What is Zero Waste Makeup & Should you Switch to it?

Zero waste makeup, the solution to look good, feel good and do good!

Ladies and gents, do you ever feel guilty about throwing away that empty mascara tube? How about changing things for the better, not only for yourself, but also for Mother Earth? This week, we’re discussing zero waste makeup, which is the hottest trend in the beauty industry!

What exactly is zero waste makeup? Zero waste makeup is made of sustainable materials that can be composted, recycled, or reused after use. Packaging is just as significant as the product. It’s simple, it’s waste-free makeup. That’s all there is to it! It’s not just about the product, but also about the packaging.

You’ll look fabulous and you’ll feel fabulous knowing that you’re not adding to the mountains of waste in landfills. This is the winning combination of beauty and brains!

Is zero-waste makeup something you’re interested in? We explore this topic in depth in the next sections, so stay tuned!

Environmental Impact of Traditional Makeup

Beauty buffs, listen up! It’s no secret that traditional makeup production and disposal can be a real “trash” issue. The amount seems small, but when viewed from a broader perspective, it makes a lot of sense.


Let’s start with production. Many traditional makeup materials are extracted through methods that would make Mother Nature cringe, such as strip mining and fracking.

The manufacturing process can also be a real “pollution party,” as harsh chemicals and pollutants are released into the environment. The manufacture of one plastic lipstick tube requires 12 grams of plastic, which is the equivalent of 4,000 straws.


The party doesn’t stop there. When we’re done with our makeup, the packaging ends up in landfills or oceans where it takes centuries to break down and harms marine life.

Approximately 25 percent of all plastic pollution on shorelines worldwide is associated with plastic packaging from personal care products, including makeup.

How Zero Waste Makeup Is Made

Eco-Friendly Makeup

In the beauty world, zero waste makeup isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a whole new way of producing makeup.

What is the process of zero waste makeup production? Well, I’ll do my best to break it down, but by no means am I an expert on this topic… Anyways:

  • The first thing to note is that zero waste makeup uses sustainable materials such as plant-based oils, waxes, and clays, which are not only more eco-friendly but also healthier for your skin.
  • Second, it’s much more “earth-friendly” than traditional makeup production. In order to reduce energy and resource use, zero waste makeup is often made in small batches.
  • Thirdly, zero waste makeup is often produced by small, independent businesses that prioritize fair labor and minimal waste.

How about the packaging? I think that’s where zero waste makeup really shines (pun intended).

The packaging of zero waste makeup is often biodegradable or reusable, such as glass jars or paper tubes, so when you’re done with it, you can compost, recycle or reuse it. As a matter of fact, this is the main reason for its superiority over traditional makeup. Organic and natural makeup are positive aspects, but the packaging is what contributes the most to the issue.

So, zero waste makeup is made with sustainable materials, ethical production practices and biodegradable packaging. It’s more than a trend, it’s a way of thinking about beauty products, and it’s a step towards sustainability.

Advantages of Zero Waste Makeup

Why should you make the switch? What are the practical advantages? Well it’s mostly what we already mentioned above like:

  • As we said, zero waste makeup is better for the environment. In comparison to traditional makeup, zero waste makeup reduces the impact on the environment.
  • The second benefit of zero waste makeup is that it often contains natural ingredients that will benefit your skin. There are many zero waste makeup products that are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and preservatives that can irritate the skin.
  • Additionally, choosing zero waste makeup supports small, independent companies that adhere to ethical production practices.
  • It might come as a surprise to some, but zero waste makeup can also be more cost-effective over time. There are many zero waste makeup products that can be refilled, reducing the need for constant purchases of new makeup.

It’s basically more cost-effective in the long run to shift to zero waste makeup. It’s better for your skin, it’s more environmentally friendly, and it promotes ethical production somewhat.

In addition to the bullet list above, we just want to expand on the third point: These “small” and “independent” companies are usually going against the tide in terms of production. You see, production of zero waste packaging and makeup ain’t cheap. But production of traditional makeup that mainly utilizes plastic has become as efficient as possible and therefore, it can be a lot cheaper for companies.

Which is why support for these small companies is so IMPORTANT. Of course though, there are companies out there that do use deceptive marketing practices in order to bump up sales to their otherwise not-so-eco-friendly beauty products.

This is just the natural order of things. BUT, there are ways to be sure that the products you’re buying are what they say they are. Like certifications. Continue reading, we mention this below.

Shopping for Zero Waste Makeup

Finding It

The roar zero waste has got going for it makes finding and using zero waste makeup easier than you might think. Here are some tips for finding zero waste makeup.

  • Check the labels: Many zero waste makeup products clearly state that they are eco-friendly, sustainable or zero waste. They’ll also have certificates such as: 100% Waste Diversion Achieved by SCS Global Services. Look for these certifications from reputable certification bodies.
  • Do your research: Find small, independent companies that prioritize ethical production practices and sustainable materials.
  • Check out online retailers: Many online retailers specialize in zero waste and sustainable products, so you should check them out.

Properly Using Zero Waste Makeup

You’ve found your zero waste makeup, now it’s time to use it! This isn’t a makeup tutorial, but a makeup care and recycling mini guide (since it is quite different compared to traditional makeup):

  • You should first check the packaging: Zero waste makeup products come with biodegradable or reusable packaging, so read the instructions on how to dispose of it properly.
  • To ensure your zero waste makeup lasts as long as possible, store it in a cool, dry place.
  • Additionally, be mindful of the shelf life: Zero waste makeup often contains natural ingredients, so it’s important to use it before the expiration date passes.

The key is to be aware of the packaging, to store it properly, and to verify the expiration date. So, don’t be afraid to give zero waste makeup a try if these were the things that turned you off before.


A zero-waste makeup routine can do wonders for both your environment and you, and it’s not just a passing trend. When you choose zero waste makeup, you are not only investing in your appearance but also in Mother Nature’s future.

Zero waste makeup reduces the impact on the environment as compared to traditional makeup, thanks to sustainable materials, ethical production methods, and biodegradable packaging. Additionally, it often contains natural ingredients that are gentler on your skin.

When it comes to zero waste makeup, all you need to do is be mindful of the packaging, store it properly, and make sure to check its expiration date.

Is it for everyone? Probably not. But I would say it’s worth at least giving a shot. A lot of things aren’t perfect about eco-friendly makeup, but at the end of the day, not everything is flawless with traditional makeup products too.

There is still a place for traditional makeup. It’s not our goal to knock down anyone who still uses traditional makeup! It’s all about finding a balance that’s right for you and the environment. Zero-waste makeup is a practical way to take the first step towards a more sustainable future.

Sustainable Makeup





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