Products I love and recommend
I often get questioned if, since being vegan, do I also only consume fashion that is sustainably produced, products that are sustainably sourced and cosmetics that aren’t tested on animals. The answer is I try but don’t always succeed. When I first became vegan I was already vegetarian and was avoiding leather products, cosmetics tested on animals etc. This doesn’t mean in any way that I was doing it perfectly though. There are so many things to watch out for that it can often feel completely overwhelming!
Moreover people asking me these questions not only make me feel like a complete hypocrite but also make me think “why are they trying to poke holes into the argument of me eating less animal products and ultimately causing less harm to the world?”. People feel challenged by veganism and to me that’s understandable.
Eating animal products is so incredibly strong rooted in culture. A lot of us grow up with the belief that a meal isn’t a meal if it doesn’t have some source of animal protein in it. We go from being breastfed from our own mother to being breastfed from another species. Thankfully things are changing.
I don’t doubt that most people when faced with a choice they would want to buy a product reflecting their values. Unfortunately we live in a world where the often durable ethically and sustainably sourced products are more expensive than the cheap made alternatives. While the sustainably made ones are made to break down in nature the cheaper ones last longer ironically and will end up causing us a lot more trouble than their worth.
I wanted to write this post because while until now I’ve only posted about food I’d like to expand my blog and write about environmental issues as well. I thought looking into my own habits might be a good start.
While looking through my cupboards for the products I use the most and am most happy with I realised that a big bulk of them are either ones I’ve bought when I’ve been abroad or have ordered them online. I hate that I have such a large carbon footprint, this is definitely something I’d like to improve in the future. Living on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean doesn’t allow for a lot of sustainable travel.
That being said, some of these products are actually Icelandic and also made in Iceland, I believe. Nothing in this post is sponsored, these are just products that I genuinely love and think deserve a bit of attention.
These are the products I use almost daily. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and therefore I usually invest in products that are a bit more expensive because I know they will last me a long time.
I read somewhere that every single plastic toothbrush that’s been made still exists. Just think about how many toothbrushes only you and your family have thrown away during your lives. Over billions are thrown away each year most end up in landfill but some can find their way to waterways and end up harming marine life. Basically I don’t think there’s any excuse for companies to be still producing and selling plastic toothbrushes. We as consumers shouldn’t have to bare the burden of buying more expensive products. Luckily some of these bamboo brushes can be bought in bulk which makes them a bit cheaper.
I get it from a local health food shop.
I recently bought toothpaste tablets for the first time and intend to swap my normal toothpaste out for the tablets soon. The tablets are from a company called Denttabs. I’ve already tried a few and they take some getting used to but are otherwise perfectly fine. You chew on them with your front teeth until they turn into a paste, then you brush normally and spit it out after. I’ve found that it’s better to wet my toothbrush before brushing as the tablets don’t contain any water like regular toothpaste and therefore feel a lot drier in your mouth.
I get it from Vistvera - A brilliant environmentally friendly store in Reykjavík
It took me a while to realise that toothpaste was something you needed to think about when going vegan. A lot of toothpaste is tested on animals or contains glycerin which is animal derived. I really like the Benecos brand, it tastes great and has added B12.
I get it from Krónan (a local grocery store in Iceland).
Charcoal Powder - Teeth Whitening
This powder from Laila London is brilliant I use it maybe once or twice a month at the most but after every time I can really see a difference. It’s great for getting out those annoying tea/coffee/wine stains.
I get it from Boots
Steiney - Mineral Mask
I really love this mask, it’s a little on the expensive side but it lasts me for a really long time. My skin feels so clean and refreshed after using it. I use it maybe every two weeks or so. I get a small bowl ready, pour a bit of powder in and add a few drops of water to it until it becomes sort of a paste. Just be careful not to spill it over anything precious as it can stain.
I get it from here or at the airport usually
Dr. Organic Vitamin E Pure Oil
My mom recently gave me this after I burnt myself in the sun. My skin started flaking a lot and nothing seemed to work. After using it for a few days it completely went away and my skin has never felt as smooth before! I highly recommend it, I use it all over my body and sometimes even on my face if it feels very dry.
I get it from a local health food store
Sóley - Fersk White Cleansing Foam
I use this cleansing foam to take off any makeup. It’s full of pure natural ingredients and smells amazing, I feel so fresh after using it.
