Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel or are looking for a longer lifestyle change, it’s never been easier to find eco-friendly toiletries that work.
Let’s face it, transporting toiletries and skincare products when you’re travelling is a challenge at the best of times.
If you’re only going abroad for a few weeks and want to pack a carry-on, you have to contend with the liquid allowances too.
The simple solution is buying a whole stack of mini toiletries.
They don’t last long, you still have to squeeze everything into a ziplock bag and it’s a lot of single use plastic that’s polluting the planet.
What to use instead of mini travel toiletries
You have two eco-friendly options for your toiletries:
- The first is to invest in reusable 100ml tubes. All you need to do is fill them up with the full-sized versions of your favourite skincare essentials.
- Another solution is to go solid. Investing in beauty bars means you can avoid the liquid hassle altogether. Solid bars are more concentrated so they last longer than even full sized liquid bottles. They’re plastic free and zero waste which is a double win for the planet.
1. Wash Bag
The humble wash bag. Choose the right one and you might hang onto one of these for years.
New eco travel brand, OneNine5, have re-designed this holiday essential to be something that works for a more circular economy.
Their eco-friendly wash bags are made from 100% recycled plastic.
It can be recycled after use and includes a detachable clear bag so you don’t need to pick up any single use, see through bags for security.
And each bag is full of pockets – for all your eco toiletries from your bamboo toothbrush to a hidden pocket for valuables and it can be hung up.
Perfect for camping, festivals or checking into a luxurious eco-hotel.
2. Reusable Aluminum Travel Bottles
Here’s the reason why you CAN take your favourite toiletries on holiday rather than being confined to minis.
These reusable aluminium travel bottles from The Plastic Free Shop come in a choice of 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes.
If you’re undecided you can get a pack of three. They’re lightweight too.
The top reason to opt for these bottles is that you’re cutting plastic completely out of your wash bag.
They save you money as you don’t have to buy any more minis and you can also reuse them an infinite amount of times.
We all know the importance of suncream for our skin health but most standard suncream has a dirty secret.
They’re damaging coral reefs with their ingredient lists – specifically, oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Luckily, you don’t have to forgo your suncream for the sake of the coral.
The list of products that Green People DON’T use (parabens, petrochemicals, propylene glycol….) is longer than the list of what they do.
Green applies to their packaging, their product and their processes.
These people use plant-based bottles made from renewable sugarcane, which is recyclable and carbon neutral.
Everything in them, from the UV to the UVB to the UVA protection, is vegan.
Their plant-based Scent Free Suncream is sustainable and fairly farmed as well. Reef-safe and water repellant, you and your ocean will be taken care of together.
It glides onto the skin streak free and it’s suitable for sensitive skin. A big plus.
You can pair it with the Tan Accelerator and Hydrating Aloe Vera Aftersun all in 100ml holiday sizes.
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4. Cleansing Wash
Your skin goes through a lot when you travel, from pollution to diet changes, different climates, lack of sleep and possibly dehydration. The list goes on…
Fuss-free skincare brand Faace are here to make sure your skin is taken care of no matter what with their new Dirty Faace Cleansing Wash.
Available in a recyclable tube that’s handily 100ml, the cleansing wash contains plant-based natural surfactants derived from coconut fatty acids which give the skin a deep cleanse without drying it out or disturbing its natural microbiome.
Use it to refresh your face and remove makeup, grime, SPF and pollution.
This eco-friendly face wash is also vegan friendly and cruelty free.
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5. Green Balm
MOA’s Green Balm is your multipurpose certified organic calming balm that’s a must-have in your wash bag.
This little pot has a multitude of uses from beauty treatments to first aid remedies. Inspired by ancient folklore of herbalism, the balm features ingredients like yarrow and tea tree.
It can soothe dry itchy skin conditions, bumps, bites, stings, bruises, grazes and even minor burns.
You can dab it on after shaving or pair this balm with MOA’s Hot Cloth Cleaning Kit which comes with a super-soft reusable bamboo face cloth.
It’s an ideal portable spa treatment on the go when your skin is being put through its paces.
And don’t just take our word for it, this balm cleaned up at the Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards – a gold medal winner!
6. Soap Bar
Solid toiletries make zero waste packing a whole lot easier as you don’t need to worry at all about liquids.
If you pack just one, you can’t go wrong with Ursa Major’s Morning Mojo Bar Soap.
One of pebble’s favourite eco-friendly toiletries, this soap is a handy shower accompaniment that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. A must after a long day on the road or need a morning wake up call.
Enjoy energising peppermint combined with tingly volcanic rock to exfoliate and nourish your skin.
Ursa Major only use naturally-derived, cruelty free ingredients and they’re transparently listed on their website.
The brand is also a certified B Corp and Plastic Negative so you know they take sustainability seriously.
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7. Shampoo Bar
Cutting plastic out of your hair care routine has never been easier thanks to high-quality and committed eco-friendly shampoo brands.
Another of pebble’s favourites is the Shine Bar which leaves hair feeling clean with salon-worthy results.
You’ll get your money’s worth too as one 75g bar lasts up to four times longer than a standard bottle of shampoo.
Promising no waste and no mess, Shine Bar comes with an optional tin so you can take it on your travels with ease.
It’s formulated using 99% natural ingredients including mild ginger, lemon and quinoa to keep hair healthy and smelling divine.
