Zero Waste Skin Care Products

I'm frequently asked about zero waste skin care and makeup products. I've decided to split this into two separate posts because there's A LOT of information. 

Don't want to DIY your skin care? Learn all about my favorite zero waste skin care products that are green, clean, and packaged sustainably from

If you've been following the blog long, you'll know that my kryptonite is Credo Beauty. You can read all about my first trip here. I would blame my friend, Danielle, for introducing me, but then we wouldn't have this great blog post! 

Everything in Credo is clean, green, and 90% of all of it comes in super sustainable packaging. 

I have had some skin care woes since moving to California. The CA water and my skin do not get along. Every time I'm in search of a product, I show up to Credo, vent, and they hand me magic. 

As a warning, a lot of these products are pricey! I definitely could not afford to shop like this all the time. I'm very selective in what products I buy. I typically save over long periods of time. 

Going zero waste has saved me soooo much money because it has taught me to be very picky and cut out all impulse purchases. Check out my post on how I've saved $12,000. (this number is only going to grow exponentially since we downsized!!) With a little bit of my saved money, I have focused on buying better beauty products. 

I like to find a store bought product that works really well and then work on emulating it by DIY. Once I get comfortable with the routine and results, I can typically whip something up that mimics the end result. 

But, I understand that not everyone has the time or wants to whip something up. So, here's a list of all the things I've stumbled upon and that I love. 

Not everything here is going to be 100% zero waste, but I'll get into that more with each item. 

resurfacing mask: 

Blue Tansy* is one of the best selling products at Credo. When I went to Credo a couple of weeks before the wedding, I was looking for something that would smooth out some of my under the skin bumps. 

The girls recommended this product because it's super gentle and uses natural AHA and BHAs to resurface your skin and knock out all of those pesky little white bumps.

I definitely have seen an improvement, and it's super gentle which is great for my sensitive skin.

I honestly should do this mask more often. In fact, I'm going to put my laptop down and put it own right now. 

Alright, I just put on the mask which reminds me of another thing I love about it. It's clear! So, if the pizza man knocks on the door with a pizza you didn't order, you won't look crazy. (This definitely just happened.) 

This mask smells absolutely amazing, and it comes in a glass jar. It does have a plastic lid. I definitely think it's a jar I will reuse. It is a great size for homemade beauty products or even for snacks. Just make sure you wash it really, really well! 

Herbivore also has a sea salt spray* and another mask* I've been wanting to try out. Almost all of their products are packaged in glass and can easily be reused. Anyways, their product line is amazing! Definitely worth checking out. 

facial cleansing routine: 

I'm currently using parsley seed facial cleanser*. I really love it. I think it works really well. But, I don't know if it works as well as it should for the price. 

I am in love with Aesop's brand. Everything is sustainable, organic, and packaged very, very well. Everything is in glass. All of their packaging is beautiful and perfect for being used again.



They do have a couple of products in tubes, but their tubes are steel so they can be recycled. Just make sure you get a crank to get squeeze out as much as you can, and then cut the tube open and use every last drop! 

However, I will say, this bottle has lasted me a really long time. I've been using it since last October and it's a little under half way through. I use it every morning and night. 

I guess the price doesn't seem so bad knowing how long it's lasted. If I were to change (I'm terrified of change ;) I might try out this Meow Meow Tweet cleanser*. 

I also use the toner* and the lotion*. I am super curious about their mouthwash*. I love my mouthwash recipe, but I'm just so freaking curious!! What is it like???? 

Has anyone ever used it? 

body lotions: 

I want to be upfront and say my body lotion recipe is my favorite! But, if you're not into the DIY there are a couple that I have tried out that are awesome. 

I love this body milk* from Ellis Brooklyn. You will smell like a rose. It's also super lightweight, and I love how it's packed full of vitamin C giving you a bright glow.

I also have recently been loving this hair oil from Dulse and Rugosa. It says it's for hair, but I've been using it on my whole body. I like to concentrate it on my elbows and ankle nobs.

It absorbs super fast into the skin and corrects any dryness instantly. It's amazing! 

If you're looking for some fuller coverage and something that's a little more robust. I am all about this body butter from Fillaree. I am not a body butter fan because I think most of it is too thick and takes forever to absorb. 

The body butter from Fillaree, definitely takes longer to absorb than the body oil or the body milk, but it's WAY faster than most butters. It's just as luxurious though. I really like it especially in winter. 


I also have a recipe for sunscreen on the blog. It's great for the body, but I'm looking for an everyday sunscreen that's lighter. 

If you're not out in the sun often, this probably wouldn't be necessary, but I walk Nala over an hour every day and a lot of the walk is in direct sun.

I always wear a hat to protect my face, but my chest and shoulders are typically exposed in the summer. 

I like this every day tinted sunscreen* for the face. It's perfect if you're not huge on makeup and want to even out your skin just a little. Also, I don't think I could DIY a tinted sunscreen. 


