Although veganism is frequently referred to as a diet, abstaining from purchasing and consuming animal products extends into all areas of life, one of which is personal hygiene. Luckily, it is getting easier and easier to find toiletries that do not contain animal-derived ingredients nor have been tested through vivisection, and a number of guides are available to help shoppers make ethical purchases. However, these are still hard to find for some reason, and can be expensive, so vegans may equally choose to make their own toiletries, which can be easily created from everyday household items.
Most items are based on a few staples, such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and coconut, olive and essential oils, though the latter mostly contribute fragrances and are largely optional, depending on personal preference.
Here, then, are a few examples of DIY vegan bathroom products:
- Shampoo is simply formed using a paste of baking soda, warm water, and either tea tree oil or witch hazel. For a quick clean, massage it on and rinse it out, or leave the paste on for twenty minutes for a deep cleanse. After rinsing, it's time for another massage, this time with diluted apple cider vinegar; essential oils can be added to the first paste in order to reduce the smell of the vinegar.
- Toothpaste can be made by stirring water and a few drops of spearmint or peppermint essential oil into baking soda. This is a bit of an acquired taste, but works just as well as commercial brands. This works best when mixed daily, but when travelling, the essential oil can be added to a pot of baking soda, and a wet toothbrush can simply be dipped in with each use.
- Deodorant also uses sodium bicarbonate. Patting a little under the armpits, onto dry skin, lasts up to twenty four hours, and contrary to intuition, it doesn't leave white marks on clothes.
- A mixture of olive oil, brown sugar and tea tree oil make a moisturising and exfoliating scrub, that's delicate enough for facial use.
- Coconut oil offers two very convenient uses: as a moisturiser, and also as a makeup remover. For the latter, just a fingertip's worth is needed; simply dab it onto the made-up region and then rub both the oil and cosmetics away with a cotton pad.
Quick, effective, and cruelty-free!
Photo courtesy of Michael W. May, used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.