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8 Best Zero Waste Lotions to Pamper Your Skin the Eco Way

Say goodbye to wasteful packaging and harsh formulas! Check out our top picks for zero waste lotions that will leave your skin feeling pampered and guilt-free.
8 Best Zero Waste Lotions to Pamper Your Skin the Eco Way

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

The planet called, and she has just one request for your sustainable self-care routine: please pass on the plastic! In return, she’ll provide more plant-based ingredients and fewer rainy days. (We can’t guarantee the last one!) 

The beauty industry contributes to over 120 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year. The bottom line means using cheaper packaging – making plastic the choice of most manufacturers. The good news is that sustainably driven companies are not just making trendy changes, but complete pivots towards zero-waste packaging and ingredients. 

Transitioning to zero-waste lotion is not just a skincare choice; it’s a bold statement of eco-conscious living and mindful consumption. Imagine indulging in a skincare product that leaves your skin feeling luxuriously nourished and soft, without leaving a trace on our precious planet. 

These are our top eight zero-waste body lotions and what you need to know when shopping! 

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 Zero Waste Face & Body Lotions

Did you know that your lotion can be a silent act of earth activism? So can choosing a good zero-waste skincare product like face moisturizer. We used these criteria to choose the best zero-waste face and body lotions.

When selecting zero-waste face and body lotions, our curation process is guided by four fundamental criteria, ensuring that each product not only provides exceptional skincare benefits but also aligns with the highest standards of sustainability and ethical production.

Sustainable Certifications

While it’s not always possible for smaller companies to hold certifications, which inherently have a small carbon footprint due to often small batches and handcrafting production, it is one of the best ways to know if a company walks its talk. 

Third-party certifications demand rigorous testing and evidence of sustainable practices. They typically have to be renewed regularly, keeping companies and their products honest. 

We prioritized lotions that include labels such as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Cruelty-Free, Plastic Free, Carbon Neutral, and B Corp, among others. 

Eco-Friendly Packaging

An essential element of the zero waste movement is in its packaging. We looked for lotions that used environmentally friendly containers, such as biodegradable tubes, recycled or recyclable packaging, and refillable options. Even better? Naked packaging which looks like bars or other solid products that only involve secondary packaging. Minimalism at its best! 

Zero Waste Ingredients

We look for plant-based formulas whenever possible. Why? Less harsh chemicals that not only get absorbed into our body but also the planet when they hit the waterways. 

We opt for lotions formulated with natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients, avoiding harsh chemicals that could harm your skin or the environment upon washing away. 

Even better? Plant-based ingredients are byproducts of another type of production meaning nothing is wasted! UpCircle is the gold standard for this type of zero-waste product! 

Brand Commitment to Zero Waste Principles

Lastly, we consider the brand’s overall dedication to zero waste and sustainability. This encompasses not just their product line but also their operational practices, such as using renewable energy sources, minimizing production waste, and engaging in community and environmental initiatives. 

Full List of Zero Waste Lotions

1
Chagrin Valley Shower Butter Bar
Image by Chagrin Valley
Best solid lotion bar

Chagrin Valley: Shower Butter Bar

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Leaping Bunny Member, Certified USDA Organic

The Chagrin Valley Shower Butter Bar is giving us all the compulsive buyer feels with its ergonomic bar form and choices for scents depending on the mood. While not one of our official criteria, anything that can get past a TSA check also gets extra points. Hotel lotions can’t compete with this shower body lotion bar that melts on contact with warm wet skin. 

Key ingredients include unrefined natural ingredients (which keeps the good stuff in the mix), like organic cocoa, mango, and virgin shea butters that create a protective barrier – especially great for skin that is sensitive to dryness. 

Besides the recyclable box it comes in, this is another ‘naked packaging’ situation, so you won’t have to worry about #plasticguilt. 

2
Plaine Body Lotion
Image by Plaine
Best refillable

Plaine: Body Lotion

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: Certified B Corp, Leaping Bunny, 1% for the Planet

​​Plaine’s Body Lotion delivers exactly the lotion you’ve been searching for, with all the functionality but less the spend. Their generously sized, endlessly recyclable, and reusable aluminum bottle features a vegan lotion that’s both rich and featherlight, available in two natural scents (Rosemary Mint and Citrus) and one unscented version. 

