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7 Best Zero Waste Skincare Brands For Plastic-Free Beauty

Discover the best zero waste skincare brands that not only deliver natural and effective products but also help reduce your plastic waste.
9 Sustainable Wallets That Blend Ethical Practices with Style

This Article is 100% Organic: Written and Researched by Real Humans.

The pumps, the lids, the tubes, and even those cute little travel versions of your favorite skincare brand can all add up to a big problem. In the U.S. alone, 7.9 billion units of rigid plastic were created for the cosmetic industry. Billion. 

But wait – we can’t control what the skincare brands pack their products in, right? And we still need to take care of the one set of skin we have, right? After all, it is our ultimate defense against pollutants and toxins! 

The truth is we do have a say as consumers. While your email to your favorite company requesting they change to a more earth-friendly packaging may feel like a drop in the bucket, you know what will really grab their attention? Your dollars. Cast your vote wisely for the world you want to see with these ten options for zero waste and sustainable skincare

Zestain is reader supported. Purchases made through our site links may result in an affiliate commission for us, without affecting your own costs. Find out more about our rigorous brand rating process.

Zestain's Top Picks

A Quick Look At The Best Zero Waste Skincare Brands

How We Choose These Zero Waste Skincare Brands

First, let’s define zero waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), zero waste seeks to “maximize recycling, minimize waste, reduce consumption, and ensure that products are made to be reused, repaired, or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.”

What zero waste doesn’t mean is that the skincare product and its packaging magically turn into fairy dust to never be seen again after use. It does mean that a brand has thoughtfully and transparently put policies in place to reduce its overall impact. How are the brands we chose balancing waste with functionality?

  • Design: Simplifying product design (who needs a pump?) and reducing the amount of material used without compromising the product’s integrity or functionality can significantly reduce waste. 
  • Packaging Materials: What can replace the sturdiness and safety of plastic? We looked at brands that used biodegradable, recyclable, or post-consumer recycled materials to reduce impact. 
  • Reusability or Refill Model: So nice; we can use it twice! Reusable and refillable models are the enemy of companies that want to make money and keep you coming back. We love a company that saves our carbon footprint and a little money with reusable or refillable product models that minimize waste. 
  • Delivery: Is shipping Carbon Neutral? We sure love it when the impact shipping has on our products is achieved through both emission reduction (batching shipments and leveraging lower-emission vehicles for transport) and offsetting the carbon that is produced in the process.
  • Product Formulation: Use of sustainable and biodegradable ingredients that break down without negative impact on the environment bolster zero waste products.
  • Offsets: Every action has a reaction. Production of any kind will involve some kind of waste even if it isn’t visible (emissions, resource use, etc.). We looked for companies that help to offset these invisible impacts by supplementing their company with renewable energy or supporting environmental causes with purchases. 

Full List of Zero Waste Skincare Products & Brands

1
Izzy
Image by Izzy
Best refill program

Izzy

Izzy’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

Izzy’s website greets you with the essentials of taking care of your skin and the planet: “Clean. Cruelty-Free. Zero Waste. Beautiful.” 

They cut the waste and cut right to the chase with a skincare and beauty line that is clean and cruelty-free, 100% reusable, 100% recyclable, 100% certified CarbonNeutral®, and 100% the last basics you’ll buy once you get your hands on them. 

We love that every product has a stamp indicating its exact carbon footprint (1.07 kg of CO2E for their Zero Waste Dew Bomb Glowy Hydra-Milk if you were wondering!), which helps us to carbon budget and compare. Their design is also intended to be as gentle as possible; think water-soluble and compostable Dew Bomb pods and refillable jars. 

Lastly, they’ve got us sold with a membership plan that includes refills every 60 days. While their Dew Bombs are the only “just for skin” product, they also have zero-waste mascaras, brow gels, highlighters, and lip glosses. 

