Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste Beauty Products

Zero Waste

There are many different sustainable swaps that can make our lifestyle more eco-friendly – from carrying a reusable water bottle everywhere you go to buying your groceries at a zero waste store. However, many of us tend to forget about the environmental impact of our beauty products.

In this simple guide, I’ll share some of our top tips for building a zero waste beauty routine, as well as some of the exciting zero waste beauty products to try! Keep on reading to find out how to start your own zero waste beauty routine.

Zero Waste Principles

Before we continue with the details of the zero waste beauty routine, it is important to remember the principles of zero waste.

Out of the 5 principles of zero waste, it is important to focus on Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle when creating our own zero waste beauty routine.

Reduce unnecessary steps or beauty products. Also, reduce the amount you are buying. You don’t really need 5 of the same ones, if you like trying new products, try to finish one and then buy a new one. Just like food, beauty products have expiration dates too, so when you have multiple they might go bad before you can finish them.

Reuse the container if you can, or if you don’t like the face cream maybe reuse it as a body cream. Don’t do so, if you are experience rashes.

Recycling beauty products might be something you should learn more about. Read the labels and understanding your local recycling program can help you achieve a zero waste beauty routine.

3 steps towards a Zero Waste Beauty Routine

Zero waste beauty routine
Building a habit of using zero waste beauty products does not have to feel overwhelming. These are our three top tips for getting started.

Minimise your skincare routine
Simplicity is key. One of the easiest ways to create a zero waste beauty routine is to simplify it. Think thoroughly about which products you really need to use and focus on those. Reduce your beauty products will help too!

Skip the Packaging
Packaging is responsible for most of the waste in our home – including the bathroom. The majority of big brand beauty products are packaged in plastic. Thankfully, sustainably-minded brands are introducing more and more zero waste beauty products by having less packaging or no packaging at all.

Some of these are made into solid forms – such as soap bars, shampoo bars, or even moisturizer bars. Another option is beauty product refills: you simply bring your own bottle to have it refilled at the store. Or you can purchase refills only.

Other zero waste beauty products will still come in some form of packaging, usually glass or aluminum. The benefit of these two is that they can be recycled indefinitely, so make sure you sort them in the correct bin once you run out of the product. Plus, they can easily be repurposed for other products.

No More Single-use Products
Many of our skincare routines rely on disposable products such as cotton rounds or sheet masks. These are the first beauty products you’ll want to swap if you’re on a journey towards zero waste. Reusable products are the best zero waste beauty products.

Look for reusable alternatives or products which substitute the item. For example, reusable cotton rounds significantly reduce your impact, as you wash them after use instead of throwing them away like the Face Halo reusable makeup remover. Rather than using a sheet mask, most of which tend to be non-biodegradable, choose a natural face mask made from simple ingredients.

Now that we know where to start our zero waste beauty routine, let’s check out some zero waste beauty products that can complete our routine.

8 Zero Waste Beauty Products to Try

If you’re looking for ideas for swaps you could make in your current skincare routine to make it closer to zero waste, we’ve got a list of our favorite zero waste beauty products ready for you!

Natural Oils

Zero Waste beauty product: Josie Maran's Pure Argan oil
Image Sourced from Official Website
A simple natural oil is a staple in the bathroom of any zero waste beauty products lover. Coconut oil is the most accessible option, as you can find it at most supermarkets nowadays, but argan oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil have many benefits that may make them a better option for you (depending on your skin and hair type).

Check out Josie Maran’s Pure Argan Oil. Not only is it 100% pure argan oil, but it also uses organic argan that is ethically sourced from Morrocco. Bonus points: it can be used on your skin, hair, and nails!

Zero Waste Beauty Products: Face Soap Cleansing Bars

Ethique's Bliss Bar for Facial Cleansing
Image Sourced from Official Website
Instead of a facial cleanser that comes in a plastic bottle, try a zero waste cleansing bar. Use it just like regular soap, for your face.
Some of our favorites include the Bliss Bar by Ethique or the Movis facial soap by Lush.

Solid Skincare Products:

DEWMIGHTY's Face serum is a great zero waste beauty product
Image Sourced from Official Website
Just like the shampoo, conditioner, and face wash, many zero waste beauty products opt for a solid formula. Including some amazing face serums. If you are interested in some solid face serum check out DEWMIGHTY’s Bloom Jelly Serum Bar. Not only is the brand founded by women, but it is also cruelty-free, vegan, and plastic-free.

Solid Shampoo

Bar shampoo is great
Ditch bottled shampoo with ingredients that damage your hair and give natural solid shampoo bars a try. They may take a few uses to get used to, but it’s an amazing switch that is not only good for the planet but also good for your hair.

If this sounds like something you need in your beauty routine, try the Murumuru Butter & Rose shampoo bar by Love Beauty and Planet or the Levander & Geranium shampoo bar from Friendly Soap.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Instead of a conditioner, many zero waste beauty routine enthusiasts use an apple cider vinegar rinse – really! Simply create a solution of apple cider vinegar and water (around 3-4 tbsp of vinegar per cup of water) and rinse your hair with it after washing.

If you still prefer a conditioner, just like shampoo, there are solid conditioners. Check out byHumanKind’s conditioner bar, there are different scents you can choose from. The formula is also vegan and sulfate-free!

Bamboo makeup brushes

Zero Waste beauty products: bamboo makeup brushes
If you’re a makeup aficionado, one of the best places to start on your zero waste journey is switching to bamboo brushes once your old plastic ones have come to the end of their lifespan.

Try the 5-piece bamboo brush set by Elate Cosmetics or some of the bamboo brushes by Antonym, if you’re looking for more professional tools.

Crystal Deodorant

Crystal Deodorant
Image Sourced from Official Website
Aside from natural deodorants which come in cardboard packaging, there’s another zero waste option that might be right for you – crystal deodorants.

While some do come in plastic packaging, Biork offers a crystal deodorant packaged in cork!

Muslin Cloths

Face cleansing cloth from Face Theory
Image Sourced from Official Website

To cleanse your face and gently exfoliate it, give natural muslin cloths a try. Muslin cloths are the perfect zero waste beauty products, they’re easy to wash so you can reuse them for years to come.

Some of the brands which offer these include Face Theory or Pai.

Zero Waste Beauty Products for the Win

Woman happy with her zero waste beauty products
These are just a few zero waste beauty products that can help you start your zero waste lifestyle. The most important thing is that you are trying to reduce the amount of waste you are producing and putting effort into helping our beautiful planet.
If you are interested in expanding your zero waste lifestyle, check out our zero waste wardrobe article.

Author: Monica Chang
Director of Ethical Choice
I am passionate about finding amazing sustainable and eco-friendly products and sharing them with more people. Interesting in plastic-free, reduce waste, and DIY.