A few weeks ago I wrote a post on minimalist make-up. It was extremely popular and a lot of readers have emailed asking for tips to help them save money and time when it comes to personal care.
I try and keep my personal care routine as simple as possible because it saves time, money and keeps plastic out of my household. Below are a few tips that have worked for me. By implementing these tips into my life, I've saved between $1,500 and $2,000 per year.
1. Baking soda is a minimalist dream product.
Bacteria is the main cause of nasty odors and baking soda is an excellent odor killer. I believe baking soda is one of the best products on the planet because it has so many uses. For instance you can use it as tooth paste, a face and body cleanser, a mouth rinse, shampoo and more. If you want to save money, I highly recommend purchasing a big tin of baking soda. It's cheap, has no toxic chemicals and little to no plastic packaging.
I just started using baking soda for deodorant. It's far better at keeping odor at bay than store bought commercial deodorant. I don't mix baking soda with any other product. However, Fake Plastic Fish has a great recipe to cure stinky pits. She uses a combination of tea tea oil (which is an antibacterial) and baking soda.
...here’s my recipe: Add few drops of tea tree oil to a jar (in my case, a tea tin) of baking soda. Shake well. Apply with a fuzzy powder puff (which I already had.)
Fake Plastic Fish has written extensively about alternative personal care products. Below is a helpful article you should read: Update: Soap, Shampoo and Deodorant
2. Try to simplify your hair style and the number of products you use.
Why does hair have to be so complicated? There are so many options in hair style, color and cleaning products on the market.
At one time I colored my hair and purchased a lot of different products for styling. On average, I was spending about $75 a month just on hair care! Right now I have a short hair cut, do not color my hair and I do not purchase hair care products. I stick with the simplest option: wash and wear.
Plus, there a number of toxic chemicals in hair styling products which are bad for your health and for the environment.
3. For the ladies: Consider using a diva cup or reusable, handmade pads.
Ladies, we need to work on "greening our periods."
When you think about it, we don’t really have any contact with our cycles using tampons or pads. We use these products and then throw them away.
This adds waste to landfills, puts a strain on water treatment facilities, and it’s just more product we have to spend money on each and every month.
But, menstrual cups eliminate all that.
Prior to my Diva Cup days, I spent about $150 to $200 a year on pads and tampons. My Diva Cup cost $15 on sale at our local co-op. So the savings is incredible! Plus you can reuse it every month and reduce the amount of wast that goes into the landfill.
Heather from The Greenest Dollar wrote a few incredible articles on this topic. She's part of the reason, I made the switch. Her posts are a must read:
4. Consider trying Sea Salt Soap.
I'm trying to limit the amount of plastic that enters my life and recently discovered sea salt soap. Right now I'm using Sea Salt Soap to wash my face and love it! There are no chemical additives and the soap comes in paper, which rocks my world. My little vermiculture compost friends are loving the extra paper and I'm limiting the amount of plastic that enters my home.
5. Use minimal or no make-up.
For more information on minimal make-up strategies, read this post and check out the comments section. A number of readers left incredibly helpful hints and tips.
6. Micro-actions and questions to consider.
- Take inventory of your personal care products and look at the ingredients list. Are there toxic chemicals in your make-up, shampoo, deodorant or hair styling products? Check out GoodGuide.com to help determine the background of a product.
- For the ladies: do some research and try out diva cups or reusable, handmade pads. And don't forget to read Heather's posts on this topic.
- Do some research and try making your own personal care products, like lotion.