Zero Waste Facial Routine

Photograph by OLP Photography

Photograph by OLP Photography

Clear, healthy skin makes me feel confident and beautiful.

My biggest concern when switching to zero waste, cruelty free products was that my skin would start breaking out and that I would be miserable. I had been a diehard user of Aveeno face wash and Kiehl’s lotion. I was happy with my skin. Nonetheless, I had committed to living a healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyle and had to change my routine.

After trying many expensive near plastic free (usually packaged in glass with a plastic pump) products that left my wallet light and my skin dry, I decided to try one last-ditch effort; the caveman regime.

The caveman facial regime is to use as little product as possible on your skin in the belief that products are actually causing a lot of the issues our skin experiences. As someone who’s religiously washed their face twice a day for years, I was skeptical. But I have been so pleasantly surprised at the results! My skin is so much smoother and healthier than it was when I was paying top dollar for ethical, near waste-free products.

For reference, I have dry skin and sometimes struggle with pimples.


I only rinse my face with lukewarm water and gently dry it with a clean towel. I then apply Alba unscented body lotion which I buy in bulk at a local grocery. I was very hesitant at first to use body lotion on my face, but I had tried face oil in the past and it had made me feel oily and caused me to break out. I also didn’t want to spend top dollar on products that weren’t even truly zero waste. I purposefully chose a very delicate unscented lotion that was suitable for sensitive skin. I am so happy I tried it, as it works even better than the expensive products I had tried before.


At the end of the day I’ll remove my eye makeup with warm water on a clean reusable cotton round that I bought off of Etsy. I’ll then use Meow Meow Tweets tea tree charcoal facial bar soap which I purchased from Plastic Free Shop for $12.

Photograph by Tala Parker

Photograph by Tala Parker

The bar soap is great for traveling and will last a lifetime. It foams up nicely and cleans without being too harsh. Next, I’ll wash my face with a small amount of honey. Honey is anti-bacterial and helps prevent pimples from forming. I chose a slightly liquidy honey that comes in a glass jar. The downside with honey is that you have to be careful not to get it in your hair, but other than that it’s surprisingly easy to use. If my skin is really starting to break out, I’ll take a washcloth and run hot water over it. After ringing it out, I’ll lightly hold it up to my skin. This helps open the pores so they can release the dirt and grease that’s clogging them. Next, I’ll apply salicylic acne treatment on any blemishes I see forming. Currently, I haven’t found anything that isn’t packaged in plastic that works as well as the old treatment I was using. I briefly tried apple cider vinegar, but it’s too liquidy and would run straight off my face. Lastly, I’ll finish by using more of my Alba lotion.

I am so happy that I finally found a zero waste facial routine that works for me. I encourage you not to give up, even if the going gets tough! Good luck :)