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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.