ZERO WASTE SKIN CARE: 13 BEST BRANDS AGAINST PLASTIC

Zero Waste Skin Care: 13 Best Brands Against Plastic #zerowaste #skincare

The commercial cosmetic industry is trashy, literally. 

Churning out difficult or impossible to recycle containers that hit the landfill by the thousands every.single.day. These ‘beauty products’ are also brimming with harmful chemicals and synthetics.

For something that supposedly enhances our skin’s natural beauty, there’s ironically not much natural about most skincare products.

We say it’s time to fight bacne against this toxic industry trend.

Thankfully, just as there are tons of zero waste makeup brands hitting the shelves, there’s also a host of zero waste skincare products to give your skin that supple and sustainable glow you’ve been going for since puberty. 

Just remember, from the perspective of a conscious consumer the goal of zero waste is to reduce landfill trash as much as possible, not to live like a sustainability saint (more on this below). 

A zero waste life is a bit like a journey toward a mirage; you never feel quite there. But the most sure-fire way to get moving is to switch to naked products or products in compostable or reusable containers. 

FINDING ZERO WASTE SKIN CARE BRANDS

So in the spirit of laying down the skinny on eco friendly skin care, we’ve compiled a list of the best zero waste skin care brands and products we could find using our sustainable personal care criteria

For new readers, that means we look for products that are:

Yup, it takes us quite a bit of time to find these sustainable skin care brands that meet all (or most) of our criteria. And if you’ve read some of our other zero waste beauty articles, you’ll notice some of our brand favorites making another appearance here because they just tick all the right boxes 🙂 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on other sustainable brands that you think should make the cut. 

DEVELOP A MINIMALIST ZERO WASTE SKIN CARE ROUTINE

Zero Waste Skin Care: 13 Best Brands Against Plastic #zerowaste #skincare

But before we get into the details, we thought we’d take a moment to touch on our zero waste skincare routine. And that involves a minimalist mindset which applies to all our personal care practices.

We’re made to believe our skin needs all this STUFF: cold cream, day cream, night cream, anti-aging cream, and that’s just the creams. Let’s not get started on multi-step clarifying treatments etc.

Of course, more stuff means more money spent on more chemical laden and plastic products. 

We believe when it comes to skin (and most other things) simplicity or a minimalist approach is best.

While your skin will have different needs from someone else’s, a minimalist zero waste skin care routine can solve even the most problematic skin by preserving its own natural oils. 

Nature does indeed know best, though we’ll touch more on this later under zero waste skin care beauty hacks (see the bottom of the article).

As a pro for the planet, you’ll buy fewer products which equals less shipping, less ingredient sourcing impact and less packaging (because even reusable packaging is still more impactful than no packaging). 

So as you’re reading this list filled with many awesome zero waste skincare products, remember you don’t need them all. Find the products your needs and loves.

1. MEOW MEOW TWEET

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About Meow Meow Tweet Skin Care

We’ll kick things off with Meow Meow Tweet’s zero waste face soap. A good place to start a zero waste skincare routine by cleansing and detoxing your skin from those unhealthy off the shelf products.

You can choose between Pink Rose Clay and Tea Tree & Charcoal facial soap bars. 

The Pink Rose Clay bar, with its mild ingredients and gentle floral oils, is a good moisture solution for zero waste skincare for sensitive skin

While the Tea Tree & Charcoal bar is more of a zero waste skin care exfoliator with its absorptive properties – the best for oily or combination skin.

Either way, both are totally vegan zero waste skin care options made of only the finest  unrefined plant oils and cold-pressed essential oils

About Meow Meow Tweet

MMT is a New York City based brand. They’re certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

Made without preservatives and in small batches, all products are fresh and as close to nature’s intent as possible. Aside from zero waste skincare products, MMT also makes cardboard stick deodorants, cream deodorants, and soaps in oh-so-many scents.

Beyond merely offering sustainable personal care products, their missions is to transform people’s attitudes about ethical beauty as easy and accessible (which it is!) through small, effortless changes. 

Did we mention they regularly donate to lots of charities?

Available:  Amazon  Meow Meow Tweet

2. APOTHECARY MUSE

apothecary muse sustainable jungle
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About Apothecary Muse Skin Care

Apothecary Muse specialize in “Adventure Skin Care”.

They offer cruelty-free, palm oil-free and vegan zero waste skincare products specially designed for outdoor lovers and those who demand a bit more from their skin.

