39: Plastic-free Moisturising

So, I was looking round my bathroom the other day to see how many products I’m still buying in plastic packaging. There’s still too many. Then I went to my local chemist (drug store, for my American friends) to find alternatives for some of them.

One item bothered me a lot. I couldn’t find any moisturiser that didn’t come in a plastic tube or bottle. Even expensive glass-bottled ones had plastic caps or dispensers. Now, my skin is kind of dry…and I ain’t getting any younger either! I also live in an area with very hard water. Moisturiser is something I increasingly find myself using. So, what can I do?

Well, research is something I really enjoy, so I set about looking for alternatives that were natural, didn’t harm animals, and preferably saved me money. It took me no time at all to come across a solution that did all three. And the solution is….

OLIVE OIL! Yes, that’s right. Good old olive oil. The ancients in Egypt, Greece and Rome, used pure olive oil to anoint their skins with. Not just for ceremonies, but for everyday use. I tried it, and it’s fabulous! Not only that, but it works out so much cheaper than the beauty brands you find in the shops. It’s natural, not tested on animals, and if it’s good enough to put into your body, it’s certainly good enough to put on your skin!

IMPORTANT TIPS:
1. Use the best, extra virgin oil you can afford. The kind you use in cooking is fine. You don’t need to buy the small bottles you find in the pharmacy.
2. Use SPARINGLY! Too much, and you’ll end up smelling like a Greek salad.
3. For use on the face – pour a little on some cotton wool and massage into the skin until it’s well absorbed. You don’t need much.
4. For use on the body – pour a little into the palm of your hand and massage in well.
5. Of course, only buy your olive oil in a glass bottle or metal can.
6. Once the olive oil is massaged in, the aroma is gone. If you want to add fragrance, try adding some dried lavender to the bottle.

PRICE COMPARISON:
Just to give you an idea of how much you can save – the most expensive extra virgin olive oil I found in my local supermarket (and I mean, expensive, fairtrade, organic) costs £1.90 per 100ml. The absolute cheapest moisturiser (not cruelty free, basic, big brand) costs £2.00 per 100ml. (The most expensive branded moisturiser costs in the supermarket costs £40.00 per 100ml!) Even if you swap your dirt-cheap moisturiser for really, mega-expensive oil, you still save money. So, you’d be crazy not to, wouldn’t you?

Try it. You might never go back to using expensive moisturisers again. It’s healthy, it saves you money, and it’s perfect if you’re vegan and against animal cruelty. If it was good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for me!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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25: Plastic-free beauty?

pink lipstick with green case

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Some things are easier to replace than others. Some products have become so enshrined in the plastic stuff that finding alternatives is almost impossible. Last week I set myself a challenge to fill a make-up bag with products that were totally free of single-use plastic. I made it even more difficult for myself by limiting the products to ones that were not tested on animals…I failed!

I live near a small town in England. Luckily it still has a thriving town centre with lots of shops – both chains and independents. I visited three chemists (pharmacies, for our American friends), two department stores, the Body Shop, a health food shop and a couple of clothes shops that sell cosmetics. All I could find were a small selection of pencils (for eyes, brows and lips), nail varnish in glass bottles with plastic tops (as most of them are), and a handful of make-up kits/palletes that were in cardboard boxes with metal liners.

Although I’m sure they exist, I didn’t find any lipstick, mascara, face powder, concealer or bronzer/blusher that wasn’t contained in plastic. Standing in front of a wall of make-up in Boots the chemist, I was staggered by just how much plastic was sitting there, all shiny and new, and all of it destined to float around our planet for ever. I must admit, it was pretty depressing.

So, what can we do? Well, we can start by choosing the few non-plastic options that do exist; for example, pick a wooden kohl pencil instead of a plastic-sheathed eyeliner and look for make-up kits in the cardboard boxes when you want to treat yourself. I found lovely sets made by Urban Decay, Bleach London, and Marks & Spencer, all of them cruelty-free and none of them very cheap. Alternatively you can stop wearing make-up altogether! Too much?…Yes, fair enough. For some of us that is a step too far.

There is one other thing we can do. Talk to the shop assistants. If you have time, write to the manufacturers too and ask them to do something about it. There was one bright spot on my almost failed mission. When I went into the Body Shop – where everything was pretty much all plastic except for some sponges and hair brushes – I asked if they sold solid bar shampoos. The lady behind the counter said they didn’t but they were currently in the process of developing them. She said I was the third customer who had asked her for some that day, and it was the same around the country. She said the company can’t ignore what the customers want. Of course they can’t! They’d be crazy to! So, the next time you’re passing your favourite make-up supplier, ask them when they’re going to change the plastic packaging; when they’re going to sell bar shampoo or mascara in metal containers, or whatever else you’d like to see. The more we ask the more it will change. And it just has to, doesn’t it?

Finally, if you want to make sure your make-up is also cruelty-free and/or vegan, you can search for your favourite brand on the PETA website at https://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx