Guide to Zero Waste & Ethical Skincare

Danielle Alvarado

October 19, 2020

*This post may contain affiliate links

Zero Waste & Ethical Beauty
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Are you looking for zero waste and ethical skincare out there? We’ve got you covered! This blog is all what to look for when shopping for zero waste and ethical skincare, what brand we know and trust, and our favorite DIY skincare routine!

This post is about Zero Waste and Ethical Skincare.

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Today we will be tackling Zero Waste Skincare. When researching for zero waste skincare, I automatically include a few MUST HAVES in my checklist. If a company/recipe does not meet these standards, then I will not recommend them to our community. Because we stand behind all living creatures, we also do not recommend honey/beeswax products. These products are all natural, yes, but due to our ethos we cannot recommend them. If you are a honey/beeswax user, you can find tons of resources out there in the zero waste community. Today’s blog post is based upon Vegan Zero Waste Skincare.

This post is a guide on ethical and zero waste skincare!


What we look for when choosing ethical & zero waste skincare:

  • Cruelty-Free
  • Vegan
  • Natural (Synthetic/Paraben Free)
  • Fair Trade
  • Organic when possible
  • Ethically Sourced
  • Palm Oil Free
  • Packaging (Compostable, Zero/Low Waste)

The DIY Skin Care Routine (My favorite)

I have found that oil cleansing works wonders for my oily skin (never thought this would work, but it turns out it does!). I have been using this method for over 6 months and can honestly say that I will never use a soap/cleanser on my face again. Oil cleansing for life over here.

Oil Cleanser:

First, you want to choose your base. I enjoy jojoba oil, almond oil, hemp oil or grape-seed oil. You can mix and match to your liking. I personally use jojoba oil with a dab of avocado oil and then I add lavender and frankincense essential oils directly to the bottle with a dropper (at the 2-3% range). So here is how I go about this: First, I add about a hefty tsp of oil to the palm of my hand and rub it into my face and neck. I like to massage my face for a solid minute or 2 and let the oil sit for an extra minute. I grab my face cloth, run hot water over it, and quickly wring it out. Next, I lay the warm cloth over my face and gently wipe my face. There should still be oil sitting on the face (a very light layer), so no need for an additional moisturiser! If I am wearing makeup, I also use this as a makeup remover and use my reusable make up pads to wipe the makeup right off.

The Castile Soap Solution:

For this, you will need some Castile soap and water. Essential oils are a great addition (I enjoy lavender and frankincense). I used this face wash for the first year on our journey and it was lovely! However, my skin let me know (yes, she speaks to me in her own way) that she needed something much more nourishing as I got older. If you want to try this cleanse out, mix together 8 oz water with 8 oz liquid Castile soap. If you wish to add the essential oils, add in 10 drops of each lavender and frankincense! Feel this recipe out and then add more water as needed until it reaches your desired feeling. I do recommend purchasing a bulk container of Castile soap like shown below. Yes, it is plastic, but you will be able to make enough product for years with this container. It is also recyclable but I like to save mine for homemade crafts/recipes.

Rose Water Toner

1/4 cup witch hazel, 1/4 cup rose water, + 3 drops lavender + 2 drops frankincense.

Homemade Rose Water: 2 cups rose petals + 3 cups distilled water. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower the heat to the lowest setting for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the roses to sit in the water until the water cools. Remove the petals. You have now created rose water.

Warm Water and an exfoliating cloth wipe:

This is where your raggedy old towels and clothes come in! You need a light exfoliating cloth (Martin uses the babies old bath towel cut into squares) and warm water. If he is extra dirty, he will use some coconut oil as well.


Guide to Zero Waste Skin Care: To Purchase

If you are looking for a store-bought zero waste option over a DIY option, then I highly recommend these!

The Plaine Products Subscription

If you have followed us for a bit, you probably know how much I love this company. Their shampoo saved my hair from some seriously bad shampoo bar experiences and their body wash is like heaven in a bottle. I tried out their citrus face wash and moisturizer for a few months and LOVED it. I truly did. The only reason I stopped was because I wanted to give the oil cleansing ago and got hooked. If you are more of a face *wash* type of person, then this is a must-try. This is a refillable subscription and you receive a new product (and send the old ones back) at intervals. Genius!!!

ETEE Skin care. Ontario, Canada

This zero waste and all natural skin care company is newer than most but extraordinary. All of my boxes are checked: Cruelty free, vegan, organic, natural, palm oil-free, ethically sourced, thoughtful packaging, full transparency, and more. Truly admirable. Check them out here!

RainWater Botanicals. 

(Etsy) Washington, U.S.A. (Use code ‘BOTANICALS’ for 10% off!)

Rainwater offers a TON of options with all of our necessary sustainable and ethical boxes checked. Yes, they are vegan, organic, ethically sourced, zero waste, and palm oil free! This is a great one stop shop and they have been committed to ethical beauty for over 20 years! This coconut cream cleanser looks like a dream for the skin.

Bathing Culture. California, U.S.A.

While doing my research, I landed upon this company built by some pretty cool adventuring buddies. After reading the ingredients of the skincare line, I fell pretty quickly in love. Jojoba oil, MCT oil, sea buckthorn oil, sweet almond oil, and raspberry seed oil are a few of my favorite skincare ingredients and I found them in this line. Each product comes in a gloss bottle with choices of a plastic dropper or aluminium top. Love it!


Final Thoughts on Zero Waste Skin Care

I truly hope that this blog post inspired or helped you on your journey to a more eco-friendly skin care routine. Just remember that the journey to a zero waste home is a long one. I highly recommend taking it slow, doing your research, truly finding out what works for you and your body, and enjoying each mindful choice that you make. You got this!


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  1. Thanks for this awesome post. This is really a great list. Will research more.

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