When I originally read about this new trend, I assumed it meant using less water within your skincare routine. This made total sense to me. Over the last year, I’ve used less and less tap water both morning and night. I live in an area where the water is very hard and to be honest I don’t want to dilute all that good product with bad water. Products like micellar water and cleansers which can be removed with cotton pads or a hot flannel, rather than the traditional face splash which is more likely to leave your floor and sleepwear sopping wet than your face.
What the water-less trend also means is brands and products which are formulated sans H2O. Cities running out of drinking water is no longer a hypothetical doomsday scenario. Resources running out is real and so industries, including beauty, need to get on board with how they use water.
On products, water is always listed in the ingredients as ‘aqua‘. If you weren’t aware, ingredients are listed by order of quantity in the product. If aqua is up there, you can be sure that it’s a major ingredient. What I didn’t know, was that the more water you have in a product, the more preservatives you need.
And it makes sense that the less water the better it could be for your skin. Whenever I use a cleanser with water, my face feels tight and skin stretched. Also you don’t see facialists cleansing your skin with water; products are applied to dry skin, so the ingredients are more effective and get right into the skin rather than being mixed with water to dilute.
So if you’re concerned about water consumption (whether from the tap, in a product, or both), this is what I’ve done to make the switch:
–Oil-based cleansers: massaged into dry skin you can these use a warm (not too hot) cloth to remove.
I recently tried DCL Deep Cleansing Oil (£24 for 200ml) but half a pump would easily do a whole face)
–Powdered products: these require a little water to make into a paste. You could still cotton pad or hot cloth off.
As Korea and Japan has been ahead of the water-less game for a while, no surprise that Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder Cleanser is popular but pricey ($65). There’s also Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant (£49.50) which is also rice based as well as with salicylic acid. I just picked up a small gift set with the pre-skin balm cleaser and the micofoliant. I’ve used it once before when staying at a friend’s and tried it again last night. I was pleasantly surprised. It feels pretty rough, I’m not going to lie but skin looks super smooth and doesn’t feel tight at all. You only need half a teaspoon, and contrary to the ‘daily’ in the name, I wouldn’t. Unless you’re regenerating skin at lightening speed, it seems a bit excessive. It’ll last ages!
–Turn off the tap. Instead of filling my palms with water, I swapped to dampening cotton pads (this was also because I didn’t have an endless supply of wash cloths, which would also be better for the environment) which does the job just as well.
Give it a go, see if it makes a difference to your skin…