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8 Best Zero Waste Face Washes for Earth-Loving Skin

Say goodbye to excess plastic waste and hello to beautiful, sustainable skin with these top zero-waste face wash options.
8 Best Zero Waste Face Washes for Earth-Loving Skin

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

Have you ever really looked at the ingredients in your face wash? Or thought about where that plastic tube or pot goes after it’s done working miracles on your skin? 

The truth is that most ingredients in a typical face wash are not only redundant but could also pose risks to both personal health and environmental sustainability. 

Our quest for eco-friendly skincare alternatives led us down a rabbit hole of research and experimentation with zero-waste face wash brands that challenge the norm – think plant-based ingredients and plastic-free packaging. Along with identifying pioneering brands, we’ve compiled guidance on the ingredients to look for.

This is your guide to eight of the best zero-waste face washes.

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

How We Choose These Plastic-Free Face Wash Brands

Scrub after scrub, we kept a discerning eye out for these key things when we picked the best zero-waste and plastic-free face washes. 

When selecting these brands, we took a holistic approach. These are some of the key areas in which we put a magnifying glass! 

Packaging Materials

While we’re a sucker for bright and interesting beauty packaging – we also know it can come at a cost to the planet. So it was ‘see ya later’ plastic and hello solid bars, paper-based tubes, and refillable jars and bottles. 

We prioritized brands that use eco-friendly, compostable, or recyclable materials for their packaging, thereby minimizing the consumption of single-use plastics, which are a major concern for landfills and oceans.

Company Sustainability Efforts and Ethics

Beyond the product itself, we looked hard at the company. Catchy marketing slogans only go so far. To make the Zestain list they need to walk the talk – bonus points if it was in the form of a refillable product, packaging take-back program, or they supported renewable energy, fair labor practices, or environmental and social causes. 

Ingredients

Is a zero-waste product only about the packaging? Just dodging plastic in their packaging is not enough. Ingredients can also have zero waste qualities whether they utilize the byproducts of food production (UpCircle) or minimize their impact by sourcing sustainable plant-based formulas. 

We favored brands that use natural, organic, and cruelty-free ingredients, steering clear of harmful chemicals and synthetics that align with both our health and ecological standards.

Full List of Zero Waste Face Washes

1
Ecoroots Facial Soap Bar
Image by EcoRoots
Best Face Wash Bar

EcoRoots: Facial Soap Bar

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: Ocean Conservancy partner

EcoRoots is the full (nonplastic) package. The woman-owned company’s line of zero-waste products are all vegan and packed in recyclable and reusable packaging. 

The EcoRoots Facial Soap Bar is here to bring a little fun to face washing all in an organically crafted formula that offers an effective cleanse for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. 

The formula is a blend of planet-approved organic ingredients, herbs, and clays that promise to leave your skin feeling revitalized, healthy, and incredibly soft. Lovingly cold-pressed by hand in small batches, EcoRoots and this bar meticulously avoids synthetic fragrances, colorants, parabens, or sulfates.

Their range of facial soap bars includes Charcoal Tea Tree, ideal for oily skin with its pore-decongesting powers; Shea Oatmeal, a boon for dry, sensitive skin thanks to its vitamin-rich composition; Pink Clay for a gentle cleanse that improves complexion across all skin types; and Orange Bergamot, perfect for leaving oily skin soft and refreshed.

Paired wonderfully with zero-waste accessories like a soap-saver bag and a bamboo dish, this face wash is the full deal. 

2
Meow Meow Tweet Juniper Bergamont Face Cleanser
Image by Meow Meow Tweet
Best for Blemishes

Meow Meow Tweet: Juniper Bergamont Face Cleanser

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Certified B Corp, Leaping Bunny Member

Cue the zero-waste choirs. Meow Meow Tweet ticks all the boxes: gentle plant-based ingredients and a metal bottle that can be repurposed, refilled, or recycled. The pump can be reused or returned via a responsible submission to TerraCycle, which the company partners with to ensure their packaging gets properly sorted. 

Picking just one product from Meow Meow is like choosing between your favorite colorful children. The Juniper Bergamont Face Cleanser has a balancing formula for oily, combo, or blemish-prone skin. 

