My Zero-Waste Minimalist Personal Care Routine

I’ve previously charted my no-poo journey as well as my overall personal care routine both on this blog and on my youtube channel (see my initial routine and then i started no poo with a diy soapnut shampoo). My routine has changed as my priorities have changed as well as my location. The first version of my routine was prior to any attempt to go zero waste or no-poo, but was always simple as I have never put much effort into my appearance and almost never wear makeup. Then I explored no-poo in an attempt to have a ‘healthier’ and more frugal haircare routine and since I already used soapnuts for laundry I made a soapnut shampoo. This worked really well when i was living in the desert which had lovely soft water. But once i moved to a location with hard water I found overtime i was getting waxy buildup and only egg yolks could strip that out. As I started transitioning our family to zero waste I also didn’t love the fact that the soapnuts came in plastic (inside a cloth bag) and while i continue to use our rather large stash in the laundry i wanted to find something else for my hair that actually made it feel good again.

Enter the shampoo bar! I’m super excited to be able to get these locally with zero packaging (not even a sticker) at a health food store in Ballarat. I think they are even locally made. They work great too and so far my bar has lasted ages. It is also nice to get a lather again as most other no poo methods don’t get this (i know it doesn’t have a purpose but it’s nice). When i first started using it i need to use a tiny bit of conditioner to detangle my hair but i’ve noticed this has become less necessary over time. And now i’ve started using a very dilute solution of apple cider vinegar and water sprayed on and then rinsed as the conditioner instead. My apple cider vinegar is homemade from apple scraps and cores so is entirely zero waste as well although I could have also bought it in bulk from our food coop. So now my haircare routine is 100% zero waste, without even packaging to recycle.

I continue to not use makeup. The only time I would ever wear it would be a wedding which seems to happen about 2 times a year for me so the mineral makeup I already own which has already lasted many years will continue to do so. Because it is a powder I don’t find it has gone bad at all. The mascara does sometimes after a few years so maybe when it next needs to be replaced I might look into a DIY option as there are lots online.

I have already blogged about my  non-bicarb soda based DIY deodorant which is predominantly witch hazel extract so i won’t talk about that anymore. It works most days, but  now it is the middle of summer i do need to use my commercial Thursday Plantation Tea-tree Sport Deodorant which comes in a recyclable roll-on if i’m going to be outdoors for a long time otherwise i’d have to reapply the witch hazel one too frequently to be convenient.

I still wash my face with Sukin facial wash gel which comes in plastic but the bottle lasts me between 6 months and a year so is worth it to me. I know some people use castle soap for this but that also is in a bottle typically and is really very expensive in Australia as it is imported. Sukin is an eco-friendly Australian brand so i prefer that. If i ever find a bar based face wash i like then i might switch to that eventually.

We use regular bar soap in the shower, and i do plan on getting the soap from the health food shop without packaging where I get my shampoo bar or from market stalls locally once we have run out of the bulk pack from Aldi that we currently use. I didn’t realise till now that the Aldi soap contained animal tallow and as a vegetarian i’m not ok with that so i’ll be looking for either milk or plant based soap in the future.

Now finally my dental hygiene because this is about the only thing left that i do. I had a brief foray into DIY toothpaste but didn’t like it and was quite comfortable  with the idea that I might wreck my teeth (which have had a lot of money spent on them over the years with braces), but commercial toothpaste in a tube is not recyclable as it is foil lined. Thus i have found my happy place with Eco-Dent Toothpowder. The packaging is recyclable, it lasts a lot longer than a single tube of toothpaste, and despite being powder it does feel a lot like regular toothpaste when brushing as it is effervescent and minty. I also purchased a silk 100% biodegradable dental floss that i can put in the compost bin when i’ve used as well as a compostable bamboo toothbrush.

Oh and until i run out of the plastic shaver cartridges i’ll continue to use my regular razor. I’ve always only replaced the cartridge every few months so am slower than typical to work through them. But when they are out then i’ll look into a safety razor as that seems to be best option according to zero-waste consensus.

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