Water in skincare - how it's really effecting your skin, the planet and your wallet.

Water, our very source of life and touted as the holy grail of hydration in skincare.

Yet, what impact are water-filled skincare products having on the environment? And, why is going water-free the sustainable solution we need to take?

The facts.

Freshwater, though it pours out of our taps with such ease is actually incredibly rare and one of our most precious resources. Only around 2.5 - 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh. It’s estimated that some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a further 2.7 billion have periods of scarcity for at least one month of the year. These figures are going to grow with the effects of climate change.

While agriculture is the main culprit for water usage, consuming around 70%, the  majority being used for animal agriculture. The booming personal care and cosmetics industry is a growing contributor and one that simply can not be sustained.

How is this affecting your skincare purchases?

Environmental impact aside you’re also just getting plain ripped off. Water makes up anywhere between 90-95% of moistures and lotions. This leaves a small amount of room for the active ingredients that make the difference to your skin. If you turn over and read your moisturiser’s or cleanser's ingredients, 'aqua' is generally the first ingredient. It might sound exotic and sexy when written in Latin but the truth of the matter is it’s the cheapest of all ingredients. Formulas are made less expensive by adding water.

Skincare 101

All labels by law have to list their ingredients on the back from the highest amount in the product to the lowest except for an ingredient under 1% which can be listed in any order. So if you see ‘aqua’ and usually followed by ‘glycerine’ then that is what the majority of the formulation is comprised of. 

Terra Tonics formulations are 98% to 100% active with no water, glycerine, or any other filler. That's why they work.

The effects on your skin.

While water has been added to products for years under the guise of helping to hydrate, the minerals and metals in water  actually strip your skin of moisture. The water in moisturiser especially causes your skin to become dehydrated as it impairs your skin barrier function. We’ve written on this too, see here

Another benefit of removing water is there is no longer a breeding ground for micro-organisms resulting in the longer shelf life of products and further, removing the need to add harsh preservatives like parabens. It’s not just your skin that benefits from removing these chemicals but our planet.

How this is affecting our environment.

The other issue with such chemical components in traditional skincare is they don’t break down but instead accumulate in our ecosystems. Such cosmetics and toiletries do the most damage to the environment once they are washed down our sinks.

From there the chemicals are released into our lakes, streams, rivers, and public water systems, damaging wildlife and flora and fauna. It is not just aquatic life that is impacted. Water from our lakes and seas vaporises in our atmosphere and accumulates in clouds, returning to our soil as rain. Chemicals related to cosmetics have been found in agricultural soil and household dust particles. 🤦🏽‍♀️

A belief by many in and out of the industry is that water free skincare, or as we like to say 'undiluted skincare' is not a fad but the future of skincare and personal care and the only way forward to really make a change.

With Terra Tonics formulations you receive a far superior product with a greatly reduced environmental impact.

Undiluted skincare can come with a higher price tag this is because it's more expensive to produce. Compare a product that is 90% water and only 10% actives to a product that is 98% actives and 0% water, it's no surprise that the cost of production per unit is higher. Furthermore sourcing sustainable ingredients adds to the price but there is no other way if we want to have a planet that is here for generations to come.

It may seem more expensive at face value but when you cost in the benefits for your skin and the planet with undiluted skincare, the results are unparalleled.

With more effective skincare products that work also mean fewer products you need leading to less overconsumption, less unnecessary packaging, and less landfill. 

We are proud to be an undiluted skincare company.


Shop Terra Tonics Undiluted Skincare.