Formulated with organic plant oils, alcohol-free witch hazel, and a hint of castile soap, this new favorite effectively removes impurities while nourishing your skin, leaving your face feeling refreshed and soft. It boasts a creamy gel texture and a fresh, herbaceous scent, ensuring a delightful skincare experience.

3
Ethique Deep Green™ Deep Cleaning Solid Face Cleanser
Image by Ethique
Best for Travel

Ethique: Deep Green™ Deep Cleaning Solid Face Cleanser

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Fair Trade, biodegradable packaging and ingredients, Climate Positive

Ethique’s Deep Green™ Deep Cleaning Solid Face Cleanser is the perfect zero waste travel companion able to effortlessly keep your skin glowing while also making it past TSA on your travels. 

This zero-waste face wash bar is designed for a gentle cleansing experience, utilizing the power of natural ingredients to gently yet effectively remove dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin. 

Its formula is a blend of of vegan ingredients like French clay, sea salt, castor oil, and sweet orange oil. Perfect for when you’ve spent the last half day sleeping on an airplane pillow. This travel-ready gem also boasts plastic-free, biodegradable, and compostable packaging.

4
Hibar Renew Solid Face Wash
Image by HiBar
Best Fragrance-Free Face Wash

HiBar: Renew Solid Face Wash

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Leaping Bunny Certified

We admit the packaging had us from the get-go – plastic-free, compostable, and basically our new zero waste crush. 

HiBar’s Renew Solid Face Wash Bar is formulated to exfoliate and cleanse your skin without harshness. It is enriched with amino acids and utilizes olive seed powder to gently polish and enhance your skin’s natural glow. 

Vegan and free from fragrances, this face wash bar includes silk protein for skin protection and white willow bark extract for its purifying properties. Impressively, one 2 oz bar offers longevity that rivals an 8 oz bottle of traditional liquid face wash, making it not only a skin-friendly choice but also an eco-conscious one when you consider you won’t have to buy so many products in its place. 

5
J &Amp; L Naturals Calm Face &Amp; Body Soap Bar For Sensitive Skin
Image by J&L Naturals
Best for Sensitive Skin

J & L Naturals: Calm Face & Body Soap Bar For Sensitive Skin

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: In-house recycling program

Are you still reaching for those aggressive, astringent cleansers packaged in plastic? Consider this an invitation to a natural upgrade. 

J & L Naturals Face & Body Soap Bars come in five different formulas because your skin may not feel the same on Friday as it did on Monday. The different formulations are Calm for those battling acne, Balance to regulate oily/combination skin, Hydrate to quench dry skin’s thirst, Shine to revitalize dull complexions, and Timeless for nurturing mature skin.

Just by nature of it being a bar, you won’t have any packaging guilt here. The outer packaging is a recyclable paper. 

6
Etee Charcoal &Amp; Aloe Facial Cleansing Bar
Image by Etee
Best 100% Plant Based

etee: Charcoal & Aloe Facial Cleansing Bar

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Cruelty-free, sustainable shipping, naked packaging

Are you a plant lover? So is Etee. This Charcoal & Aloe Facial Cleansing Bar is made up of 100% plant-based ingredients and 85% of those are organic. 

This versatile facial cleansing bar is celebrated by users of all skin types, including those with sensitive, dry, or oily skin. Its well-balanced formula means it won’t leave your skin with tightness, dryness, or excess oil. 

Activated charcoal is the star of the zero waste show. This bar employs natural exfoliants and other ingredients that come in a long-lasting, concentrated form. Finally, it knocks it out of the park with packaging – in that it comes in virtually no packaging! It’s naked and we’re loving it.

7
Superfly Soap Balance Cleanser
Image by Superfly Soap
Best Powder-Based Formula

Superfly Soap: Balance Cleanser

  • Price point: $$$
  • Sustainability: Locally sourced ingredients, fully home compostable cellophane packaging

The Superfly Soap: Balance Cleanser clinched the Editors Choice at this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards in large part due to its earth-friendly packaging and powered-based and concentrated formula. The latter makes it another travel-friendly option!

The powder packaged in a compostable tube is comprised of kaolin clay, red clay, rosehip powder, and apricot kernel oil.  It’s a user-friendly, non-drying formula that turns into a luxurious foaming cleanser when mixed with a little water. Because the product itself doesn’t contain water, it’s lightweight and does not have as much impact on the supply chain. 

