living with less: daily essentials

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Living with less is a journey. It’s taken me years — years — to get where I am today and I’m still learning and making zero-waste gains. Part of that learning is discovering new products and adjusting based on personal preference.

Since I last posted about personal products, I’ve given up on toothpaste that I just couldn’t stomach (hubby still uses it) and found, after opening basically every box at Whole Foods to find just one that didn’t come in a plastic tube. I’ve also changed deodorant and face wash, and we’ve updated our method of purchasing lotion.

The following are my daily essentials. I also typically wear makeup, although I’ve gone to a more minimal approach on the weekends and days I work remotely (foundation and mascara) but haven’t included that in this post.


Lotion: We have tried many versions of lotion from zero waste and refill stores and keep coming back to EO body lotion. We were refilling our container from one of the aforementioned shops but found we were returning often so we just purchased our own gallon to refill at home. We use a mason jar and a pump to store and dispense the lotion (similar).

Rose water: I’ve been using rose water for a few years now and can’t imagine my mornings without it. I spritz my face and chest with this deliciousness after I get out of the shower. Rose water touts many benefits but I primarily use it to improve my complexion and ward off any acne that I’m prone to getting on my chest. The smell also reminds me of my grandmother who passed on a few years ago, which is an added bonus. I have been using the same bottle for my rose water as long as I’ve been using it. I refill it at our local zero waste market, which is also where I purchased the bottle.

Reusable facial rounds + almond oil: A great way to eliminate single-use cotton rounds from your routine, I pair my reusable facial rounds with almond oil to remove stubborn eye makeup. The latter I refill at our zero waste market and have been using the same bottle since I began using it a few years ago. The former I purchased online (similar) and have also been using for years.

Toothbrush + paste: As previously mentioned, I had tried to use a different toothpaste but just couldn’t get used to it. So, after scouring box upon box of tubes at Whole Foods, I finally discovered one (just one!) that comes in a metal tube. And then I promptly fell in love. Seriously, this is probably the best toothpaste I’ve ever used. Applied on a bamboo toothbrush (we like wowe because they come in four-packs and packing doesn’t include plastic) and this combo makes me feel pretty good about reducing my waste.

Face wash: Sadly, this is one area for which I’m still on the search for something I really love. I switched from a prior favorite because the formula seemed to change and it came in plastic and am now using the pink rose clay bar from Meow Meow Tweet. And, it’s okay, but I don’t love it. The search continues in this area, but at least my waste has been reduced from what it was previously.

Deodorant: Last time I posted, I was using a deodorant stick in a cardboard applicator. However, after many frustrations with getting the deodorant out of the applicator (I was spending way too much time heating up the tube), I freed it by cutting it out of the cardboard and applied it by hand. My husband had been using an applicator-free deodorant for a bit so after I used the last of my previously-tubed version, I decided to switch to one that is applied by hand and stored in a reusable metal tin. (Tip: If you purchase from Humble Hive, which I’ve linked to, ask to have your deodorant shipped without the tin after you receive your first one.)


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