Plastic Free July: Personal Care
Sustainable Living

Plastic Free July: Personal Care Products

So many of the personal care products we use are wrapped in plastic, stored in plastic, and even contain chemicals toxic to ourselves and our environment. However many of these products – such as foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick – are wrapped up in our identities. They help us to look how we want to look and we have long associations with brands, colours, and scents that make us feel ourselves.

I (Krista) don’t wear a lot of makeup, but still have had a difficult time getting around transitioning from traditional eyeliner and mascara. However, as noted above, there are compelling reasons to consider alternatives that are better for us and our environment and so today I’m looking forward to finding out (and sharing!) how and where to buy or make alternatives for every budget!

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Personal Care Products We’ve Made or Tried and Loved!

Check out our past posts here:

Where to Buy

There are many great options these day for zero waste, toxin free makeup! This post by The Eco Hub lists some great Canadian brands.

One of my personal favourites (not on the list above) is Sea Wench Naturals based in Tofino – their Compass Rose Facial Cream is a dream!

How to Make Your Own

How to Make Eyeliner

Recipe courtesy of Coconut Mama:


  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 4 teaspoons aloe vera gel
  • 1 – 2 capsules of activated charcoal (for black) OR ½ tsp cocoa powder (for brown)


  1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Be sure to store this in a dark and cool place. Use a clean brush to ensure you don’t introduce any bacteria to the mixture.
Cork Yoga Mat

How to Make Mascara

Here is a recipe courtesy of Simple Life Mom!


  • 1 tsp charcoal
  • ½ tsp bentonite clay
  • 1 tsp glycerin
  • 1 tsp shea butter
  • ¼ tsp beeswax
  • ¼ tsp coconut oil (fractionated if possible)
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil


  1. Over low heat in a double boiler, add beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and glycerin. Stir until melted and combined.
  2. Add charcoal and bentonite clay, stir until well combined and remove from heat.
  3. Add rosemary essential oil and stir.
  4. Pour into 2-3 clean mascara containers.
Plastic Free Personal Products
Making your own is a great way to reduce plastic in make up
Image by Xaara Novack from Pixabay

Where to Find Ingredients

I find that Voyageur Soap and Candle often has the ingredients I need to make my own products. Though many of their items are packaged in plastic, I can at least buy a large quantity and recycle the plastic through overwrap recycling. Buying in large quantities is generally better for the budget too!

Other Personal Care Products

Wondering what to do about shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer? Consider trying out a refillery like Chuckling Duckling Farm in Fort Langley! You can simply refill products as required without having to purchase new containers. Or consider shampoo and conditioner bar options!

For more great ideas on how to cut down plastic in your beauty products, check out How to Cut Down on Plastic Beauty Products from Enviroline Blog.

How do you reduce plastic use in your personal care products?

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  • Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader)

    Personal care products are an area where lots of choice exists to reduce plastic. I love refillable options and I also look for products like coconut oil that can replace many other products. I’m not a big fan of DIY but have made my own foot scrub, body powder and facial powder using common kitchen ingredients.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I would love to find more refillable options by me. I don’t feel I’ve seen much so far.

      I’m so intrigued by your facial powder recipe. I want to try that one!

      • Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader)

        I really wish there were more readily available refill options. We have a small bulk refill business started by a couple in Cambridge a couple of years ago. They have since opened another store in Guelph. It’s such an awesome concept and I’m so happy to see them so successful. I buy my hand soap and body wash there, and they also sell bulk shampoo and conditioner, and cleaning and laundry supplies.

  • Michelle

    This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing the recipes for the eyeliner and mascara. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, either, but I can’t leave the house without mascara. 🙂

  • Lou Farrell

    Tbh I hadn’t thought about the contents of my make-up so thank you for bringing this to my attention. And thanks for recipe for the mascara, I’ll definitely give this one a go.

  • Not-So-Modern-Girl

    Thank you for sharing this insightful post, I think it can be hard to find places that sell plastic free products, especially when it comes to make-up or skincare, but this a great overview for those trying to be more sustainable x

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Thank you 🙂 This is one area that can be challenging to go plastic free, so we’re so happy to talk about it

  • The Twinsight | Lifestyle Blog

    Sustainability is so important to me. Thanks for sharing this post. I honestly didn’t even know that mascara could be made with natural ingredients at home!

  • readandreviewit1

    Love this! I’d honestly never considered making my own makeup before – I’d always thought it was super complicated – but this looks relatively straightforward and I don’t see any reason not to. Thanks so much for sharing, cutting down on plastic is super important!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I find it so interesting to see how easy some DIYs are. I always think they’ll be super complicated too.

  • Jaya Avendel

    I do not wear makeup in general, though a little lipstick does make me feel happy and glamorous when I wear it.
    As my sister just bought a couple palettes of eyeshadow, I noticed the plastic casing and know from many ‘project pan’ posts that a LOT of plastic goes into packaging skincare and make-up products. I look forward to sharing these recipes with my sister too, as eyeliner and mascara are two of her favorites.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Thanks, Jaya! If she gives the recipes a try, we’d love to hear what she thinks of them! 🙂

      I don’t wear a lot of makeup either and feel the same way when I put on mascara–a little fancy and glamorous 🙂

  • Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour

    I don’t wear makeup that much but I never thought of making my own makeup. Your recipe sounds like something absolutely anyone would do. Thank you for sharing.

  • Vanessa

    Gosh, thank you so much for these recipes, and for keep raising awareness to this important topic. I will give the eye liner ago, not only for environmental reasons but health too.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!