How to go zero waste with your skincare

You've got your reusable coffee cup, use a tote bag for your grocery shopping and ditched plastic bags a long time ago. But what about your skincare? Finding a more sustainable way to enjoy skincare that not only supports the health of your skin but cares for our planet can be challenging, but has become increasingly important. Not least because over the last 10 years, more plastic has been produced than during the whole of the last century, according to Plastic Oceans. Here we share some of our top tips for helping to reverse this trend and enjoy zero waste skincare.

1. Set your intention

Before you buy any new skincare, set your intention. What's most important to you: Buying skincare that is ethical? Transparent? Supports your skin health and overall wellbeing? Free yourself from excess products that don't align with your values. This is one of the quickest ways to avoid cluttering your bathroom with products you won't use and is one of the best ways to zero waste skincare.

2. Choose mindfully

We have a very curated collection of skincare at BY SARAH - and that's no accident. When I was recovering from leukaemia, Sarah started making organic, plant based skincare to soothe and nourish my dry, sensitive skin. I found that using fewer products, and only choosing those that really cared for my skin, empowered me with a new understanding and connection with my skin. Doing less with your skincare can actually be beneficial, for example, by not disrupting the skin barrier through frequent washing, exfoliating, peels, serums, creams and other products. When was the last time you really looked at your skin?

Take the time to get to know your skin and see how that inspires a more mindful, zero waste approach to skincare. 

by sarah london organic facial oil

3. Read the ingredient list

Once you've set your mindful intention, the next step is to carefully read the ingredient list. To ensure zero waste, every ingredient should support the health of your skin, such as collagen-boosting organic pumpkin seed oil and antioxidant-rich organic matcha green tea. Steer clear of petro-industrial chemicals that often bulk out a product and are derived from the world's most polluting industries, rather than support your skin's health.

4. Simplify your skincare routine

A great way to enjoy zero waste skincare is to simplify your morning and evening skincare routine, like this:

  • In the morning, splash your face with some lukewarm water, pat dry and then apply a few drops of the Organic Facial Oil to slightly damp skin. Massage into the skin and pat and press to aid absorption into the deeper layers of the skin. There's no need to cleanse your skin in the morning.
  • In the evening, remove your make-up, daily impurities and dead skin cells with the Green Clay Cleansing Balm, removing with the damp Organic Muslin Facial Cloth. Apply some cold water to the skin to close the pores, and then finish with a few drops of the Organic Facial Oil.
  • The Cleansing Balm and Organic Facial Oil are the two daily products that will care for your skin and support your zero waste skincare routine.

by sarah london green clay cleansing balm

5. Look for natural packaging

If a product has come from nature, it can return to nature. Look for glass jars and bottles which return to their constituent material, mainly silica sand, when they're recycled. It's why we only use amber glass bottles (which protect the integrity of the organic, plant based oils inside) and clear glass jars. And if you're shopping online, support brands that use cardboard postal boxes and paper wrapping to deliver customer orders as they are fully recyclable. We're committed to reducing our carbon footprint through these natural packaging solutions.

6. Choose sustainable ingredients

Choose skincare which uses organic plant based ingredients and look for special zero waste ingredients, such as moringa: known as the "miracle tree", all parts of the plant are used from the roots to the flowers meaning that nothing goes to waste. Moringa has excellent skincare benefits from cleansing the skin to its anti-aging properties. It is exceptionally high in antioxidants and contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E that promote collagen production, help to rejuvenate skin cells and improve the skin's texture for a smoother, healthier complexion which is why you'll find it in our Green Clay Face Mask.

by sarah london zero waste

7. Give long life to your products

When using skincare in glass jars and bottles, like our Organic Body Oil, you can give long life to the skincare vessels once the contents have been enjoyed. Let your creative flair shine as you upcycle the bottle as a single stem vase or turn the Green Clay Cleansing Balm glass jar into a new home for kitchen condiments.

8. Say no to single use plastic

According to Plastic Oceans, more than 8 million tons of discarded plastic ends up in our oceans every year. Many conventional, mainstream skincare travel sets or gift boxes come in single use plastic boxes or pouches. It's time to seek out more sustainable options and look for container-free products like our full natural and organic skincare collection which don't have outer cartons. Or look for gift boxes or pouches made from natural and fully recyclable materials. Stay tuned for our latest packaging innovation, launching this festive season!

Are there any other ways you've been enjoying zero waste skincare? We'd love to hear from you at

Written by: Lauren, Co-Founder, BY SARAH
BY SARAH LONDON - Blog - Lauren
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