By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, and personal care products are a large part of that problem. Over 129 billion units of packaging are wasted by the cosmetic industry every year. Think about the products you use on a daily basis—the majority are most likely housed in some type of plastic packaging. I know I’m not alone when I share that one of the most challenging areas to go plastic-free is makeup and skincare. When it comes to skincare, we tend to believe that more is better. With so many “amazing” skincare ingredients packaged in plastic, a zero waste approach to skincare might feel like you are missing out on the opportunity to have beautiful skin. The downside? Many of these products come in plastic packaging that unfortunately gets tossed in the landfill. So here are some of my favorite zero waste skincare and makeup products that will help minimize your impact on the environment. Because every little bit helps.
Fresh and woody with deeply cleansing charcoal. A balanced and gentle facial soap, this bar detoxifies skin with absorbent activated charcoal. Cocoa butter promotes a youthful complexion, while ground oats soothe and mildly exfoliate. Fresh and herbaceous tea tree and eucalyptus oils act as a natural astringent to combat skin blemishes. Also great for the whole body!
MMT is a New York City based brand. They’re certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. Made without preservatives and in small batches, all products are fresh and as close to nature’s intent as possible. Aside from zero waste skincare products, MMT also makes cardboard stick deodorants, cream deodorants, and soaps in oh-so-many scents.
The Woodsy Warrior Sun Stick provides broad spectrum SPF from not just UVA and UVB rays, but from wind and insects! It’s waterproof and also non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores and irritate skin.
Apothecary Muse seeks to provide sustainable skincare for outdoor enthusiasts. For nature, from nature, for everything from active level zero waste deodorant to sore muscle balm. All products come in zero waste packaging with biodegradable adhesive labels printed with wax-based ink. Everything is then shipped in Forestry Initiative packaging with recycled filler.
Face Oil is their answer to keeping your natural face oil production balanced. Contrary to what we’re often told, the oils produced by our skin aren’t bad for us. In fact, according to Fat and the Moon, “When you attack the oil on your face, you face is like, ‘wtf, I thought we were friends,’ and then it overcompensates trying to make things right.”
Fat and the Moon offer a huge spread of zero waste deodorant, makeup hair care, and more, all packaged in reusable tins. Totally woman-owned and operated, Fat and the Moon creates all their “potions” under the guidance of traditional healer philosophies. Everything is gentle, non-toxic, and designed to truly heal.
In terms of straight zero waste skin care products, their AURA facial oil is the perfect all-around featherweight restorative daily moisturizer. Every ingredient is certified-organic, including the safflower seed oil, rosehip seed oil, carrot seed oil, vitamin E, and blood orange essential oil.
AURA Face oil is formulated plant oils chosen for their regenerating properties to brighten and improve skin texture and complexion. This fast-absorbing, lightweight facial oil is a treat for the skin and has a delicious blood orange scent. It can be used under makeup or at night on cleansed skin.
Rainwater Botanical – Color Correcting Eye Balm
A certified Safe Cosmetic Business Network member, Rainwater Botanicals has been hand-crafting natural skincare and beauty products since 1999 and they’ve been committed to remaining cruelty-free for two decades.
What started with a single product (this very healing balm still available) expanded to the many vegan skincare products mentioned above, as well as perfume, zero waste deodorants, and all manner of soap bars (for body, hand, and hair!).
Many of these products come in compostable packaging, but as whole, Rainwater Botanicals is not 100% zero waste. Be on the lookout for plastic lids on their squirt bottles and be sure to reuse it if you do order these products.
No need to purchase single-use cotton balls or facial rounds anymore! These zero waste, reusable facial rounds are made from two layers of 100% Organic Cotton- a sustainable, eco-friendly, super soft alternative. Great for any skin type and perfect for removing makeup or applying toner.
Plastic-free bamboo hairbrush has a natural and luxurious feel. It serves as an earth-conscious alternative to synthetic and plastic hairbrushes.
- This handle is sturdy bamboo
- The cushion is natural rubber
- The bristles are made of pure bamboo
The new Flush and Glow Duos create the ideal, fresh-faced look to go with our Kjaer Weis Nude, Naturally lipsticks and lip liners. Each Flush and Glow compact holds our best-selling, buildable cream blush to create natural, apple-cheeked warmth, and a low-key shimmery cream highlighter for a swish of dewy radiance.
With their intelligent refill system, you don’t need to waste money or create waste on packaging that’s made to be discarded. The architecturally bold design of KW products is meant to be kept –built out of beautiful, quality metal that can be refilled again and again and again.
This clean beauty foundation provides a soft, sheer coverage with a boost of hydration as an all-day tint for your skin. Those looking for a minimal makeup routine, can benefit from the plant-derived ingredient, hyaluronic acid, that assists in retaining water for that extra hydration and an empowering blend of antioxidants for the skin. Refresh foundation is packaged in a glass bottle with a recyclable plastic pump. The bamboo component of the lid can be crushed and composted.
Formulated with nourishing Jojoba Esters and protective Castor and Avocado Oils to help soothe your lips whilst providing an all natural and long lasting Dirty Hippie colour pop.
• Pigment can be easily built thanks to addition of sustainably produced, high performance emollient plant waxes.
• Has a medium to very high colour factor depending on how much product you choose to apply.
The packaging for this mascara is beautiful and looks luxurious. The mascara comes in a refillable stainless steel tube packaged in a chic red cardboard box. Refills are tucked into a recyclable cardboard insert. I love that this mascara is made with primarily organic ingredients and has a delicate rose scent. Unfortunately, the pros end there for me. The mascara was easy to apply, but was so light you could barely tell I was wearing anything. And at $38, I just spent a lot on a mascara that I couldn’t see. I have to admit I did this review two years ago, so maybe they’ve improved it.