We are coming to a world when water could become a luxury, so brands are squeezing it out of their products so we can have a better and green future. So today we bring waterless products. Last year Mintel’s key beauty trends for 2025 included water as “the new luxury,” suggesting brands need to limit dependence on it. “Being able to manufacture without water is going to become an increasing concern,” Anna-Marie Solowij, co-founder of BeautyMart, tells JWT Intelligence.
So here some brands and products that committed reduce the water in their products.
L’Oréal has committed to reducing 60% of water consumption per finished product by 2020, compared to the amounts it used in 2005 and is already making efforts to reduce water consumption in its plants.
Unilever has launched a water-smart initiative which aims to develop products across its brands that reduces its water footprint. The brand’s new Love Beauty and Planet collection, launched this year in the United States, incorporates “fast-rinse technology” in hair conditioners so less water will be used.
Linda Treska aimed to create a brand with a meaningful purpose when she founded Pinch of Colour. Born and raised in Albania, Treska has experienced first-hand the difficulty of living with water scarcity and contamination. “One-third of the world, if not more, is touched by this problem,”. “ Pinch of Colour it’s the first waterless beauty brand in the market. We don’t have a competitor yet, but I do see more and more people aware.”
“By removing water we don’t have to use any preservatives,” explains Treska. “We are paraben free and preservative free, which is a big issue people have been talking about, as parabens are connected to a lot of sicknesses and problems.” The resulting product? “Better ingredients at a functional level and more hydrating,” says Treska.
Milk Makeup launched its Watermelon Brightening Serum in a stick format in spring 2018, following its other solid formulas, which include Matcha Toner and Hydrating Oil sticks. In April of this year, Supergoop released its SPF 50 Glow Stick Sunscreen, which brightens skin. In June, Lush launched Slap Stick, a solid foundation available in 40 shades. “The whole stick phenomenon isn’t just a phenomenon,” says Solowij, “it’s something that has a very practical use.”
Korean beauty brands have been experimenting with waterless skincare and cosmetics for some years. Whamisa’s collection of natural, waterless and fermented products includes toners, mists, and lotions, while Frudia’s waterless products are made from organic fruit-derived extracts and the range covers moisturizers, serums, and sheet masks.
The solid beauty wave was first reported in our “Future 100: 2016” edition and has since turned into part of a larger environmental concern.