Over the years I have tried my fair share of commercial skin care products and have spent hundreds of pounds doing so. Every time I would buy something new I would wonder if it was worth the amount of money I was paying for it and why my skin needed such expensive products when I never needed them as a baby/child.
As I started to get more and more into minimalism I realised that a lot of the time we are sold things we don't really need just to fill somebody else's pocket. If there's a market for it, they will sell it! I didn't want to carry on paying out so much money for products that were filled with nasty chemicals that I couldn't even pronounce and that didn't work anyway!
That sparked my interest in creating a more minimalist skin care routine and because a lot of the products I started were simple or home made it also meant I was reducing my waste and saving money both at the same time, score!
I now only use natural products on my skin that are in the most pure form possible, it's been quite the journey but it feels so liberating now I love my skin care routine and know it does my body good!
Products I use
Face wash - I use a bamboo wash cloth to wash the day away with luke warm/cold water. I don't wear make up so I don't feel the need to remove all of the natural oils from my skin, since doing this I have suffered with far less acne.
To remove make up
I recommend using the oil cleansing method, you simply apply a small amount of oil (coconut/jojoba/castor/your preference) to your skin and rub it in circles until all of the make up is dissolved. Then Put a hot wash cloth over your face and allow the steam to open your pores before wiping the make up away. Repeat this until you're face is clean. The most simple and cost effective way of removing make up, ever! (Works a dream on waterproof mascara too)
I use jojoba oil and it works really well for my skin type. I suffer with clogged pores and so needed an oil with a low comedogenic rating. Other oils great for oily skin include:
If you don't suffer with oily skin and have naturally dry/flaky skin then you could try using a rich oil such as:
I recommend trying out which ever calls out to you the most and see how your skin likes it. You will find that as you remove the nasty chemicals from your skin care your skin will start to balance out. I used to suffer with shiny oily skin but now I never have any trouble and I think that's mostly because i'm just letting it do it's thing rather than interfering with my skins acid mantle.
If there's one thing i've learnt on this journey it's that mother nature knows what she's doing and she copes a lot better without human interference. Have faith in your bodies natural ability to heal and repair it's self.
To wash my body
I use a natural soap as body wash, it's a sustainable and simple option. I started using bars of soap while travelling because I was sick of having lots of heavy and leaky bottles in my backpack and let me tell you, i've never looked back!
I don't use soap to wash my body very often, some may find that gross some may not. I lived in my car for 4 months last year and in that time it made me realise that my body didn't need to be as clean as I thought. I went days without a shower and found I didn't smell (as long as I used deodorant) and my skin didn't get dry! I believe that as a society we are too clean. We've created a stigma about washing and showering every day and being as clean as possible but in reality our bodies need dirt and can clean themselves to an extent! If you're interested in learning more I implore you to check out the amazing podcast about our micro-biome and 'rewilding yourself' by the wonderul Robynne Chutkan , it really opened my eyes on this topic and I hope it might do the same for you.
To remove hair
This is a strange topic, some minimalists say no to removing body have and other don't mind. I'm one of those who can take it or leave it. I don't have a shaving schedule and if my legs and armpits get a bit hairy because I forgot about them... oh well! Living in the car I wasn't able to shave very often and I found it quite liberating. However, I do enjoy the feeling of freshly shaved legs and find that my underarms smell a lot less when I remove the hairs.
I switched from plastic razors to a safety razor and can't say i've noticed any change in the quality of my shave! To anybody out there who is a little terrified of safety razors (as I was!) let me tell you that they are so easy to use. The work exactly the same as any conventional razor with the exception being that they actually last a long time and stay sharp.
I've had my current razor blade for over 4 months so far and it's still showing no sign of dulling! The easiest way to use your razor is to use it with soap or oil, I find that soap gives the best slip whereas coconut oil tends to clog the blade. The best part is once the blade gets clogged you just have to rinse it under the tap and the hairs will disappear, unlike normal razors where it means it's time for the bin. Once your razor blade has lived it's life you can pop it into the compost (just be careful) or take it to your local recycling centre.
I don't feel the need to do this very often but it is a great way to promote circulation and the regeneration of new healthy skin cells. I use a wooden body brush and brush towards my heart in short firm strokes, it really gets your skin glowing and is an awesome zero waste option that's super easy to travel with.
Alternatives include making your own body scrub using salt/coffee/sugar and coconut oil. This feels like a super luxurious treatment and I do this whenever I want to really pamper myself and get super soft and silky skin. You can even add your favourite essential oil to calm and relax your nervous system.
To moisturise my body
I LOVE coconut oil, i've used it as a body moisturiser for years. Yes I'm one of those people you see who can tell you 2023873723 different ways to use coconut oil! While it doesn't agree with the skin on my face the skin on my body loves it. I love the smell, the texture and the way it makes my skin feel after using it.
Alternatives you could use include:
But as I like to say, try them all out! Try different ones until you find one that is sustainable and easy for you to access as well as making your skin glowing and soft.
The last thing I want to mention while i'm on the sustainability topic is that your skin care routine needs to be sustainable for you. Everybody is different, we all live in totally different climates, cities, tropics, wintery cold places and all of those factors can effect your skin in so many ways.
You do what feels good for you, what you can afford and what makes you feel radiant inside and out. If you do that you will be on the right path and will be able to maintain bright and beautiful skin without harming yourself our our planet
I hope i've inspired you to check out some of the products I use and maybe swapping out one of two of the things you use for something more natural and more eco friendly. If you already have a zero waste & natural skin care then you're amazing and i'd love to know what products you use to make your skin glow, leave me a comment below and lets start a discussion going!
Check out my youtube video all about the things I use on my skin ↓
Thank you so much for reading my words, if you've made it this far you're amazing and thank you for your supoprt! I can't wait to post more about my zero waste hair care routines and oral routines so stay tuned.
Have a wonderful day where ever you are in the world.
Sending you so much love and light,