Superfly Soap’s also uses an innovative packaging material fully kitchen compostable cellophane with vegetable-based inks. Postal boxes are made from recycled content ranging from 60% to 90%. Because of this effort, Superfly Soap has been awarded Plastic Free Champion status from Surfers Against Sewage in Kent in the UK. 

8
Plaine Products Facial Wash
Image by Plaine Products
Most economical

Plaine Products: Facial Wash

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: Reusable aluminum packaging, carbon neutral, 1% for the Planet Partner, Certified B Corp

Keeping it sweet and simple, Plaine Products Facial Wash is the just the zero waste solution if you are into simple of the earth ingredients and a sturdy reusable and refillable bottle that you can carry on a relationship with for decades, should you choose the refill life. 

Hero ingredients include Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Vitamin C) and Green Tea. It comes in a natural citrus scent or without any scent at all. 

Kid-safe, palm oil-free, and non-comedogenic, it deserves a place on this list. It’s hard to tick all the boxes, but this straightforward winner sure does try.

Comparing Zero Waste Face Washes

ProductPrice PointSustainabilityOur Pick For
Ecoroots Facial Soap Bar
EcoRoots: Facial Soap Bar​
$Ocean Conservancy partnerBest Face Wash Bar
Meow Meow Tweet Juniper Bergamont Face Cleanser
Meow Meow Tweet: Juniper Bergamont Face Cleanser
$$Certified B Corp, Leaping Bunny MemberBest for Blemishes
Ethique Deep Green™ Deep Cleaning Solid Face Cleanser
Ethique: Deep Green™ Deep Cleaning Solid Face Cleanser
$$Fair Trade, biodegradable packaging and ingredients, Climate PositiveBest for Travel
Hibar Renew Solid Face Wash
HiBar: Renew Solid Face Wash
$$Leaping Bunny CertifiedBest Fragrance-Free Face Wash
J &Amp; L Naturals Calm Face &Amp; Body Soap Bar For Sensitive Skin
J & L Naturals: Calm Face & Body Soap Bar For Sensitive Skin
$In-house recycling programBest for Sensitive Skin
Etee Charcoal &Amp; Aloe Facial Cleansing Bar
etee: Charcoal & Aloe Facial Cleansing Bar
$$Cruelty-free, sustainable shipping, naked packagingBest 100% Plant Based
Superfly Soap Balance Cleanser
Superfly Soap: Balance Cleanser
$$$Locally sourced ingredients, fully home compostable cellophane packagingBest Powder-Based Formula
Plaine Products Facial Wash
Plaine Products: Facial Wash
$Reusable aluminum packaging, carbon neutral, 1% for the Planet Partner, Certified B CorpMost economical

Why Switch to Zero Waste Face Washes

Why put a different face wash in your shop cart? Let’s break it down! 

Switching to zero waste face washes represents a meaningful step towards more sustainable and conscious living for several compelling reasons:

The Planet Appreciates It

Conventional face washes often come in plastic packaging, contributing to the staggering amounts of plastic waste that pollute our landfills and oceans. Zero waste products, however, lean into recyclable or compostable materials — better for your bin! 

They Are Probably Better For Your Skin

 Zero waste face washes typically prioritize natural, organic ingredients over synthetic chemicals. Many conventional products contain harsh substances that can be detrimental to both skin health and the environment. These zero-waste options offer gentler alternatives. 

The Ethical Practices Domino Effect 

Many zero-waste brands are deeply committed to ethical practices, including cruelty-free testing, fair labor practices, and sourcing sustainable ingredients. By supporting these brands, you contribute to a market that values people and the planet over profit.

Keeping it Circular

Zero-waste products embody the principles of a circular economy, where products are designed to be reused, recycled, or composted, thus keeping materials in circulation and out of landfills. This approach contrasts with the linear “take-make-dispose” model, moving towards a more regenerative system.

Grab a Zero Waste Facial Cleanser, the Planet Will Thank You

Switching to a zero-waste facial cleanser isn’t just an act of self-care; it’s a gesture of kindness towards our planet. A hug for the waterways. A salute to the landfills. 

In a world where single-use plastics and chemical-laden products are wreaking havoc on ecosystems, making the conscious decision to opt for zero-waste options can have a profound impact. 

For more brands to inspire your eco evolution, follow Zestain on our blog, 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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