The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

We are starting a new year and so it is a perfect time to switch to zero-waste lotion. The winter is prime time for dry skin, and for many of us, that means we are reaching for that bottle of lotion more than we otherwise would. However, research suggests that 17.58 million Americans used moisturizer / cream / lotion for the body 14 times or more within a week in 2020. That uses up a lot of plastic containers (and most cannot be recycled, especially if they’re the squeezable tube kind). Thankfully, there are some awesome zero-waste lotions out there for you to try in 2022, with some of my favorites listed below. 

FYI, this is a guest post written by Little By Lottie, a zero waste advocate and blogger. 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.

The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

Is lotion environmentally friendly?

While lotion can help keep your skin from drying out, it’s not always environmentally friendly. Most lotions are packaged in plastic tubes or bottles, and not all of them are recyclable, nor do they actually get recycled.

Only 5-6% of plastic is recycled, and that’s a drop from what it used to be: 9%. So we’re not getting better at recycling – we’re getting worse. If this proves one thing, it’s that we should be doing less recycling not more.

The ingredients in traditional lotions are also far from desirable, as most contain questionable ingredients. These are not only potentially harmful to our health, but their production and disposal alone can contribute to pollution, especially if washed down the drain.

Here are just two toxic ingredients that could be lurking in your lotion:

These are just a few of the potentially harmful ingredients in conventional lotions. Zero waste lotions are the far better option, because of their minimal packaging and natural ingredients.

What can you do with unwanted body lotion?

If you still have some conventional lotion on hand, I recommend using it up before purchasing one of these zero waste lotions, as to not waste anything. Or give it away to a friend.

If those options don’t appeal to you, I recommend tossing it out. While I don’t love the idea of sending something to landfill, it’s a much better option than washing the lotion down the drain, as this can lead to waterway pollution.

Why switch to zero waste lotion?

Lotions are something we all reach for from time to time, but there is no need to opt for more conventional lotions anymore due to so many zero-waste options being on the market. Not only do they save on plastic waste, but the ethical and sustainability standards held by zero-waste lotion companies are second to none. In addition to this, many of these lotions are better for your skin and will work more effectively long term, even saving you money. Sold in a concentrated form, these lotions are different from their watered-down conventional alternatives.

What’s the best refillable lotion?

There is no simple answer to this, it will vary from person to person. Some people might prefer to ensure the products are vegan whereas others aim for totally plastic-free. No matter what your requirements are in refillable lotions, there are some great options I have shared with you today including cream lotions from Plaine Products and refills from Public Goods. There are various forms of refillable lotions I mention in this post so make sure to check them all out and give them a go!

Are there zero waste lotion bars?

Yes absolutely! If you are a bar lover like me, lotion doesn’t have to be any different to soaps, shampoos, and many other great products out there. They are super easy to use and designed to warm up from the heat of your skin. I absolutely love that bar lotions are a truly zero-waste option and will last significantly longer than their liquid counterparts. They are also super handy to throw into your purse without the worry that they might explode everywhere. Some of the lotion bars I’ve listed in this post are from Kate McLeod, Moon Valley Organics and Chagrin Valley (among others!)

What is a solid lotion bar?

A solid lotion bar is a condensed, block of lotion that can be used to moisturize your skin. It typically is made with natural ingredients and melts upon contact with your skin. You can store it in a reusable container, away from heat and direct sunlight.

How do you make homemade body lotion?

Did you know you can actually make your own zero-waste lotion right in your own kitchen! I know, cool right? It is a super simple DIY, although it isn’t a quick one, so maybe give it a go on a day where you don’t have too much going on. It requires only six simple ingredients that you already have at home so if you fancy giving it a go, check out Ariana’s DIY zero waste lotion recipe here. 

Is there plastic free hand lotion?

Yes! The great thing about many zero-waste lotions is they are multipurpose, so they can be used for hands and body – some can even be used for your face! This is great because it reduces waste and clutter. Mentioned below are some more specific hand lotions if the idea of a one size fits all product isn’t your cup of tea. Specifically, Queen Bee makes an excellent hand + body lotion.

Are there plastic free lotion refills?

