13 Zero Waste Beauty Brands With The Best Plastic Free Credentials
Zero waste beauty lets us go green and glam while keeping the planet pretty and plastic free, all at the same time.
It’s never been easier to be a conscious cosmetics consumer.
And with many zero waste beauty brands available these days, there’s no reason to buy plastic products filled with ingredients you’d want to avoid in skincare.
Flavedo & Albedo’s answer to zero waste beauty packaging is aluminum, glass and sustainable timber. That’s it.
From cosmetics to cleansers, Dab Herb Makeup offers a huge product range with thousands of rave reviews.
Since no zero waste beauty routine is complete without proper skincare, Meow Meow Tweet’s all-vegan beauty line is designed to help your skin glow naturally.
If you’re curious about how we decided which plastic free beauty brands to include on this list, jump to the bottom of the article.
*This post contains affiliate links
1. DAB HERB MAKEUP
About Dab Herb Zero’s Waste Beauty Products
As its name suggests, Dab Herb is a plastic free beauty brand specializing in skincare and makeup.
They create a hugely successful line of zero waste mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, eyebrow grower, organic foundation, tinted moisturizer, concealer, luminizer, primer, contour powder, cheek pinch, blush and color corrector, lip colors, and zero waste beauty tools.
Most are packaged in either glass or tin containers and have refill options that come in compostable envelopes.
About Dab Herb
Dab Herb believes “beauty and self-care are inseparable from sustainability, transparency, and wellness”.
All products are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and mostly organic, made with food-grade ingredients sourced largely from fair trade certified farmers and suppliers.
They also support “Made in the Free World” which develops and implements solutions to human trafficking by working with global partners to provide rescue and care for victims.
2. ACTIVIST SKINCARE
About Activist Skincare Best Zero Waste Beauty Products In The USA
Activist Skincare is one of our favorite no-waste beauty brands, hands down.
They carry a wide variety of cleansers, toners, serums, balms, oils, and sunscreens—available in bundles, sets, and travel kits.
We’ve tested several products, but one of our favorites is the Sea to Skin Cleansing Gel.
The soft, decadent cleanser is formulated with grapeseed oil, cucumber extract, and bright blue spirulina. If you already have a natural makeup remover, you can leave the gel on for ten minutes as an all-natural face mask.
It’s shipped in a low-waste, refillable glass container, and refill pouches are available in biodegradable cello bags.
About Activist Skincare
They utilize natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and clinically proven botanicals without any lanolin, silicone, sulfates, mineral oil, parabens, or phthalates.
The refillable pouches can be recycled through Activist or TerraCycle, and all products are delivered in plastic-free shipping mailers.
Available: Activist Skincare
3. MEOW MEOW TWEET
About Meow Meow Tweet
With small-batch crafting, unrefined plant oils, and cold-pressed essential oils, Meow Meow Tweet provides fresh, next-to-nature products for your zero waste beauty routine.
Instead of cosmetics, they focus on the basis of beauty: skin.
They come packaged in glass jars or cardboard tubes.
About Meow Meow Tweet
Meow Meow Tweet wants to make it easy for people to choose plastic free beauty accessories and products—so more people do it.
They’re a New York City-based vegan skincare company certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny.
They also donate on a regular basis to a diverse list of charities.
About Axiology’s No Waste Beauty Products
Axiology’s selection of zero waste beauty products may be small but you know what they say about small packages…
In fact, it includes just one stick of (not dynamite but): vegan, cruelty free, palm oil-free, and organic lipstick.
Their lipsticks used to take the form of traditional (albeit recycled metal) tubes, but they’ve gone ultra sustainable still by switching to paper-wrapped crayons.
With three uses (lips, eyes, and cheeks) in one little stick, these “Balmies” simplify your makeup routine with equally simple, ~70% organic ingredients.
For zero plastic beauty that’s also zero anything nasty, this PETA-approved ethical brand is a top pick.
Axiology never tests on animals and some of their common ingredients are sourced fair trade.
They’re also palm oil-free and donate to Orangutan Foundation International, which helps these animals who are now endangered due to deforestation from industries like palm oil.
All inner and outer packaging is compostable.
Available: Axiology | The V Spot (Aus)
5. FLAVEDO & ALBEDO
*Note: All products except one eyeshadow color are vegan.
About Flavedo & Albedo’s Zero Waste Beauty Store Australia
Shop a colorful and paraben-free array of highlighter, eyeshadow, highlighter, lip/cheek tint, eyeshadow, and eyeliner pencils (made of sustainable timber).
For a basic zero waste beauty kit, check out their Duos.
Pencils aside, products come in aluminium tins or cute glass pots and cork-lined aluminium lids.
With the exception of the Sky-colored eyeshadow, all products are vegan.
