Plastic-Free Toiletries

1) Towel* 

My criteria for a towel is that it needs to be big enough to dry my long hair, but to also be lightweight. Right now I’m testing out the Aquis Micro-Fiber Towel 19″ x 37″. In the photo I folded it in half.

2) Shampoo Bar

Bar shampoo is as effective as liquid shampoo, just wet the bar, lather up your mane and then rinse. I love them because they are not packaged in a plastic bottle. And another perk is being able to put it in my carry on! The shampoo bar can also double as a body soap bar.

From researching shampoo bars, I learned that shampoo and other toiletries can contain gluten! If I were to wash my hair with a glutenous product I would defiantly react. Now I know to check toiletries for gluten.

3) Conditioner Bar

The conditioner bar works the same as the shampoo bar: get it wet, lather up your hair and then rinse. I love how simple this makes shower time.

4) Plastic Bar Holder*

I tried using a metal bar holder, but it rusted. I decided to go with this plastic bar holder because it has a removable tray that keeps the bars from sitting in water. I also avoided a holder that had plastic hinges, because it’s a matter of time before the hinges would break.

5) Metal, Travel Safety Razor*

I first heard about shaving with a metal safety razor from this video called We Tried to Make Zero Trash in Our Beauty Routines For a Week.

This razor is great for traveling. It unscrews and fits inside of the black case.

I must admit that this razor really intimidates me. It looks so scary. But the more I use it, the more comfortable I become in using something so different from my old plastic razor. I really want this metal razor to work because, a) it’s super cool looking, b) plastic-free and c) the blades only cost 15 cents each to replace!

6) Honey Face Wash

The above video also introduced me to washing my face with honey. One of the brave participants from the Zero Trash video asked, “What will I be washing my face with to get the honey off with?” I was wondering the same thing. Ends up cold water does the trick.

I store raw, unfiltered honey in a glass jar. I splash cold water on my face and then I wash my face with a small amount of honey. It feels so refreshing and it smells divine. I’m two weeks into using it and already my face is much more moisturized than normal. Honey is suppose to be very beneficial for those with acne, so I am excited to see what it can do for my skin.

7) Aloe Vera Moisturizer

I’m searching for a simple skin care routine and this might be it: honey cleaner and aloe vera moisturizer in a refillable plastic container. So far this duo is working out.

8) Cat Toiletry Bag

It’s important to have fun with things, even if it’s just a toiletry bag!

9) Eye Glasses Cloth 

Thank you dollar store for this eye glasses cloth and mini spray bottle. My mood drastically improves when my glasses are clean.

10) Eye Glasses Cleaner 

I filled up this mini, plastic spray bottle with homemade glass cleaner (1:1 water and white vinegar).

11) Wooden Comb* with Hair Elastics

A comb is all I need as I have three hair styles: pony tail, down or messy bun.

12) Nail Clippers*

I obsessively hunted for lightweight, compact nail clippers for backpacking and I found them! These clippers fold up differently from “normal” clippers, which eliminates sharp pokey nail clippers from making holes in things while you are hiking.

13) Silicone Earplugs 

I am super grouchy without nine hours of sleep, so I travel (and backpack) with silicone earplugs in a pill-sized ziplock.

14) Pocket Knife- Tweezers!!*

I adore the tweezers on my Leatherman CS. They work really well. I don’t need makeup, but I do need tweezed eyebrows. This pocket knife is also super helpful because it has a knife and scissors (and honestly I need scissors more often that I need a knife).

15) Homemade Deodorant 

Over on My Plastic Free Life, Beth Terry tested out plastic-free deodorants. Her favorite homemade deodorant is also the cheapest, so I decided to try it and I LOVE it! The deodorant is baking soda with a couple drops of tea tree oil. Dab on with fingers. I store it in a metal tin.

16) Primal Life Organics Dirty Mouth Tooth Powder* 

I adore this tooth powder! It is lightweight, delicious and my teeth are no longer sensitive. I use this plastic, refillable tub of tooth power when I am at home.

17) Tooth Powder in a mini ziplock

When I am backpacking or traveling out of a suitcase, I put some of the tooth powder into a mini ziplock.

18) Sawed off Bamboo Toothbrush Handle 

Wouldn’t it be nice if your suitcase or backpack weighed half as much? Try to pack what you need, as opposed to what you want. And look for lightweight options, like cutting off part of your toothbrush handle. I take this bamboo toothbrush with me when backpacking or traveling.

19) Bamboo Toothbrush* 

This full length toothbrush is for when I’m at home.

20) Bamboo Toothbrush Holder*

I love the look of the bamboo, compared to the plastic toothbrush holders. There is also a hole in the bottom of this holder to help the toothbrush to dry out.


Going zero trash started when I honed in my backpacking gear. The process of analyzing what I needed for living out in the woods, got me to question the products that I use in my every day life. I realized that I’ve been using the same beauty products for years, all out of habit and convenience. That’s when I made a conscious effort to learn about plastic-free toiletries and I started trying out plastic-free products.

I am still trying to figure out how to backpack without plastic. Plastic, especially ziplocks, are lightweight and durable and ideal for camping and hiking. I’m going to continue to question how I can backpack in a zero waste manner.

My toiletry kit isn’t plastic-free (yet), but I now have more refillable options and I use a lot less plastic than before. The next step is to make my own makeup! I’m grateful that I’m mildly obsessed with going plastic-free, as a way to help the planet and to not be so dependent on commercially made products.


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