Easy answer, YES!! Almost every single one of the products mentioned in this post is plastic-free and refillable. And, if they aren’t they have sustainable packaging options. Make sure to check them out if you are looking for a zero waste lotion.

Plaine Products: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

1. Plaine Products

  • Refillable Body Lotion 
  • Three Scent Options
  • Vegan 
  • Metal Bottle with Pump
  • B Corps Certified

Plaine Products makes a really great refillable lotion which tons of people absolutely rave about! It is a super lightweight, fast-working, and really hydrating option for people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, and not compromise on quality. There are options of three different scents: unscented; rosemary, mint, and vanilla; and citrus and lavender, which are all lovely. All of their products are free from palm oil, sulfates, and silicone as well as being cruelty-free and vegan. They are one of the best zero waste lotion products out there and I totally love that you can opt for delivery with or without the plastic pump.

Public Goods: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

2. Public Goods

  • Cream style body Lotion 
  • US Based Company 
  • Family-Friendly and Gender-Neutral formula 
  • Vegan 
  • Carbon neutral sugar cane packaging

Public Goods are a company based in NJ that makes a range of affordable options including their body lotion. It is suitable for vegans and made from a short list of ingredients that are kind to both your skin and the planet. On top of all of this, they have incredibly innovative packaging made from sugar cane, which is a highly renewable resource and carbon neutral, as opposed to petroleum-based plastics. As a subtly scented and gender-neutral lotion, it is suitable for even the most sensitive skin, including children.

Kate Mcleod: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

3. Kate Mcleod

  • Bar lotion in varying sizes
  • Vegan Friendly 
  • Hand Poured product
  • Cruelty-Free 
  • Waterless to reduce carbon emissions

With sustainable brands, one of my favorite things to see is a mini size so people who are new to zero-waste living can affordably try out products to find their favorites. Kate Mcleod does exactly this! There are three different options with their beautiful bar lotion, a starter set with a canister, a refill and a mini. Described as having a ‘barely there’ scent, their daily stone is perfect for everyday use. The bar lotion can be a bit intimidating to newbies but is super simple to use, all you have to do is use dry hands to warm up the bar and simply glide it along your skin. It really is a perfect zero-waste lotion solution.

Fat and the Moon: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

4. Fat and the Moon

  • Face and Body Cream Lotion 
  • 100% recyclable and reusable packaging 
  • Cruelty-Free 
  • 2oz or 6oz size options 
  • Unscented

Fat and the Moon make an amazing zero-waste lotion, which is especially good for those who are a bit wary of the more ‘out there’ bar products. It is a traditional style formulation that you simply rub onto the skin. It has totally plastic-free packaging and is handmade using ethically sourced ingredients, ensuring that it meets high sustainability standards.  The glass container is 100% recyclable and reusable and all shipping materials have the same qualities. Their products are formulated to be multipurpose meaning it is gentle enough to be used on the face but hardcore enough to moisturize even the driest parts of the body.

Seed Phytonutrients: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

5. Seed Phytonutrients

  • Natural Body Moisturizer 
  • Recyclable aluminum bottle
  • Vegan-Friendly and Cruelty-Free 
  • Natural Teakwood Aroma 
  • Hidden Seed Packet with every bottle

When it comes to company ethos, Seed Phytonutrients are difficult to beat. They pay all of their organic farmers 100% of their costs upfront, regardless of yield, truly supporting the future of these companies. The lotion is packaged in a recyclable aluminum bottle. and the lotion itself is a lightweight formulation, which will quickly moisturize almost all skin types. All of the ingredients are vegan-friendly and are strongly focused on natural ingredients.

Plum Brilliance Body Butter: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

6. Plum Brilliance Body Butter

  • Highly concentrated Oil based lotion 
  • Contains Beeswax 
  • Small Batch & Handmade Product 
  • US Based Company 
  • Preservative Free

All of Plum Brilliance’s products are artisan handcrafted in small batches to ensure the highest ethical and sustainable standards, including their zero-waste lotion. Unlike many other lotions which can contain up to 50% water, the Plum Brilliance lotion is 100% oils, which means it is much more moisturizing, and all of the ingredients are completely natural. It also means that the product itself can be used far more sparingly, making the product last longer and reducing the resources required for each product. The product is packaged in a recyclable glass jar, which can also be repurposed after the jar is empty.

