22 Affordable Zero Waste & Plastic Free Beauty Products

Olivia Burton

For just about as long as there’s been beauty products on store shelves, those products have been packaged in mostly plastic.

There are reports that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. The empty packaging destined for landfill. So what’s the solution?

Ideally, we could recycle our beauty product packaging or return them to the manufacturing companies where it will be reused or re-purposed. While there are initiative such as the New Plastics Economy led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, it’s not something that’s available to us as consumers any time in the near future.

plastic free sunscreen

In the meantime, we can look for products with minimal or no plastic packaging. We’ve found 22 zero waste and plastic free beauty products to help you get started.

plastic free beauty

Image via Project Vanity


Shampoo bars – Lush Cosmetics $14.95

These long lasting, handmade and cruelty free bars are the best. I just took mine travelling for a few weeks and it was perfect on the go. My favourite is ‘Jason and the argan oil’.

Life Basics – Vegan Bamboo Hair Brush $14.95

Most mainstream hairbrushes are made from plastic. This brush is made from bamboo, which is 100% biodegradable and lightweight.

The ANSC Solid Shampoo Original $9.95

Natural shampoo soap bar made from plant oils. This product can be used for both the body and hair. It also recommends that this bar can be used as both shampoo and conditioner!

plastic free beauty

Image via THE ZINE


No pong deodorant $5.95

Natural Australian deodorant that comes in a tin, made with aluminium salts that actually stop body odour seeping through.

Herbivore Blue Clay Cleansing Bar $12.00

Natural bars made from high quality ingredients that are plant-based, organic and food-grade. All oils are cold-pressed or steam distilled, made in small batches in the USA.

Lush Shimmy Shimmy bar $10.95

To highlight your skin and make it glow, use this bar! It’s made using Fair Trade shea and cocoa butters, leaving skin feeling soft and healthy. I love to use this one my legs on a night out or mixed in with foundation on my cheeks to look dewy.

Biome Coconut Oil $6.95

Coconut oil has a multitude of uses from hair conditioner (for thick hair) to makeup remover. I use coconut oil as a body moisturiser, especially on my feet with socks. This one is certified organic, comes in a glass jar and is reasonably priced.

plastic free beauty


Sun & Earth sunscreen $20.00

Handcrafted sunscreen in a tin made in Byron Bay, from natural ingredients. As it’s made from natural zinc, it’s thick so ideal for swimming or surfing. (main picture)

Herbs & Heart Face Mud $38.99

Herbs & Heart is a premium natural beauty brand, made with glass bottles and cruelty free. I use mine about 1-2 times a week and so far it’s lasted months without making a dent. They were also recently featured in Vogue Australia! The lid is made from plastic but can be reused.

Life Basics Organic Muslin Facial Cloths (3 Pack) $14.95

I’ve never turned back from using facial cloths; they last forever and remove makeup so easily. These quick-drying cloths are soft, breathable, unbleached organic cotton and can be machine-washed. I’d recommend washing every 1-2 weeks.

Biome Rosehip Oil $27.95

Rosehip oil is wonder oil, which can be used as a face serum to hydrate and nourish the skin and hair. I use a tiny bit of rosehip oil mixed in with my moisturiser at night. It can also be used on scars, stretch marks and inflamed skin conditions.

Eve of St.Agnes Hydrating Facial Silk $21.50 approx

Award-winning face moisturiser, made from organic and natural ingredients in an aluminium jar. The cruelty-free blend is made from blood orange, champaca flower oils and frangipani.

Eco-minerals Mineral Foundation (refills) $36.00

Eco minerals foundation is longwearing, natural and protects the skin with SPF 25. The initial foundation container is made of plastic but it can then be re-used forever with eco refills (costing $31 with free delivery).

plastic free beauty

Image via Nourished Life

Eco-minerals Mineral Bronzer (refills) $36.00

Once again, this bronzer is also available with plastic-free refills. The bronzer comes in three colours, contains natural SPF and is 100% natural.

Antonym Organic Baked Blush Peach $36.00

Apparently, this product is a celebrity favourite. The colour is amazing, the price is decent and the product is certified organic. Winner.

Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation $68.00

Ok so this foundation is slightly expensive, but it has rave reviews from almost every fashion magazine. The foundation comes in a wide variety of shades and is certified organic and natural.

plastic free beauty

Image via The Georgia Straight

natural beauty brands


Elate Vibrant Lipstick – Blaze $22.00

It’s really hard to find bold and bright red lipstick by natural eco brands, so Elate lipsticks are a dream. Elate lipsticks are made with shea and mango butter, with packaging made from bamboo. The postage packaging is also low waste, with no additional boxes or plastic waste.

Bobbi Brown Lib Balm SPF $26.00

In Australia, I feel like it’s necessary to have SPF in your lip balm. For those that like mainstream brands, this lip balm is available in most department stores and online, in a portable silver tin.

Urbapothecary Lips Cheeks Blush $16.86

I’m a bright red lipstick fan, but for a more natural look this handmade item is a winner. The sheer colour can be used on the lips or cheeks, with a light floral scent from essential oils. The product can also be completely waste-free if requested with no label.

plastic free beauty

Image via MakeupAlley


Black Cake Mascara / Eyeliner by CleanFacedCosmetics $16.86

It is incredibly difficult to find plastic-free or zero waste mascara and eyeliner in mascara, so this unique product is from the US. It’s handmade, made to order and made with natural products. It also comes with eco-friendly bamboo applicators.

Elate Create Pressed EyeColour $16.00

These pressed powders are made with minimal packaging and natural mineral pigments. It’s exciting to find eco eye makeup that’s not just in neutral colours!

Zao Eyebrow Powder $30 approx

Eyebrow powder (in 3 different colours) that packs a punch, all contained in a bamboo case. All Zao’s products are free from parabens and preservative free. This powder is natural, organic and certified with natural ingredients. It’s also cruelty free and vegan.

Do you have any products to add? Share them in the comments below.


Plastic Free Beauty Products

Olivia Burton

Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.