Even into college, I suffered from acne. And not just a zit here and there…numerous, painful, inflamed acne. It was caused by hormone imbalance and stress. My poor skincare routine didn’t help, either. When I started my zero waste journey, I assumed I’d have acne-covered skin for the rest of my life. Could zero waste skincare really help my skin? I’m here to tell you it is possible to have the best skin of your life while also being zero waste! I’ve tried many brands and products. Today I’m breaking down one brand’s products. Hopefully this Ethique skincare review will help you on your zero waste and skincare journey.
My family never really taught me best skincare practices. I seriously didn’t know the importance of moisturizer or what a toner was until last year. Now I realize a complete skincare regiment is vital to beautiful skin.
Additionally, I’d like to mention that no one should feel ashamed for zits. They are a natural bodily response. While my skin is much better than previously, I still get the occasional zit. I don’t cover it up and I still walk with confidence because acne is normal. I wish someone had told me I could be confident with acne when I was younger, so I’m telling you now.
Ethique Skincare Review: Meet the Brand
Ethique is on a mission to rid the world of plastic waste, something I instantly admired.
The company has been around since 2012 and was started by a women scientist from New Zealand experimenting in a lab to create plastic free beauty bars. Women in business? Heck yes I support that!
Ethique means ethical in French, and the brand is certainly doing the best they can to live up to that name.
The brand is completely plastic-free, plant-based, cruelty-free, and sustainable. They have certifications from PETA, B Corp, and others to show, too!
Ethique believes in full transparency. They list every single one of their ingredients on their website and describe how they’re used and why those ingredients are safe to use! I’m not a chemist, so I personally can’t verify the safety of these products for people and the planet, but Ethique’s several certifications and partnerships to demonstrate the sustainability of their ingredients give me confidence.
My favorite part? Ethique donates 20% of their annual profits to a range of conservation, animal welfare, and environmental groups! This is an impressive amount for any business to donate, let alone a small business. I applaud this financial giving and hope to emulate this level of giving with Getaway Girl one day!
Packaging & Shipping
I ordered the In Your Face Cleanser bar. Although the pinkish-red oval bar could be shipped package free, it’s not. However, it is shipped in the next best thing–100% compostable packaging. Many travelers do not have access to composting while on the road, though, and it’s difficult to reuse or repurpose the small packaging, making this packaging less-than-ideal for sustainable travelers.
I purchased the In Your Face Cleanser bar through Amazon. Personally, I abstain from Amazon as much as possible due to the company’s unethical treatment of the planet and its workers. I also believe the ease of purchasing leads to overconsumption, which is a far worse polluter than the entire transportation sector.
Undeniably, though, Amazon’s shipping empire makes access to sustainable products easier for people in less-sustainable locations. Plus, Amazon makes it easier for small businesses–such as Ethique–to process and ship products, scale the business, and encourage zero waste swaps.
Although I prefer Ethique to ship independently (or with anyone but Amazon), I can’t knock them for using Amazon.
*Update: I recently discovered that Ethique is available in Target and other stores. Use the store locator on their website to find a store that sells Ethique products near you! Unfortunately, my local Target does not sell Ethique products, but maybe yours does.
In Your Face Cleanser Bar
The small bar fits easily in your hand and in any repurposed containers you might have available to store the bar on-the-go. Personally, I stored mine in a Stasher bag while traveling!
One pack contains four bars for a total of 120g (about 4.23oz) of skincare product. At $17 total, this product is significantly cheaper than the Lush skincare products I had tried. It’s still more expensive than my pre-zero waste face wash Cetaphil Pro. That cost me $9.76 for an 8oz bottle.
There’s also a trial version available. It includes a 15g bar for $5. This is a great option if you’re still experimenting with products!
As with any bar product, these tend to last longer than regular products because the bar is concentrated with the soaps instead of diluted with water. Therefore, the bar is said to last 2-5x longer than non-concentrated products. Assuming the product lasts twice as long as a non-concentrated product, it is still more expensive than my pre-zero waste products, but not by as much.
I chose this bar because Ethique describes this product as leaving your face feeling like it does after a day at the beach. I don’t know about you, but my face always feels amazing–and looks it, too–after a day at the beach! The product contains orange oils and salt, which sound simply superb for skin.
Ethique advertises this bar specifically for oily and normal skincare types, as well as those who suffer from acne. This description includes a wide variety of skin types, so I was suspicious of how effective it’d be for nearly everyone.
You can read the ingredients in this specific product below:
To use the product, wet your face and the bar, then rub the bar in between your hands until there’s a lather. Massage the cleanser on your face, rinse, and pat your face dry.
Personally, I found the In Your Face Cleanser bar crumbled easily. I wasn’t aggressively rubbing it in my hands!
I also felt that the bar didn’t lather well on my hands. It took a lot of rubbing to have a good amount of the soap on my hands to then rub on my face.
Eventually, to avoid both of these issues, I started rubbing the wetted bar directly on my face and then using my fingers to massage the cleanser deeper into my pores.
Does Ethique’s Skincare Products Work?
This is certainly not a comprehensive Ethique skincare review since I had only tried one product for one month. I encourage everyone to experiment with different products to find what works for their specific sustainability needs and skin type!
My experience with the In Your Face Cleanser bar was not noteworthy enough for me to try another one of their skincare products. In fact, my face started breaking out while using the product!
While I appreciate many of the things the business is doing for the sustainability and zero waste movements, I believe this product is not the best product for sustainable travelers with acne.
This hasn’t stopped me from trying other Ethique products though! Many of their products, including the one I reviewed today, have high ratings on their website. People obviously enjoy their products, even if this particular face cleanser wasn’t perfect for me.
I hope this Ethique skincare review gives you a better understanding of the In Your Face Cleanser bar! Beginning a zero waste journey can be expensive, confusing, and overwhelming. These product reviews hopefully make your zero waste journey easier and cheaper so you don’t have to try as many products as I have to find the best zero waste alternatives.
If you have any questions about the In Your Face Cleanser bar, my zero waste product reviews, or zero waste skincare, please ask them in the comments below! I would love to help you on your zero waste journey.