The bottle this comes in is great to reuse, and it comes packaged in glass.

I have really, really struggled to try to find a nice body sunscreen*. I finally found one at Aesop that I'm thrilled with! It has 50 SPF and it's reef safe! Which is really, really important.

Even low levels of oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor, can cause irreversible damage to coral reefs. 

It also comes packaged in glass and goes on super smooth. Just remember the best way to protect yourself against the sun is to cover up! 

Of course, this has only scratched the surface of skin care. There are always new things I'm stumbling upon. I would LOVE to hear about some of your favorite skin care products. Let me know what I need to check out! 

I'm thinking of buying or DIYing an eye cream and facial oil or serum. 

What skin care products do you love that are packaged consciously? 

This post contains affiliate linking. It's denoted with an asterisk. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a slight commission for referring you. You can read more on my disclosure page. Thank you for your support.

Zero Waste Grocery Store Challenge: Target

Throughout the next couple of months, I will be working on the Zero Waste Grocery Store Challenge. I'm repping the Pacific US: "Hella, Dude, Cowabunga." ...although most of my grocery stores are national.

The zero waste grocery store challenge goes to target! Join me on my low waste trip to target and see what options are out there from

breakdown of who's who and where:

-East: Meredith from Meredith TestedTrader Joe's, Costco, Hannaford Supermarket, and Wal-Mart.
-South: Manuela from The Girl Gone Green: will be going to Aldi, Publix, Thrive, and Wal-Mart.
-Midwest: Celia from Litterless: will be taking you to Kroger, Jewel-Osco, and Wal-Mart.
-West: Andrea of Be Zero: will be featuring Lucky’s, Safeway, and Wal-Mart.
-Pacific: Kathryn of Going Zero Waste will be visiting Target, Grocery Outlet, and Wal-Mart.
Follow the #ZWGroceryChallenge on social media and join in! Share your triumphs, challenges, questions, and requests! 

a note on sustainability at chain stores: 

Here's the deal. Yes, it is absolutely ideal to buy all of your food from bulk with as little packaging as possible. It's ideal to buy from a local shop in your community that obtains all of its goods from local, sustainable organic farms. But, I'm going to say this again for the people in the back, NOT EVERYONE LIVES IN AN IDEAL WORLD

I have received several not so nice emails from several readers explaining how awful all of these grocery stores are and how this destroys any goodwill I've put out in the world for the store's lack of ethical, social, and eco ethos. 

Instead of focusing on being perfect, I want to focus on making sure low waste options are accessible to everyone. Not everyone has a health food store in their town. 

This blog is NOT about being perfect. This is NOT a place for judgment.  As Meredith says, I am not trying to win zero waste. This is NOT a competition. 

This is about doing the best you can, where you are and sometimes that's Walmart or Target.

I want the zero waste movement to grow far and wide. I want everyone in the world involved, and it's important we don't limit zero waste to only those who have access. We shouldn't limit it to only those who are perfect. Everyone can make a difference.

Everyone can make better choices. So, I want to show you some of the better choices when it comes to Target. 

**steps off soap box**

my grocery store is closing: 

I started this challenge when I realized my local grocery store is closing. The only grocery stores I have in town are bargain markets like Smart and Final, Grocery Outlet, Food Maxx and big box stores like Super Target and Walmart. 

A lot of these stores lack a large selection of healthy food. 

The local grocery store I was going to, Raley's, had a small bulk section. I now have no local offering in bulk, and I officially live in a food swamp. 

"A food swamp is an area where there's an overabundance of high-energy, low-nutrient foods (read: fast food) compared to healthy food options. Low-income communities are usually the swampiest, with nearly twice the number of fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier neighborhoods."

I am so grateful for our farmers market where I buy the large selection of fresh produce that is year round. I completely realize how fortunate I am.

A lot of folks don't have it as good as I do, so for that, I feel very fortunate and blessed. Our community is also working on opening up a co-op which will fill a huge void in our city.  

If your city is also missing wholesome, good food, you might be the solution. Maybe it's your job to fill the void. Don't be afraid of starting a co-op! A lot of co-ops start out of people's garages. Go in with some neighbors to get large quantities of good whole food delivered to your door. 

what I bought at target: 

Please check out what I bought and why I bought it. I did supplement with my farmers market haul this week because the produce section was severely lacking!! 

At target I spent $80. Which is WAY more than I normally spend at the bulk store when I stock up on dry goods, but I did buy a lot of specialty items I don't normally buy. 

With all of these groceries I plan on making nachos, hummus, veggie burgers. PB&J, grilled cheese, chocolate chip cookies, veggie lasagna, pancakes, summer salads, and oatmeal. 

other things I found at target: 

I hope you enjoyed this zero waste challenge.

I will be keeping track of ALL the recycling, trash, and dry compostables (paper, not food scraps) throughout this challenge. 

