Sold on the idea of switching to zero waste beauty products? Hooray! Us too!
You might be wondering what kinds of beauty products can actually be zero waste. Which beauty products can be switched for zero waste equivalents?
It’s common to assume that the types of products are limited to bath bombs or soap bars but actually the variety of zero waste beauty products is huge!
Our formulators have spent years creating beauty products for skin and hair in innovative solid formats. The beauty of these products is that they don’t require packaging and the product is simply used up, leaving no bottle or jar to dispose of or recycle. There are lots of other benefits of zero waste, package free products, too.
Let’s explore all the solid, zero waste beauty products you can make. From facial cleansing bars to body scrub bars and solid deodorants, we hope this list inspires you to have a go at making your own.
Zero waste beauty: Solid facial cleansers and exfoliators
Almost an entire facial skincare range can be made in solid, zero waste formats! Both oil-based and surfactant-based cleansing products can be made.
Cleansing bar and makeup remover
The oils in the bar melt away makeup, sunscreen and other oil soluble impurities from the skin, making them a perfect choice for step one of two-step face cleansing. Emulsifiers and surfactants can be included in the bar to aid their cleansing capacity and rinse-off.
Solid facial scrub
Facial scrub bars are gently exfoliating and contain emollients to nourish the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.
Facial cleansing bar
These are not soap bars but instead are gentle surfactant-based bars that create lather and are very good at cleansing. To make them more gentle, nourishing emollients (such as carrier oils, butter or fatty alcohol) can be added to the formula.
Clay-based exfoliating cleansing bar and face mask
Clay-based bars have a solid, pliable, dough-like texture. When mixed with water a soft paste is created which then applied to the skin, massaged and rinsed off. To use a face mask leave the paste on the skin for ten minutes before rinsing off.
Facial moisturizer/serum bar
Solid facial serums contain a higher percentage of speciality or luxury oils and butters, along with oil soluble active ingredients, vitamins and botanical extracts that provide special benefits to the skin such as Vitamin C and coenzyme Q10. Melt a little of the bar onto the fingertips and apply to the skin.
Zero waste beauty: Solid shower and bath products
All your favourite bath and shower products can be made in a solid, zero waste format. From cleansing to pampering, invigorating to relaxing, exfoliating to moisturizing, there is a solid product to suit.
Bubble bath bars
A type of solid bath product that can be crumbled under running water to produce a rich and creamy lather. Bubble bars are different to bath bombs as they contain surfactants. The surfactants create foam and lather which is longer lasting than the ‘fizz’ created by a bath bomb.
Body wash bars
Soap-free and an alternative to shower gel or liquid body wash. Gentle, natural surfactants plus moisturizing and conditioning ingredients create a soft, creamy lather that leaves the skin cleansed and moisturized.
Body scrub bars
Body scrub bars exfoliate the top layer of the epidermis to leave the skin feeling soft and smooth. These bars contain physical exfoliants such as sugar or ground shells (eg walnuts), with lots of moisturizing butters to nourish the skin.
In-shower body oil/moisturizer
An alternative to using a moisturizer after the shower. Use as the final step of a shower routine: rub against the skin after cleansing to leave the skin feeling moisturized and soft.
Used as an alternative to shaving foam or gel. Rub against the skin to provide slip and glide for the razor. Skin is left soft and conditioned.
When crumbled under water the shower bomb becomes a creamy, foaming paste which can be lathered against the skin to cleanse it, creating a novel shower experience. Shower bombs can be fragranced to release a relaxing or uplifting aroma.
Bath bombs effervesce when dropped into water creating a fun, fizzy bathing experience. They soften the bathwater and soothe and soften the skin. They can be made in bright colors, scented softly or vibrantly and can contain petals or sparkle for added interest.
Bath melts are indulgent and nourishing. Rich in butters that melt in warm water and leave you with really soft silky skin. Emulsifiers can be included to help the oils disperse in the bath water.
Bath creamers and truffles are a cross between a bath melt and bath bomb. With both effervescent and nourishing properties, they are very moisturizing for the skin without leaving the bath too oily.
Zero waste body care
After washing and exfoliating with zero waste shower or bath products you can massage, moisturize, deodorize and scent with zero waste body care products, too!
Lotion bars/body moisturizing bar
Lotion bars are solid at room temperature but they melt when in contact with the skin. They are concentrated, rich and nourishing, and leave the skin feeling soft and smooth. When formulated with essential oils they fragrance the skin, too.
Similar to lotion bars but usually formulated with oils or butters that do not absorb quickly and thus allow enough time for a massage. Oils with good spreadability should be chosen
to make sure the hands can easily glide on the skin during the massage. Texturing agents like coffee beans can be added to enhance the massage experience and appearance of the bar.
Solid deodorants are anhydrous bars that contain deodorizing ingredients. The ingredients that will prevent body odor can be antimicrobial, absorbent or a combination of both.
Zero waste beauty: Solid haircare products
Solid shampoos and conditioners have become really popular in recent years and for good reason. You get all the foaming, cleansing and conditioning properties of regular shampoos and conditioners with none of the packaging!
Solid shampoo bars
Solid (powdered) surfactants both create the solid format of these bars and give them their wonderful gentle effective cleansing capabilities and abundant lather. Unlike liquid shampoos, emollients like oils and butters can also be included to nourish the hair.
Solid conditioner bars
All of the nourishing and conditioning ingredients of regular conditioner with none of the water! Special conditioning emulsifiers are combined with nourishing oils and butters to create a solid bar with superior conditioning properties.
Solid hair serum
To add extra moisture to dry hair apply a little hair serum to the ends of the hair. A wonderful zero waste hair treatment!
Zero waste beauty: Cold process soap bars
Cold process soap bars are a category of zero waste beauty product in their own right!
Soap bars provide gentle and effective cleansing for the skin. Making cold process soap is extremely economical because one batch makes several bars of soap. So if you are just making it for personal use, one batch could make enough soap for several months’ use!
The fatty acids and unsaponifiables in the natural oils and butters used to make soap give the soap nourishing and softening properties. Soap contains glycerin too – a humectant that moisturizes the skin.
When choosing which zero waste beauty products to make you can choose to get into cold process soap making too, or not. As you can see the choice of solid, zero waste beauty products you can make is huge even without soap bars. Add soap bars into the mix and you’ll never need to use beauty products in a bottle ever again!
Make your own zero waste beauty products
We are so passionate about zero waste beauty products that we have created an entire course dedicated to showing you how to make your own zero waste beauty products, either for yourself or to establish a zero waste beauty brand.
Our brand new online Diploma in Zero Waste Skincare and Haircare Formulation teaches you to formulate a wide range of zero waste beauty products including solid facial cleansers and exfoliators, solid moisturizers and serums, solid deodorant, solid shower products, solid shampoo and conditioner.
You’ll also formulate powder concentrates, and learn about ingredient innovations that are helping to reduce waste – upcycled ingredients and biofermentation.
We look forward to welcoming you to the course!