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On World Water Day these beauty products help minimise water waste.

Among key beauty trends that will make an impact this year, you might be surprised to learn water consideration is near the top of the list. 

Globally, water is well on its way to becoming a precious commodity as consumption and climate change outstrips supply.

As we all become more conscious of these challenges and adapt our habits to address them, so too beauty brands are adressing the way they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water.

As we mark World World Water Day, we consider the importance of fresh water and its importance to our home and family life, our livelihoods, cultural practices, wellbeing, and local environment. With this year’s theme of ‘Valuing water’ it’s a good time to look at the ways we contribute to unnecessary wastage. 

Waterless beauty products have been around for years – consider the way bar soap has been used for generations, but fell out of favour before its recent return! However the variety of products and their uses continue to grow and brands innovate to find waterless and limited water solutions. 

There are two areas to consider: 

  1. Water is one of the most common ingredients in beauty product formulation. It is often used as a filler as its cheaply available, but can also help with texture and performance, making products nice to use and easier to spread. 
  2. Water consumption necessary to use each product, particularly relevant in regards to shower and bath-related beauty items  A study by Watercare on water use in Auckland found that people typically use between 140 and 175 litres of water a day. The biggest portion of that (27%) was in the shower. 

With these challenges to consider, brands are acknowledging increased demand and addressing accountability, with new water targets as part of their sustainability plans as well as innovating products that need less water to formulate or in the process of using.  Effective anhydrous products (products that contain no water) can take many forms, such as cleansing balms, moisturizing oils, body butters, pressed serums and dry masks.

Here are 5 of the best:

Ethique Pinkalicious Shampoo bar, $22





Solid beauty bars are one of the most visible and popular ways to minimise waste. According to Kiwi beauty brand Ethique, a leader in the category, an average shampoo or body wash can be made of up to 80 percent water. Conditioner is even higher at up to 95 percent. Using solid bars to clean and condition your hair in the shower not only minimises water waste but cuts down plastic too. According to the brand you will save at least 3 plastic bottles and 2750mls of water with one bar. 

Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, $112


Similarly powder cleansers and exfoliants that negate the use of water in formulation continue to gain favor. They are much lighter to package and ship and have skin benefits too. Some active ingredients can deteriorate over time when mixed with water so in powder form they retain their potency until activated. Water free products also often don’t require preservatives to ward off bacteria that can sometimes thrive with water-based products. This powder exfoliant resurfaces and deep cleanses skin and wards off daily pollution build up with Activated Binchotan Charcoal, Niacinamide, Red Algae and Tara Fruit Extract. 

Two Birds Beauty Replenish & Repair Bio Retinol Serum, $79







Not only are face and body oils incredibly nourishing for skin with essential fatty acids and lipids close to those our skin makes naturally, they’re easy to formulate without using water. This lightweight serum-oil hybrid is designed to soothe, repair and protect your complexion.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, $61

Showers use 10 to 20 litres of water every minute. There are a few ways you can minimise this excess waste. Install a showerhead with increased water efficiency, limit your showers to no more than 4 minutes, or ditch the shower altogether! We jest, but by using a dry shampoo to increase the number of days in between washing your hair you’ll be consuming significantly less water. This award-winning formula absorbs oil, sweat and odour from hair in just 30 seconds without leaving behind visible residue meaning you can get away with going another day before washing. Just spray into you roots and leave for 30 seconds before massaging in with your fingertips. 

Benamor Rose Amelie Soap, $15




Ditch the body wash and switch to a classic bar soap in the shower instead. Soaps have come a long way – this isn’t an old-fashioned lump of lard, it’s full of gentle, hydrating botanical oils. While some water is used in the formulation of bar soaps it is minimal compared to equivalent liquid products.

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