Product Reviews Sustainable Living

July Product ‘Empties’

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The empty packaging of my July Product 'Empties'

It’s time for another empties post, even though I have only recently published my June Empties post! In June, I mostly used up food, drink and supplements. In July however, the majority of the products I used up were related to health and beauty. As usual, I will comment on how sustainable the products are, and whether I would buy them again! 

Health and Beauty

The Body Shop – Strawberry Soap

The empty packaging of The Body Shop - Strawberry Soap

I got this soap as part of a birthday gift (along with the Strawberry shampoo I wrote about in my June Empties post). I was very pleased with this because I prefer to use bar soaps than liquid soaps. Bar soaps are better for the environment because they don’t have to come in plastic packaging.

The soap had a lovely strawberry scent and it lathered well. It stayed solid and didn’t disintegrate like some soaps do, and it lasted for several months. When it got small and started breaking into pieces, I added it to my mix of little bits of leftover soap.

The main ingredient is Sodium Palmate which is made from palm oil. I checked, and The Body Shop only uses sustainable palm oil, so that’s okay. There are not too many ingredients and chemicals in this soap, and it contains real strawberry juice. This soap is also suitable for vegans which is a plus, because not all soaps are.

This strawberry soap came in a paper wrapper which is great because it is recyclable. Overall, a great, sustainable soap and I would buy it again.

LUSH – Ectoplasm Shower Scream

An empty bottle of Ectoplasm Shower Scream

To clarify, this ‘shower scream’ is a shower cream, and it is a Halloween product so that’s why it’s called a scream!

I got this for Christmas as part of a gift set from LUSH. It came in a small, 110g bottle, but it also comes in two larger sizes. As I mentioned, it is a Halloween product (even though it came as part of a Christmas gift set!) so it is currently not available to buy from LUSH. Hopefully it will be back later this year!

The cream was a bright, luminous yellow colour! It was strongly scented with grapefruit and tangerine juices and oils, which were great for waking me up and making me feel refreshed. The scent actually reminded me of freshly squeezed orange juice!

I’m not really sure what the difference is between a shower gel and a shower cream, but I guess that a cream is more moisturising than a gel. This certainly had a thick, gloopy texture compared to most shower gels that tend to be translucent and more runny. In fact, because it was so thick it was sometimes hard to squeeze it out of the bottle. I solved this problem by keeping the bottle upside down so that gravity would help it come out. 

The cream didn’t lather as well as a typical shower gel, so I had to use a fairly generous amount each time.

This shower cream has a ‘self-preserving’ formula which means it contains no preservatives. Most of the ingredients are natural and healthy (although it does contain SLS which some people prefer to avoid) and it is suitable for vegans.

Does it ‘scream’ sustainability?

It obviously came in a plastic bottle, but it was made from 100% recycled plastic, and can be recycled again. There is a solid equivalent of this shower cream which I wrote a review of several months ago. If I was buying this product again, I would choose the solid option because it lasts longer and is plastic packaging free!

L’Oreal Elvive – Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Conditioner

An empty bottle of L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Conditioner

I saw this conditioner for only £1.50 in a charity shop so I picked it up on impulse because I was running low on conditioner. In retrospect, it wasn’t the best purchase because L’Oreal is not the most ethical company. I’ve heard that they test on animals, due to their products being sold in China where animal testing is currently mandatory. The conditioner also contains quite a few unnatural chemicals and comes in a plastic bottle. At least I bought this product second hand so I wasn’t supporting the company directly.

The conditioner itself seemed to work well. It claims to be enriched with 6 micro flower oils, and create ‘voluptuous softness and lustrous shine’. It is targeted towards dry to very dry hair. My hair is quite dry, but I didn’t notice a huge positive effect from using this conditioner compared to other conditioners. 

The conditioner is a light brown colour and has a smooth, quite thick texture. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to smell like, but I thought the scent was quite artificial and I wasn’t keen on it.

For all the reasons mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t buy this conditioner again or recommend it.

Hairburst Volume & Growth Elixir

An empty bottle of Hairburst Volume & Growth Elixir

I’ve finished another bottle of this elixir, which I wrote about in my April Empties post. These bottles last me for about 3 months of regular use. I still haven’t noticed a huge difference in my hair growth, but the spray does make my hair feel and smell nice. It is expensive though, at £23.99 a bottle, so I probably won’t be in a rush to repurchase this product again.

Pacifica – Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic

An empty bottle of Pacifica - Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic

I bought this micellar water cleanser in an independent ‘natural foods and beauty’ shop for £12.99. This is quite expensive for a 236ml bottle of cleanser, but I feel it is worth it because Pacifica is a great brand in terms of ingredients and ethics.

The cleanser is vegan, cruelty free and contains lots of flower extracts and natural ingredients. It claims to give a rinse-free cleanse, remove stubborn makeup and tone skin. It also claims to be suitable for all skin types.

