Keeping your skin healthy and hydrated is crucial for maintaining beauty and self-care. However, it is no news that beauty products like lotion bottles and body butter, shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, and other products have contributed significantly to environmental damage. Thankfully, there are zero-waste lotions that not only better your skin but also better for the environment.
The increasing use of plastic bottles and pumps pilling up in our bathrooms, not recycled, end up in landfills, causing more harm to the environment. On the other hand, what makes a body lotion zero-waste is that it comes packaged to reduce harm and contains natural and healthy ingredients that leave your skin well-moisturized.
Read on to go through our list of excellent zero-waste and eco-friendly lotions for healthy and well-moisturized skin without plastic waste.
Are you sick of plastic packaging? If you are on the zero-waste journey, you know that cutting down on waste is very important. Most lotions and body butter products come in plastic packaging that is either difficult to recycle or totally not recyclable.
Out of the billions of plastic packaging used in the beauty industry every year, 70% end up in landfills. These plastics eventually degrade, finding their way into oceans and jeopardizing the health of marine life.
The good news is that many eco-friendly brands make zero-waste lotions, so you can save on plastic waste and follow sustainable and ethical standards in their production practices. Also, as most of these zero-waste lotions contain natural, non-toxic ingredients, you can enjoy a healthy moisturizing free of toxins.
Here’s our list of some of the best zero-waste lotions to keep your skin smooth and well-hydrated while protecting the environment.
Materials & Features: cocoa butter, coconut oil, essential oil, cruelty-free, vegan, 100% plastic-free
Ethique sources all the ingredients naturally and ethically for this popular zero-waste body lotion. Made from coconut oil and certified Fairtrade cocoa butter, this lotion concentrate nourishes and hydrates your skin, leaving it with a unique floral scent. With a snap, whisk, and pour, you can make your own refill lotion to keep your skin hydrated while saving tons of plastic.
These concentrates come in 100% plastic-free packaging. Each concentrate is palm oil-free and contains no plastic or toxic chemicals. With each concentrate, you get 12.35oz of body lotion. We love this option because it goes a long way, lasting as long as six months.
Ethique is an eco-conscious brand on a mission to rid the world of plastic waste by offering sustainable beauty products that are better for the planet. The brand makes small changes to its product size.
With Compact by Design, the brand identifies products with a more efficient design. They remove excess air and water to reduce the weight and size of the product for better shipping and packaging. This size reduction significantly reduces carbon emissions.
Today, Ethique is targeting saving 50 million plastic bottles by 2025. They also donate 20% of their profit to charities that fight to support the planet. All this adds to a great product from a great brand deserving of the top place on our list.
Materials & features: shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, fragrance oil, handmade
Made with the finest ingredients, including cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, and fragrance oil, each handmade zero-waste lotion bar comes as a 3-in-1 wrapped in tissue paper. They are free of coloring or any other artificial additives and come in different soothing scents that leave you feeling fresh after a morning shower. Some bars come with a grated fruit or vegetable in them.
You’ll love this lotion bar, especially if you have dry skin. To use, massage the bar without water directly on your dry skin in a circular motion. The heat from your skin will heat the lotion bar, leaving your skin velvety and hydrated.
Materials & features: Organic ingredients like organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, organic carrot oil, beeswax, and so on, handmade, locally sourced.
What makes this body lotion bar simply unique is that it helps to heal and protect against common skin issues like eczema. This is thanks to its organic ingredients, including cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, carrot oil, and other natural ingredients.
If you have sensitive skin or dry skin, this lotion bar might just be what you need. Among other ingredients, its carrot oil moisturizes all skin types, while beeswax provides antibacterial properties that help fight chapped skin.
These lotion bars work best with warmth and humidity. After your shower, simply rub this lotion bar on your damp skin to lock in moisture. Afterward, pat and dry with a towel.
Good Juju Herbal is a brand focused on creating zero-waste products made from sustainable ingredients. The brand uses a zero-waste facility and is committed to reusing and repurposing everything that could otherwise end up in landfills.
Their packing materials are 100% reusable, in the case of the pictured product featuring a reusable metal tin or compostable and recyclable. The brand also aims to develop a bottle return program for customers in 2022.
