Zero Waste Pamper Routine
Welcome to my zero waste pamper/self-care routine post! I dive into the steps I do with links to the prouducts I use. To wrap it up, I dive into the unit costs of all the items, showing that you can spend less than \$3 for a relaxing night in!
With the holidays winding down, I always feel a need to carve out some time for myself and relax before heading back to work.
OK to be honest, I pretty much do this zero waste self-care routine once a week, or at least twice a month.
I think it’s super important to take some time for yourself to do what calms and rejuvenates you. All too often do we push down our own wants and needs for our bosses, friends, family, and significant others. And while that can be necessary or even fun, there is something to be said about only taking your needs into consideration.
Hopefully, I prove that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to feel good and relax
The unit cost represents the cost to use the product in one session.
As I’ve transitioned my lifestyle to be more zero waste and minimalist, I’ve had to adjust a few of products I use for this routine.
While this used to be dependent on expensive goop in plastic packaging, I’ve come to the realization that they are necessary. Instead, there are great alternatives.
Without further ado, here’s my zero waste self-care routine!
Step 1: comfy clothes
If I’ve just come home from work, the first thing I do is take off my jeans. While I’m lucky to work in an office where the dress code is casual (have to love the tech industry), jeans and t-shirts still feel quite uncomfortable after a day of wear.
Take ‘em off and throw on large sweatpants, a thick sweatshirt, fuzzy socks, and tie your hair back.
Step 2: tea
Non-negotiable step for me. I always need a warm beverage-- even if it’s the middle of summer in Boston.
Did you know that a majority of tea bags are actually lined with plastic?
This was a shock to me and it seems that every website says you can compost your tea bags (including my compost service that picks up my compost bucket every two weeks)
I’ve since switched my tea habit from these bags to loose leaf tea that I buy in bulk.
To make a cup of zero waste tea, I grab a pinch of my tea leaves and place them into this metal tea steeper.
Once I’m done with my tea, I scoop out the leaves and throw them into my compost. Easy peasy!
If bulk tea leaves aren’t an option for you, look for loose leaf tea in recyclable packing like this one for example.
Step 3: Face Wash
While my tea is steeping, I step into the bathroom and wash my face with either two products:
First Face Wash:
The first is a hunk of charcoal face soap I bought from a zero waste store in Colorado if I want a gentler clean.
Second Face Wash:
The second is this scrub from Meow Meow Tweet if I want from exfoliation.
This company is awesome and packages their products in either recyclable or compostable packing. They also make a great charcoal bar face soap too.
Step 4: Face Masks
I have two favorite masks that I make that are also super duper cheap.
First Face Mask: Bentonite Clay
The first is a bentonite clay mask. I buy it in bulk from a health food store in Cambridge.
I take a tablespoon or so and mix in equal parts of water.
Apply to face for 10ish minutes, or right before your skin feels like you’ve looked into the eyes of Medusa.
This is great for drawing our any impurities in your skin, so I mainly use this when my skin feels congested.
Second Face Mask: Honey
The second mask I like to use is hands down my all time favorite. I do have to say though it is not vegan, which is something I’m working towards finding an alternative.
I take a small scoop of raw honey and apply to my face with my fingers.
Yes, it does feel sticky. However, it comes right off with a splash of water.
Why is honey a great face mask?
Reason 1: Its therapeutic properties
According to a review published in The Scientific World Journal, honey is known for being an effective treatment for burns, ulcers and other wounds. This is due to its many therapeutic properties which include “stimulation of tissue growth, enhanced epithelialization, and minimized scar formation.”
Honey also contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant. Minor skin wounds and even chapped lips can be disinfected and healed with a thin application of honey. 32- It’s antibacterial
Reason 2: It's antibacterial
Honey has been shown to be an effective antibacterial agent.
Bacteria associated with acne won’t be able to survive when covered in honey due to its highly acidic pH.
Both of these reasons mean that it’s amazing for fighting acne and healing hyperpigmentation scars.
And feel free to get creative with your honey masks too. Add in turmeric, lemon juice, or a small splash of cinnamon for increased exfoliation.
Step 5: Hair Mask
I try to only wash my hair 2x a week, so I’ll only do this if I know I will be washing my locks that night or in the morning.
For my hair mask, I’ll scoop out some coconut oil, heat it up in my palm, and slather it on my head.
Then I’ll tie my hair up in a bun and let it sit until I shower that night or in the morning. (If I do decide to nix the shower at night, I’ll wrap my head in an old t-shirt so I don’t get my pillowcases super greasy.)
Step 6: Candles
I love lighting all my candles in my room, especially in the winter when the sun sets at 4:30 pm.