Protection first: the Woodsy Warrior Sun Stick is their solution to zero waste skincare with SPF. It provides broad spectrum SPF from not just UVA and UVB rays, but from wind and insects! 

It’s waterproof and also non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores and irritate skin.

For general all-skin protection the EveryPlay Butter athletic skin lubricant is your go-to. This is a versatile waterless moisturizer which can be used for anti-chafing cream in high friction areas to tattoo aftercare to simple make-up remover and moisturizer. 

The tamanu oil manages moisture while the shea and mango butters maintain your skin elasticity.

Lastly, if your skin does get irritated, try one of their skin salves. The Woodsy Warrior treats major skin irritations caused by things like poison ivy and insect bites. The Polar Vortex dry weather winter humectant is reserved for ultra dry skin. 

We’d say Apothecary Muse has some of the best affordable zero waste skin care options. 

While a zero waste skincare routine may seem pricey to some, when you only buy what you need, believe us it’ll end up costing you a whole lot less than your previous regime did. 

About Apothecary Muse

Founded by Pittsburgh-based Eryn Hughes in 2013, Apothecary Muse seeks to provide sustainable skincare for outdoor enthusiasts. For nature, from nature, for everything from active level zero waste deodorant to sore muscle balm.

All products come in zero waste packaging with biodegradable adhesive labels printed with wax-based ink. Everything is then shipped in Forestry Initiative packaging with recycled filler. For local orders, expect a personal bicycle delivery from Eryn herself!

The most innovative packaging is reserved for their cold-process soaps (which won the 2017 Design Mania award), which are wrapped in plantable wildflower seed paper. Talk about double the cleaning power!

For those she can, Eryn grows or harvests them herself. For other ingredients, she opts for local, organic suppliers.

When it comes to ethical sourcing for these ingredients, Eryn is really upfront about every thoughtful supplier choice. She goes to a lot of lengths to not only ensure her suppliers are honest about their deforestation impacts but to actually help them reduce their waste, too: 

When sourcing materials, I look for real people who share the values of fair trade, giving back to the community, and reduced impact. My olive oil supplier is a Greek family-based business who shops their whole, organoleptic certified olives to Pittsburgh and they press them 10 miles from my studio which reduces materials and emissions. After they bottle the top shelf, I get the middle shelf olive oil which is a little more cloudy and wouldn’t look good in a bottle but is still good-grade and I use it to make soap (which they get a portion of). This reduces their waste and increases both our profitability.

If you want to know more about her individual ingredients, check out this full raw materials list she uses across her product line.

Available:  Etsy  |  Apothecary Muse

3. FAT AND THE MOON

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*Note: Face-based skin care products  are vegan but body skin care products typically contain ethically sourced beeswax

About Fat and the Moon Skin Care

Some of the best zero waste skin care products are those made by Fat and the Moon, especially is you’re looking for zero waste skin care for sensitive skin. Don’t believe us? 

Check out some of the over 11,000 reviews on Etsy averaging nearly 5 stars. 

Everything is all-natural, mostly organic, cruelty-free, palm-oil free, and includes a hilarious product description (we do love a bit of personality!).

All face products are also vegan, though most body and crossover skin products contain ethically sourced beeswax.

When it comes to zero waste skin care for your face, they have you covered with three product options.

The Sage and Rose Face Mist is a gentle toner to keep pore clogging bacteria at bay.

Face Oil is their answer to keeping your natural face oil production balanced. Contrary to what we’re often told, the oils produced by our skin aren’t bad for us. In fact, according to Fat and the Moon, “When you attack the oil on your face, you face is like, ‘wtf, I thought we were friends,’ and then it overcompensates trying to make things right.” 

This Face Oil is also rich in vitamins, protein, and omegas for healing if you have skin damage (like acne scarring).

Of course, when those stubborn spots do emerge, you can treat them with the Pimple Mud mask. Its extracts bacteria from pores and increases blood flow. 

If you need a solution to zero waste skin care for dry skin their Aloe Lotion and All Cream are really good options and can be used for both face or body

Both products contain sunflower oil, aloe vera and beeswax (so not vegan) and are intended for moisture therapy. They’re similar products but the Aloe Lotion is a zero waste skin care option with SPF.

About Fat and the Moon

Zero waste skincare aside, Fat and the Moon offer a huge spread of zero waste makeup, deodorant, hair care, and more, all packaged in reusable tins. 

