Waterless Skincare is the newest sustainable beauty trend that is slowly making waves in the beauty industry today. Due to the noticeable decline of our planet’s resources in the past decade, more and more people are becoming aware of their actions and the imprint they leave on our environment. [1]

As a result, a growing population is now resorting to new sustainable and eco-friendly beauty alternatives. And with the help of skincare professionals in South Korea, this method of creating beauty products is the beauty industry’s new way of minimizing its impact on our planet’s condition. 

If you are interested and want more in-depth knowledge about Waterless Skincare and its benefits, feel free to read more of what we laid out in this article.

What is Waterless Skincare?

What is Waterless Skincare?

So let’s go straight to the point, what is waterless skincare? Well, obviously, waterless skincare (or water-free and anhydrous skincare) is skincare that doesn’t include the use of water. Rather, you use oils, butters, wax, or oil-soluble actives as a substitute.

Concerns about ethics and the need for new and creative ways to make beauty products paved the way for the creation of waterless skincare. This new way of producing skincare products eliminates the unnecessary use of water and plastic in our homes. So now it comes in form of standalone bars, powders, sticks, and even sheets. [2]

Along with cruelty-free, vegan, and other sustainable beauty options available, there’s a growing demand for waterless skincare in the market today. [3]

Waterless vs. Water-based

Waterless vs. Water-based

Water has been known to be a necessary part of our skincare routine for ages, but that may no longer hold true in the present. If you are not aware already, water-based skincare products list water as their main ingredient. And because of this, these products only carry a fraction of active ingredients than what you might expect. 

And that is not a good thing for consumers. Many people who buy beauty products look forward to its benefits instead of just simple hydration.

On the contrary, this may sound uncalled for, but water-based products actually take more from your skin than the opposite. This is because our skin naturally produces oil on its own to shield itself from any unwanted elements. It also distributes vitamins and antioxidants on the surface to keep it moisturized.

But what happens when you apply water-based products to your skin is it strips your skin of those oils when the water evaporates into the air. Furthermore, water-based products also require high amounts of preservatives due to water being a common breeding ground for bacteria. [4] [5]

Waterless products, on the other hand, use natural ingredients with soothing effects and healthy oils as its base. As a result, since the active ingredients aren’t diluted, they remain intact in your skin. Which ensures that they really penetrate your skin’s surface. And this alone makes water-free products better than its water-heavy counterpart. 

Now that you know all of these information, it’s obviously not up for debate about who’s the better option between the two.

Why is Waterless Skincare Good?

maca coffee 2

Apart from being the beauty industry’s vehicle to a more sustainable future, waterless skincare also introduces us to a bunch of amazing benefits. Let’s try to get to each one of them in detail.

It does not require any preservatives.

Since it doesn’t contain water, waterless skincare products don’t need fillers and preservatives in their formula. This means lesser chances of irritation and allergies appearing.

Contains more concentrated active ingredients.

Due to the absence of water, the active ingredients in waterless products are more concentrated. And since they’re more concentrated, these products tend to last longer since you can use it in much smaller quantities. Also, you know that what you’re applying will properly seep into your skin, providing you with faster and more noticeable results over time.


Mitigating the industry’s contribution to water pollution will give way for clean water to be used for more recreational purposes. Additionally, since waterless skincare products will no longer require compact containers, the use of plastics will be reduced. And it’ll also be easier to ship worldwide because of its significantly compressed packaging.

Basically, by removing water from these large-scale productions, we aren’t just helping minimize pollution. We are also saving the planet by omitting a huge percentage of the carbon footprint caused by fossil fuel emissions.

Waterless Skincare Routine

Waterless Skincare Routine

So now, did waterless skincare catch your eye? If so, try following these steps we’ve prepared to help you transition towards a soon-to-be water-free routine.

Opt for solid products.

Purchase bar shampoos and soaps. Avoid buying beauty products that come in bottles. By doing that, not only are you helping reduce pollution, but you’re also saving precious space in your home.

Use oil-based cleansers.

Replace those water-based cleansers with oil-based ones that are made to help lift dirt and other foreign substances from your skin. We suggest you apply your cleanser using a warm, wet washcloth or just a clean, dry one to conserve water.

Replace cream moisturizer with face oil or balm.

We’re not kidding when we tell you that a single pump of pure face oil will provide your skin with the necessary hydration it needs. Face oils and balms will help keep your skin moist and protected from harsh weather conditions. Especially in the colder seasons when our skin needs that added moisture the most.

Use body oil instead of lotion.

After a refreshing bath, ditch water-based lotion and apply some shea butter to your skin to give it that soothing feel.

Caveats to Waterless Skincare

Waterless beauty products hold almost no drawback for the product itself. And indeed, it is very promising to think that an invaluable natural resource is preserved in this whole water-free pursuit. But we have to consider that this only addresses a small part of the picture.

While other well-known beauty brands have resorted to omitting water in their production, the problem of proper packaging still remains. A slight problem poses solid waterless products sold because they are ‘naked’ or don’t have any packaging at all. And so it needs extra precaution when handling to avoid it getting wet.

Also, the ingredients to make solid water-free products require high temperatures to melt. Therefore, it will need large quantities of water to cool down. And that basically defeats the whole purpose of going waterless. [6]

Not to forget the most crucial part of making these skincare products—the ingredients. To fully adhere to the reason why waterless products are made, the product must remain eco-friendly and completely sustainable. This stretches down from the cultivation of the raw products to the final stages of production.

Bottomline: Waterless Skincare

More and more people are growing conscious of how our planet has been holding up to the effects of the climate crisis. And it is to no surprise that more people are also doing what they can to take accountability. Every single effort counts, whether it may be through conserving water to making simple changes in their usual skincare routine.

The path towards achieving genuinely sustainable and eco-friendly beauty products is vast. Various skincare and health professionals are still in the works on coming up with fresh, innovative ideas. And we never know how many more years it will take to perfect this craft.

But we need to remind ourselves that this is not simply a race to which brand conserves water the most. If anything, we have to keep an eye on these big corporations if they really are one with the people’s mission to achieve true sustainability once and for all.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • United Nations. (n.d.). Water Scarcity. UN-Water. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-scarcity
  • cosmeticsdesign.com. (2021, November 19). 5 formats in waterless, solid and low water cosmetics on the market today. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Article/2021/11/19/5-types-of-waterless-formulas-in-cosmetics
  • Future Market Insights. (2021, June 3). Demand for Eco-Friendly Waterless Cosmetics Rising Especially for Skin Care: Future Market Insights Study. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.prnewswire.com/ae/news-releases/demand-for-eco-friendly-waterless-cosmetics-rising-especially-for-skin-care-future-market-insights-study-301304942.html
  • Brilhante, I. V. (2018, November). Development of a Solid Organic Shampoo Formulation. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://fenix.tecnico.ulisboa.pt/downloadFile/563345090416473/MasterThesis_InesBrilhante.pdf
  • Cabral J. P. (2010). Water microbiology. Bacterial pathogens and water. International journal of environmental research and public health7(10), 3657–3703. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7103657


  • Elijah Redoble

    Elijah enjoys creating content that educates and entertains at the same time. During the health-content writing process, Elijah takes extra care and precaution to craft research-backed articles that are helpful, educational, and relatable to readers from various walks of life. LinkedIn

  • Kim Monasterial, BSN

    Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


Elijah enjoys creating content that educates and entertains at the same time. During the health-content writing process, Elijah takes extra care and precaution to craft research-backed articles that are helpful, educational, and relatable to readers from various walks of life. LinkedIn