Burt's Bees makes a Res-Q Ointment that I could not live without, zero waste lifestyle or not. I originally got it in one of those little travel kits they sell, and I remember thinking that I would probably never use it. But then I realized it's great on scrapes, makes cuts heal faster, magics away pimples, soothes my dry nose in the winter, heals bruises, cures bug bites, works as an intensive lip balm, stands in for lotion in a pinch, helps stave off bloody noses, smooths cuticles, and I've heard it's great as a post-tattoo balm.
I use Res-Q ointment for a multitude of problems on a daily basis. I have a tin in constant use, one in my emergency kit, and one in my supply of extras. I never want to be without this stuff, and I love that the packaging is so minimal. It depends on where you buy it from, but there is never more than the tin of product itself, and perhaps a box so the store can hang it on their display racks. The tin does come with a ring of shrink-wrapped plastic to keep it sealed, but I mail this back to Burt's Bees with a letter asking them to find a more waste-free way. I don't like the little bit of plastic, but it's much better than a plastic tube or bottle each for Neosporin, calamine lotion, zit cream, Vaseline, cuticle cream, and the other products I'd have to buy to do everything this ointment can do.
Burt's Bees as a company has zero-waste offices, and is working to make their manufacturing process waste-free in the next few years. They have a great reputation as a company, and are sure to back it up with transparent business practices, community involvement, and hardworking products. One of the few garbage-producing things I allow myself is their lip balm, as I've never found anything better. Though many of their products do come in plastic packaging, Burt's Bees has worked hard to minimize this, as well as use as much post-consumer recycled content as possible. They're not perfect, but they are about as close to it as a international company with large-scale production and no bulk distribution can get.
To use the Res-Q ointment, simply rub onto the affected area using your finger. If you want to make sure you're not spreading germs around, put a few drops of tea tree oil (a natural disinfectant) onto the remaining ointment and rub around to make sure all surfaces within the tin are covered. I usually do this after rubbing the ointment onto the edges and a little ways inside my chapped nose when I have a cold, or when I'm worried I double-dipped while treating something that could spread, like pimples. I must admit, I have forgotten to disinfect my ointment sometimes, and I share the tin with my husband, but neither one of us has ever had a problem with cross-contamination or the problem area spreading, probably due to all the good and naturally bacteria-fighting ingredients already in the ointment.
And for those specifically looking for help with their pimples, I find that Res-Q ointment makes my pimples go away if I apply it a couple of times a day while they're still less than a bump. After that, I wait until I can extract them, then wash and dry the area and apply the ointment afterwards. This makes the scab and redness go away within two or three days, rather than the week or more it usually takes. In my experience it also helps prevent pigmentation, or those little dark spots that sometimes arise after a zit has gone.
I'm lucky to have a local store that stocks Res-Q ointment regularly, but I've heard most people have to order it from Amazon or off the Burt's Bees website. No matter how you have to get it, I highly recommend you find yourself a tin and start keeping yourself beautiful and healthy right away.