I get it from here or at the airport in Iceland
Zao - Organic Concealer Stick
I don’t wear a lot of makeup and when I do I rarely wear more than just mascara and concealer to hide any blemishes. I’ve always been a bit clueless when it comes to makeup, I guess the interest hasn’t really been there. I love this concealer stick though it covers everything perfectly and I love that it’s packaged in bamboo and made of natural organic ingredients.
I get it online
Lily Lolo - Mascara
I used to be a huge fan of the mascara from Origins (and a lot of their other products as well) but recently found out that they’re not 100% cruelty free. I’ve just bought this mascara from Lily Lolo and I really like it. It doesn’t smudge and stays on really well. I also like that they don’t use any nasties in their products.
I get it online
Skyn Iceland - Cooling Daily Lotion
I’ve tried a lot of different moisturisers and have struggled with finding something that isn’t so oily. This one is my favorite so far, I use it every day. It’s very light and moisturises without leaving your skin feeling oily at all. It also smells of peppermint and leaves you feeling clean and fresh!
I get it at the airport - retailers can be found here
These are the products I’ve stuck with the most for hair care. I love these brands, their packaging designs and that they don’t use any nasty ingredients!
I love all the products from alba, they don’t have any parabens or sulfates and they all smell amazing. They make my hair so smooth and it doesn’t get greasy for a while after using them. Coconut milk is my favorite just because it smells amazing.
I get these at a Whole Foods Store, also available on iherb
These products are great and super affordable. They have all sorts of products from soaps to foods. Everything is organic and produced in Scandinavia. I love the rose shampoo and the aloe vera.
I get these at a local supermarket, Krónan also available here
A bit more expensive but so worth it! I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from this brand. They also have hair masks and colour refreshers that I used to use a lot while I dyed my hair blonde.
I get these at my hair salon, also available here
Faith in Nature
I always buy these when I’m in the U.K. they’re very affordable, smell amazing and only use natural ingredients.
I get these at Holland & Barrett’s
Using a deodorant without harsh chemicals is incredibly important. These are products, often containing aluminium and other harmful chemicals, that we use everyday in sensitive areas. When I made the swap I struggled finding a deodorant that worked for me though. They either made me sweat more or wouldn’t cover any smell. The ones below are the ones I’ve been very happy with. I have so many because I’ve found that if I use the same one for a few months at a time my skin gets very sensitive so I swap them out from time to time.
Schmidt’s - Charcoal Magnesium
This has been my go to one for the past 2 years or so. It smells great but isn’t overpowering. One of the best things about it is how long it lasts I find, I can go all day and then wake up the morning after and still be fine. I’ve tried a few other scents from the same brand but they didn’t work for me.
I get them from Amazon or a Whole Foods Store
Aura - Clean Deodorant
I’ve recently found out that this one is cruelty free but not vegan as it contains beeswax. I bought it last summer as I forgot to bring my usual one with me to the U.K. It worked really well for me, it smells amazing and you only need a tiny amount of it. I’m not a huge fan of the beeswax in it obviously but I think the other ingredients are great, it contains organic coconut oil, lavender and lemongrass. The ingredients that absorb the sweat are arrowroot and British kaolin. It almost always lasted for at least 2 days and never left any marks on clothes.
People in Iceland can get it from here - also available on Amazon
We love deodorant - Sweet Serenity
I love this one, it comes in the perfect travel size so I always take it with me on trips. It’s made by a dutch company and comes in several different smells, they’ve also recently added stick versions to their line. The one I have smells of roses. The packaging is plastic-free, it’s made of completely natural ingredients and they’re very reasonably priced.
You can get it here
Nuud - The Carefree Deodorant
I bought this one recently as I’ve seen it advertised everywhere and read good things about it. I haven’t yet had the chance to try it as it’s recommended to do a “detox” for two days to sweat out everything before using it. I’ve been unusually busy these past few weeks so haven’t found a good time to do it. I felt like I had to include it but I’ll update once I’ve tried it.
The Takesumi Detox - Bamboo Charcoal Deodorant
I picked this one up in a cute travel size in NY recently, again because I forgot to bring my normal one with me. I used it for the whole trip and was impressed. It claims that the activated charcoal will act like a magnet pulling toxins from your pores. The one I have has a really nice faint floral smell to it. This one also contains arrowroot powder instead of the often harsh baking soda.
I got it from a Whole Foods Store but it’s also available here