Materials & features: lavender, olive oil, handmade, healing hydration properties, vegan
This sustainable lotion from Wishing Well Candace is perfect for all skin types. This includes skin types with irritation, psoriasis, and eczema.
These plastic-free lotions provide ultra-healing and hydration thanks to their sustainable ingredients, leaving your skin soft and healthy. It is also free of parabens, phthalates, artificial oils, and other toxic chemicals that could be harmful to your skin cells. This deep moisturizer comes in a reusable glass jar sized at 8oz.
Materials & features: organic beeswax, organic sweet almond oil, organic essential oils, organic, moisturizing, zero-waste
Sweet Poppy Homestead makes this lotion stick with 100% pure ingredients, protecting and moisturizing your skin, leaving it soft and well-nourished. This lotion works great for sensitive or dry skin and skin issues like eczema.
Simply push up the base and apply it as a body or face moisturizer. This lotion comes in a push-up paper tube that you can compost after use. Its packing materials are also eco-friendly and free of plastics. This lotion stick comes in two variants: scented and unscented. If you want this lotion stick to last as long, store it away in a cool and dry place.
Materials & features: coconut oil, mango butter, shea butter, essential oils, eco-friendly, biodegradable materials
These zero-waste lotion bars from Katie Mae Naturals come with all the organic and natural ingredients your skin needs for a healthy glow. Katie Mae makes its formula from a blend of shea body butter, cocoa, and mango body butter, perfect for self-care. It also contains beeswax, coconut oil, and other essential oils to moisturize and hydrate your skin.
Its unique citrus fragrance eases anxiety and boosts your energy. The citrus essential oil also has antioxidant properties that kill germs, cleansing and refreshing your skin.
These eco-friendly bars are also free of any toxins or artificial preservatives.
You can get these bars in various sizes, and each can last a long time, further reducing the need for more shipping or manufacturing. Instead of plastic bottles that are harmful to the environment, these bars come in a reusable tin or compostable paper.
To use, simply hold your bar lotion in your hands until it starts to melt. Then, glide the bar over your body or let it melt in your hands and then apply it over your skin.
Materials & features: ingredients like organic safflower oil, beeswax, natural vitamin E, etc., GMO-free, gluten-free, recyclable tin, post-consumer packing material
If you have itchy, irritable skin, this lavender herbal lotion bar can help to soothe the stings and burns. Made from the purest ingredients, including lavender essential oil, beeswax safflower oil, and so on, this lotion bar provides natural healing properties to restore dry skin. It has a light scent that calms and relieves stress. It also locks in moisture, giving your body that smooth and tender feel.
Not to mention its curative properties, which help to relieve joint aches.
This lotion ships packaged in a box made of post-consumer recycled content.
Materials & features: refillable metal lotion bottle, vegan, biodegradable, non-GMO ingredients, certified B Corp.
Keep your skin well-hydrated all day long with this zero-waste lotion from Plaine Products. It is light and works well even on sensitive skin. It comes with a fine blend of pure aloe and rosehip oil.
They come in three different scents: unscented, mint, and vanilla, rosemary and citrus, and lavender. It is free of palm oil, silicone, sulfates, or toxins.
The best part is that this zero-waste lotion comes in a metal bottle that you can easily refill. All you need to do is order the product, and once it runs out, order a refill and switch your old pump to your new refill bottles. Not only are you reducing your environmental impact while maintaining luscious skin, but you are also saving money.
Materials & features: essential oils, vegan-friendly, carbon-neutral sugar cane packaging, refill option.
This zero-waste lotion from Public Goods is ultra-nourishing, coming made from healthy ingredients that are eco-friendly. This lotion comes in a light scent that contains eucalyptus, mint, and citrus essential oils. It is excellent for the whole family, including your kids. It penetrates and hydrates any skin type, leaving skin moisturized, smooth, and supple.
Additionally, it is free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Further, Public Good’s zero-waste lotion is vegan-friendly and also comes in a refill bundle you can take anywhere with you.
