The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Self-Care

It’s 2022, and by now most of us are (hopefully) cognisant of the environmental crisis that faces our planet. Let us begin with the leading offender: plastic. As an ultra-convenient material with a seemingly endless list of possible uses, it’s no wonder that plastic is so widely used in the world of personal care products. While constructing an incalculable amount of disposable items from a material that takes up to four centuries to degrade seems counterintuitive in hindsight, companies around the world continue to implement it into essentially every aspect of production. Nonetheless, there is one self-care product that outpaces plastic, both in terms of difficulty to avoid and destructive effect on the environment. If you’ve ever been inclined to read the list of ingredients on the back of a bottle of deodorant, shampoo, body wash, hand soap or pretty much any other product, you’ve surely seen it listed – the culprit, gentlemen, is palm oil.

Found in virtually everything that people around the globe consume and use to clean their hair, face and body, the magnitude of palm oil’s impact on our environment thus far can only be described as mind-boggling. The easiest way to combat this recipe for disaster? A conscious switch to eco-friendly products is a simple habit with the power to make all the difference, especially when considering the long-term effects of widespread change.

While “green” products have historically received a bit of a bad reputation compared to their chemically saturated opponents, environmentally conscious brands have substantially raised their standards in the last few years. As a result, an impressive array of top-notch products has emerged that trigger none of the harmful personal or ecological effects of the polluting mega brand names. Eco-friendly products minimise their environmental footprint by sticking to sustainably sourced ingredients, eschewing animal by-products and using packaging that is either fully compostable, recyclable or entirely non-existent.

Aside from avoiding exacerbating the effects of climate change, the transition to eco-friendly products presents the added benefit of steering clear of toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on your hormones and the wider environment. In the spirit of sustainability, I now present you with the ultimate environmentally-sound grooming checklist. The following products are responsibly sourced, free of destructive chemicals and a true pleasure to use. Here’s to a new age of caring for ourselves while making informed choices that we can feel good about along the way.

Natural Deodorant

The majority of brand-name deodorants are infused with harsh chemicals such as aluminium, parabens, triclosan and phthalates, all of which can cause skin irritation and long-term hormonal disruptions. Finding a natural deodorant alternative with a smell, ingredient composition and consistency that suits your body can take some time, but the reward is chemical-free (and often plastic-free) odour protection that doesn’t disrupt your body’s normal functioning.

Waste-free Shaving

Single-use razors are one of the most littered objects worldwide, along with disposable toothbrushes, floss, toothpicks and cotton swabs. Introducing a groundbreaking alternative: metal (or even bamboo) razors. Not only are razors constructed from these materials fully recyclable and ethically produced, but they tend to be designed significantly more durably as well. With proper care, most can last a lifetime while creating barely any waste – that’s what I call a win-win.

Organic Skincare

Consider this – the skin is the body’s largest organ, and absorbs whatever is put into it. The latter notion is entirely up to you. That means you can treat your skin with organic, fresh ingredients, or you can overload it with chemicals that carry major ramifications down the line – both for your personal health and for the ecosystem. Local brands are much more likely to use fair trade, raw and organic ingredients, in addition to operating on a smaller scale and expelling less waste into the environment.

Sustainable Toothpaste

The cleanest solution for your teeth isn’t always the cleanest solution for our planet. Conventional oral care products are often packed with unnatural ingredients that comprise leading sources of environmental pollution, in addition to using plastic packaging that ends up in landfills, or worse, our oceans. Even worse and surprising to many, most brand-name toothpaste contain artificial additives such as colours and sweeteners. Switching to eco-friendly toothpaste brands (Jason, Tom’s of Maine, Davids & Dr. Bronner’s are a few of the popular ones) is an easy way to take the first step in implementing a more natural dental routine. Many brands also manufacture dental tabs and toothpaste powder formulated with plant-based ingredients. Happy brushing!

Bonus Pick: S’well Drink Chiller Six Pack, $90

Last but certainly not least – while this selection doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of “grooming” products, I was inclined to include it due to its versatile, efficient and aesthetically pleasing nature. Ideal for keeping canned and bottled beverages at the perfect drinking temperature, these plastic bottle alternatives offer finesse, innovation and style in addition to doubling as condensation-free coasters.


Hopefully, this list of accessible and proactive methods of transitioning to a sustainable self-care routine has empowered you to take the first step in pursuing an ethically responsible lifestyle. As you embark on your eco-conscious journey, remember that even the smallest of actions make an impact in the long term. The planet thanks you!

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