Product Reviews Sustainable Living

August Product ‘Empties’

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The empty packaging of my August Product 'Empties'

It’s time to share my August Product ‘Empties’! I have used up quite a variety of products this month, including shower products, skincare, supplements and stationary. I hope you enjoy reading about them.

Health and Beauty

Alberto Balsam ‘Sunkissed Raspberry’ Conditioner

An empty bottle of Alberto Balsam 'Sunkissed Raspberry' Conditioner

This is a cheap brand of conditioner which I bought from the garage when I had run out of conditioner. It is described as a moisturising conditioner for normal or dry hair. It did its job as a conditioner, but I wouldn’t say that it felt especially moisturising.

As well as using this conditioner on my hair, I also used it as a shaving cream for a while. This was after I had bought a better conditioner for my hair. It was effective for this purpose, as any conditioner would be!

The conditioner has a raspberry scent, which is pleasant and not too artificial. It is pale pink and has quite a thin, gloopy texture compared to other conditioners.

In terms of ethics and sustainability, this conditioner is not ideal. It comes under the Unilever brand, which doesn’t have the best ethics. There are all sorts of chemicals in the ingredients which don’t sound very natural at all. It also comes in a plastic bottle. For these reasons, I wouldn’t purchase this conditioner again unless it was a last resort.

The Body Shop – Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel

An empty bottle of The Body Shop - Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel

This is a mini bottle of shower gel that came as part of a gift set from The Body Shop. I actually bought the set as a present for someone else, but for a reason I can’t recall, I ended up not giving it to them. I saved it as a possible future present, but after a while I decided that the products might be getting too old to give as a gift, so I kept the set for myself.

The shower gel smells of pink grapefruit, but the smell is not very strong or long lasting. For a stronger citrus smell, I would recommend Ectoplasm shower cream by LUSH which I reviewed in my July Product ‘Empties’ post. The gel worked effectively, as you would expect a shower gel to work. It only lasted me for a couple of weeks, because the bottle was small (only 60ml).

This product comes in a plastic bottle, and the fact that it is a small bottle makes it even worse in terms of sustainability. If I am going to buy plastic, it’s better to buy a larger bottle because it lasts longer and uses less plastic proportionally to the amount of product. On inspecting the ingredients, this shower gel contains honey so it is not vegan. For these reasons, I wouldn’t buy this shower gel again.

LUSH Starcraft Cleansing Lotion

An empty bottle of LUSH Starcraft Cleansing Lotion

I received this product as a gift several years ago when it was available as part of their ‘retro’ range. It is now discontinued, so it will be impossible to get hold of this product again!

I have been using this cleansing lotion lately as part of my skincare routine. The key ingredients are oats, honeysuckle and lavender, and it has a lovely lavender scent. The texture is thin and smooth, and it applies easily to the face. A little goes a long way. It is easy to rinse off afterwards, and leaves my face feeling nice and clean. It seems to be quite soothing for my skin, as claimed on the bottle.

The lotion is suitable for vegans, and is from LUSH, an ethical company. The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic, and can be recycled again. If this product was still available, I would buy it again, but unfortunately it has been discontinued.

Burt’s Bees – Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

An empty tube of Burt's Bees - Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream
I took this picture before I cut the tube to use up the last of the product.

I have been using this cleanser in the mornings and evenings as part of my skincare routine. It was a small, 20g tube that came as part of a Burt’s Bees gift set. Because the tube was so small, it only lasted me for under 3 weeks. 

The cleanser smells gorgeous. To me, it smells minty with a hint of fruit – strawberry perhaps. It is meant to smell of soap bark and chamomile, but I’m not even sure what soap bark is or what it smells like! The ingredients state that this cleanser contains menthol, which explains the minty scent.

It is pearly white and the texture is fairly thick. It works best when you wet your face first, as stated in the instructions, because otherwise it dries very quickly. I needed to use quite a generous amount each time to spread over my whole face. It felt cool and refreshing on my skin. It was easy to wash off afterwards and left no residue. 

This product seemed effective as a cleanser, however, I didn’t use it for removing make-up so I can’t comment on whether it works for this.

After about a week, it started to get hard to get the product out of the tube. The plastic is quite rigid and the cleanser quite thick which would explain why. To get the last of the product out, I had to cut the tube. Obviously the product would last longer and be easier to get out if I was using a full sized tube.

An empty tube of Burt's Bees - Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, cut in half
I cut the tube so that I could get the last of the product out. I stored it by squeezing the shorter part of the tube inside the longer part, then wrapping it in a plastic bag to make it airtight.

How sustainable is this cleanser?