Next month I'll be taking you to Grocery Outlet. Let know if you have any tips! 

4 Tips for Staying Zero Waste When Dining Out

There's nothing that makes me happier than going out to eat for a nice meal. 

How to stay zero waste while dining out from

Growing up, going out to dinner was a treat! All of life's major accomplishments like getting straight A's, shooting an 86 on the golf course, or getting the lead in the school play were celebrated with skipping the cooking and the dishes. 

In fact, when I graduated from college I chose not to walk, (Because honestly sitting with a couple of thousand people waiting to hear my name called is the last thing I want to do) all I wanted was to go out to a really nice dinner with family. 

If you're dining in a very nice restaurant you're most likely to encounter real everything. I honestly can't imagine going out to eat at a nice restaurant and being given a paper plate, can you? 

However, Justin and I rarely go to really nice restaurants. We're more of dive people. We enjoy the atmosphere and it's in our budget. ;)

When visiting dives, it can be hit or miss on the disposables. 

1. ask for no straw:

This takes practically no effort. 500 million straws are used in the US in ONE DAY. One day, people. That's a lot of straws. 

When going out to eat, request no straw in your drink. You might get one anyways. If you do, be kind. But, it's always best to try and refuse. 

This drink didn't need a straw. Mom says straws give you pucker wrinkles. Saving the environment and wrinkle prevention - that's a win, win. Please note, that I still have an umbrella coming out of my drink. 

This drink didn't need a straw. Mom says straws give you pucker wrinkles. Saving the environment and wrinkle prevention - that's a win, win. Please note, that I still have an umbrella coming out of my drink. 

If you're feeling especially bold, send your favorite local restaurants a polite email asking that they implement a "Straws By Request Only" policy. Think of how many straws you could save from entering into the waste stream! 

2. chat with the hostess:

Before you're seated, it's always best to make requests known. Try and feel out the situation and take a good look around the restaurant. 

Do waters come to the table automatically with a straw in them? Is the hostess holding silverware wrapped in paper napkins you don't need? Is it possible to get a table that doesn't have pre-set silverware with paper napkins? 

How to stay zero waste while dining out from

It certainly doesn't hurt to inform the hostess of what you're trying to do. Maybe they can accommodate, maybe they can't. But, if you're not vocal and you're not making your voice heard, no one will know what you want. You have to speak up. 

If you get to the table and there is a paper napkin on it, don't hand it to someone to reuse. Once it's on the table it's dead. It will be thrown away. 

It would be much better just to take the napkin home and compost it. 

3. use social media:

Social media has provided us with so many amazing tools. Before I go to any restaurant, I always look it up. 

I always scour the menu even in my pre-zero waste days. I take forever to decide what I want to eat, but most importantly I want to make sure there's something I can eat. Having an allergy when going out to eat can be a little nerve-wracking. 

How to stay zero waste while dining out from

Is dairy going to touch my food? Will I be violently ill? This is why I always try and stick to Asian or vegan restaurants. There's a very low chance of cross contamination. 

Now, I scour social media for not only the menu but the plates, the cups, the silverware etc. I want the details on all the disposables. I often will form my choices around these things. 

I swear, I will never understand why certain dishes come on disposables and certain ones come on reusables. 

4. be prepared: 

I very rarely leave the house without knowing where I'm going. I typically know I'm going out to eat. 

We eat out as a treat. Very rarely are we stranded and starving. When we go out it's a big deal to us. We don't do it very often. I get coffee or tea with a friend on Saturday morning and Justin and I typically go out to eat once a week. 

When we go out it's almost always to brunch. Our fav! (Hence our brunch wedding reception.) 

We always ask for no straw and we bring along a couple of containers to take home leftovers. 

It's so easy to scoop leftovers into your own containers. I LOVE this nesting set*. I bring them with me almost everywhere. They're super compact and can handle a lot of food. 

They can even handle takeout. If you want tips on takeout see this post

I also always carry two cloth napkins with me, if we're going to a restaurant without cloth napkins... which typically we are. However, there are almost always paper napkins already on the table. So, we just take them home and add them to the backyard compost. 

How to stay zero waste while dining out from

I would honestly try and avoid a restaurant with disposable plates and cups. If they have a drink fountain, you could easily fill your own water bottle. Or you could just drink the water you brought with you in your own water bottle. 

Plates would be a little more tricky. Some people accept them and some people don't. I find it's a lot easier to present a plate than a container with a lid. 

People can feel intimidated trying to "fit" food into a container, but putting it on a plate seems more normal. 

There's a cafe near where I work. If I've forgotten my lunch.. or dropped it... I'll sometimes go over there with my own plate. I've never had a problem getting my food that way. 

What are some of your tricks for reducing waste while you're dining out? 

This post may contain affiliate linking. It's denoted with an asterisk. You can read more on my disclosure page. Thank you for your support.