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Waterless Skincare

May 12, 2022

Waterless Skincare

Episode Title:Waterless Skincare


Episode Description:

On today's episode of the Korean Beauty Show podcast, Lauren discusses the trend of waterless skincare and its Korean origins. She covers some of the many benefits of waterless beauty products, plus takes a look at some angles that are a little bit trickier to quantify in terms of sustainability. Finally, she discusses some must-try waterless Korean beauty products. 




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Episode Summary:


What Does Waterless Skincare Come From?

  • The idea for waterless skincare comes from Korea but has taken on a new meaning in the western world In the west. There, it is being driven by the climate crisis, ethical concerns and a concern about the over-reliance on palm oil. 

Waterless Skincare



What is Waterless Skincare?

  • Waterless skincare – or anhydrous skincare - means beauty products that are made without water. 

  • Water has been used for formulating beauty products for a very long time and for good reason. Water helps with application, is good for hydrating the skin, gives great texture to products and assists in dissolving water-soluble actives (like vitamin C) so they work better on your skin

  • Waterless products can come in many different shapes and sizes -  as bars, powders, sheets and sticks, things you can take camping etc 

  • These products either eliminate the need for water altogether or allow you to add the necessary amount of water to use the product at home.


What's the appeal of waterless skincare?


  • In 2020, almost 12% of global personal care launches were waterless. But this is expected to grow by 13.3% by 2031. 
  • Brands tout many benefits to waterless products, including;
    • Firstly, reducing their ‘water footprint’
    • Secondly, smaller packaging made of significantly fewer materials
    • A reduction in shipping weight and space, which reduces the overall carbon footprint
    • Removing water means ingredients are more concentrated and need fewer preservatives. Consumers pay for active ingredients.
    • Waterless products tend to last longer
    • There are fewer concerns about mould
    • Finally, you can get away with using less product  



The Other Side of Waterless Skincare 

  • Just because a product is waterless, it doesn’t mean its production methods are. That is because water is still required to run machinery, and in order to grow the plants in the products
  • Waterless products tend to be more expensive, because water is cheaper to formulate with 
  • Things can get a little hard where brands use flowers waters, hydrosols, aloe vera juices or extracts because these ingredients can use water to create them. 
  • Finally, there is no legal standard or definition as to what constitute waterless skincare 




Waterless K-Beauty Products To Try:


Korean beauty has been pioneering waterless skincare products for years. Some to try include:


  1. Firstly, Subi Brightening Powder Cleanser
  2. Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash 
  3. ISNTree Rosehip Watery Beauty Oil
  4. Hanyul Yuja Face Oil
  5. Subi Bare Skin Balm
  6. Mary & May Niacinamide + Chaenomeles Sinensis Serum
  7. Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence
  8. Finally, Subi Perfect Pimple Patch 


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"In 2020, almost 12% of global beauty launches were waterless. But this is expected to grow by 13.3% by 2031."

- Future Market Insights

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