WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER
In many ways, how we take care of our bodies translates to how we take care of the earth. Beauty rituals are not only channels to celebrate our power in this passing moment but also opportunities to use the medicine abundant in our natural world to feed our sense of self-love. I don't think that's superficial. I think it's reinvigorating, and I think it's necessary to sustain our work as stewards.
As nourishing as it is to cultivate a routine that makes you feel beautiful on your terms, it's also important that you use products that heal and not harm our earth. When I started living trash-light, I was shocked to realize how much plastic waste I was generating by stocking up on organic shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and body wash. I had always considered myself bare bones—no make-up, nothing special—but buying basic "necessities" in plastic was making a ton of trash.
So I simplified my routine. I swapped my Aveeno SPF moisturizer for Goddess Garden's packaged-in-glass alternative. I experimented with tooth powders and switched to a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush from Brush With Bamboo. Inspired by an incredible workshop at Dig In Farm, I began to make my own body butters, salves, and deodorants using freshly harvested herbs and bulk goods. It was satisfying to save money but more than anything, I loved that making my own stuff gave me a good excuse to get creative in the kitchen. Walking to CVS to grab your self-care essentials isn't nearly as soothing to the soul as whipping up a calendula-infused balm after a long day at work.
When I do splurge on a lovely little something, I choose Meow Meow Tweet. Handcrafted in the Hudson Valley and packaged in reusable glass jars, Meow Meow Tweet's playful suite of organic goodies reliably nourishes my skin. It's really fun for me to do a face mask with my friends during midweek, when we're worn from work and winter chill. Meow Meow Tweet's pink clay and pumpkin powder face mask soothes cold weather redness and makes me smile because hell, it's sweet to give yourself permission to enjoy the silly, luscious, small rituals that bring beauty to your day.
Because no small swap is too "small" to not be worth making. Maybe my individual impact isn't drastically lower by virtue of using a biodegradable toothbrush. But when I think of the bevy of reusable jars in my bathroom cabinet, of the plastic (and money) my housemates and I have saved by building a better beauty routine, I can only think why not? These are easy changes to make and more than anything, they make self-care sweeter. It might've taken me a year to use up my plastic-bottled shampoo, but that was still a source of waste I didn't need to make.
Challenge yourself to revitalize your beauty routine. Identify what you really need and then make space for the treats (face masks, body oil) that make you feel beautiful just because.
Here's what I use each week:
- Calendula body butter (Homemade)
- Lavender deodorant (Homemade)
- Salve (Homemade)
- Shampoo bar (Meow Meow Tweet)
- Face mask (Meow Meow Tweet)
- Neem wood comb (Gift)
- SPF moisturizer (Goddess Garden)
- Toothpaste (Gift)
- Biodegradable toothbrush (Gift)
- Lavender body oil (Rebecca's Apothecary)
What's in your toolkit? And what can you do to create beauty rituals that feed your skin and our soil?