Bathroom Essentials

Hey everyone,

I feel like it’s been a long time since I last posted about what I now use/don’t use in my bathroom/morning routine. Things have changed a bit, so here’s an update on my minimalist/zero-waste bathroom essentials.

Consumable products:

The first things I ever changed over were my toothbrush and toothpaste


They have stayed the same. The bamboo toothbrush is compostable (except for the bristles) and the toothpaste is completely natural made from only coconut oil (Bought in glass jars with metal lids that I reuse for all sorts of things) , baking soda (that I buy from the bulk bins) and peppermint oil (optional ingredient).

Next up is deodorant


I rotate between using an Alum stone and my homemade deodorant, I like the alum stone for lighter days when I know I won’t be sweating a lot, but I break out the homemade stuff for the crazier days. Made from coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch, and tea tree oil (again, optional). This bad boy can handle just about any amount of stinky sweaty pits you can throw at it.

For moisturizing and such I only use olive oil or coconut oil, but I only find I need to moisturize slightly during the dryer winter months.

Bar soap is my favorite thing, it comes without packaging at my local health store (except for one particularly pesky barcode sticker), and when it’s done, it’s done. No muss no fuss, no empty container to dispose of 🙂 I use this baby for hand washing as well as washing in the shower. Double duty, two for the price of one!




Yes I only use water, which sounded crazy to me at first too….but it totally works! The only time I use anything but water is in the rare case when my ends are crazy dry and need a bit of olive oil. I’ve been using the water only method for about six months now and absolutely love it. No stinkyness, no artificial fragrance, and bonus is I only have to “wash” my hair once or twice a week. Easy peasy.

On the days when I look a bit greasy and need to run I brush on some corn starch as a dry shampoo and comb it through.


Baking soda, vinegar, a wash cloth or scrub brush (even an old toothbrush) and a little elbow grease will get just about anything out. I use it to clean everything from the bathroom sink to the tub and toilet. It also gets a lot of use in the kitchen, but that’s another post…

*For those of you wondering, Yes I still use toilet paper, and unfortunately it comes in plastic packaging. I live with other people and this is the only area I have not transferred to a zero-waste alternative as of yet…but stay tuned, I plan to try out my options sooner rather than later 🙂 *


Essential to the water-only washing for my hair is these babies right here…win_20170227_132932

The first is a Boar bristle brush with 100% boar hair bristles, no plastic in sight. The second is a wooden comb, and the third a wood brush. I use the BB brush to push all those lovely natural oils from my scalp to the tips of my hair, keeping it naturally beautiful and conditioned. The comb and brush simply help with detangling. One hand mirror, a few homemade hair-ties out of old socks, a bit of cornstarch(a.k.a. dry shampoo) and a brush for it.

Then we have the basic tools of the trade…tweezers, nail clippers, a nail file, etc. Followed by my safety razor and razor blades. (If you haven’t tried out a safety razor yet, I would definitely recommend it!)WIN_20170227_133319.JPG

For my towels I made sure to buy 100% cotton towels and wash cloths. I’m a firm believer WIN_20170227_132621.JPGin keeping the synthetic fabrics to a minimum, especially ones that are going to be touching my face.




And of course, no post about  bathroom essentials would be complete without mention of reusable menstrual products for us ladies. Namely 100% organic cotton pads, and a menstrual cup. And a glass basal thermometer for tracking your cyclewin_20170227_133015


All of these products have saved not only the planet, but also my wallet and my sanity as well. There aren’t anymore midnight trips to the store to buy pads for this girl, it’s all ready to go whenever I need it.

win_20170227_133729There are a few products I bought a long time ago that I’m finishing and then finding replacements for….such as lip balm and a herbal salve for burns and such.

The salve I already have a replacement for….say hello to my new Aloe Vera plant! 🙂


I plan to try and make my own lip balm once this one runs out. The last two things are ear WIN_20170227_133752.JPGwax remover and eye drops. I haven’t completely figured these guys out yet, but if you have any good ideas I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


This all may sound like a lot, especially if you’re just starting to change up your routine to be more eco-friendly. Don’t worry, take it one baby step at a time, I’ll still be here. Take a look around and check out all the links for more information on each product and for answers to any questions you may have.

