Plastic free toiletries are a great way to reduce waste in your bathroom and be more eco-friendly, but I also find them incredible when travelling, especially when backpacking or travelling for extended period of time.

The good news is that now you will be able to find almost any possible product package free, from soap and shampoo bars, to deodorants, to make up remover and even toothpaste.

The ones in the photo below are some products I tried from a popular zero waste shop last year, when I did Plastic Free July, and I couldn’t live without them anymore. Starting from the orange bar clockwise, they are: a soap bar, shampoo, conditioner, face oil, make-up remover, deodorant, body scrub and body butter in the middle. Not only they are packaging free, but they also have replaced micro plastics contained in some of the products with natural elements, such as rice grains, nuts shells, etc..

There are so many reasons why you should make the switch. Here are five.

1.You will be more eco-friendly and reduce your carbon footprint

Unfortunately, being 100% green when you travel it’s almost impossible – only think about the damage we cause each time we fly somewhere! For this reason, I love doing all I can to reduce my carbon footprint in other ways, as much as possible. Using plastic free toiletries is a great way to reduce your waste and the amount of plastic you use.

soap bars
2. They take less space in your bag

A shampoo bar takes way less space in your bag than a shampoo bottle. Before, when I was backpacking, I used to buy shampoo, body wash, deodorants, etc… directly in my destination, trying to buy the smallest bottle possible and then leaving it behind in my hostel almost every time, because I had no space. All the toiletries above fit in a very small Tupperware, that was easy to fit everywhere.

When I’m travelling for shorter period of times, I just cut them and use a even smaller box to store them to save more space.

4 backpacks
3. You won’t have any issues liquids have

Liquids can be a nightmare! First of all, they can and sometimes will spill or leak in your bag. Do you remember what happened to Ross from Friends?


By using solid toiletries you would also avoid the problem of not being able to bring big liquids with you on a plane, so they are a perfect solution to carry-on limitations.

4. They last longer

Some people don’t use solid toiletries because they think they are too expensive, but if you really think about it, they last longer than liquid ones…a lot longer.

When I got my bars (the ones in the picture above), about 7 months ago, I was told that they would have last between 4 or 5 times longer than liquids toiletries. The shampoo bar lasted approximately 3.5 months vs 1 month for a shampoo bottle. The soap bar and body scrub lasted 4 months, and I still have the deodorant, the make-up remove, the body butter and the face oil.

If you are on a long trip, by using solid toiletries you won’t have to worry about running out, especially when visiting more remote places.

5. They are usually made of natural ingredients

Finally, since companies producing this type of products follow a green living philosophy, solid toiletries are usually made of more natural ingredients which is good for two reasons. Firstly, for the health of your hair and skin: when travelling you probably have to wash your hair more or taking more showers, particularly if you are very active and you like hiking swimming, etc..natural ingredients are more gentle on your skin and hair and will damage them less.

Moreover, you can wash yourself at campsites or other places where you know water goes directly into rivers or waterways, without having to worry that they will negatively impact wildlife.

However, it is important to check what ingredients they are made of and make sure this is safe to do so, as not all the brands are 100% natural!

soap bars


6 thoughts on “5 reasons to use solid toiletries when backpacking”

    1. Great to hear! 🙂 I actually found it very easy when it comes to toiletries because there are so many options now, but it’s definitely harder when you are trying to avoid single use plastic when buying food :/

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