I’m not going to lie, I’ve historically been a sucker for the marketing of beauty products. After a year of getting under the skin (sorry) of these claims, re-thinking and experimenting with different ideas, I’m now really happy with a few hard-working multi-taskers.


Plant power

I’m aware I’m very late to the party, but it’s been an absolute revelation to use pure plant ingredients, straight up.

Three superstars will have you covered:

Almond oil (or coconut) is a brilliant multi-tasker. Use it to remove stubborn eye-make up, & moisturise (face and body).

Flower waters makes great toners. Gentle options are neroli, lavender, rose, chamomile or try witch hazel for tricky skin.

And, depending on your skin-type, you’ll find a simple plant-based oil moisturiser that will most likely rock your world (no joke). I’m hooked on Argan oil, which I get topped up at my favourite unpacked bulk shop, BYO.



Conchus were founded on a commitment to fighting waste in the bathroom - being plastic-free is at the heart of what they do.

The bulk of the collection is ‘bar’ based, i.e solid shampoos, facial/body cleansers. But they also have a small range of balms, oils and hair ‘rinses’ in stainless steel packaging.

They also stock a few pieces from the the Zao make-up range (not plastic-free, but close).

Beyond the development of lovely skin, hair and body-care products, they are active supporters of environmental initiatives. They are definitely one of the good guys :-)


lush naked skincare

I never used to be a fan, but you’ll find me singing the praises of Lush all over this site.

Lush were championing sustainable, ethical skincare waaaaay before it became A Thing. And recently, they’ve gone into overdrive. You name it, they’ve found a way to bring you that product ‘naked’. Shampoo, body-wash, body-lotions, make-up (yep, MAKE-UP!) and now, skin-care.

I’m loving these solid cleansing bars, serums and moisturisers. They are balms (not soaps), which melt at body-temperature. Either apply directly, or, let a small amount melt on your fingertips and gently rub in. There are loads to choose from, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one, whatever your skin-type.


up-circle beauty

It’s hard to argue with the story behind Up-Circle.

Questioning the bonkers amount of waste generated by coffee-shops, the original premise was to take used coffee grounds and transform them into lovely skincare products.

They’ve stuck to their guns with coffee, but added products using residual chai-spices as well. The result is a range of 100% natural, cruelty-free, face and body products - cleansing bars, serums, scrubs and moisturisers - that are lovely to use, with a lovely back-story to-boot.

Not entirely plastic-free (frustrating sample sachets - grrrrr) but pretty-damn-close!



Evolve Organic Beauty (AKA my weakness) will be on my Christmas list from now to forever. I love these products.

Handmade in small batches, almost entirely from natural, organic ingredients, everything I’ve tried has been a joy to use. The Gentle Cleaning Melt and the 360 Moisture Cream deserve a special mention. OMG.

The skincare (but not the hair or body) products are all packaged in amber glass, which are keepers. Refill and re-use at will (DYI candle makers, take note).

Or recycle the glass, and drop the lids off at Lush, who collect plastic tops and add them to their in-house closed-loop recycling.



The Funky Soap Shop tick a whole load of boxes for me.

100% natural, cruelty free, local (London), loads of plastic-free products, and - this is the biggie - sell a selection of refillable skincare products too.

And you don’t need to be local - although they do have an IRL shop you can visit. You can order online and post empties back for refilling.

I can’t applaud this enough. It’s all well and good choosing fancy things in glass bottles (guilty), but it’s this closed-loop way of doing things that’s going the future of sustainable skincare (slash everything).


konjac sponges

I’m a big fan of these squishy Hydro Phil konjac sponges.

They are made from the fibre of the Konjac plant (obvs) which is a high altitude perennial, native to Asia. It is a totally natural food source, full of skin-friendly minerals and antioxidants and, being naturally alkaline, makes it perfect to use on the face.

Soak the sponge until it’s all squishy, then gently massage clean your skin. I keep mine in a little glass jar to keep it spongy, but if you accidentally let it dry out, don’t worry, they spring back after short dunk in water.

They are fully compostable when they’ve reached the end of their useful life (about three months). A true zero-waste hero!


Share the love: