My zero waste skincare routine is rather simple. I don’t like using too many products on my face and body, even if they are natural. That’s partially because I’m lazy and partially because skin care can be ridiculously expensive. Though, I must admit some things are worth paying for (and at the very least you can say you tried them out). I’m very finicky about the packaging of my products ever since going zero waste. I do my best to avoid any skin care products packaged in plastic and I have greatly succeeded! Before I went zero waste I couldn’t believe the amount of green beauty products (sugar scrubs, facial masks, etc.) I had that were just sitting around gathering dust. Some were in glass, but most were in plastic. Honestly, I gave a huge chunk of my beauty products away because I just wasn’t using them and didn’t want to waste anything (most were lightly used, if not untouched). I’m glad I minimized my beauty routine because at least now I’m not purchasing things just because they look pretty or sound amazing. I’m purchasing them because A) They come in sustainable packaging B) use natural ingredients and C) I actually need them and thought my purchase through. This has pretty much eliminated the need for outlandish, excessive spending and curbs so much of my waste. Now without further ado, here’s my zero waste skin care routine.
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I wear makeup throughout the day, so I always make sure to take it off at night. This is the first (and probably most important) step in my zero waste skincare routine. Currently, I like to use my DIY oil cleanser every night to get my makeup off. It literally melts my makeup off and is super simple to make.
In the past I’ve used Kypris’ Cleanser Concentrate and absolutely loved it. I only needed a pea sized amount to remove makeup and it left my skin feeling oh-so soft. It is on the pricier side, but it lasts a very long time. Plus all the ingredients are high-quality and all-natural. I love the fact it comes in a glass jar that’s pretty enough to reuse too (the lid is plastic though, just a heads up). So far, I’ve reused my jar to house dried herbs. I’m thinking about transforming it into a candle though (how cute would that be?!).
In the past I’ve also used straight up coconut oil from a glass jar to remove makeup from my face. It does a great job of getting all my makeup off! Just use some reusable cotton rounds to get the job done. If you’re on a budget, this is seriously the perfect makeup remover and cleanser ever.
Step 2 – Exfoliating
I don’t exfoliate my skin too often, just once or twice a week. This helps remove dead skin cells and gives my skin a radiant appearance. I like to make a super simple DIY exfoliator from olive oil and sugar. I just put one to two teaspoons of olive oil into a small bowl or cup, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar. I mix it up and apply it directly to my face, taking care to avoid my eyes. It also doubles as an impromptu lip scrub (which you can lick off!).
When I’m not in the mood to DIY, I use my Kypris Glow Philtre to exfoliate my skin. Again, it’s on the pricier side, but it has lasted me months and is very yielding. Plus it smells amazing (like taking a whiff of a fresh, ripe peach). I simply scoop a little bit up onto my fingers and massage it into my face, avoiding my eye area. I do this for a minute or two then wash it off. I’m always left with ridiculously soft skin. This stuff also doubles as a fantastic face mask too! It goes on clear so it’s perfect for when you have stuff to do around the house and don’t want to look like a creature from the black lagoon.
Step 3 – Toning
I love spritzing my face with this toner. It smells like I just fell into heaven. It’s also super cool to know this water is quartz-infused (I have a pretty big crystal collection myself). It’s so refreshing and the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. Just one spritz and I’m feeling better already.
I tend to use this toner after exfoliating (or, if I didn’t exfoliate that day, I use it directly after cleansing). But I also use it throughout the day too! I use it to set my makeup or right before I put on any makeup to rejuvenate my skin. Sometimes, I spritz this toner on just because I can (like right now – Yes I really just spritzed some on while typing this.). It smells fantastic and makes my skin instantly perk up while simultaneously calming me down (hence the name Soothe). I’m kind of obsessed.
When it runs out, I plan on using the glass bottle to make my own floral water. I have some dried lavender already, so maybe I’ll make lavender water. Would you be interested in that? If so, I’ll definitely create a tutorial for you all (when the time comes). For now, I’m just going to enjoy using this little guy up!
I don’t really need to moisturize my face too often. That’s mainly because my current DIY oil cleanser doubles as a moisturizer! When I rub it into my skin to remove my makeup it gives my skin a bunch of nourishment in the process. After I wash it off my skin is left feeling so smooth and soft.
However, in the winter time my skin needs a little TLC. My go-to is Kore Herbal’s Anoint Herbal Skin Wand. Kore Herbals is a woman-owned company and all their creations are made in small, homemade batches. Who wouldn’t support that?
