Zero Waste Week reviews- Part 1- Shower gels/ hand washes vs soap


My favourite shower gel used to be Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry. I am an absolute Vanilla Fiend- I would wake up every morning and roll in a pit of vanilla pods if I could, in the same way my dog used to roll in fox poo in absolute ecstasy.  Combine this with my favourite fruit, the raspberry, and that is an absolute shower experience made in heaven. BUT. That 250ml bottle, costing me 100 British pennies, was finished in the time I could say “I love vanilla”, and all that was left was an empty plastic container and my empty purse. Admittedly, I was using too much of it, but it was a costly mistake.  Fast forward to present day, and I have switched to soap bars (to replace both shower gel and hand wash- and I haven’t caught the plague yet…). When did soap bars become unfashionable? They do the job just fine, but for the millennial generation this seems to not be an option. My soap bars last me around 4 times longer than the shower gels did, and you can find bars for as little as £1.50-£2, depending on the ingredients you want. Most of the time, they are wrapped in paper or no packaging at all- I avoid ones wrapped in plastic. For me, this was one of the easiest swaps. You don’t have to carry anything around with you, you don’t have to remember to carry said item around with you, this stays in your bathroom waiting patiently for you to use it and actually saves you money. Not to mention the horrible chemicals in traditional shower gels:

-Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), classed as a “moderate hazard” and a carcinogen (cancer causing substance)

-Dioxane, another “probable carcinogen”

-Propylene Glycol, which is also used as an engine coolant, antifreeze and adhesive. Linked to kidney and liver abnormalities

The hot temperature of a shower opens your skins pores, and these chemicals are absorbed directly into your system, as well as vaporised in the air. Zero waste is not all about the environment- it’s also about our health. Plastics and chemicals have become so normalised that we can’t see that we are being poisoned by our health and convenience products on a daily basis. Personally I don’t want to risk being covered in carcinogens when I’m in fact trying to get clean. It makes zero sense. Switch to a soap bar- zero waste, and a lot of sense 🙂




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