For soft lighting, I light all 4 of my candles, turn on my salt lamp, and switch on one lamp in the corner of my room.
The soft glow from the candles really puts me at ease (bonus, one of my candles smells like a pine tree so I feel like I’m back home). My other three candles are candles I actually made with some friends from leftover jars we saved.
RELATED: How to Reuse Your Old Jars
Step 7: Entertainment
While I let the face masks sink into my skin and coconut oil penetrate my hair, I crawl into bed and throw on Netflix on my TV.
I might also watch Youtube, parooz Reddit, or even do some blog work as I really do enjoy it and it doesn’t feel like work. Really I’m just trying to unwind and do whatever makes me feel happiest.
RELATED: 9 Documentaries to Inspire a Zero Waste Lifestyle
Step 8: Drink LOTS of water
Between multiple meetings, various calls, and general work tasks, I find myself a little dehydrated at the end of the day.
While increasing my water intake is a goal of mine, I make sure to drink a lot of water when I get home to compensate.
I make sure to drink all my tea and a couple glasses of water while curled up in bed watching Netflix.
Besides washing my face and hair masks off, that wraps up my zero waste self care routine.
Now, let’s break down the price to follow this routine.
Unit cost is the cost for the amount used for this routine
Step 1: Comfy Clothes
I’m going to assume you have a comfy outfit at home. Because I personally don’t know how anyone could live without sweats.
Unit cost: \$0
Step 2: Tea
Like I mentioned before, I buy my loose leaf tea from a bulk store close by. But let’s assume that’s not an option, and instead, let’s buy that 4oz loose leaf tea in a metal tin.
Going by this website that says 1 oz of tea leaves will make about 13 cups of tea, the unit cost of our tea leaves is about \$0.15.
Unit cost: \$0.15
Step 3: Face Wash
Meow Meow Tweet’s 1.3 oz Face scrub for \$20 will last me about 3 months with every-other-day usage.
Unit Cost: \$0.41
Face Soap (Bar):
Their charcoal bar of soap will also last me about 3 months with every-other-day use.
Unit cost: \$0.25
Step 4: Face Mask
I’m lucky that I can find bentonite clay in bulk which allows me to bring a jar and fill up without creating any waste.
If you can’t buy it in package free, consider this tub of it.
Although it’s in a plastic tub, buying it in a large container helps mitigate the amount of plastic you’d use by buying a bunch of little plastic tubes over and over again. And trust me, this tub will last you a while.
Let’s say that this \$11 two pound tub will last you 2 years with weekly use.
Unit Cost: \$0.11
Let’s say you buy this honey in a glass jar.
If you use 2 tablespoons every time you do a mask, this $16 16oz jar will end up costing you $1 per use.
Unit Cost: \$1
Step 5: Hair Mask
I use coconut oil for everything. Body lotion, cooking oil, even lube. It’s magical I swear.
But it’s also hard to measure how much I use just for my hair.
Let’s say you buy this \$7 coconut oil packed in a 16 oz glass container (this is the one I buy!)
If I use 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, the unit cost is \$0.45
Unit Price: \$0.45
Step 6: Candles
So I made three candles with three other girlfriends who each made 3 candles themselves. Individually we ended up paying \$15 total, I think. To be totally honest, we had some wine that night and swapped paying responsibilities so I’m not entirely sure how much I ended up paying.
So for argument's sake lets say you want to support local business and buy these \$8 soy candles.
And let’s say that one candle will burn for 40 hours and that this routine will take you three hours.
Unit cost: \$0.63
Step 7: Entertainment
This really depends on what you like and what you have available.
I’m fortunate that I can still mooch off my parents’ HBO and Netflix accounts. However, I do love Youtube (which is free). If you’re into reading, check out books at your library!
Unit cost: \$0
Step 8: Water
Free! Throw in a lemon wedge if you’re feeling fancy.
Unit cost: \$0
Total cost for one zero waste pamper night:
Wrapping it up!
I love taking some time out for myself, and I hope this inspired you to do the same!
And I hope this painting a strong picture of how I spend a good amount of my free time: oily hair in a high bun with my face painted orange or brown face from a face mask while I'm curled up in my bed munching on snacks and probably watching Parks & Rec.
Hi, I'm Taylor
Amateur adult. Zero waste zealot. Personal finance fiend. Spicy food supporter. I’m an mid 20’s gal living in Denver, Colorado. My love of the outdoors has cultivated my zero waste lifestyle, which inadvertently fueled my passion for personal finance. Cheers to everyone interested in lessening their footprint while growing their wallet!