Cruelty Free & Minimal Skincare and Beauty Routine

I thought I’d do something a little different for a change and talk about my routine for face, bod and all that sort of stuff. I just realised that this is going to be a little boring if you’re into make-up and fancy hair and skin products, but if you’re into minimal bits, doing things on the cheap or like me, are on a journey to waste free living, keep reading.

I’ve added links to where you can buy each product mentioned in this blog. This isn’t me suggesting you should buy from here, just giving you an idea of where you can buy from and also prices depending on where you’re reading from..

Clean It
I wash my hair once a week, sometimes once every 7-10 days. It sounds gross to some but I’m pretty sure this is why my hair has grown so much in the past 2 years and is blonde and not dead. My hair has never been in better condition or this long before.

Last year I started to use the Ethique bar shampoo and conditioner and my life changed for the better. The packaging is compostable, it’s made from vegan ingredients and isn’t tested on animals, the shampoo cleans my hair and scalp really well and doesn’t leave it dry or itchy and the conditioner is amazing and leaves my hair really soft, shiny and not weighed down with a thousand ingredients and whatever is in regular shampoo that makes your hair so shiny but heavy. It’s never felt as light, healthy or clean and I’m really glad I made the switch from chemical laden potions.

Keep It Nice
Because my hair is currently dyed blonde, I swim at a local pool and the tap/shower water in Napier is chlorinated, I use a purple conditioner maybe once per month to keep the colour fresh. Angel En Province is cruelty free, organic and uses lavender extract instead of chemical dye to keep the hair from going brassy. The bottle is unfortunately made of plastic but I’ve had the one bottle for months and because it’s a pump top, will be handy for reusing for other things around the house when I’m finished with it.

If the ‘do starts to look a little oily at the roots close to hair wash day I’ll put a little of the Lush dry shampoo through it to refresh it and it also add a little volume. Switching to the bottle of powder from the spray was a money saver and lush also take their bottles back and refill them for resale which is much more eco friendly than the canned version. This brand is also vegan, isn’t tested on animals and doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals.

Every once in a while I’ll use my fingers to comb either a tiny bit of organic coconut oil or sweet almond oil through the ends whilst it’s dry and maybe twice a year to give my hair a boost, make a hair mask out of hot coconut oil and lemon essential oil, apply the night before a wash and sleep with it in, wrapped in a scarf with an old towel on my pillow. Since I’ve stopped buying ‘hair products’ my hair has been in better condition and just feels healthier. It’s also worked out a lot cheaper as I use a lot of the oils I mention in this blog for multiple things.

Shopping list:
– Ethique shampoo bar (lasts for around 5-6 months)
Ethique bar conditioner (lasts for around 5-6 months)
Angel En Province Purple Conditioner (this bottle lasted for  8 months)
Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo (1 bottle lasts almost a year, if not more)
Sweet Almond Oil (have been using daily for 8 weeks and haven’t even made a dent in a 500ml bottle yet)
Chantals Organic, cold pressed coconut oil (have had the jar for around 6 months and am about half way down)
Lemon essential oil (purchased almost 1 year ago and still going strong)

Cleanse It
I’ve never been a fancy cleanse, tone and moisturise routine person and every face wash or scrub I’ve ever tried has given me more pimples than I started with (and I really don’t believe in the whole ‘purging phase’ where a new potion brings all of the impurities to the surface). Now I wash my face with plain water every night in the shower and maybe
once a week use my body soap to give it a good cleanse.

Keep It Soft
Every month or so I’ll get a couple of dry patches on my cheeks and eyebrow area so I’ll make an effort to drink more water and also apply a little almond oil before bed and let it work its magic overnight. I wash my face with plain cold water in the morning and go off on my merry way. In the winter, if my face is super dry from walking around in the wind everyday, I’ll apply a little coconut oil to dry spots but have to be really careful as this can make me break out if I use it everyday or apply it outside of the cheeks, nose and eyebrow areas.

Make Up
I don’t own one single item of make up any more and haven’t for a few months. After years of applying layers of shit to my skin, I toned it right down maybe 3 years ago and only filled in my eyebrows, wore mascara on the top lashes and applied a little blush most days. In October 2017 I stopped wearing makeup daily and in the space of a year only wore it 3 or 4 times for special occasions. Even though I wasn’t using any of the 4 items I was still holding onto, it was hard to finally throw them out but the feeling of liberation has been amazing and I can’t even begin to tell you how free it feels to know, regardless of the occasion, I just have to get dressed and brush my hair. It isn’t glamorous and I’m certainly not the picture of effort when it comes to appearance but I feel so much more empowered knowing that my face is the one I wear everywhere and never have to worry about re-applying, spending money on products to change or enhance what I look like or worry about scrubbing it off at the end of the day.

