I’ve considered making my own bath products but have realized that realistically, I won’t. And because sometimes things that are cool are simply not your thing. It’s kind of like cooking and I don’t much like that. So, in keeping with my ‘start where you are at’ self kindness thing, I thought about what I could do that will be an improvement on what I do now.
5 steps if you can’t be bothered reading the whole thing.
- Use bar soap instead of bottled body wash.
- Use bar shampoo (I’m convinced you will like it).
- If you like a separate face wash (I do) get a bar for that too.
- Buy stuff made with more natural products because stuff made with horrible chemical shit going down the drain counts as waste too. Oh, and definitely don’t use anti-bacterial products.
- Try something else that comes in bar form (I know this was a lazy #5 but I don’t know what products you like to use!)
- (I know I said 5) If you are a woman look into alternative menstrual products. I’m not writing about this, it’s just a suggestion.
1) Bar Soap
I still have a little left of my bottle of body wash but I’m not going to buy another. I’ve been using bar soap. Not the shit they used to give us at primary school (in Scotland anyway) – pink carbolic soap that smelled like industrial cleaner (it probably was). No-one seemed to worry about the consequences of children using harsh crap on their hands. Anyway, I’m sure it was fine (ish).
So now I buy nice smelling (to me) regular bar soap. And guess what? It’s totally fine!!! You can wash with it and everything! The best thing is, is that you can buy it almost anywhere. I do tend to buy those made from more natural products. Synthetic smells generally ‘give me the boak’ (look it up!).
2) Bar Shampoo
While in Glasgow visiting my Mum and shopping for shoes for my kids, I smelled the unmistakable smell of a LUSH store. I followed my nose until I found it. I took a deep breath (and held it) and dived in, purchased the first shampoo bar I liked the smell of and ran out. I utterly love it!! It’s called ‘Honey I washed my Hair’ and it smells, well, glorious!
3) Facial Soap
I did also buy facial soap from Lush. It’s ok, one is made with whole wheat bread crumbs which is a little odd. It does leave my skin feeling pretty good but I think I’ll try another one next time. It’s not exactly cheap so I’ll be using it up whether I like it or not! I guess if it lasts a long time it’s worth paying a bit more for things.
4) More Natural, Less Bad Chemicals
I’m putting in a link to David Suzuki’s list of “The Dirty Dozen”and Environmental Defence’s “The Toxic Ten”. They explain some of the shitty chemicals found in bath products that really should not be there and that we don’t really want floating around in the environment. Lots of modern products use chemicals that help increase lather or help the smell last longer. These are messing with eco-systems and poisoning us and the planet. Anti-bacterial?? Just don’t – it doesn’t distinguish between good and bad bacteria it just kills it all.
5) More about less in the bathroom
Recently a friend shared a post about shampoo bars and I thought if shampoo is available, why not other bathroom products?
So to continue my ‘less waste from the bathroom’ thing, a couple of weeks ago I visited another LUSH store, here in Toronto. It’s not my favourite place to go. I get a little (or a lot) overwhelmed by the combination of smells from all the products all mixed together. However, if I wanted to use any of their products I actually wanted to smell them first. If I like them, I can order them online.
The people who work at LUSH can be almost as overwhelming as the smells but I overcame my aversion to over-helpful sales people too. And I did actually want some help this time.
I asked them what bar products they had, other than shampoo. They call them ‘naked’ which as the name suggests, means they come with no packaging. The put them in little paper bags or wrap them in parchment type paper so you can bring them home.
I spent more than I should (don’t tell my husband!) but wanted to try as many products as possible with no packaging. I got a bars for hair conditioner, 2 for face, leave-in conditioner, body wash and moisturizer. For my husband: a shampoo bar to try and pumice foot scrub (which I know he likes). I got a couple of pots of stuff too – leave-in conditioner and moisturizer.
They happily cut me tiny pieces of some so I could try them, which I liked. Those which come as pressed bars, you have to buy a whole one.
I love some of the products, some I find a pain to use. I would absolutely buy more shampoo bars when I run out. The hair conditioner bar I got, I am not in love with. It’s hard to get enough to be able to rub into your hair. I like the leave-in conditioners. I find the bar body moisturizer is ok but doesn’t really soak in so you look a bit shiny, I don’t like it on my face at all. I’ve been having fun trying them all out though. They mostly smell amazing and make the bathroom smell fabulous! To save some money I suppose I could have gone with a friend and split some stuff to try out. You could even shower with a friend if you want to reduce the amount of water you use….
P.S. I plan on trying out the refillable container thing, where a company delivers products right to your door and fills up stuff like hand soap etc. I feel like there are some things that just work better in liquid form. More research is needed (by me) on this route…
Emma Nicholson is mostly a stay-at-home Mum to her two boys. While they are at school she is an SEO aficionado (but only for her husband’s website) and dabbles in photoshop. Her other passions include gardening and trying to save the world by using less plastic while staying true to herself and de-clutter the family home.
By writing this blog she hopes to build up a list of local resources to help cut down on stuff going in landfills and live a more sustainable life while figuring out a way to be more content.
Emma grew up in Scotland and now lives in Toronto, and despite having a Masters degree she still has a bit of an inferiority complex, coming from a family full of people with PhDs and various other heady accomplishments. Oh, and she also did an Environmental Management certificate with UofT and some sewing classes because why not?