As always, I’d love to hear about your minimalist/zero-waste bathroom essentials in the comments!

Much love,




Dealing with pre-minimalist/zero-waste purchases

Hey guys,

I wanted to do a quick post on something that I see questions about a lot…..what to do with those pre-minimalist/zero-waste purchases.


I’ll deal with them separately, let’s start with pre-minimalist purchases first:

When holding an item that you purchased weeks, months, even decades ago…it can be hard to let go. Whether it be a piece of clothing from high-school or a set of your great-grandmother’s doilies that sit around collecting dust, there are a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. Is this item being used?
  2. Is this item something that fits my body/current lifestyle?
  3. Do I LOVE said item?
  4. Do I really need it?

If you answered NO to any, or all of the above, then it’s probably time to let the item go. But don’t just throw it away…unless it is actually trash….if you can give it to a relative/friend who actually Wants it…donate it..sell it…recycle it…you get the idea.

Now I know what you’re going to say, “But Candice, I spent a lot of money on this/it has sentimental value/it was a gift…”

My answer, if you don’t love it and it doesn’t fit your lifestyle…then you shouldn’t hang onto it out of guilt.

Onto the pre-Zero-waste purchases

This one is a bit more difficult, because there are things that inevitably have been bought before becoming environmentally conscious that are still in good condition…but they’re plastic or made from something you don’t want near your body or your kids…or they’re hazardous to your health (hello most cleaning supplies, I’m talking about you).

For me, I did a few things.

First, I had a transitional period where I used up what was left of my personal care products like shampoo, toothpaste, etc. I did dispose of their containers responsibly when I was finished. But here’s the key- when I finished them off I found alternatives that were 1. Better for my health 2. Package free 3.or easy to make myself

As for the cleaning supplies, I gave them to family who wanted them. I wasn’t going to keep those carcinogens and neurotoxins near me any longer than absolutely necessary,  I switched straight over to vinegar and baking soda…no need for gloves or surgical masks when using them, they’re edible lol For laundry I switched to castille soap and soap nuts.

As I went through my possessions while I was minimizing, I automatically donated random things that were made of plastic that I was no longer using such as organizing buckets, etc. Since I was getting rid of so much stuff, I didn’t need them anymore.

I did have a few things that were still usable like plastic hangars and tupperware…the tupperware I got rid of immediately because I didn’t want plastic anywhere near my food, switched them all out for glass jars (you don’t necessarily have to go purchase new glass jars, you can always reuse ones from things like pasta sauces and jams, get creative) Same thing with plastic baggies, you don’t need them if you have glass jars. Let them go or donate to a local elementary classroom, they use them quite frequently.

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The hangars on the other hand stuck around for a while, but then they started breaking one by one and I found some wood and metal hangars lying around that were my grandparents that no one was using, and I ended up donating the plastic ones. Now, I did purchase one set of 6 new wood hangars to round out my set, but that was a personal decision. Not everyone can afford to buy new things just to replace their plastic counterparts.

So, to date…. I’ve mostly gotten rid of things as opposed to buying new. There were a few exceptions, such as glass jars, a set of hangars, cloth pads, a safety razor when I ran out of disposables, a new hairbrush when mine broke, and an adult laundry bucket (not made out of mesh!). But that’s about it.

The solution for pre-minimalist and pre-zero-waste purchases really depends on your personal situation, but most of the time they can be donated or recycled.

Keep in mind that minimalism and zero-waste are both journeys. They aren’t meant to be accomplished in one day or even a week, they can take years to switch over to. Look at me, I’ve been at it for a year and am just now starting to get really comfortable with my progress.

It’s all about the baby-steps!

If you have any questions, or any suggestions for future posts you would like to read…lett me know in the comments 🙂

5 Things to do with that old Bamboo toothbrush

Hey everyone, I did a previous post on how I switched out my plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones…and this is the update.

I absolutely love bamboo toothbrushes, I have tried a few different brands in the past year and find that most work rather well. Most recently I have used both the Brush with Bamboo brand as well as Mother’s Vault.

