In light of recent distressing environmental news, the beauty world is turning off the tap and setting its sights on a waterless alternative.
AQUA FREE ZONE
Waterless beauty doesn’t just stop at no water in the formula, it goes way beyond that. And as the beauty space starts to move toward a greener, more sustainable options, from the packaging used to better-for-the environment ingredients, one area we’ll start to hear more about is water consumption. Why? Because water is used in almost all beauty products.
For decades water has been a go-to inexpensive and readily available filler ingredient, but that’s not the case anymore. In fact, according to the World Wildlife Fund, two-thirds of the world’s population may face shortages by 2025, as only 1% of Waterless beauty doesn’t just stop at no water in the formula, it goes way beyond that. And as the beauty space starts to move toward a greener, more sustainable options, from the packaging used to better-for-the environment ingredients, one area we’ll start to hear more about is water consumption. Why? Because water is used in almost all beauty products. For decades water has been a go-to inexpensive and readily available filler ingredient, but that’s not the case anymore. In fact, according to the World Wildlife Fund, two-thirds of the world’s population may face shortages by 2025, as only 1% of the earth’s water supply is accessible freshwater. While agriculture is the main culprit for water usage, the beauty industry isn’t falling too far behind – and as more consumers slowly start to become more aware of the harmful impacts on the environment, the more pressure it puts on beauty brands to change how they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water.
In the last few years, big-name beauty companies have made it their mission to significantly decrease water consumption in an effort to preserve this vital natural resource. L’Oréal have committed to reduce their water consumption by 60% by this year (compared to the amount used in 2005), whilst Unilever has launched a new water-smart initiative, which will aim to create products that reduce their water footprint. While these major beauty corporations are trying to reduce their carbon footprint by decreasing water consumption, other, smaller brands are boycotting water use altogether by creating completely waterless, anhydrous formulas. So for those hoping to leave a small carbon footprint and even smaller water footprint, it’d be best to switch out those products with Aqua as it’s first ingredient and opt for those with completely no water at all!
Did You Know?
Just packaging alone makes a significant water footprint? In the creation of water bottles, it takes about three litres to make a half-litre bottle. In other words, the amount of water going into making the bottle could be up to six or seven times what’s inside the bottle. The same science can be applied for the creation of our favourite products in our skincare routine too.
Making packaging involves 100s, if not 1000s of litres of water, but we applaud the efforts of Lush as 35% of their products have absolutely no packaging at all!
Next Gen Green Beauty
Companies now are creatively mastering water alternatives and offering anhydrous options for makeup and skincare that’ll combat the scarcity of water.
One solid solution is a simple beauty bar, with more options becoming readily available in the beauty market, these packaging-free alternatives are easy, environmentally friendly and will do the trick. Liquid-based shampoo and conditioners are formulated with up to 95% water and therefore need to be packaged in plastic materials, but if you take out the water, then they can be formulated into solid bars and packaged in 100% biodegradable material. Another plus is that these bars tend to last a lot longer than their liquid counterparts, making them a much more affordable option too. Some of our favourite beauty bars include Drunk Elephant’s Juju Bar and Ethique Shampoo and Conditioner bars.
Another green alternative is powder products. Powder cleansers, exfoliators and face masks nix the need for water in the product, thereby reducing weight and waste, and crucially, they provide important skincare benefits too. Tatcha’s Rice Polish Gentle Foaming Enzyme Powder and Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant both work wonders not just for the face but also for the environment as well.
And if you’re looking for a completely water-free makeup alternative, Pinch Of Beauty has managed to achieve just that. Claiming to be the world’s first waterless beauty brand, their collection spans from anhydrous lip colours, tints, balms and more! Instead of using water for the creation of the products, they’re driven by a mission to conserve precious water for drinking and other use instead.
Potency Power Up!
Obvious environmental benefits aside, water-free or water-reduced formulas also tend to be more potent and last longer. You will be able get away with using less and won’t need to repurchase as frequently, which not-so-coincidentally is another environmental benefit. When products contain more water, more preservatives need to be put in the product to keep it stable, making it less concentrated and even taking away the powers of the ‘active ingredients in the formula. Here are five of our most potent and powerful waterless skincare favourites.
Reduce Your Water Footprint!
1) Products with less water in the formula, are usually lighter as well, meaning the impact to transport them around the world is far less! The impact on the environment won’t be as painful as your regular beauty product.
2) This may seem cliché to say at this point, but recycling truly does play a big role. Before buying, look out for brands who have recycling programs implemented and how green and sustainable their current packaging is too.
3) Test first! Don’t simply buy a full-size product only for it to sit in your toilet unused when you realise it doesn’t work for your skin. Ask for a sample first to see if the product works for you or not.
4) Water-free products don’t require preservatives – which are one of the main causes of skin irritation – and the result is a cleaner, more active and less irritating formula.
5) Take shorter showers and always turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth or whilst your shampooing!