Totally woman-owned and operated, Fat and the Moon creates all their “potions” under the guidance of traditional healer philosophies. Everything is gentle, non-toxic, and designed to truly heal. And since “body products, like food, are not meant to last forever”, rest knowing your products are fresh and handmade to order.

Available:  Etsy  |  Amazon  |  Fat and the Moon

4. DIRTY HIPPIE COSMETICS

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics Sustainable Jungle
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Sustainable And Ethical Beauty & Personal Care - likely palm oil free #sustainablebeauty

*Note: Dirty Hippie is in the process of searching for a new “guaranteed”  palm oil free supplier.

About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics Skin Care

Next on the list of best zero waste skin care brands is one we’re sure our regular readers won’t be surprised to see. Dirty Hippie repeatedly makes it onto our best sustainable beauty brand lists.

In fact, they’re so amazing that it’s not uncommon to find them “taking a short break to fill fresh orders” (as they were at the time of this writing). Be patient and be sure to place your order early when they’re back in action.

One of the best things about Dirty Hippie is their range (which is why they feature on so many of our sustainable personal care lists). For skin care, they make moisturizers for all types of skin as well an Oatmeal and Herb Facial Grain zero waste skincare exfoliator

For zero waste skincare with SPF, check out their cardboard tube coconut sunscreen balm, which is totally reef safe and non-nano particle

All are organic, cruelty-free, vegan, and packaged in cardboard or reusable glass and tin pots.

About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

Dirty Hippie comes to us from a solar powered HQ office in the zero waste community Bywong, Australia. There, they can best utilize natural resources, locally sourced organic ingredients, and operate at a continually growing carbon offset (it’s currently 50%!).

Ingredients not sourced locally are acquired Fair Trade. They are also in the process of moving toward being palm oil free since their Olive and Coconut oil supplier no longer guarantees them to be palm oil free. We’re keeping an eye out for updates on this process.

Dirty Hippie’s do-good nature isn’t just limited to sustainability, either. They donate to many rotating charities such animal rescues, suicide prevention, and currently, The Stroke Foundation Australia

Your grandpa might have made you believe to be a “dirty hippie” was a bad thing; we personally think it’s one of the best things to be!

Available:  Etsy  |  Dirty Hippie

5. RIVER ORGANICS

River Organics
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About River Organics Skin Care

River Organics focuses on “hydrating plant beauty” and organic oil-based skin care. Most of these plant oils are integrated into their zero waste vegan makeup products, for great skin while staying glam.

In terms of straight zero waste skin care products, their AURA facial oil is the perfect all-around featherweight restorative daily moisturizer. Every ingredient  is certified-organic, including the safflower seed oil, rosehip seed oil, carrot seed oil, vitamin E, and blood orange essential oil.  

The AURA facial oil restores damaged skin, improves texture and eases your mood thanks to the blood orange scent.

It can be used either under makeup or before bed on cleansed skin.

It comes packaged in a glass jar and you can choose between a plastic (hopefully not) or glass dropper lid. You can also select a simple metal screw cap, which is great for refills after you already have the dropper. Send in the original bottle for a 25% discount on your next order.

About River Organics

From the foothills of North Carolina, husband and wife Corinne and Fabian craft oil-based skincare and makeup inspired by the oil-based moisturizing traditions of Middle East beauty

Before travel ignited their passion for natural and minimalist skin care, Fabian used to work as a skincare chemist for Chanel.

Aside from their zero waste skin care products, they sell zero waste makeup (like lip balm, bronzer, and highlighter) and deodorant, which is all packaged in cardboard tubes and pots.

If you live in the southeastern U.S., check out the locations of their brick and mortar stores to potentially avoid shipping emissions!

Available:  Etsy  |  River Organics

6. BYROBINCREATION

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About ByRobinCreation Skin Care

ByRobinCreation’s offer a wide selection of natural vegan and cruelty-free zero waste skin care items so your skin care routine is as kind on the living world as it is on your skin.  From vegan night cream to baking soda face scrub (excellent zero waste skin care for sensitive skin!), they have an impressive selection for most needs. 

For those who want to sustainably and safely recapture their youth (we hear hunting for that notorious fountain can be dangerous) check out their many anti-aging products.  Just avoid both the cleansing pads and wrinkle plumping eye stick, which are not zero waste.

Acne-sufferers will also find many zero waste acne skin care products, including blemish spray, spot treatment, moisturizer, face scrub, and even an acne scar lifting balm.

