My Zero Waste Beauty Routine

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Zero Waste is not something that happens overnight, it’s a process. It takes time to do your research and find suitable alternatives. I’ve found it helps a lot to focus on one thing or area in your house at a time, otherwise, you can seriously overwhelm yourself which in turn makes you want to give up zero waste altogether.

How ro create a zero waste beauty routine

Zero Waste Beauty

Last year I focused on our bathroom waste. I kept a record of the items that ended up in our bathroom bin and then researched zero waste alternatives. I was particularly inspired by Bea Johnson’s book called Zero Waste Home. Bea takes zero waste to the extreme but she also has a lot of practical tips and tricks in her book.

I finished reading her book last year and now use it as a reference for when I want to make a switch to something zero waste.

Read: Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life – Book Review

Zero Waste Make Up Remover

One switch that I’m particularly happy with is my makeup remover. Previously, I had been using baby wipes, I know awful right! I used them because they were cheaper than makeup remover wipes and they were quick and easy to use. However, the waste in our bin used to really pile up which I hated. That and the fact that baby wipes aren’t recyclable.

Baby wipes were labelled “the biggest villain of 2015” by the Guardian. The wipes aren’t biodegradable which means they often end up blocking up sewers or getting washed up on our beaches. Basically, the world would be a much better place without them.

In my search for an alternative, I came across a website called *Cheeky Wipes. They sell washable bamboo baby wipes which I purchased and love! I use them with my coconut oil.

Read: Homemade Reusable Face Wipes

Homemade face wipes with coconut oil

Zero Waste Body Exfoliator

I have now stopped using any sort of shop bought exfoliators on my body and instead, I just use my *wooden body brush. Not only is it fantastic for your skin but it’s also cheap. Once you have bought your brush that’s all you need.

There are lots of benefits to body brushing including stimulating your lymphatic system, cleaning pores, reduces cellulite and increasing your circulation.

Read: Thrifty Skincare Routine

zero waste beauty - Body brushing

Zero Waste Hair Removal

When it comes to zero waste for hair removal there are five main options… buy a *safety razor, buy an epilator, buy an electronic shaver, undergo laser hair removal or stop shaving! Personally, I opted for the epilator but oh my life does it hurt!

I have been using it for a few months now but if anything the pain seems to be getting worse rather than better. It does help if you have a bath before you epilate but only marginally. I’m finding myself avoiding it for as long as possible which isn’t really sustainable, especially as we will soon be going into Spring and Summer.

On the plus side, it’s a plugin epilator so I don’t have to worry about battery waste for it. Although we have just purchased a reusable battery unit, which I’m very pleased with, that’s another post though.

I’m thinking I may have to bite the bullet and purchase a safety razor although they do scare me. Maybe I could use a combination of the two?

Update: I now use a safety razor alongside my epilator and I love it!! Read my Switching to a Safety Razor post

Zero Waste Beauty Epilator

Zero Waste Periods

One of my zero waste switches that I’m most proud of is making the switch to reusable sanitary pads. Granted this one isn’t for everyone but personally, I’d never go back to using disposables.

I have slowly built up my stash and I haven’t used a disposable pad for well over a year now. I have tested a variety of different pads and definitely have my favourites. I’ve also got a wet bag which is great for storing used pads when I’m out and about.

If you are interested in making the switch then check out my Getting Started with Cloth Pads post. Also, I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have, just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Read: Switching to Reusable Sanitary Pads 

An even better solution would be something like a *MoonCup but they are really not for me!

Related Post: Menstrual Cups are Amazing: Here’s Why…

Zero Waste Beauty - cloth sanitary pads

Zero Waste Skin

For my skin, I have stopped using creams and instead, I just drink lots of green tea. Green Tea is known for its anti-ageing properties due to the polyphenol in it which helps to neutralise harmful free radicals which can cause damage to the skin and speed up the ageing process.