This zero-waste lotion comes packaged in an innovative sugar cane material that is highly carbon neutral, reducing the environmental impact of plastics.
Public Goods is a sustainable company based in the United States. They are known for making quality products that are affordable and good for you and the planet.
Materials & Features: ingredients including beeswax, cocoa body butter, coconut oil, grapeseed, recyclable tins
This lotion from Busbees Bath Shoppe appears on the list of zero-waste lotions you can shop for thanks to its hydrating yet non-greasy texture. They glide and absorb very easily into your skin, leaving it well-hydrated and silky. It works great if you have dry or chapped skin. You can also apply it on chapped lips, hands, elbows, and so on. When you apply this lotion to your damp skin, the warmth softens the bar, which allows it to glide and absorb into your body.
This lotion comes in a recyclable tin that can fit anywhere from the desk drawer to your sustainable backpack or purse.
Materials & Features: ingredients including fair-trade cocoa butter, organic shea, sweet orange oil, lavender oil, and so on, zero-waste, cruelty-free, prevents stretch marks
This massage bar lotion from LUSH has a rejuvenating effect that customers boast about. This bar leaves your skin very soft and well-hydrated. Made with the purest ingredients, this bar melts lavishly on your skin, leaving it rejuvenated. Online reviews suggest that this bar goes a long way in preventing stretch marks in expectant mothers. This zero-waste lotion leaves you and the environment with a healthy feeling.
Lush is a sustainable brand known for making great products for the body, hair, and spa treatments.
Materials & features: Aloe, coconut oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, etc., cruelty-free, recyclable glass jar
This aloe lotion from Fat and the Moon makes an ideal moisturizer from summer to winter. Made with a fine combination of aloe for effective hydration and coconut oil for moisturizing and protection, this lotion is perfect for the face and body.
It comes with sunflower oil, which nourishes and heals your skin with continued use. A little bit of it goes a long way to soothe chapped and sunburned hands and skin. This moisturizer comes in a recyclable glass jar. To increase the shelf-life of this zero-waste body lotion, you can store it in the fridge.
Fat and the Moon makes excellent eco-friendly and sustainable products, free of synthetics.
Materials & Features: cocoa and shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, three scents, packaged in food-grade film and brown kraft paper
This zero-waste bar lotion from The Botanical Barn comes with a blend of organic ingredients, including cocoa body butter, which helps hydrate and nourish your skin, coconut oil, and beeswax, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
It is convenient for everyday use. Simply massage this zero-waste body butter into your skin after taking a shower and watch it melt beautifully. They also come in a sweet chocolate scent that you won’t forget. This zero-waste bar lotion comes wrapped in a food-grade film to keep your bar protected. It is then packaged in brown kraft paper. It is handmade and very affordable. Customers boast of having softer elbows and well-hydrated skin after continued use.
When it comes to zero-waste lotion, you want to pick one that is light and easily absorbs on your skin. You also want to look out for lotions that can moisturize and protect your skin. Here are a few common natural skincare ingredients that give your skin that healthy glow:
Beeswax protects your skin and locks in moisture at the same time. You’ll find beeswax commonly found in beauty products, including moisturizers, lip balms, and so on. However, beeswax is not vegan-friendly. Other alternatives to beeswax include synthetic beeswax or soy wax.
Cocoa body butter has a high-fat content that helps lock in moisture and keeps your skin well-hydrated. It works well with shea and Vitamin E, which are known to help in regenerating skin cells and also protect your skin.
Shea is a thick and luscious consistency containing fatty acids that moisturize your skin. It also has healing and anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for skin irritation, acne, and other skin conditions.
Jojoba oil is a natural moisturizer with healing properties that work especially for skin irritation. It soothes and softens the skin, leaving it well-hydrated and non-greasy. Other nourishing oils used in zero-waste lotions include almond oil and olive oil.
Switching to zero-waste lotion comes with multiple benefits. Not only do you get a lotion that is filled with the best ingredients for your skin, but you also get a lotion that is affordable and good for the planet.
On your zero-waste journey, switching out your lotions for zero-waste options is an excellent place to start. You can go through our list of zero-waste lotions listed above to shop today.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.