Welcome to the second part of exploring the simple swaps and substitutions you can make in the bathroom to cut back on waste in general and plastic in particular. Although the first item today hasn’t proven as simple to switch as I would like!
Who knew this one toiletry would turn into a saga?! But deodorant is one of those items that you really want to work, without the luxury of being “close enough”.
I tried deodorant stones in the distant past and found them ineffective.
I tried Kutis deodorant, which comes in a cardboard tube and is one of the better known brands when it comes to plastic-free deodorants. However, it irritated my skin and I had itchy armpits the entire time I used it. Jon has used it without any problems.
I tried Pit Putty, which is a cream-like deodorant that comes in an aluminum container, but, again, itchy pits. Jon had no problems with it. Are you noticing a trend?
Posy London is a local-ish company that makes plastic-free toiletries and Jon has given them the thumbs up for their deodorant, but I have to admit I didn’t even try it because I worried that the bicarbonate of soda would cause problems as it appears to be the culprit for skin irritation.
On impulse, I recently decided to buy Wild deodorant. This is a refillable container with a solid, natural deodorant that is available in several different scents. I have to admit I have mixed opinions about it.
The container is heavier and larger than a standard roll-on (not so good when travelling), and I worry about getting white streaks on my clothes. You can only get refills from them so you are locked into one company (what happens if they go under?), and it definitely costs more than my usual cheap and cheerful (and plastic) Wilko-branded roll-on.
However … no itching thus far and it has lasted even while walking on hot days. So I might have finally found a plastic-free deodorant that does what it’s supposed to do. Check back next year to see how I’m getting on!
There are a lot of other plastic-free and zero-waste anti-perspirants and deodorants out there: let me know your favourite.
I don’t often wear makeup, but this is can be a difficult item to find a good plastic-free or low-waste replacement for. Lush do some and their translucent powder is pretty good, but I am trying to find an alternative foundation or facial moisturiser with SPF 30. If you have any suggestions, drop me a line.
I used to love makeup wipes: they’re quick and convenient to use, and great while travelling. They also do what they say on the tin: remove makeup. But the amount of waste they (and all wipes) produce is shocking. I found that standard flannels tend to just smear makeup, but the Human+Kind Deep Cleansing Cloths actually remove it while feeling great on the skin. They come in packs of two so one stays at home and one goes on the road with me. A number of places have also started to do reusable makeup removal pads, so there is bound to be something that fits with your routine.
Just before last Plastic Free July, I made the jump to bamboo cotton buds that are advertised as being compostable in a garden composter. They came in a cardboard box, which I recognise is a low threshold, but so many products advertised as plastic-free get delivered wrapped in plastic that I feel I should give credit where it’s due! So far they are working as intended, but I’ll find out how well they breakdown (or not) once they work their way through the composter.
We made the switch to LiveCoCo’s replacement toothbrush heads for Oral-B electric toothbrushes that come in plastic-free packaging and the heads can be sent back to them for recycling. No complaints so far and this could be worth looking into if you use an electric toothbrush.
For travel, bamboo toothbrushes are now sold in most drugstores and supermarkets.
My nemesis. We gave Georganics a try for nearly a year but didn’t particularly like it. Ditto dental tablets. We picked up Colgate’s eco-certified toothpaste that comes in a recyclable tube earlier this year when it was on sale. I found the taste a little weird, and on a return to visit to the store the price had reverted to normal (£5.00), which was far more than I wanted to pay (apparently six times more than a normal tube!). I applaud Colgate for making the effort, but I hope they can bring the price down soon.
This is an area I’m pleased to report that I made some progress on since last year! As someone with a permanent dental appliance, I used love plastic dental picks because they make cleaning between teeth much easier because standard floss would just get caught on the appliance. Last year I came across Stim-U-Dent from the Natural Dentist and they’ve been a great substitution. These are wooden toothpicks can just be added to the compost bin.
Plastic-free floss is also available made from bamboo or other biodegradable products.