Get the scoop on the solid beauty products that do less harm to the environment.

Waterless beauty first began as a trend in South Korean skincare. Since then, it has gradually gained traction in western brands’ mainstream product lines as consumers become more conscious of sustainable and plastic-free beauty. Removing H20 from the equation shrinks the size of packaging required, since formulas are more concentrated. In turn, that immediately reduces carbon emissions generated by manufacturing and shipping. It also allows for a reduction in plastic packaging, as many solid formulas can be wrapped in paper or sold in a reusable tin.

Solid products – from body lotions to shampoos – are often longer lasting than their more fluid counterparts due to the lack of dilution. That means that a little goes a long, which also has the knock-on effect of making them a cost-effective option, too. Once we are travelling again, solid beauty really will come into its own; it is both non-spill and cabin-bag friendly, allowing you to transport your whole beauty and skincare regime without having to decant into travel size containers.

Sold yet? Browse seven of our favourite waterless beauty products to seal the deal and ditch your bottles for good.

Main Image: Savon Stories


Perhaps the ultimate in long-lasting beauty, Haeckels’ ‘the pill’ body cleanser gives you a whole year’s worth of body buffing, lemon and geranium body wash in one go. The clever water-free formula comes in tablet form – simply add three pills to the ceramic dispenser, pour on boiling water and watch as they fizz into life and rehydrate into a zesty, hydrating body cleanser. Haeckels calculates that this water-free delivery avoids 94 per cent of the carbon emissions in manufacturing and 95 per cent in shipping of a standard shower gel. Clever stuff.


One of the UK trailblazers in ‘naked beauty’ and solid formulas, Lush has a huge range of shampoos, nourishing body butters, soaps and even hair colour in bar form. A great two-in-one is the Scrubee, a cute bumblebee-shaped bar that’s one-part honey and cocoa butter moisturising in-shower moisturiser, and one-part scrub, thanks to its stripes of ground coconut shell. Exfoliating and soothing all in one go, it’s a great way to slough away grey winter skin and give it a nourishing boost at the same time.


Garnier’s range of four shampoo bars are some of the best we’ve tried. Previous pet-peeves with solid haircare have been the lack of hydration, scalp irritation and limp, lack-lustre after-effects. Not the case with Garnier’s formulas, which feel simply like solidified versions of their liquid shampoos, with softening oat, hydrating coconut, strengthening honey and revitalising ginger. They’re 100 per cent plant-based and plastic free, too. A great switch without compromise.

Edinburgh Skincare

This brilliant spill-proof hand cream for your handbag for when we are on the go again comes in a reusable tin. In solid form, its concentrated formula is packed with rosemary, red mandarin, French Provencal lavender, basil, and jasmine essential oils, in a base of hydrating and moisturising beeswax and cocoa butter. A great, long-lasting bar that nourishes chapped, dry winter hands.


We love the fact you can trial mini versions of the range at Ethique before committing. Purchase a sampler pack for face, hair or body and find your perfect formula. They’ve got ranges for tots and even pets, allowing you to go ‘water-free’ for all the family. We love the Heali Kiwi for soothing irritated scalps and the Saving Face serum, with antioxidant pomegranate oils.

Savon Stories

Savon Stories’ waterless body lotion bar in Peach Perfect will leave your skin, as you might expect, peachy soft. With 100 per cent wild and organic ingredients, including peach, strawberry and elderflower, massage it into skin after bathing to melt and unlock the trio of shea, mango and cocoa butters to hydrate, repair and firm.


Gallinee’s body and face cleansing bar will streamline your shower shelf. Great for eczema-prone skin, the non-stripping, ultra-gentle bar is packed with prebiotics to support and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier as well as lactic acid to hydrate and soften. Suitable to use from top-to-toe without drying, it’s a great option if you are looking to simplify and declutter your beauty regime this year.

By Lydia Mansi
March 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.