5 Ways to Make Your Personal Care Regime as Eco-Friendly as Possible

We have already introduced the idea of an eco-friendly beauty regime here, but what about some of our everyday personal care items? In our experience, our personal care items are some of the most common culprits of plastic use in the house. Think about your care routine in the morning. I’m sure the majority of us use a plastic toothbrush and brush our hair with a plastic comb or hairbrush. And what about products that we use in our personal care regime that damage the environment? Think about the deodorants that come in aerosols which are hugely damaging to the atmosphere and therefore our climate. This is obviously bad news for the planet. 

Below are 5 swaps we can make to help, not only our health but also the planet by swapping out both plastics and toxins for plastic-free and natural products.  

Plastic-Free Toothbrushes and Toothbrush Heads

The majority of toothbrushes are plastic. Just take a walk down the toothbrush aisle at the supermarket to see this for yourself. It is widely understood that we should be changing our toothbrush every 3-4 months which means millions of us across the globe are throwing out our toothbrush everyday. That is a lot of plastic, some of which will end up in our oceans. So clearly it is far more eco-friendly to have a wooden or bamboo toothbrush and we have definitely seen a shift in this arena. Walking down that same aisle in the supermarket, you will see that many companies are now branching out to more eco-friendly toothbrushes. For the more mainstream shoppers amongst us, Colgate has a bamboo and charcoal infused toothbrush. For those who want an ethical but smaller company, Wild and Stone have a pack of 4, BPA free, bamboo toothbrushes. Alternatively, if you want to get rid of your toothbrush altogether, there are some companies which make chewable toothpaste. NoWa is one such company who boast no waste toothpaste and mouthwash tablets, and donate 50% of their profits as well as planting trees for every order made. 

For those of you who own an electric toothbrush, moving away from plastic is more difficult, if not impossible. However, a number of companies are now moving towards recyclable toothbrush heads, compatible with the majority of toothbrush heads, just like these from Wearth in the UK. Both in the UK and US you can also buy electric toothbrushes which use bamboo toothbrush heads. If you’re in the UK you check this one out at Holland and Barrett and in the US this one from Sustainable Tomorrow. 

Interdental brushes (TePe) and Floss

Most people brush their teeth 2-3 times a day, however, many of us use dental products such as interdental brushes or floss between brushes, particularly after meals. Again, these products are often plastic based and are not recyclable. In addition to this, dental floss can be toxic if it is coated in perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFAS), the product found in teflon. Therefore, we recommend finding a natural dental floss or tepe which is not only better for the environment, but better for our health too. 

This dental floss from Wild and Stone is plastic-free, vegan and uses only natural materials. Alternatively, Woobamboo uses natural silk in their floss which is biodegradable and the packaging is also biodegradable or recyclable. 

For interdental brushes, it is more tricky to find completely recyclable brushes, however, many companies now offer bamboo handled brushes like these at Wearth. If you prefer interdental brushes to floss, make sure you choose a product which has BPA-free brush heads. 

Sanitary products

Did you know that your sanitary products contain plastic? We didn’t either until we began looking into it. It’s shocking how much plastic is in these products with some claiming that one pack of standard sanitary pads contain the equivalent of 4 plastic bags of plastic. And who knows how much toxicity is in that plastic. Toxins have been linked to endometriosis and, in some cases, fertility issues in women so to be putting plastic near the reproductive organs of women seems to be potentially damaging. Luckily there are now a variety of options from cotton tampons and pads, to reusable or washable products and menstrual cups. 

For disposable/single-use products, the main players are starting to create products which include more cotton, for example, Always now has a sanitary pad with an organic cotton topsheet. However, if you’re looking for products which are entirely plastic-free, you may need to broaden your search. Natracare is a widely available and affordable option. Their products include sanitary pads as well as tampons. 

For reusable products, the menstrual cup is one option. Be careful to choose a plastic-free option such as the Bettercup which is made from 100% silicone. What’s more, the ethical company will donate a cup to those in need for every cup purchased. 

Another reusable or washable product is period underwear. If you’re thinking this is something akin to a nappy or diaper, then think again. Many brands are creating underwear which is comfortable and even sexy such as Wuka or Pantys. There are also companies making activewear suitable for when you’re on your period such as American brand, Thinx.

Bamboo comb/brush

A staple part of most people’s routine is brushing their hair. For most people, their hairbrush or comb will be made of plastic. Granted, this is not single-use plastic, however, if we’re looking for ways to reduce our plastic use, the simple hairbrush or comb might be one of the items on your list. When you next need to change this item consider swapping to a more environmentally friendly alternative made from bamboo and other eco-friendly products. We particularly like the products listed here from Peace with the Wild. Interestingly, their beard brush contains plant-based bristles. 

Deodorant

Out of all of the products on this list, we bet you didn’t think about your deodorant containing plastic. Whilst the deodorant itself probably doesn’t contain plastic, for those that use a roll-on, the packaging likely does. And not to mention the problems for the environment in using aerosols. 

Switching to environmentally friendly deodorants will take some trial and error to find the best one for you, however, there are plenty of options to try. We would recommend sticking with it for a few weeks as you may find you sweat more to begin with which may lead to an increase in odour, although it should settle down. Also, be mindful of sensitive skin. Many natural deodorants use bicarbonate of soda to eliminate odour which can lead to irritation for some. 

Some of the natural deodorants we like are Wild, which comes with a reusable case or the natural deodorant company, which uses a glass jar and you apply the deodorant with your fingertips. 

Conclusion

Making the switch to an eco-friendly personal care regime is easier than you think. Doing this will help to remove tonnes of plastic waste from our landfill sites and oceans. Many of the switches described in this article will also have far wider reaching positive effects on our environment. So what are you waiting for? Try out some of the suggestions above and see how you get on!