The emergence of waterless beauty brands

According to Unicef, four billion people – or two-thirds of the world’s population – experience water scarcity at least one month each year, and the World Health Organization estimates that over half of the world’s population may face water stress by 2025. Though corporations like P&G have vowed to reduce water use, we’ve seen an uptick in emerging brands who are making waterless products central to their mission. In fact, waterless products now account for 23% of the personal care market in the U.S., and waterless cosmetics sales are predicted to grow by 13.3% by 2031. Ahead, three innovative brands who are making it easy to go water-free.

Image of one hand squeezing lotion into another with the Evolvetogether logo


Evolvetogether is a sustainable lifestyle brand that became best known for their face masks during the height of the pandemic, but they also have a whole lineup of innovative waterless personal care products. Their Coconut Powder Face Wash, for instance, looks like ordinary baby powder in your palm but turns into a powerful face wash when you add a splash of water. The powder-to-foam product, formulated with a mix of coconut shells, tapioca starch, hydrogenated castor oil, and magnesium carbonate, is truly zero-waste face cleanser – they come in small, travel-ready pouches that are entirely dissolvable.

Image of a green tiled shower drain with the water running over the packaging of Plus No-Water body wash sheets


Created by the founders of Starface, the popular zit sticker brand that’s been spotted on everyone from Justin Bieber to Florence Pugh, Plus Body Wash – named by Time as one of the best inventions of 2022 – is a no-bottle just-add-water formula with 100% dissolvable packaging. Unlike Evolvetogether’s soap, Plus’s formula comes in the form of dehydrated sheets, which use 38 percent less water in manufacturing than bottles. Additionally, the packages produce 80 percent less CO2 emissions during shipping because the wood pulp is sourced from responsibly managed FSC forests.

Image of three packages of Kao's Merit Day+ waterless shampoo sheets


Even more revolutionary is the waterless shampoo sheet developed by Kao, a Japanese personal care company. Unlike Plus, Kao’s product, a non-woven fabric infused with cleansing ingredients, does not need to be used with water. Dubbed the 3D Space Shampoo Sheet, the product – along with Kao’s 3D Space Laundry Sheet – was selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to be used onboard the International Space Station, but it’s available in outer space and on the ground. Consumers in Asia can now find the product on shelves in drugstores.