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Zero Waste Sustainable Skincare Products


Last Updated on May 9, 2023

I’m frequently asked about zero waste sustainable skincare products. The beauty industry is infamous for its packaging waste and harmful manufacturing practices, so I’m here to suggest some of my favorite zero waste skincare! Since zero waste makeup is included in that, I’ve decided to split this into two separate posts because there’s A LOT of information. 

There’s a myth that all natural or zero waste skin care products aren’t effective. The truth is, sustainable skin care often uses higher quality ingredients that benefit your skin more than other over the counter beauty products. These brands offer a variety of eco friendly skincare options, but I’m suggesting my favorite cleanser, resurfacing mask, body lotion, and sunscreen. Beautiful skin and safe environment, here we come!

photo of a stack of bars of soap with overlay text reading "my favorite zero waste skincare products"

sustainable skincare is worth the investment

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that my kryptonite is Credo Beauty. You can read all about my first trip here. I would blame my friend, Danielle, for introducing me, but then we wouldn’t have this great blog post! 

Everything in Credo is clean and green, and 90% of all of it comes in super sustainable packaging. 

I have had some skin care woes since moving to California. The CA water and my skin do not get along. Every time I’m in search of a product, I show up to Credo, vent about it, and they hand me magic. 

As a warning, a lot of these sustainable skincare products are pricey! I definitely could not afford to shop like this all the time. I’m very selective in what products I buy, and I typically save over long periods of time. 

Going zero waste has saved me soooo much money because it has taught me to be very picky and cut out all impulse purchases. Check out my post on how I’ve saved $12,000 — and this number is only going to grow exponentially since we downsized!! With a little bit of my saved money, I have focused on buying better beauty products, including zero waste skincare. 

I like to find a store bought product that works really well and then work on emulating it by DIY. Once I get comfortable with the routine and results, I can typically whip something up that mimics the end result. 

But, I understand that not everyone has the time or desire to whip something up. So, here’s a list of all the sustainable skin care products I’ve stumbled upon and love. 

Not everything here is going to be 100% zero waste, but I’ll get into that more with each item. 

zero waste skincare suggestions

herbivore sustainable skin care resurfacing mask: 

Blue Tansy* is one of the best selling products at Credo. When I went to Credo a couple of weeks before the wedding, I was looking for something that would smooth out some of my under-the-skin bumps. 

The girls recommended this product because it’s super gentle and uses natural AHA and BHAs to resurface your skin and knock out all of those pesky little white bumps.

I definitely have seen an improvement, and it’s super gentle — which is great for my sensitive skin.

I honestly should do this mask more often. In fact, I’m going to put my laptop down and put it on right now! 

Herbivore zero waste skin care resurfacing mask

Alright, I just put on the mask, which reminds me of another thing I love about it: it’s clear! So, if the pizza man knocks on the door with a pizza you didn’t order, you won’t look crazy. (This definitely just happened.) 

This mask smells absolutely amazing, and it comes in a glass jar. It does have a plastic lid, but it’s sure to be a jar I will reuse. It is a great size for homemade beauty products or even for snacks. Just make sure you wash it really, really well! 

Herbivore specializes in all natural, eco friendly skincare, so they also have a sea salt spray* and another mask* I’ve been wanting to try out. Almost all of their products are packaged in glass and can easily be reused. Anyway, their product line is amazing! Definitely worth checking out. 

parsley seed eco friendly skincare facial cleanser: 

I’m currently using parsley seed facial cleanser*. I really love it, and I think it works really well. (But, I don’t know if it works as well as it should for the price). 

I am in love with Aesop’s brand. Everything is sustainable, organic, and packaged very, very well. Everything is in glass, and all of their packaging is beautiful and perfect for being used again.

Parsley Seed sustainable skin care

They do have a couple of products in tubes, but their tubes are steel — so they can be recycled. Just make sure you get a crank to get squeeze out as much as you can, then cut the tube open and use every last drop! 

However, I will say, this bottle has lasted me a really long time. I’ve been using it since last October, and it’s a little under halfway through. I use it every morning and night. 

I guess the price doesn’t seem so bad knowing how long it’s lasted. If I were to swap it out, I might try out this Meow Meow Tweet cleanser*. 

I also use the toner* and the lotion*. I am super curious about their mouthwash*. I love my mouthwash recipe, but I’m just so freaking curious!! What is it like???? 

Has anyone ever used it? 

ellis brooklyn sustainable body lotions: 

I want to be upfront and say that my body lotion recipe is my favorite! But, if you’re not into DIY, there are a couple that I have tried and enjoyed.

I love this body milk* from Ellis Brooklyn. You will smell like a rose. It’s also super lightweight, and I love how it’s packed full of vitamin C to give you a bright glow. 

Ellis Brooklyn sustainable skincare

I also have recently been loving this hair oil from Dulse and Rugosa. It says it’s for hair, but I’ve been using it on my whole body. I really like to concentrate it on my elbows and ankle nobs.

It absorbs super fast into the skin and corrects any dryness instantly. It’s amazing! 

If you’re looking for fuller coverage and something that’s a little more robust, I am all about this body butter from Fillaree. I am not a body butter fan because I think most of it is too thick and takes forever to absorb. 

