If you have ever travelled before, you likely know that travel-sized products in single-use containers are commonplace on the road, in hotels and among travellers. With just a tiny bit of forethought, though, you can take a body care routine that you love on the road and pass up all the tiny single-use offerings along the way!
Below are options for different parts of your routine. As an added bonus, many of these weigh less than conventional products because they are condensed or solid, meaning they don't have water contained in them making them heavier. This also means that you can carry many of these products in your carry-on!
Zero Waste Hygiene Essentials for Travelling
Cleanser: There are three great options for zero waste facial cleansing, and all three work well while travelling. First, the Konjac sponge, made with natural konjac fibre (a revolutionary vegetable fibre from the root of the Amorphophallus konjac plant), cleanses your face even without a conventional cleanser and is very light to carry. These sponges are 100% compostable!
Bar soap is always a good option, depending on your skin type. We offer a French pink clay facial soap that is specially formulated to moisturize and cleanse the face as well as the body. If using bar soap as your facial cleanser, that can take the place of body wash as well (see below).
The last great option for facial cleanser while travelling is a refillable or bulk cleansing oil. Depending on the oil you choose, this can serve multiple purposes such as smoothing and nourishing hair; moisturizing skin and even light sun protection (does not take the place of sunscreen, though!). For instructions on using oil as a cleanser, check out this blog post from our friends at All Things Jill.
Toner: a great, refillable option for toner is witch hazel. Witch hazel works as a safe, gentle and natural astringent while sealing in natural moisture. Just use a bottle with a mister lid and you're all set -- you can refill it when it runs out! As an added bonus, witch hazel is also great as a mouthwash to help heal canker sores; for relieving razor burn; and for soothing sunburn. In fact, you could use witch hazel as your cleanser as well and remove one product from your baggage!
Moisturizer: This is another spot where facial oils shine! They are compact and can be refilled if you have a refillery near you. Another option, of course, is to use a lotion that you are able to have refilled.
Shampoo: Switch to a shampoo bar! You can carry it on with you and if you'd like, you can also use it as your body wash! Place in a mesh soap bag or small, waterproof-lined carrying bag for transport and between uses.
Conditioner: We love to use apple cider vinegar as a rinse after washing with a shampoo bar, and thankfully it's easy to buy in large quantities and portion down into a smaller container for travel, or if you live near a bulk store, you can have it refilled as well! Follow up with a nourishing oil like argan for manageability, strength and shine.
Toothpaste: Refillable toothpaste is great if you have access to it! Even better for travel? Toothpaste tablets! Because they are solid, these can be carried on to your flight -- not to mention they don't weigh as much as regular toothpaste. They are packaged in refillable and recyclable cardboard.
Floss: Cut out plastic waste while travelling as well as at home with Flosspot: refillable, compostable silk dental floss. This adorable package is compact and light as well -- perfect for travel.
Body wash: Bar soap is perfect here (again, in a mesh soap bag or waterproof lined bag - see above) -- make your face soap or shampoo bar do double duty and that's less you need to pack!
Lotion: We're working on lotion bars for just this reason, but in the meantime, a refillable lotion or natural oil (see above) work great.
Deodorant: We recommend refillable Routine deodorant, but deodorant crystals are another great option that you can also carry on.
What zero waste travel boils down to is thinking outside the box and remembering that you don't need to bring a ton of products, as many simple, natural ingredients or products can do double duty (or more). A bar of soap, bottle of witch hazel and bottle of oil can do a lot. And remember: resist those tiny, disposable products in the hotel bathroom!