The bathroom cabinet provides plenty of scope for beautiful, natural products which nourish, soothe and inspire – even among everyday essentials, says Matt Chittock

For better or worse, we’ve all been spending more time than usual staring into the bathroom mirror since COVID-19 put the kibosh on socializing. And through this long, dark tea-time of the soul many people have also been reconsidering exactly what we mean by ‘bathroom essentials’ anyway.

Are they the upmarket organic bath oil that makes you feel decadent when it’s dark and cold outside? Or the everyday moisturizer that balms skin while providing a feel-good boost?

For Fiona Klonarides, natural advocate and director of The Beauty Shortlist Awards, wellbeing, health and eco concerns have come together to shape the overall category over the last couple of years.

“I think bathroom essentials have become health essentials,” she says. “In my case, my new bathroom cabinet staples are vitamin C, zinc, magnesium (for stress), vitamin D3 + K2 drops plus an antiviral, antiseptic throat gargle and naturally protective oral care products as well.

“Shower and hair care bars (all beautifully plastic-free) are also winning over consumers once they realize that a shampoo bar can be every bit as good as liquid shampoos and conditioners – it’s an easy way to keep your bathroom free from all that dreaded plastic.”

Ben Wigley from leading online retailer Big Green Smile agrees that the plastic-free trend has been a huge driver for natural beauty across the board.

“For decades, conventional period products have not been questioned, often purchased on autopilot”

“Success in natural beauty is not just about the product contents anymore. It is about the life cycle of the product and its packaging,” he says.

Pearly whites
In the all-important dental health category, this plastic purge means a host of zero-waste formats are becoming available – including jars and tablets instead of tubes and paste. 

For example, Dragons’ Den-baiting natural brand Parla offers Toothpaste Tabs in an eye-catching jar featuring hydroxyapatite for whitening and calcium carbonate to combat stains. Joining it on the shelves is HELLO, the new vegan natural oral care range focused on activated charcoal whitening, and Dr Bronner’s more traditional Spearmint All-One Toothpaste formulated with 70% organic ingredients.

Brands are getting innovative with creative accessories to use while you’re brushing your teeth too (or when you have a spare five minutes away from Zoom). Influencer-endorsed acupressure mats from companies like Scentered apply gentle pressure to the soles of the feet to energize and refresh tired morning minds and bodies.

When even big brands like Colgate are getting into bamboo brushes you know that change is happening fast – which provides scope for the pioneering natural sector to double-down on other plastic-free beauty accessories. For Wigley this means he’s seen more consumer interest in plastic-free loofahs, like LoofCo’s compostable Body Loofah.

The same goes for hair brushes: BASS Brushes is busy launching two new hair brushes to the UK market – one with bamboo pins and a 100% plant starch handle, the other with a blend of bamboo and natural bristle pins.

“Natural beauty and the wider trend of more conscious consumerism has been on the up for years, but we see this growth climbing over the coming year as awareness continues to grow and more and more people are thinking about the impact of the products they buy,” says Wigley. 

Skincare sales
While accessories are finding their eco-zeal to meet this demand, Wigley says that the lockdowns haven’t stopped consumers caring about their skin. 

“Although you would think beauty sales when no one is leaving the house would go down, we actually saw an uplift [during lockdown]! Being a purely online operation meant we were shielded from the overall dip in beauty sales in 2020,” he says.

COVID-19 created plenty of time for deep skin cleansing – and so the face mask came into its own, alongside the face covering. Klonarides particularly likes Evolve Organic Beauty’s Bio-Retinol Gold Mask, which features Bidens pilosa, argan, Astrocaryum murumuru seed butter and rosehip.  

“The texture is gorgeous and it’s a lifesaver for dry or mature skin,” she says. “And you’ll look like a beautiful Pharaoh after you’ve painted your face gold!” 

Another product on her radar is Evolve’s Radiant Glow Mask which includes deeply chocolate-scented mousse with kaolin, cacao, coconut shells (for exfoliation), orange flower water and organic vanilla oil. 

As the trend for functional face masks develops, expect to see more products like Menopause Faace Masks, specially formulated for menopausal or perimenopausal skin, with organic safflower and organic pomegranate seed oil.

Time of the month
Elsewhere, for pre-menopausal women and people who bleed, period care is a pretty good definition of a bathroom (and handbag) essential. The fact that – for mainstream consumers at least – the category has remained static for so long (excepting innovative pioneers like Brighton’s original Mooncup) means that it’s now ripe for disruption.

One big natural contender is TOTM – a business which is on a mission to make zero-plastic, zero-waste menstrual products.

“I had the idea back in 2012 after spotting an opportunity to develop a next-generation period care brand that I would want my own daughter to use,” explains St.John Pearce-Burke, founder and managing director, TOTM.

“This idea also resonated with our brand co-founder, Kate Herbert. We both felt that the period care industry was prime for disruption. At that time nobody was offering period care on subscription, and eco-friendly options were not readily available to consumers.” 

Despite period care no longer being considered ‘luxuries’ by a patriarchal tax system, Pearce-Burke feels that there’s still much stigma around the category.

