There’s nothing better than taking off your smeared zero-waste makeup after a long day with a zero-waste makeup remover. That means you’re having fun with makeup without any of the adverse environmental effects!
Unfortunately, many people still do not know that using the typical makeup remover can cause a lot of damage both to their skin and the environment.
Some of the typical makeup removers come in toxic ingredients like hydrocarbons and synthetic solvents that can cause skin irritation, breakouts, and aging. They also come in single-use plastic packaging that contributes significantly to plastic waste, damaging the environment.
Thankfully, conscious brands make zero-waste makeup removers with natural and organic ingredients that are healthy for your face and the planet. They also take care of the plastic problem, as zero-waste makeup removers come in plastic-free packaging.
Read on to go through our list of zero-waste makeup removers you can shop for today. You can also check out our article for eco-friendly zero-waste makeup. We’ve also a selection of zero-waste mascaras for eco-friendly lashes.
Several brands claim to be “zero-waste.” So to ensure you are getting a zero-waste makeup remover, we have listed some things you need to look out for when you go shopping for your zero-waste makeup remover.
Firstly, you want to look out for zero-waste makeup removers that come with natural and organic ingredients. Natural skincare ingredients are free of synthetics that could lead to health problems. Farmers and workers also naturally derive them from plants and other natural materials.
Farmers grow organic ingredients without fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals harmful to people and the environment. One ingredient you want to avoid is alcohol. Alcohol strips the skin of its natural oils and causes irritation and breakouts.
Some of the best zero-waste makeup removers use natural oils. You may believe that oils clog your pores and result in more oily skin. However, this is not the case. Oils attract oils. They take out excess oil on your skin and leave the natural oils that belong there.
You also want to ensure your zero-waste makeup remover is palm oil-free. Farmers derive palm oil products from felled rainforests. This leads to the destruction of natural habitats and releases tons of CO2 emissions into the environment.
The second thing you need to look out for is the packaging. Zero-waste makeup removers come in plastic-free packaging. Most of them come in compostable, biodegradable, upcycled, or recyclable packaging. This reduces the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills.
You want to look out for zero-waste makeup removers free of toxic chemicals and ingredients that can harm your skin and the environment.
In this article, we’ve focused on products specifically formulated to help you remove makeup with zero waste. Check out our articles on plastic-free alternatives to wet wipes for options for pads and wipes to further support your zero-waste beauty routine.
Here's our list of some of our favorite zero-waste makeup removers to give you clean pores while saving the planet.
Quick links to the best zero-waste makeup removers:
Features: natural plant-based ingredients, palm oil-free, cruelty-free, non-toxic
Packaging: plastic-free, compostable packaging
Ethique's zero waste makeup remover cleansing bar comes in natural, plant-based ingredients that provide deep and healthy cleaning to your skin pores.
This cleansing bar comes in a gentle formula of coconut oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, kokum butter, and sweet orange essential oils that gently remove makeup and unclog your pores. These ingredients are free of palm oil, harsh chemicals, and animal cruelty. It leaves your skin hydrated without any grease or glossiness.
This multi-use bar soap works as a face cleanser, moisturizer, and makeup remover for all skin types.
This certified B Corp is on a mission to eliminate plastic waste by creating eco-friendly beauty products with compostable packaging. Ethique is a zero-waste brand that makes a wide range of organic personal care products like body wash, shampoo, bar soap, and more. The brand aims to convert 50 million plastic bottles by 2025. The brand also gives 20% of its profit to charities that protect the planet.
Ethique is also committed to lowering carbon emissions through the creation of Compact by Design. Through efficient design, removal of excess water, and less packaging, their products are more efficient to ship. These differences reduce carbon emissions significantly.
Features: Natural and organic ingredients, paraben-free, cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny Certified)
Packaging: Recyclable glass bottle
This moisturizing oil and makeup remover from Province Apothecary features a fine blend of natural ingredients and oils, including coconut oil, raspberry seed oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and so on. This natural formula removes dirt and pollution, hydrates your skin without clogging pores, and is ideal for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, and pretty much all skin types.
It doesn't irritate your skin or disrupt your pH balance. Simply apply a few drops of water or toner to the cleanser before using them—warm oil in your palm and massage into your face and neck. Lastly, remove the cleanser with a clean damp cloth.
This zero-waste makeup remover comes in a recyclable glass bottle. The brand also uses plastic-free materials for shopping.
