Plastic Free July 2020: Day 27 – Skin Care


Moisturizing is an important part of my daily routine. Not only do I live in a very dry area – almost desert like, but I have naturally dry skin. Double whammy. Luckily, the area I’m moving to next month gets more rain per year than Seattle. Talk about a switch!

But for now, I need supplemental moisture. And like with most skin care items, moisturizers are usually found packaged in plastic.

Luckily, many zero waste stores and delivery services offer tons of skin care products in plastic-free packaging. Sometimes you can even get them refilled in your own bottles.

Check out: U.S. list of Zero Waste Stores to find a zero waste/bulk /package free/refill store in your city.

img_20200209_1640331844116874053903827.jpgThe Source Zero, San Jose

If that’s not an option, try Etsy. There are many zero waste stores on Etsy that sell beauty products in plastic-free packaging and ship them in sustainable materials.

What I like about Etsy over Amazon is that not only are you supporting a small business (sometimes it’s hard to decipher where the company is based on Amazon), you can contact the seller to make sure the packaging is compostable/recyclable/reused. Yes you can also contact sellers on Amazon, but packaging is pretty much a shit show.


Some Etsy Options:

*Top Choice* The Better Soap Company: Better Hydrating Lotion – multiple use – minimalist / zero waste Free Shipping!

JnL Naturals: VEGAN FACE CREAM | Natural Premium Zero Waste Body Care | Multiple Scents | 1.2 Ounces | J&L Naturals

Olive Blossom Soap: Lavender & Chamomile Solid Lotion Bar – Moisturizer – Natural Lotion – Zero Waste Lotion – Beeswax Lotion Bar


My Favorite Option:


My favorite option is sometimes the most affordable option too, go figure.

Many moons ago, I worked in fashion photography and melt a lot of hair and make-up artists (MUA). I remember one MUA was starting her own makeup line and one day she gave me her pitch, “Did you know every morning you put 1,000 chemicals on your face before you even leave your house.”

Being the sarcastic and literal person that I am, it was hard not to tell her that water, air, and you know, EVERYTHING is a chemical. But I understood what she was saying: there’s a lot of crap in our skin care products.


It was around this time a teenager died from rubbing too much Icy Hot on her body. Sadly, her death was due to the long-term excessive use of the cream. Just like with any medication, we can overdose. But it made me realize that our skin wasn’t as much of a shield as I thought it was. Sure it prevents germs from getting inside our bodies and does a decent job repelling water, but our skin DOES absorb what we put on it. That means lotions, oils, sunscreens, etc.

Edible Moisturizer Mentality

So my mentality shifted. At this point, I decided I would try to only use lotions and oils made of ingredients I would actually eat. And by that I mean safely; things that are actually edible.

Instead of using a commercial massage oil which was full of parabens, preservatives, phthalates, and other petroleum-derived toxins, I used olive oil and/or sesame oil. You can also use coconut oil, but I’m allergic.

It worked wonderfully. You can even add a few drops to your bath tub to really soak into your skin.

Jojoba and argan oil are also edible! But finding “food grade” jojoba and argan oil is somethings more challenging (and more expensive). I find it a little concerning that there are non-food grade options. Why aren’t they food grade? What’s actually different?

And luckily, all these oils are pretty easily found in glass bottles. And many zero waste stores offer oil refill services. (Check out: New Moon Natural Foods, Tahoe).

For solid moisturizers:

cocoa-2806800_1920shea butter

Cocoa butter is always an option. However, I’m allergic to all forms of cocoa butter and coconut oil. So I opt for shea butter. Although I wouldn’t snack on a block of shea butter, it is technically edible. That’s why I also feel safe using either butters as a lip balm in addition to skin moisturizer.

But be careful, even these natural butters can be processed with some nasty chemicals, so if possible, opt for USDA organic products.




Colloidal oatmeal face mask:



And finally, your moment of zen.

Check out this beautiful zero waste apothecary in South Korea:




And remember: it’s always important to do our due diligence whenever buying from a new company. Research their practices! With every dollar we spend, we’re casting a vote for the future.

One comment

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