If you have ever taken the time to read the ingredient list on your skincare or cleaning products, you will have noticed that water (aqua) is often listed as the first and main ingredient. This is because water is a cost-effective ingredient which can make up to 90% of your shampoo, conditioner, shower gels or cleaning products, and 60%-85% of your average skincare product. While water-based products require emulsifiers and strong preservatives (because water breeds bacteria), water is also bulky and heavy, requiring more packaging and higher shipping costs, leading to increased carbon emissions.
In recent years, the conversation around water scarcity has gained momentum. According to the World Resources Institute, a staggering 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and by 2025, two-thirds of the global population could be facing water shortages.
With the growing number of eco-conscious consumers, the demand for more sustainable choices is growing. Join me to learn why you'll love water-free products and which eco-friendly beauty and cleaning brands are turning to sustainable solutions... because it is here to stay!
What is waterless beauty and cleaning
Originating in South Korea, waterless beauty refers to skincare, haircare, and cosmetic products that are formulated without the use of water as a primary ingredient. Instead of relying on water as a base, waterless beauty products utilise concentrated formulas of botanical extracts, clays, butters, oils and oil-soluble actives that are activated upon contact with the skin or hair. This innovative approach not only eliminates the need for water but also results in more potent, longer lasting products.
The Top 3 Benefits of Water-Free or Waterless Products
It's not only because we don't love lugging home big single-use plastic bottles of cleaning supplies, there is more to it then the convenience:
In most cases, water-free products can be preserved with more natural or earth-friendly preservatives.
They are typically more potent and concentrated since the active ingredient has not been diluted by water, and they last longer, as you need less product to achieve the same result
Products without water also require smaller packaging made of fewer materials, which reduces the overall carbon footprint.
Finally you can skip the plastic. Most water-free products come in cardboard, home compostable sachets, or infinitely and easily recyclable containers. Winning!
The best Australian and New Zealand water-free brands
It's important to remember that not all water-free beauty products are sustainable. Make sure to check all ingredients, preservatives and packaging. Below a few Australian and NZ made brands who have gone through our rigorous selection and are leading the way:
Ethique: water-free skincare, hair care, beautyand cleaning