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Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Eco-Friendly Dry Skin Remedies

Looking for some eco-friendly dry skin remedies? Let me help you out.

I don’t know about you, but in our household, all this extra hand-washing is really taking its toll. Luckily, I’ve found some ethical and eco-friendly dry skin remedies for you to try.

Dry Skin Remedies

Whilst handwashing is one of the best preventative measures against infection, as well as staying home if you aren’t a key worker, constant washing is tough on hands. Here are some of my favourite moisturising soaps and eco-friendly moisturisers. These really help washed out hands and dry skin in these dystopian times:

Dook Soap

Packed full of organic coconut oil and richly moisturising raw shea butter, Dook’s soap bars are a treat for dry skin.

Their credentials are pretty impressive too – with all of their soaps being free from palm oil and parabens. On top of that, they’re also cruelty-free and plastic-free. Going that extra bit further, all their soaps are packaged in 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper and card.

Dook’s soaps are made up of 50% salt. This sounds drying, but I’ve certainly not found this to be the case – each wash delivers a creamy lotion-like lather.

This is the most expensive bar in this roundup, at £9. However, owing to the salt content Dook’s soap bars are hard and very long-lasting. Some soaps go mushy after a week or two of use. Not this one!

Little Soap Co.

We are using Little Soap Co’s, Eco Warrior Moisturising Hand & Body Bar (£4.50) at the moment to hydrate our hands. It’s definitely been a hit with all of our hands – from the littlest to the oldest.

Made with 99.5% naturally derived ingredients, their soaps are free from detergents, SLS, sulphates, alcohol, parabens, sorbates, silicones, and synthetic preservatives. What’s more, Little Soap Co’s range is also vegan and plastic-free, and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. I would prefer it to be palm oil-free too, but at the moment Little Soap Co appears to be making steps in the right direction.

Soap Daze

Soap Daze is a long-standing favourite of mine. I’ve always found their handmade soaps to be rich and moisturising, and this unscented Oatmylk Soap (£6.50) is a great choice for sensitive skins. Oatmeal is known to be an anti-inflammatory and can help calm skin irritations. What’s more, Soap Daze soaps are palm oil-free, cruelty-free, plastic-free, and vegan friendly. An unpackaged bar is available if you wish to eschew packaging, and will save you £1 on your purchase too.

Hand Creams

To give dry and washed-out hands a boost the dry skin remedy I swear by most is Skin Food by Weleda.

dry skin remedies for washed out hands

I’ve been using Skin Food for years and years and years (this post in which I first declared my love for it stems from 2013!). I still swear that it’s magic in a tube. This incredibly rich and moisturising cream makes it a great choice for a facial night cream. It’s also equally great on elbows, knees, and, you guessed it, hands subject to a lot of washing. I tend to have a tube on me at all times, for an on-tap dry skin remedy!

Packaging-wise, it’s packaged in a recyclable metal tube and a cardboard box. Please note, Skin Food contains beeswax, so it isn’t vegan-friendly. If you’re after an effective vegan dry skin remedy then do try this Weleda vegan one instead.

Any dry skin remedies that you swear by? Do let me know!

Life & Style, Special Occasions

How to Have an Ethical Christmas Without the Stress

Is it possible to have an ethical Christmas without stress? I think so.

Whilst we often hear that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”, sometimes Christmas can also be the most stressful.  When you’re feeling up against it, the additional challenge of trying to ensure the goods you’re buying or the services you’re using are as ethical as possible can be just too much.  Then you feel guilty for spending your hard-earned cash on something that really doesn’t sit well with your conscience.

How To Have An Ethical Christmas

The team at Ethical Consumer have come up with some great ideas about how you can have a more sustainable Christmas. And because we know that time and, or, money isn’t always available, they’ve also come up with some great alternatives to help you have the most ethical Christmas possible without getting too stressed.

how to have an ethical christmas

The Wrapping

Top of everyone’s Christmas list this year is to be plastic-free.  A sneaky way plastic enters the Christmas eco-system is in the form of wrapping paper. Anything with glitter on can’t be recycled. And many papers are actually lined with a thin film of plastic.

A great alternative is to use old fabric to wrap up gifts. Alternatively, you could incorporate the wrapping as part of the gift using scarves, facecloths, tea towels, and handkerchiefs to wrap smaller items. There are other eco-friendly gift wrap ideas too, where you can use old knitwear to create some stunning effects.

That’s probably not going to work if you’re wrapping a large children’s toy though. So if you are buying wrapping paper then opt for a recycled roll. You can find 100% recycled wrapping paper online from Re-Wrapped.

The Food

A trip to the supermarket can become laden with plastic. Everything from fruit and veg, to the turkey and Christmas pudding, comes in some form of plastic packaging.  The easiest way to go plastic-free is to shop local, and independent, taking your own containers and bags with you. And where necessary, getting your purchases wrapped in paper, not plastic.  Just
don’t throw away your older plastic containers in favour of buying new ones.

And remember to try and use an ethical alternative to cling film and foil, from tiffin tins to beeswax wraps.

Ethical Christmas Gifts

ethical christmas ideas

A great way to help ‘cut the stuff’ and the stress of trawling round shops could be to gift an adventure rather than an actual thing.  Theatre tickets, workshops ranging from terrarium making to pattern cutting, or membership to organisations like the Woodland Trust are just a few ideas.

For some people though, particularly children, there is a real joy in seeing them open a physical present.  If you’re lucky enough to have a high street with independent stores nearby then try and support them. But if you’ve not, then there’s no need to feel guilty about online shopping.

Several studies have shown that this form of shopping is no more environmentally damaging than visiting a bricks and mortar store. And in many instances, it’s better. You just need to steer clear of Amazon, with its tax avoidance strategies, poor environmental and worker’s rights record.

As part of our Amazon alternatives series, there’s a full rundown of the most ethical online shops there.  In short, a good all-rounder is Ethical Shop, with presents for all ages. Another is Acala for health and beauty products from a brand committed to zero waste. And another is the Viva! online shop for vegan-friendly gifts. Their range includes soy-candles, wine club membership, chocolate, and clothing. 

Books are a classic Christmas gift too. With Amazon dominating the market, it’s worth checking out the specialist guide to the most ethical booksellers.  World of Books is a great option, and free delivery helps. Check out this full guide to eco-friendly gift ideas.

You can also shop second-hand, with this useful guide to secondhand gift ideas.

Shopping Ethically on The High St

There’s always a last-minute panic purchase. A forgotten present or a party gift required.  That’s why knowing the top 5 most ethical high street stores can be a life-saver and a stress-free option when you just don’t have time for anything else. Our top shops are:

  • Lush for creative and sweet-smelling gifts from an ethical business committed to the real Living Wage, the Fair Tax Mark, and cruelty-free ingredients.
  • The Co-op Group is owned by an active membership, not shareholders. With a clear action plan on climate change and waste, handily they offer everything from food to electricals.
  • Marks & Spencer* are a cornerstone of the British high street, and Plan A demonstrates their commitments to sustainability.  They’re also listed in the palm oil-free guide, with the majority of their gift boxes of chocolates from truffles to Neapolitans clear of the problematic ingredient.
  • WHSmith scores highly in the environmental reporting and supply chain management categories. This makes them the best high street bookseller by far and available across the UK.
  • John Lewis’* partnership company structure makes them more progressive than their counterparts.  From garden products to perfume it’s a one-stop-shop that’s readily available in most cities.

Here’s to a stress free merry Christmas that doesn’t cost the earth!

ps: here are some zero-waste Christmas decorations to DIY if you are in the mood for some eco-friendly crafting.