14 Product Swaps To Make Your Beauty & Hygiene Routine More Eco-Friendly
Replace your plastic and one-time use products with these sustainable alternatives!
We should all be doing what we can to reduce plastic, and utilize more sustainable and eco-friendly products in all aspects of our lives, including our beauty and hygiene routines! Waste created from beauty and hygiene products has already taken a huge toll on our Earth and will only continue to do so unless people start to change their habits. There are so many simple ways you can reduce plastic, from carrying around a reusable grocery bag, to switching out your deodorant to a refillable one. So many brands and companies are making it easier than ever to make these sustainable switches! With the help of Healthperch, we put together this list of product swaps you can easily make to reduce plastic and make your beauty and hygiene routine more eco-friendly. We've even linked our favorite sustainable products so you can shop right from this list!
Before you continue, we'd like to let you know that this list may contain affiliate links, meaning we may collect a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase.
1. Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash Bars
Using bars instead of bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash is one easy switch that makes a huge difference. By Humankind is a personal care brand dedicated to reducing single-use plastic waste in the products we use every day. We love their all-natural shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bars which are affordable and effective. Their products are all-natural, vegan, sulfate-free, and always ethically made. By Humankind is also a carbon-neutral brand, offsetting its footprint by investing in strategic forest preservation projects. These bars are only $15 each and will last much longer than bottle alternatives, so you're getting more bang for your buck. Not to mention, over time you'll need less and less as your body and hair adjust back to their natural healthy state.
2. Stainless Steel Safety Razor
Say goodbye to your plastic Venus razor and its disposable razor heads. Using a stainless steel safety razor like this one from Rockwell will have you wondering why you didn't make the switch sooner. This razor can be used by men or women, and thousands of stellar reviews rave about how it gets you the cleanest and closest shave ever. The price tag might be a little steep, but considering this is the last (and best) razor you'll ever have to buy, we'd say it's well worth the investment!
3. Reusable Q-Tips
The production and use of cotton swabs (aka the traditional "Q-Tip") is extremely harmful to the environment in many ways. Instead of using these one-time use swabs, opt for a sustainable alternative like LastSwab, the original zero waste alternative to the everyday cotton swab. These swabs are made from durable, high-quality TPE and PP material, are easy to clean (just use soap and water), and can last for over 1,000 uses!!! You can purchase their Basic Swab for general everyday use, or their Beauty Swab for makeup and beauty needs. They even have a LastSwab Baby made especially for your little ones! The sturdiness and shape of the swab make cleaning up your makeup even easier than with a traditional cotton swab. What are you waiting for? Purchase the LastSwab and never pay for another Q-Tip again!
4. Reusable Tissues
If your wastebaskets are perpetually full of used tissues, consider switching to this reusable tissue set from the same makers of the LastSwab! LastTissue offers the best of both worlds: on-the-go availability of a packet tissue and the environmentally-friendly handkerchief. You can wash the tissues up to 520 times each which should last you many years and the case is dishwasher safe so you can easily keep it clean and disinfect whenever needed! The $24 pack comes with 6 organic cotton tissues in a silicone case. Think of how much money you'll be saving over the years on tissues!
5. Reusable Cotton Rounds
Instead of reaching for a fresh makeup wipe every time that you'll just toss in the garbage after using, try switching to something reusable like reusable cotton rounds. We love these organic cotton/bamboo rounds from Paula's Choice that can be washed and reused over and over again. Grab your favorite face wash or makeup remover and easily erase makeup and grime with these soft, durable rounds. After each use, just place inside the mesh bag provided and wash on the gentle cycle with your delicates. Easy peasy!
6. Plastic-Free Deodorant
Deodorant bottles are often made with tons of plastic and can be one of the most frequently used (and disposed of) hygiene products. You can do your part by switching to a deodorant that comes in more eco-friendly packaging, and luckily many of these sustainable options also happen to be natural and much better for you than drugstore alternatives. We love the natural deodorant from Each & Every - and with over 5,000 5-star reviews, we're not the only ones! This deodorant is made without aluminum, parabens, synthetic fragrance, baking soda or gluten, and comes in a packaging material made from sugar cane that is carbon negative and earth positive.
7. Natural Exfoliants
Avoid using products containing microbeads and opt for a natural exfoliant instead. Since microbeads are made of plastic, they cannot be broken down by our wastewater treatment facilities, and end up accumulating in our water systems. Not only are these plastic microbeads bad for the environment, but they're harmful to you as well. So next time you're reaching for an exfoliant, try out a natural alternative, like this one from Cocokind which is actually made from upcycled coffee grounds.
