Zero Waste Skincare

What is Zero Waste Skincare

Zero Waste Skincare is all about using less without compromising on what you need.  

When I first started thinking about how I could reduce my waste and move to a more Zero Waste lifestyle I had so many skincare products that I has accumulated over the years; and they were virtually all in plastic bottles and jars.

To start with I used up or gifted the products I already had and then I looked at what I really needed to keep my skin in tip top condition.  And, to be honest I didn’t really need that much.

My skincare routine is pretty simple and my basic products now include:

  • Soap Bar for washing
  • Toner
  • Moisturiser
  • Coffee Scrub – used once a week

And, the criteria I use when choosing a product to use myself or stock in my shop is:

  • 100% natural – no nasty synthetic ingredients
  • Reusable or recyclable packaging
  • Ethically made
  • Cruelty Free
  • Low Carbon Footprint – I look for products made in the UK
As with everything, when it comes to choosing the Zero Waste option the aim is to send nothing to a landfill.  Refuse what you don’t want, reduce what you need, reuse as much as you can, send as little as possible to be recycled, and compost whatever you can’t. 

My Favourite Zero Waste Skincare Products

Everyone’s skin is different so no two people’s requirements will be the same so you will need to choose the best skincare routine and products that best suit your skin type.  However, if you are moving to a Zero Waste skincare routine then just follow my criteria and look for the products that fit.

Below are some of my favourite skincare products that fit my Zero Waste criteria and are also great for your skin.

Products for Cleansing

Friendly Soap Aloe Vera – £2.10 per bar

I love this soap bar as it’s gentle on my skin and doesn’t dry it out.  I also love the ethos of Friendly Soap.

We’re a wee bit obsessive at Friendly, and putting ethics before profits underpins everything here. That’s why our products aren’t just vegan, or cruelty-free, or made by people paid a living wage, without using plastic, parabens, SLS phthalates or triclosan.

They have a whole range of soap bars including some more specialist ones such as their Shea Butter Cleansing bar and a Detox bar so there’s definitely something to suit everyone.

Cleansing Oil by Little Green Skincare and Soap – £8.50 for 100ml

Formulated with a specially selected blend of fruit oils and essential oils, this lovely cleanser will melt away makeup and deep cleanse your skin, leaving it nourished and silky smooth.  

This wonderful cleansing oil is handmade by Denise in Lancashire.

I make skincare products in small batches, using methods and ingredients that are good for your skin and good for our wonderful planet. I only use natural oils (no palm), butters and botanicals, many of which are home-grown or sourced locally in the woods and wild meadows of the beautiful Lancashire countryside.

Zero Waste Skincare

Upcircle Cleansing Balm – £18.99

Reused, Repurposed, Reloved.  Made with the finely-ground powder of discarded apricot stones this everyday cleansing balm to gently remove makeup, pollution and impurities. Skin is deeply cleansed, soothed and hydrated.

This cleansing balm is made with the finely-ground powder of discarded apricot stones, a natural by-product of the apricot oil industry and rich in antioxidant Vitamin E.

The balm is suitable for all skin types. The apricot stone powder is combined with skin-calming blackcurrant seed, blue tansy and sea buckthorn oils.

And, this balm is made by the lovely UpCircle who started life off rescuing coffee grinds from cafes in London to make face and body scrubs.

Back in 2015, we had a thought: if we’re throwing away a cafetière full of coffee grounds every morning, how much is going to waste from coffee shops all over London?

A lot, as it turns out. So we decided to do something about it. We needed a way to give those coffee grounds a new lease of life. And UpCircle was born.

We began our journey collecting coffee grounds from one coffee shop, we now collect from hundreds of coffee houses across London – our list is always growing!

Flawless Micellar Water – £5.95 for 100ml

This gentle face cleansing water containing aloe vera and lavender to sooth and calm skin while effectively removing makeup and impurities.  It 100% natural and handmade in the UK.

As with all my favourite products it comes plastic free in a recycled glass bottle with aluminium lid.

Products for Toning

Flawless Hydrating Toner – £5.95 per 100ml

This Natural Hydrating Face Toner is handmade in the UK comes in a Recycled Glass Bottle with Aluminium Cap. It is natural hydrating and made with organic rose and lavender which both soothe sensitive skin while witch hazel tightens pores.

Skin is left feeling clean and smooth and all final traces of make up and impurities are gently yet effectively removed.

