How to Build a Waterless Skincare Routine

Close-up of Badger customer Reena standing outside in the snow.

Switching to waterless skincare could be the best thing for your winter skinand the planet.

Have you ever checked the ingredients list of your favorite cleanser, moisturizer, or shampoo? Chances are, the very first ingredient is Aqua… water. Turns out there’s a whole lot of water hiding in our skincare products!

Enter: waterless beauty. Also called “water-free” or “anhydrous,” waterless beauty is a new effort by skincare companies to formulate products without including any water at all. There are tons of benefits—from water conservation to a more concentrated, skin-nourishing product. And for us here at Badger, waterless skincare is more than just a trend.

We’ve always avoided water in most of our products, instead using powerfully pure ingredients like beeswax, plant oils, and botanical extracts. While it’s more expensive to make a product entirely out of organic ingredients, it’s better for the planet—and better for your skin. 

Rose Beauty Balm surrounded by beeswax and rose petals.

Less water, more hydration.

Strangely enough, the less water a product contains, the more hydrating it actually is! Here are some of the pros to going waterless.

  • Fewer preservatives – Adding water to a product allows for more bacterial growth, meaning it also needs more preservatives. Removing water results in a cleaner, simpler product. 
  • Less packaging – A more concentrated product means you use a little less… and you purchase fewer individual bottles over time. Hooray for less packaging waste!  
  • More hydration – Water-based products can dry the skin, washing away the protective skin barrier. As the water evaporates, it takes your skin’s natural oils with it. Plant-based oils help to lock in moisture for powerful, long-lasting hydration.
  • And more of the good stuff – When water is added to a product, the active ingredients are diluted. Without water, more oils and botanicals are used, meaning more natural goodness for your skin.

Ready to try going waterless? Follow this step-by-step guide to make small swaps in your bathroom cabinet, one product at a time.

How to go waterless in your skincare routine
Damascus Rose Cleansing Oil

1. Switch to an oil cleanser.

Choose an oil-based cleanser formulated to hydrate the skin while lifting away dirt and makeup. While we recommend removing the oil with a warm, damp washcloth, you can also use a clean, dry washcloth to save even more water!

Try: Damascus Rose Cleansing Oil

2. Choose solids.

When it comes to soap and shampoo, opt for bars, not bottles. Not only are they package-free, but they’re usually (you guessed it) waterless!

Try: Shampoo Bar (great for both hair and body!)

3. Switch your cream moisturizer to a face oil or balm.

Especially in the winter, our skin needs extra moisture and protection against the harsh winds, cold air, and indoor heat. Just a pump or two of a concentrated face oil will give your skin all the hydration it needs… no water required!

Pro tip—for a lighter moisturizer in the summer, try mixing Badger’s pure Aloe Vera Gel with a few drops of any Face Oil.

Try: Rose Face Oil

4. Use a body oil instead of a conventional lotion.

There’s something so timeless and luxurious about rubbing oil into your skin. I apply Rose Body Oil after a shower, and my winter skin has never been happier!

Try: Rose Body Oil

What are your thoughts on the waterless beauty movement? Is it something you’re planning to try? Let us know in the comments!

Check out Badger’s Organic Face Care Products.


Ivy Pepin is a newly minted Badger who joined the team in 2020. As the Digital Content Coordinator, she tells stories across social media and the blog—and she's thrilled to be surrounded by so many wonderful stories to tell! When she's not at her Badger desk, you can find her getting lost on a hiking trail, at a flea market, or in a good book. Ivy's favorite Badger products: Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands, Sleep Balm, and Yoga & Meditation Aromatherapy Balm.

7 comments on “How to Build a Waterless Skincare Routine

  • Jennifer Coffin says:

    Do you believe or have evidence that the Face Care Set – Argan will help with stubborn whiteheads? I have used specific skincare products for 20+ years and in the past two years have started experiencing changes with my skin including stubborn whiteheads.

    • That’s a great question! Our face care products have not been clinically tested with regards to this concern and we recommend connecting with a dermatologist or other professional to help guide your skin care choices. That said, Badger face care products are formulated with the belief that balance is key. Oil cleansing is a gentle method to dissolve facial oil congested with bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt and buildup, and replace it with fresh, clean, vibrant plant oils – without stripping or overdrying the skin. A balancing and beneficial cleansing oil can help restore your skin’s natural health and beauty.

  • Jennifer Coffin says:

    These bottles are so little I am curious how many uses I should anticipate from 1 bottle of face oil and 1 bottle of cleanser oil?

    • Thanks for asking. We discontinued this item 2 years ago. Although it was well-loved by those who discovered it, it was not widely known which made it difficult operationally to continue to produce. That said, we did just make the recipe available for at-home production, if you’d like to make it for yourself. Check out our Instagram post from last week (2/25/21: Here’s a copy of the recipe if you don’t have access: We’re so excited to release the DIY recipe for (drumroll, please…) Seabuckthorn Beauty Balm!! ⁠⁠
      It’s a sad day when we have to discontinue products… But it’s a happy day when you can make them at home! If you’ve been missing this nourishing balm, here’s how to make it in your own kitchen. ⁠⁠
      Supplies: ⁠⁠
      -Clean 4 oz jar with tight-fitting lid ⁠⁠
      -Heat-resistant mixing bowl or measuring cup ⁠⁠
      -Medium saucepan ⁠⁠
      -Teaspoon and tablespoon ⁠⁠
      Directions: ⁠⁠
      -Add the base ingredients (first image) to your saucepan.⁠⁠
      -Heat to 140-150 degrees F (medium heat) until the mixture is clear. ⁠⁠
      -Add the essential oils (second image) and stir well. Immediately pour into your jar. ⁠⁠
      -Let cool and enjoy your nourishing, moisturizing, made-by-you face balm!! ⁠⁠
      Clean out the pan while it’s still warm (not hot). Wash all dishes with water and detergent. Avoid dumping a large amount of wax/oil down the sink to avoid clogging!⁠⁠
      For ingredients, we recommend checking out our friends at @mountainroseherbs ⁠⁠

  • I just bought your product on I herb abs what fantastic product balm rub it is..can wait to get more ‍♂️I love your sense of Saving the planet and organic products


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