The thing is, that eventually you are going to have to replace your toothbrush, it is inevitable whether you use a plastic one or a bamboo one. I find that it is usually time to replace my bamboo toothbrush when the bristles start naturally coming out of their little sockets. Once two of the sockets are empty I retire the toothbrush and grab a new one.WIN_20150823_084825

What I have found though, is five different uses for the bamboo toothbrush before it eventually ends up in my compost pile. Now, this list may apply to some and not to others, but for those of you looking for a way to re-purpose your toothbrush and get a new life out of it, here we go….

  1. Take the toothbrush, minus any bristles that have fallen out, and use it as a nail brush. It comes in pretty handy after gardening when my nails are full of dirt. It saves me from having to purchase a separate nail brush, which saves money, and it reuses something I already have, which is satisfyingly Eco-friendly. 🙂
  2. Once it has expired it’s life as your nail brush it is time for use #2. As a cleaning tool. I use these babies for scrubbing the grout (we have a very old tile shower that has LOTS of grout to be scrubbed). Or cleaning the floor, or just to get into hard to reach places.
  3. Once it has been a toothbrush, a nail brush, and a cleaning brush, then it has a few options. Option 1 is that it can become a marker for your garden. I like to write down the type of plant on the handle of the brush (after trashing the bristles) and then stick it in the dirt as a cute marker.
  4. Option number 2 after you rip the bristles out it can become a craft stick for some sort of art project. This is a great one if you have kids, they can make a few of them into a stick house or a picture frame….get creative.
  5. Or, if you are like me you probably have pets. I currently have 2 birds as well as 2 cats.

    The one on the left is Honey and the one on the right is Lulu. It was incredibly difficult to get them to sit still long enough for a picture…they aren’t keen on selfies 😀 My birds specifically love destroying things, they rip apart their ladders and branches with a single-mindedness that astounds me. They will tear apart popsicle sticks, cardboard, newspapers, you name it they use it to sand down their beaks. Anywho, I can always stick one of the handles in their cage and they will rip it into shreds within a few days. Then I simply take the remains and compost them. If you don’t have birds, I suppose you could always use it as a fetch stick for a smaller dog…

That’s it. My five tried and true uses for old bamboo toothbrushes. Do you have a use that I missed? If so leave it in the comments! 🙂

My inventory of stuff.

All right, this is something that I said I would probably never do…like ever. But I finally did it, I wrote down a master inventory list of all of my stuff. Yep, I said it, I catalogued everything I own.

Honestly, it took FOREVER to write the list, and I don’t have a ton of stuff to begin with! Or at least I didn’t think I did. I’ve already done about a dozen purges, each time getting rid of more and more that I don’t really need but was holding onto for the moment of “just in case”.

Forcing myself to sit down and write a master list of what I own really made me take a hard look at each and every item and wonder “Is this item really necessary?”, I mean seriously, after writing so many different items down you get to the point where you would rather donate an item than have to write down anything else haha.

I won’t kill you all with every single detail of my inventory, but I thought I would share a bit of it.

When I started this list I thought I would make the lists organized by room, then I thought better of it and separated it into further categories. The categories are:

  1. Closet/Clothes
  2. Room Accessories
  3. Art supplies
  4. Technology
  5. Furniture
  6. Wardrobe Accessories
  7. Oils, etc. Consumables
  8. Personal items (pads, menstrual cup, razor, etc.)
  9. Items in my Armoire
  10. Items stored in the basement
  11. Desk contents
  12. Kitchen contents (only pots and pans, I didn’t count food at all)

The majority of items I found were smaller items that everyone has such as pens and pencils, miscellaneous desk items, and office supplies.

My biggest numbers were definitely in the Art supplies category…there I had 11 brushes, 43 paints, 5 sponges, 2 sketchbooks, 3 oils, 10 markers, 1 paint thinner, 16 pastels, 9 pencils, 9 erasers…..well, you get the idea. 🙂

I’ve always had a thing for creating paintings and sketches, it is a great creative outlet that is relaxing and in the end you are left with something either beautifully amazing or half-ways decent. My goal with the art supplies is to use the supplies that I have before I purchase anything else. I would eventually like to get to the point where I make my own supplies like paints etc. There was this book once that I browsed through that said you could make a paint brush out of cat whiskers….I have two cats who drop old ones all the time, I should have been saving them all these years!

