Best Beauty Products with Eco-Friendly Packaging

Robert Hundley

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By now you probably know ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ by heart. But here at theSkimm, when it comes to shopping for our beauty cabinets we’re also team ‘find refillable products, cut down on single-use plastics, and source items with compostable packaging.’ (Yeah, we know…not quite as catchy, but still important.) So in honor of Earth Day (and really, every day) we rounded up the products you can add to your self-care routine that’ll make Mother Earth a little bit happier. We’ve got everything from reusable face masks to new, eco-friendly ways you can think about shampoo and conditioner. Go green.

Refillable hand sanitizer…

Because it’s our most-used product these days, and finding an eco-friendly version was important to us. With this set you’ll get a lil’ clip-on holder and a bag with refillable sanitizer for when you run out. The formula has hyaluronic acid in it, which makes it ultra hydrating and non-drying. Run, don’t walk, people. ($15.99, Olika)

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Reusable makeup remover pads to take off your eyeliner at night…

This pack of bamboo cotton rounds to the rescue. Say goodbye to single-use wipes and hello to these. They’re ultra gentle so your skin won’t be irritated. And they’ve got a multilayer design, which makes ’em soft and absorbent. After use, throw them in the laundry bag it comes with and toss it in your machine for a quick clean. Presto, they’re as good as new again and you can start the whole process all over. ($12.99/20 pack, Amazon)

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A refillable lotion set from one of our go-to eco-friendly brands…

If you haven’t joined the Public Goods train, all aboard. With this set you’ll get a travel-sized bottle, a regular bottle with a pump for your home, and a giant refill pack (we’re talking 34 ounces) to use once those run out. The lotion’s lightly scented with eucalyptus, mint, and citrus essential oils, and is formulated to renew and hydrate your skin. So you’ll feel good while you do good. We love that for you. ($16.95/set, Public Goods)

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A reusable sheet mask…

If you’re doing face masks multiple times a week, it’s probably time to invest in one you can use over and over again. With this silicone option just apply your fave moisturizer or serum, put on the mask, and let it lock in all those good ingredients. Once you’re done masking, rinse it, dry it, and store it in its bag for later. Voilá, glowy skin sans all the single-use waste. ($14.99, The Honest Company)

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Mini magnetic containers so you don’t need to buy plastic bottles every time you travel…

Plus, you’ll save yourself the last-minute trip to Tarjay to stock up on carry-on-approved vessels. Cadence’s refillable containers are designed for liquids, pills, and other smaller, random pieces (think: jewelry). They’re magnetic so they stick together and can be labeled so you know exactly what’s what. Choose your color, and off you go. ($74/6 pack, Cadence)

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Refillable, broad spectrum SPF 30 that doubles as a moisturizer…

Only the best, courtesy Fenty Skin. It’s hydrating (thanks to the hyaluronic acid), oil-free, makeup-friendly, and refillable once you run out. The pink cream will go on invisible and shouldn’t leave behind any pilling or chalky stains. Bonus points: The niacinamide in it is designed to help brighten skin and reduce the look of pores and dark spots too. Plus, the outer box is recyclable. Thanks, RiRi. ($34+, Sephora)

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Fragrance-free, plant-based refillable deodorant…

This 100{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720} plastic-free, baking soda–free, aluminum-free, vegan deodorant is a winner. You’ll stay fresh and dry sans all the plastic packaging. With this bundle, you’ll get two refills and a case to use ’em. (If you prefer scented options, they’ve got some to choose from too.) ($32, Bite)

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A hand soap refill kit that comes with mess-free tablets…

Blueland offers a simple way to wash your hands — minus the revolving door of single-use plastic products. Just add one of their tablets to the reusable bottle, fill it with water, and get washing. In this kit, you’ll get the glass bottle and three refill tablets in iris agave, lemon, and lavender eucalyptus scents. When you run out of tabs, it’s easy and affordable to get more. ($16, Blueland)

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Psst…here are more of our fave eco-friendly cleaning products to stock up on.

