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Beauty

10 zero-waste beauty products that'll transform your routine

Create a routine that you—and the earth—will enjoy.

On the left: A person holding a purple bar soap up to their shoulder and washing their body. On the right: A hand squeezing a tube of face scrub. Credit: Ethique / UpCircle

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Few things will motivate you to make your everyday routine more sustainable than learning that scientists predict there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Realizing that the beauty industry created 120 billion units of packaging in 2018 alone further hits home. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with loving the feeling of unboxing your latest cosmetic buy—peeling away the outer plastic and opening up the box to reveal a gorgeously-packaged bottle. That said, there are easy swaps that’ll make your beauty routine more earth-friendly.

Zero-waste products have become a beauty trend as of late, with more and more companies jumping at the chance to make package-free products that are recyclable and have considerably less waste (or none at all). Below, you’ll find 10 beauty products that don’t sacrifice quality for sustainability.

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1. This refreshing bar soap from Ethique

On the left: A person holding a purple bar soap up to their shoulder and washing their body. On the right: A purple bar soap from Ethique.
Credit: Ethique

You won't miss your bottles with the Ethique Eco-Friendly Bodywash Bars.

From shampoos and conditioners to body polishes and deodorants, Ethique makes all of its beauty products in solid bar form. If you have yet to make the switch to a bar soap, try out one of the brand’s six clean scents: charcoal, kaolin, and oatmeal; lavender and mint; lime and ginger; matcha, lime, and lemongrass; pumice, tea tree, and spearmint; and sweet orange and vanilla. Each one contains biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging, and you can expect them to lather well and leave the skin feeling clean but not dry.

Get the Ethique Eco-Friendly Bodywash Bar from Amazon for $8.99

2. This solid shampoo from HiBar

On the left: A shampoo bar in its packaging. On the right: A person using a shampoo bar on their hair.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Cleanse and volumize your hair with the HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar.

If your shower is filled with plastic bottles, consider making the switch to shampoo bars. Not only do they take up less real estate in your shower (and are TSA-friendly), but they also nix the need for a plastic bottle and pump, making them much better for the environment.

We tried the HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar and loved the fact that the box is biodegradable and the packaging is recyclable. Beyond this, it offered salon-quality results, giving volume and bounce to otherwise lifeless hair. It's a great place to start if you're new to hair bars. Psst: You can also snag the matching conditioner in bar form, which our tester enjoyed for its moisturizing feel.

3. These whitening toothpaste tablets from Hello

On the left: A blue tin with toothpaste tablets and a toothbrush sitting beside it. On the right: A black tooth brush lay next to a blue tin of toothpaste tablets.
Credit: Hello

Skip the plastic tube of toothpaste and go with the Hello Antiplaque + Whitening and Charcoal Toothpaste Tablets.

Swap your traditional tube of toothpaste for these plastic-free whitening toothpaste tablets. They're made with peppermint, tea tree, and coconut oils, and claim to remove surface stains, ward off plaque, and leave you with refreshingly good breath.

The tablets come packaged in a fully reusable and recyclable tin jar that's TSA-friendly and requires a fraction of the amount of energy needed to produce glass bottles. To use the tablets, chew one with your front teeth until it forms a soft, minty paste. Then, brush your teeth as normal.

Get the Hello Antiplaque + Whitening and Charcoal Toothpaste Tablets from Bed Bath & Beyond for $7.19

4. This makeup removing cloth from Makeup Eraser

On the left: The bright pink Makeup Eraser cloth laying in water. On the right: A person wiping off makeup with a pink cloth.
Credit: Makeup Eraser / Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Remove your makeup with the help of the Makeup Eraser.

You may use a mix of wipes, cotton rounds, and Q-tips when it comes time to get your makeup off, but there's a way to make the makeup removal process more sustainable: the Makeup Eraser. A single cloth is equivalent to 3,600 makeup wipes, making it a much more eco-friendly option.

It's great if you're tired of wipes but cleanser alone isn’t cutting it. In our testing, we found that the antibacterial cloth left behind very little makeup residue and that it stayed high-quality even after multiple washes. Just run the cloth under water and massage the skin in small circles anywhere you’re wearing makeup.

Get the Makeup Eraser from Amazon for $15.99

5. This coffee face scrub from UpCircle Beauty

On the left: A tube of UpCircle face scrub on a table. On the right: A hand squeezing a tube of face scrub.
Credit: UpCircle

Exfoliate your skin with the UpCircle Beauty Coffee Face Scrub Citrus Blend.