We love that they have an option for a pump dispenser, which is handy if you commit to refills. It has plastic components, and while likely recyclable with a company like Terracycle (who deals with hard-to-recycle beauty waste), we like that they give you the option.

Hero ingredients like aloe, green tea, and rose canina fruit oil make this a great plant-based ingredient option. Unlike many shea butter-based lotions that tend to clog pores, this lotion offers deep hydration without the heaviness, catering to even the most moisture-starved skin.

3
Peach Soothing Body Lotion Refillable Stick - Starter Kit
Image by Peach
Best for travel

Peach: Soothing Body Lotion Refillable Stick - Starter Kit

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: Beyond Plastic Certified, Certified B Corp

Show us anything in a stick form, and we’re here for that convenience. Peach’s Soothing Body Lotion Refillable Stick goes one step further with a sleek and reusable aluminum tube case. The starter kit comes with a refill on the ready for dry skin season making it easy to pack this bad boy in your hiking backpack or purse. 

It’s vegan formula is infused with antioxidant-rich shea butter and jojoba that have supportive anti-inflammatory properties. We love that many of the ingredients are organic (less pesticides and fertilizers are used in their sourcing) and that scents are naturally derived. Not fooling us today, harsh synthetic chemicals! 

A non-greasy formula helps soothe dryness, promote a healthy skin barrier, and prevent friction and chafing without ending up on your clothes. 

4
Upcircle Hand And Body Lotion With Bergamot Water
Image by UpCircle
Best zero waste ingredients

UpCircle: Hand and Body Lotion with Bergamot Water

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Certified B Corp

If you’ve read our other blogs on non-toxic beauty and self care products, you likely already know about our love for UpCircle, a pioneering brand from a set of siblings who took the food industries perfectly good byproducts (blueberry juice, coffee grinds, date seeds) and made them into stunningly effective and smell so good you could eat them products. 

Upcircle’s Hand and Body Lotion is another must-have product from a line that also features naturally derived serums, haircare, and perfumes. This lotion is packaged in a 100% recyclable bottle with an option for a pump or an aluminum cap. 

Its ingredients are as delicious sounding as they are functional: sunflower seed, sweet almond and orange oils, aloe, bergamot, and peppermint leaf. It’s a real salad of planet friendly ingredients that also do a great job moisturizing. 

5
Zerolla Solid Body Moisturizer
Image by Zerolla
Best for a budget

Zerolla: Solid Body Moisturizer

  • Price point: $
  • Sustainability: All plastic-free packaging, locally sourced

We love Zerolla’s Solid Body Moisturizer not only for its ease of use and completely recyclable packaging but also its super accessible price point. At only $8 a bar, it is a great example of how sustainable and having natural ingredients doesn’t have to break the bank. Bonus points for the compostable, recyclable, and printed with vegetable ink packaging. 

Zerolla’s sweet spot is 100% plastic-free personal care products, so you know they are already speaking our language. But is it effective? Because if it’s not, it just turns into more waste, right? Well, clearly we’re partial because it made our list! 

No synthetic ingredients here and only natural scents like rosemary, geranium, and lemon. We can report this one leaves even the most dry skin feeling hydrated and elastic!

6
Etee Tangerine Lotion Bar
Image by Etee
Best smelling

etee: Tangerine Lotion Bar

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Reusable, recyclable and biodegradable packaging

We admit we’re a sucker for citrus, but not the kind made in a lab. This is where etee’s Tangerine Lotion Bar delivers! Its aluminum reusable packaging is zero waste at its finest as it can be infinitely recycled or kept for other purposes. 

Made from just six natural ingredients (Refined Kokum butter, ultra-refined Cocoa butter, Beeswax, organic Sunflower oil, Arrowroot Powder, and Tangerine (essential oil), these hand lotion bars are highly effective at hydrating dry skin. Users have noticed enhancements in the health of their rough cuticles despite frequent hand washing or cold weather exposure. 

The tangerine-scented hand lotion bar absorbs into the skin seamlessly, avoiding any oily aftermath and maintaining the skin’s softness and smoothness for long durations between uses. Its portable design, housed in a metal tin, facilitates easy travel, and the tin is designed to be refillable (yes, please!) for eco-friendly convenience.

