(Mostly) Plastic-free skincare

skincare plastic free mostly

I had heard about people trying to cut back on plastic products that they use in the bathroom/kitchen. So that got me thinking: are there skincare/body products that work, are affordable, easy to find at a local store, and don’t have plastic packaging? After a lot of trial and error, I have found some products that, mostly are plastic-free with sustainable packaging.

Face Wash/ Face Scrub: I used to be risk adverse about using bar soap to clean my face but Erno Laszlo  has cleansing bars including the sensitive cleansing bars formulated without a lot of harsh chemicals for the face. They actually clean without leaving a weird residue or over drying. Tory Burch swears by the mud bar one. If you get the 50 gr one its half the price and doesn’t come in a plastic container. I actually found a few sealed ones at T.J.Max for 7$! I found a face scrub at Trader Joes that comes in a glass jar with a metal lid and no plastic for it’s packaging: Blueberry and Acai facial scrub. It works and smells so nice!

Serums: A affordable serum line that actually works that I love is from The Ordinary The serums I use are the Hyaluronic acid for moisture which makes my skin plump and dewy. While the retinoid in 2% is for anti aging which I only use at night. I like retinoid better than retinal because retinal was too harsh on my skin that I got from my dermatologist. Retinal is even banned in some countries. Both serums come in glass vials. The cap is plastic, but the rest of the packaging is either rubber or glass, and the vials are small enough to be used for other things once finished. As for a moisturizer I list some below in the Spf section, but I feel like it is easier to find a moisturizer for the face that comes in a glass jar with a metal lid.

Face Masks: Your best option are Korean sheet masks that you can get from target or ulta. I found a clay mask that comes from target.com that is from White and Elm but it does have a plastic lid. It comes like a powder and you have to mix it with a little water then spread on the face. Its pretty good and my skin looks great using it! If you want another completely plastic free (hopefully) option, but more expensive and luxurious with imported clay from around the world you could also try: Artifact Skin co.

Body Lotion: Savannah Bee Company  sells creams that are made out of completely plastic free packaging that really softens the skin. You do have to dig your fingers into the jar but the cream is thick enough, while absorbing into the skin that it doesn’t feel like a chore, but rather a luxurious experience. The scent isn’t too strong, but that may depend on your tastes. It’s a great winter cream, but when my hands dry/crack in the winter I put some on and it stung really bad, but for my body it’s great and makes my feet/legs so soft! They also have hand creams which might be better. Burt’s Bees also sells a hand cream in a jar without plastic. Other skin options could be argon oil, which you can find a variety of brands selling in glass jars with vials, or other types of body oils. I also like the lotion from Weleda Skin food line, it comes in a metal tube with a plastic cap but it’s so rich and heavy. They also sell lighter versions of their creams and can be found at most natural stores.

Hair Shampoo: J. R. Liggett Shampoo Bar is available at whole foods, and I read great reviews about their shampoo bars. They do not have harsh detergents and really clean and shine my hair! I tried the moisturizing shampoo bar and it’s great! I also like that it makes carrying shampoo around on a trip so much easier. I also recommend the brand Lather  the Bamboo lemongrass hair wash makes my hair so shiny and soft. The packaging is ‘bio-degradable’ plastic BUT it will only biodegrade if the right conditions are met and that by only less than 50%. I also prefer their hair treatment: Avocado Mint hair repair. That’s the best hair mask I have ever tried! You could also use coconut oil for a hair treatment or essential oils like a few drops of lavender oil on the scalp for increasing blood circulation. I haven’t been able to find a good conditioner in a non plastic packaging, unfortunately. I will keep looking and update this page! But the J.R. Ligget shampoo bar is pretty good for conditioning/cleaning. You could also use a leave in conditioner but I haven’t found one that is in a non plastic packaging, yet. If you have suggestions I appreciate it! As for hair styling: artifact co. sells what I believe are plastic free hair styling products. I usually don’t style my hair anyway and just prefer to keep it natural and healthy. I do take the GNC women’s hair, skin, and nails vitamins, once every couple of days (because it does have a very high amount of supplements), after dinner.

Toothbrush/Toothpaste: It’s so hard to find sustainable toothpaste! I did find toothpaste from Weleda  that sells toothpaste that comes in a metal tube. It does have a plastic cap but oh well. It is a little pricey but heck how many plastic toothpaste containers do you use in a year and then just toss forever? Hopefully I can find a plastic free alternative that’s cheaper. I have used bamboo toothbrushes that actually work and cost the same amount as a regular toothbrush from Woo Bamboo  you can find them at Sprouts sometimes, and you may be able to find other brands that sell bamboo brushes. You could just try the traditional Middle Eastern toothbrush which comes from a special tree branch. It’s called a Miswak and could be sold at ethnic stores or online. As for floss I found some from Public goods dental floss its made from silk! You may have to get a membership, but their products are pretty cool with neat packaging some of which are plastic free. Unfortunately their dental floss is sold out so keep checking or message them!

