Ethique zero waste beauty bars review

Ethique product launch London 2019

Ethique, the solid beauty bars company from New Zealand, has just launched in the UK! I’ve been lucky enough to get my eager mitts on several of their products, including shampoo, conditioner and body moisturiser so here’s a review of those.

Some more about Ethique

But first, I think we should have a quick overview: Ethique started back in 2016, with the aim of creating a range of zero waste, plastic-free, vegan, cruelty free, sustainable products – starting with a shampoo bar. They’re free from palm oil and sodium lauryl sulphate too. The tag line is ‘conscious and concentrated beauty bars’ and that sums them up perfectly. The New Zealand based line has since expanded to include deodorants, pet shampoos and a solid laundry bar, although we won’t be getting those just yet the UK…

The largest range of Ethique products over here can currently be found at Holland & Barrett. They have lots of different shampoos, conditioners, body washes, body butters and face products, plus shower caddies for everything.


My review of Ethique beauty bars

I’ve been getting more and more interested in plastic-free beauty, so the fully zero waste Ethique collection was one that I particularly wanted to find out more about. In the past, I haven’t had much luck with solid shampoo bars and it turns out that most of the ones I’d tried had soap / SLS in them – ingredients that Ethique has decided to leave out. However, the concept of solid products is great, taking up less space, not needing bottles and being ideal for taking on your travels or stashing neatly in small bathrooms.

My first impression was that the line was attractively boxed and presented. It’s definitely good looking enough to give as a gift, and the packaging’s made from cardboard printed with soy inks and no plastics or laminates, so it’s completely compostable.


Ethique Sweet & Spicy solid shampoo to give oomph review

Ethique Sweet & Spicy Volume solid shampoo bar

I jumped at the chance to try this one out. It’s their volumising shampoo bar for normal scalps and fine hair, and it’s lightly scented with orange, cinnamon and ginger, plus some added salt. You need to wet your hair well, then stroke the bar lightly a few times over the scalp and work it into a lather. It foamed well and rinsed away easily, leaving my hair with some definite oomph as promised, and it’s made my scalp feel nice and healthy too. This is a definite repurchase for me and I love how it makes my hair look and feel.

The texture of the bar itself is firm-ish but not as hard as a bar of soap would be. It drained off well on the Ethique bamboo in-shower container and hasn’t turned mushy after the first week or so of use.

The RRP of this bar is £12.99 for 110g. Is that good value? Well, SLS-free shampoo is usually kind of pricey, and they say each block is equivalent to three 330ml bottles of standard shampoo, although I think I’m probably going to get more like two bottles’ worth out of it. However, even at that rate it works out as very good value for money as well as being kinder to the planet, so I’ll happily give it my seal of approval. Buy at H&B.

I’ve also tried their Pinkalicious shampoo for normal hair, which is also great and smells of delicious pink grapefruit and vanilla. I can see it becoming a popular stocking filler later in the year. There are several other shampoo bars to choose from too, including bars for dry, damaged and sensitive hair plus one for children. They also do a Tip To Toe bar with a little clay in it which works as a shampoo, bodywash and shaving foam, so might be good for travelling and as gifts for the guys / anyone who doesn’t have dry skin.


Ethique Wonderbar Conditioner bar for oily-normal hair review

Ethique Wonderbar solid hair conditioner

The company makes two different conditioner bars, and I tried Wonderbar, the less creamy of the two, so as not to weigh my hair down with too much oil during the summer months. You swipe the bar four or five times over the lengths of the hair, then put it down and massage it into the hair gently before rinsing off. This stuff is beautiful for muggy summer days, with a lovely light natural coconut scent, leaving hair feeling bouncy.

It detangles brilliantly without making the scalp feel greasy, and it’s another dual purpose product that you can also use as a shaving cream – I found it to be better than shower foam on my legs as it was more soothing. It’s lovely and I’ll definitely restock with another Wonderbar once this one runs out.

This retails at £12.99 for 60g, but the conditioner bars are much harder in texture and you use them up more slowly, so it’s definitely going to last longer than the shampoo. Ethique claim these are equivalent to five standard 330ml bottles of conditioner and I think that sounds about right as long as you keep them out of any puddles of shower water after you’ve used them. Buy at H&B.

[By the way there’s room for a conditioner bar plus a shampoo bar in the brand’s own in-shower containers, which come in a range of colours and are well designed.]


Ethique Jasmine & Ylang Ylang Butter Block body creme review

Ethique Jasmine Butter block

This bar is somewhere between a body butter and a very rich body lotion once it’s on, and it’s one of three body moisturisers currently available via Holland & Barrett (the other two are Coconut & Lime, and Sweet Orange & Vanilla). The one I’ve been using (Jasmine & Ylang Ylang) has the most feminine and floral scent. It’s a water-free bar that’s best if you swipe lightly over wet skin when you’re just out of the shower, turning into a body lotion as you rub it in, and a little of this stuff goes a very, very long way. You need less than you think you do, for sure.

You can also use it ‘neat’ without water – I’ve been using it on knees and elbows like a thick body butter – and the company suggests it’s useful for taking on plane journeys to combat dry skin. As it’s rich I think it’s best for drier skins or for use during the Autumn and Winter. Unlike some of the other bars I’ve found this slices fairly easily so you can keep some of it in a pot in the bathroom and put the rest away, and if it gets too soft in warmer weather because of the natural oils you can simply put it into the fridge for an hour or two to soften it up.

This is a very nice, natural product that retails at £11.99 for 100g, and again I think it’d be a nice gift (especially as a stocking filler) or a little treat for yourself. And once again, no plastic, which is wonderful. Buy at H&B.


That’s my review of the newly-launched Ethique products that I’ve tried so far, and I think I’ll be going out and picking up a body wash bar next as I’m interested to see what they’re like.

What do you think? Have you tried any other zero-waste or plastic-free beauty products recently? There are some clever innovations about to hit the shops soon and I’m looking forward to trying even more of them out.


Full disclosure: I have been gifted samples of these products without obligation to review. There has been no editorial interference or payment, this is my genuine unbiased opinion.


Similar Posts