Barcelona Health Lifestyle

When DIY isn’t an option…

Sometimes, making your own personal hygiene products is not a viable option. In my case, for example, although I truly enjoy putting my creativity into practice, for some reason, I’m not particularly into making my own toothpaste, deodorant or face cream. I must admit that I look for and am drawn to artisanal and natural products that are made with love, but when it comes down to it, I don’t chose to dedicate the little free time that I have to making them. 

Today’s post is for non-DIY people like me who are looking for natural and sustainable personal hygiene products. 

As a disclaimer, I must say that I try not to make things too complicated for myself on this front. If I like a brand or a product, I am quite loyal and I don’t look for much else. What I’m sharing here are the products that work well for me and that I consider to be sustainable and budget friendly, but I haven’t done exhaustive market research nor am I overly demanding with respect to personal care products.

I should also add that for me, a natural product is artisanal and chemical-free. And a sustainable product is natural, ethical, and respectful with the environment throughout its life cycle.

Facial Care:

In the same line as my comment above, in the past, I almost never changed face moisturizers. If I found one that I liked, I bought and re-bought it until I got bored or felt that it no longer had the same effect on my skin. Although I have always sought out products with natural and paraben-free ingredients, I didn’t pay much attention to packaging. Ever since I began to look for products that were 100% sustainable both inside and out, the options have gotten more limited, but what I have found is really worth it. 

Moisturizing Cream: I have sensitive and dry combination skin. For a long time, I used Mamita Botanical Skincare face cream. I remember meeting Eli (the founder) at a stand at the Palo Alto Market when I first arrived in Barcelona in 2016. I loved the concept. That day I bought the Super Linda face cream and became a loyal follower of the brand. Over the past four years, I’ve seen it grow without compromising its commitment to sustainability. On the contrary. As you’ll see as you read this post, I’m quite a fan. 

It was ultimately the packaging that convinced me to switch to the moisturizing cream that I use today. Although the Super Linda face cream bottle is made of glass, it is not reusable, and every time that the cream ran out, I felt horrible about having to throw it into the recycling bin because I couldn’t find a way to reuse it. Then El Safareig, where we do our shopping for cleaning products in bulk, came out with its own 100% sustainable cosmetics line a few months ago: IOIO. 99% of the ingredients are natural and 88% are organic. The containers are reused, and the labels are made of paper and recycled. 

It is really a circular economy project, so when the cream runs out, you return the container, preferably clean (they explain how to do it on their website), and then you get a new face lotion. This is the second time that I have refilled the face cream. And I’m really happy both with the product and the process. 

Extras: For the past few years I’ve been using serum (age is unforgiving), and I continue to use Mamita’s Super Linda Serum. I haven’t found anything that’s better or more sustainable. 

I also use Mamita products to wash my face. I use the Limpiador en Polvo y Mascarilla Nutritiva y Calmante (all-in-one) made with oatmeal, almonds and rice. The powder mixed with yogurt works as a mask and it is amazing. There’s still the same issue with the reusable bottle, but maybe because the product lasts longer than the face cream or because the bottle is easier to reuse, I still haven’t felt the need to make a change.  

Toothpaste: My partner is the expert on oral hygiene products. He really enjoyed Paola’s post from a few weeks ago. He’s the one in the family who loves keeping an eye on the market to find the latest in sustainable oral hygiene. We have tried everything. This is what we’ve settled on: 

Body Care

Deodorant: there are more and more products that work quite well. The ones that I like the best are from Clémence et Vivien although, depending on the quantity that you use, the oil can leave stains on your clothes. I alternate. When I wear cotton shirts, I use this one:

and if I wear clothes with a more delicate material like silk, I use one from Ben & Anna that also works really well, and the packaging is 100cardboard.

That said, when the ones that I have run out, I’m going to use IOIO’s deodorants because they are locally produced.

Body lotion: I’m a bit fussier about this one because I like my lotions to be hydrating, but not too thick or difficult to absorb. Like with the face cream, I’ve been using Safareig’s IOIO body lotion since it came out. If you prefer something a little more liquidy, Montseny’s body cream is a good option (although a little more expensive). The bottle is also returnable. You can find it at their online store or at Cambio Lógico.

During my pregnancy, I became a fan of body oils, so a few days a week I use the Revitalising Oil with achiote and olive extract from Mamita. The scent is incredible, and it works for both body and hair. 

In the shower, we use soap tablets. There are so many that it’s not even worth mentioning. We usually opt for soaps sold in bulk, but sometimes that’s not possible. In that case, we make sure that the packaging is made of paper. This one is particularly nice:

The topic of shampoo deserves special mention. A few years ago, I decided to move to solid shampoo because it’s more natural and much more sustainable than the other options. It was a whole adjustment process. On one hand, my hair needed time to get used to the characteristics and ingredients in solid shampoos, and on the other, I needed my time to find a shampoo that worked for me and didn’t leave my hair looking like it hadn’t been washed in months. After trying a lot of brands, this is the one I’ve settled on: 

I’ve been using it for more than a year, and although sometimes I alternate with liquid shampoo that is sold in bulk at Yes Future Positive Supermarket and Cambio Lógico, there’s really no comparison. Solid shampoo works the best for me. 

I buy my hair conditioner in bulk at Yes Future, but Cambio Lógico also has it. It’s a pretty simple hydrating conditioner, not a lot of bells and whistles, but it does the job. 

Hair masks: I still haven’t found a sustainable commercial option, so I buy it in bulk from my hairdresser. It’s not as natural as the other products that I use, but at least there’s no waste on my part. 

For Matilde, although we basically use the same products because they are natural and soft, I like Maison Karité’s products for her face. The brand is from Barcelona and their cosmetics are ecological. In particular, these two work really well when she gets hives or her skin gets dry because of the cold, etc.

I would love to hear about your non-DIY sustainable fave products!

This post is not sponsored in any way. 

SILVIA // Barcelona

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