7
Fat And The Moon - All Cream Face And Body Lotion
Image by Fat and The Moon
Best for face and body

Fat and the Moon: All Cream Face and Body Lotion

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Regenerative and zero waste production, reusable and recyclable containers

If you’re out here lotion shopping, you know that hydration is key, yet the abundance of creams for every part of the body – under eyes, T-zone, face, hands, body, feet, including variations for day and night – can quickly lead to a cluttered medicine cabinet. 

Enter the All Cream Face and Body Lotion from Fat and the Moon, your one-stop zero-waste solution to simplify your skincare routine. An infinitely recyclable or reusable glass jar with an aluminum lid says see ya later to traditional plastic packaging. 

And it works. This whipped, lightweight lotion, crafted from natural ingredients, offers versatile application across all areas needing moisture. 

It features shea butter for deep moisture retention, rose water for toning and hydration, aloe for sun protection, and sunflower oil to soften the skin while providing a nutrient boost.

8
Ethique Gentle Hand And Body Lotion Concentrate
Image by Ethique
Best for sensitive skin

Ethique: Gentle Hand And Body Lotion Concentrate

  • Price point: $$
  • Sustainability: Fair Trade, PETA, Palm Oil Free, and B Corp Certified

For the super-sensitive crowd, Ethique’s Gentle Hand And Body Lotion Concentrate is the product for you. Unscented and suitable for all skin types, it’s a winner for the whole household. 

What makes this one the pinnacle of zero waste? A concentrated formula means you can use it for longer and also use less plastic packaging as it replaces multiple product purchases in the process. Just add water, and you’ll go from 50g to 350g of product! 

Made with fairly traded babassu and coconut oils, this luxe lotion softens and replenishes that sought-after smooth and supple skin without the impact on the planet.

Comparing Zero Waste Lotions

ProductPrice PointSustainabilityOur Pick For
Chagrin Valley Shower Butter Bar
Chagrin Valley: Shower Butter Bar
$$Leaping Bunny Member, Certified USDA OrganicBest solid lotion bar
Plaine Body Lotion
Plaine: Body Lotion
$Certified B Corp, Leaping Bunny, 1% for the PlanetBest refillable
Peach Soothing Body Lotion Refillable Stick - Starter Kit
Peach: Soothing Body Lotion Refillable Stick - Starter Kit
$Beyond Plastic Certified, Certified B CorpBest for travel
Upcircle Hand And Body Lotion With Bergamot Water
UpCircle: Hand and Body Lotion with Bergamot Water
$$Certified B CorpBest zero waste ingredients
Zerolla Solid Body Moisturizer
Zerolla: Solid Body Moisturizer
$All plastic-free packaging, locally sourcedBest for a budget
Etee Tangerine Lotion Bar
etee: Tangerine Lotion Bar
$$Reusable, recyclable and biodegradable packagingBest smelling
Fat And The Moon - All Cream Face And Body Lotion
Fat and the Moon: All Cream Face and Body Lotion
$$Regenerative and zero waste production, reusable and recyclable containersBest for face and body
Ethique Gentle Hand And Body Lotion Concentrate
Ethique: Gentle Hand And Body Lotion Concentrate
$$Fair Trade, PETA, Palm Oil Free, and B Corp CertifiedBest for sensitive skin

Why Switch to Zero Waste Face & Body Lotions

Switching to zero-waste face and body lotions isn’t just a step towards sustainable living; it’s an adventure in skincare that brings a multitude of delightful surprises. Here are three reasons to make the switch.

Unleash Your Inner Eco-Warrior

Imagine every time you moisturize, you’re donning an invisible cape, fighting against plastic pollution, and saving the planet one lotion application at a time. Switching to zero-waste options turns your daily skincare routine into a heroic act of environmental stewardship.

Discover Hidden Skincare Gems

Exploring zero-waste beauty introduces you to a whole new world of future-forward changemakers in the form of innovative brands and products you might never have encountered otherwise.

Become a Part of the Circular Economy

By choosing refillable or biodegradable packaging, you’re no longer just a consumer; you’re a participant in a circular economy. This model keeps resources in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value before recovering and regenerating products at the end of their service life.

It’s Time to Switch Zero Waste Lotions

It’s time we all collectively decide to kick the ‘big plastic’ habit. Starting with routines that use the most products (our self-care routines, kitchens, and bathrooms) and switching to more sustainable kitchenware, zero-waste beauty, and nontoxic cleaning products is a great place to start. 

Looking for more ideas on small sustainable switches that can add up? 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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