Zero waste grooming has become something that I have really focused on in the last year. Previously, I would just purchase whatever I needed wherever I would land, as it cut down on how much stuff I actually had to travel with. But it turns out that purchasing grooming products over and over again is not only expensive, but actually terrible for the planet: plastic toothbrushes with nylon bristles; plastic razors; plastic mouthwash bottles; plastic toothpaste tubes…they all add up to be a lot of plastic that never freaking decomposes, and here I was, moving so often and purchasing so much of it, that I probably accounted for ten years of someone’s consumerism in a third of the amount of time. Then there are things like cotton face pads and Q-tips that one never actually thinks is bad because they’re fabric or cardboard, but are really just as terrible because of all the chemicals they put into manufacturing them so they can be white (same with menstruation things, but we’ll get into that in another post).
First, let me break down what I consider “grooming:” I don’t mean makeup or even things in your shower (soap, shampoo, etc). I mean things that keep you “well groomed;” i.e. taking care of your teeth, removing the hair from your body, or cleaning your ears. These are the grooming products I’m going to discuss, and give you some alternate things to use or maybe just think about using if you’re not ready to make the full leap yet. I will be breaking this post down into three separate posts so it’s not as long winded.
Just so you know, though I say brands I use in this post, I have not been paid by anyone, nor do I have affiliate links, because these are just brands that I personally like, and you may find others that you prefer.
I love going to the dentist. No, like, really love it (I go every four months!). I used to love getting a new toothbrush from them, and the feeling after getting a cleaning, knowing that my new plastic toothbrush was going to keep me going in between visits. So when I found out that there are 4.2 billion people in the world who have a toothbrush at one time (that’s not including all of the toothbrushes they’ve previously owned or will own in the future), and that those toothbrushes never break down, it made me sick to my stomach, and also really sad that I was going to have to start purchasing my own toothbrush mindfully as opposed to just getting a free one every four months.
Bamboo toothbrushes have been in my bathroom for the last year, and I really do love them. I’ve made my boyfriend switch to them also, and he’s a fan as well. I’ve tried a couple of different ones, but the ones I love are by WowE which are all natural bamboo with BPA-free bristles (by the way, you ALWAYS have to remove the bristles if you want to compost your toothbrush, as they have not come up with one yet that is completely compostable). They come in a pack of four and are numbered so you know which one is yours. You can get them on Amazon for $11. They’re soft, they don’t break, and you’ll know it’s been 4-6 months of using them when the bristles start coming out while brushing your teeth.
Toothpaste is something that has probably been the hardest thing for me in the “grooming” section to figure out what I like. Years ago, I found the brand Marvis in a beauty supply store in L.A. and purchased the cinnamon flavor which tasted exactly like cinnamon candy. This toothpaste was so freaking delicious, but it was over $10 a tube, did nothing for my coffee/tea/cigarette stains, and started selling out due to it becoming a fad, so I could never find it. Now you can get it on Amazon for $10.50 a tube, but honestly, I’m over it. If you want the most delicious tasting toothpaste, though, try Marvis. They have weird flavors like Jasmine Mint, Ginger, or Licorice, and at least it’s in a metal tube.
A few years later, I decided to try all natural toothpaste because, well, I use all natural everything else, so why am I sticking chemicals in my mouth to brush my teeth? So I purchased Uncle Harry’s Natural and Fluoride Free Re-mineralizing Toothpaste in peppermint. It comes in a glass jar, is natural and fluoride free, and it makes your mouth feel insanely clean. Problem was, it’s made with clay, and it ended up drying my mouth out really badly after a few months of use. But I turned a lot of my friends onto it, and they love it. You can get it on Amazon for $18 for a 2-pack.
Next, I made my own tooth powder. It worked, but sorry, I’m not a fan of using powder to brush my teeth. Not to mention, it got all over everything. I’ve tried the charcoal tooth powder, and yeah, it definitely whitens, but again, it’s not a toothpaste, and it gets all over everything. So judge me if you want, but I’m currently using Crest White because it’s the only toothpaste I like.
However, I recently found this company called Bite which makes toothpaste tablets. What? Toothpaste tablets? That’s insanity! Yeah, I thought the same thing, but also am SO EXCITED to try them! They come in a glass bottle, they lightly foam, are chemical free, and are a minimalist’s dream with how they look. Not to mention, they’re going to be amazing to go on weekend trips with, because you can just throw a few in a pill bottle and save a ton of room! I ordered their combo of regular mint and charcoal mint, but they’re backordered for a month, so I’ll let you know how they are once I actually get them. By then, I’ll be out of my Crest White and hopefully won’t have to purchase it again (hey, I’m not going to waste what I already have!). You can get Bite on their website for $12 for an individual bottle, or $7 a month for a subscription, or $20 for both of their flavors.
While I love going to the dentist, I really hate flossing. I’ve always used the mint flavored Oral B dental floss that made my gums bleed, but I saw an Instagram account for Dental Lace and it was so pretty I couldn’t help but purchase one. The little refillable containers are made of glass, the floss is made of waxed natural silk, and everything is made in Maine (one of my favorite places!). It’s $9 for the container and two bundles of floss, and $7 to refill them. And if the cuteness of them doesn’t sway you, I did some research on floss after I purchased them, and learned that store bought dental floss is made of either nylon (your pantyhose) or Teflon (what coats your cooking pans that is super toxic), and other “proprietary ingredients” that the dental companies put on it. Also, my dentist said my teeth have never looked better since using this dental floss, and it’s actually not as boring to floss anymore!
One of my many dentists told me that having alcohol in your mouthwash actually makes you more prone to getting gum disease. He had this mouthwash in his office called Tooth & Gums Tonic by Dental Herb Company and not only does it taste like clove, but it’s 100% natural, comes in a glass bottle, and is alcohol free. I’ve been using it for the past two years, but there are two downsides:
- It comes in a giant glass bottle that is heavy and takes up a lot of room
- The price of it is ridiculous; it’s $37 a bottle, and if you’re sharing it with anyone, that will be what you’re spending on mouthwash every month.
I do love this mouthwash, though, and if you’re looking for a good wash for yourself, you can get this on Amazon for $37.
However, I also found out that they just introduced mouthwash tablets into the world, and though I’m not as excited for them as I am for toothpaste tablets, I still think it’s pretty cool! Once I’m finished with my bottle of Tooth & Gums Tonic, I’m going to order a bottle of Georganics Natural Mouthwash Tablets on Amazon for $15 for a 3-month supply (can you guys tell yet how much I love Amazon, btw?). They come in a glass bottle, and you drop a tablet into a bit of water and after it dissolves, it becomes a liquid mouthwash! It sure makes traveling with mouthwash easier, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.
If any of you have tried any of these things, or have any recommendations or products you love, I’m always open to hearing them! Until the next time…
All my best,