With a few exceptions, most items are packaged in tins or glass, though as with other zero waste skin care brands on our list, the spray caps and dropper lids do have some plastic parts, so please avoid refill and reuse!

About ByRobinCreation

ByRobinCreation comes to us from New Mexico and make a wide range of vegan personal care products beyond skin care. They also make products for hair, teeth, nails, hygiene, adornment, and more.

Not everything they make is zero waste, but they are slowly working on phasing out the few remaining plastic packaged items. If you aren’t sure, check individual product descriptions for packaging updates for that particular item.

They also offer refills for all non-compostable containers.

More than anything, ByRobinCreation constantly demonstrates how much they care, down to the hand-written thank you notes included with each order. 

It really is the little things that count, just like a zero waste lifestyle 🙂

Available:   Etsy  |  ByRobinCreations

7. RAINWATER BOTANICALS

Rainwater Botanicals Zero Waste Sustainable Jungle
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About Rainwater Botanicals Skin Care

Rainwater Botanical offers an affordable zero waste skincare lineup that’s another potential one-stop shop due to their wide range for all skin types. 

Most things come in packaged reusable jars and bottles, and a few (like this awesome color correcting eye balm) come in compostable cardboard. 

We especially love the fact that they sell face cleansers in good old bar form too. Next to being naked, paper wrapping is the best zero waste packaging around 🙂

Most of their facial creams, toners, and serums (which are filled with natural herbs and oils) come in glass spray or dropper bottles so be sure to reuse, especially the lids.

About Rainwater Botanicals

A certified Safe Cosmetic Business Network member, Rainwater Botanicals has been hand-crafting natural skincare and beauty products since 1999 and they’ve been committed to remaining cruelty-free for two decades.

What started with a single product (this very healing balm still available) expanded to the many vegan skincare products mentioned above, as well as perfume, zero waste deodorants, and all manner of soap bars (for body, hand, and hair!). 

Many of these products come in compostable packaging, but as whole, Rainwater Botanicals is not 100% zero waste. Be on the lookout for plastic lids on their squirt bottles and be sure to reuse it if you do order these products. 

Available:  Etsy  |  Rainwater Botanicals

8. EMPIRESQUID ORGANICS

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*Note: Not all ES products are vegan, though they can make vegan substitutes for most upon request.

About EmpireSquid Organics Skin Care

Where do we even start with EmpireSquid’s massive range of fantastic handcrafted cruelty-free zero waste skin care?!

Easily one of the best zero waste skin care brands we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. 

Every label comes with a kitschy sketched animal and we’re a little obsessed with the look.

Vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free and organic, not to mention clear of any extra and unnecessary toxic junk, we agree with the company slogan: it’s like “health food for your skin”!

From their zero waste sunscreen (which we’ve talked more about here) to their moisturizing butters, toners, anti-aging serums, oil cleansers, natural acne treatments, and pre-made skin care kits, packages are all reusable glass. While their powder face masks comes in kraft paper pouches.

About EmpireSquid Organics

This LA based family-run brand started making “amazingly wholesome” and affordable zero waste skin care products in 2013. Their highly reviewed products are not just for women, but men and children, too.

All are made-to-order from Fair Trade ingredients, palm-oil free, cruelty-free, and mostly vegan (and for those that aren’t, they can make ingredient substitutes to make it vegan). 

Everything is all natural and 70% organic. 

Available:  Etsy   |  EmpireSquid

9. DAB HERB

Dab Herb Makeup - Zero Waste Beauty SUSTAINABLE JUNGLE
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About Dab Herb Skin Care

We’ve covered Dab Herb’s “Nature to Nurture” products before when talking about zero waste makeup, which is primarily what they are.  Thankfully, Dab Herb also recognizes the importance of the skin underneath, too

Their zero waste anti-aging makeup primer, aka “face food”, provides 4-in-1 zero waste skin care for dry skin (or at least especially suited for drier skin). 

This product provides a flawlessly smooth canvas to work some makeup magic, as well as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial benefits.  Did we mention the non-nano zinc oxide even gives it an element of sun protection? 

All ingredients are certified organic except the non-nano zinc oxide.  As for packaging, you’ll get a compact and portable metal tin which they will refill for you.

This vegan and gluten-free product protects as much as it primes.  Remember, the better the skin, the less make-up you’ll feel like you need!

