps to remove old skin & get the blood flowing underneath & just feels fancy.
Exfoliating Crochet mitt – Well this little treasure was made for me by my lovely friend over at adoringly green. This amazing super mumma whipped this up for Christmas & it fast became a favourite in the bathroom. Its actually a wee soap saver so you can pop the last of your soap inside & not waste any, which in itself is nifty. Makes for a lovely wash & exfoliating mitt as well as being super pretty to look at!
Hand & body wash – Dr Bronners is my wash of choice. I bought a giant gallon bottle of the plain stuff & add my blend of oils to it. Seriously the bottle is massive & I’m pretty sure I’ve got about 5 years of cleaning & body wash sitting under my sink. You dilute it with water & because I bought the natural one which has no scent, I can add my own oils to make it smell yummy. This also doubles as my kitchen spray & cleaner.
Metal Razor – I’ve recently invested in this old style blade one…looks pretty scary but it does the trick, going Plastic free doesn’t mean you have to compromise on hair removal! I asked the shop attendant when i bought it what the likelihood was of me cutting myself was & she said high…o ye of little faith, to date I am cut free. I guess you could do the wax thing but I’m on a saving program right now so the razor will do the trick.
Loo paper – “SAFE” the supermarket brand do an unbleached recycled version that comes wrapped in paper but I had a bit of trouble tracking it down lately. I happened across this awesome brand Who Gives a Crap. It not only ticks all the boxes comfort wise, but they donate 50% of their profits to Wateraid to build loos in the developing world. Pretty damn cool I think & you can order in bulk online & they post free straight to your door. Bulk loo paper…what more could a girl ask for & having it delivered to your work place surely is a conversation starter! It also comes in these funky wrappers which I’m saving for pressie wrapping…again note if you have a upcoming birthday you fill receive your homemade deodorant wrapped in this! This is a photo of my apocalyptic laundry stash below…24 rolls to be exact.
So thats my routine pretty much, I like to keep it simple. We do enough in our busy lives without getting crazy in the bathroom. My advice to you is as your old Plastic version run out, have a look around for glass alternatives & replace them. There are loads of natural products around & the net takes any leg work out of shopping. They also don’t have to be expensive products.
But the best advice I can offer is keep it simple, be prepared to try new things which may fail or succeed, but can enjoy the process along the way.
The turtles out there will thank you.