Minimalist, Non-Toxic Toiletry Bag Products
All of the items in our toiletry bags are so easily replaced by non-toxic options these days. They are also another place that can often be substantially downsized. Marketing departments spend a lot of money convincing us that we need a different product for every single body part, purpose and ailment, but in reality, the absolute opposite is true! A small selection of well selected, high-quality products is all you should ever really need.
Without further ado, check out all of our minimalist, non-toxic and plant-based toiletry bag product recommendations below!
I really like the Eco Tan Coconut Body Milk from Eco by Sonya. It’s one of the few certified organic options available, without being hideously overpriced. It’s just a great, all-round moisturiser for hands, body and feet. You really do not need separate moisturisers for each of those things. Because it contains coconut oil, I tend to avoid using it on my face however. This is only because I have very sensitive acne-prone skin and coconut oil is highly comedogenic. If you do not have this problem with your skin, I would definitely recommend using this as your one and only all-over moisturiser.
I’ve been through phases of Black Chicken’s Axilla Deodorant Paste, No Pong (not realising it wasn’t vegan), and now finally Woohoo! Urban Deodorant Paste. One thing to know about natural deodorant is that it will not block your pores and stop you from sweating like mainstream brands do. This is exactly what you want though, as sweating is an important part of expelling toxins from your body. Natural deodorants instead work to mask odour and absorb wetness.
I use a Bass hair brush which is made from bamboo and a recyclable natural rubber pad. At first, it feels like the wooden bristles will surely break, but you quickly realise they are as sturdy as any plastic brush but without the harsh pulling! They are available in a range of styles and sizes. I go for the large paddle model as I have quite long, thick hair.
Unfortunately, hair ties that are organic and labelled as vegan (some use indeterminate types of glue) don’t really exist unless you are prepared to pay ungodly amounts of money for them. I’ll wait and see what comes out in future, but for now I just use a packet of Oscar Orsen Large Thin Hair Elastics in Brown, available in packs of 30.
Bobby pins are another item that have yet to hit the eco-friendly scene. Unfortunately, most of the current options have a thin plastic coating on them, which is to prevent them from rusting. I’ll be keeping an eye out for a zero-waste option but for now I just use Oscar Orsen Extra Hold Bobby Pins in Brown, available in packs of 80.
This is just one of those things that comes in handy for all sorts of reasons! For me, I use them mostly to clean up all my mascara and eyeliner fails. Before now, the sticks were only ever made of plastic, as was the packaging, but thankfully I found Go Bamboo Cotton Buds which are entirely biodegradable.
Another item that doesn’t get a lot of use, but comes in immensely handy at unsuspecting moments, is bandaids. Patch finally answered the call, bringing out a vegan, non-toxic option! Their Patch Aloe Vera Organic Strips come in packs of 25.
Anyone who owns a menstrual cup will tell you there is no going back, and it’s entirely true. The thought of using tampons again seems truly awful, not to mention all of the waste they burden our planet with. Menstrual cups last around 10 years too, so are far more economical. They definitely come with a learning curve however, and for your first few periods, you will likely have a couple of spillages when you’ve not quite inserted it correctly, but persevere and it will soon click. There are many brands on offer nowadays, but OrganiCup are the cheapest in Australia with eco-friendly packaging to boot. They also sell special cleansers and wipes, however I prefer to cleanse it with my usual toxin-free soap (which the company says is fine to do).
Clippers are another of those multi-purpose things to keep in your toiletry bag. I once again opt for a long-lasting, high quality option with the Tweezerman Stainless Fingernail Clippers. Despite the name, these would be perfectly fine to use on your toenails as well. Just use them right after a shower to help keep them clean.
A good pair of tweezers is a pretty invaluable grooming tool. Tweezerman are very well regarded for their old-school quality, making products intended to last a lifetime. For that reason, I definitely recommend the Tweezerman Stainless Steel Mini Slant Tweezers.
This is the main item you should ever need to maintain the length of your nails. If they’re very long, you may wish to clip them first, otherwise the occasional file should do it. I have the Sienna of Byron Bay Glass Nail File, which is a beautiful, plastic-free option.
Sunscreen is a hard option to find if you’re coming off mainstream products. You may find a lot of the natural options are either too greasy or don’t absorb enough. After a bit of testing, I found that the Life Basics SPF 30 All Natural Facial Sunscreen had a really decent formula. It’s labelled as a facial sunscreen (meaning it’s not too greasy), but I use it all over the body as needed. It’s also low comedogenic, meaning it’s very unlikely to cause breakouts for almost all skin types.
This is definitely a luxury item, particularly in the world of a minimalist, but I do like to keep a few things around that I get genuine enjoyment out of using. A fragrance is one of those things! The I Am Strong fragrance by Amacyn is my current favourite scent!
There’s a few items I don’t personally own, but could understand may be essentials to others. I thought I’d mention them below:
Hair & Scalp Treatment
If you find that your scalp suffers occasional bouts of dryness, or you’d just like to treat your hair, I would recommend dousing it in almost any sort of organic oil every so often. Leave this oil on for as long as you can – whether that be 10 minutes, or a few hours as you go about your day. I find Acure The Essentials Argan Oil great for this purpose. It soothes angry skin and is highly nourishing.
Hair Styling Gel
$24.50 - $59.95
Unfortunately, completely toxin-free hair dye that works well and is pleasant/simple to apply isn’t really a thing right now. Your only option that fits the entire criteria is Desert Shadow Organic Hair Dyes. However, I find them quite a fiddly, extensive ordeal to use. There’s also the option of Hairprint if it’s grey hair that is your concern. Hairprint isn’t actually a dye of traditional sorts. Instead, it replenishes your natural melanin pigment to restore your usual hair colour. It takes a few rounds, but it does apparently work decently well and gets fairly positive reviews. Once again however, it does sound fiddly and requires some preparation.
If there’s anything else that I haven’t covered above, there’s a very high chance that I don’t think it’s personally necessary for me to own. Decorative items, excess skin products and tools can add extra clutter and expenses that I’m perfectly fine to live without. If you’re interested in adopting a minimalist lifestyle, I’d strongly encourage you to start cutting back to only the items that truly bring you value on a day to day basis, whether they match my essentials or not. Nothing bad can come of it!
As for any excess clutter that you no longer want to keep, I’d recommend (wherever possible) to recycle anything recyclable, and donate or give away anything that may be used by others.
If you think I’ve missed any essentials in my minimalist collection above, please let me know in the comments below!