Health and wellbeing is all about feeling good, and to really feel our best it helps if we know that we’re also doing the best we can by the world around us. In recent years, the number of options for plastic free and eco-friendly spa and skincare solutions, both at home and at spa destinations has grown exponentially, offering a variety of choices and ways to make our skincare and spa experiences a little more eco friendly…
One of the simplest ways to reduce plastic use is to move away from using liquid soap and shampoo products and to use solid ones without the plastic packaging instead. This is where Lush has pioneered a ‘naked’ style of packaging, but they are not the only ones. The world of solid shampoo bars has really evolved, and there are so many options available for different hair types and that really do work. Ethique is a favourite from new Zealand – they have everything from shampoo to body balms and even pet shampoo! Meanwhile, Friendly Soaps were given an Evening Standard Best Top Pick award, and their products come in packaging that’s both recycled and recyclable. It’s also extremely cost effective.
Different people have different reasons for wanting chemical free/nearly chemical free skincare products. From being better for the environment as they run into the water systems to allergies and an awareness of what is being absorbed into our skin, natural ingredients have been in high demand for a while. So there’s plenty of choice available and which ones you choose boils down to a question of efficacy, cost and what you like. To list all the options here would be impossible, but there are some that we have a particular love for.
Made for Life Organics, from Cornwall, has made a name for itself as an organic spa skincare brand. The formulations have evolved with dermatological research, but are always created using organic herbs and flowers. They come in environmentally friendly packaging as well. ila is another spa skincare favourite that appears in many a spa treatment, and PURE is the skincare line that’s been winning awards across the board and has its own spas. Created by Becky Woodhouse, it is an oil-based skincare range that encourages skin health and natural rejuvenation, PURE uses active ingredients such as Vitamin E, Retinyl, Kukui Nut Oil and Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9. It is made with pure plant oils and antioxidant vitamins, and no harsh chemicals, parabens or skin-irritating foaming agents.
There are things that we use every day which collectively have a big impact on the environment around us, and by making small changes we can make a big difference over time. For example, standard face wipes and cotton pads are not biodegradable and cause huge problems in landfill and our oceans. Instead you can remove make-up using your normal cleanser and either a flannel or an eco-friendly konjac sponge or you can even buy reusable cotton pads that go in the washing machine. Equally, a lot of plastic ends up in the system from traditional toothbrushes, but by exchanging them for a bamboo brush with charcoal bristles, it will decompose in about six months instead of taking decades. They’re readily available from most chemists and online and often come in multiple packs that will set you and the family up for the year.
The awareness and appetite for sustainability extends beyond what we do at home. At spas it is all about feeling good and for many of us part of that is about knowing what we are doing is in harmony with the world around us. Spas are increasingly aware of this parallel and many are making efforts to ensure that their practices, products and experiences are as sustainable as possible. Encouraged by institutions like the Sustainable Spas Association, different spas have come up with a variety of initiatives. From the negative carbon footprint (they produce more energy than they use) at The Salthouse Hotel in Ireland to the wild swimming pool at South Lodge in West Sussex or the organic, eco-friendly Cloud Twelve Club in London, there’s a wealth of experiences for the eco conscious spa goer to experience.
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