For facial exfoliants, we recommend the Indian Glow Face Scrub from Athar'a Pure. This 100% natural blend of dry herbs and minerals delivers gentle, yet effective exfoliation, removes dead skin cells, tightens up pores, prevents acne, decongests skin, and ultimately provides a radiant, glowing complexion.
8. Eco-Friendly Bath Sponge
Did you know that the plastic loofahs you find in stores send microscopic bits of microplastics straight into your shower drain and into the sewage system and eventually back into our oceans? So if you're still buying those plastic mesh loofah's from the drugstore, we highly encourage you to switch to a more natural and sustainable option, like Ayate Bath Strip from Public Goods. Made from 100% natural agave fiber, this bath strip has a naturally coarse texture that’s perfect for gentle exfoliation. It's easy to hang dry, resists mold and mildew, and can also be machine washed to prolong use. This sponge is bio-degradable, all-natural, eco-friendly, and affordable... what's not to love?!
9. Reusable Shower Cap
Another single-use plastic item you can replace in your routine is a shower cap. There are so many adorable reusable shower caps on the market now that are making it easier than ever to skip a wash. We love this eco-friendly shower cap from Klorane that's BPA & PVC Free. This terrycloth-lined shower cap locks out moisture, keeps hair dry, and prolongs hairstyles between washes!
10. Bamboo Toothbrush
Traditional toothbrushes are almost always made of plastic, so if you're looking to reduce plastic in your hygiene routine, switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a great option! There are many bamboo toothbrushes on the market, and most of them are very affordable! Like this one from Public Goods which cost only $4 for a pack of 2 brushes. The bristles on this brush are soft on sensitive teeth and gums yet firm enough for an invigorating clean. Best part is the handle is 100% biodegradable so you won't feel guilty when it inevitably comes time to replace it!
11. Plastic-Free Toothpaste
Ditch the drugstore toothpaste brands and opt for one that comes in plastic-free packaging. For something similar to traditional toothpaste, go for David's Peppermint Toothpaste which comes in a recyclable metal tube. This high-performance whitening toothpaste is made with safe & clean ingredients and is fluoride-free.
If you're up for something a bit different, you have to check out these toothpaste tablets formulated with natural peppermint, tea tree oil, and coconut oil. To use these antiplaque and whitening toothpaste tablets, just pop one in your mouth and chew until the paste forms, then brush normally with a wet brush! These tablets come in a reusable, recyclable tin container.
12. Melt-Away Teeth Whitening Masks
Everyone wants whiter teeth. But traditional whitening strips are not only harmful for your teeth, but also harmful for the environment, containing excessive amounts of plastic for one-time use. Luckily, Elims, a sustainable, dentist-backed oral care brand recently launched their sustainable, Dentist-approved Magic Melt-Away Teeth Whitening Masks. These unique whitening masks are clinically proven to whiten up to 7 shades lighter in 14 days, and they taste amazing! They're crafted by dentists for sensitive teeth and clinically tested to be safe on enamel. These strips contain no artificial flavors, parabens, SLS or toxic chemicals, and are never tested on animals. You'll see results in just one use!
13. Period Underwear & Reusable Pads
According to SafeCosmetics.org, close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons, and applicators are sent to landfills every year in the U.S. alone. One alternative to pads or tampons is period underwear or reusable pads. We love Knix's collection of period underwear which are absorbent, machine-washable, comfortable, and leakproof. You can shop by style or absorbency - Knix's Super Leakproof Bikini holds up to 8 tampons worth! Never worry about buying period products again once you've got these reusable panties!
Another option for those who are looking for a more eco-friendly alternative to tampons or pads is a reusable pad that you can attach to your underwear. We love the reusable pads from Rael. Unlike many disposable tampons and pads, Rael pads are made without harsh chemicals that irritate and inflame your intimate areas, disrupt your hormones, or expose you to carcinogens. Rael's reusable pads are crafted with 5 moisture-wicking layers of organic cotton, and can be reused up to 120 times!
14. Menstrual Cups
If you're someone who hates pads or usually wears a tampon during menstruation, don't worry, there are eco-friendly options for you as well! We recommend using a menstrual cup, which can be inserted and removed like a tampon, but unlike a tampon, can actually be reused after cleaning! You can try the OrganiCup risk-free and get your money back if it doesn't work out for you, however, 9 out of 10 people who tried it loved it and continued use! The cup can be worn for up to 12 hours and holds up to 3 super tampons worth. These cups are made of 100% soft medical-grade silicone, so you don't have to worry about those tampon toxins!
Let's Keep the Conversation Going
Which of these sustainable switches have you made? Which are you excited to try?