About Izzy

At the heart of Izzy’s mission is their groundbreaking zero-waste packaging and refill system. Their products are housed in medical-grade, American-made stainless steel tubes designed for over 10,000 uses with refills. This step reduces plastic usage by 94% compared to leading beauty brands. 

They are also locally focused. By operating within a 400-mile radius, Izzy drastically cuts carbon emissions from transportation, boasting a 78% smaller carbon footprint after 25 refills compared to the industry standard.

Izzy’s commitment extends beyond just their products. From ethical sourcing of ingredients to supporting global communities through partnerships with organizations like the National Forest Foundation, Her Justice, and Pencils of Promise, they’re all in on giving back to the planet and its people.

2
Upcircle
Image by Upcricle
Best for upcycled ingredients

Upcircle

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: B Corp Certified, 99% plastic-free packaging, Certified Plastic Negative, refill programs, upcycled natural ingredients

Upcircle’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

Upcircle’s products are packaged 99% plastic-free with refillable options. They are also vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and devoid of harmful chemicals such as parabens, SLS, SLEs, synthetic scents, or sulfates. And did we mention they use upcycled waste by-products from the food industry? Trust us – it’ll delight you in a good way. 

Their commitment to circularity – keeping super functional natural ingredients from landfills – means they don’t create the carbon footprint of virgin ingredients and plastic packaging does. Kinder to the earth and your skincare routine. Their best seller? The Caffeinated Duo Eye Cream featuring Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil.

The brand skincare line includes: 

  • Cleansers
  • Face Serums
  • Skin Serums
  • Moisturizers
  • Eye Creams
  • Face Toners
  • Exfoliators

About Upcircle

Sibling team Anna and William Brightman founded Upcircle with a dream to make waste by-products the star of your skincare routine. Conceptualized at their kitchen table, it’s now become the UK’s number one circular skincare brand and has recently expanded into the US market. 

The inspiration behind the brand was a simple yet revolutionary idea: to salvage used coffee grounds from London’s cafes and repurpose them into premium skincare products. This expanded to byproducts from juicers and other food production like blueberry extract, date seeds, fruit waters, and maple bark. 

They possess the most lofty sustainability credential in the world – they are a Certified B Corporation, which places them among an elite group of companies globally that are rigorously vetted and recognized for using business as a force for good.

3
Loli Beauty
Image by LOLI Beauty
Best locally sourced skincare

LOLI Beauty

  • Price point: $$$
  • Sustainability: Local farm-sourced and upcycled ingredients, Organic Trade Association Member

LOLI’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

LOLI wants you to know that purity and zero waste go hand in hand. They have organic, wild-harvested ingredients that are raw, fair trade, non-GM, and, most importantly for your impact on the earth, upcycled from food for zero waste.

Like Upcircle, Loli uses the purest, most potent, food-grade ingredients, hand-selected and responsibly sourced, minimizing waste and chemicals that end up in waterways. We’re talking Sumo citrus oil, banana peel extract, and plum kernel oil – all of which come from products that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill, burping up CO2 gasses as they broke down. 

Our favorite must try super food inspired Loli products include the Plum Elixir Serum and Sumo Citrus Cleanser

You’ll also find these great skincare products at Loli: 

  • Cleansers
  • Face Serums
  • Skin Serums and Oils
  • Moisturizers
  • Eye Creams
  • Face Toners
  • Masks and Scrubs

About LOLI

LOLI, or ‘Living Organic Loving Ingredients,’ came from the founder’s realization that most skin products are a blend of 95% water, preservatives, and synthetics. From food-grade glass yogurt jars that can be reused for food storage to certified compostable labels, bags, and boxes, they’re serving the planet and people first with every skin dream product they create.

4
Activist Skincare
Image by Activist Skincare
Best high end zero waste skincare

Activist Skincare

  • Price point: $$$
  • Sustainability: 1% for the Planet Member, refillable pouches, recyclable packaging

Activist Skincare’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

Activist Skincare offers a range of natural makeup removers, toners, clean vitamin C serums, and more, all packaged in refillable glass containers. These containers can be easily refilled using minimalist refill pouches designed to cut down on waste. 

