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Water-Free Beauty Products

Just when you've got your head around what green beauty is, another hot beauty term pops up to confuse matters even further. Deciphering what constitutes as organic, natural and eco-friendly beauty is hard enough, which is why some people were left baffled by the rise of water-free (or waterless) beauty. But don't worry, everything you need to know about this trend is right here, so you can figure out if it's one for you to invest in (spoiler: it definitely is).

See our water-free guide to answer your questions like what are water-free beauty products and what are the benefits of water-free beauty.

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43 products found
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone
£7.88
Medik8 C-Tetra Cream
Medik8 C-Tetra Cream
£18.00
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane
£8.50
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
£53.05
-38%
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum
£49.88 £80.00
-31%
Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm
Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm
£9.40 £13.50
The Ordinary High Spreadability Fluid Primer
The Ordinary High Spreadability Fluid Primer
£9.47
-15%
Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules Hydra Plumping Serum
Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules Hydra Plumping Serum
£41.65 £49.00
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% In Squalane
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% In Squalane
£11.33
Evolve Beauty Hyaluronic Serum 200
Evolve Beauty Hyaluronic Serum 200
£32.00
The Ordinary Multi Peptide + HA Serum
The Ordinary Multi Peptide + HA Serum
£18.58
-20%
Weleda Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream
Weleda Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream
£7.80 £9.75
-16%
The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil
£13.09 £15.49
-12%
BeautyPro Retinol Anti-Ageing Facial Sheet Mask
BeautyPro Retinol Anti-Ageing Facial Sheet Mask
£5.28 £6.00
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution
£6.99
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser
£11.86
-40%
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% In Squalane
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% In Squalane
£10.33 £16.99
-19%
The Ordinary Aloe 2% + NAG 2% Solution
The Ordinary Aloe 2% + NAG 2% Solution
£11.21 £13.81
-16%
The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1%
The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1%
£9.85 £11.68
The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% In Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% In Squalane
£7.88
The Ordinary Retinol 1% In Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 1% In Squalane
£8.85
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
£10.35
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
£8.23
The Ordinary The Bright Set
The Ordinary The Bright Set
£38.58
-29%
Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate
Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate
£47.99 £67.00
-5%
The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5%
The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5%
£10.40 £10.90
Lancer Skincare Omega Hydrating Oil
Lancer Skincare Omega Hydrating Oil
£73.70
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask
£18.00
The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution
The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution
£18.54
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
£11.46
The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Hemi Squalane
The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Hemi Squalane
£4.78
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Borage Seed Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Borage Seed Oil
£4.42
The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder
The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder
£6.11
NIOD Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network
NIOD Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network
£38.01
Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Oil
Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Oil
£28.32
Skin Republic Vitamin C 6% + Alpha Arbutin Serum
Skin Republic Vitamin C 6% + Alpha Arbutin Serum
£8.69
The Ordinary Serum Foundation
The Ordinary Serum Foundation
£6.64
-27%
Comfort Zone Sacred Nature Hand & Body Soap
Comfort Zone Sacred Nature Hand & Body Soap
£13.20 £18.00
-24%
Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste
Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste
£1.91 £2.50
-22%
Kérastase Laque Noire Anti-Humidity Fixing Hairspray
Kérastase Laque Noire Anti-Humidity Fixing Hairspray
£26.99 £34.50
-13%
BARBER PRO Brightening Face Mask
BARBER PRO Brightening Face Mask
£4.39 £5.00
Frank Body Creamy Face Scrub
Frank Body Creamy Face Scrub
£15.95
Hylamide High Efficiency Face Cleaner
Hylamide High Efficiency Face Cleaner
£16.00
Water-Free

Frequently Asked Questions about Water-Free products

What are water-free beauty products?

Water-free beauty is a selection of products that contain little to no water within their formulations. You'll probably notice that skin care, fragrance and bath products often list aqua first in their ingredients lists, meaning that it is a heavily used ingredient within the formula. Water-free products aim to reduce the amount of water use, replacing it with more saturated, skin-loving properties such as botanical oils and butters. This swap over of ingredients also helps out the environment. Sure, there may not be loads of water within your shampoo or body spray, but multiply this amount by hundreds of thousands and you can begin to see where the issue develops.

What are the benefits of water-free beauty?

When it comes to water-free beauty there are two main plus points: one is that it benefits the environment and another that it benefits your skin (making it a real win-win trend to get on board with). Conscious consumers will be happy to know that water-free beauty contains more concentrated formulas, meaning you don't need to use as much product. This creates less packaging and of course, water reserves are left pretty much untouched. With water scarcity becoming an ever-growing topic of concern, how we interact with and collect water is something everyone should be conscious about.

Replacing water with natural oils and botanicals means that skin is treated to a more powerful surge of hydration and nourishment that water simply can't provide. The thicker, oilier formulas go the extra mile in restoring and retaining moisture, which is why it is no surprise that this skin care trend is huge out in Korea.

Where did water-free beauty come from?

As with most epic beauty and skin care trends, water-free beauty came from Korea. There, water-free beauty is used more for its skin care benefits than its impact on the environment.

Is water-free beauty more expensive?

Technically speaking, water-free beauty is pricier – or at least it can be. The oils, butters and other botanical properties that are used in place of water cost more to manufacture and collect. But their results are more powerful, which essentially gives you more bang for your buck.

Does the water-free trend apply only to skin care?

Nope! This new way of life is infiltrating all of the varying beauty sectors. From hair products to bath and shower items, water-free beauty is set to be a huge trend, according to market research company Mintel.

Can oily skin types use water-free beauty?

Absolutely! Just because some water-free products include an excess of natural oils and botanicals, it does not necessarily mean that they will cause breakouts or excess sebum. Usually, the oils included are of natural or botanical origin, meaning they will benefit your skin in a multitude of ways.

Hannah Liddle

Written by Hannah Liddle, Beauty Editor

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