The best affordable plastic-free facial cleansers!

The best affordable plastic-free facial cleansers!

As regular readers of my blog will know, finding fantastic low-waste and plastic-free beauty options is a passion of mine! In this post I share with you the best affordable plastic-free facial cleansers, which are all easy to find in the UK.

I’m really excited to share this post with you today, as I’ve been experimenting with low-waste, sustainable skincare products for the last year or so, and I’ve finally found my top 5 options for those who want to switch to a greener facial cleanser.

Feel free to check out my other blog posts for more low-waste and green beauty tips and product recommendations. Ok, now on with the blog!

These 5 cleansers are all under £12 (and one is even £5), which I think is a realistic price for a cleanser. You don’t really need to splash the cash on your cleansers, I think it’s better to splurge on your serums and skincare treatments. But if you’ve got the money to spend, you do you! I just want to help you find good, affordable options.

This list is in no particular order; they’re all great for different reasons.

1. Carbon Theory Charcoal and Tea Tree Facial Cleansing Bar: £6

The best low-waste cleansers!

For a full review of this plastic-free cleanser, check out this previous post of mine! But in short: this is a gentle cleanser that cleanses without stripping the face at all. You can choose paper wrapping for the bar, making it 100% plastic-free.

It contains charcoal and tea tree for the purpose of targeting acne. It didn’t help me with my acne (when using it I was dealing with spots caused by blocked pores on my cheeks), but everyone’s skin is different.

To use this cleanser, rub the bar between wet hands until it forms a lather. Use this lather to cleanse your face, massage for 30 seconds (per the instructions), and rinse well.

I would recommend this cleanser to:

– People with and without acne

– Normal and Oily skin types (this might be too drying for those with already dry skin).

– People who use a lot of active ingredients in their skincare routine and just want a simple cleanser

2. Gallinee Probiotic Facial Cleansing Bar: £10

The best plastic-free facial cleanser

Of the cleansing bars in this post, this is my favourite for my skin in particular. I haven’t done a full review of this one before but I definitely need to, as I really love it. It comes in a plastic-free carboard box. This bar contains prebiotics and probiotics in order to try and rebalance the skin, as irregularities in the pH and bacteria of the skin can lead to skin irregularities such as irritation, dryness and even acne.

Now, I can’t comment on how much of a necessity your pre and probiotics are in your skincare. I just like this cleanser for how it cleanses, how it smells, and how it leaves my skin feeling. Maybe there is something to the whole bacteria thing? I don’t know!

But, when using this cleanser, my skin feels so nourished and SOFT after cleansing. It has a really gentle soapy smell which to me smells really luxurious, and it makes me enjoy cleansing a lot more! When I rinse off the soap, my skin is appropriately cleansed, without feeling overly dry and tight, nor is there any residue on the skin.

This cleanser is used the same way as the Carbon Theory cleanser, although it doesn’t need to be massaged into the skin for a specific amount of time.

I would recommend this cleanser to:

– People with and without acne

– Normal and Dry skin types (it might be a bit too nourishing for oily skin).

– People who use a lot of active ingredients in their skincare routine and just want a simple cleanser

3. Facetheory Freshening Face Wash: £12 but it’s on sale for £6

The best plastic-free cleansers!

I’m quite a fan of this UK brand because I admire how clearly they’re trying to present the information surrounding their products. On the listing of a particular product, you can learn about the ingredients in it as well as the percentage of the active ingredients, but you can also learn about the pH level of the product, the texture, and what the product is packaged in. I wish all brands would tell you about what the packaging is made of; for me this can be a deal breaker!

Facetheory also ship with 100% plastic-free packaging, which is amazing. They also have a 365 day money-back guarantee.

This Freshening Face Wash comes in a glass bottle with a plastic-pump. Because of this, it’s a low-waste cleanser rather than 100% plastic-free. It’s quite a gorgeous cleanser with a silky soft gel texture which foams on the skin. It’s a dream to massage into the skin. I never want to rinse it off because the texture is just so satisfying!

This cleanser has some ingredients that are meant to help refresh the skin, such as aloe vera and green tea. I can’t say that this feels more refreshing than other cleansers because I feel like the process of washing your face is always refreshing?? But I like how it cleanses my face without overly drying it and completely without irritation.

The only con with this one is that sometimes I feel like it leaves a bit of a residue on my skin; I just make sure to exfoliate when I’ve been using this one consistently for a few days.

To use this cleanser, place half a pump into wet hands, and massage onto the face until it lathers. Rinse well after cleansing.

I would recommend this cleanser to:

– People with and without acne

– Normal and dry skin types

– People who use a lot of active ingredients in their skincare routine and just want a simple cleanser

4. Facetheory Clarifying Cleanser C2: £12

The best plastic-free facial cleansers!

This cleanser, also from Facetheory, is really cool in my opinion. It comes in a glass jar with an aluminium lid, and you can also buy a small metal spoon from their website to use with this product. If you haven’t used cream cleansers before, the texture of this one could be quite shocking. Cream cleansers are usually thick in texture, and they don’t foam or lather on the skin. It’s kind of like massaging a moisturiser into your face, which then rinses off completely!

This particular cleanser contains glycolic and lactic acid (which exfoliate the skin) and salicylic acid (which helps clear pores). Just one use of this cleanser sloughs off a lot of the dead skin cells on the outermost layer of the skin, revealing softer, more glowy skin. Because of this resurfacing process, I would recommend using a sunscreen during the day if you add this product into your skincare routine.

Their Clarifying Cleanser is not to be used everyday because I think it would be quite harsh on the skin! Your skin doesn’t require that much exfoliation. But if you find that your skin tolerates it well, go ahead and do what works for you! Skincare isn’t one-size-fits-all. I use this cleanser twice a week, and I find that that is enough to keep my skin feeling really soft and supple, and absorbing the next skincare products I apply well.

To use this cleanser, take a small amount (20p coin size) and massage it into your skin. I experience some tingling with this cleanser, but it should not sting. Rinse well.

I would recommend this cleanser to:

– People looking for skincare that’ll help improve acne (salicylic acid is great for this)

– People looking for softer, glowier skin (exfoliation)

– Those with normal and oily skin (the exfoliating nature + essential oils of this product would be too much for dry skin in my opinion)

5. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras: £5.50

The best affordable low-waste cleanser!

This solid bar cleanser comes in a cardboard box and is plastic-free. The Lipikar Surgras cleanser can be used on the face and the body. It is extremely gentle, designed for people with dry, eczema-prone, flaking or itching skin. So far, I’ve only used this one on my face but I think I should give it a go on my body where I get eczema flare ups.

This cleanser uses shea butter to moisturise, and niacinamide to help restore the skin barrier, which is something that people with eczema and dry skin suffer from! After using this cleanser, my skin feels super moisturised and nourished. There is a slight greasy feeling left behind, but it definitely cleanses well.

The best affordable plastic-free facial cleansers!

The Lipikar cleanser is to be used as the other bar cleansers in the post are!

I would recommend this cleanser to:

– People with dry and very dry skin, including eczema-prone skin

– People with dry skin who want a super affordable cleanser that is appropriate for the face and body

– People with dry skin who use a lot of active ingredients in their skincare routine and just want a simple cleanser


Phew, that was long! There you have it folks; my top 5 low-waste and plastic-free facial cleansers. Please comment below if there are some cleansers that I didn’t mention here but you love.

Bye! Stay safe.



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