Lately, I've been all about small joys. With not much on the calendar to look forward to—living that #SocialDistancing life—I've succumbed to padding around my apartment, focusing on what in my homebound routine makes me excited. While I'm not one to hoard products, or even spend all that much time on my beauty regimen, the unvarnished truth is this: I freaking love my shampoo bars.
Montalbano Lush lushusa.com $11.95 SHOP NOW
Specifically, I love these shampoo bars from Lush, the cosmetics company that's known for their handmade, vegan, and sustainable products—but also mostly for their colorful, Instagrammable bath bombs.
It all started when I decided to cut back on using plastic. First, I turned to my bathroom, which seemed to be filled with plastic packaging, from my face serums to my hair products. I had heard that places like Lush sold shampoo bars that came without any plastic, so I went ahead and bought the Montalbano bar. In the store, it smelled citrusy and bright, a scent, I learned, that wakes you up and then lingers even after you've left the shower. I also bought this small tin, so whenever I went back to the store, I could carry out a bar without any packaging.
Seanik Lush lushusa.com $11.95 SHOP NOW
The shampoo turned to be exactly what I wanted; I was nervous about how it would work, especially because I have oily hair, but it lathered nicely and cleansed my scalp as well as any other shampoo I'd tried. And while $12 might seem pricer than your drugstore shampoo, I've found the bars—I've also used and loved the Seanik version—last just as long, if not longer than your typical bottle. (I haven't done the math, but the website claims one bar will last up to 80 washes.) Using it makes me happy on the daily, knowing I'm doing some tiny action to reduce waste, while also gifting myself a product I truly enjoy. And honestly, once I got my hands on this Lush baby, I was hooked. I've since converted my shower into a mostly plastic-free situation, complete with a shampoo bar, conditioning bar, bar soap, safety razor, and a cleansing bar.
I know I can't control much right now. The news is scary, and so many people I want to hug I can only see through a tiny video screen. I've also had to ditch some of my eco-friendly habits in the name of staying safe and healthy, buying more cleaning products and food that come in plastic. (To be clear, I think you should too, if you need.) But when I step into the shower, I still have my same routine. I can claim a pocket of time for myself, using the items that make me smell and feel good—maybe even normal. It's, at the very least, something to look forward to.
Madison Feller Madison is a staff writer at ELLE.com, covering news, politics, and culture.