This approach dramatically reduces plastic waste by 75% on average with just one refill, saving you money and long term impact on your skincare routine. 

Activist Skincare prides itself on using natural, plant-based ingredients, which they term “Planet Positive Chemistry,” all sourced sustainably. You can’t go wrong with their Sea to Skin Cleansing Gel or Deep Moisture Cleansing Balm

Other skincare products the brand carries include: 

  • Cleaners
  • Oils
  • Serums
  • Sunscreen

About Activist Skincare

Activist has established itself as an earth friendly brand with a mission to do everything less. Less packaging, less waste, more refills, and more functionality in their product designs. 

Founded by Allison Callaway, a working mom driven by a passion for active ingredients and a responsibility to protect our bodies and planet from excessive waste and toxins, the brand is a nearly zero-waste operation, continually seeking new ways to enhance its sustainability practices.

They also hold a gold standard credential when it comes to supporting brands who walk their talk: a 1% for the Planet Membership, which sees them donating a portion of profits back to environmental causes.

5
Blueland
Image by Blueland
Best for the minimalist

Blueland

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: B Corp Certified, Platinum Material Health Certificate from Cradle to Cradle, USDA BioPreferred, EPA Safer Choice, Leaping Bunny, Environmental Working Group (EWG) certified

Blueland’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

While Blueland first made its mark with zero-waste home care products, they’ve taken the same dedication to minimal packaging and super clean ingredients into a personal care line that includes facial cleansers and body wash in “Forever Bottles”. 

Buy the bottle once, and refill it forever. All of their products are made from concentrates, which means you buy the product, not the water, which generally comprises up to 90% of a product. That also means the shipping footprint is lower to deliver your zero-waste skincare to your doorstep! 

Their skincare line is fairly minimal, but you can’t go wrong with the Facial Cleanser Starter Set – a first-of-its-kind gentle cleanser that transforms from powder into a full bottle of non-foaming gel with a skin-balanced pH. Blueland’s concentrated skincare powder + your water = 1 full bottle of facial cleanser.

About Blueland

The Blueland mission is simple: make it easy to be a zero-waste hero with innovative products in reusable packaging that are convenient, effective, and affordable. 

Refills aren’t just a bonus; the entire brand revolves around being in your home regularly with products that are purpose-built to be bought once and then topped up on the regular. 

They also carry a wealth of eco credentials and certifications and are lauded for their low-impact efforts by media like Fast Company and Oprah.

6
Meow Meow Tweet
Image by Meow Meow Tweet
Best organic zero-waste skin care

Meow Meow Tweet

  • Price point: $-$$
  • Sustainability: Closed loop refill programs, compostable packaging, small batch made, Certified Organic, Certified B Corp

Meow Meow Tweet’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

Be dazzled by the branding, but don’t be fooled by all the hard work Meow Meow Tweet has put into its cruelty-free, vegan, palm oil-free, organic line of skincare products. 

The Chamomile Yarrow Gel Face Toner is a standout. Don’t know what yarrow is? All you need to know is it delivers organic hydrosols and soothing herbs to balance skin, deliver nutrients, and promote cell regeneration. 

We love that the brand offers an all-inclusive line of skincare products suitable for everybody (sharing is caring for the earth!) and ticks all the boxes for your skincare routine. Products include: 

  • Oils 
  • Toners
  • Cleansers
  • Masks
  • Facial Bars

About Meow Meow Tweet

Established by vegans, Meow Meow Tweet adopts a “slow food philosophy” towards skincare. Their plant-based, zero-waste skincare products are crafted by hand in limited quantities, utilizing premium, ethically obtained ingredients that also happen to be organic. 

The latter eliminates harsh pesticides and fertilizers that go into growing non-organic crops and end up in our soil and waterways.