About Dab Herb

Another company well deserving of a place on our Best of Zero Waste Beauty list, considering everything is packaged in compostable cardboard sticks, metal tins or decorative glass jars. 

For the tins and jars, they ask that you simply clean them and then send them in for a refill. 

According to Dab Herb, “beauty and self care are inseparable from sustainability, transparency, and wellness”. 

That’s why everything is not only free from alcohol, silicones, parabens, synthetic dyes and fragrances, heavy metals and things harmful to you, but free from things harmful to the planet. 

All products are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free and organic. 

Available:  Etsy

10. EK BARE BEAUTY

EK bare Beauty make-up
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Sustainable And Ethical Beauty & Personal Care - likely palm oil free #sustainablebeauty

*Note: We are confirming palm oil policies directly with this brand

About EK Bare Beauty Skin Care 

EK Bare Beauty specialize in vegan zero waste moisturizing skin care like their Pot of Gold face balm, hydrating face oil, moisturizing sticks, rose water toner, grain based exfoliant and even a “glow potion”. 

Aside from their moisture and acne sticks (which come in push up cardboard tubes), everything is packaged in reusable glass. 

Their highly rated Moon Facial Serum is made of rejuvenating blue tansy, pineapple, rose and neem. Just be sure to refill and reuse because it looks like the lid might be plastic.

Fortunately, EK Bare Beauty has a refill program that not only reuses the container but provides you with 25% off your next order. Or, if you’re switching products and don’t want a refill, send the clean bottle back anyway for a bit of store credit toward any future purchase.

All of their products are vegan, cruelty-free and largely organic. 

We’re currently confirming their palm oil policy because it looks like they do include vegetable glycerin, which can be a palm oil derivative.

About EK Bare Beauty

EK Bare Beauty is first and foremost a cruelty free, vegan zero waste skincare brand that harnesses the natural coloration of herbs, spices and vegetable powders instead of synthetic dyes.

Their products are made for those with the most sensitive skin, meaning they’re sans fragrances, gluten, dairy and beeswax. Plus they come in either cardboard sticks, metal tins, or glass bottles.

For further info on exactly what you’ll be putting on your face, the details of each product lists its ingredients as well as their purpose.

EK Bare Beauty is not fully zero-waste yet, though they do collect landfill-bound shipping materials from their community to prioritize reuse over purely recyclable. 

What’s great, however, is that they are super accommodating to zero waste lifestyles. 

Just make a note on the order comments and they’ll be sure to ship with purely compostable materials. 

Available:  Etsy

11. HERBAL CHEST

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Sustainable And Ethical Beauty & Personal Care - likely palm oil free #sustainablebeauty

*Note: We are confirming palm oil policies directly with this brand 

About Herbal Chest Skin Care

Herbal Chest make a lot of all natural, vegan zero waste skin care options, including a replenishing serum, anti aging serum, skin regenerative serum, under eye cream, several moisturizers, and more.  

That’s not to mention the tons of targeted salves and balms, like scar and stretch mark cream, as suited for your acne pocks as it is for your post-baby tummy.

In fact, if you want to try their balms, take advantage of their Buy 2, Get 1 Free sample sizes offer. This is especially great for trying out new products because that way, if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work for you skin, you don’t waste nearly as much.  

Sample away in the name of sustainability!

Each product description breaks down the ingredients and specifies how each of them works in conjunction with the other. We just love that because it’s SO IMPORTANT to not just know what the ingredients are, but WHY you’re using them.  It’s a lesson in being a more conscious consumers (and just happens to be giving us clean skin all at the same time!).

About Herbal Chest

A bit smaller and newer on the sustainable business scale, Herbal Chest is somewhat young but an up and coming zero waste skin care brand.  

Run solely by a Pacific-Northwest based mother, they have a very expansive and solid line-up with almost 500 5-star reviews on Etsy thus far.

Her botanical based holistic approach to beauty and skincare is intended to promote “self-care and wellness”.  All products are plant-based and cruelty-free, though there is no mention of a palm policy that we could find.  

We’re currently reaching out to them directly to confirm their stance on palm oil.

All products are packaged in cute jars, tins and even glass vials with metal lids! Their lip balms are the exception, and those come in compostable cardboard tubes, so even better.  

Totally plastic free is totally our jam.  

We’re not sure about shipping materials (we’re also asking about that) so it might not hurt to include a note with the order that you live zero waste.