It’s cruelty free and has a luxurious lather too. Bliss.
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8. Soap Tin
Solid toiletries are all well and good, but without packaging, bars can become a mulchy mess in your toiletry kit.
Enter the Stainless Steel Soap Travel Tin from Hydrophil.
This little tin protects your soap bars and keeps your wash bag dry. No plastic needed.
The tin is durable and lightweight, vegan and fair trade. It’s also water neutral which means a very minimal amount of water was used in its production.
9. Toothpaste Tablets
Up your zero waste toiletries game on holiday with Brushd toothpaste tablets.
These plastic free packaged tablets replace needing to buy normal toothpaste tubes and you don’t need to buy one of those dinky travel versions. You just pop one in and chew.
And yes you still get the same minty flavour thanks to the organic peppermint powder. Available with and without fluoride.
It’s a great way to cut down your single use plastic in your wash bag and bathroom. You can also order refill packs to fill up the glass jar you get with your first order.
If you’re worried about taking glass with you, simply transfer the tabs to an aluminium tin. No fuss, no mess.
Complete your eco-friendly oral hygiene with Brushd’s mouthwash tabs, bamboo toothbrushes and dental floss. Easy.
Wild are on a mission to transform the throwaway culture of everyday bathroom products.
Their sleek and stylish-looking deodorant applicators are reusable and made from durable aluminium and recycled plastic.
The zero-plastic deodorant refill is natural and compostable.
Every skincare product in Wild’s range is vegan friendly, cruelty free, dermatologically tested and free from artificial fragrances, parabens, sulphates and aluminium.
True to form, the deodorant is gentle on skin with maximum sweat security.
Better still? A percentage of every deodorant sold is donated to the climate charity ‘On a Mission’ to support reforestation projects around the world.
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Keep your skin happy and hydrated on holiday with Beauty Kitchen’s Seahorse Plankton Really Radiant Moisturiser.
At 60ml you can easily pop it into your wash bag or handbag on the go.
This beauty holy grail is supercharged with a blend of two types of microalgae and three seaweeds that protect skin from pollution, evens out tone and gives you a radiant complexion.
In case you’re wondering about the seahorses, the moisturiser is 100% cruelty free and vegan.
The Seahorse Plankton is farmed on-site rather than harvested to ensure that no vital seahorse food sources are taken from the ocean.
Beauty Kitchen’s packaging is designed to be reused. Yes, there’s some plastic but it’s 100% recycled.
You can recycle empty containers in your home recycling or you can return them to Beauty Kitchen HQ for free where they will be washed and reused.
Pucker up and add a splash of eco-friendly colour to your holiday outfits with award-winning plastic-free lipstick brand, Juni Cosmetics.
Available in a range of colours, each lipstick has a fully recyclable aluminium case. The recycled paper outer cardboard box is biodegradable too.
Juni Cosmetics lipsticks aren’t just plastic-free. All ingredients are sustainably sourced, organic and of course vegan friendly and cruelty free.
You can also make use of the brand’s extensive FAQs to find the lipstick shade for you.
Zao is a pebble favourite for sustainable makeup so if you’re looking for a few beauty essentials to take travelling, make it this brand.
They have everything from mascaras to eyeliners and eco-friendly nail varnishes.
All of it is 100% natural, vegan, cruelty free and organic. You can also get refills of your favourites so you don’t have to throw away excess packaging.
The group of friends who founded Zao were convinced that a line of certified organic makeup must use natural packaging and the elegance and modernity of bamboo asserted itself as an obvious answer.
The bamboo Zao use grows in endemic forests in protected areas. Their bamboo products are sold in cotton pouches to further protect them.
Though less sustainable than bamboo, these pouches can be reused. As a natural material, it also biodegrades in landfills.
Ditch the plastic pots, compacts and tubes of foundation when travelling.
LUSH’s Slap Sticks solid foundation come in 40 shades, are vegan friendly and have plastic free packaging.
They’re made from coconut oil (bought in Indonesia and supporting literacy programmes) and argan oil which has been ethically harvested by a women’s co-op in Morocco.
Another win for zero waste and eco-friendly toiletries.
15. Essential Oils
Bio Scents give you aromatherapy on the go with their plastic-free and 100% organic essential oils.
Made in Portugal, each one comes in a little glass bottle complete with a bamboo cap instead of plastic.
So why exactly should they be added to your eco-friendly toiletries when you travel? Depending on the essential oil you pack, each one has its own multitude of benefits.
For example, eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also relieve mental exhaustion and fatigue by boosting circulation to the brain (hello jetlag).
Lavender is another useful choice for travelling for its calming qualities. Add a few drops of this essential oil to your pillow and you’ll be off to dreamland in no time.
16. Shaving Kit
Located in Manchester, Shoreline Shaving offer 100% plastic free shaving kits that are zero waste and eco-friendly.
Their safety razors come in two styles: bamboo grain handle and chrome plated finish or colourful metal razors with a textured grip.
They also have a luxurious orange and lavender shaving soap which is natural, cruelty free and free of sulphates, parabens and palm oil.
There are plenty of travel versions to choose from and each razor is designed to reduce skin irritation and shaving rash.
What’s more, for every bamboo razor sold, Shoreline Shaving donate part of the profit to The Ocean Cleanup.
For every Coral Collection razor sold, they donate a portion of the profit to causes that support the protection of the world’s coral reefs.
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