Need a little time to yourself? Take a moment for some quality 'me time'.

Regardless of what we have going on in our lives, either in the wider world or at home, we all need self-care. Scheduling in some quality time to unwind, tuning in with what we need, and pampering ourselves can do us the world of good and help us recharge.

But many self-care routines involve synthetic products that come with too much packaging or create waste afterwards. So how can we show ourselves, and the planet, some love naturally?

We asked members of our Green Ambassador Program how they like to recharge:

  • Combine used tea leaves and honey to create a mask. Apply and leave for 15 minutes, then scrub as you wash off.
  • Use natural oils, like coconut or hemp oil, as a nourishing face, body or hair moisturiser.
  • Surround yourself with plants - taking time to water, care for, and pot your new 'plant friends' allows you a moment of quiet and can be very therapeutic.
  • Create a natural face scrub with old chamomile or rose hip tea bags, oats and oil (jojoba is recommended).
  • Harvest an Aloe Vera leaf and wipe the gel on skin or damp hair as a moisturiser and conditioner.

Other ways we enjoy natural self-care:

  • Boiling water, adding tea tree or lavender essential oil, and opening up pores with a home steam facial.
  • Looking up facial and muscle massage techniques online and follow along with a natural oil.
  • Going out for a walk out in nature without any technology – you can fully immerse yourself in the wildlife and weather.
  • Putting on reef-safe sunscreen and getting a safe amount of sunlight. Even a few minutes on the balcony or in the garden increases your energy.

What do all these suggestions have in common? They use natural ingredients, most of which can be found in the kitchen. They reuse old foodstuffs like tea leaves and cultivate a home environment with daily activies that are more connected to nature. And they don’t use products that have excess packaging or can cause harm in our waterways.

Some synthetic products contain microbeads, which can pollute the marine ecosystem and permeate the food chain. Other synthetic compounds can also wash into our waterways and build up in the environment, including UV filters, parabens and triclosan(1). By avoiding these products altogether, you’re not only helping the environment, but are pampering yourself with a healthy, natural self-care routine too.

What are your favourite ways for natural self care? Let us know at sustainability@uq.edu.au or on social media via Facebook and Instagram at @uqsustainability.

 

(1) Juliano, C.; Magrini, G.A. Cosmetic Ingredients as Emerging Pollutants of Environmental and Health Concern. A Mini-Review. Cosmetics 2017, 4, 11.