9 Steps to a Plastic-Free Shower Routine

These super-simple nine steps will show you how to go plastic-free in the shower without sacrificing a good, clean beauty routine!

Our bathrooms and showers can harbor an awful lot of plastic, between shampoo bottles, soap dispensers, and all sorts of skincare products, too! The good news is that it’s super simple to go plastic-free in the shower without sacrificing a good, clean beauty routine! Let me show you nine simple steps for a plastic-free shower routine.

1. Switch to a shampoo bar

Shampoo and conditioner bottles are probably the biggest culprits of plastic waste in every shower. We’ve become so conditioned (ha, get it?) to purchase big plastic bottles of liquid shampoo and conditioner, but that’s not the way it needs to be! Shampoo bars completely eliminate plastic waste because the shampoo stands alone as a bar. It doesn’t need to be contained within a plastic bottle! Sure, using a bar will take some getting used to, but shampoo bars are just as effective (if not more effective) than the liquid shampoo you buy in a grocery store.

Ethique Beauty produces some of the best shampoo bars, made with plant-based ingredients and very few preservatives. Plus, they’re equivalent to 3 bottles of liquid shampoo, so they’ll last you a while! Try out the Pinkalicious for normal hair or take a look at any of the other shampoo bars for frizzy and dry hair, oily hair, and even dandruff.

In order to best preserve your shampoo bar in the shower, pick up one of these compostable storage containers to make sure none of your bar gets rinsed away!

2. Switch to a conditioner bar or purchase conditioner in bulk

So we’ve got shampoo covered, now what about conditioner? I’ll be honest, I’ve had some trouble transitioning to a more eco-friendly conditioner option. Conditioner bars are a solid option (man, I’m on a roll with conditioner puns, huh?) but it isn’t my go-to. I do love packing an Ethique conditioner bar for traveling and they work well in my shower, but I can’t help but love a liquid conditioner.

Even though I love to use a liquid conditioner, I don’t need to purchase it in a plastic bottle! I pick up my conditioner in bulk from my local co-op. I bring in my own container, fill it up from their bulk conditioner container, bring it home and put it in my shower. You can even go so far as to purchase a pretty dispenser like this one so you don’t have to keep your conditioner in a salsa jar like I currently do. Someday I’ll get around to purchasing a nice dispenser! A simple Google search should let you know where you can purchase bulk goods in your neighborhood.

3. Use bar soap instead of shower gel

Ditch the shower gels and other packaged soap and opt for a bar of soap instead! My absolute favorite bar soap is from Love Beauty and Planet. This Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower bar soap smells so, so good and it’s bigger than your average bar of soap. It’s dense, luxurious, and soothing so I guarantee you won’t miss the shower gel with this!

4. Switch to a shave bar

Shave cream was never part of my regular routine but I do admit that I always loved using it when I had it. I’d get it sometimes in my Christmas stocking or occasionally splurge on it at the store. But the truth is that they’re kind of unnecessary (plus, they don’t last very long either). Bar soap works just fine as a shave cream substitute for me, but if you’ll miss that soft and rich lather that a shave cream provides, get some Tip-to-Toe. This handy little bar is from Ethique and get this – it works as a shave bar and shampoo bar in one. You can totally use Tip-to-Toe as a shampoo and shave bar at the same time, you’ll just need to replenish a little bit sooner than you would if you used two separate bars.

5. Ditch disposable razors

Cheap, single-use disposable razors are just bad all around. They don’t work well and they don’t last long either. So what’s the point? Use a safety razor like this one to get a better shave and reduce the amount of plastic you contribute to landfills. A safety razor can potentially last a lifetime, but definitely a few years at least. Plus, you can safely recycle all of the replacement blades for a totally zero-waste shave!

Not into the idea of a safety razor? Try a Preserve razor made from recycled ocean plastic for another eco-friendly option.

6. Use a cleanser bar or Lush cleansers

You’re probably tired of hearing about all these different bars by this point, but they are the biggest key to a plastic-free shower routine! And isn’t it crazy to see how many products we use on a daily basis can be purchased without plastic packaging?! My favorite face cleanser bar is In Your Face from Ethique. It’s made with sea salt and orange essential oils that leaves my skin feeling so clean and nourished.

I’m also a huge fan of Lush and I especially love their cleansers. The Sleepy Face is one of their “naked” cleansers (meaning no packaging) that is soothing and creamy. But Lush has a variety of other face cleansers that are good options for a plastic-free shower too. My faves are Herbalism and Let The Good Times Roll, although they are packaged in Lush’s signature black pots.

And even though they’re technically plastic, they’re a good option for a plastic-free shower and here’s why. These little black pots start out made from 100% recycled plastic. But you can return your used pots back to Lush where they’ll regrind and remold them into brand new pots! Except they’re not made from brand new plastic – the same plastic parts are reused over and over again, which is super cool. And as an incentive for returning your black pots to Lush, for every five you return, you’ll get one fresh face mask, completely free! Read more about Lush’s recycled black pots here.

7. Try a body scrub from Lush

You can feel good about purchasing body scrubs from Lush knowing that you can recycle the packaging (and work toward a free fresh face mask in the process)! My favorites are Ocean Salt, which works great as an exfoliator for your face too, and Cup O’ Coffee!

8. Moisturize with a bar

Okay technically these last two tips don’t usually happen in the shower, but they happen right after so that counts, right? If you’re the type of person who moisturizes right after a shower (good on you, I need to get into that habit ASAP) try Ethique’s solid butter block that comes in three yummy varieties.

9. Remove makeup with the MakeUp Eraser

I talk about the MakeUp Eraser constantly, but it’s because I really love it that much. This little cloth removes your makeup gently and effectively with just water. So actually, you could totally leave it in your shower if removing makeup is part of you shower routine! The MakeUp Eraser eliminates the need for makeup remover solution, makeup remover wipes, and/or cotton balls so you’ll end up saving a lot of plastic and unnecessary waste.

There you have it! Nine simple steps to a plastic-free shower routine. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments some of the other ways you reduce plastic in your shower routine.

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