15 Waste-Reducing Beauty Products to Buy Now

Laura Harrier photographed by Angelo Pennetta for W Magazine
Laura Harrier Photographed by Angelo Pennetta. Styled by Katie Grand.

It’s no secret that the beauty industry, with its endless packaging, packing materials, jars, pots, and bottles, leaves an unmistakable imprint upon the earth. Like most companies in the business of manufacturing products, beauty and skincare can make serious waste. As such, it’s up to consumers to seek alternatives in efforts to lessen their carbon footprint. One way to do so is by being wise about what you purchase in the beauty realm: make an effort to patronize the brands that are earth-conscious, and working to create less harm in their sector, and for the planet. Below, we’ve compiled 15 outstanding, earth-mindful products W has deemed deserving of your attention—and money—all of which cut back on unnecessary excess.

Uni is setting a new standard for the design and formulation of sustainable products, starting with their high-performance body care collection. This is a beautifully made, earth-conscious product that hydrates the whole body. The formulation absorbs effortlessly into your skin, leaving it soft with no post-greasiness. The hero ingredient is Australian lime caviar extract, which gently exfoliates skin without irritation. Vitamin C-rich Kakadu plum helps restore nourish skin, while aloe vera naturally hydrates, and bladderwack seaweed helps heal dryness and delays any premature aging. Brand founder Alexandra Keating sticks to a bottle refill system; as part of the closed-loop program, Uni takes back the 100 percent recyclable aluminum bottles once they’re empty to be washed and refilled—using, of course, carbon-neutral shipping methods.

More than just a trendy celebrity venture of the moment, Miranda Kerr’s certified organic skincare line KORA Organics has been crafting clean and sustainable products that yield incredibly visible results for several years now. Last year, the brand launched the Turmeric Glow Moisturizer, which KORA super fan Katy Perry tells W is her go-to. “Not only is this moisturizer one of my favorite skincare products, it makes my skin come alive every time I use it,” she adds. The cult-favorite moisturizer uses fermented probiotics and custom liposome technology to target the appearance of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, dullness, fine lines, and wrinkles. All products are certified organic by Ecocert/COSMOS, an independent global certification body that guarantees products and the ingredients used are genuinely organic and produced to the highest sustainability practices. If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, who are we to argue?

Here’s proof that you can still indulge in luxurious products and be earth-conscious. Chanel’s latest cream is concentrated from red camellia extract and oil. Ninety-five percent of the blend is formulated with ingredients of natural origin, 70 percent derived directly from the camellia flower. All N° 1 de Chanel products are eco-designed—their jars and bottles are made using recyclable materials, and this particular cream’s glass jar is refillable, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by half.

A flawless tinted highlighter made in collaboration with goop, Peau de Santé is a warm, peachy rose infused with antioxidants and hydrators, giving all skin types a natural yet divine glow. Using ethically sourced mica, vegan sunflower seed wax, soothing caper extract, and nourishing jojoba oil, the high-grade composition sits beautifully on the skin. In addition to being a member of Pact Collective, all Westman Atelier secondary packaging is made from Invercote packaging, which has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any paperboard. Additionally, their e-commerce boxes, brush boxes, and shopping bags are all made from recyclable content and tissue is made from 60-70 percent post-industrial fiber and 10 percent post-consumer fibers.

Hermès has nailed it with this stunning pink shade—just in time for spring (and Earth Day!). Designed to be indefinitely refillable, this silky lipstick delivers long-lasting color and vibrancy while keeping the lips conditioned. The refillable packaging is compatible with all Rouge Hermès products; it’s made to last with earth-friendly metals. Plus, the use of plastic is limited to essential elements such as the interchangeable mechanism inserts.

Who doesn’t feel a ripple of excitement when opening the gorgeous green packages of Tata Harper beauty products? The renowned skincare line adored by the fashion set has always used the highest-grade organically sourced ingredients to deliver astounding results for the face and body. The newly launched refillable eye cream is a must-have for anyone who needs depuffing and hydration. High-grade plant extracts and oils work hard to reduce signs of dryness and dark circles. Each Refillable Restorative Eye Crème refill pod contains 96 pumps of product—using one to two pumps a day, that will give you around 2 months of daily eye care. Like all Tata Harper skincare products, the eye cream is cruelty-free, vegan and formulated, manufactured, and packaged at the brand’s farm in Vermont.

