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A guide to waterless skincare

  • 5 min read

It’s no secret that water is an essential component for a healthy life – in fact, up to 60% of the average human body is made up of water. It’s the building block of who we are.

With H2O playing such an important role in keeping our body and mind healthy, you might be wondering just what the deal is with waterless skincare – and why it’s taking the world of beauty by storm. Surely, water is a good thing in our skincare?

If the water-free beauty trend has left you wondering if you should be making the switch to waterless skincare products – or whether to believe the hype – then we’ve got the answers to your questions. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about H2O-free beauty in our UpCircle guide to waterless skincare.

What is waterless skincare?

The concept of water-free skincare (also known as anhydrous skincare) started in South Korea in 2015 and refers to products that are formulated without the use of water.

Instead, they are produced using alternatives such as ethically sourced fruit water, plant extracts, waxes and oils. Some come in a concentrated powdered form that can be mixed with water at home to activate the product, or as a balm – like our Cleansing Face Balm with Apricot Powder.

In other words, what you are getting is the product in its best form, without adding something that you could easily get from a tap.

Why choose waterless skincare products?

There are many reasons why we believe that the waterless skincare trend is here to stay. Here are some of our favourite reasons to get on board with the waterless skincare bandwagon:

Your skincare products will not be diluted

Some of the best-selling body and skincare products on the market contain up to 90% water, which is usually listed on the ingredients as ‘aqua’, ‘agua’ or ‘l’eau’. You are literally paying for a bigger bottle simply because it’s got a hefty proportion of water, rather than active ingredients.

This means that some companies are using water to dilute the active ingredients, enabling them to promote their skincare products at a reduced price. We all love to save our pennies, but if you are purchasing a less effective product, or need to use more of it to get the desired result, then it can be a false economy.  

Save water, save the planet

In many regions of our planet, communities are facing the prospect of water shortages, with 1.8 billion people expected to face water scarcity by 2025. This is an enormous global problem which we cannot ignore.

Even though in Blighty it’s hard to truly imagine the scale of water shortages that a large proportion of the world’s population faces, many of us are already helping in small ways to conserve this precious resource. We are turning off the tap while brushing our teeth and taking shorter showers. But in recent years, some of the biggest cosmeceutical companies, such as L’Oreal, have recognised that they can play an important part in conserving water by reducing the amount they use in their products. After all, they are dealing with far greater quantities of water than the single individual!

It’s good to know that the major players in the beauty industry are catching up with the values of independent companies. These smaller companies have long been leading the trend in boycotting water use in skincare products, choosing nourishing botanical alternatives and rejuvenating oils as an alternative.

Waterless skincare products need less packaging

Another important and eco-friendly benefit of choosing water-free skincare is that the products need less packaging. 

By replacing water-based soaps and cleansers with powders that foam when activated in the shower, you can help to reduce the use of plastic packaging. And with the holiday season approaching, water-free beauty products and cosmetics will take up much less room in your luggage. That leaves more room in your case for all those holiday essentials!

Waterless soap bars are a great choice for water-free skincare, and don’t only help the planet. Solid waterless skincare is longer lasting, travel friendly, and highly versatile. You can use solid waterless skincare on both your face and body too. 

Importantly, the logistics involved in shifting skincare products through the supply chain has a smaller carbon footprint if tonnes of water aren’t being transported in the process.

Why fruit water is a great alternative to water

It’s perfectly possible to still get a hit of hydration using water-free skincare products by replacing H2O with organic fruit water. Fruit water is a by-product of the juicing process and is usually discarded – but we’ve repurposed this hydrating resource into some of our most popular skincare products:

  • Kiwi fruit water: Hydrating, anti-inflammatory and formulated for dry skin, our Lemongrass Hand + Body Wash leaves your skin feeling (and smelling) amazing. If that’s not a reason to pop one in your shopping basket right now, we also donate £1 from every bottle sold to AKT, a charity that supports better futures and safe homes for LGBTQ+ and young people.
  • Bergamot fruit water: Invigorate your senses with our Bergamot Water Hand + Body Lotion. Super-hydrating and lightly scented with lemongrass and grapefruit oil, it’s the perfect partner to replenish moisture after using our Lemongrass & Kiwi Water Hand & Bodywash.

At UpCircle, we strive to not only give you quality natural skincare, but also to help the environment. We upcycle residual fruit waters leftover after the creation of juice concentrates. The minerals, vitamins and functional actives present in the fruit water have more benefits for the skin than mineral filtered water. Water is often the first ingredient in cosmetics formulations. It therefore plays an important role in the sustainability of the overall formulation and is a great target ingredient to replace with a more sustainable alternative. 

Our waterless hand and body wash and lotion can also be purchased as a fruity duo to cleanse and nourish your skin without standard H2O. Remember, all our skincare products are shipped in refillable containers, so send your empties back to us and we’ll refill them for you – and save you 20% too! 

Find out more about the benefits of fruit water as a skincare ingredient.

See our range of waterless skincare:

Waterless skincare is good for you – and our planet

At UpCircle, we strive to offer natural skincare products that align with your important values, and everything we produce is cruelty-free, ethically made and suitable for a vegan lifestyle. 

If you’d like to adopt waterless skincare as part of your socially responsible beauty routine, check out our selection of fruit-water skincare products that will nourish and hydrate your skin. Also remember that we don’t add unnecessary water to any of our other products.

We’re perfecting our very own waterless shampoo paste concentrate, so stay tuned for that!

Happy skin, happy planet!