I've been wanting to share my low waste shower routine for awhile and now is the perfect time to consider using less plastic in your shower routine! I hope this blog post encourages you to make at least one low waste swap! In this post, I broke down my shower routine into a few steps and listed my favorite low waste products under each one to give you a place to start!
*I always look for natural ingredients, responsible and transparent brands, low waste packaging, and social good when shopping for my products. Be on the lookout for brands that try to pass their products off as 100% natural or good for the environment when really it's just a great marketing campaign, super cute packaging, and a single highlighted natural ingredient like green tea extract. This is called greenwashing! Brands will try to trick you into thinking their products are clean, better for you alternatives meanwhile all they did was print *no sulfates* *all natural* *with coconut milk* on the front of the bottle and leave all of the nasty stuff on the back. To that we say no thank you!!
~ My Low Waste Shower Routine ~
I have three low waste methods to exfoliate so if you're skin needs some saving, listen up!
I picked up this EcoTools dry brush from Ulta a few years ago and it is works really well to remove dead skin and get your blood flow movin. Slowly work dry brushing into your skin care routine and be gentle, especially if you have sensitive skin. Dry brushing can feel harsh on the skin so if you're new to it just use light pressure and don't over do it. I only do this step when I remember, which isn't even weekly haha.
This is hands-down my favorite product in my low waste shower routine. While I'm showering, I love to use my Earth Therapeutics exfoliating towel. Lather this baby up with some soap and you'll never miss your old loofah ever again. Here's what's to love about this product: it's washable, you can easily reach any area such as your back, it lasts forever, and it makes your skin super smooth! Note that it's washable!! If you're still using an old school loofah that falls apart and you have to buy a new one every two weeks, I highly suggest you make this switch. This exfoliating towel not only gets the job done, but you'll feel like you're walking out of a spa!
If I want to be a bit extra and have an at home spa night, I'll repurpose some used coffee grounds and simply rub them on my legs and skin in the shower. Organic coffee grounds are best, but use what you have! The smell of coffee is literally heaven and I love when I go out of my way to do this. Not only will coffee grounds exfoliate your skin, they may be able to reduce the appearance of cellulite and it's a great way to decrease your food waste! You can also mix your coffee grinds with a tablespoon of unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil to moisturize your skin at the same time.
Two words: bar soap. Yup, I only use bar soap to wash my body AND my face! I know you're already thinking "This is crazy!! How does she not use a facial cleanser to remove makeup and clear acne. Does bar soap even work??" Let me put it simply, less is more. So many products are marketed toward us as necessities and dermatologists recommend every drugstore cream and cleanser under the sun (many of which have toxic ingredients btw), but you can still shine and have great skin without them! Choose a bar soap with minimal ingredients (ones you can easily recognize) and lather it up between your hands, onto a wash cloth, or onto your new exfoliating towel that I told you is the best thing ever!
Side note- I love love love the bar soap by Dr. Bronners, but somehow I didn't realize there is freakin' palm oil in it. Ugh, so sad and RIP to my favorite bar soap (also loved the plastic free packaging) so if you have any favorite brands please send them my way! I try my best to avoid products with palm oil because it's not a sustainable ingredient.
Switching to bar soap will help to drastically reduce how much plastic waste you create so put those body and face wash bottles back on the shelf! My skin has been so clear these days and I 100% attribute less breakouts and clearer skin to not wearing makeup often, using a gentle, natural bar soap, and letting my skin do it's thing! No over washing, over the top exfoliating, or multiple face masks going on over here. Everyone is unique and different products/routines may work for some people and not for others so keep that in mind and you do you girl!
It's time to try shampoo bars my friend!! There are so many brands making shampoo bars these days that I bet you can find one at a store near you. I'm currently using this one by Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve and I'm really enjoying it! I love this shampoo bar because of the company's values, clean ingredients, and how well it works! I'm going to be honest, the experience using a shampoo bar is going to feel different. Typical shampoos have specific ingredients and chemicals that create the foaming effect we've learned to love. Natural shampoo bars don't lather as much and they take more work! You have to lather them up in your hands yourself which takes a few extra minutes to do. Turn off the shower while you work the bar between your hands to use less water during your shower.
Like bar soap, switching to shampoo bars will really help you knock out some of your plastic waste because bulky shampoo bottles will no longer be a part of your routine or take up space in your shower. It's really nice to quickly toss my shampoo bar in a Stasher bag when traveling. To make your bar soap and shampoo last even longer, don't leave them in the shower at all times and instead set them aside in a dry place until you need to use them.
I haven't tried any new conditioner bars lately. Send me your recommendations for low waste conditioners! Above, I've listed a few options that I'm considering.
I have curly hair that needs A LOT of moisture so currently I use my zero waste shampoo bar and then apply a leave in conditioner after the shower. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for conditioner bars, natural leave-ins, or curly hair products. :)
The safety razor I use is by Lisse. This razor was gifted to me, but this does not change my opinion in the slightest! This razor is beautifully made and I love that is comes from a woman owned business that gives back! Learn more about Lisse here. Not only does this razor get the job done, even on coarse hair, but I'll never have to buy disposable plastic razors ever again! And look at that beautiful rose gold finish! Functional and aesthetic?! I'll take it. :)
I've tried the shave soap by Lisse which is super moisturizing and smells amazing. If I don't use their shave soap, I just lather bar soap on my legs and it works great! I no longer have to worry about purchasing shaving cream anymore either. Who else likes a short shopping list!
Organic Cold Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil - $5.99
My moisturizer has only ONE ingredient. Wondering how that might be? It's all about simplicity. Coconut oil is very hydrating and I always apply it to my legs right after shaving. If you didn't know, your skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs everything!! So it's really important for your health to be conscious of what you're using on your skin on a daily basis.
The only downside to using coconut oil is that it takes awhile to really set in and absorb fully so don't apply this if you're heading out the door in 10 minutes! Try to use a very small amount of coconut oil if you don't like to feel oily. It's best to apply this in the evening and just chill out naked for awhile or wear a bath robe! Although you have to wait longer for coconut oil to work its magic, the end result is glamorous and you'll be super silky and smooth to make it so so worth it.
I have a separate blog post detailing my experience with natural deodorants and the brands I recommend. Check it out here!
*If you'd like to dive into learning about common beauty ingredients or see the breakdown of your products, I highly recommend starting at EWG Skin Deep. This site rates tons of beauty brands and products and assigns a score based on how hazardous the ingredient list is. Read more about EWG here.
Ready to transition to a low waste shower routine? What is the first step you're going to try out?! Comment down below at least one eco-friendly switch you would like to make this month! :)