Anhydrous Products: Water-free Personal Care

A casual (or serious if you are a skincare fanatic) look at the ingredients of most self-care products will establish how broadly these products use water. Interestingly, though, water can not only be avoided, but waterless products actually offer a range of benefits – part of why it’s all the rage in the beauty industry today.

Cosmetic manufacturers use very large quantities of water, around 70% to 80% of the total weight. Not only does it waste water, but it also results in several other issues, including the need for preservatives and large packaging.

Cosmetic industries have been getting away with it due to consumers’ lack of awareness about water scarcity and sustainability, but as more and more people are becoming eco-conscious, things are changing now.

Why is water used in personal care in the first place?

Water forms a large bulk of most self-care products due to several reasons. First of all, water is a universal solvent which means that it allows ingredients to seamlessly dissolve. It also increases hydration, helps with application, and gives a good texture. Moreover, water helps give a sense of ‘oh-so-desired’ plumpness and freshness to the skin too. It is also inexpensive.

What are waterless products?

Anhydrous, waterless, or water-free products refer to cosmetics, skincare, and other self-care products that are created without the use of water.


The initiative, or trend, started in South Korea and involved the use of butter or oils as active ingredients. Some water-less products come in dry or powder form, which activates when they come in contact with water.

Why go waterless?

The awareness of water scarcity has forced some brands to develop water-free products. The initiative does not only result in conserving water but has other eco-friendly and practical benefits too.

You will end up saving water: A soon-to-be luxury!

The current consumption rates might result in making water a luxury in the future. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), two-thirds of the world population might be at risk of water consumption by 2025. In a future where water will have the status of a protected resource, cutting down water usage in formulation and processing will result in conserving large quantities of water.

Elimination of potentially harmful preservatives

As water is contaminable, preservatives are used in products with water to ensure that the product is properly conserved. These chemicals are known for causing skin irritation, dryness, or allergies. Water-free product is the simplest solution to protect yourself from these preservatives as such products use more eco-friendly, plant-based, and natural alternatives. Water removal also results in a longer shelf-life.

If you want to avoid preservatives or chemicals, check out our range of products or create your own formulations. At “Made by Nature Labs”, we create 100% natural and organic products free from artificial preservatives and harmful chemicals. You also get the freedom of designing a custom formulation and create tailormade products by either using our base formulations or from scratch.

Richer, potent products

Since water usually forms about 60% to 70% of the weight of most products, the ingredients might be less potent. South Korean brands started working on water-free beauty to make them more potent and effective. In most waterless products, water is replaced with plant-based extracts, oils, and butter. These have many benefits as they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Waterless products are sustainable and eco-friendly

The absence of water results in smaller packaging, amounting to lesser or zero waste. These products are concentrated, which means more products in less weight. A shampoo bar, for example, is equivalent to 3 shampoo bottles and a powder conditioner lasts you as much as three bottled ones. Lesser weight means lesser shipping costs and a reduced carbon footprint.

Practical and travel-friendly

It is easier to carry a cleansing powder and dry toothpaste, as you can choose these products to be travel-size by taking the only amount which is needed, instead of having to carry large bottles and tubes. As these products are smaller and lighter, they end up being practical and travel-friendly.

Final Word

There are several benefits of removing water from cosmetics. Public awareness of water scarcity and climate change are pushing cosmetic manufacturers to develop a more water-responsible and environmentally-friendly approach. As more and more brands are showing interest in the initiative. We expect to see a rise in water-free beauty and self-care.

If you’re convinced, “Made by Natural Labs” has a wide range of water-free personal care products for you to try. You could start with a powdered shampoo or perhaps a solid conditioner. After all, what do you have to lose?