A shampoo and conditioner bar pack so you can stop buying chunky plastic bottles…

One full-size bar = about two to three 8.4 ounces of shampoo or conditioner. These reportedly produce 90{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720} less carbon emissions than traditional bottles and are plastic-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free. The avocado oil, chamomile oil, cocoa butter, and green tea extract in it help soothe, nourish, and strengthen your hair too. This pack’s best for anyone with oily or fine hair so if you’re someone with coily and kinky hair, scoop up this; and if you’re someone with dry, damaged, and frizzy hair, this one will be best for ya. ($36/set, Superzero)

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A sustainable makeup-swab option to cut down on waste…

If you can’t live without ’em (hey, we get it), scoop up this cotton alternative. It has a pointed tip, which makes makeup touch-ups super easy. And can be cleaned by hand with soap and water. Once you’ve finished, just pop it into its lil’ case that comes in a bunch of fun colors — it’s great for travel too. You can reuse it up to 1,000 times so it’ll really last you. ($12, LastObject)

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Organic bamboo liners for when it’s that time of the month…

These ultra-thin, comfy liners are made with soft bamboo. The liners are fragrance-, chemical-, and chlorine-free and are best for days with light flow. Once you’re done you can recycle the outer packaging and compost the wrappers. We’ll take 20 packs, please. ($6.49/24 pack, Hive)

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Psst…check out our roundup of our favorite period underwear and products that’ll make your period more tolerable. Phew.

A 100{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720} plastic-free bar soap…

Bar soap: Remember her? This all-natural moisturizing soap gets rid of germs and has glycerin, organic coconut, and olive oils in it that’ll give you that soft, silky feel. This one’s hand poured and free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, and artificial colors and dyes. The best part? It comes in a paper box made from recycled paper. ($5.95, Grove Collaborative)

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A sustainable way to brush your teeth…

Introducing: toothpaste tablets. Made with ingredients like peppermint oil and aloe vera extract, all you’ll have to do is pop it in your mouth, chew it up, run your toothbrush under water, and start brushing. It’s a solid plastic-free option and a great way to invest in Mother Earth. All the packaging is biodegradable or recyclable. Plus, the toothpaste can naturally whiten your teeth, freshen your breath, and remineralize your enamel. Win. ($12/62 tablets, Huppy)

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Psst…we chatted with some dentists for their tips and tricks on how to get the pearliest whites and improve your overall dental health. Plus, we got alllll their recs for the best products.

A moisturizing body stone that’ll change the way you think about self-care…

This one from Kate McLeod is literal magic. Think of it as a replacement for body lotions and creams (aka goodbye, stickiness and oily remnants) and wasteful bottles and packaging. This waterless stone softens when it comes into contact with warm, dry skin. After using it, you’ll feel glowy, soft, and oh-so supple. It’s perfect for anyone who dreads putting on lotion or cream at the end of the day. ($14+, Kate McLeod)

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Reusable eye patches that can last a year…

If you abide by the eye-patch-a-day rule, then you should scoop up this sustainable option. These reusable ones hold gels, serums, and creams close to your skin so you can absorb it right up. They make a great gift for bachelorette trips, your BFF’s birthday, or any $25-and-under shindig you’ve got to bring something too. ($25, Dieux)

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Powder cleanser that’s activated by water…

Wash away grime, debris, and impurities each AM and PM with this gentle cleanser. It has natural exfoliants but is still gentle enough to use daily. Powder cleansers are great because you can travel with them (hi, no need for mini plastic versions of your fave items) and this one comes in a recycled paper carton too. ($21.99, The Honest Company)

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Psst…want all the tea on the best cleansers and face washes to use? We spoke to a derm and have allllll the answers and product recs.

Sustainable toilet paper…

It’s 100{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720} bamboo and tree-free, thank you very much. This TP is strong but soft to the touch — no sandpaper vibes here. Plus, like so many other items on this list, the packaging is 100{5c5ba01e4f28b4dd64874166358f62106ea5bcda869a94e59d702fa1c9707720} plastic-free…even down to the tape. You can opt for the subscription or scoop up a one-off pack. The choice is yours. ($43.99/24 pack, Reel)

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Skimm’d by Lindsay Schneider, Emmy Favilla

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