Province Apothecary is a sustainable beauty brand on a mission to create the most effective and clean beauty products.
They make each bottle of makeup remover with non-GMO ingredients free of synthetic fragrances, parabens, petroleums, and harmful chemicals, perfect for any skin type. Their natural ingredients are sourced locally from Canadian provinces. They are cruelty-free and come with a Leaping Bunny certification to prove it.
Features: Natural ingredients, cruelty-free, non-greasy, non-toxic
Packaging: Eco-friendly packaging
Made with natural mineral ingredients, including organic aloe vera juice, witch hazel extract, sweet orange essential oil, and more, this powerful formula cleanses your skin. It removes even the most stubborn waterproof mascara and cosmetics.
It unclogs your pores and easily removes dirt, sweat, and makeup residue from your skin, reducing breakouts and maintaining PH balance. To use, simply add a few drops of this zero-waste makeup remover on eco-friendly cotton pads and gently wipe on your face to remove makeup.
With Beauty by Earth, you don't have to compromise on beauty or ethics. They make their zero-waste makeup remover with high-quality natural ingredients free of parabens, harmful chemicals, and animal cruelty. Sourced in the US, this product also comes with Leaping Bunny Certification, so you can confidently remove makeup knowing they did not test it on animals.
Features: Natural ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan, Green business practices (partial solar energy and rainwater collection)
Packaging: reusable glass bottle, recyclable and compostable packaging
This zero-waste makeup remover is specially made with three main ingredients: organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil, castor oil, and witch hazel to wipe off stubborn makeup. You won't have to worry about dry and irritated skin, as this formula is non-greasy, light, and moisturizing.
Dirty Hippie ethically and locally sources these ingredients, and some of them are even grown by the company. They are cruelty-free and vegan.
This makeup remover comes in a reusable amber glass bottle.
Dirty Hippie produces a wide range of eco-friendly makeup, from zero-waste lip balm to natural eyeshadow. They also have hair and skin products like zero-waste shampoo, zero-waste deodorants, and moisturizers.
Dirty Hippie Cosmetics is a sustainable Australian brand based in a zero-waste community. In their headquarters, they use collected rainwater and partial solar energy, conserving natural resources. The brand also shows its commitment to offsetting significant carbon emissions. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to charities to support environmental, social, and animal justice.
DHC also has a take-back program for refills. Customers in Australia can send their tins back to them for a refill. They ship their orders with recyclable or compostable packaging, including locally sourced recycled newspapers. The brand doesn’t guarantee that all its products are palm oil-free. However, their makeup remover ingredients do not contain palm oil derivatives.
Features: plant seed oils, unscented, non-irritating, no preservatives, plastic-free
Packaging: recyclable amber glass bottle with metal lid
Leafology’s zero-waste eye makeup remover is a versatile product that is non-irritating and moisturizing. This makeup remover works to remove waterproof mascara raccoon eyes. It simply lifts the makeup instead of smearing it all around your face. This product is an eco-friendly blend of plant seed oils, fruit sugar-derived, and coconut emulsifiers. It is also free of harmful chemicals, preservatives, and impurities.
You get this effective and eco-friendly zero-waste makeup remover packaged in a recyclable amber glass bottle and metal lid.
Leafology started with Ella, a professional muse who traveled across the globe using her natural and pure appearance for photography projects and fine art.
The compliments from makeup artists and professionals made her share her secret with the world - pure ingredients from nature. Leafology features a wide range of vegan products, free of synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, and animal testing.
Every product from the brand comes in glass or metal. You also get the option of using paper bag refills for powdered products. The brand also mails its products free of plastic tape, bags, or bubble wraps.
For every order you make, Leafology plants a tree through TreeSisters.org.
Features: Natural ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and witch hazel, Non-GMO
Packaging: Reusable glass jar
Made with natural ingredients like aloe vera juice, coconut oil, witch hazel, and other ingredients, these makeup removers gently lift waterproof makeup without causing any irritation on your skin.
Aloe vera treats sunburns and acne-prone skin. The coconut oil hydrates and moisturizes your skin, leaving it healthy and supple. The alcohol-free witch hazel cones with anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritated skin. This fine combination of natural ingredients prevents clogged pores and gives your skin a healthy look and feel.
To use, simply apply on reusable facial rounds or cloth and wipe on your face to remove makeup.
Each product comes packaged in an eco-friendly glass jar with a metal lid. The brand also ships these products completely plastic-free. You can send your empty glass jars back to the brand or reuse them.
