Since adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle three years ago, I have transitioned away from all store bought products, minimized my beauty routine, and simplified my life.
How have I done this? By making all of my own products.
I used to have dozens of beauty products. Multiple lotions, creams, deodorant, toothpaste… all of these things that society seemed to be telling me that I needed. Truthfully, I bought into it, I really thought I needed them. But when I transitioned to a Zero Waste lifestyle, it turned out that I didn’t need most of the products that I was certain that I did, in fact, I only needed four.
My Zero waste beauty routine is now clean and simple: I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth with toothpaste that I make myself, moisturize with my own face oil blend and body lotion, and keep all stinkiness away using my homemade deodorant. I repeat this routine at night. That’s it. Four items and zero waste.
You might be thinking… “That must be SO time consuming, making all of her own products!”, “I can’t do that”, or “I can’t afford it”. But the truth is, it is neither time consuming nor inaccessible. In fact, making my own products has saved me a lot of time. In addition to that, it has saved me money, kept toxic chemicals out of my body, and resulted in less trash entering landfill.
I save time.
One of the biggest responses I get when I tell people that I make my own products is, “ but doesn’t that take so much time!?” Nope, it really doesn’t Most of these products don’t take more than a few minutes to make, which is exponentially less time than I would spend walking to the store and back to buy an item. Making my own beauty products is much faster than buying them! For example, for me to go and buy toothpaste at the store would take me about 20 minutes. Making it at home takes about 30 seconds. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of me making it.
I save money.
Going to the store and buying beauty products was not at all cost effective. I’d be lucky if I escaped a pharmacy without spending upwards of $40.00 on a couple of things. Now, instead of paying $6.00 for a natural toothpaste, I pay about $.40 for the same amount. Instead of paying $14 + dollars for lotion, I spend about $1 – $2 to make mine. Besides being drastically less expensive, they are also better for the environment.
I keep toxins out of my body.
This is the primary reason that I started making my own cleaning products. I began learning about some of the ingredients that were lurking in both conventional and more sustainable products: triclosan, potentially carcinogenic and disruptive of the endocrine system, a nd sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), possibly contaminated with 1-4 dioxane, a carcinogen, a mongst a long list of others. Realizing that product manufacturers had the ability to put toxic chemicals in the products I was buying, and that by buying them, I was putting myself at risk, I decided to begin making my own products to have complete control over what I put in and on my body. Instead of chemicals, I make all of my products using organic, vegan, and fair-trade ingredients, all of which I would be A-OK if ingested.
I keep trash out of landfills.
Besides saving you time, being less expensive, and healthier, making my own products is super sustainable. When you think of conventionally packaged beauty products they typically come packaged in… plastic. A lot of the time it is plastic that is not recyclable and thus ends right in landfill or in our oceans resulting in pollution. NO BUENO. Instead I buy the simple and easy to find ingredients for my homemade products in bulk or package free and put them into refillable and washable containers to use over and over again, preventing any trash from being created.
It has been over three years that I have been making my own products and I have never looked back. Having control over what I use means that if I get bored of a scent or want to try something new, I can. I have that freedom. I can change my moisturizing oils seasonally, the scent of my deodorant in minutes, and the flavor of my toothpaste in seconds.
I began making my own products to decrease toxins and trash from my life, but what I gained was time, money, and freedom from companies telling me what I should buy, how much it needs to cost, and what they believe is best for me. Every person is different and we all like different products, scents, and ingredients. By making my four everyday products myself I now I have the ability to have each one be exactly how I want them to be!