Power in Powder: The World of Water-Activated Cosmetics

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Power in Powder: The World of Water-Activated Cosmetics featured image

Amid a growing push by the beauty industry towards clean and sustainable products, more brands are eliminating water from their formulas. These powder-based skin– and hair-care products are concentrated and long-lasting, meaning a little goes a long way towards cleansing and exfoliating.

Products like shampoos contain almost 80% water, and brands are increasingly hearing the call to be water conscious and practice conservation. As a positive side effect, users can now customize their experience with texture and concentration based on how much water is added during activation.

Here are our most exciting Earth-loving picks for powder-to-lather products.

1 / 7

Bawdy Wash Powder Body Cleanser ($30)

This body wash cuts out the 70%-90% water in traditional liquid body washes. This water-activated formula is also safe for the marine life it will encounter once it goes down the drain. It’s made of recycled plastic and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Made with seaweed, glycerin, and kaolin, this formula is perfect for dry or sensitive skin.

2 / 7

Boscia Probiotic Exfoliating Powder Face + Scalp ($38)

Crafted with niacinamide, rice powder and charcoal, this water-activated exfoliator is a gentle exfoliator that keeps skin hydrated. Its recycled plastic packaging is refillable, and Boscia’s use of charcoal and rice powder upcycles what would otherwise end up in a landfill.

This exfoliating powder is safe for all hair and skin types, but is especially beneficial for oily skin and hair, as the salicylic acid reduces excess sebum.

3 / 7

Yodi Beauty Vitamin C Face Powder Cleanser ($21)

This pale pink powder is formulated with vitamin C and hibiscus flowers to deliver a soothing cleanser that brightens skin. Once activated with a few drops of water, this powder transforms into a creamy rich foam.

Its aluminum packaging is recyclable, the label is wood cellulose, and the cap is recyclable.

4 / 7

Loli Pank Pitaya Mask ($38)

An exfoliating cleanser packed with vitamin C, Loli’s Pitaya Mask is formulated for all skin types and aims to soothe inflammation and polish skin. Powered by pitaya, better known as dragonfruit, the mask also treats dullness and acne.

Combined with 2 tsp of water, micellar water, or rose water, this powder transforms into a wet paste you can leave on for 10-15 minutes. Packaged in glass yogurt jars, Loli encourages users to reuse the container.

5 / 7

Sustea Moondust Hair Wash Powder ($29)

This powder-to-lather shampoo is loved for its rich and velvety formula packed with amino acids. Lasting five times as long as typical shampoos, Moondust is effective for any hair type from straight to coily.

The bottle’s plastic is made of ocean-bound recycled plastic, meaning they’re recycled from plastics that were at risk of entering the ocean, rivers, and other waterways through pollution.

6 / 7

100% Pure Lavender Oat Milk Soothing Cleanser ($32)

Formulated with calming botanicals like lavender and rose petal, this powder becomes a gentle, low-foaming cleanser with a few teaspoons of water. Made with sensitive skin in mind, a combination of oat milk, lavender, and chamomile work to hydrate and moisturize the skin while calming inflammation.

Sustainably sourced and cruelty free, 100% pure promises products made only from plants, minerals, and marine vegetation.

7 / 7

Acure Brightening Supergreens Mask ($16)

Rich with antioxidants and vitamin C from kale and the blue-green algae spirulina, these supergreens deliver anti-aging and anti-inflammatory power. This mask becomes a creamy paste when activated, and should be left on for 10 minutes for brighter, more radiant skin.

This powder mask comes packaged in compostable cardboard with an interior lining that is water-soluble for zero waste.

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