Looking after yourself and taking care of the planet no longer needs to be considered a luxury. Most of the hygiene products that we currently use have detrimental effects on the environment, so it’s time we take a collective walk on the conscious side and switch to better, healthier, and kinder products.
There have never been so many options, either. Follow these simple tips and replace your current products for ones that will make you feel good without having a guilty conscience. These small changes in your routine may only feel like a ripple, but don’t forget that each ripple can grow into a huge wave of change.
1. Do the de-scent thing
Synthetic fragrances can be produced using up to 100 chemicals, having more in common with diesel fumes than natural smells.
Helm London is a great alternative, produced with 100% oil and is vegan-friendly, using natural fragrances that excite the senses. Why not try this fruity and moisturising fragrance?
2. Sustainable soaps
Wash your hands off the plastic packaging that accompanies your average soap and have a go at a spot of DIY. This recipe by DIY Natural uses 5 accessible ingredients, predominantly consisting of oils. Making your own soap not only means you will you be using all-natural ingredients, but you can cater to your own skin and preferences. Mix it up by adding natural herbs such as lavender or chamomile, or for dreamy soft skin create a scrub with oats or coffee.
If do-it-yourself isn’t for you and you’d rather try a convenient alternative to soap that doesn’t involved getting your hands dirty (or should we say clean?), FYSHA soaps are a great first choice. Each batch is handmade in small quantities using chemical-free, vegetable-derived ingredients purposefully chosen to purify and clarify blocked pores and rebalance uneven skin textures.
3. Pants made from plants
Your current knicker drawer may be worse for the environment than you think. A common material used for underwear is polyester, which is not biodegradable and will take between 20 to 200 years to decompose. Also, the dyes that are used are toxic to both plant and animal life.
As an ethical alternative, Olly make responsible lingerie that uses GOTS-certified organic cotton and Oeko-Tex 100-certified dyes. As with any of our favourite brands, Olly pants are made in Europe (designed in Paris and manufactured in hungary), so you’ll know that they were made fairly and in safe conditions.
4. Say no to single-use, period.
The average woman will use over 11,000 disposable, single-use menstrual products in her reproductive lifetime, with each tampon or pad outliving the individual who used them by centuries.
With tampons and sanitary pads being a go-to, encouraged from our younger years as the products on the block, it is hard to imagine an alternative. But there is!
A menstrual cup is made of 100% medical-grade silicone, a drastic contrast to the toxic chemicals contained within tampons. Not only can it be worn for up to 12 hours, but it will last for years; saving the planet and your purse! And don’t panic, just like tampons, practice makes perfect.
But of course, listen to your body. If a mooncup doesn’t feel like the right decision than organic cotton pads are a great alternative.
5. Sparkly whites with no plastic in sight
Toothpaste: the small product with a big problem. The blended material combined with the leftover toothpaste which remains inside the tubes makes recycling them almost impossible. Luckily, there’s no need to skip out on fresh breath just yet, as you can find natural charcoal toothpaste with plastic free packaging.
While you’re at it, how about trading your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one?
6. Don’t wipe out the planet
Next we have the convenient killers, make-up wipes. Great for lazy make-up removal, devastating on the planet. Last year, 5453 wet wipes were retrieved from the Thames embankment near Hammersmith, and this isn’t just happening here.
Swap for a reusable alternative such as cotton, bamboo, or muslin and simply stick them in the wash as you go. You’ll also find that these soft materials will be less harsh on your skin!
7. A home for the heroes
Where else to keep your new ethical hygiene products but in a sustainable and fair-trade wash bag? Check this one out from London-based sustainable designer studio Veryan, made from GOTS-certified organic cotton. Pinstripes are always in, especially when they don’t harm the planet!