With water becoming a luxury commodity in the coming times, many people are opting for more sustainable options in every aspect.
Saving the remaining water is the least humanity can do after years of exploitation!
But what does this have to do with the skincare industry? Is a complete waterless skincare routine possible?
And is it true that anhydrous products are designed for oily skin only?
Let’s learn something about this concept!
22nd March every year is celebrated as World Water Day.
So it is an appropriate time to bring up this controversial topic of waterless skincare or water-free beauty or anhydrous beauty(anhydrous simply means anything that does not contain water).
This concept of waterless skincare originally started in South Korea, gaining an audience in the west in 2015.
Waterless or water-free beauty can come in a variety of forms, including concentrated oils, powders, cleansing balms, solids, body butters, masks and pressed serums.
It can be incorporated into skincare, haircare, and makeup.
Do you know that the water content in your beauty and skincare products can range between 75% to even 95%!!
This clearly implies that the other ‘active ingredients’ aren’t actually that active. They are very much diluted. Now where there is water, there is a breeding ground for bacteria and to counter that, a lot of preservatives have to be used.
The use of preservatives, again, is harmful to the skin in many ways. Some people might even have an allergic reaction to them.
Let’s head to the next section where we’ll tell why the beauty and skincare industry is hopping on this trend bandwagon!
What is the need for waterless skincare or water-free beauty?
Water is an essential part of our existence. From the human body to the biggest factory out there, everything is based on the availability of water. And didn’t we learn in our Environmental Science class that only 1% of the water available on the surface of Earth is fit for use by humans? With the growing population, the demand for water has also increased. And of course, water pollution.
Secondly, Water is used as a base or filler in many skincare and cosmetic products because it is cheap.
And when water is used, there is a need to add preservatives to them since water is a breeding ground for bacteria. This raises the question of the authenticity of the product.
Because of all these reasons, we have seen a shift towards waterless skincare and water-free beauty.
This also answers the question of whether anhydrous products are designed for oily skin only. No, they are designed for all audiences.
Advantages of waterless skincare products
So it is clear that anhydrous skincare has some benefits over others. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Waterless skincare products are efficient
Since water dilutes the main, active ingredients of the product, it becomes less effective. When the water content is less, the same products offer more quality and are more effective.
Water-based beauty products have no preservatives
As we discussed earlier, water is a breeding ground for bacteria and hence preservatives have to be added to increase the shelf-life of the products. When there is no water in the products, they remain organic and no harmful preservatives are needed!
Easy packaging and shipping
Products like powder cleansers, dry face masks, or solid soaps can be shipped in cardboard boxes and paper pouches.
This will dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by the beauty industry. They make the shipping process easier because they take up less space and weigh less.
Good for the environment
Of course, the need of the hour is to use as little water as possible. We need to conserve every drop of it in today’s day and age.
Though these are quite good arguments, some experts still believe that the beauty industry cannot go totally waterless. Which, we think is quite true. Let us take an overview of the process of manufacturing, say, a solid soap bar.
Farming, harvesting, and extracting of cosmetic ingredients
Agriculture is a wholly water-based industry. Crops use 70% of the world’s water. To manufacture a soap bar, the ingredients are grown and harvested and this process required water. This is despite the fact that none of these ingredients actually contain water.
Shipping the ingredients
Shipping also has a huge water footprint. For example, the airplane or the ship containing the ingredients will use water any which way. Shipping of ingredients of a waterless skincare product is requiring water at all steps!!
Manufacturing the soap bar
The manufacturing process will also require water. Though the actual soap bar might not contain water, the machinery, equipment will require water either to function or for cleaning. Also, this is directly proportional to the size of the lab.
Packaging and shipping the products
The packaging for your solid soap bar will surely have a water footprint. Even if the packaging is made of paper, that paper requires water to manufacture.
Using your soap bar
Your soap bar might not contain any water. But once you use it, you’ll still be using water in your beauty and skincare regime. The cleansing, the toning, and other steps require the use of water.
That is why we used the word ‘controversial’ at the beginning. The waterless skincare products or anhydrous skincare products are not entirely waterless!
The truth is the skincare industry or any industry for that matter cannot do without water. We can just be sustainable in its use.
In order to gain more knowledge about formulating waterless skincare products, you can browse through these courses which we have designed for you: Certificate in Organic Skincare and Certificate in Organic Haircare.
These courses help you learn about the natural ingredients in skincare, help you to formulate your own organic products, and even start your business, everything at your ease!
So it’s time to start learning and formulating!