Perhaps this year I’ll finally figure out what to do with half-empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, lotion tubes, and other such containers.

I have very sensitive skin.
Let me make that clear: very sensitive skin.
Some might, perhaps more accurately, describe it as overly sensitive – reactionary even.

This past summer my mom brought to my attention the fact that the face cream I have been using for quite a few years already is otherwise all good, pure, and natural (and very calming) but for the fact that it contains parabens.

I know close to nothing about parabens, except for the fact that they aren’t supposed to be good for you. As this particular cream had been a heaven sent when my face started turning red no matter what I put on it to try and calm it, I had never really looked past the fact that it was supposedly made with natural oils (and has a very short ingredients list). If you have ever gone shopping with me, this should come as a total surprise as I am one of those suckers who spends an awful lot of their time reading what each consumable (and non-consumable) item contains. While on a road trip in the US reading my way through Walmart goods, I learned that some American apples don’t just contain apple… but that story will have to keep for another day.

And there it was, as clear as day, Methylparaben.

I needed to find an alternative.

Considering how long it took me to stumble upon this incredibly soothing cream (with a faint possibility of breast cancer as a side effect), I didn’t feel very happy about launching myself into the world of face creams once again.

Assuming that most skins are like mine, and unless the product at hand triggers an instantaneous allergic reaction, it takes about three to four days of regular use for the effects of a facial cream to reveal themselves. Tester tubes are usually enough for two to five applications, which is far from enough. Some creams smell right (no overwhelming perfumes, for example) and feel right, sound right, and are more or less affordable. Unfortunately, they usually aren’t right. After about a week, I often find myself with yet another tube of cream that just won’t do in the long run: peeling skin, eczema, rash, extreme dryness, or oiliness.

At the moment I have six containers of cream that are more than half full and that I’ll never use again – not even if no other cream is available since, after about a week’s worth of use, they end up exacerbating problems I might not even had had before. So, the question I am faced with here, as with the eight bottles of shampoo and four bottles of conditioners that are still about half full, what the hell do I do with it all?

Throw it all in the bin!
Mmmyeah, but no.
I have a hard time facing the fact that I have bought products and am willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that they and their contents will most likely find their way into the natural world as they are when simply binned. If I am not happy putting parabens onto my skin, then why would I want to drink water and eat foods contaminated by them by bin-happy people?

Recycle?
Yes, I’d love to, but what do I do with the contents? (see concerns listed above – drinking water, anyone?)

Give it away?
Yes! But to whom?

Shampoos and conditioners end up in the water system anyway, but creams and oils usually don’t, unless they are being flushed down the drain. And then the containers present their own set of problems: some are recyclable, others not.

This is why my husband has recently had to put up with no body-wash or normal shampoos in the household. I’ve become unable to simply buy new products. I hope that my recent discovery of Salcura will help put an end to my self-imposed misery… it seems promising, but hey, let me give it another week…

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leiju

Freelance photographer, writer, producer, and anthropologist. My passions in Life are travelling and sharing the world I see with those who care to pay attention.