Moon Valley Organics Lotion Bar: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

7. Moon Valley Organics Lotion Bar

  • Scented Lotion Bar
  • B Corp Certified 
  • Safe for use on all the family
  • Contains Beeswax
  • Various Scents

If you are looking for a scented zero waste lotion bar to try, Moon Valley Organics is a must! They have over five different gorgeous scents including Lavender, Orange, and Coconut and are super gentle on the skin making them suitable for even children and babies. All of their products are certified cruelty-free and all of the packaging is made entirely from post-consumer recycled cardboard. These lotion bars have been developed to last twice as long as conventional lotions, meaning they are a much more affordable solution for all budgets.

Queen Bee: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

8. Queen Bee Hand + Body Cream

  • Honey based all-purpose Lotion 
  • Natural Ingredients 
  • Made in the USA 
  • Recyclable Glass Jar with Metal Lid 
  • 100% Cruelty-free and Natural Ingredients

Queen Bee is a female-owned company in Indiana. They handcraft this great all-purpose lotion suitable for all skin types. It is a lightweight cream made entirely of natural ingredients, with the refreshing but subtle scent of lemongrass. The formula has been developed to ensure a little goes a long way without leaving a greasy feel like some conventional lotions do.

Yay For Earth: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

9. Yay for Earth

  • Available in two sizes 
  • Specifically for face (but can be used in other areas)
  • Contains Beeswax 
  • Recyclable and reusable jar container 
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Yay for Earth has developed this zero-waste lotion specifically for the face. Applied both morning and evening, this plastic-free product will help hydrate your skin. They are totally transparent about their ingredients and justify the use of each of them on their website, which is awesome! While some vegans may choose to stay clear due to the use of beeswax, it is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skins.

Chagrin Valley: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

10. Chagrin Valley Lotion Bar

  • Lotion Bars for Various uses  
  • Various Scents Available 
  • Made in the USA 
  • Cruelty-Free 
  • Contains Beeswax

Chagrin Valley has developed some really beautiful zero-waste lotions, which come in 1oz tins. There are various scents and formulations for different uses and even have a specific bug repellent lotion bar, for the more outdoorsy people. The lotion bars are simple to use by just warming up between your hands and massaging directly onto your skin. Their products have been shown to not only help moisturize your skin but also can help reduce stretch marks (not that there is anything wrong with them!), relieve stress, and help with body fatigue, due to their aromatherapy qualities.

Prickly Pear: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

11. Prickly Pear

  • Handmade Organic Lotion Bars 
  • Reusable Tin Packaging or Naked Bar Options
  • Free from chemicals, water and alcohol
  • Fragrance-Free 
  • Vegan

As with all of Prickly Pear’s products, these lotion bars are totally vegan and are made with certified organic ingredients, without the use of fragrance oils. The lotion bars are packaged in reusable metal tins and refills can be ordered ‘naked’! The bar itself has some awesome qualities from anti-aging, stress-relieving, and of course anti-inflammatory properties for healing even the driest of skin. The product comes in bar form to ensure the product is water-free, reducing the carbon emissions from transporting the product, and concentrating the product to make it go much further than conventional lotions.

Eu'Genia: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

12. Eu’Genia

  • Multipurpose Lotion Balm in Metal Tin
  • Free from Ingredients on the “Dirty List”
  • Various Scents Available 
  • Highly Concentrated 
  • Suitable for All Skin Types

Eu’Genia makes several multipurpose moisturizing balms for use on the face, body, and even the hair! The products are suitable for all skin types, whether sensitive, blemished, mature, or dry making this a perfect option for all the family. It is really all-purpose, and it can also double up as a conditioner, make-up remover, make-up primer, or post shave balm. I would say that if you are looking for an all-in-one product this has to be a the top of your list for products to try. The product comes in a metal, reusable tin, and to use all you have to do is remove a tiny amount of the butter from the tin and use it anywhere that is required. A little goes a long way!