The body butter from Fillaree definitely takes longer to absorb than the body oil or the body milk, but it’s WAY faster than most butters. It’s so luxurious, and I especially appreciate it in winter. 

marie veronique eco friendly sunscreen: 

I also have a recipe for sunscreen on the blog. It’s great for the body, but I’m looking for an everyday sunscreen that’s light enough for facial use. 

If you’re not out in the sun often, this probably wouldn’t be necessary. Personally, I walk Nala for over an hour every day, and a lot of the walk is in direct sun.

I always wear a hat to protect my face, but my chest and shoulders are typically exposed in the summer. 

I like this every day tinted sunscreen* for the face. It’s perfect if you’re not huge on makeup and want to even out your skin just a little. Also, I don’t think I could DIY a tinted sunscreen. 

This product comes packaged in glass and is great to reuse.

Marie Veronique eco friendly skincare

zero waste body sunscreen:

I have really, really struggled to try to find a nice body sunscreen*. I finally found one at Aesop that I’m thrilled with! It has 50 SPF, and it’s reef safe!

Even low levels of oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor, can cause irreversible damage to coral reefs. 

It also comes packaged in glass and goes on super smooth. Just remember, the best way to protect yourself against the sun is to cover up! 


are zero waste skin care products really effective?

Yes, zero waste skin care products can be just as effective! Many high-end products use natural ingredients to achieve results. By using eco friendly products, you simply cut out a lot of the additives that traditional skin care products add to cut down their manufacturing costs.

are eco friendly products better for skin health?

It’s still possible for natural products to cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. However, the likelihood of seeing skin irritation is far lower when using natural products vs. synthetic chemicals or lab produced beauty product ingredients.

Of course, this has only scratched the surface of skin care. There are always new things I’m stumbling upon. I would LOVE to hear about some of your favorite skin care products. Let me know what I need to check out! 

I’m thinking of buying or DIYing an eye cream and facial oil or serum. 

What skin care products do you love that are packaged consciously? 

This post contains affiliate linking. It’s denoted with an asterisk. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a slight commission for referring you. You can read more on my disclosure page

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  1. I’ve gone with bars of soap and bars of shampoo and conditioner as you can buy them with no packaging at all, or just a bit of cardboard wrapped around them. The problem I’ve found is sourcing products with no palm oil or palm oil derived ingredients….

    1. Yeah, palm oil is almost everything. :/ I have a recipe for a shampoo bar I really like. Also dulse and rugosa has some great ones too! I also have been loving plaine products which is liquid and no palm oil.

  2. Honestly? I love Lush’s packaging! They have closed-loop recycling where you can bring containers of their back to them and they’ll turn them into…new containers! The soaps also come "naked" packaged in just paper with a sticker (or maybe you could get them to cut off a piece and put it in your own cloth bag? I think the sticker is unavoidable though). They also have solid shampoo and conditioner, and solid moisturizer bars (which all come naked), which is AMAZING because having liquid versions of these means there’s a larger environmental impact for shipping all that water. (full disclosure: I may have a solid shampoo bar but I am still using liquids because I have long curly frizzy hair and haven’t yet committed to seeing through experiments and cost and honestly waste of throwing out stuff that doesn’t work until I find what I like). Plus Lush is in a LOT of places and easy to access. I love this tinted everyday sunscreen though, I might try!

    1. I love Lush too! I realized I left them off this morning. Their naked stuff is the way to go. They don’t really turn the pots into other pots, they just recycle them which is a bummer. But, hopefully, they’ll get there.

  3. I started using facial oil about 6 months ago and have noticed a huge difference. Friends have noticed too! I don’t wear makeup very much at all, and this helps me feel good about my face even without makeup. The facial oil I ordered from amazon is It comes in a glass spray bottle with a plastic lid. Also, the ingredients are listed so it would be easy to DIY. Also, this small town Alabama girl really enjoys your blog!

  4. I use an Argan Oil from Josie Maran that I love, the only ingredient is 100% organic argan oil. It’s pricey but I only need to buy it once a year and it’s packaged in glass with a glass dropper. I’m interested in making my own skin care products going forward so I am going to try to reuse the bottle somehow. Please share if you end up making a facial oil or serum recipe you like!

  5. Everybody wants to look good, both men and women all want to be attractive for a variety of reasons. Most men and women also want to be healthy and feel good.

  6. Hi,
    Thank you for your article, I’ve been transitioning my products to zero waste and clean beauty (esp for my face). I was wondering if you have some clean beauty face products that are plastic free for specific skin types/concerns? I’m in my 40’s with oily skin (acne prone mainly hormonal), some redness and fine lines/wrinkles. I am a basic type -do not wear makeup unless you count an spf powder…my routine consists of cleanser, toner, vit c serum and (am)tinted spf (pm) anti-aging moisturizer. I am finding that my skin does better w/ non-toxic/clean beauty products but would love to use plastic free as much as possible. Any suggestions are appreciated! 🙂

  7. Hey! Love all these great ideas. Has anyone ever used Chagrin Valley? A friend recommended their shampoo bars and she adores them. I’ve been curious about trying their face creams? Anyone have any insight?