When my face is particularly dry, especially during the winter months. I use an oil based hydrating serum which contains Maracuja Oil, Olive Oil and Jojoba Seed Oil. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and my skin feels really nice after using it. It comes in a glass bottle which is recyclable but obviously not zero waste.

All of the above switches I made last year. I think it’s a good start into zero waste beauty but there is definitely room for improvement.

Matcha Green Tea by Adagio Teas

What’s Next?

Bamboo Toothbrushes

I’ve said before that I want to switch to wooden bamboo toothbrushes but I’m put off by the price. This is where my eco and thrifty head clash big time!

Read: Switching to a Bamboo Toothbrush

Homemade Deodorant

I’m keen to find a good homemade deodorant but one that doesn’t make me sweat. A lot of the natural ones stop the smell but not the sweat. I’m quite a sweaty person and the thought of having wet patches under my arms freaks me out.


My Zero Waste Beauty RoutineAt the moment I still use my Maxfactor makeup, it’s the one thing that I’m really struggling to switch. These days I don’t wear makeup as often as I used too but when I do I’m quite fussy and like it to stay on for as long as possible without touchups, hence why I use Maxfactor.

One thing that I am going to switch is my bronzing pearls. My old, shop bought, ones have finally run out and I plan to replace them with cinnamon. It may sound odd but apparently, it works really well and we always have cinnamon in our kitchen cupboard.

I have no doubt I’ll write a post on it in the future so check back soon to see how I get on or Subscribe to our Tribe for updates.

Zero Waste Beauty Routine Video 

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Gina Caro


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32 thoughts on “My Zero Waste Beauty Routine

  1. Oh I found this a fascinating post, I have a dry skin brush…Leo walked in the bathroom the other day pulled a face and asked me if I had a hairy bum because I was brushing it. I cried laughing. I stopped using baby wipes and had just been using a flannel but am going to check out the wipes you use, they look fab. I just had to Google safety razor…really interesting post x
    Jade The Parenting Jungle recently posted…The Marriage Of A Single Mother.My Profile

    1. Hi Jade,
      Aww, bless him that is very cute!
      The wipes are brilliant. I’ve had them quite a while now so they’ve been washed a lot and they are still as good as new.
      I still haven’t been brave enough to get a safety razor, I will one day though 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I wish I had known about them when mine were young as I would have used them instead of disposable baby wipes. At least I’m using them now for myself though

    1. Hi Laura,
      My epilator is certainly not ‘pain-free’ or anywhere near it! I wish it was then I might be inclined to use it more. 😉

  2. Interesting post, the point you made about not wanting is sweat – everyone needs to sweat its the body’s way of getting rid of toxins and cooling down as well, so I doubt you will find any product that will stop the sweat. The only product that does this is an antiperspirant, which comes with a whole host of problems and have been linked to cancer. I have been using a safety razor but find them tricky for using on the bikini area as they don’t have much flexibility, the idea is great but application a bit tricky!

    1. I agree with you completely. I’ve done a bit of research on this and apparently, it’s the aluminium in the deodorants that stops you sweating by blocking your pores but some studies have suggested that it may increase your chances of breast cancer. (Obviously, I’m not a scientist that is just what I have read from various studies online).
      Nevertheless, it scares me which is why I’d like to find a substitute.

      I did wonder about using safety razors on the bikini area! I wonder what is a better alternative for there then? Not sure I’m brave enough to epilate there. Ouch!

  3. Wow really love this post! I have been making slow changes in the bathroom as well. First I started with the deodorant, I have tried several recipes but at the moment I am using the alum stone (I know some people say aluminum is not good for us humans but is the best one so far for me, and I’m not going back to the commercial brands!) Also, I am trying out the no-poo experiment! I do like the bamboo brush you recommend, I think I might buy one since I haven’t been working properly on my routine to take care of my face. Kudos for all your hard work!!!

    1. Hi Romina,

      I know a few people that use the alum stone but I’ve never tried it myself. Do you find it effective?

      What are you using for your no poo? I recently tried soapnut shampoo bars but I just couldn’t get them to work with my hair.