Available:  Etsy

12. DRIADES ELIXIRS

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*Note: Some products contain locally sourced beeswax and they are planning to slowly transition to alternative plant-based wax

About Driades Elixirs Skin Care

In the spirit of harnessing the rich natural environment of the Greek isles, Driades Elixirs makes many of the same toners, creams, masks and eye serum that we’ve seen elsewhere on this list, but packed full of ultra rich and nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, avocado, and organic, locally sourced olive oil.  

Everything comes packaged in either tin pots or amber glass bottles.

We’re particularly impressed with how many skin problems their products target.  From eczema to hyperpigmentation, Driades have a wide range of zero waste skincare products for man, woman and child.

Ever wonder why the Greeks seem to have that ageless beauty?  

Well, maybe it’s something in the water or could it be their “Greek Cream” borage anti-aging moisturizer  – if you start to see an olive complexion followed by years peeling off your skin – let us know!

About Driades Elixirs

Founded in Greece in 2012, Driades is co-owned by Adonis and Savina and Adonis, a trained herbalist/cosmetologist and reiki master healer, respectively.

The bulk of their handmade-to-order products are for the face, but they also make some hair and body care items, massage oils, and essential oil sprays. 

90% of their ingredients come from botanicals they hand pick then infuse with locally grown organic extra virgin olive oil (free from chemicals, parabens, and synthetic fragrances).

Driades Elixirs buy the botanicals and essential oils native to Greece from small artisans (most of them family-owned businesses) that respect the environment.

Their olive oil is purchased from a friend of theirs who has a small organic farm in Peloponnese, their lavender essential oil come from a small family business in a town nearby. The essential oils, extracts, and hydrosols come either from cooperations or from small or family-owned businesses that share Driade Elixir’s values of love and respect for the planet.

Per Savina “We support small and ethical and we buy from people who infuse the energy of love in their work.”

Their more “exotic” ingredients  are bought from Greek companies that have to comply with EU laws. 

All products are 100% cruelty-free and natural. These handmade products need to be refrigerated once operned as Driades do not use synthetic fragrances or chemical preservatives.

All their products are entirely palm oil and derivative free. 

The only non-vegan ingredient they use is beeswax, which isn’t present in many of their products.  Beeswax cream is considered traditional and has deep roots in Greece. Driades Elixirs sources their beeswax from a small farm that has their beehives in the wild and they make sure no bees are stressed or harmed in the process.

They plan to slowly transition to candelilla or preferably some other locally grown alternative sometime in the near future.

All of their containers are reusable and they offer a discount to the local customers who return their containers to the Driades Elixirs laboratory to be sterilized and refilled. Their shipping packaging is 100% plastic-free, recyclable and sometimes upcycled.

Further, Driades use pellets (upcycled wood grains) to heat their laboratory and have solar panels for their hot water needs. They are moving to be 100% solar power-generated within the next 2 years.

They also compost, reuse and recycle and when outsourcing they ask their suppliers to ship plastic-free.

Given they don’t use any chemicals, they compost the “waste” from their lab when cleaning and end up with an amazing fertilizer for their botanical garden. Driades Exlixirs is part of a new, European zero-waste selling platform.

Available:  Etsy

13. BESTOWED ESSENTIALS

Bestowed Essentials tooth powder
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About Bestowed Essentials Skin Care

We thought we’d finish off this list with a restorative face mask as part of your zero waste skin care routine. 

Bestowed Essentials has four options for you depending on your skin type, whether it be sensitive, oily, scarred or just plain and in need of treatment.

Each are based with kaolin clay to refresh and cleanse and ground oats to gently exfoliate, then mixed with more specialized spices and flower powders. 

We’re super impressed that each product only has 4-5 ingredients.

In addition to these zero waste face masks, they also sell a turmeric and hempseed oil zero waste acne treatment to “banish breakouts before they get big”. This can be used as a spot treatment or a full overnight mask.

All these items are palm oil free, PETA-certified cruelty-free, vegan, and come packaged in 2 fl. oz. glass bottles already made of 30% recycled glass and complete with a metal lids.

About Bestowed Essentials

While Bestowed Essentials is now South Dakota’s very first zero waste shop, it has roots on the road, entangled in the vanlife movement. Owner Callee used to make everything using solar panels on the converted cargo van she lived in while traveling and giving sustainability talks. 

Now the all-female team sticks (mostly) to one place creating lots of beauty, personal care, and even household products that manage to tick all our criteria while still remaining affordable and accessible. 