The cleanser is a clear, runny liquid, which I thick is typical for micellar water. It removed my makeup effectively, and didn’t give my skin any problems, although I am not sure whether I noticed any specific benefits to my skin either. I did alternate it with various other skin products though, so I think I would need to use it more regularly to see the effects.

It comes in a really pretty, attractive bottle with a flower and water droplet design on it. You can tell it is a good quality product just from the bottle!

The only disadvantages of this product are that it was made in the USA which means it has been shipped over to the UK. Also, it comes in a plastic bottle and there is no mention of it being recycled plastic. So unless you live in the USA, this product may not be quite as sustainable as it first seems.

I would buy this cleanser again because it worked well, contains natural ingredients and is from an ethical company. However, if I found a similar product that is made in the UK, I would switch to that.

You can buy this cleanser on Amazon UK here.

LUSH – ‘Don’t Look At Me’ Fresh Face Mask

An empty pot of LUSH - 'Don't Look At Me' Fresh Face Mask

I love LUSH products, and I picked up this face mask for free, thanks to their deal where you can bring in 5 empty LUSH pots and get a fresh face mask free. They are normally priced at £9, so this is a really good deal that I make use of whenever I build up enough empty pots!

The fresh face mask needs to be stored in the fridge, and used within a few weeks. I got about 6 uses out of it. It feels really nice and cooling applying the mask straight from the fridge, especially on a hot day! This mask is a bright blue colour, and makes for really funny selfies when you have it on!

It has a really refreshing citrus scent due to the lemon juice and grapefruit oil it contains. It has a ‘scrubby’ texture thanks to the ground rice, so it is good for exfoliating your face as you apply it. My skin felt very clear and clean after using it!

The mask is suitable for vegans, and is not tested on animals. Almost all of the ingredients are natural, and it is a ‘self-preserving’ formula which means it contains no chemical preservatives. Although it comes in a plastic pot, it is made from 100% recycled plastic and can be brought back to LUSH to be recycled again!

I would definitely get this face mask again, especially if I can get it for free by bringing back 5 empty pots to LUSH.

Superdrug Procare Sensitive Expanding Floss

An empty pack of Superdrug Procare Sensitive Expanding Floss

I have used up another pack of this floss, which I wrote about in my April Empties post.

Food and Drink

Twinings – Lemon and Ginger Teabags

An empty box of Twinings Lemon and Ginger Teabags

Lemon and Ginger is one of my favourite flavours for tea. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and is known to cure headaches, nausea and more. I like to keep some in in case I need it, because in my experience I’ve found that it works!

This particular tea has a pleasant lemon and ginger taste, and is not too strong. I usually leave my teabag in because I like to make it as strong as possible.

There were 20 teabags in the pack, which were not individually wrapped, but they all came wrapped in a plastic bag within the cardboard box. To make this tea more sustainable, it would be better if they skipped the plastic bag and put the teabags straight into the cardboard box. I’m not sure whether the teabags would stay fresh this way, but maybe they could be wrapped in paper instead of plastic.

There are many different brands of lemon and ginger tea, and I tend to buy whichever I find first. This is one of the cheaper brands, and I would certainly buy it again. However, I would be more likely to buy brands that don’t involve plastic, if available.

I wrote about a similar Twinings tea (Spiced Ginger) in my May Empties post, and much of what I wrote there applies here too.

You can buy this Lemon and Ginger tea on Amazon UK here.

Supplements and Remedies

Alive! Women’s Energy Soft Jell Multi-Vitamins

An empty tub of Alive! Women's Energy Soft Jell Multi-Vitamins

I have finished another tub of these multi-vitamins which I wrote about in my May Empties post. Check it out to find out what I think of them!

I have still been taking one per day rather than the suggested two. However, I am unsure whether they are having any effect on me or not, because I take several different supplements. I have one more tub of these to use up, and then I plan to find some vegan multi-vitamins to take instead.

Rescue Remedy Drops and Chewing Gum

Empty packaging of Rescue Remedy Drops and Chewing Gum

I have used up another bottle / pack of both these products, which I have written about in previous posts:

March Empties (Rescue Remedy Drops)

May Empties (Rescue Chewing Gum)


PUR Gum – Chocolate Mint x2

Two empty packets of PUR Gum - Chocolate Mint

I have used up another 2 packets of this chewing gum, which I originally wrote about in my April Empties post.

Have you used any of these products or brands?

If so, I would love to hear your opinions on them! I would also love to know what products you have used up this month, and whether you have any recommendations. Let me know in the comments!

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July Product Empties


  1. You’ve shared some great products, I love Pacifica and Lush…
    I really need to get into the habit of writing about my empties, it’s looks like a great way to keep track of your most used products and spending. Thanks for sharing! xo

    Pixee |

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Pacifica and Lush are two of my favourite brands!
      Writing about empties is definitely a great way to keep track, and it’s good to look back over them and remind myself of what products I liked, when I need to buy more! x

  2. Call The Medical Reg says:

    Great post! I am also a fan of body shop products. They have a great selection of different scents to choose from.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I agree, they have loads of lovely scents!

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