Over the last couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with more healthy, more natural, less wasteful bathroom alternatives. As a result, I actually need a lot less items than before, so time for some decluttering!
Shampoo and conditioner >> Water
First I tried pure olive oil soap for shampoo, followed by a rinse of apple vinegar. The soap still felt too aggressive, so then I tried simply salt. The vinegar worked very well, but the sour smell just isn’t very nice (though it definitely does not linger in your hair!). For the last month, I have been using the water only method (hot water, finish with cold water), and — to my total surprise — that works fine too! Note: this is definitely not only a thing for people with short hair, mine (standard European, light brown) is beyond shoulder length. Apparently if you do not use shampoo, you do not need conditioner to untangle your hair either?
Shower gel >> Water
Another surprising thing I learned just a couple of weeks ago, when at my child birth class, we were told that when your water breaks, you are allowed to take a shower, but you should not use soap, because that actually increases the risk of bacterial infection. Say what? I also know people who haven’t been using shower gel at all, because of sensitive skin. So had to try this as well, and so far, no problems at all.
Scrub >> Washing mitt
I used to not scrub at all, but then a couple of years ago a friend of mine recommended it to me as part of my wedding preparation skin care routine, and now I love it. I tried a couple of replacements (oatmeal, sugar and oil, salt) before finally finding the solution that seems to work best for me: a slightly rough washing mitt, soft enough for the face, but rough enough that it also works fine for the rest of the body.
In Italy I found Dove deodorant in a spray bottle (like perfume) instead of those pressurized containers. At the moment I’m using that. Looking for alternatives though.
Shaving >> Coconut oil >> Aleppo soap
I have a reusable razor, which seems to last for quite some time. Been trying some alternatives to shaving foam (soap, oil). At the moment I am using coconut oil, which is almost perfect. The only thing is that I seem to get a little less close to the skin with it? It does seem to be better for my skin in general though, it smells nice, and you really don’t need much, so a big pot will last a long time.
Update: The Aleppo soap works great! It feels really nice on the skin, and you can get a good close shave. As it feels a lot less fatty, definitely recommended over coconut oil. Though I can imagine that when you shave a lot and have dry skin, the coconut can be nice sometimes.
At the moment I use Parodontax, and one tube lasts for quite a long time. I think I use about 3 tubes a year? So I don’t worry too much about the waste, although it obviously is there, and could be improved upon. Note: you don’t need more than the size of a pea on your brush! Also, when you think your tube is empty, with some effort, you can probably get about 2 more weeks out of it.
I did miss the nice smells from the shampoo etc while taking a shower, so I recently bought some essential oils (in glass bottles), to reclaim my relaxing shower experience. Current favorites: jasmin, and rose.
Trying at the moment:
Cotton swabs: Apparently using q-tips to clean inside your ears is dangerous! Try to just keep the outside ear clean with a washcloth. Use the oil method if more action is needed.
Some things to look into in the future:
Floss: Get a gum stimulator for interdental cleaning.
Deodorant: Try a crystal deodorant stone or other alternatives?
Toothbrush: Switch from plastic to a biodegradable tooth brush?
Mouth wash: Find some alternative that does not come in a plastic bottle? Perhaps I don’t really need it at all? Did have less caries since I started, but perhaps there are other reasons for that as well?
Menstrual pads: I do have a cup, which works quite nicely, but I don’t dare use it without any padding against potential leakage. I could sew some washable pads though.