Deodorant: I have tried so many organic/all natural deodorants. They either didn’t work, stained my clothes, or made me have lumps under my armpits! But miraculously at target.com I found this amazing deodorant that actually works and smells great: Little Seed farm  has a deodorant that comes in a glass jar with a metal lid. It is a solid that you just swipe your finger over and when you put it on your arm pit it completely wipes off the finger and adheres to the armpit skin. It doesn’t feel gross or leave a mess on my clothes and so far I haven’t had a reaction to it. It is aluminum and baking soda free. I got the grapefruit lemon scent from target.com and it’s amazing! I love when a product solves so many problems all at once. I have also used it while exercising and it did the job, no b.o.! It is 14$ but think about how many deodorants you use and then toss in a year? So much waste! This one, a little goes a long way and you get a lot. One thin layer is all it takes for me. I also get my armpits waxed so that helps in reducing the amount I have to put on as well as keeping the pits cleaner/hygienic. Is that TMI? I don’t know, lol.

Body wash/hand soap: For body I use Irish spring body soap, it cleans without drying, and doesn’t leave a residue on my skin. As for hand soap, I would say use a antibacterial hand soap bar or a refillable hand soap brand like Common Good co . You can buy a soap and on their website they have locations in a lot of cities where you can just go and pay to refill your soap (as well as other products for you or the household). Check if your city has a refilling station. I personally love this idea and need to visit one of the refill stations in my city to see if they carry the products I need, thus eliminating the need to buy another plastic container! For a body scrub I would either just make my own with: baby oil/body oil, honey, and sugar or you could use a scrub mitten that works well too, I got one from H-mart for like a dollar and it really works! Just make sure to take a bath first to soften the skin or it may be too hard on the skin.

SPF/Sunblock: This was a hard one to find as well! I found from a brand called Coola  that sells sunblock products that some of which come in a glass container. Available at Ulta, they are also mostly all natural and the one I linked won’t block your pores. Another would be from Dr. Jart + which is plastic free but expensive. It has color correcting and is a moisturizer so you may get more bang for your buck depending on your skin concerns. I also found Josie Maran spf 47 there’s a smaller size that’s a little cheaper. It comes in a glass bottle but the pump is plastic. It is also a moisturizer made from argon oil, so that may suit some individuals tastes as well as having a higher spf.

Well that’s my skincare suggestions for you. If you have any suggestions post below or on my instagram! I will try to update this article as I find new products that are plastic-free! Thanks again!

Summer Skincare

My favorite skincare for summer plus reviews of Erno Laszlo!

During summer, additional skincare concerns crop up: blackheads, sunburn, etc. The weather is hot and applying skincare seems heavy to the skin. Here are some easy products to use that get the job done quick and will keep your skin looking great all summer!

For getting rid of blackheads, while living in Japan, I learned a method that they use to keep their skin clean, bright, and moisturized:

step 1: pat your face with a hot towel, carefully, so as not to burn your face. This will open up the pores so that the dirt in them can get dislodged. You can heat water and dip a clean towel in it to heat. Squeeze out some of the hot water and pat face. Your face does not have to be wet and you do not have to pat your face for too long maybe 2 or 3 minutes.

step 2: your face shouldn’t be wet (you can pat dry excess water), then put some cleansing oil on your hands and rub in circular motions on your face. Cleansing oil is a Godsend for Asian skin and people who have blackheads, dry or super oily skin. The reason is that cleansing oil deep cleans but also moisturizers your skin, and depending on the type it can have other effects. Down below are my favorites:

Sekkisei cleansing oil. I’ve been using this product for years. It used to be sold at Bath and Body works. It brightens the skin and makes it soft and shiny. This is personally my favorite. They have a new version for 28$ Can order online in the U.S.
As per Tory Burch’s recommendation (she’s in her 50s but looks 30), I tried the cleansing oil and it’s amazing. Tory Burch uses the sea mud cleansing bar from this brand and I got it for my mom and she loves it! This travel set, with a small cleansing oil and sea mud bar, retails for 28$ and lasts a long time.
Tatcha Cleansing oil, pricey but works! Lasts a long time.

step 3: a final step to take, after rinsing off the cleansing oil is to use a clay mask to further clean. I would only use a clay mask once or twice a week. However the hot towel + cleansing oil routine you can do once a day. I usually do cleansing oil at night, and use a much gentler cleanser in the morning. A long time favorite clay mask is the Lancome white clay mask. It used to be 20$ now it’s 36$ (boo) but it works! I’ve also tried the Borgese clay masks they come in big jars and make skin soft/supple. A little pricey though. But there’s also clay masks from Korean brands that may be more affordable. Check out sokoglam.com for affordable Korean skincare!

