Journey into Zero Waste Beauty

zero waste beauty

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The concept of zero waste is something that I have been interested in for a long time now, right back to my uni days in Wales. However, I find even thinking about the process overwhelming. I mean where do you start?

When you actually start to take note of how much waste your family produces on a daily, weekly and monthly basis I think you’d be shocked by what you saw.


I’m currently reading Bea Johnson’s book called Zero Waste Home which has really inspired me to give zero waste a go. Her whole philosophy is based around having less stuff so they can feel less stressed, have more time and have more life experiences. It’s definitely a ‘collect memories not things’ kind of life and it sounds wonderful.

Zero Waste Beauty

Journey into Zero Waste Beauty I have decided to start the process of going zero waste by splitting it into manageable chunks starting with our beauty and health care routines.

I’m also conducting a mammoth decluttering process as I’ve come to the conclusion that stuff stresses me out. So far it’s going really well and I have taken bag after bag to the local charity shops and also sold off any larger items. There is still a long way to go but I will get there eventually.

Read: How I Finally Got our Home in Order Once and for All!

I have already switched to using reusable sanitary products so I have reduced a lot of waste there. I have a wooden body brush which I use instead of exfoliators or body creams.

I bulk buy Epsom salt to use in the bath which is fantastic for relaxing muscles and detoxifying the body. The only other beauty products I use besides that are a moisturiser, eye cream, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, and deodorant.

I drink a lot of herbal teas which have some fantastic health benefits. Beauty comes from within and all that!

zero waste beauty

The things that I want to look into next are…

Bamboo Toothbrushes

In the UK we throw away millions of toothbrushes every year and as they can’t be recycled they go straight to landfill. They then take hundreds of years to breakdown. Bamboo toothbrushes, however, rot down.

My only problem so far with making the switch is that currently I generally pay £1 for two toothbrushes whereas the bamboo ones start from £2 each!

I need to do some more research to see where I can get them cheaper. I don’t want this exercise to start costing us more money. I also need to find some that only come in cardboard packaging which I can put into our composter otherwise the zero waste side of it is pointless.

Switching from Disposable Razors to an Epilator

This one is a difficult one because I still need to shave my legs; I’m not quite ready for the au natural look just yet! At the moment I currently use disposable razors which, to be honest, are pretty rubbish anyway and you can get through a lot in a month if you are keeping on top of things.

My plan is to buy an epilator to replace them although I am guessing I will need to buy a rechargeable one, if there is such a thing, otherwise I’m then going to need batteries which are more waste!

I also very much doubt I will find an epilator which doesn’t come in packaging which again is more waste. Do you see the issue with this? It’s actually really hard to go zero waste. I suppose I would only buy it once though so if I can find one that just comes in cardboard at least I could compost that.

Hair Care

I have already attempted to go ‘no poo‘ with my hair which was an epic failure! Perhaps I need to do a bit more research into this to see if I can find something that works with my hair. I also currently dye my hair with nasty package, chemical laden, stuff which I’d love to get away from.

Update: No Poo Haircare – Giving it Another Go!

Update: Switching to Natural Hair Dye 

I recently saw a DIY natural hair lightener tutorial on Pinterest which I’d like to give a go. I can make up the solution at home using everyday household items which is great.

These are the first three things that I’m going to look into and if successful I guess I’ll take it on from there. Possible future things I will look into include homemade mouthwash, homemade toothpaste and homemade makeup.

I am certainly not naive enough to think that we could ever go completely zero waste, we are not that organised, but even if we can reduce the amount of waste we produce by half I think we’d be doing okay.

Gina Caro

You may also like: My Zero Waste Beauty Routine + Homemade Reusable Face Wipes 

Image Credit: Sergey Zolkin

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13 thoughts on “Journey into Zero Waste Beauty”

  1. What a great idea. Have a look at laser hair removal I found it worked and only then shave around once a month which reduces waste. Our local school asks for boxes and plastic for the kids to build things with. Would this help to get rid of packaging for you?

    1. I hadn’t even thought about laser hair removal! I bet it costs a lot though doesn’t it?
      Our school do use boxes and bottles etc for making things but the problem is my daughter then ends up bringing them all home again! She’s what you would call a junk modelling enthusiasts!
      Eventually I like to get to the point where we don’t have anything that needs recycling because we didn’t buy it in the first place. This is quite an ambitious goal though.

    1. I’ve wanted to give up hair dye for ages now just haven’t been brave enough to actually go through with it. It could all go horribly wrong though!

      Everything these days seems to come with mountains of packaging, especially kids toys. Not only does it make stuff impossible to get into, it’s also a complete waste. Makes me so mad! Toothpaste is a good example.

  2. Great post. I have found that with care you can make a disposable razor last quite a while – I’ve actually been using the same one since I decided to reduce our waste back in Sept, although I will need to change it soon, and have switched from shaving gel to coconut oil which I think will also last for ages as you only need a really tiny amount. I have also given up shampoo, since late October. This does take perseverance and some trial and error to find what works for you – I think I have been quite lucky in that the honey wash I first found out about seems to work for me although it has taken a while – I almost gave up before Christmas but another few weeks has made all the difference – so perhaps worth another try when you are ready. Have you checked out the No Poo ( no shampoo) & Low Poo Hair Care Group Forum on facebook – they have lots of ideas ( so many I found it a bit confusing to be honest but it’s good to have options). Got a bamboo toohbrush lined up ready to try when my current plastic one expires. Have you tried Lush for deodorant bars?

    1. I’m going to start using coconut oil for shaving too. I have heard good things about it and I already have a big jar of it that I use to take off my makeup.

      That’s really interesting about the honey. How long from when you last washed your hair with shampoo did it take for your hair to adjust? I’m currently 3 weeks into my no poo and I’m having to wear my hair up all the time 🙁

      I’m hoping it will adjust soon!

      Yes, I’ve joined that group thank you. Lots of great tips in there 🙂

      I’d be interested to hear where you bought your bamboo toothbrush?

      I was put off of Lush because people were saying that their products actually aren’t completely natural. Not sure how true that is, though? I was planning on making my own deodorant when my current one runs out. I have already decided on the recipe, I just hope it’s effective. 🙂

  3. I love Bea, particularly how stylish she is! I need to take some small steps towards less waste. I get so frustrated with all the wrappings particularly on food.

    1. We are only doing small steps to as I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by the whole process. Food packaging drives me insane, I’d love to find one of those zero waste food stores near to us but I don’t think there is such a thing which is a shame. They seem to be far more popular in America.

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  6. This is such a great topic! Have you ever tried using a safety razor instead. Should be minimal packaging and you can recycle the stainless steel blades once you’ve finished with them.

    1. Hi Jorge,
      I have actually just bought a safety razor. My plan is to use it alongside my epilator.
      I’m struggling to find blades for it though so haven’t used it yet 🙁

      Do you use one?

      1. That’s a shame. Have you tried searching online for double edge blades?
        I haven’t got one as I’m currently using an epilator. But I’m thinking it might be useful to have for those times when I’m too lazy to epilate 🙂

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