You’ve heard of recycling, but upcycling—or creating a better quality product out of already-used materials—is what’s at the core of UpCircle Beauty. The brand, which upcycles food products like coffee grounds and the stones from fruits like apricots, got its start by turning unused, thrown-out coffee grounds from London cafes into premium skincare products. The popular Coffee Face Scrub Citrus Blend claims to exfoliate, moisturize, and brighten the skin with Arabica coffee grounds sourced from artisan coffee shops.

Get the UpCircle Beauty Coffee Face Scrub Citrus Blend from Amazon for $16

6. This refillable deodorant from Peach Not Plastic

On the left: A yellow refillable deodorant container, On the right: A person raising their arm and applying deodorant to their armpit.
Credit: Peach Not Plastic

Say no to plastic and a bad odor with the Peach Not Plastic Refillable Deodorant Set.

Refillable makeup products are a great way to kick your sustainable efforts up a notch. Peach Not Plastic’s refillable deodorants are the first-ever 100% plastic-free of their kind, featuring a deodorant case made of recyclable aluminum and a formula that claims to give you 48-hour odor protection.

The deodorant is free of aluminum—if that’s an attribute you look for—and is made with arrowroot powder and magnesium to absorb wetness. There are three refreshing scents to choose from: cucumber sage, coconut jasmine, or citrus vetiver.

Get the Peach Not Plastic Refillable Deodorant Set from Grove for $19.95

7. This plastic-free eyeshadow palette from BareMinerals

On the left: A BareMinerals neutral-colored eyeshadow palette with six shades. On the right: Six swatches from an eyeshadow palette stacked on each other.
Credit: BareMinerals

Play up your eyes with the eco-friendly BareMinerals Mineralist Sunlit Eyeshadow Palette.

Eyeshadow palettes can be a hotspot for contributing to waste, thanks to magnets, mirrors, and plastic packaging. This vegan eyeshadow palette from BareMinerals contains none of that and is instead made with sustainable, recyclable packaging and a powder formula that's free of controversial ingredients like talc, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. There are several colors to choose from, including purple- and blue-toned palettes. If you're a lover of neutral eyeshadows, go for the Sunlit palette, which offers six warm shades ranging from cream to copper, two finishes including matte and satin, and a creamy, easy-to-blend texture.

Get the BareMinerals Mineralist Sunlit Eyeshadow Palette from Sephora for $32

8. This bamboo charcoal dental floss from Terra & Co.

On the left: Someone's hand pulling dental floss out of a cardboard container. On the right: A person flossing.
Credit: Terra & Co.

Swap your regular floss for the Terra & Co. Brilliant Black Dental Floss.

Some dental floss is made with nylon or Teflon and coated in wax, plastic films, and flavors derived from perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)—none of which are biodegradable. That's not to mention that most flosses come housed in a plastic, non-recyclable container.

Cue Terra & Co.'s Brilliant Black Dental Floss, which is made of biodegradable bamboo fiber and packaged in a 100% recyclable box. It also features a vegan candelilla wax coating, which provides an easy glide through the gums and teeth, as well as activated charcoal and coconut oil for microbial benefits.

Get the Terra & Co. Brilliant Black Dental Floss on Amazon for $9.99

9. These dissolvable hand soap pods from Petal

On the right: A person reaching out for a soap dispenser. On the right: Yellow refillable soap pods.
Credit: Petal

Swap disposable hand soaps for the refillable Petal Foaming Soap Dispenser.

Skincare and makeup application starts with clean hands. The problem? Bottles of hand soap are typically made of plastic that you toss once the formula runs out. To remedy this, Petal uses reusable aluminum bottles, dissolvable soap pods refills, and pumps made from recycled plastic.

To use, drop a pre-measured soap pod into one of Petal's bottles, add 8.5 ounces of warm water, shake for 60 seconds, and you're left with a foaming hand soap that's planet-friendly. It's available in two scents: lemongrass and citrus ginger.

Get the Petal Foaming Soap Dispenser With Hand Soap Refills from Amazon for $25

10. These travel-friendly cleansing oil capsules from Eve Lom

On the left: A wheel with seven slots that are filled with Eve Lom cleansing oil capsules. On the right: A green Eve Lom capsule broken open with cleansing oil spilling out.
Credit: Eve Lom

Try these Eve Lom biodegradable cleansing oil capsules to avoid messy spills and excess packaging.

Traveling just got a whole lot easier—both for you and the environment. This cleansing oil capsule set comes with a seven-day supply of individually packed ampoules, which means no more accidental spills in your beauty bag and no more unnecessary plastic bottles. The capsules themselves are made from a vegetable-based material and are 100% biodegradable, and they're filled with a mix of botanicals to dissolve makeup and impurities. After massaging the oil into your skin, rinse and follow up with your favorite cleanser to remove the oil and any last traces of makeup.

Get the Eve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules from Amazon for $25

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