11 Zero Waste Face Wash Brands For The Best Skin

11 Zero Waste Face Wash Brands For The Best Skin

Ever heard of zero waste face wash? Yes, it exists. When I first started this blog, I was a green beauty blogger obsessed with skin care. And I’ve tried a LOT of cleansers in the past. I was going through cleansers like wildfire – and that was not sustainable. Some of them I wouldn’t even finish before tossing out! *shudders* Those weren’t times I’m proud of. That’s why I’m a big advocate of using what works. I think that will always be the most sustainable option. But if you can, choosing a facial cleanser that has sustainable packaging and ingredients is always a good idea. So many cleansers come in ambiguous packaging that’s likely not recyclable. Here are the top 11 zero waste face wash brands on the market.

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

11 Zero Waste Face Wash Brands

11 Zero Waste Face Wash Brands For The Best Skin

Which face wash is best without chemicals?

All the brands I list are free of harsh chemicals that would irritate your skin. The thing to remember is technically, everything is made up of chemicals (from the things you see, to what you eat, to the air you breath).

But chemicals are only bad when they’re harsh chemicals, aka harmful to us and the environment. These tend to be ingredients that are man-made and used in products for numerous reasons (usually because it’s a cheaper option).

Some harsh chemicals to lookout for include PFAs (aka forever chemicals), phthalates, parabens, and some solvents. You’ll want to avoid these in more than just facial cleansers too, as they’ve been known to pollute waterways and be harmful to the human body (hello hormone disrupters).

What face wash is best for removing dirt?

The best face wash for removing dirt is any of the ones on this list. They will all do a great job of cleansing your face, removing makeup + grease, along with the day’s woes.

I personally always cleanse my face only at night, because doing so in the morning too can be a bit much on the skin. In the morning, I simply splash my face with some water to cleanse it of dirt.

It also helps to make sure you follow a good skincare routine to begin with. This also means removing any makeup at night. If you’re specifically looking for a makeup remover, I recommend my go-to, easy to whip up DIY oil cleanser.

What face washes are biodegradable?

All the zero waste facial cleansers on this list are biodegradable and compostable, in the sense they will actually break down in the environment. So once you wash them down the drain, they won’t cause water pollution. And, none of them contain polluting plastic microbeads that several conventional face washes do.

You should know there is a difference between biodegradable and compostable. Something can be biodegradable, but not compostable.

I always recommend choosing items that are compostable over just biodegradable. That’s because biodegradable simply means it “breaks down” – but so does plastic. It breaks down into tiny microplastics – and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

So just be mindful that when choosing your products, you want ones with formulas that won’t pollute waterways.

How can I choose the best zero waste face wash?

So, what are some standards your zero waste facial cleanser should meet? Well, here’s what to look out for.

Ideally, you’d want your face wash to be:

  • Packaged thoughtfully (aka plastic-free)
  • Have a refill scheme of some kind (or come in compostable/recyclable/reusable packaging)
  • Be vegan or cruelty-free (or hey, both)
  • Non-toxic and harsh chemical free (aka, natural ingredients)
  • Ethical ingredient sourcing (which means no forced labor for workers, the ingredient isn’t harvested from an endangered plant, no forests were burned down for the planting of said plant, etc.)
  • Palm-oil free
  • Gives back to environment/community in some way (be it through donating to non-profits, being a B Corp, planting trees, or being climate neutral – giving back is always a good sign).

Thankfully, all the face wash products on this list have met most, if not ALL of these standards. I’ve done the work for you, so you can shop peacefully!

1. Ecoroots

  • Powder to paste face cleanser
  • Comes in reusable glass jar + metal lid
  • Made in small batches with natural ingredients, without fragrance, chemicals, or preservatives
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • Just add water
  • Package free face soap bar also available

Image credit: Ecoroots

2. Activist Skincare

  • Refillable cleansing oil, balm + gel
  • Comes in glass containers that can be indefinitely refilled
  • Ingredients free of parabens, sulfates, silicones and other toxins
  • Plastic-free shipping mailers
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • GREENIFYME for 20% off!

Image credit: Activist Skincare

3. Ethique

  • Gentle and deep conditioning facial wash bars
  • Concentrated, just add water
  • Natural, palm oil free ingredients
  • Compostable packaging
  • Carbon neutral
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • 1 tree planted with every order

Image credit: Ethique

4. HiBAR

  • Solid face wash bar
  • Packaged in fully recyclable box with compostable paper inner packaging
  • Concentrated, just add water
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free

Image credit: HiBAR

5. Plaine Products

  • Liquid face wash in aluminum bottle
  • Refillable
  • All natural ingredients
  • Subscription service option
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • B Corp certified
  • 1% For The Planet

Image credit: Plaine Products

6. Upcircle

  • Cleansing face balm
  • Comes in a glass jar with aluminum lid
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Vegan + cruelty-free

Image credit: Zero Waste Store / Upcircle

7. Osea

  • Refreshing mineral gel cleanser
  • Comes in a glass bottle
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Seaweed as key ingredient
  • Vegan, gluten, alcohol + soy free

Image credit: Credo Beauty / Osea

8. Etee

  • Antioxidant cleanser
  • Includes one pod of cleanser, 1 bottle and 1 funnel
  • Packaged in a backyard compostable beeswax pod
  • To use: Fill jar with 100ml of water, squeeze contents of pod into water and mix

Image credit: Etee

9. No Tox Life

  • Detoxifying facial bar cleanser
  • Comes in a cardboard sleeve
  • Just 7 natural ingredients
  • Vegan and palm oil free

Image credit: Zero Waste Store / No Tox Life

10. Seed Phytonutrients

  • Gentle facial cleanser
  • 95% natural ingredients
  • Product packaged in recyclable aluminum bottle
  • mail-back recycling program for pumps
  • Made in the USA
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • Climate neutral certified

Image credit: EarthHero / Seed Phytonutrients

11. BlueLand

  • Powder to non-foaming gel facial cleanser
  • Refillable
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Subscription service option
  • Just add water
  • Vegan + cruelty-free

Image credit: BlueLand

What do you think of these zero waste face wash brands? Would you give them a try? Let me know in the comments below.

For more beauty tips, be sure to check out my list of zero waste skincare products + DIYs.

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By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.


  1. I have tried both Ethique bars and Blueland. While I love Ethique products in general, my face prefers Blueland. My skin feels clean but not dry. The refills come in a paper packet. One plastic bottle will last a lifetime. I add my own water. For me, this checks all the boxes.

    1. That’s great! I’ve got very sensitive skin so I haven’t been able to try them out myself yet (finally found something that works for me, so I’m sticking to my guns!). However, I hoped this list would inspire/help others. 🙂 And Blueland is great cause it’s refillable! So I’d say you landed a perfect find for you.

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