Next for summer: Don’t forget sunblock! My favorite sunblocks are Japanese, and if you are lucky enough to be able to buy affordable Japanese sunblock, please let me know your source! Otherwise try my favorite: Shiseido sunblock in spf 50. It has to be spf 50. That will provide ultimate protection from sunburn. I like the milky texture as it makes it easy to apply (there’s also a cream version in a smaller container that’s around 20$). It will give a white sheen to your face but should sink in. It’s easy to apply makeup or other products on top. This product is also recommended by Tory Burch. You can just apply this product and head out for the day, but I recommend putting on some kind of light toner/moisture before hand. It’s very important to do deep cleaning and remove it as soon as you get back indoors for the day, as sunblock can block pores. Your other options are a sun hat, sun gloves, sun umbrella (women in Asia use them, why did American ladies stop? lol), or you can use a car shade (sometimes you can use a child car shade does the same trick). Another option is to use mixed products like sunblock plus foundation, (such as by Laneige with spf 50 foundation compacts), but I’m not sure how resistant they are to sweat.

During the summer the skin can get dry but who wants to have heavy lotions on? You can use a light moisturizer such as an emulsion, like one from Laneige. An emulsion is like a lotion but lighter. Any Korean one should do. You can opt for the Mizon snail cream. It’s light but has so many added bonuses. It’s one of my favorite moisturizers right now. Also if you need touch ups through out the day you can use the Inglot face spray. I have searched high and low for a face spray that isn’t 30$ plus that doesn’t have alcohol (it’s 10$). I actually discovered this product in Milan and love it. Also good for setting makeup. Otherwise you can make your own spray too with rose water, for example. I love homemade!

I hope this list helps you with skincare for summer concerns! Thanks again! #Hotlanta Dont forget to check out my instagram @tehminberry

Drugstore Gems: Cheap Skincare


Alot of people say I do not look my age, and ask me for skincare recommendations. I don’t mind dishing out the deets: I actually like it. Unfortunately, a lot of skincare is very expensive, and there can be pressure to look a certain way for women. However, I have been using a combination of skincare products, and drugstore products do work!

I have been using skincare products since maybe middle school. I would as a child watch my mom taking care of her skin. I have been doing some basic things which have probably helped a lot: wash, moisturize, protect. Here are my suggestions:

Cleansing: In the morning/night I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and every once in a while I use the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit. The Cetaphil is very gentle and slightly moisturizing but it will not wash off makeup. It comes in a huge bottle that lasts forever so it’s worth the price. The Neutrogena is stronger and great for washing off most makeup or for preventative measures against zits/pimples. I never had acne growing up, but its a good cleanser, though a little strong. I have to apply some toner or moisturizer after using the acne wash, but I usually do anyway.

Serums/Moisturizers: It took me a while to find a good moisturizer from the drugstore. They were either too heavy or too light. You can technically use any toner or even rose water for instance, then apply serum and moisturizer (day and night). I really like the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream. Using in conjunction with a toner and the Loreal Revitalift Volume Filler Serum it really works! I use the cream during the day, and at night I use the the toner+serum+moisturizer. It makes my skin smooth and soft looking, not greasy at all. The Aveeno cream is I believe 15$ and the Loreal Serum is 20$, both at Target.com. Other options that I loved from Target were Korean brands, like Laneige. However they have moved, from Target and are available on their website and will become available at Sephora later in the summer.

Other Gems: Target or drugstores have other gems that I have been using for years. I really like Physician’s Formula powders. I use their translucent powder to set my makeup using a Sonia Kashuk powder brush. The brushes last for years and are a bargain. Buy the individual brushes, they are better quality. Sonia Kashuk is only available at Target, and Physician’s Formula usually has a section in most drugstores/Target. I also really like the Ivory Body Wash if you need a recommendation there. If you need a body cream to help get rid of dead skin/bumps on your skin a dermatologist recommended to me the Eucerin line (advanced repair or smoothing repair) that has AHA in it. However AHA will make your skin sensitive to the sun so wear sunblock.

Some additional good news: Peach and Lily will be bringing some Korean skincare lines to CVS Pharmacy soon at different price points and affordable items too! Check out their website/blog for more details.

*Pro-tip: skincare is not just about what you buy and apply to your skin. It’s mostly about your lifestyle: stay hydrated, sleep well, eat well (but not too much), exercise, wear hats/sun gloves/put car shades/wear sunglasses/ or just avoid the sun. Keeping clean. Don’t drink/do drugs/or smoke. Too much caffeine is bad for your skin and fat free dairy products affect skin too. Don’t stress yourself out. I think out of all of these, sleep is so important to skincare, low stress, staying hydrated, and avoid the sun. You can fake a tan! It’s not worth the permanent damage. It’s better to get some sleep then stay up thinking at night or playing on your phone (as tempting as it is), waking up at a reasonable time, and then try to find solutions to your problems. Just saying. I know it’s hard, but you will feel so much better. Everyone has problems (no matter how perfect their social media accounts) or fat their bank accounts. Even so, if things are going well for others wish them well. If things are working out for others that means there is hope. Think of that.

I hope these suggestions help as they can save you time and money given the convenience.  Thanks again and check back soon!