8 Plastic-Free Skin Care Products Worth Buying

Stack of package-free soaps and a shampoo bar

Photographer / Getty Images

What’s the point of buying non-toxic skin and body care products if you’re left with a pile of non-recyclable plastic containers that will sit for centuries and leach toxins into a landfill? A growing number of people may be rejecting conventional products in favour of safer ones, but more attention needs to be given to packaging.

The problem is that packaging is not nearly as glamorous as the product itself, and a customer’s desire for the product will often outweigh concerns about packaging. Organic Monitor, a marketing research firm, made this observation a few years ago: “Although packaging has the highest environmental footprint within the realm of cosmetics products, it appears to be largely ignored when beauty companies look at sustainability.”

Despite this, I do believe the tide is turning ever so slightly. Some companies, particularly small and homegrown operations, are starting to think about the entire lifespan of their products. It is possible to find biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable packaging, if you look hard enough. This list is hardly comprehensive, but at least it’s a start and can hopefully point you in a fresh direction when shopping.

1. Farm to Girl – Organic Citrus Kokolotion, $8.95

A Black woman applies moisturizer to her skin.

Jamie Grill / Getty Images

This wonderful-smelling lotion is made with Fairtrade, organic coconut oil. It comes in a recyclable glass jar with a metal screw-top lid, as do all of this company’s products.

2. Lush Cosmetics – Solid Shampoo Bar, $11.95

Lush solid shampoo stacked on one another.

Courtesy of Lush Cosmetics

The greenest packaging is no packaging, of course, which is what Lush does for its solid shampoo bars. Lush recommends storing the bar in a metal tin.

3. Burt’s Bees – Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, $5.99

Burt's Bees cuticle cream.

Courtesy of Burt's Bees

Made of sweet almond oil and beeswax, this intensively moisturizing cuticle cream comes in a metal tin.

4. Organic Essence – Relentless All Day Deodorant, $9.99

Shaved coconut in a bowl on a marble surface.

Blanchi Costela / Getty Images

This coconut oil-based deodorant comes in a compostable paper tube for easy application and home composting. It has no preservatives, petro-chemicals, or artificial colours, nor does it test on animals.

5. Kari Gran – Radiant Lip Whip (limited edition), $30

Lip whip moisturizer in a glass container.

Courtesy of Kari Gran

I’ve written about Kari Gran’s high-end skin care products before, but it deserves mention again. All products come in dark glass, which is recyclable. This particular lip whip is a great combo of balm and colour. Refuse the complimentary brush if you don't want any plastic.

6. Juniper Seed Mercantile – Facial Moisturizer & Eye Makeup Remover, $11

Facial moisturizer in amber spray bottles with wood background.

Courtesy of Juniper Seed Mercantile

Made of organic oils, this 2-in-1 concoction is all natural and fragrance-free. It comes in a glass bottle, though unfortunately it does have a plastic lid. Ships to Canada and the U.S. If outside those countries, visit the Etsy shop.

7. Aquarian Bath – Spearmint Deodorant Balm, $6.50

Shaved cocoa butter in wood bowl and spoon.

Anna Puzatykh / Getty Images

I haven’t personally tried this deodorant, but it’s made of baking soda, cocoa butter, and olive oil, which are similar to the homemade deodorant that I use and love. This one comes in a 2-ounce metal tin, but the company offers a smaller sample for $2.25 if you wish to test it.

8. Shea Radiance – Solid Pedicure Bar, $10

A close up of green fresh peppermint.

Cavan Images / Getty Images

A peppermint lotion bar made with shea and cocoa butters will help heal cracked, tired feet. It is packaged in a metal tin.