Urban Oreganics makes organic skincare products that they carefully handcrafted in small batches. In Portland, Oregon, they make these products in a home studio and power them with renewable energy.
Features: Natural and organic ingredients, vegan, plastic-free
Packaging: Recyclable glass jar and pump
This zero-waste makeup remover from the zero-waste store, EcoRoots, is gentle yet effective for removing makeup, dirt, oil, and impurities.
This natural makeup remover is made with hemp seed oil, grapeseed oil, rosemary, peppermint, and more, leaving your skin clean and healthy. It is also good for sensitive skin and all other skin types.
They are non-comedogenic, meaning they don’t clog your pores. They are free of synthetic colors, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and harmful chemicals.
This makeup remover moisturizes your skin while cleaning your pores, making it a great addition to your skincare routine. They come packaged in a recyclable glass jar. Also, all shipping materials are plastic-free.
Related: EcoRoots also features in our list of the best zero-waste face wash options,
Features: Natural ingredients, vegan, synthetic fragrance-free, plastic-free
Packaging: Reusable glass container, 100% compostable and recyclable shipping materials
This zero-waste makeup remover is natural, effective, and gentle, removing makeup, dirt, and excess oil from your skin. This makeup remover comes in natural ingredients like aloe vera, rose extract, and alcohol-free witch hazel to cleanse and tone your skin.
It is also free of synthetic fragrances, silicone, parabens, and harsh chemicals, making them safe even for sensitive skin. To use, simply apply a small amount on your cotton pads and wipe off your makeup.
This natural zero-waste makeup remover comes in a reusable glass container alongside compostable shipping materials.
Zerra & Co also has a container return program that allows you to mail your empty glass containers in good condition for reuse.
Features: Natural and organic ingredients, vegan, non-toxic, plastic-free
Packaging: Glass jar with a pump bottle, 100% recycled paper
Made with natural ingredients like aloe vera, cold-pressed virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, and other pure ingredients.
Thanks to Aloe vera, this cleanser soothes even the most sensitive skin. It retains your skin’s natural oils, leaving it soft and not greasy. This zero-waste makeup remover is non-comedogenic, preventing clogged pores and removing dirt from your skin.
While not everything from Andrea's Organic Market is vegan, you can find a wide range of vegan products, including facial and hair products.
This facial cleanser comes in a recyclable and reusable glass container with a pump. They wrap the glass container in 100% recycled paper for shipping labels, compostable packing peanuts, and a recycled paper cushion with a biodegradable hemp string. The brand accepts glass containers for refills and also has refillable pouches for some of its products.
The brand also claims that all of its products are free of chemicals, GMOs, and synthetic ingredients.
Features: Cellulose fibers, free of fragrances and harsh chemicals, biodegradable and reusable, 30-day money-back guarantee
Packaging: Thoughtful packaging
These non-toxic facial sponges are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable makeup wipes made with natural cellulose fibers. Unlike single-use wipes, these facial sponges are free of harsh chemicals and fragrances. They gently exfoliate your skin, removing makeup, dirt, and excess oil. They work well for every skin type, including sensitive or oily skin.
The best part is these facial sponges are biodegradable and reusable. They are highly absorbent and best used with a facial cleanser or makeup remover. After use, simply hand wash them with warm water and air dry them.
Thanks to this facial sponge from Shopper Goods, you can remove your makeup a zero-waste way. These sponges are made to last for about one or two weeks with rinsing and drying after each use. They are also great to take as you travel. Once done, you can throw these biodegradable sponges away without harming the environment. The brand also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the product.
One of the most low-waste options for removing makeup is using natural oil. Interestingly, our skin thrives on oils. Oil dissolves excess oils and can correct and balance different skin types. It also moisturizes the skin and helps fight bacteria.
These oils include grapeseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and so on. When considering oil for your skin, it is important to look out for the ones that are low or non-comedogenic. This means that they do not block your pores.
Here are a few low-waste DIY zero-waste makeup remover options:
It is also important to consider what you use alongside your makeup remover. Instead of using cotton pads or single-use wipes, you can go for other eco-friendly wipes alternatives like natural cellulose, bamboo facial sponges, and other sustainable materials.
You can have clean and beautiful skin while keeping the planet healthy and safe. Thanks to zero-waste makeup removers, you can responsibly take off your foundation, mascara, and eyeliner while cleansing your skin. You can go through our list of zero-waste makeup removers 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.