I’ve been feeling a bit snowed under with my eco projects just lately. I feel like I have lots of bits and pieces on the go and we’ve had a couple of weeks away. This has been really lovely family time but it hadn’t occured to me quite how tied to routine and certain suppliers you are when trying to live without plastic. I also feel a bit haunted by plastic. Images of sea animal carcasses; their bellies stuffed full of plastic household items is all I see when I walk round any shop at the moment.

On one hand this has forced me to look again at my aims. I have had to remind myself that my philosophy is to make small changes, allowing them to embed and become properly manageable rather than trying to go completely green all at once. This is meant to be a long term lifestyle change rather than a short lived burn out. I believe that will have more impact. It struck me just how far we’ve come when I took my bins out yesterday. In a fortnight this is all we are sending to landfill.

So here is a simple change that I made a couple of months ago and I do feel is fully embedded; deodorant. If you google reasons to give up anti-persperants you will find lots of people concerned with the chemical content, particularly aluminium. My reason for switching is to reduce my plastic waste so I won’t claim to have the expertise to know if these claims are valid. If I can use a product that is better for me that is fantastic. However, if a completely natural product is sold in a plastic pot, I’m probably not going to buy it.

I’ve been trialling two different methods of keeping my underarms fresh for the last couple of months and I have to say I’m pleased with both of them. There are many products out there on the market. They tend to come in bar or rock form and last for months and months. For this reason I’ve only tried two so far. Also, please bear this in mind when you consider the cost of them. When I think about how long my supermarket £1.99 roll-on lasted, spending £6.95 on a bar is still the economic choice.

Lush Aromaco

The first product I tried was the Lush Aromaco bar. I really liked this bar and I find it is as effective as my old roll-on and, if stored in its wrapper or in a small tupperware, it’s easily kept in the bathroom or chucked in your wash bag. I paid £6.95 for a piece the size of a large bar of soap. It comes wrapped in paper. The only issue I’ve had is my husband doesn’t like the patchouli oil fragrance. However, as they’re my arms and I like it he’s had to put up with it!

Distilled Witch Hazel

The other method I have tried is distilled witch hazel. Witch Hazel is derived from a North American shrub and has been used by Native Americans as a traditional medicine for all kinds of things.

I bought my bottle (glass) from Boots for £2.99 and again, it’ll last for ages. I apply it to my underarms via a reusable bamboo flannel which does add a bit more faff to the process. Distilled witch hazel is odourless and it keeps me very dry and comfortable through the day, although sometimes I do miss the lack of fragrance.

Witch hazel has many other uses as a herbal remedy (google it, there’s loads of sites) I have tried it as a facial toner and I was really pleased with the result. I believe it can also be used in hair care but I’m yet to try this.   

There are many other deodorant products out there so please do let me know if you’ve tried a great one, especially if it’s plastic free!

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