Ethique: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

13. Ethique Body Lotion Concentrate

  • Hydrating Body Lotion Concentrate
  • Cruelty-Free 
  • Vegan 
  • 100% Plastic Free
  • Money-Back Guarantee

Ethique is one of the world’s leading companies when it comes to many beauty products, and they have recently come out with these revolutionary concentrated, truly zero-waste body lotions. They are easy to use by snapping the bar into pieces, adding boiling water, and whisking. Once the product is ready you simply use it as you would with any conventional body lotion, while saving around 700ml of water every time you use the product. All of their products are certified palm oil-free, cruelty-free, plastic-free and vegan. What’s not to love!

Sunshine Company: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

14. Sunshine Company Shop

  • Natural Solid Lotion 
  • SPF 15 
  • Compostable Cardboard Tube
  • Various Scents 
  • Contains Beeswax

Sunshine Company Shop makes tons of amazing sustainable products including this totally zero-waste lotion packaged in a completely compostable 1.4 oz tube. The ingredients are totally natural and avoid fragrance oils, which are derived from chemicals. There are two scents to choose from: Lavender, or Peppermint and Tea Tree. This is a great option for those looking to find a zero-waste lotion that can double up as a sunblock as every lotion has SPF 15, perfect for everyday use.

Floral Fancies Co: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

15. Floral Fancies Co

  • Handmade Lotion Bar 
  • Contains Beeswax 
  • Made in the USA
  • Three Packaging Options 
  • Various Scents

Floral Fancies Co makes these beautiful handmade lotion bars in 13 different scents to try, one of the widest scent choices on the market for zero-waste lotions. They also offer three package options: with a metal tin, a naked bar, or a cardboard tube, all of which are great sustainable options, no matter which you choose. They are designed to gently melt upon contact with the skin but are super concentrated so will go a long way! 

Busbees Bath Shoppe: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

16. Busbees Bath Shoppe

  • All-Purpose Lotion Bar
  • Contains Beeswax 
  • Over 15 Scents to Choose from 
  • Handmade in Florida
  • Packaged in Reusable Metal Tin

Busbees Bath Shoppe is a small company based in Florida offering some amazing beauty products including this zero-waste lotion bar. It is packaged in a reusable metal tin and is made from 100% natural ingredients. It does contain beeswax, so if you are vegan this one might not be for you. That being said, if you are okay with beeswax, then there are over 15 different scents, and you can even ask for customized ones too! The bars are designed to give a non-greasy moisture to the skin by activating upon contact with warm skin. The lotion bar can be used for dry skin all over the body including for chapped lips.

Botany Barn: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

17. Botany Barn Canada

  • Organic Lotion Bar
  • Contains Beeswax 
  • Various Scents
  • Made in Canada
  • Packaged in Reusable Metal Tin

The natural lotion bars made by Botany Barn Canada are handmade with certified organic oils and butters, guaranteed to help moisturize your skin. There are various scents to choose from including unscented, orange, lavender, and vanilla, but they are also able to make custom scents if none of these work for you. They are designed to warm up in your hands and rub into wherever you need on your body.

EcoRoots: The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

18. EcoRoots

  • Organic Lotion Bar
  • Vegan + cruelty-free
  • Handmade in small batches in the USA
  • Packaged in Reusable Metal Tin

This natural lotion bar from EcoRoots is vegan and cruelty free. It’s made with only 7 simple ingredients you can pronounce like wild-crafted candelilla wax, cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, Arrowroot Powder. There’s no synthetic fragrances, parabens or phthalates lurking here. To use, just massage the lotion onto your skin and rub it in. It can be used everywhere, from your lips to your heels.

The Best Zero Waste Lotion For Dry Skin

What do you think of these plastic free lotions? Let me know which ones you’d like to try in the comments!

For more zero waste beauty tips, check out this list of zero waste makeup and skincare brands.

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Little By Lottie

Guest post: Hi, my name is Lottie and I have my own zero waste blog too (it’s if you want to check it out or @littlebylottie on Instagram). I live across the pond in England and am super passionate about sharing easy changes you can make in your life to have a huge impact on the planet. I’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with Ariana on a few occasions. I’m so pleased to have this opportunity to write for her page.

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.

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