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Less Water, More Beauty

Check the ingredient list of any beauty product you own and chances are you’ll find “aqua/water” listed as a top ingredient. Standard shampoos contain about 70% water while conditioners jump to about 90%.

For decades, water has been used in preparing beauty and grooming products to help with application, hydration, texture and dissolving water-soluble actives (like vitamin C) so they work better on your skin.

But for the most part, the majority of the water in liquid shampoo, conditioner or face wash is just creating the illusion of value by filling a big bottle.

Luckily, many beauty brands are beginning to see the light, and the industry is seeing a wave of waterless beauty products that are more sustainable and just as effective, if not more.

Waterless, water-free or anhydrous beauty is simply skin care and cosmetics formulated without water. Instead, they use various butters, oils or waxes and oil-soluble actives as ingredients.

Waterless products also are typically more concentrated because they tend to contain higher levels of active ingredients that aren’t diluted.

These can be preserved with more natural or earth-friendly preservatives and need smaller packaging. In turn, lighter, smaller packaging reduces shipping weight and space, which then reduces the overall carbon footprint.

Also, because they are typically more concentrated and more potent, waterless products tend to last longer since you typically use less. And following this, they are usually smaller and more compact, making them more portable and convenient, especially for travel.

If you’re interested in waterless beauty products, listed below are a few of the best to try.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask is infused with vitamins, peptides, nourishing oils and floral extracts. It hydrates your skin in just 15 minutes, is much less messy than a wet mask and can be used up to three times.

PLUS’s Zero Waste Body Wash Sheets look like small dryer sheets that dissolve in water. Just open the package and wet the sheet, which creates a thick, hydrating lather for your skin. Even the packaging is dissolvable.

Dew’s Mighty Bloom Jelly Serum Bar is a solid jelly bar that delivers skin-nourishing vitamin C to hydrate and smooth, reduces redness and brightens your skin. Added chamomile and licorice extract, amino acids and squalane soothe redness, rebalance and repel dryness.

Susteau’s Moondust Hair Wash is a water-activated powder shampoo that works into a rich lather. It cleans without leaving hair frizzy and contains aloe vera to hydrate the scalp and rice protein to enhance volume. One 2-oz. bottle is equivalent to four 8-ounce bottles of liquid shampoo.

Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer has a feather-light feel that glides on like a serum and absorbs quickly. It contains hyaluronic acid and jasmine and peony extract. Watermelon is known to calm irritation, quench your skin and add vitamins A, C and E.

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