Bobbi Brown has done it again, creating a sublime makeup essential that is also conscientious of your carbon footprint. These multiuse pencils are, of course, made of wood, and the product is zero-waste. The cap and outer box are completely recyclable as well.

This product aims to not only protect your skin but also help seas thrive. It’s formulated without damaging oxybenzone and octinoxates, two ingredients that can compromise coral reef systems. The reef-safe physical sun protection sunscreen is a must have this summer; it uses soothing botanicals that protect your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Proceeds of sales benefit WildAid Marine, which aims to stop illegal fishing and strengthens the protection of priority marine areas. The modern mist bottle packaging uses only compressed air, not the propellant chemicals used in aerosol cans, and is 95 percent natural, 70 percent organic, vegan-friendly, and never tested on animals.

An utterly soothing and healing balm for your lips, this plant-powered product is infused with high-grade vitamin E derived from coconut oil, conditioning jojoba seed oil, and moisturizing shea butter to keep the driest of skins hydrated. The gender-neutral Provence scent is a whimsical, soothing mixture of modern lavender grounded with chamomile, vanilla, and soft green wood notes. Each lip balm comes in a responsibly harvested paper tube that is 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable—it uses only one small plastic part that is made with 70 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Additionally, 5 percent of each item is donated to Take 3 for the Sea, a nonprofit organization working to keep oceans clean through education and community clean-ups.

This new three-in-one eye, lip, and cheek stain by Vapour Beauty comes in a delightful shade of rouge, which is sure to flatter most skin tones. The new tint provides a gentle, rosy complexion that can be worn from day into evening. The new Vapour tints are 97 percent waterless, which is a nearly impossible feat for a makeup brand. The brand’s headquarters in Taos, New Mexico runs on 100 percent solar energy, and their formulas have earned “Champion” safety status from the Environmental Working Group.

Thrive Causemetics products are 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free, and use paraben- and sulfate-free formulas . Their newly launched dewy primer not only preps skin impeccably pre-makeup (and lasts for up to 16 hours) but it can be worn on its own as well. In addition, the formulation protects, hydrates. and shields skin from UVA + UVB rays with SPF 37. The matte finish is also water-resistant, making it ideal for summer. Best of all, the product is translucent and blends into all skin tones evenly with no residue.

Why take your makeup off with stripping soap when you can indulge in a beta carotene-infused, sumptuous, buttery cleanser? This 99 percent organic formulation is infused with healing rosemary, lavender, and calendula, helping to soothe the skin and remove impurities seamlessly. The refillable jar—and new refill pads—are earth-conscious and help eliminate excess waste for landfills.

In the same vein as the cult-favorite ANISA Cleansing Brush, the new Deep Cleansing Brush is vegan and cruelty-free with synthetic fibers and a silicone center. When it comes to a deep clean, this brush’s denser fibers are optimal for dry brushing—and the expanded silicone center provides ideal exfoliation for face and body. Launched on Earth Day, this product is made under the strictest earth-friendly guidelines. ANISA Beauty’s manufacturing facilities have complete control over the supply chain, development, and production processes to ensure each brush meets their stringent quality control measures. Every Anisa brush created is PETA certified and sustainably made by the global ANISA Beauty team.

Superzero, the plastic-free and waterless hair and body line, has partnered with plant doctor and influencer Maryah Greene to create a limited-edition Greene Releaf hand care set—which, incidentally, coincides with the brand’s first anniversary. The set includes an exfoliating hand soap and a hydrating hand balm bar that are clean, plant-based, vegan, microplastic-free and utilize upcycled ingredients, incorporating blueberry seed oil from the juicing industry and upcycled charcoal from the oak fencing industry. In addition, 10 percent of all sales from this set will be donated to Camping to Connect, a non-profit that’s promoting leadership and positive self-awareness in young men of color through peer learning and outdoor education.

This plant-powered, silicone-free, multitasking hair serum delivers next-level results for curls or silky-straight looks without weighing your hair down. Wonderbalm Magic for Curls is the perfect styling solution for either sublime luscious curls or a sleek, straight look. The fragrance-free serum delivers soft straight hair or touchable curls with a brilliant frizz-free shine that’s absolutely weightless. The packaging and packing materials are recyclable, the formulation contains no harsh chemicals or potential hormone disruptors—which also means their products don’t contaminate water supplies when rinsed out. The formulas are also utilized with concentrated formulas using minimal water and no fillers.