Going Green – Toiletries part 1

6 08 2019

At the start of the year I decided to try and take some steps towards reducing how much single use plastic I get through. What I found really helpful was personal recommendations and online reviews, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the things I’ve tried out incase it’s of use to others in turn.

In this post I’ll go through the toiletries I’ve tried out so far this year – I call this part one because some of these items I won’t be sticking with, and so hopefully I’ll find more things to try. I also bought cloth sanitary towels a couple of years ago and will cover sanitary products in another post. I also have a list of things I’m still looking for recommendations for, so I’ll share that soon too.

Near the start of the year I placed an order with Lush to get a few items to try, their stuff isn’t cheap but I was told by a friend that it lasted a long time. Whether you shop in store or online, nearly all of it came wrapped in paper and no plastic involved – so several of the things I tried below are from there.


Category: Shampoo bar

Brand: Lush
Item: “Honey I washed my hair”
Price: £8
Thoughts: I started using this on 10th February, and it lasted ’til late July, that’s 5.5 months! – yes it was expensive but I’d have got through a few bottles of normal shampoo in that time I’m sure.
It lathers up nicely in your hands, I tend to find I use that to lather the top of my head, and then just run the bar down the back of my head a couple of times before lathering it all up together.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: I’m on my second bar now, I’ll definitely be continuing to use this.


Category: Conditioner bar

Brand: Lush
Item: “Jungle”
Price: £7
Thoughts: This I was less impressed with, it only lasted a couple of months at best, but on top of that, it took so long to get enough in your hair, and even then, it never really felt like enough when you gave up and decided you’d been faffing long enough and were gonna be late for work.
Bit of a disappointment, as soon as it ran out I went back to bottled conditioner. I’d like to try another brand but wonder if it’s just that conditioner doesn’t naturally suit being in a block – would love to get your recommendations if you’ve found a good option.
Rating: ⭐⭐
Decision: Back to liquid while I look for a better option.


Category: Shower Soap

Brand: Lush
Item: “Rock Star”
Price: £3
Thoughts: Nothing particularly special, again didn’t last particularly long and just didn’t justify the cost – I think that mainly covered its colour and shape. Hands had that weird friction-y, un-moisturised feel after using as well.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Not worth the cost, see below.


Category: Shower Soap

Brand: Dove
Item: Shea Butter Soap
Price: £2 for four
Thoughts: I thought it was worth trying a cheaper option than Lush for a shower gel replacement, and this is lovely. Seems to be lasting well, cheap as chips, and lathers up nicely and easy to use. Hands feel so smooth after using, and it’s lasting for ages more than shower gel did.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Got a nice stash of these in the cupboard from the multipack and will buy more when they run out!


Category: Hand Soap

Brand: Tesco
Item: Extracts Magnolia Soap
Price: £1.20 for four
Thoughts: After the initial Lush shop I realised that I hadn’t considered handwash. I’ve kept my kitchen handwash as it seems more hygenic when dealing with things like eggs and meat, but for the bathroom it really didn’t need to be anything special – I hadn’t really thought about it but then during my weekly shop decided to see if people even still sold basic bar soap, and it turns out they do! Had to buy a soap dish as well, but obviously that’ll last!
It’s done that weird thing that I remember soap doing when I was a kid (before I moved out and switched to liquid soap which seemed so much better in a world prior to awareness of single-use-plastic problems) of starting to split down it’s length creating dark lines, but it’s not affected it’s quality at all, very happy.
It’s really lasting forever, so value for money is through the roof, and while hands aren’t left as soft as the Dove one, they’re not bad at all.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Decision: Converted, definitely will keep on with this.


Category: Deodorant bar

Brand: Lush
Item: “Sunflower”
Price: £6.50
Thoughts: I’ve never been thrilled with any deodorant option I’ve used, so thought maybe this would be the thing I loved! Aerosols I use way too much of each time and have to move away to not choke on the fumes, roll-ons seem to never dry, haven’t used them in years, cream sticks is where I’ve been lately, but sometimes you seem to end up with half the stick in your armpit and waste a load of it wiping it off!
So yes, high hope here, but unfortunately, even though it’s a pretty dry bar as you wipe it on, it felt pretty sticky probably until about lunchtime each time I used it. Yes I think it was effective as a deodorant, but it wasn’t comfortable through the morning.
The one time it was really useful was when I’d gone back to using the cream stick but just ran out one morning and for some reason didn’t have a spare – and because this really does seem like it’d last a long time, it was just sat there for me to use.
Might give it a try in the warmer weather, but to be honest that feels a bit risky!
Rating: ⭐⭐
Decision: Works but not comfortable, back on cream sticks and aerosols combination again for now, again, recommendations appreciated for other options.


Category: Toothbrush

Brand: Humble Brush
Item: Medium toothbrush
Price: £2.99
Thoughts: This had been on my list of things to try substituting for a while, but it seemed that everywhere I looked I could only find subscription services, which I wasn’t ready to commit to yet, or soft bristles. In my plastic toothbrushes I always buy a firm, but when I eventually found these for sale as medium, I thought it was the closest I’d get so got one to try.
I have no issue with the wooden handle at all, but the bristles are just still too soft for me. Can’t comment on durability as I won’t be sticking with it for that reason.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Decision: The fact it’s bamboo isn’t a problem, it’s just the bristles! If you’ve seen any firm bristle bamboo toothbrushes anywhere, please let me know!


Would love to hear what things you’ve tried and loved or hated! Comment below!