The Anoint Herbal Skin Wand in particular is packaged in a compostable tube and is multi-functional. I loved using it on my lips and face in the winter to get rid of any dry flakes. You could also use it on dry hands or under your eyes as an eye cream. It’s seriously that versatile (and who doesn’t love all-in-one products?). It’s ultra nourishing but never felt cakey or heavy on my skin (super important). One or two swipes and I’m good to go.
Step 5 – Treatment
Yes, I do suffer from the occasional blemish. Personally, I’ve found tea tree oil and lavender oil work wonders on acne. If you decide to use tea tree oil and you have sensitive skin, make sure to dilute it with some water, or a carrier oil of your choice first. You only really need 1 to 2 drops and can leave it on overnight. Mine comes in a small glass jar I can definitely reuse again (or at the least recycle).
For lavender oil, I have a glass roll-on that I got at a flee market one summer and cannot find anywhere else. It makes for easy, quick application and smells great! I apply it multiple times a day, and at night. Sometimes I switch it up between tea tree oil and lavender oil but I don’t combine them. I wonder what would happen if I did? Might try that tonight.
That said, if you have really bad acne, and it’s affecting your mental health, do not hesitate to go see a dermatologist. I’m no skin doctor, and what I recommend here is just what’s working for me at the moment. Everyone’s skin is different, and if yours doesn’t respond to natural treatments, that’s okay. Don’t worry about the waste you’ll create – as long as you’re happy, that’s what counts. Plus there are tons of other ways to help the environment and go zero waste! It’s okay if one thing you do isn’t perfect. That’s zero waste living in real life (sometimes it’s imperfect, or sometimes you mess up). Just breath and know it’ll all be okay.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting 60 percent of my followers on Instagram said they’ve tried conventional skin care products before, but only 21 percent thought they were very effective. In fact, 71 percent said they experienced negative side effects from conventional acne products such as redness, drying, flaking, etc. When asked if they’ve tried natural treatments yet, 58 percent said yes and 67 percent said they were very effective. So much so that a whopping 92 percent of my followers said they’re currently using natural acne treatments on their skin. With these results, it’s ideal to approach any conventional acne product with caution. Do your research on the ingredients inside them before applying them to your face. After all, your health should always come first.
So what’s the silver lining here? Do what’s best for you. I know how traumatizing acne can be (seriously, I had really bad acne for a while – to the point I had to go to the dermatologist). Getting that cleared up can do wonders for your mental health. All I advise is that you make your opinions known and talk to your dermatologist about natural acne treatments. Also, please be aware the food you eat can be linked to acne – try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve heard many people say cutting out meat and dairy from their diet did wonders for their complexion! The moral of the story is, everyone’s face is different and you never know how your skin will react. That’s why I say whatever works for you, own it. You deserve to look and feel great!
Step 6 – Body
I don’t use too many products on my body. The one product I use consistently on my body is bar soap. What can I say? I like to keep things simple.
My favorite bar soap at the moment is Gumption + Grace by Keats. I got this at Francesca’s too (along with my natural toner – and my travel mug and my water bottle – but we’re still talking skin care, right?). This soap has a sweet, earthy lemongrass scent to it. It’s so powerful that I can smell it as soon as I enter the bathroom, but it’s not overpowering. In fact, it’s absolutely swoon-worthy and I’m a little addicted to it.
Here’s the ingredients (the * indicates it’s organic): Olive oil, distilled water, coconut oil*, palm oil*, sodium hydroxide, sunflower oil*, shea butter*, essential oils of lemongrass and ginger. I’m glad the palm oil is organic (otherwise I wouldn’t have purchased it). Oh, and it comes in a cardboard box. Easy to recycle (or compost). They also come in other scents too (I think I’ll try Keats’ Wit + Wonder soap next – it had a very beautiful rosemary-like scent to it).
I usually get natural soap from my local health food store, package free. It’s definitely a little bit cheaper than the Keats soap I’ve been using lately. That said, I just really wanted to try something different. I definitely recommend checking your local health food store and seeing if they stock any natural, package free soaps (mine stocks Sappo Hills soap which are great – I love the lavender scent).
Aside from soap, I don’t use much else on my body. Occasionally, I’ll use a body scrub to exfoliate my skin. I mainly do this in winter when my skin is so dry it’s downright itchy. I usually just use the olive oil and sugar mixture I mentioned earlier (step 2 – exfoliate). That said, I’ve got my eye on From Molly With Love’s Rose Hip Scrub. I already love their toner, so I’m sure I’ll love their scrub as well. This scrub also comes in a glass jar, so yay! I can just reuse it when I’m done (probably just use it to house my own DIY scrub).