      I’d definitely recommend a brush for dry brushing. They work really well and your skin feels lovely and fresh afterwards.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂
      Gina recently posted…Kitchen Essentials for Simple LivingMy Profile

  4. Hi, just came across your blog while researching cloth pads (I already use a mooncup and think it’s great, but at beginning/end and for ‘back-up’ I’ve still been using pads/pantliners) and I’m really interested in otherwise cutting down bathroom waste and general unfriendlies. Re make-up, have you tried Arbonne cosmetics? I don’t know much about them but I acquired a mascara sample and was well impressed with it – it stays on but doesn’t take wrinkle-inducing scrubberising to remove it!! win win!! 🙂

  5. Thank you!!! Learning all about zero waste and really wanting to take the plunge but beauty was the hardest part of my life to figure out. This was so helpful!

  6. Interesting stuff here! I most especially love the reusable wipes and use of epilators. Also taking green tea for detox. I shall add some your ideas to my beauty list. Very helpful! Keep sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for stopping by. I love my reusable face wipes, it’s so easy to do and has made a huge difference to the waste I produce in the bathroom.
      The epilator did take a while to get used to but worth it once you get there. I can now go away for 2 weeks and not have to worry about hair removal during that time.

  7. If you’re looking for a zero waste deodorant without having to make your own I would highly suggest Lush’s. I currently use Aromaco and love it. You might have to look up how to use it exactly, because it’s necessary to cut the cube of deodorant in order to access the oils. But I always buy solid beauty products from Lush (conditioner, body soap, shampoo, deodorant) and come in with my own container that they can put in in; the employees are typically more than happy to not have to waste a bag or any kind of packaging after they’ve weighed out your product in the store!

    1. Hi,
      I have just started using a Lush shampoo bar and so far I’m happy with it. I know a lot of people don’t like Lush products because they contain SLS but I’m yet to find another shampoo bar that actually works on my hair that doesn’t contain it.
      I haven’t tried their deodorants before, I might give those a go next thanks.

      I was using a natural deodorant that I found in Boots. It worked fine for a few weeks and then it all went horribly wrong! I guess it’s just a case of finding something that works for your body.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂
      Gina recently posted…Perfectly Paired Wine & Cheese – Delivered to your DoorMy Profile

  8. Hello! Awesome article, however I just wanted to let you know about bamboo not being the best source of cloth material. The way bamboo has to be processed in order to become clothing material is toxic. I recommend organic cotton or something of the like, just make sure to literally research everything. It’s disheartening to try to live a clean life then you realize its the exact opposite of your clean. Anyhow, I thought I’d let you know about that. Have a lovely day and keep posting <3

    1. Hi Kayla, that’s really interesting thanks. I think green living can be a struggle as there always seems to be something that isn’t actually as ‘green’ as it sounds. Like for example buying bamboo toothbrushes that come in plastic packaging. I really don’t understand why the companies do that!

      I’m going to do some more research into the processing of bamboo thanks 😊

  9. Hi
    I just found your site, I think I’ll be bookmarking you.

    I recently made the switch to moon cup, wish I’d discovered them sooner.
    Does anyone do the re-usable pads for thongs? I despise normal pants.

    I use Mitchum solid stick deodorants at the mo, I’ve given up on roll-ons and sprays for various reasons. They last for ages, I actually can’t remember when I bought my current one – march maybe?
    I have found since using a deodorant with less ‘rubbish’ in that I need it less and can even go without.

    I think I need to get back to using my epilator though 🙁
    I do find the more you use it, the less it hurts.
    I’ve not tried this, but I’ve heard using a cool pack to ‘numb’ the area first helps with sensitivity. As talc is being currently demonised and I’ve always wondered how safe it is, I am going to try using cornstarch to avoid skin-pinch.

    I’m just started no-pooing (~month) and using a ceramic/boars bristle brush, my hair feels/looks amazing! The only time I use a wee bit of shampoo now is if i go swimming or have a particularly hard helmet-/mask-requiring sports sesh. So again, bottles are lasting MONTHS instead of a month, or a few weeks (sports 6-7 days a week).