“The stigma around periods does present challenges in the category for disruptive, new brands. For decades, conventional period products have not been questioned, often purchased on autopilot without much discussion. So the use of synthetic materials such as rayon and plastic as well as artificial additives has seldom been questioned by consumers. 

“As a challenger brand in the industry, we’re fighting for change which means continually raising awareness of organic cotton and reusable period care alternatives.”

Pearce-Burke adds that during the first lockdown period care became a ‘panic-buy’ item. But she believes that enforced time at home allowed consumers to re-evaluate its impact on the planet. 

Competing in period care, Edinburgh-based Floco is looking to make a difference with reusable pads that are thin and absorbent. As a social enterprise, it donates 10% of its revenue for every pack sold to fighting poverty around the world. 

Alison Wood, Floco co-founder, notes that lockdown meant more people sadly experienced ‘period poverty’ right here in the UK. “The pandemic impacted how people got hold of period products,” she says. 

“Success in natural beauty is not just about product contents anymore. It is about the life cycle of the product and its packaging”

“It introduced new challenges and led many to experience period poverty for the first time or more intensely than ever before. The Welsh Government had to apologize publicly after confusion over what products were deemed ‘essential’ after a large supermarket chain had taped off period product aisles under introduction of new guidance.”

So, as consumers realign their priorities around the planet, what bathroom essentials can we expect to trend in the future? Klonarides says that she’d like to see a nature-inspired ‘aroma-batherapy’ brand – aromatherapy developed specifically for the bathroom to mentally and emotionally set the right tone for morning and night. 

“[You could have] lemon and orange, or peppermint and rosemary for mornings … clary sage and lavender or rose and geranium, or maybe a gloriously evergreen/deeply woody Swedish forest blend, before an early night,” she says.

Plus, Wigley notes that natural sexual health products enjoyed an uptick during 2021. Which might mean there’s scope for well-branded and sexy natural options. Or failing that, maybe we’ll see a pressing need for baby products as we move through 2022.   

Bathtub basics
“Shampoos, shower gels and soaps are the big winners [of lockdown],” declares Wigley, indicating that me-time and bathing are continuing trends in natural beauty – whether that means eco-positive shampoo bars or soothing bath salts.

“I think the pandemic has made the ancient art of bathing even more important for mental health,” says Klonarides. “With bad news and fear being blasted at us relentlessly, day in and day out, our soak-away-the-stress bath heroes like Westlab’s Epsom Salts blends or Corinne Taylor’s Recharge Himalayan Bath Salts really come into their own.

“I don’t even see these products as luxuries anymore, they’ve become pandemic necessities. Himalayan, Epsom and magnesium bath salts are the perfect pre-pillow ritual to help calm down your ‘fight or flight’ response, especially when it’s stuck in worry or fear mode.”

Klonarides is also a big fan of Tisserand’s Total De-Stress Body Wash – describing it as a beautiful ‘winter warmer’ – as well as MODM’s Mandarin & Vetiver Hand & Body Wash and Evolve’s African Orange Aromatic Hand & Body Wash.  

This proves aromatherapy is definitely a growing trend in the bathroom. And natural originator Weleda is buying into it big-time with four Aroma Shower variants: Love, Relax, Harmony and Energy. The brand says each has been scientifically proven to positively impact emotional wellbeing, which might be exactly what we need to soak away any spring stress.


AllMatters award-winning menstrual cups (prev. OrganiCup)

AllMatters (prev. OrganiCup)
Tel: +45 23718040
E-mail:  [email protected]

AllMatters (prev. OrganiCup) has brought the award-winning, reusable menstrual cup to millions of women all over the world.
The easy, healthy and green alternative to disposable pads and tampons.
Made of 100%, soft, high-quality medical-grade silicone, produced in Europe. Up to 12 hours safe and leak-free protection. Unique, plastic-free packaging made from recycled carton. Available in 3 sizes. The little things you do daily can have a big impact on our planet – our products are made with that in mind. To make it simple and satisfying for everyone to make those small changes in their daily routines. Because it AllMatters. Available at: Tree of Life, CLF, The Health Store and Queenswood


GRN[GREEN] Gentlemen’s Organic Care

cosmondial GmbH & Co. KG
Tel: +49 6028998780
E-mail:  [email protected]

You don’t need a suit to be a gentleman! Potent and natural care for body, face and (beard) hair with high-quality ingredients for a self-confident statement.  Hemp and hops – the new dream team that covers everything a man needs for a well-groomed, attractive and naturally good appearance. The combination of soothing and energising active ingredients ensures revitalised and healthy male skin. The series combines 3in1 Body Wash, Deo Spray, Q10 Face Cream, Shaving Cream and Face & After-Shave Balm.



E-mail: [email protected]

The Tampliner® is a high-quality organic cotton tampon with a difference. It has a built-in mini-liner you wear between your labia, giving you extra protection from leaks without the bulk and bunching of a bigger liner. The mini-liner is held in place by our patented virtual applicator for mess-free insertion and removal. Over 70% of women wear a tampon AND a liner because they don’t feel confident against leaks – by combining an organic cotton tampon with a soft mini-liner, you get better peace of mind in one, innovative product. Absorbencies: regular, super & super+


Rose Geranium Soap

Friendly Soap
E-mail:  [email protected]

Rose Geranium ticks a lot of beneficial boxes, which is why Friendly Soap have created this luxury bar with it. A perfect replacement for plastic shower gel bottles, the essential oil’s heavenly scent is said to reduce anxiety and leaves you feeling fresh and clean. 