About Flavedo & Albedo
This Australian zero waste beauty brand is making waves in all the best ways.
By keeping their selection simple, they’re encouraging minimalist shopping choices without skimping on the necessities.
They’re 100% cruelty free, leaving no room for error by opting not to rely on third-party testing.
Orders are fulfilled from home and outer packaging consists of recycled boxes, soy inks, and FSC-certified tissue paper.
Available: Flavedo & Albedo
Flavedo & Albedo has featured in an article on zero waste makeup.
*Note: Most products offered by EcoRoots are palm oil free.
About EcoRoots Plastic Free Beauty Store USA
EcoRoots curate a range of waste free beauty and skin care products, from face masks and toners to facial oils and moisturizers
Additionally, you’ll find zero waste beauty accessories such as loofah alternatives and zero waste beauty pads made of organic cotton for putting on or taking off makeup.
All products are vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, SLS-free, mostly palm oil-free, largely organic, and of course, come in zero waste packaging.
This means either glass jars with aluminum lids or cardboard-wrapped bars.
EcoRoots hails from Colorado and like the lovely mountains of the beautiful state, they are purveyors of all things green.
In addition to selling beauty, dental, and hair products, this zero waste online store is a one-stop-shop for plastic free kitchen and bathroom essentials.
Plastic free through and through, shipping materials mean recycled cardboard boxes and compostable cornstarch packing peanuts.
As a member of 1% for the Ocean, 1% of profits go to the Ocean Conservancy to aid ocean plastic removal and restoration.
EcoRoots has featured in an article on zero waste face wash.
About Ethique’s Plastic Free Beauty
Long ago, we started wondering, “Which beauty brands are zero waste?” and Ethique was one of the first to pop up on our radar.
While their zero waste shampoo and conditioners first caught our attention, the rest of their products are equally as noteworthy.
Making some of the best organic face moisturizers, scrubs, and deodorants, all Ethique products are cleanly made and sustainably packaged.
In addition to their classic naked bars, they recently added compostable cardboard tubes to their zero waste beauty packaging lineup.
Ethique is a 100% plastic free beauty brand from New Zealand daring consumers to #giveupthebottle.
Across the whole natural product line, they’re palm oil-free, vegan, natural, cruelty free, and nasties (i.e. SLS, phthalates, parabens, etc) free.
The company as a whole is certified climate-neutral and a B-Corp, and donates either 2% of yearly revenue or 20% of profit (whichever is higher) to charity.
Available: Ethique | Amazon | Holland & Barrett (UK) | Nourished Life (AU)
8. RAINWATER BOTANICALS
About Rainwater Botanicals’ Zero Waste Beauty Store
Rainwater Botanicals makes “responsibly sourced, natural-derived skincare, ethically created, never tested on animals (and also amazing for you)”.
A certified member of the Safe Cosmetic Business Network, you won’t find harsh chemicals or toxic synthetics in their range of facial serums, cleansers, moisturizers, concealers, eye shadows, color correctors, foundation, blush, and more.
As for packaging, products come in compostable cardboard tubes, bar form, or glass with either aluminum or plastic dropper lids (intended to be reused).
About Rainwater Botanicals
This zero waste beauty brand started with just one product: a simple, natural multi-purpose healing salve.
They test on themselves only and consider cruelty-free to be one of their three core philosophies.
9. DIRTY HIPPIE COSMETICS
*Note: Dirty Hippie has announced that one of their suppliers no longer guarantees certain ingredients to be palm oil-free. While they search for a new supplier, see below for some of the products to avoid.
About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
Everything they handmake is cruelty free, vegan, organic, and fully plant or mineral-based.
Unfortunately, their supplier of Olive and Coconut oils (cetearyl and sorbitan olivates) no longer guarantees they are palm oil-free.
While Dirty Hippie is in the process of moving to an alternative supplier, it currently affects their mascara, eyeliner, Hydrating Hempseed and Red Raspberry Facial Primer, facial moisturizing creams, and mineral cream zero waste concealer.
Everything is packaged in compostable recycled cardboard tubes or reusable tin and glass (with safely biodegrading vegetable ink labels).
About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
Not only does Dirty Hippie create waste free beauty products, but the company is based in Bywong, Australia, a zero waste community.
This allows them to make the most of nature’s resources, like collected rainwater and a totally solar-powered HQ.
Operating at a 50% (and growing) carbon offset, they grow and source many ingredients locally, and those sourced externally are done through Fair Trade channels.
They’re also involved with a range of charities, donating to causes such as animal rescues and suicide prevention.
