7 Solid Skincare Bars To Try For A Greener Beauty Routine

A new crop of minimally packaged products are making it easier to embrace sustainability.

(Photo by Erik Putz, prop styling by Tricia Hall, produced by Stephanie Han Kim)

Just nine percent of all plastic gets recycled, which means that nearly all of the jars and bottles that clutter our countertops will eventually end up in the landfill. The good news? A new crop of minimally packaged skincare products are making it easier to embrace sustainability.

First, the old-fashioned bar of soap—which fell out of favour in the ’80s—got a glow up with lush scents and gentle, skin-loving ingredients. Then, sudsy shampoo pucks started popping up everywhere, most recently in drugstore aisles. And now, it’s skincare’s turn. Loaded with the same ingredients as your go-to products, solid skincare bars are activated with body heat and friction to melt into the skin, providing the same satisfying experience as creams and lotions. The formulas are highly concentrated and sold “naked” or in compostable packaging, use up less water during production, take up less space during transport and—in most cases—do away with plastic waste completely. And they go a long way, too: A single bar lasts, on average, three to four months with daily use.

Below, a few of our favourite solid skincare options.

A set of solid skincare bars by Canadian brand Oceanly in grey, orange and coral paper packaging.

Oceanly Radiance Skin Mini Ritual Set

Dreamt up by Montreal brand Attitude, Oceanly is the first-ever complete line of solid skincare housed in plastic-free, entirely biodegradable push-up cardboard packaging. The 19 products—cleansers, scrubs, masks, serums, moisturizers, oils, eye creams and sunscreen, all in stick format—are organized by skin type and feature high-performance ingredients like vitamin C, peptides and plant-derived phytoglycogen, a molecule that boosts hydration and improves skin texture and firmness. For a covetable glow, try this set of minis that includes a cleanser, serum, cream and oil.


A solid skincare bar from Ember Wellness.

Ember Wellness Sculpt & Glow Bar

Shaped like a gua sha tool to lift and sculpt as you apply it, this solid moisturizing bar—which is packed with hydrating shea butter and infused with sustainably sourced mica for a hit of radiance—is perfect for a carry-on travel beauty routine. It comes housed in a sleek aluminum container and refills can be purchased for $25, saving you a few dollars with each re-up.


Dew Mighty Bloom Jelly Serum Bar

Formulated with moisture-boosting squalane and jojoba oil, soothing licorice extract and brightening vitamin C, this pint-sized bar of solid serum feels like water but packs a serious hydration punch.


Lush Sleepy Face Naked Cleansing Balm

This packaging-free cleansing balm contains cocoa butter, jojoba oil and illipe butter to melt off makeup and wash away excess oil without stripping the skin.


Ethique The Perfector Solid Face Cream

A great pick for dry and sensitive skin types, this moisturizing stick contains hyaluronic acid, kokum butter and babassu oil. Swipe on directly from the paper tube for a mess-free application.


Attitude Mineral Sunscreen Stick

Available unscented or in two delicious fragrances—orange blossom and tropical—Canadian brand Attitude’s reef-friendly SPF 30 sunscreen stick is packaged in a biodegradable push-up paper tube.

From $19 each,

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Hydrating Concentrated Cleansing Bar

Formulated using 5 times less water than Kiehl’s liquid cleansers and packed with hydrating squalane, this solid cream face wash turns into a nourishing lather with a few drops of water.


While the products in this piece have been independently chosen by our editors, this article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

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