Anyways, onto the other categories. I’ll spare you the details of my wardrobe since I already did a post on it here. Since that post I have minimized a few more items, but not enough to do an updated post yet. I also have eliminated most of the plastic from my closet. I no longer have the plastic bins, and half of my hangars have been swapped out for wood ones. But I digress…

The smallest categories tended to be those with larger sized items. My furniture category is as follows:

  1. Queen bed frame
  2. Queen mattress and box spring
  3. Armoire
  4. Dresser
  5. Desk
  6. 2 sitting chairs
  7. 2 lamps
  8. 1 desk chair
  9. 1 clothes hamper
  10. 1 chalkboard- it’s quite large and hangs on a wall so I classify it as furniture

That’s it for furniture, but then again I do live with other people, so I am fully prepared that when I live on my own I will probably need a few more items. 🙂

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Another category that I have kept rather small is my room accessories/decorations category…

  1. 3 blue glass jars/vases
  2. 1 glass tiger
  3. 1 candle
  4. 1 figurine
  5. 3 ceramic masks
  6. 1 African rain stick

The only thing that is sort of a decoration that isn’t in this category is my paintings, I left them in the art category just to make my life simpler.

For those of you wondering, I’ll throw out a few other numbers of things that most of us own.

DVD’s- I own 14 (I’m thinking about getting rid of a few)

VHS’s- 17…Yes I do still have access to a VCR, I’m a weird person but I still like my VHS’s.

Books- 225….this is still a large amount, but I used to own TWO THOUSAND, so it is quite an improvement. The one thing I have always loved is books.

Sheets- 2 sets, one for winter and one for summer. I also have 1 comforter.

Hair ties- 20

Hair pins- 20

X-mas stuff- 1 small metal tin of my favorite wood/metal ornaments that I display for the month of December and then put them back away. I can use hooks to display them on a wall or a metal jewelry holder to hold them up, I nixed my Christmas tree.

Sentimental items- I have mine confined to a space rather than a number, all of my sentimental items such as photographs or old school accomplishments are in one cardboard file box. That’s it, if it doesn’t fit then I get rid of something…like pictures of old birthday cakes or Christmas trees lol Who needs those?

Those are some of the numbers, which you may or may not consider minimalist. For me it is a far cry from what I used to have, and I continue to reevaluate my items on a weekly basis. What I like to do is keep one box by the front door and as I go about my daily business I can throw an item in there if I come across it and realize that I no longer need it. When the box is full I make a trip to the donation center.

I never thought I would do an inventory like this, but it has been an eye opener.

1. About the number of things I actually own.

2. About how many of those things are one-hit-wonders or made out of plastic (I’ve been phasing out the plastic on my journey to being plastic -free and a Zero-waster).

3. About how much is truly necessary, and how much is just extra fluff. We can survive on very little, but tend to consume to excess. I am now making more mindful purchases that I mull over for a time to really assess if they are a necessity or if they will add value to my life.

Now, considering the fact that this number is changing on a daily/weekly basis I am not currently 100% sure if it is accurate, but I will finally answer your burning question…right now my total number of possessions is somewhere around 900. 225 of which is books lol Another hundred or so are art supplies. So it may seem like a big number, but surprisingly enough it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. I have 1 regular size room with a closet, and 1 shelf of space in our basement.

Have you done an inventory of your items? If so what did you learn? If not, would you ever consider making one?


If you have any specific questions about numbers of any item, ask them in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Tips for Healthy, Natural Hair

Hi everyone, since my last post was about my hair care routine, I thought I would do a follow up post about hair.

The questions I always seem to get are:

“How is your hair so healthy?”

“What shampoo do you use?”

“Is that your real hair?”

“How did you get it to grow so long?”

“Is that your natural texture?”

Yes, this is my natural hair. This picture was taken a while ago, it has grown longer since. It is now 3/4 of the way down my back.

I have really gravitated towards minimalism when it comes to my hair….mostly because I am kinda lazy 😀

  1. Zero-Waste/Minimalist shampoo, etc.578313_459239510758944_463276545_n
  2. Get a trim only when you see split-ends. You want to nip those guys in the bud before they get worse.
  3. I personally never use hair-sprays or volumizing junk on my hair, because it feels gross in my hair, and it doesn’t seem as healthy when I do.
  4. I use a bamboo hairbrush, the plastic ones seem to rip more hair out, the bamboo is gentler.
  5. If your ends are starting to dry, rub a bit of argon/coconut/olive oil on them and leave it in until your next shower.

