Posted on June 28 2016
In thinking about how I can live a more sustainable life, I’ve started evaluating all the choices I make, especially when I’m buying things. One area that I’ve found I can make a change with little thinking or notable impact to my routine is in the bathroom. Like most of us, I have a “healthy” amount of products in the bathroom for cleaning and primping. For my shampoo and conditioner, I previously used whatever what on 2 for 1 at Boots (I’m probably not alone here…)
Ever read the ingredients? Me neither, so I thought I would give it a go using Herbal Essences as an example. Okay, first one: Aqua. Easy: water. Next: Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. A little trickier, seems this makes our shampoos foamy. Look likes it’s in every shampoo out there so maybe not overly concerned with this. Next: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. Right, couldn’t actually find anything on this as the internet seemed to think I was looking for the “laureth” version. Hope it’s okay. Alrighty then; Dimethicone. Um, wait, what? That a silicon oil, for my hair… or also used as an industrial lubricant. Hmmmm. Not sure this needs to go in my hair every day. Then, a few things I recognise; Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate (okay I only recognise the Glycol as I’m not a chemist), Citric Acid and Sodium Citrate. Then we get onto to the next one (and thank goodness this is a blog and not a vlog): Ammonium Xylenesulfonate. This one actually broke the internet. I wasn’t able to find a definition for this. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, but I’d rather know what I’m showering with. The list goes on and on. 33 ingredients in total and one is more of a number than a word. I think you get my point.
So last week I decided to make some changes in my shopping choices. First:
If I compare this to the list of ingredients in my new shampoo, I’m frankly a little less freaked out. (In the interest of full disclosure, I saw that there was polysorbate 20 in the ingredients which some have claims is carcinogenic, but one further reading, I felt - in my expert (haha) opinion – that these claims are not valid.)
It’s a British made product, vegan, ethical and cruelty free. So the cost? I did some online price comparisons and Herbal Essences 400ml shampoo sells for £3.00 at Waitrose whilst Faith In Nature sells for £5.35 for 400ml. However, Faith In Nature has an options where you can purchase a 5 litre refill, thus reducing waste and bringing the price down. So I can’t see that price should be a barrier. I’ve been using it all this week and think my hair is just fine for it. (I’ll save you having to look at a photo of me to prove it!).
Some other changes I made:
Instead of my regular cotton pads I bought these reusable ones. I got two packets, so ten in total, that way I'm always sure to have a clean one.
I’ve also change my cleanser for one which has only 3 ingredients: honey (not kidding), olive oil and Lavender essential oil (which acts as an astringent). I found this one actually a few months ago at a little shop local to me. I have to say it’s a bit bizarre putting honey on your face, but I got to say it works, and cost next to nothing! I also get my moisturiser from them which only contains shea butter, olive oil, and rosemary and lavender essential oils. I paid £4.50 for the container I’m using and it will likely last me 6 to 8 months. They also sell flower water as a toner which I use. They've just opened an online shop here, but you can always call if there is something you want which is not listed.
The moral of the story here is that with just a few small changes when you shop your daily beauty routine will have less of a negative impact on the world and will likely be a whole lot better for you to. Would love to hear from you if you have any products you recommend.