Friendly Soap never fail to impress with their ultra-ethical brand, delivering a range of natural body, haircare and shaving products. Rest assured that every product is plant-based, cruelty-free, and handmade by people paid a living wage, without using plastic, preservatives or sulfates.


New Clean Beauty from Heritage Store

Heritage Store

Leaders in soul-to-skin beauty since 1969, Heritage Store’s clean, vegan beauty range is growing, with four new skincare products. The latest additions to the collection include a lightweight gel-cream Rosewater Moisturiser to hydrate the skin, Ancient Healing Clay – a centuries-old healing Bentonite clay to enrich and purify the skin, milky Rosewater Cleanser and Blemish Toner, which is infused with tea tree and peppermint. Delivering good energy, transcendent vibes and a healthy glow – inside and out – the new products are now available in the UK for the first time, having previously only been available in the USA.


JASON Powersmile® Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste

Kinetic Natural Products Distributor
Tel: 08450 725825
E-mail:  [email protected]

Best-selling Powersmile Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste features an exclusive blend of natural polishers and stain-fighting botanicals, including bamboo powder, calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and silica, to help prevent tartar build-up while gently whitening and brightening. Natural grapefruit seed and perilla seed extracts help fight damaging sugar acids while natural peppermint oil offers a powerful flavour for fresh breath, and aloe vera soothes gums and mouth. Formulated with no: SLS/SLES, preservatives, artificial colours, artificial sweeteners, saccharin, propylene glycol or gluten. Vegan & BUAV-certified cruelty-free. New-look packaging coming soon!


LoofCo Plastic Free Bathroom!

NatBrands Ltd
Tel: 01892 616871
E-mail:  [email protected]

Plastic sponges & exfoliators do not biodegrade and release microplastic particles into the environment. An easy way to reduce plastic use in your bath or shower is by switching to LoofCo’s exfoliating Body Loofah, Bath-Time Heart, Bath-Time Smile & Back Scrubber! Clean up afterwards with a LoofCo Bathroom Cleaning Pad. Expertly made in Sri Lanka and Egypt from loofah and coconut plant fibres, this ingeniously ecological, plastic-free range is inspired by tradition & proven over generations. Look out for LoofCo’s fresh new look and extensive range of 26 plastic-free pads, brushes, soaps and cloths for washing-up, home, garden, and body.


BioKap – 10 minute hair dyes

Mahi Naturals Ltd
Tel: 020 8886 4001
E-mail:  [email protected]

BioKap hair dyes offer a fast and gentle option to cover grey hair perfectly. The high percentage natural and vegan formulas work in just 10 minutes, and are a first in the natural home hair dye category! Carefully developed with Organic Argan Oil and Tricorepair complex to protect hair and scalp, the range of 12 shades is free from PPD, Ammonia, Resorcin and Fragrance to ensure suitability for even the most sensitive scalps. Also available from BioKap are Root Touch-Up sprays in 6 shades for covering re-growth,  and shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair. Extensive POS available for stores to create a beautiful display.


Period Game Changer – Mooncup®

Mooncup Ltd
E-mail:  [email protected]

Mooncup® is the original, multi-award-winning menstrual cup.  Designed by women and made in the UK to the highest quality standards, the reusable Mooncup offers an end to the plastic waste, discomfort and expense of traditional disposable sanitary protection.  With nearly 20 years’ experience supporting customers to make the switch to healthier, greener and cheaper periods.  Their exemplary advice service is run by medical health professionals.  As the leading menstrual cup brand Mooncup® has been tried and trusted by millions worldwide. Thanks to Mooncup® users over 3 billion tampons and pads have been diverted from the waste stream.


Ben & Anna White Toothpaste (with fluoride)

Pravera Ltd
Tel: 01556 870203
E-mail:  [email protected]

Ben & Anna’s award-winning white toothpaste with fluoride is a must have for your dental routine, formulated to keep your teeth and gums healthy.  The consistency is smooth, with no gritty particles and it tastes exactly like a traditional tubed version, making it a huge hit in the vegan and natural world!  It’s the perfect choice for anyone looking to brighten their smile without harsh agents and all in eco-friendly packaging.


Clinically-proven protection… Organyc organic cotton cardboard applicator tampons

Pravera Ltd
Tel: 01557 870203
E-mail:  [email protected]

Tampons are a must need in the bathroom. The Organyc organic cotton cardboard applicator tampons are ideal for women who want to avoid using synthetic materials in their sanitary products. The Organyc tampon is made from 100% pure certified organic cotton with an organic cotton absorbent core. The tampons are naturally breathable, hypoallergenic, and ideal for women who suffer with sensitive skin. They are free from wood pulp, plastics, bleach, perfumes, and dyes. All Organyc cotton tampons are individually wrapped in paper. RRP £3.79