The Waterless Beauty Trend

The Waterless beauty trend originally started in South Korea. The concept was about increasing the potency of skincare to be more effective on the skin. Waterless beauty products are now a trend that the mass-market and many consumers have embraced.
Today waterless beauty products are beginning to be more about sustainability than increasing the effectiveness in skincare. Of all the water on earth, only 3% is fresh water. Freshwater is the water we use in our everyday life and beauty products.

With the prospect of water scarcity in the world, the demand for more sustainable choices is growing. Consumers are more conscious about making sustainable choices, especially generation Z and Y have higher demands on brands to deliver sustainable products. 

What is Waterless Beauty?

Waterless or water-free beauty is simply beauty products without water.
Instead of a water-based formulation is waterless beauty products formulated with active ingredients or botanical oils. Waterless beauty products are typically more concentrated than beauty products with water because the active ingredients have not been dissolved by the water. 

Water in beauty products can support bacteria growth, and that means when you formulate with water, it necessitates the use of preservatives. Preservants prevent bacteria from evolving and can make the shelf time longer.
Beauty products that are formulated without water are also formulated without chemical preservatives, and they are therefore more suitable for sensitive skin.

Waterless beauty products can come in different forms, like powders, solids, balms, or oils. Powder products can be mixed with water at home to activate the product.

Waterless beauty products trends in skincare, haircare, and makeup.

Waterless beauty powder

Why is there water in Beauty products?

One of the first ingredients in the formulation of beauty products is often water. Depending on the product type, an average beauty product can contain anywhere from 60% to 85% water, and hair care, shower gels, and other rinse-off products can contain up to 95% water.

Water is an inexpensive solvent to use in beauty products and is usually the main component of beauty products. Some ingredients are hydrophilic, which means they need or prefer to be suspended in water to ensure effective delivery to the skin.
Water helps with creating the texture in beauty products and can be mixed with oils to emulsify to create the creamy texture of creams and lotions.

A formulation with water can be a better choice for sensitive skin because water rarely irritates the skin as certain oils can.

Benefits of Waterless Beauty

There are two main benefits of waterless beauty:

  • Potency
  • Sustainability

Waterless beauty products tend to be more potent, which means that they can last longer and that the active ingrediens are more concentrated.

Around 1.8 billion people will be facing water scarcity in 2025, and with the high amount of water in beauty products, will waterfree beauty products be a great place to start. The environmental benefits of waterless beauty aren’t only saving on the water resources but also reducing the transportation of water and unnecessary packaging. Beauty products like solids, powders, and balms often occupy less space than liquid beauty products, and they can therefore contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.