Waterless Beauty or solid, water-free and water-optimised cosmetics

  • June 9, 2021
  • 5 minutes of read time

Waterless Beauty or solid, water-free and water-optimised cosmetics

Water has become a global issue as consumption for domestic use has increased by +600% in 50 years due to population growth1. By 2020, 25% of humanity will suffer from water shortages, rising to 40% by 20502.

Germany is actually a country rich in water, but due to the dry summers of recent years, the situation is getting worse here as well. It is true that due to increasing environmental awareness and modern technology, the average water consumption of every German has fallen by about one sixth since 1990. Nevertheless, we use more than a third of the water in our homes for showering and personal hygiene3.

Therefore, the cosmetics industry also has a responsibility and must find more sustainable solutions to preserve this vital resource.

The advantages of water-free, solid cosmetics

Water is the main ingredient in most cosmetic products. Therefore, water-free solid cosmetics offer an opportunity to reduce water consumption.

Water-free cosmetics have even more advantages besides the economical use of this vital resource. Mostly, no or very few preservatives are needed and therefore these products are also suitable for sensitive skin. In addition, these formats usually use less packaging and less plastic and generate less waste (zero waste trend). In addition, for many equivalent or even higher uses, water-free products have competitive advantages over conventional products: smaller and lighter, less energy-intensive to transport, more concentrated and often more economical.

Even if the market is still confusing, it responds to several current concerns such as 1. minimalism with simple formulations or 2. nomadism because these products, which are often compact, can accompany us on all our travels and 3. of course, environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Sustainable solid shampoo (EU07661)

This solid shampoo meets these new demands. The combination of three surfactants based on amino acids or sugars allows for a sulphate-free solid shampoo with a creamy and stable foam. Formulated without silicones, it offers a high content of natural ingredients (86.7%) and is easily biodegradable (97%). The integration of our plant-based EMOGREEN™ alkanes as an alternative to volatile silicone oils, allows it to add shine without weighing hair down. Our multifunctional active ingredient AQUAXYL™ (INCI: Xylitylglucoside - Anhydroxylitol - Xylitol), based on a sugar complex, moisturises the hair fibre while improving the smoothness and volume of the foam.

Let your imagination run wild

In terms of formulation, it is technically feasible to derive all our daily products into water-free cosmetics. These formulations are very innovative as they experiment with new textures and forms of application: Cleansing powder, washing clay, chewable toothpaste, DIY powder mask ... The possibilities for new formulations for new beauty routines are endless!

However, the challenge is to convince consumers and change their habits by offering such high-performance, sensory and visually attractive products. Add to this the formulation challenge of these products and the industrial know-how.

Sticks were originally developed for the make-up sector, but have since conquered other areas such as skin care or sun care. Hygienic application has also recently come into focus due to the Corona crisis, and sticks allow direct, clean application by avoiding contact with the hands.

Cica Stick (US20105)

Small, nomadic and practical, the day care becomes a stick to moisturise and nourish the skin on a daily basis. A blend of sensory emulsifiers like MONTANOV™ 202, biodegradable emollients like EMOGREEN™ and waxes give this formulation velvetness and comfort. Teca (INCI: Asiaticoside - Madecassic Acid - Asiatic Acid) is a cica active ingredient that restores the integrity of the skin. The stick is also enriched with Ceramosides HP (INCI: Glycosphingolipids & glycolipids), an original combination of ceramides and natural omega fatty acids, which helps the skin retain its moisture and elasticity.

Comfort Cream Stick (EU07664)

This comfort cream stick is another example of a stick suitable for travelling: small, easy to carry and practical - this stick is the essential accessory for skin protection! A long-lasting solid anti-ageing cream based on MONTANOV™ 202 & SENSANOV™ WR  emulsifiers for a creamy texture and velvety touch. Our EMOGREEN™ natural alkanes add even more suppleness and comfort. A day care stick with anti-ageing and moisturising benefits thanks to SEPILIFT™ DPHP  (INCI: Dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline) as well as AQUAXYL™, which completes the moisturising effect. A sustainable care stick, also thanks to a biodegradability of 98%.


Another way to use water more sparingly is to optimise products technically in order to reduce water consumption during use.

Eco-Low Shampoo (EU07603A)

During the development of our Eco-Low Shampoo, we paid special attention to optimising rinsability to limit water consumption by the consumer (in vitro screening test). In addition, attention was paid to other sustainable factors to limit the impact on the environment: Ingredients were selected for their biodegradability profile and thus formulated to be silicone and sulphate free. The biodegradability is 99.7% and thus the release of non-biodegradable ingredients is reduced.

An optimised combination of surfactants makes it possible to obtain a textured gel without thickeners that quickly produces a dense and creamy foam even with an active ingredient content of the washing active substances of only 8.5 %!

What are the obligations for Seppic?

But we as a company are also in demand and so the conservation of water, a vital resource, is one of Seppic's main areas of work. We are currently working to reduce water consumption at our production sites. You can see the first successes in the following graphic:

Reduction de la consommation d'eau (GB)

To save drinking water, our scientists have also explored new water sources. HYDRALIXIR™ is a collection of eco-designed fresh water from the heart of algae cells.

During the industrial drying of algae, the condensation water is collected and is the basis of our algae cell water. This makes the HYDRALIXIR™ range upcycled cosmetic raw materials, combining sustainable sourcing, responsible production and naturalness to meet the expectations of developers as well as eco-consumers around the world.

Finally, we are increasingly developing biodegradable ingredients to limit the impact on marine pollution. We guarantee the safety of our ingredients without compromising on sensory efficacy.

Sources: 1 Aquastat 2015, 2 World Resource Institute 2019, 3 https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/schneller-schlau/trockenheit-und-duerre-wird-im-sommer-das-wasser-knapp-17331399.html