Zero Waste Skincare

White Rabbit Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner – £18.00 for 100ml

Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner is an excellent all-round toner that is suitable for all skin types. I love the fresh scent of this toner which reminds me of the heady scent of mock Orange blossom in our garden in late Spring.

DIY Natural Toner with Rose Water – adapted from Hello Glow

This simple DIY toner is easy to make but very effective and the Rose Water makes it very soothing.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup rose water
  • 1/2 cup witch hazel (alcohol free)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Glass jar or bottle

How To:

  • Combine the ingredients in a clean sterilised bottle and shake to mix.
  • Clean face and remove make-up. Then apply toner with a reusable face wipe.

Products for Moisturising

AllBalm – £5 for 15ml £12 for 50ml

Luxury Balms handmade in Cornwall, made with vegan and organic aromatherapy oils with fair trade organic Shea Butter. I especially like the Rose Geranium.

These balms are super concentrated and don’t contain any water so you only need to use a small amount.

UpCircle Facial Moisturiser £18.99 for 50ml

A deeply hydrating, fast-absorbing face cream to nourish and brighten the skin.

This face cream is made with finely-ground powder of discarded argan shells, a natural by-product of the argan oil industry and rich in antioxidant Vitamin E.

The moisturiser is suitable for all skin types. The argan shell powder is combined with skin-soothing cocoa butter, aloe vera and blood orange.

Weekly Treats

UpCircle Coffee Face Scrub – £12.99 for 100ml

This exfoliating coffee face scrub gently buffs away dry, dead cells to leave you feeling soft, smooth and glowy. Blended with shea butter to nourish the skin post-scrub.

Reused, repurposed, reloved, these scrubs are made with top-quality Arabica coffee grounds sourced from artisan coffee shops.

Available in Floral, Herbal and Citrus.

  • Floral Blend – for sensitive skin with chamomile, rosehip, geranium and patchouli essential oils.  Renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile soothes redness and irritation, making an ideal remedy for skin complaints like rosacea, acne and psoriasis. Rich in vitamins E and B, jojoba oil deeply moisturises, helping dry, dehydrated skin regain hydration.
  • Citrus Blend – for dry, dehydrated skin with rosehip, sweet orange and lemon verbena essential oils.  Orange oil acts as both an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory – perfect for soothing redness and irritation, whilst uplifting lemon verbena helps to tone the skin. With strong antiseptic properties, it can help treat acne and spots for a clear complexion.
  • Herbal Blend – for oily and combination skin with rosemary, thyme, petitgrain and tea tree essential oils.  A powerful antibacterial and antiseptic, rosemary oil helps keep whiteheads, blackheads and acne away whilst thyme has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which help against acne and spots.

Flawless Green Clay Face Mask Bar – £7.95

I love this French Green Clay Bar solid face mask, it has been created to deep cleanse and detox your skin.

Infused with French green clay to draw out impurities, Witch Hazel to tighten pores and aloe vera to soothe the skin. This gentle mask is perfect for all skin types.

The solid clay bar comes wrapped in vegan waxed paper.


Reusable Face Wipes by Little Green Wood

Once you find the perfect Zero Waste skin products you shouldn’t forget that a great way to reduce waste is to switch to reusable face wipes.  I love these handmade face wipes by Little Green Wood.

The wipes come in a variety of styles including:

  • Super Soft – Double sided Organic cotton fleece (natural or grey)
  • Soft & Scrub – Double sided with Cotton fleece on one side and and cotton towelling on the other
  • Super Smooth – Double sided Liberty Print cotton flannel


Konjac Sponge – £6.50

A Konjac sponge is a great all natural replacement for natural sea sponges and plastic sponges. 

Konjac sponges have been used in Japan for more than 100 years because of their soft texture.  The sponge is hard until moistened when it becomes silky soft. Soak in warm water to soften, it may take up to 15 minutes when your first use it. Once fully wet the sponges are wonderfully gentle, even soft enough for babies and great for using with face washes and removing make up.

Zero Waste Skincare

I hope this has given you some inspiration.  I’d love you to share your favourite products or DIY natural skincare recipes.

Written by 

Hi, I’m Frankie. This is my blog (Thoroughly Modern Grandma) about blending old fashioned values with modern technology, whilst trying to reduce our waste and be a little kinder to our Planet.

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