Cleansing, The Zero Waste Way

Cleansing, The Zero Waste Way

For a seemingly simple skincare task, there are a multitude of different ways to cleanse your skin from soap to oil with countless formulas, products, and ingredients. When I'm not testing out cruelty free beauty (so I know which products to recommend and which ones not to), I stick to a minimal skincare routine: coconut oil to cleanser followed by a DIY toner and almond oil moisturiser. If you're seeking out a low waste method for cleansing, these are my notes on choosing a plastic-free cleansing routine from face wash to face wipes.

Bar Soap

Simple and effective, bar soap can be used as a face and body wash, exfoliator, and even moisturiser (if you pick the right one). Personally I find bar soap to be a little too drying on my skin when used as a facial cleanser; I prefer to keep it strictly for washing with in the shower and for shaving with a safety razor. If you'd like to trial bar soap as a cleanser, a few suggestions I have for you include: Friendly Soap (they're all great), Haeckels Seaweed Block (it's exfoliating too), and the Nathalie Bond Soap Bars (I like Bloom).

Oil Cleansing

Oil makes for an amazing cleanser; it's less drying than bar soap and leaves the skin clean and moisturised. My favourite oil is coconut; I've always found it to be an effective, gentle method for removing makeup or cleansing bare skin. A common complaint is, for some, it has a tendency to clog the skin (and your drain if you use too much!) and cause breakouts. If coconut oil is too heavy or troubling for your skin, try rosehip, jojoba, or almond oil instead. These oils all work in the same way to remove makeup and lift dirt so your complexion feels refreshed. I buy my almond oil from eBay in a large glass bottle and use it for all kinds of skincare treatments from cleansing and moisturising to shaving aftercare.

Cleansing, The Zero Waste Way

Balms and Lotions

A lot fancier than traditional bar soap or coconut oil you've scooped out of your kitchen supply! If my previous suggestions aren't quite doing it for you, stick to bottled skincare like cleansing balms and face lotions without the plastic. These are every bit as low waste as soap and oils as the glass jars and cardboard packaging can be reused or recycled but they do come with a higher price tag. Look to Ethique, Evolve Beauty, Honest Skincare, and LUSH for effective, low waste alternatives.

Reusable Cloths

An easy swap to make that creates an more lovelier experience when cleansing is switching disposable cotton pads for washable cotton rounds. Love the Planet make wonderful cleansing pads useful for applying any kind of oil, balm, or lotion; the face wipes by Vesta Living are ideal for toners, masks, and other treatments, or you could make your own reusable cotton rounds. They're more effective than disposable cotton balls and kinder on the skin too. I quick-wash the pad with a little bar soap and water after use, which gets a couple of days use out of them before they require a wash in the machine. If you wear heavy makeup, you'll get less mileage out of each one so make sure you keep plenty to hand.

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Cleansing, The Zero Waste Way