5 Bathroom Basics

.I often see minimalism and zero waste/low waste colliding, and I tend to see it most in the bathroom. I was about a year or so in to my minimalism journey when I started my low waste journey, and thankfully I didn’t have to make all too many changes in my bathroom to accommodate both. I see so many conversations floating about in my online groups about what is considered a necessity for what area of the home. I have compiled the top 5 items that I feel are necessities for the bathroom if you are trying to walk the blurry line between Zero/Low Waste and Minimalism.

One: Menstrual Cups and/or Cloth Pads: I know that I enjoy my menstrual cup and will never go back to cotton tampons. I never really used single use pads and see no reason for me to get reusable pads, but I included them in this list because they truly are useful for those who prefer pads. These options help by way of minimalism because you are able to have products that are reusable as opposed to single use, and with single use items you always have to store extras. This factors into zero waste because you’re not tossing these items, duh! You are able to sanitize and reuse for years on end, creating much less waste.

Get the Size 1 Diva Cup here.

Get the Size 2 Diva Cup here.

Two: Body/Face Dry Brush: Starting dry brushing was a game changer for my health and wellness. Since starting dry brushing my face, I have been able to stop using face soaps, moisturizers, and exfoliators. With dry brushing of my body, it has reduced how visible my cellulite is, smoothed my skin, reduces my body odor, and helped me to stop using soap, lotion, and exfoliators. The same 2 brushes have lasted me for years and are compostable. They are easily sanitized by spraying them with alcohol. I have been able to do away with almost all of my shower and cabinet items just by using these 2 items.

Get the facial dry brush here.

And the body dry brush here.

Three: Epilator: I have a magical epilator that has an attachable shaver head. I know that safety razors are very popular amongst zero wasters, but I feel like I found my own perfect solution. My epilator recharges via wall outlet and is easily cleaned with an included brush. My epilator removes hair by the root from my legs, which over time damages the follicle enough to not really grow. I am now at the point where I only need to epilate once every few months. The shaver head comes in handy for my bikini line and my underarms. There are no disposable heads, no razors to ensure proper disposal of, and one item takes the place of any additional pieces.

Get the dual head epilator here.

Four: Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is one of those One Size Fits All type super products lately. Everyone is clamoring about how amazing coconut oil is, and for good reason. One jar can do the following (and more):

  • brush your teeth with coconut oil instead of toothpaste
  • use as a defrizzer or hair serum
  • use before the shower and be able to skip conditioner
  • use as a lotion
  • can be used as a facial moisturizer (use with caution, as it may not suit your skin)
  • oil pull with it for superior oral health and body detox
  • remove waterproof make up
  • anti bacterial and anti viral properties, so excellent as a healing salve
  • natural spf of 8, good for a natural sunscreen
  • when taken internally, will act as a mild laxative

Get Nutiva Organic coconut oil here.

Five: Glass Nail File: I love my glass nail file. Instead of generally hoarding a ton of emery boards, I have been using the same 1 glass nail file for the past 3 years. Glass nail files can last an entire life time and then be recycled, they also close the nail bed as opposed to a regular emery board leaves it open. Closed nail beds lead to stronger nails that grow longer and last through much more nail use. I use my nails as an extension of my fingers, so this is especially helpful for me! I have 2 glass nail files, one for my purse and one for my bathroom, and gifted some to my friends who still are loving them years later.

Get a 5 pack of glass nail files for less than 3$ here.

What bathroom items do you find to be your essentials?

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Menstrual Cups 101!

Let’s talk periods, shall we? I am actually really into talking about menstrual cycles, I love normalizing the dialogue about them. So… that’s an opening, right? Oh, and if you’d like to see the visuals on how to use the menstrual cup and/or you’re more of a listener than a reader, click here for my YouTube video.

First off, what is a menstrual cup? It is a silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina and suctions onto the cervix, capturing your menstrual blood. What are the benefits, you may ask? They are safer for your body, as the chances of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome are next to none when using these. They are a clean alternative to tampons, in that you dump out your menstrual blood into the toilet and you are not leaving your menstrual blood in trash cans around the house to fester. If you are sensitive to the scent of menstrual blood, the silicone option seals in the scent. This is super cost efficient! A one time purchase of the silicone cup could last you for all of your future cycles, as silicone does not break down in time. Also, great for travel, as you only have to ensure your one cup is stashed in your luggage as opposed to a entire box of tampons, and what if you run out? What if your flow is lighter than usual this time? Ugh, too much planning.

How you care for your menstrual cup is very simple. You boil it. Yes, boil it. Most come with an anti microbial storage bag to keep it in while not in use (and store it while clean!). So, when your menstrual cycle is over you boil your cup for about 10 minutes, allow to air dry, and store it safely back into it’s baggie for a future use.

So now the hard part: How to use this *thing.* Step one: Be patient! You have to learn your body and how to insert the cup in a way that will ensure a proper seal, which may take a few cycles. It’s normal, you’re not a failure. My pro tips could be what sets your experience apart from mine: Get your cup wet prior to insertion and squat down. Fold in one side of the opening to create a triangle and insert the cup into your vagina at an angle and allow to pop open. Try twisting the cup to set if it is in correctly, if it twists you’re good, if it doesn’t twist it’s not in right. To try to correct the opening so it will catch your menstrual blood, you can insert a finger along the side of the cup towards the opening and try to reposition the top to open up. This is harder to type than it was to film. In order to remove the cup, either pull the stem at the bottom or insert a finger along the side of the cup and push it inward to release the seal. Dump out the menstrual blood into the toilet and either wipe the inside clean with toilet paper or rinse clean prior to reinsertion. And, of course, wash your hands before and after handling your cup.

Well, typing this was incredibly difficult, I hope it was helpful and clear!

I use and recommend the Diva Cup, the small sized one is made for people under 30 and have not given birth. The large sized one is for people over 30 and/or those who have given birth.