Plastic-free Pampering

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the world right now? We all know how important it is to take care of ourselves, especially when tensions are running high, but how often do we actually allow ourselves time to chill and lap up a little pampering?

Spending quality “me time” shouldn’t mean spending lots of cash, or creating lots of trash. As we near the end of Plastic Free July — a global movement that sees millions across the globe pledge to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic — the hope is that we’ve created some nifty habits that will stand the test of time. And what better habits to stick with than those that also save you money!

These simple switches can save us lots of cash, both in the short and long term, so if you’re in need of some plastic-free pampering, here are a few easy, cheap recipes.

Detox and hydrate with a clay face mask

We’ve been hearing a lot about face masks lately, but this is not the fabric kind! Stay home and mix yourself a face-cleansing mask using a few affordable, low-waste ingredients. Your hero ingredient in a pampering face mask is clay. Clay is absorbent, helping to draw dirt and toxins out of the skin. For this recipe we’re going to use bentonite clay, which is also lightly exfoliating, but there are many others like pink, green, and kaolin white clay.

Make sure you use non-metal utensils when mixing and storing any clay, as the absorbing properties can become less effective after it binds with metal elements.


1 tbsp bentonite clay — you can purchase this in bulk in your own container or bag, or

buy and store in glass.

1 tsp raw Australian honey — you can also find honey in bulk food stores and in glass, or

keep an eye out on a weekend drive for some honesty boxes selling local honey.

A dash of water — best to add less to begin with!

Optional: Replace the water with 1-2 tsp of jojoba, olive, or rosehip oil (or add a few drops) to make it more moisturising.


Using a glass or ceramic bowl and a wooden spoon, start by mixing the clay with the honey. Carefully pour in a tiny amount of water and mix again until you have a paste that can be easily rubbed onto the skin. Remember to use the mask as soon as you’ve made it as it can dry out.

Before applying the mask, wash your face with warm water, to help open your pores, then pat dry with a face washer. Apply the mask avoiding the eye area (and lips if you like!) and leave it on for 10-15 minutes while you go and relax: lie down, read a book, listen to music or meditate.

Remove the mask with your warm, damp face washer and feel how soft your skin is. Follow with your choice of moisturiser or oil to complete the pampering.

A few other ways to use your bentonite clay:

1. Use a small amount of the mask you made as an overnight spot treatment.

2. Use the mask on your hands (this will truly make you sit still and relax) after all that washing and sanitising.

3. Add clay to a DIY deodorant recipe to help detoxify your pits and absorb odours.

4. Add clay to a bath or foot soak for some extra relaxation time.

5. Mix clay with water or oil and use as a light exfoliant.

6. Use bentonite clay as a body powder, or in place of talcum/baby powder.

7. Mix clay with cornflour to dust on your hair roots as dry shampoo.

Almost-edible body scrub

Body scrubs have to be some of the simplest, most cost-effective pampering DIYs around — made using pantry staples, and sometimes even waste products. They also make a great gift in a cute little glass jar (just bulk up the recipes below), using whatever you already have at home.

After making your morning coffee, save the grounds from the compost and whip up a quick scrub to use in the shower. You could even ask your local cafe for used coffee grounds.


1-2 tbsp coffee grounds

1 tbsp sugar or Australian salt

1-2 tbsp oil — try olive, macadamia, jojoba, almond, or whatever you have. Avoid coconut as this can harden down the drain.

Optional: add a drop or two of vanilla essence.

Optional: for all the non-coffee drinkers, or if you’d like to add additional scents, simply remove the coffee grounds, double the sugar or Australian salt, and add 3-5 drops of your favourite essential oils.


Mix together in a small jar, adding more oil if you prefer it to be less coarse and more moisturising. Jump in the shower and rub all over wet skin. You can use it on your face too but go lightly. Rinse off and feel how soft your skin is!

Epsom salt scrub and soak

This one is great for a foot soak or relaxing bath as epsom salts contain magnesium.


2-4 tbsp epsom salts

1-2 tbsp oil — try olive, macadamia, jojoba, almond, or whatever you have. Avoid coconut as this can harden down the drain.

3-5 drops of your favourite essential oils.

Optional: add some dried flower petals like rose, lavender or calendula.

Optional: add 1 tsp of raw Australian honey.


Mix together, adding more oil if needed. Wet your skin and rub it in as a scrub then sink into warm water and soak your stress away. Add some more epsom salts to the water if your muscles are extra tight!