Zero-Waste/Minimalist Hair care

This past week has been busy busy busy 🙂

I decided to try out a new hair routine, and I have to say that I am loving it. I was using shampoo bars before and they worked well, but the texture of my hair was kind of off, and I had to wash every day. Now I have switched to the no-poo method.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this method, it is really simple. For shampoo I mix a small amount of baking soda with a cup or two of water, scrub my head and rinse. Then as a clarifying rinse/conditioner I mix a bit of apple cider vinegar with water and rinse through my hair.

From what I had researched about the method I expected it to take a while for my hair to transition to the new method, but surprisingly it only took a few days before my hair transitioned beautifully.

My hair feels great and I can go a few days without washing it, and it doesn’t smell or get greasy like it used to. (I always wash on days I work-out though, so I end up washing probably 3-4 times a week right now.)

The best part of this method is that it reuses things that I already keep in my pantry, making my shopping list shorter. It is also extremely gentle on my hair as well as the environment. The baking soda can be bought in bulk, and the apple cider vinegar I buy comes in a glass jar (I haven’t found it in bulk yet).

My bathroom routine is now completely made over from what it was a year ago. I used to have tons of plastic product bottles in my closet and shower….now it only has baking soda, ACV, a shaving bar, bar of soap, safety razor, home-made toothpaste, bamboo toothbrush, oils for my face, and my bamboo hairbrush.


For those of you who haven’t tried out the no-poo method, I would definitely recommend it. It may take a week or two to transition, but after that it is ridiculously easy 🙂

What other methods have you used for your hair?

Baby-step #16- Make-up, or my lack thereof

Ladies, I have a confession to make….

I don’t like make-up.

What? Why? Who doesn’t like make-up?

Me, my lazy self, and I do not enjoy make-up in the slightest.

Not even a little bit.

No, I am not a “tomboy”, but I am not extremely girly either. My journey with make-up started when I was 12 years old and I did a brief stint with modeling. They taught me all about what to apply to your face, how to apply it, and what “needed” to be covered up. Safe to say that for my 12 year old self, all of the steps and products were overwhelming. I also learned very fast that whatever you put on your face, you have to spend an equal time taking off at the end of the day.

I didn’t like make-up for the sheer fact that it took up my time, and it was exhausting trying to remember not to rub my eyes or scratch my nose because the makeup would get messed up. But, even though I hated the stuff, I continued to use it into my teenage years, because it was just something that females do. Besides that fact, I also had a bad case of acne that I tried to hide from the world because I was ashamed of it.

Society sees it as the standard for women to hide their flaws behind layers of concealer, while men just get to walk around bare-faced and that is perfectly okay. I find that to be completely ridiculous, why should I be expected to “put my face on” every morning, and yet men can walk around with scruff and discombobulated eyebrows and nobody bats an eyelash. Other women tell me “You won’t look professional without it” or “what about dark circles and discoloration, you are just going to let everyone see it?”

Yes, I am going to do an experiment with myself. I’m going to go one whole YEAR without putting a stitch of make-up on. If at the end of the year I decide that I still like eye-liner, etc, then I might treat myself to 1 new one, or even make my own. But knowing myself the way I do, I more than likely will decide that I will never use make-up again except for the occasional Halloween.

Aside from the fact that it is a ridiculous societal standard, make-up is also Full of random chemicals and stuff that probably shouldn’t be on my face in the first place. So I am going to give my face one year without chemicals, one year to be free, then I will go from there.

To begin this year-long experiment I am getting rid of the make-up that I have kept, it is quite minimal, but it is time to let it go.


Baby-Step #15- My face routine

Face care….at the store there is usually a whole half of an aisle dedicated to different products to wash, moisturize, tone, de-wrinkle, and scrub your poor skin. Why do we need so many? Half of which do not work anyway?

I am going to be completely honest with you, I struggled with severe acne for over 6 years. I tried every product and wash on the market, I even had prescription washes and medicines….none of them worked. Not One.

A few years ago I stumbled across a few articles about how acne can be related to food intolerances and allergies. Fast forward through a year of experimenting with my diet, and I found that I have severe problems with both grains and dairy. When I cut these out of my diet, voila` my skin improves and completely clears.

