Waterless Skincare: is it really better for your skin?


Currently trending in the modern mecca for skincare, Korea, we’re here to let you know why people are opting to remove water-based products from their skincare routine and why you should get ahead of the trend too!

Not all skincare is made equal

So, what exactly is waterless skincare? You may be surprised to hear that water makes up around 70% of your average skincare products – leaving just 25% of the product made up of “actives” (the skin-beneficial ingredients). This means that the majority of your skincare products (even the expensive ones) are mostly made from good old H2O – not exactly the most beneficial ingredient for your skin!

What’s the hype around waterless skincare? Simply put, waterless products are more concentrated as they contain a much higher level of actives (nothing watered-down here!), meaning their formulas are more potent and give better results for your skin gram for gram. Not only are waterless products better for your skin, they’re more bang for your buck!

You may be thinking, “but water is good for you, right?” Well, applying water-based products to the skin could actually be causing more issues than you first though – eek!

Here’s just some of the reasons why you should consider switching your skincare routine to a waterless one:


Water isn’t always hydrating

We’re all aware that we need to drink our 8 glasses of water a day, but surprisingly, water-based products can actually dehydrate the skin by affecting skin’s moisture levels. Applied directly to the skin, water can disrupt the balance of natural oils, since water and oil are repellents. If you add oil to water, they separate and never mix together; this also happens on your skin. Natural oils make up part of your skin’s natural barrier against moisture-loss, providing much needed protection against damage caused by harsh environmental factors such as UV rays, pollution and dirt. If you upset this balance, your skin can be left dry, irritated and exposed to this damage – oil isn’t always bad for your skin!

Due to its composition, water evaporates at room temperature (time for a science lesson!) and turns into a vapour. When you apply water to your skin, it can evaporate and take your skin’s moisture with it – once again causing dehydrated and dryness. So, now you know!

It can cause irritation

Just like any living creature, bacteria need water to survive. Water helps to feed the bad bugs on your skin – increasing their numbers and leading to irritation, inflammation and breakouts. Water-based products can not only help to encourage the bad bugs to grow on your skin but can also help them to thrive in your products (keep your skincare out of the bathroom, ladies!) This means that water-based products need a whole heap of stabilisers and preservatives to stop the bad guys from getting out of hand both in your skincare products and on your skin (not the face, please!)

Water is cheap ingredient

Who doesn’t like cheap? Well, when it comes to skincare, sometimes cheaper doesn’t always equal better. When it comes to ingredients, water is one of the cheapest, which is why it makes up such a high percentage of your average skincare products. By using water as a ‘filler’, products are more diluted and therefore not as concentrated as you might think.

When you’re paying top dollar for skincare, the last thing you expect to find is water as one of the main ingredients (have you started checking your labels yet?) as it provides little to no benefit for your skin. The actives are what you desire!


Zero dilution

Simply put, no water means more potent, concentrated formulas – providing faster, more noticeable results and better benefits for your skin.

Waterless products are largely made up of botanical extracts or oils and don’t contain water as an added ingredient (it’s worth noting, due to the extraction process, natural extracts do contain some water – it’s just not added to the product as a separate ingredient!) Since water molecules are around 1.5 times larger than skin particles, they don’t sink in as deeply as other ingredients which have a similar or smaller molecule size to skin. These extracts and oils are therefore more easily absorbed by the skin and can sink in to the deeper layers, providing better benefits both on the surface and beneath.


Water-based products require large numbers of stabilisers and preservatives to ensure their formulas remain more ‘stable’ and survive their time on the shelves. Waterless products don’t require as many stabilisers or preservatives as there’s no food for the bad bugs, giving them better stability and a longer shelf-life than water-based products (that don’t contain preservatives!) To add to this, waterless and preservative-free formulas leave yet more room for actives and other beneficial ingredients – no nasties here!

Better for the environment

We’re all more conscious of our effects on the planet and it shows. More people are opting for eco-friendly, natural and organic products that are much better for our beloved earth. Alongside recycled and recyclable packaging, environmentally friendly manufacturing methods and ethically sourced ingredients, waterless skincare quite simply saves water – one of the planet’s most precious resources. Want to go green? Go waterless!


Need more convincing?

Waterless products are more potent, more hydrating, more stabilised and don’t contain preservatives (since there’s no water to feed the bad bacteria!) Not only are they more beneficial for your skin and your purse, they are also a better alternative for our planet. What more do you need?!
We’ll leave the water out, thanks!

Certified COSMOS Natural and Organic by ECOCERT, KIATA’s range of waterless skincare products combine incredible, rare ingredients from Australia and around the world – concentrated and formulated to provide the best benefits for your skin. Discover our range here.