Can I get skincare products that are plastic free?

product pics nov 2014 2 002

Nikki B’s Christmas gift packaging. Even the ribbon is plastic free! And you can choose the colour you want.

Well, the answer is YES!  We have discovered a brilliant range of plastic free cosmetics that are made by a very clever lady who lives here in the UK!  Her name is Nikki B and her commitment to creating outstanding skincare products plus offering a completely plastic free product has impressed us so much that EcoTales have given her our stamp of approval!

We wanted to find out more about Nikki and her epic journey towards achieving a plastic free product.  You can read her interview below.  We think you will agree that she is a very dedicated and impressive woman with a great vision.  She has taken lots of time to find alternatives not only to plastic microbeads (she lets us in on her secret ingredients!) but to the actual packaging, and when you go to her shop you will see she offers plastic free packaging FOR THE SAME PRICE!  Great stuff Nikki B!

Nikki has also let us know that when you place your first order online, you can enter the code NB01 and you will receive her Fragrant Bath Salts for free.  These would be great for stocking fillers!

bath_salts   aromatherapy_candle

What’s your background and what inspired you to create your own range?

It all started with Aromatherapy. I’ve always loved the essential oils and their properties. I believe that they are under-rated, especially the vegetable based oils. They have so many valuable properties and you can see how each oil has different effects on peoples’ emotions and feelings of wellbeing.

Also, being a vegetarian, I looked into what was in a lot of skincare products and I discovered that a lot of ingredients are derived from animals and I personally didn’t want to put this onto my skin! During my baby massage training I remember hearing a comment ‘if it is good enough to eat, then it’s good enough to put on your skin’! It started me thinking about what I was using on my skin and how I could begin to create my products. We like to know exactly what we are eating, and that our food doesn’t contain anything harmful, and I believe this should be the case with what we put on our skin.

I went on a course and started combining my love of aromatherapy with finding an alternative kind of skincare product about 4 yrs ago. It’s taken quite a long time to put together with lots of help from friends and family testing everything!

I’ve now selected a range from this feedback but please bear in mind that when you are using any new skincare product I would like to mention that it is always advisable to ensure that you do a patch test which tests suitability for your own personal skin type.

I also decided I would like to try and offer a range of preservative free products. I thought that it would be brilliant to go completely natural and eradicate any preservatives unless it was completely necessary.

And then I looked into plastic microbeads – what a crazy concept! I feel that it is unnecessary, you just don’t need to buy a product that contains these things. I think people get drawn in through the marketing and advertising and you end up buying things that have potential repercussions to the environment.

If you can find a solution to that you have to give it a go.

So I use essential oils and botanical ingredients and that’s what I love doing. I feel these things are really valuable to your skin and if you can find something that nourishes and nurtures your skin you’d be mad not to use it?

Why is it important to you that no plastic packaging is used?

It stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend who asked me to think about how I might be able to reduce the amount of plastic packaging for my products. I started looking at websites such as Ecotales and this highlighted to me the huge impact plastic has on the planet as well as the potential health implications to us, and I just thought that I should try to do something to make things a bit better.

To see the images of animals suffering from the effects of plastic pollution was enough to get me started on this mission! I strongly believe that if we can all do something towards making a change then hopefully those little changes will make a big difference.

Having said all this, it certainly hasn’t been easy! It took a long time to find alternatives to plastic packaging. But, I like a challenge! When someone asks me what I can do – I like to do my best! And I have explored every route from the product to the bottles they are in, the labels on the bottles and the boxes they are packed in. As far as I can, I source all my packaging from the UK.

Trying to find these things was a time-consuming and frustrating process. It’s not available everywhere. It’s not a case of just going to packaging suppliers and ordering the stuff! I was lucky because the company I sourced my products from had recyclable aluminium. So I had a starting point. But to find plastic free lotion pumps is a work in progress.

That’s why I decided to have 2 options in my product lists. One will offer you the product packaged with absolutely no plastic components, the other may for example include a pipette which has a plastic casing. I am now looking intosilicone droppers so they won’t have the plastic outer case. For the time being, the plastic free option will mean that these items do not come with a dropper and the bottle will be topped as usual with an aluminium screw cap.

I have found it very interesting and reassuring that lots of my customers have chosen completely plastic free products and have fed back to me that they prefer using their oils in this way. They feel it is actually easier to regulate the amount of oil/cream you get out of the bottle. It has definitely helped me to see that I am doing something that people really want.

My next challenge is to go totally plastic free with my labelling! Did you know that there are elements of plastic in waterproof labels and in glue of course.  I am sourcing paperbased, non pvc labels and more environmentally friendly adhesive! Even my ribbon is made from woodpulp!

My plastic free options prove that it IS achievable! I guess my concerns were about whether people would be prepared to compromise, and from the positive feedback I am getting I am learning that they are, and they don’t even miss what they had before! And when you think about what you are doing for the environment it makes even more sense.

What do you use instead of plastic microbeads in your exfoliating products?

Now that would be giving away my trade secrets!!! I use oatmeal and green clay. It’s as simple as that. The consistency is fine enough not to be abrasive but it removes the dead skin cells. It’s a great product and it’s all natural. It is a really good exfoliator, and the way it’s being produced means that no animals are harmed.

It’s all about offering the customer choices and options with them knowing exactly what is in the product. I want to be completely transparent.

All my products are lab tested for stability, so you can be confident that all my products do have at least a year’s shelf life. Even the preservative free ones are suitable for at least one year.

Do you have any more advice for people trying to avoid single use plastic in their skin care regime?

Well the obvious answer is to visit my website and buy my products! There are definitely alternatives out there – you just have to do a bit of research. There is so much on the internet now. Introduce these ideas with your children to make them more conscious and considerate about how what they do has an effect on the environment. If you take a bit of time to investigate alternatives, you will find that you will be getting a better product. Yes, it might be a bit more expensive than what is being mass produced, but personally I find with a good quality product a little will go a long way and the results will be obvious to you as you discover the benefits to your skin and your hair. Give it a go!

Nikki B’s full range can be found here: nikki-b.co.uk.

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