Sustainable Travel

Eco Friendly Toiletries: How to Make DIY Toiletries for Long-Term Travel

If you are travelling with a carry-on luggage only, you will understand how difficult it is to pack toiletries for long-term travel. Plus, if you are only travelling with a carry-on bag, that means all your liquids have to be in 100ml bottles (as per TSA regulation) and a small ziplock bag.

Typically, I can fit about 2 – 3 weeks of toiletries in my minimalist backpack.

However, if I travel for more than three weeks, I will have to replenish my toiletries at my destination. But buying specific cosmetic products can be difficult because they might not be available, or they can be expensive.

So I found a solution that will solve all my problems: make my own eco friendly toiletries.

By making my own DIY toiletries, I can save a lot of money, be able to travel with my 7kg carry-on backpack and have natural toiletries that are good for my health and the environment. Keep reading to find out how you can make your own toiletries for long-term travel.

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Why I make my eco-friendly travel toiletries for long-term travel

There are many reasons why I choose to use earth-friendly products as my travel toiletries. Here are three major reasons:

1. Easy to find natural products wherever you go

  • Most of the products recommended in this post can be found in local supermarkets and pharmacies. They are common products with multiple usages so that you can find the products in most places.

2. Products are inexpensive

  • Because these items are so common, they are very affordable.

3. Simple and natural ingredients that are excellent for your health and the environment

  • Using natural eco-friendly products minimizes irritation to your skin and prevents any allergic reaction (you may or may not be aware).
  • Eco-friendly ingredients are not harmful to the environment.

Items in my minimalist toiletry bag

In my post on what I bring in my minimalist toiletries for every trip, I mentioned that I always travel with a hanging toiletry bag and clear toiletry bag.

Here is a recap.

Inside my hanging toiletry bag, my set of toiletries includes:

And inside my clear toiletry bag, I have:

  • Toothpaste*
  • Facial cleanser*
  • Toner*
  • Face cream*
  • Sunblock*
  • Contact lens solution*
  • Contact lens case

*Note: I only have enough for a few weeks for these items. For a trip for more than three weeks, I typically buy my toiletries at my destination.

Items I replenish during long-term travel

So base on my toiletry packing list above, here are the items I need to replenish for a trip longer than three weeks:

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Facial cleanser
  • Toner
  • Face cream
  • Sunblock
  • Contact lens solution

Because of safety and health reasons, I cannot use natural ingredients to make sunblock and contact lens solution (but imagine if I can?!).

And even though you could make your own DIY facial cleanser, I decided this wouldn’t be something I want because I rather clean my face properly then apply natural products. Perhaps in the future I will experiment more.

But for the other four items (shampoo, toothpaste, toner and face cream), it is totally possible to use simple ingredients to make DIY travel toiletries.

And as an added bonus, I can also make a natural face and body exfoliant also with these natural products.

Three basic ingredients for all-natural DIY toiletries

First, let’s start with the basic ingredients. These are the three natural ingredients I use for making my own eco-friendly travel toiletries:

If possible, I either bring these essential oils or find them wherever I go. These are optional for some of the recipes below.

My five DIY travel toiletries

1. Natural shampoo

I enjoy using my natural shampoo to wash my hair. It removes the hard water grime from my hair and minimizes the oil on my scalp. The peppermint oil stimulates hair growth while the tea tree oil is excellent for keeping your scalp clean.

How to make natural shampoo


  • 2 tablespoons of ACV
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 drops of peppermint oil
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • Warm water

Every time I wash my hair, I mix all of these ingredients in a mug, add lukewarm water to the top of the mug, and mix well. Use the entire cup of mixture for your hair. And remember to massage your scalp while you are washing and rinse after 5 minutes.

2. Natural toothpaste

Making your own toothpaste that tastes good and whitens your teeth is easy. Just remember to bring a small jar for a few weeks’ worth of toothpaste.

How to make natural toothpaste


  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 20 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional)
  • Small glass jar

Instead of using regular toothpaste, I like using baking soda as an alternative. I make a small batch in a small glass jar that lasts a few weeks. The eco-friendly toothpaste cleans teeth well and whitens teeth too.

3. Natural facial toner

When I run out of my regular facial toner, I will use Witch Hazel, a natural astringent for the face and body.

How to make a natural facial toner


  • ACV with filtered water in a 1:2 ration

Simply put a few drops of mixture on your cotton pad or put it directly onto your face. It is useful for closing facial pores if enlarged pores are your concern.

4. Natural moisturizer

Coconut oil can naturally hydrate and moisturize your skin. It improves skin elasticity and promotes collagen production. Plus it has anti-aging properties.

How to make a natural moisturizer


  • A small amount of Coconut oil 

Many people love using coconut oil as a natural moisturizer for the the face and body. You can apply it directly onto your face, arms, legs, and body. It is especially great for your hands and cuticles when it becomes really dry.

However, it could feel oily especially if you have oily skin. Something to consider.

5. Natural face & body exfoliant

Baking soda is an excellent exfoliant for the face and body. It is gentle enough for your face and strong enough to remove any impurities on your skin.

How to make natural face & body exfoliant


  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • enough water to make a paste

Mix all the ingredients into a paste and exfoliate your face and body. It will leave your skin silky smooth.

When you use it on your face, gently apply the paste and massage it in a circular motion for a few minutes. Then rinse with water.

As for the rest of your body, you can also use the paste to take off any dead skin.

Do you know of any other eco-friendly toiletries?

I think its important for every traveller to be conscious of the environment and do their part in helping the planet. Which is why I put together this post to help anyone who struggles with packing for long-term travel and finding the right toiletry options.

By using these natural ingredients, you can create your own eco friendly toiletry kit for all your travels. You get to save money and help the environment. What can be better?

I’ve tried all these DIY natural toiletries throughout my travels, and I love them all. I hope you can try it and see how eco-friendly products make excellent homemade toiletries.

And if you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them! Leave a comment below!

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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