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These zero waste beauty brands help you look good while also doing good for the environment.


Metal straws and reusable bags aren’t the only ways to help minimize your impact on the environment. The beauty industry is getting in on the Earth-saving action too, with more and more companies offering recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable packaging alternatives—a new trend known as zero waste or no-waste beauty. 

It’s good timing for this type of initiative. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, and personal care products are a large part of that problem. Over 129 billion units of packaging are wasted by the cosmetic industry every year. Think about the products you use on a daily basis—the majority are most likely housed in some type of plastic packaging. And, unlike your water bottles or La Croix cans, the empties can’t simply be thrown into your household recycling bin. (Only certain types of plastic are recyclable, and unfortunately, most of the kinds used in beauty products aren’t.)

Here are seven zero waste products and brands that will help minimize your impact on the environment. Because every little bit helps.

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1. Town and Anchor

Not only are the facial oils from this handcrafted line vegan, zero waste, and all natural, but they’re also multipurpose. They can be used as everything from a moisturizer to a treatment to a makeup remover, helping you streamline not only your carbon footprint, but your daily routine, too. As a nice extra touch, each recyclable product comes with a pack of wildflower seeds.

To buy:

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2. Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick

A cult-like favorite among the world of natural deodorants, this has the added benefit of being housed in a push-up cardboard tube that completely biodegrades in 12 months. It comes in three different scents, all of which rely on plant-based oils and mineral powders to keep you smelling fresh and clean.

To buy: $14;

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3. Ethique Butter Blocks

Since this brand was founded in 2012, it has kept 3.3 million plastic bottle, jars, and tubes out of landfills. Credit the waste-free solid beauty bars, available in everything from cleansing to self-tanning versions. We’re partial to this solid body moisturizer (which also has a compostable label, FYI), made with rich and hydrating cocoa butter and coconut oils, and available in a variety of different scents.

To buy: $15.50;

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4. Seed Phytonutrients Daily Hair Cleanser Shampoo

Meet the first shower-friendly paper shampoo bottle, made of water-resistant paper that interlocks instead of using glue. Also cool: The food-grade, recycled plastic liner is 95 percent thinner than that of standard bottles, so it collapses as it’s used, allowing you to get out every single last drop.  Could it get any better? The brand plans to soon use paper made from its own waste, creating a totally closed production loop.

To buy: $24;

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5. Li Organics

With glass bottles and labels made from corn husks, the packaging for all of the four products from this brand is both sustainable and recyclable. Taking it one step further, those labels also require no chemicals or petroleum for their creation, making them carbon neutral so that no greenhouse gases are emitted. Plus, all of the ingredients are sourced from sustainable farming methods and are over 85 percent organic.

To buy:

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6. Pacific Shaving Co. Single-Use Shaving Cream Minis

We were already big fans of these individual shaving cream pods for travel, but on top of that, they’re also waste-free. Each dose of shaving cream comes in a 100 percent water-soluble film that dissolves as you use it, so there’s no clunky can to toss away (and clutter up a landfill) later.

To buy: $7.99 for 40;

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Not only is this brand zero waste, it’s also completely waterless. (Many beauty products are water-based, contributing to water shortage issues, yet another negative impact on the environment.) The products are made of upcycled, food-grade ingredients, and the certified compostable packaging and labels are also food-safe. Basically, you can safely reuse the glass jar your face lotion came in to house your leftovers afterward.

To buy:

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