Five Reasons to Switch to Solid Toiletries
Solid toiletries are the new craze in the beauty world and not just for environmentalists. I switched to solid shampoo about two years ago and have slowly swapped out all of my shower products for solid equivalents. I’m completely sold and don’t feel the need to use liquids again. So if you’re still on the fence or aren’t sure what the fuss is all about, here are the top reasons you should make the switch to solid toiletries!
1. Solid Toiletries are (usually) made of natural ingredients
Solid toiletries go hand in hand with green living and most brands will avoid using chemicals and other harsh ingredients. This means solid toiletries are kinder to your skin and hair and also great for using while camping or travelling in areas with poor water treatment systems. You can wash at campgrounds or in rivers without worrying about the chemicals you’re putting into the water or onto your body. Do make sure you check the ingredients first though as not all brands are completely natural.
2. They can be plastic-free
The bathroom is one of the biggest areas for plastic bottle use and if you can cut out a couple each month this is making huge progress! Again, some brands miss the whole eco-friendly aspect and wrap solid toiletries in plastic, but most will sell them in paper or cardboard packaging. Solid toiletries are an easy and effective way to cut down on plastic use and with the range on offer these days it’s not difficult to go completely plastic-free with your shower routine.
For more plastic-free ideas read our article: 14 ways to reduce your plastic waste.
3. Solid Toiletries last longer
One bar of shampoo isn’t the same as one bottle. No, solid alternatives will last 2-5 times as long as liquid equivalents which means you don’t need to shop as often and you get more value for money. I find that a shampoo bar lasts me at least six months, a face wash about a year and a block of soap about a month (for two people). This obviously varies between brands and products but solid products are concentrated as they hold no water so 100g of soap will last you a lot longer than 100ml of body wash.
4. They are great for travel
If you travel with hand luggage, solid toiletries are the perfect solution to carry on liquid limitations. You can carry them on with you no problem and you won’t have any leaks or spills in your bag! We carry ours in a small Tupperware container but there are also plenty of metal tins and cases that work.
The fact that they last so long also makes them great for longer trips as they’re easy to carry and you don’t have to worry about finding your favourite products overseas. We travelled for 1.5 years with only solid toiletries and could stock up in countries with availability and they lasted us through the months in more remote areas. They were compact, effective and easy for taking along on our trip.
5. They take up less space
Whether it’s in your shower or in a backpack, solid toiletries simply take up less space than their liquid counterparts. Even if you have a bar each for shampoo, conditioner, soap and facewash you only need one shelf in the shower.
One of our most useful solutions for space-saving is to cut them in half and only keep half in the shower/travel case and the other half stored in the bathroom cupboard or shared with a friend! Use a hot knife to slice through your bars to make them more compact. Since even a half lasts a couple of months you can cut them into chunks and fit all your shower supplies into one small container and pop it in your carry on, gym bag or shower shelf.
For more minimalist packing tips read our article about packing light!
Our favourite solid toiletries brands
Blue Earth – This NZ based company makes a great range of shower products in a factory run on solar power. Their products are really affordable which is great news in the expensive world of sustainable living! Their products are available online and also from a range of stockists in NZ and Aus. We love the shampoo bar which foams really well and the lemongrass soap!
Ethique – Another great NZ brand which is available instore in NZ, Aus and now Japan. You can also purchase online through Amazon. They make an incredible range of products which are completely natural and plastic-free. We love the solid laundry bar and shampoo for oily hair.
Lush – This was my first experience with solid toiletries and they’ve since increased their range to include face wash and deodorant as well as soaps and shampoos. Their products look, smell and work amazingly. My only gripe is that they aren’t all completely natural which means they aren’t great for camping, off-grid or developing areas where water goes directly into rivers, gardens or the ocean.
Ecostore – This is our go-to for body soap as it’s really affordable and stocked in most supermarkets here in NZ. Their bar soap is great and they also do a range of products in bottles made from sugarcane plastic. You can also find their bulk products at many waste-free supermarkets and refill your own bottle.
Dr Bronner’s – These soap bars (also available as a liquid) can supposedly be used for anything; clothing, dishes, bodies, hair etc. We carried one in our luggage in case we ran out of anything while travelling and were unable to find a replacement in the countries we were in. If you want to go super-minimalistic this can be a good all-rounder!
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