    I am slowly building up my non-waste/-harmful house and beauty habits, slowly, slowly, catchee monkey.
    It’s expensive initially but i’m enjoying the lack of self-loathing; i did marine bio at uni… and i still use stuff i know I shouldn’t! (I should be hanged at the very least.)

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. Hi Lessy,
      Thanks for stopping by.

      I haven’t used the reusable thong pads but then I don’t wear thongs. They drive me nuts.

      I used to use Mitchum deodorants, I didn’t realise that they have less rubbish in them. Do they still contain aluminium though?

      I definitely agree that the more you use an epilator the less it hurts. It hurst less on short hair. I normally have a bath before using mine and that tends to make it less painful too. I haven’t tried a cool pack myself.

      For your no poo are you just using water? I’ve tried that before and my hair ended up in a right state 🙁

      Sustainable living is definitely a journey not a destination. It’s taken me ages to have a zero waste beauty routine that I’m happy with. Also, one size doesn’t fit all with a lot of things so it takes time to find healthier alternatives that work for you. It sounds like you are doing a great job!

      1. Hi Gina

        Yeah, it does take a few weeks to get use to wearing thongs, but I wouldn’t go back to normal pants for during the day. I’d wear boy shorts but they have to be proper man’s boxer size, not the silly weird lady boxers that either ride up or don’t cover my ample builder’s backside.

        Mitchum have slightly less rubbish in them than most brands, though they could do better. They do have aluminium in, but as I stick it on once a day (haven’t worn any in 3 days – still not stinky, go me) I’m not too bothered about that. I had thought of switching to another ‘better’ brand but I live in a small town where there is one shop (i.e. expensive) to buy such stuff from and i like seeing before I buy; so amazon etc isn’t much use for a first try. When I go to big town next i will look around for an alternative. Though I had thought of trying an alum crystal and seeing how that works.

        No-pooing, yep just water for the washing part. I do condition because my hair is really thick and heavy and turns to straw with no conditioner (happy hair days, again mostly natural ingredients but some naughties). I tried a homemade coconut conditioner once… while I got compliments on how my hair looked, it felt horrible, looked lank to me and I eventually put it up because I hated it. Which is very annoying cos i love coconut oil for everything else.

        Finding healthy and sustainable alternatives is definately a trial-and-error journey. For instance, I am a clumsy-clot so anything that doesn’t bounce cannot go in the bathroom. I am a mass-murderer when it comes to glasses and crockery.

        Glad I found your blog though, you give me lots of things to research/consider and try out. 😀

        1. Hi Lessy,
          I may go back to Mitchum then. I was also thinking about an alum stone. I’ve noticed my children starting to need something but really don’t want them using deodorant yet as they are too young. I thought an alum stone might be a good compromise. It’s also what Bae from Zero Waste Home uses so they must be pretty good.

          I’d love to only wash my hair with water! I have tried so many different no poo options but non of them work for my hair. I’m currently using a Lush shampoo bar which I know still contains some nasties but it is zero waste and it does get my hair clean.
          My friend tried coconut oil in her hair and had to wear a hat for a week!

          1. Hi Gina

            Yeah, unlike other folk’s recommendations and experiences, I wouldn’t try going no-poo cold-turkey. No-poo does not work on 2 hours+/days’ sweat; for me anyway.
            I did think the coconut oil conditioner fail would actually be perfect for a good once-a-year deep condition over crimbo (when I can hermit or wear a hat).

            I was looking at shampoo bars, I love the thought of no plastic bottles, I will have to have a look about in big town for those too, there is a Lush there, thanks.
            I’ve also gone back to soap bars after years of bottled stuff, wouldn’t go back to bottled stuff ever again. We get a market in town once a month or so and we get fabulous, massive bars of soap from there. They’re relatively expensive (£5 for 1), but as far as I know, there’s little to no horrors in them and they last ages, and there is more choice in flavours (smell so good I want to eat some of them).

