Defining Waterless Beauty


 - By Kailey Bradt

Defining Waterless Beauty


Where the Name “Susteau” Comes From

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves. We are Susteau, pronounced [sus•toh]. Susteau is derived from two words, the first being “sustainability” and the second being “eau” which means water in French. Our name encompasses our sustainable approach to water in beauty, using little to none at all.

At Susteau, we value water. If it’s not needed, we don’t use it in our final formulations. Our approach to beauty is to create clean and conscious products with little to no water. We will deliver a product as concentrated as it can be using effective ingredients in safe percentages that won't harm you or Mother Earth. 

What is Waterless Beauty

At Susteau, we define waterless beauty as a category within personal care in which there is little to no water present in the product itself, yet the formulation is traditionally a liquid with water as the primary ingredient. 

Why Now for Waterless?

Going waterless is now possible in haircare and other areas of beauty, primarily because of raw material innovations. A product like shampoo actually started as a solid (you can read the history of shampoo in our previous blog post here). Products that are used for cleansing like shampoo and face wash are perfect examples of this migration towards waterless that has to do with raw material innovation. Because the industry is moving away from ingredients like sulfates, there is an increased availability of mild surfactants. Sulfates are surfactants that are great cleaners, but they can actually be a little too good for applications like our skin and scalp, which required these ingredients to be diluted with water. This is true of other ingredients as well. As we see a move to cleaner products and less irritating ingredients, we are able to avoid diluting these product with water.

Additionally, there is an increased interest in investing in sustainable products. Awareness around reducing waste, especially in the beauty industry, has had a huge impact on what products people are looking to use. These are two of the largest factors for the move towards waterless that is happening now.

Why You Still Might See “Water” as an Ingredient in A Waterless Beauty Product

Scanning over our ingredient list and ingredient lists of other waterless products, you may stumble across “aqua (water, eau)”. Yes- that’s water. Water may be listed as an ingredient because some raw materials, even powdered raw materials, actually contain trace amounts of water. 

An example of this would be tapioca starch. Used in our Moondust Hair Conditioner, tapioca is sourced from the cassava root and is naturally made up of 70% water. When this is processed into a powder format, it’s nearly impossible to remove all the water efficiently. Similarly, ingredients such as hydroxypropyl starch phosphate and sodium phytate also contain trace amounts of water because they are naturally derived from a plant and yes, plants contain a lot of water. Simply put, waterless formulations contain no added water, but you may see it on an ingredient list.

The Future of Waterless Beauty

Is waterless beauty a trend? Yes, waterless beauty is for sure trending, but we think it’s here to stay. We see concentrated, safe and effective products as the future of beauty. That’s why at Susteau we are investing so much in developing products that perform like your liquid products so there is no need to compromise on how effective your products are just to make a sustainable choice.

Image Source: Susteau