Rethinking Toiletries

Using Less Saves Both Money and the Planet




akvarelmed/Shutterstock.com

The maxim “less is more” applies well to skin care and personal hygiene. Overuse of products is costly and increases pollution. Both genders are prone to overdoing it when it comes to basic activities like washing, shampooing and shaving. Here are some helpful tips.

Take fewer showers and spend less time in the shower to conserve water. A study by the Water Research Foundation ranks showers as the second-highest residential use of water at 20 percent, just behind toilets, at 24 percent.

Some traditional soaps can strip natural skin oils. Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist in New York City, suggests products labeled as “cleaner”, such as a body wash formulated to add moisture back into skin.

An estimated 2 billion disposable razors are discarded annually in the U.S. Helpful ideas include using a long-handled safety razor to shave women’s legs; positioning it at a 20-degree angle with the proper pressure can significantly increase a blade’s lifespan, saving money and the environment.

To streamline our personal care routine, Treehugger.com suggests we completely use up existing products, resist seasonal fads and new colors, and use products that serve multiple roles. For example, a good oil can serve as a makeup remover, skin and face moisturizer, lip balm, frizz tamer and shaving lotion.

For men’s aftershave, it’s healthier to go natural, avoiding perfumed products that contain petroleum-based chemicals. ChasingGreen.org recommends makers like Weleda, Herbal Choice, Burt’s Bees and Aubrey Organics, which offer skin toners and balms with natural ingredients like sunflower, coconut, lemon, St. John’s wort, witch hazel, myrrh, shea butter, beeswax and essential oils, including organic jojoba seed oils.

Note that some products labeled as organic and natural can include synthetic chemicals when the term organic doesn’t apply to the entire formula.


This article appears in the August 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Hyperloop Hyper-Speed

Plans are underway in Europe for a vacuum-tube mode of transport capable of zooming people and freight safely overland at 700 miles per hour.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

New Food Co-Op Opens in Oak Park

Sugar Beet Food Co-Op, located at 812 West Madison, in Oak Park, is now providing locally produced and organic food directly to the community.

Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards Enters Second Season

Yes, there had been citywide gardening awards in Chicago in the past. In fact, there was a more than 50-year history of acknowledging gardeners for their hard work, but that ended inexplicably in 2011.

New Recycled Building Resource Needs You

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse (ERW), a great resource for professionals and do-it-yourselfers, is holding a Members Only Sale.

One Hundred Percent for Cats at Charity Sale

Spay and Stay, a Humane Solution, is holding a charity garage sale, sponsored in part by Colleen’s Sweet Treats and Sweaters N Sweets.

Good Food Festival and Conference at UIC

The ninth Good Food Festival & Conference will celebrate local farmers and food producers, March 14 to 16, at the 2013 UIC Forum, in Chicago.

Explore Infinite Potential and Abundance with Matrix Energetics

Dr. Richard Bartlett and Melissa Joy Jonsson will be in Chicago to teach their Matrix Energetics (ME) seminar from March 13 to 16.