We all know beauty has a plastic problem. From packaging and microbeads to face wipes and cotton buds, research shows that 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. With eight million tonnes of plastic predicted to make it’s way into our oceans each year, the statistic that there will be more plastic than fish by 2050 seems no less shocking, but a lot less surprising.
According to Beat the Micro Bead, 95% of beauty packaging is thrown out after just one use, and only 14% of plastic makes it to a recycling centre. When you consider the additional plastic content inside some products, tt’s easy to see how the issue is spiralling out of control, but the positive news is that beauty addicts are ready to make a change. A GlobalWebIndex study showed that 42% of consumers now considered sustainable packaging important, while the number of consumers who say they would be willing to pay more for sustainable/eco-friendly products grew from 49% in 2011 to 57% in 2018.
If, like us, you’re trying to make smarter beauty choices, knowing where to start can be hard. Beauty bars – solid blocks of beauty goodness for you and the planet – with minimal or zero-waste packaging are a the ultimate easy win. From shampoo to cleanser, shaving soap to exfoliator, here are the ones to add to your bathroom cabinet asap.
Biodegradable Bamboo Powder sloughs way even the scaliest winter skin (without feeling like you’re actually shedding a layer) while sunflower seed oil and aloe leaf juice bring the moisture. Extra points for the divine smell and easy-to-grip design.
Body Hero Exfoliating Bar, £12, Glossier
Soap on your face? Quelle horreur! Don’t worry, it’s not soap soap. Made with thermal mud and bamboo powder, this 3-in-1 cleansing bar designed to lift dead skin, dissolve oil and remove impurities, while the pH level of 6.34 preserves your skin’s essential moisture barrier.
Drunk Elephant Juju Bar, £24, Cult Beauty
Still shaving during lockdown? We salute you! Ditch the traditional pump dispensers for Friendly Soap’s Orange & Lavender Shaving Bar instead. Zero-waste small business Zedbees also stock Bamboo safety razors for a total shaving routine overhaul.
Orange & Lavender Shaving Bar, £3, Zedbees.
A double-duty cleanser you can use on face and body. Made from 75% natural ingredients and Gallinée’s signature scientifically-formulated complex of prebiotics to feed your skin’s good bacteria, this bar will leave it feeling clean, nourished, glowing and protected.
Gallinée Prebiotic Cleansing Bar, £10, Look Fantastic.
Uplifting in scent (pink grapefruit & vanilla) and shade, one Ethique shampoo bar equates to 3 bottles of liquid shampoo. Formulated for normal hair types, it’s a combo of organic, virgin fair trade coconut oil and cocoa butter and comes with a matching solid conditioner.
Pinkalicious Shampoo Bar for Normal Hair, £12.99, Ethique at Holland & Barrett.
Vegan, cruelty-free and plant-powered, Alter/Native’s products are (where possible) produced in the UK by small, local craft makers. Anything coconut-based gets our vote, and this suitable-for-all-hair-types conditioner bar promises healthy, shiny locks.
Coconut & Argan Oil Conditioner Bar, £5.45, Alter/Native at Farmdrop.
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