Dental Hygiene
I guess this counts as face: teeth. I’ve been making my own toothpaste from organic coconut oil and baking soda for almost a year and my teeth are feeling clean and looking whiter than they ever did with toothpaste. It was a giant leap of faith but I was already using a fluoride free baking soda toothpaste in a tube, so this was a small way to reduce plastic waste further and go a little but old school and natural. Some people add peppermint oil for a minty fresh taste but I can’t find a peppermint essential oil that doesn’t make me want to barf so I just leave it plain and keep it clean but natural.

Shopping list:
Chantals Organic, cold pressed coconut oil
Sweet Almond oil
Baking soda
Bamboo toothbrush (currently using the DoGood brush brand but have used Brush With Bamboo before and would also recommend)

Showers are pretty uneventful now that I don’t have 50 million cremes, scrubs and cleansers in there. I use the Eco Store bar soap in the grapefruit flavour (it smells like the pink opal fruits sweets and leaves my skin feeling really soft) on an exfoliating mitt that I bought from Kmart for $3. Once that’s no longer useable I’ll be switching to a more eco friendly loofah or compostable body brush. If you have any recommendations, please let me know 🙂

I’ve never been a huge or consistent moisturiser and didn’t own anything of the sort for the past 4 years but the I’ve been living in summer weather for 7 months now (living overseas and it’s now summer in NZ), meaning the sun dried my skin out a little so I’ve been moisturising my legs, knees and elbows daily with a Sukin (cruelty free) body lotion.

Stretch Mark Prevention
I heard bio oil was a popular choice amongst pregnant women but I could neither recognise or pronounce most of the ingredients on the back of the box, so I’ve opted for applying organic sweet almond oil on my stomach and boobs every morning and night to prevent stretch marks. So far so good, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind, it soaks in really well, doesn’t really have a smell and I feel safe to rub any excess on my face or in my hair if I put too much on my hand.

Smooth Operator
I switched to a safety razor 9 months ago and it’s been a huge money saver as well as a disposable plastic reducer. I change the razor every few months but to be honest I think I change it more frequently than is really necessary. I’ve cut my legs less using this razor than any of the fancy, expensive, pink disposable ones I used to buy, and even though it doesn’t have a ‘moisture strip’ on it and isn’t a ‘4 blade close shave’, my legs are smoother and less dry after using it (when i use it – I started Januhairy in November last year and only just snapped out of it a week ago).

You really haven’t known fear until you’ve shaved your lady bits with a safety razor. It may be safe and easy to use on your legs but slide that things sideways on a bit that requires some careful angling and a narrow space to maneuver and you’re in danger. I used to be a serial waxer but when I really thought about it, wax isn’t vegan, it’s a lot of waste and it really hurts. I can kid myself all I want that it doesn’t hurt but whether I was waxing it myself or letting a professional do it, it was expensive, messy and ouchy.

I stopped wearing deodorant in July 2017 after I took off my jacket in a meeting at my bank job and realised the smell of used, chemically perfumed deodorant smelled worse than anything my body created. I spent months using nothing under my arms in the winter, went to the gym everyday and found that I wasn’t even really sweating much after I stopped clogging my pores with aluminium and fake ‘fresh’ smells. I tried a fancy natural deodorant from an organics store which was amazing but after reading the ingredients realised that I can make it myself for a lot less money. Now I make my own deo from coconut oil, baking soda and lemon essential oil and won’t ever use anything else. It isn’t an antiperspirant so I do still sweat in the summer but it’s 99% less than I ever did when using a traditional ‘hygiene’ products, I don’t smell bad and feel much cleaner now that my underarms aren’t clogged and can actually breathe.

Shopping list:
Baking soda
Chantals Organic, cold pressed coconut oil
Lemon essential oil
Sweet Almond oil
Eco store bar soap (comes in a paper packet which is compostable)
Sukin moisturiser
Safety razor (I managed to score one from about a year ago but can’t find it on there now, but did find a similar product for the same price at
– Exfoliating shower mitt (most pharmacies, supermarkets and health stores)

And there it is, my very non-glamourous skincare and beauty routine. It looks like a lot of items from the shopping lists but I use the same one product for multiple things and most of the items listed last for months so although they seem expensive to buy up front, save money in the long run.

I know I have a long way to go when it comes to being completely plastic/waste free but I’m on a journey and am loving learning about making my own products, using natural ingredients and it’s oddly satisfying knowing that 99% of the things I put onto my body are non-toxic, which is helping me to keep the inside healthy too.

If you have any recommendations or suggestions for trades of items above to make my routine even more minimal and waste free, please let me know. Always open to feedback and new ideas here!

Have a wonderful day, love and light and don’t forget to treat your body with the respect it deserves, inside and out!

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