10. FAT & THE MOON
*Note that not all products are vegan but there are many vegan options
About Fat & the Moon‘s Plastic Free Beauty Products
Fat & the Moon offers an assortment of “adornment” cosmetics (think: organic eyeshadow and lip stains), as well as deodorant creams, soothing balms, natural dry shampoo, anti-fungal creams, non-toxic perfume, and more.
Each one is free of palm oil, synthetic colors and fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and the like.
All plastic free beauty products come packaged in reusable tins and are shipped as minimally and non-superfluously as possible.
About Fat & the Moon
Fat and the Moon strives for the quality and care once achieved by naturalist healers. They stay grounded in those inspired roots by calling many of their recipes “potions”.
Handmade to order (because “body products, like food, are not meant to last forever!”) using ethically harvested and largely organic ingredients
All products are palm oil-free and cruelty free, but not quite everything is vegan—speaking to their lip stains and eye coals that contain ethically sourced beeswax.
Fat and the Moon is a women-owned and run business that supports various charities and causes in their community.
Available: Fat and the Moon
11. EMPIRESQUID ORGANICS
*Note: Not all products are vegan but there are many vegan options
About EmpireSquid Organics’ Waste Free Beauty Products
EmpireSquid is another zero waste beauty company with a funky name and a double-take product lineup.
They specialize in zero waste skin care, including sunscreen, toners, anti-aging serums, and natural acne treatments.
Each product is made of “amazingly wholesome” and nourishing all-natural ingredients that don’t include palm oil.
About EmpireSquid Organics
As a family-run brand, EmpireSquid provides affordable and responsible skin care for men, women, and children through quality, handmade-to-order items.
Their Fair Trade-sourced ingredients are currently sitting at ~70% organic, though it is continually growing.
A handful of products (such as their sunscreen) are not vegan by default but send them a simple request and they’ll make any non-vegan product with a vegan recipe.
12. TRAIL BOTANICA
About Trail Botanica’s Zero Plastic Beauty Products
Their no waste beauty products are entirely vegan and cruelty-free, as well as palm oil-free.
Products come in either reusable stainless steel tins or compostable cardboard push sticks.
The soaps are wrapped in plantable paper embedded with North American wildflower seeds so you can simultaneously pretty up yourself and the planet.
About Trail Botanica
Founder Eryn Hughes started Trail Botanica to provide quality sustainable skincare specially designed for outdoor athletes that tend to be a little harder on their skin.
Built “for nature from nature“, many of the ingredients are either wild harvested or grown by Eryn. For things she can’t grow or find, she sources from local, organic companies.
Any labeling is done on biodegradable, environmentally safe adhesive labels printed with a wax-based ink, before being shipped with reused and recyclable filler in Forestry Initiative packaging.
Eryn even delivers local orders herself by bicycle—talk about a business that pedals the extra mile!
THE CHALLENGE OF ZERO WASTE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
The same issue arises for beauty care products.
Regular plastic containers are manufactured with a bunch of composite plastics, which makes it difficult to recycle as the various parts (e.g. of a squirt bottle) would need to first be separated to avoid contamination of a recycling batch.
So not only is it likely that the product at the end of its single-use life will not be recycled but because it’s also made of plastic, it ain’t going nowhere for a very very long time.
That’s why we’ve searched for the best zero waste beauty brands offering products in reusable or compostable containers.
Remember, zero waste (in a consumer nut shell) focuses on using only that which can be reused or composted, instead of trashed or burned.
FINDING THE BEST PLASTIC FREE BEAUTY BRANDS
To curate this list, we started by asking: which beauty brands are plastic free?
Beyond that, however, we used our approach to sustainable beauty to look for brands and products that are:
- Vegan: We’ll sometimes make exceptions for beeswax, but otherwise, we prefer not to put animals on our faces.
- Cruelty-free: Animal testing is an obvious (and non-negotiable) no-no for us.
- Palm oil free: Or at least RSPO sustainably sourced palm oil.
- Ethical ingredient sourcing policies
- Thoughtful, (ideally) zero-waste packaging: Since the zero waste ethos aims to throw nothing away, this means the packaging is either reusable (i.e refillable beauty products) or compostable. The goal is no plastic at all.
We know it’s tall order and believe us, it takes a fair bit of time to find the best plastic free beauty brands to meet all or most criteria.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLASTIC FREE BEAUTY BRANDS
Seeing how many zero waste beauty brands there are is pretty darn inspiring (pun intended).
It’s even more inspiring when you consider that these brands exist thanks to planet-minded people like you. So let’s keep supporting plastic free beauty brands and their natural anti-aging skin care remedies until they’re the only things at the cosmetics counter.
Start by giving this list a share with your glamorous girlfriends and encourage them to stop and think next time they find their favorite foundation empty.
When it comes to zero waste and low waste living, small changes made collectively lead to big cosmetic (and foundational) changes.