            Deodorant wise, there are better brands out there, but Mitchum is the best-cheapest available in my town (so far, I always check if something better has come into stock).

            merry crimbo and happy hogmanay, hope you had/have a lovely time.

          2. There is a ‘detox’ period with any no poo option. Your body needs to adjust the amount of sebum it produces.

  10. I wanted to share an alternative to the bamboo toothbrushes. Preserve toothbrushes. They are made from recycled plastic and you can send them back to be recycled again into other products. They also have recycled razors if that is an option for you. We use the toothbrushes and I save them all year and send them back after Christmas.

    I tried a safety razor years back and it ended up being expensive. Good quality blades are hard to find and a good strope to resharpen them is even harder. Both are expensive when you find them. Plus if you are like me with coarse hair you’ll find you spend more time shaving to get that close shave. My husband made the same complaint when he tried one. Now he just uses a trimmer to keep the beard neat and trim.

    I prefer to sugar my legs and pits. I use cotton strips that are washable. I make my own sugar paste since I have about 100lbs of white sugar in the house. We are LDS and it is from our food storage. We are now a sugar free family so I needed to use it up some how. Plus the sugar works well in homemade sugar scrubs.

    For face cloths I use cotton ones from Target. They come in an 8 pack in different colors. I get white. $2.50 for 8 cotton cloths. Once they get too stained or gross that washing doesn’t work anymore I pass them to my husband for garage rags. They normally last about a year or so before they get demoted to cleaning or garage rags. Then they still have life and shape but are a little stained and make me cringe to use them on my face. (Oils can collect dirt and dust in the fibers over time.)

    1. I haven’t heard of the Preserve toothbrushes I’ll have to check them out thanks. Although they do have to be recycled which of course isn’t ideal as the energy involved in recycling products can be high. You also have to take into account the environmental impact of sending them back i.e. transportation, packaging etc. However, they could make a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t like the bamboo brushes. Definitely going to look into them further thanks.

      I agree that the initial cost of the safety razors is quite high but when you think of how many disposable ones you’d get through in a year the safety razor soon starts to save you money. Where are you based? I’m in the UK and the blades are really cheap here. I bought a pack of 20 for about £1 and so far have only used one! I’ve been using mine for about 4 months now.

      A lot of people I know use the sugar waxing but I’ve never tried it myself. I can see how it would be better for sensitive areas.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂
      Gina recently posted…Easy Ways Start-Ups Can Go GreenMy Profile

  11. Hi,
    Just reading this off of Pinterest. I’ve been using an epilator for a few years now. I am a hairy Italian. At first it wasn’t the most pleasant thing and I’d have to do a lot of deep breathing, lol. Now, it’s cake. I use it on my legs and underarms, even my upper lip and chin on occasion. I tried my bikini line and almost died. So instead I use a bikini trimmer without an attachment. Works fine.
    I use “natural” deodorants and fine the crystal type to work the best. However, you will still sweat. We are supposed to! I think one of the great things about zero waste is that it forces you to face reality and deal with the body you are given. We ALL sweat and most of us a pretty hairy. Get over it. A bar of soap and some water takes care of any BO and a little crystal deodorant helps keep the pit stink at bay. I find that wearing tanks or camis with a loose cardigan works the best for allowing air flow and allowing sweat to dry so that’s my uniform.
    I already using baking soda for toothpaste and just started using cocoa powder for bronzer and beet powder for blush. Charcoal works ok as a smoky eyeliner too. I just forgo mascara now. Just today I received my supply of cloth pads. I cloth diapers twins through potty training. I think I can handle this, lol. For face wash I alternate between a cream cleanser I had, a bar of neutrogena and a makeup remover wash cloth I bought at Sephora. That thing works really well especially for exfoliating.
    I dont use hairspray and occasionally a leave in serum. I wash my hair twice a week and my daily shower is About 3 minutes. I need the hot water to loosen up my back!

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