Burt’s Bees as a company uses honey and other non-vegan ingredients, but as far as I can tell, this particular product is vegan. It is not tested on animals, and the majority of the ingredients are natural. However, it was made in the USA which means it has been shipped over to the UK.

It is a lovely cleanser, and I would use it again. However, for sustainability reasons I would prioritise a cleanser that is made in the UK and does not come in plastic packaging. If I did buy this product again, I would definitely buy a full sized tube to save on packaging and make it last longer.

You can purchase the full sized version of this product here on Amazon UK.


Just Natural Organic Ashwagandha Powder

An empty packet of Just Natural Organic Ashwagandha Powder

I have been taking Ashwagandha as a supplement for several months now. It is supposed to have many health benefits including reducing inflammation, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving brain function. 

I had previously taken Ashwagandha in capsule form, but I bought this powder from a local health food shop. I have been stirring half a teaspoonful of powder into a glass of water every morning. It mixes into the water but it does contain some larger bits that don’t dissolve. It doesn’t taste amazing, but it’s palatable. However, if you are not keen on strange tastes and textures then a capsule form might be better for you.

The one ingredient is organic Ashwagandha powder, which is suitable for vegans. It comes in a resealable plastic pack. It stopped sealing properly after several months of use, so I used a clip to keep it sealed. The pack lasted me for around 6 months in total.

I am unsure whether I have noticed any of the supposed benefits from taking Ashwagandha. I take several supplements so I wouldn’t be sure what to attribute any benefits to! However, I intend to continue taking Ashwagandha for the foreseeable future.

Since using up this pack, I have gone back to taking capsules, but I would consider a powder again especially if I could buy it loose in my own container rather than in a plastic pack.

I found this Ashwagandha powder on Amazon UK here.

Rescue Remedy Drops

An empty bottle of Rescue Remedy Drops

I have used up another bottle of Rescue Remedy drops which I wrote about in my March Empties post. I still find the drops helpful in managing anxiety.

You can buy Rescue Remedy drops from Amazon here.

Incidentally, I have found a way to recycle the Rescue Remedy dropper bottles. I discovered that the droppers are easily dismantled by pulling out the glass dropper, and pulling off the rubber ‘squeezer’. The glass dropper can be recycled along with the glass bottle, and the plastic cap can be taken to LUSH for recycling. As for the rubber part, it fits snugly on the end of a pencil and can be used as an eraser! 

A dropper lid fitted on the end of a pencil as an eraser
Rescue Remedy dropper lids make great pencil erasers!
A close up of the dropper lid eraser


PUR Gum – Chocolate Mint x2

Two empty packets of PUR Gum - Chocolate Mint

In August, I used up my final two packs of chocolate mint gum which I bought a 12-pack of several months ago. I originally reviewed this gum in my April Empties post so you can read about it there. I wasn’t a huge fan of this flavour compared to other flavours of PUR gum, so I don’t plan to purchase this flavour again. Also, I have discovered a much more sustainable brand of gum which I am trying out at the moment. I look forward to sharing my thoughts about that gum in a future empties post!

This is the 12-pack of gum that I bought from Amazon.

Coral Washi Tape from Accessorize

A box of washi tapes in coral and green
I took this picture before I used the coral washi tape.
An empty washi tape roll
Here’s the empty roll!

I got this washi tape as a present from my sister. It was part of a set of three washi tapes from Accessorize. I wrote about another tape from this set in my May empties post.

This tape was a really pretty coral colour, and it adhered well to paper. The tape was thin and slightly translucent, so if you stuck it on anything other than white then the colour or pattern would show through.

I like using washi tapes and I have plenty more in my collection to use up. This set of tapes came packaged in a plastic box, so if need to I buy washi tape in future I wouldn’t choose these. I would find some that come unpackaged, or packaged in cardboard.

That’s it!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my August product ‘empties’! Have you tried any of these products, or similar? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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August Product Empties


  1. I thought that was really cool on how you told everyone how to recycle the droppers. I had no idea we could do that. I never would have thought of using the rubber part as an eraser OR taking the cap to LUSH. Thank you for your post!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      You’re welcome – I also had never thought of that until recently! I had a whole collection of those bottles that I was saving up because I wasn’t sure how to recycle the droppers. Then I realised they came apart easily, so I figured out ways to recycle each part separately! I was so pleased when I realised the rubber part fits perfectly on the end of a pencil, and rubs out without smudging!

  2. I like reading posts like this and seeing what products people have been using and what people they think about them. So I find new products to use. Thank you for sharing xx

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I like reading posts like this too, and it’s fun to write them and inspire others! Thanks for dropping by xx

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