Once I got rid of the acne through a diet overhaul (more on that coming in another post), I found that there was no point in buying face-wash anymore because it just strips the natural oils off of your skin, and to combat that your skin makes more oils. It is also full of harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin. Besides that, all of the washes with the micro-beads are awful for the environment, the beads are made out of plastic that contaminates our water system. Who came up with the dumb idea that we should wash our faces with plastic? I want to know so I can go give them a piece of my mind.

So I now just gently rub a damp washcloth over my face twice a day. That is the extent of my “washing”. Simple, straight-forward, and doesn’t cost me anything except for the miniscule amount of water used.

As for the “moisturizer” component, I have a mixture of grapeseed oil and castor oil that I rub on my face each day. It sits in an old glass spice jar on my dresser. The oils have been great for my face, especially since I tend to get dry skin in the summertime. If I get really dry, I might add some argon oil on my face before bed, but that is it.

Before: skin-care-aisleAfter:


Baby-Step #13- Sustainable purchases

WIN_20150609_173614This is a picture of our Tupperware drawer. It is full of plastics, and it isn’t even the plastic that bothers me the most……it is the fact that it excessively difficult to match any lid with its proper container. This drawer used to be full to the brim of mismatched food storage containers and lids that didn’t have matches because nobody had purged the drawer in almost ten years. If you want something done right, or even just done, you usually have to do it yourself.

I started by purging all of the random pieces and this is what was left. My family is adamant that they are going to keep their Tupperware, so this is now their own drawer. I have commandeered a shelf in one of the cupboards for my own food storage. WIN_20150609_172207I no longer use plastic food containers…I instead bought two different colored sets of mason jars, and a small jelly set for keeping sauces and such. The two colors are blue and purple. They are glass jars with metal lids…that are interchangeable for ALL of the jars, no more hunting for lids for me! I keep my dry snacks in the purple jars, and any meats or wet stuff in my blue jars. The jars were pretty inexpensive as well, they were about $11.00 for 6 jars. While I was at it, I also bought a few glass bowls with lids and a metal lunchbot container to carry my lunch items in.

WIN_20150609_173642I figured that I had better start myself out on the right foot and buy quality items now, that I will be able to use for years to come, instead of plastic items that are bad for the planet and that start deteriorating within a year.

I have made a few other sustainable purchases in the past month as well. I bought a bamboo hairbrush and makeup brushes (I used to buy 2-3 plastic ones per year because they broke easily). I also bought a set of 4 compostable toothbrushes instead of buying a new plastic one. I purchased both a menstrual cup and reusable cotton pads.


Aspiring to be both Zero-Waste and minimalist, these purchases have enabled me to simplify my daily routine into one that is sustainable. Some of the purchases were more of an investment than others, but they will pay for themselves in the long run because I will not be using any more money to pay for their disposable, cheap, plastic counterparts.

Investing for a more sustainable future, one step at a time 🙂

Baby-Step #10-Soap/Bodywash

If you go down the aisles in the “beauty” section of any store, you will see thousands of plastic bottles and tubes. I used to blissfully walk down these aisles to see what sort of soap and body wash I wanted to buy, and what new fragrances there were. Now, I see things differently….I see tons of plastic that is difficult to recycle…..tons of washes with chemicals I cannot even pronounce….and a lot of synthetic fragrance, yuck.

Since switching my lifestyle and trying to attain the goal of zero-waste, I have made a huge change in our bathroom in terms of soap. Instead of buying different liquid pump soaps for your hands, and then a body wash, as well as a different wash for “down there”, I now use bars of soap from Soap Works that are made of vegetable glycerin. I have gone from plastic bottles, to one price sticker per bar of soap (some shopping trips I get lucky and find a bar without a sticker). I love their soaps, I get the hypoallergenic one without fragrance, as well as the aloe vera one for any dry skin.


On a separate note, I tried their shampoo/conditioner bar and found that it wasn’t to my liking. It did get my hair clean but I was left with a really weird texture to my hair that I did not like.

I find that it is easy to make little changes to my routine, and I love using things that can do double duty….so the soap bar for body wash can also be used to wash your face or your hands.

An easy switch that satisfies my need for simplicity as well as my goal of less waste 🙂