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Launch Pad: Beauty’s Latest Sustainable Sku’s

Using post-consumer plastic or ethically sourcing ingredients, brands are finding various ways to strive for and achieve sustainability.

Beauty brands have widened their reach for sustainable ways to make, package and sell new products, either turning to unconventional material sources or offsetting negative environmental impacts with green initiatives further along the supply chain, such as carbon-neutral shipping or elimination of non-recyclable shipment packaging. Here, five sustainable beauty product launches.

Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow sustainable refillable
Kjaer Weis’ refillable silver compact also features recyclable refills. Photo courtesy of Kjaer Weis

Hed: Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow Duo
Available at Bluemercury, Beautyhabit, Beautylish, Credo, Detox Market, Integrity, Revolve, Safe & Chic and Prices range from $32 to $56.

Part of her Nude, Naturally collection, Weis’ Flush & Glow Duo features four combinations of her blushes either with bronzers or with highlighters in the brand’s trademark swiveling cases. “Makeup is just a space where you go through products really fast, and then you throw it out. So it was to find a way to be more conscious in my approach and kind of do my part in not creating an unnecessary amount of plastic,” said founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis, who attributes her fondness for recycling to her upbringing on a farm in Denmark. The company estimates the blushes will generate sales of more than $1 million in their first year. Refills cost $32.

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In May, Weis will begin offering a less expensive way to buy into the brand with recyclable versions of existing products, called Red Editions. 

Gelo hand soap refillable biodegradable
Gelo’s refillable bottles retail for $2.99, while bags of biodegradable refill pods retail for $4.99.

Available at Prices range from $2.99 to $4.99.

When Curan Mehra, chief executive officer and founder of Gelo, decided last year that he was going to revamp how consumers interact with hand soap, he had no idea a global pandemic would bring health and cleanliness to the forefront of consumers’ minds. Gelo’s main goal is taking cumbersome soap bottles out of the equation by using less plastic and offering a refillable soap dispenser with biodegradable refill pods — not unlike dishwasher pods. The soap comes in five different variations, and industry sources estimate the brand will do $10 million in wholesale sales in the first year. “Because you’re not paying for the extra shipping or plastic, what you’re getting is a high-grade hand soap that’s priced at private label levels,” said Sanjiv Mehra, consultant to Gelo who also founded EOS.

Ethique sustainable biodegradable shampoo bar unscented
Ethique’s unscented Bar Minimum Shampoo Bar features minimal ingredients to quell irritation. The formula is biodegradable and the packaging is compostable. Photo courtesy of Ethique

Ethique Bar Minimum Unscented Shampoo Bar
Available on Amazon and, $15.

Brianne West, founder of zero-waste beauty brand Ethique, set out to answer clients’ queries for an unscented, color-free addition to Ethique’s Bar Minimum line, and said starting with as few ingredients as possible was the key. “A lot of people find natural products more allergenic,” West said, citing lack of regulation for natural ingredients. “I don’t want to say boring, but we wanted to make [Bar Minimum] as minimal, simple and gentle as possible.” The ingredients of the shampoo itself are biodegradable, and the box it comes in is compostable, taking about six months to break down in an average at-home compost. 

TrèStique sustainable water bottle le pak makeup bag
TrèStique’s latest makeup bag offering comes in a variety of colorways, all with an outer shell made of a recycled water bottle. Photo courtesy of TrèStique

TrèStique Sustainable Deluxe Le Pak Bag
Available at, $25.

TrèStique founder Jenn Kapahi examined her operation and suppliers and saw a lot of opportunity for taking an eco-friendly approach to product packaging. Enter TrèStique’s Sustainable Deluxe Le Pak bag from their Clean Ocean collection, out in June. Each bag’s outer shell is constructed from a single plastic water bottle, meant to limit the amount of personal-care plastics going into the oceans. The bag’s timeliness partially lies in the products it’s designed to carry, which have a crayon-like format that helps limit face touching. “It’s an easy, touchless routine that allows you to do your makeup without using your hands,” Kapahi said.

Biossance reef safe mineral sunscreen
Biossance’s latest sunscreen offering is nontoxic, mineral and even deemed reef-safe. Photo courtesy of Biossance

Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen
Available at Sephora and, $30.

Biossance’s latest launch, an Environmental Working Group-verified mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide, is not only sheer, but deemed reef safe. “We saw a need for a truly clean mineral sunscreen that performed like an extension of your favorite clean skin care products,” said president Catherine Gore. “People shouldn’t have to worry about ingredients being toxic to the environment. We all can do better.” Biossance has a slew of overarching sustainability pledges, including reaching zero-waste by 2025, offsetting their product shipments’ carbon footprints, using both recycled and recyclable packaging, and deriving squalane, a moisturizer used across the line, from bioengineered sugarcane, as opposed to shark livers. 

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