How To Make Eco-Friendly Swaps In Your Bathroom, According To An Expert

With a halt on international travel and a more homegrown-leaning approach to food and repairs, it's high time that we take our new found love of sustainability everywhere we go, even the bathroom. 

Eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable products are finally coming to the forefront, as many realise that opting for locally sourced goods is easier than ever. 

For many brands and designers, 2020 has been a year of awakening. But, as Finn Ní Fhaolain argues, we all have our part to play in making lifestyle choices truly circular.

Finn is an eco-activist, marine scientist, surfer, chef and best selling author. She holds a BSc in Earth and Ocean Science, an MSc in Marine Biology and a Certificate in Culinary Arts.

"I love love love talking about the swaps we can make to live just a little bit more sustainably, from food to fashion to travel and transport," she tells Irish Tatler.

"But I’d realised that with lockdown and all of us spending more time at home, I hadn’t covered the bathroom and toiletries. 

"Many people find that the products that we use to shower and get ready are often the easiest place for plastics and less sustainable items to slip in," she says.

"I fall prey to it too, it's easy to use what's worked for years and not to question it! But trust me, ditching the plastic (and the chemicals!) with not only do wonders for your body but also the aesthetic of your bathroom too."

Shampoo/Shower Gel

One of the easiest places to make the swap. 

Ditch bottled – I love Three Hills Soap’s Ylang-Ylang Bar (€6.50).

If, like me, you just can't give up your liquid conditioner, try one that’s refillable. I get Suma’s Rose & Geranium (€1.20) from PAX in Westport or Simple Simons in Donegal chance whenever I’m running low.

Shower gel? Take a dive back in time with the classic soap bar, but treat yourself to a nice one. I love the coconut one from Faith Organics (€1.86). Smells like a tropical holiday and comes in cardboard instead of plastic wrap.

For scrubbing on down I use a natural pumice stone (made from lava rock) for my feet and a natural fibre loofa for my body. 

Moisturiser/Toner

I’ve got super-sensitive skin, so for my body, I just use a light layer of coconut oil and for my face, I put rose water (get it from any good Middle Eastern or Asian Market) in a spritz bottle to use as a toner.

I use a Trilogy Oil (€41.99) afterwards as my moisturiser (I love the rosehip oil and have been using it for years). If I’m and about for the day in the elements, I’ll use Amazinc’s Raspberry Butter SPF (€25) on my face and body. It's plastic-free and reef-safe so good for me and the planet. 

Air freshener

I used to be a divil for those bathroom air fresheners until I realised how toxic they were. Now, I just mix a few essential oils in water in a spray bottle and use this instead. My favourite mix is 10 drops lemongrass, to 10 drops lime in a cup of water. 

Deodorant

Understandably, most will be a little apprehensive by swapping their antiperspirant for a natural alternative (the Irish Tatler team have tried plenty and not all do the job) but, you can eschew sprays and plastic-filled bottles by way of the deodorant bar by Soap out Loud – and yes, it actually works.

The new deodorant uses Organic Arrow Root Powder to absorb sweat, Cocoa and Shea Butter to keep to moisturise and a combination of Sodium Bicarbonate, Lemon, Lime and Tea Tree to help prevent bacteria growth that causes bad odour. 

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Shaving

Bearradh is a new fantastic Irish-made razor brand which boasts a double-edged blade to glide gently over skin for a close, smooth shave. Weighted and balanced to provide just the right amount of pressure, it removes hair from the surface of the skin rather than tugging and pulling as you shave. 

These safety razors are made from copper and they are available in rose gold (as pictured) and in powder blue and each pack includes a pack of five blades to get you started. 

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For more information on a more sustainable way of living, follow Finn on her website and Instagram

Main image by @reuzi

READ: Where + How To Dispose Of Your Old Makeup, Skincare And Hair Products

READ MORE: 3 Irish Brands Worth Supporting Right Now

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