For products they sell but don’t make, they prioritize stocking other female run businesses to support their sustainable sisters.

With plastic-free production, packaging, and shopping, the whole store only produces a mere 10 lbs. of trash every month and are always looking for ways to reduce that number. 

They’re not only conscious of their own trash, but that of others. 

For every order made, they sponsor 1 lb. of beach trash pickup. 

The also run the Hippie Haven podcast and you all know how much we love sustainability podcasts

Available:  Etsy   |  Bestowed Essentials

DIY ZERO WASTE SKIN CARE

As with most zero waste personal care products, sometimes the best and most affordable are those you make yourself. 

This video by Living Waste Free does a great job of breaking down a DIY zero waste skincare routine.

Even if you don’t typically have the time to devote to DIY, most DIY zero waste skincare is super simple. As in, we’re talking 1-2 ingredients simple!

For instance, plant-based oils (such as coconut oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, and grape seed oil) work all by themselves as a moisturizer from makeup remover. And the oily base even helps balance out your skin’s natural oil production, especially if you have naturally oilier skin. 

Remember how we mentioned the best way to fight oil is with oil? Seems counter-intuitive but it’s true! 

For DIY facial cleanser, use ground oats (which are easy to buy in bulk pretty much anywhere) as a gentle exfoliant.  This super simple recipe only required 3 ingredients!

Alternatively, do as Lauren from The Zero Waste Memoirs suggests and use plain old raw honey! It not only softens the skin and reduces redness, but acts as a natural antibacterial pore cleaner. 

You can even alter the honey base very slightly for different effects. Add granulated white sugar for extra exfoliation or turmeric for stimulation and acne fighting power.

This is obviously not a vegan option, but if you’re not vegan, see if you can get your hands on some sustainably harvested honey from local beekeepers.

To make your own zero waste toner, use rose water, apple cider vinegar and a little lavender essential oil. Check out an exact recipe here.

For those of you seeking specific zero waste skin care for dry skin, check out Treading My Own Path’s advice on oil-based facial moisturizing (along with a zero waste cold cream recipe) and watch this video on a DIY zero waste face moisturizer.

ZERO WASTE SKIN CARE BEAUTY HACKS

We mentioned above that a minimalist zero waste skin care approach is the secret ingredient to all these great products and DIY solutions.

This article by Zero Waste Nest really breaks it down nicely. Basically, too much skin care can do two things:

  1. It messes with your skin’s natural pH by altering its acid mantle. Exfoliation in particular can actually damage skin with an alkaline pH because it won’t be able to self repair afterward. This leads to dry and irritated skin.
  2. It damages your skin barrier (aka the dreaded natural skin oils we try so diligently to scrub away). Natural oil is necessary because it not only prevents water loss through the skin, but keeps our skin from producing too much oil to overcompensate.  So ironically, washing and exfoliating your skin too much makes it even oilier.

In summary: your skin knows what it’s doing, at least somewhat. Sometimes it needs a little help but overall, your skin should be leading your zero waste skincare routine.

Based on this minimalist approach, here are some quick sustainable skincare hacks to quickly improve your skin.

  1. Wash your face less frequently. Skip the morning scrub and save it for before bed, when you want to wash off the grit and grime of the day.
  2. Cleanse WITH oil: don’t just cleanse to get rid of it. Again, over oiling your skin is the best way to help it figure out how much oil is enough.
  3. Water and oil do mix when it comes to moisturizing. You can actually replace moisturizer all together by combining an oil-based skin product (like coconut oil) with a water-based one (like rose water or aloe). Apply the water-based product first, then use an outer layer of oil to seal in all that moisture.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE SKIN CARE

See? Beauty IS skin deep!

Okay, maybe not, but it turns out sustainability is. And just because there’s more to beauty than looks doesn’t mean you should feel any less amazing with healthy, glowing skin. 

Imagine how it’ll feel knowing that epic epidermis came without any cost to the planet!

We hope this list of zero waste skincare brands helps in your search to develop a sustainable skin care regime that’ll leave your pores and the planet positively glowing. 

So how did we do? Maybe we missed one of the truest best zero waste skincare brands. Maybe you’ve been harboring some groundbreaking skin secret and you’re finally ready to tell the world. 

Either way, drop us a note or comment below!

Zero Waste Skin Care: 13 Best Brands Against Plastic #zerowaste #skincare
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