7
Attitude
Image by Attitude
Best Overall
Most comprehensive zero-waste skincare line

Attitude

  • Price point: $$$
  • Sustainability: EWG Verified, ECOLOGO Certified, biodegradable, refillable, and recyclable

Brand’s Zero Waste Skincare Products

Attitude is probably the most comprehensive zero-waste skincare option on our list. And almost every clean, natural, incredibly smelling product comes in a biodegradable, Forest Stewardship Council Certified cardboard tube. 

We’ve never seen such a comprehensive line of skincare, from the Solid Face Cleanser with Peptides to the Radiance Solid Face Serum with Vitamin C, all in solid stick form! If you’re a traveler, this is the perfect skincare line to reduce your carbon footprint, while also taking a top-notch skincare routine on the road with lightweight, completely recyclable packaging. 

Attitude’s skincare line includes: 

  • Scrubs
  • Masks
  • Serums
  • Oils 
  • Face Creams

About Attitude

ATTITUDE  was founded in 2006, trailblazing a path to develop products that were reimagined with innovative scientists to develop clean and performance-driven beauty & home products in innovative, low-waste packaging. EWG Verified means ingredients are healthy for you and non-polluting to the earth. 

They are also the only brand on our list with the first-of-its-kind plastic-free skincare boutique in Montreal and a tree planting program that has contributed 1.5 million planted since 2020.

Comparing Zero Waste Skincare Brands

ProductPrice PointSustainabilityOur Pick For
Izzy
Izzy
$$Refill program, compostable and reusable packaging, National Forest Foundation partnershipBest refill program
Upcircle
Upcircle
$$B Corp Certified, 99% plastic-free packaging, Certified Plastic Negative, refill programs, upcycled natural ingredientsBest for upcycled ingredients
Loli Beauty
LOLI Beauty
$$$Local farm-sourced and upcycled ingredients, Organic Trade Association MemberBest locally sourced skincare
Activist Skincare
Activist Skincare
$$$1% for the Planet Member, refillable pouches, recyclable packagingBest high end zero waste skincare
Blueland
Blueland
$B Corp Certified, Platinum Material Health Certificate from Cradle to Cradle, USDA BioPreferred, EPA Safer Choice, Leaping Bunny, Environmental Working Group (EWG) certifiedBest for the minimalist
Meow Meow Tweet
Meow Meow Tweet
$-$$Closed loop refill programs, compostable packaging, small batch made, Certified Organic, Certified B CorpBest organic zero-waste skin care
Attitude
Attitude
$$$EWG Verified, ECOLOGO Certified, biodegradable, refillable, and recyclableBest Overall, Most comprehensive zero-waste skincare line

Why Switch to Plastic-Free Skincare Products

Switching to plastic-free skincare products is a conscious choice towards safeguarding our planet while nurturing your skin with zero-waste formulas that tend towards more natural formulations. That’s a mouthful for: it’s a win-win. 

Let’s break down our case to swap out your ‘so last year’ plastic packaged favorite for one of these brands doing the hard work to make your visage and the planet look a little bit better. 

Better for Planet (Obvs)

We like the ocean. We like the forest. Say it with your skincare! Embracing plastic-free beauty regimes means choosing a path of sustainability that significantly reduces environmental pollution. Packaging in the beauty industry is a major contributor to plastic waste, which often ends up in oceans and landfills, causing harm to marine life and ecosystems. 

Support Brands Who Are Doing Better

By opting for plastic-free options, you’re not only supporting brands that prioritize eco-friendly practices but also ensuring that your beauty routine contributes to a cleaner, greener earth. 

Probably Better for Your Skin

Moreover, many plastic-free skincare products lean towards natural and organic ingredients, offering your skin the gentle, nourishing care it needs without the harsh chemicals often found in conventional beauty products. 

Final Thoughts on Zero Waste Skincare

Being a planet warrior can be overwhelming, where to start? Next time that plastic tube squishes its last squish or hits the bottom of the plastic pot, use this list as a reference to make a guilt-free switch to a better skincare brand. 

For more brands to inspire your eco revolution, follow Zestain on Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin!

Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.
Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.

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