Sunday 18 August 2019

The Easy Eco Beauty Swaps I've Made

Finding eco and sustainable options seems to be all I research at the moment. Becoming a mum has changed a lot for me, especially how I see my impact on the earth my son is growing up on. We've all seen the documentaries and the warnings, it should be enough to put the frighteners on anyone and so I've spent most of this year swapping every day items for those that are more friendly to our planet and of course reusable.

One of the very first switches I made was to a menstrual cup, partly because of my use of sanitary towels and tampons but also because I hadn't found anything comfortable since having a baby. I then bought myself a reusable coffee cup with Arran replacing my rubbish leaky one with a KeepCup and then I binned off face wipes completely in favour of flannels and muslin cloths. 

It's been slow and steady but I'm getting there. 

With this in mind, I thought I'd share what I'm doing when it comes to my beauty products to make it more sustainable. I'm still learning as I go but I think we all are and as long as we're all trying and making small changes it helps right?!

Menstrual Cup
I switched to a menstrual cup a little under a year ago after struggling with tampons post-baby and it's honestly the best decision I ever made. The very first time I used it, I found it very easy, maybe too easy but the months following I struggled until I finally found my groove. I wouldn't use anything else now, they're super easy to use once you get the hang of it, you never have to worry about running out and of course, they're reusable! 

The small silicone cup can be left in up to twelve hours depending on your cycle, it's really easy to clean and it can last up to seven years although most recommend you replace it after a few years. As long as you clean it properly and store it in the cloth bag or container it comes with you should have no problems. I wouldn't go back to tampons or sanitary towels now. You can find some of my posts on using a menstrual cup below:

Face Cloths & Flannels
The swap to face cloths and flannels from face wipes was such an obvious one for me. I hated face wipes and the way they made my skin feel and already used muslin cloths for some of my cleansers so I just cut them out completely and bought a few bundles of sustainable cotton flannels for the whole family to use instead. Packs of three flannels can be as little as £2.50, are completely reusable and so much better for skin so it's a really easy swap to do.

Cotton Pads
This is the one I've found the hardest which sounds so ridiculous but it's true! I use cotton pads for soooo much - taking my makeup off, applying toners, removing nail polish, blotting makeup, toning down makeup, the list really is endless but because I use them for so much, I go through a lot so I needed to look for an alternative. I ordered Bamboo Cotton Pads that come with a little laundry bag to wash them in so they don't get stuck in the washing machine. They're much better than I thought they would be and feel soft on the skin if I wet them and use enough product but I still don't love them. I know I just need to keep on with it though, it'll just be second nature soon and I can say goodbye to cotton pads for good. Next step... Cotton buds!

Bamboo Toothbrush
This is our most recent switch, I've been hanging on until we needed to replace our plastic toothbrushes so when that time swung around, I made an order for two new bamboo toothbrushes for Arran and I. So far, so good - I like what I'm using, the bristles are good and I've stopped keeping them in a holder to stop warmth and mould. It's definitely a swap we'll keep up and in time switch Joshua's too but for the moment, two out of three isn't bad. We just need to look at natural floss next.

Solid Shampoo
I tried a solid shampoo bar a few years ago, didn't mind it but didn't like how my hair felt and I stupidly left it on the side of my bath so when I went to pick it up the next day it just crumbled into pieces. I thought well this is stupid and carried on with what I was using until a few months ago. Shine Shampoo Bars sent me one of their reusable shampoo bars to try and I really loved it. It lathered up well, left my hair feeling refreshed, clean and soft and the pot it comes in keeps it from crumbling like my last one! I was more impressed with this than I thought I was going to be so am totally up for using shampoo bars more once I've used up what I have at home.

Who has hand wash pumps dotted around the house? We have them in three bathrooms and the kitchen for convenience more than anything yet I've never bulk bought hand wash to refill them which seems silly thinking about it. I'm going to have a look at where I can do this in Southampton so I can keep refilling the kitchen hand pump but for the bathrooms, I've switched to soap. I like the Aveda Rosemary & Mint soap bars because it lathers well, it's hard milled so lasts longer and comes in paper packaging rather than plastic. My plan is to look at naked shower gels and wash from Lush to add to the bathrooms once we have used what we have. 

This is still a massive learning curve for me but something I'm really wanting to be more open with so any recommendations for what else I could swap in the future would be really appreciated. I'm sure there are some really obvious things I haven't realised yet but I'm willing to learn and discover more. 

Please pop any recommendations below in the comments or tweet me @alicespake

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