My shower setup is pretty chaotic, to say the very least. Body wash, hair products, and more miscellaneous treatments overflow from all four corners of the tub. As I acquire new products to try, test, and potentially write about, I add them to the mix, stacking them so precariously that they frequently tumble onto the floor of the bath mid-shampoo. Somewhat symbolically, this chaotic scene mirrors the beauty industry, which is flooded with an overabundance of waste-generating products that take up much more space than they need to. This is why I was thrilled to hear about the launch of PLUS, an innovative, zero-waste personal care brand that’s bound to change the way we shower for the better.
PLUS is the brainchild of Starface Hydro-Stars co-founders Julie Schott and Brian Bordainick and co-founder and CEO Cathryn Woodruff. Schott, the former beauty director at Elle.com, tells GRAZIA that witnessing “the amount of waste the beauty industry generates” inspired her team up with her fellow creatives to reinvent traditional personal care products. “Bottled body wash can contain up to 90 percent water (with only a small percentage of active ingredients), and personal care and beauty products account for 1/3 of all landfill waste,” says the beauty expert. “With Plus, we questioned whether water-based formulas and single-use plastics were necessary for an effective, uplifting shower experience and found that they’re ultimately not.”
The brand’s debut zero-waste, clean, just-add-water formulation launched on Tuesday, April 13 with three variations of body wash (two scented, and one unscented). Each little packet contains the brand’s dehydrated formula that’s activated with water. How it works is that you rip open the sachet with dry hands, add water, and then lather. “Plus works perfectly fine with just your hands, but using a loofah or washcloth definitely gives more bubbles and foam,” Woodroff advises. As for the packaging? You can drop it on the bottom of your tub and watch as it melts and vanishes down your shower drain. Fear not: This isn’t bad for the earth or your shower drain. Each packet is made with wood pulp from responsibly managed Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forests and 100 percent FDA-approved dissolvable ink.
I had the pleasure of experiencing the product in the weeks leading up to launch day, and the experience is a must-try, perfect for your everyday routine or for saving for post-pandemic travel. Admittedly, though, it took me a couple of tries to get used to the amount of body wash contained in each packet, which is a lot less than the massive dollop I usually squeeze out of a bottle. “We tested [Plus] Body Wash on a range of bodies to ensure that one sheet should offer an effective, all-over clean,” Schot tells me via email. At that moment, I realized that I’ve been using way more body wash than necessary.
Plus Body Wash is cruelty-free, vegan, and dermatologist-approved, and each pack comes with 16 single-serve sheets. The product’s skin-loving ingredients include—but aren’t limited to—eucalyptus leaf oil which cleans and brightens, aloe leaf to soothe, and calm and sweet almond oil for hydration. In addition to delivering what the brand deems a “smarter clean,” it’s also more sustainably made than bottled body wash. Per the company, Plus is responsible for 80 percent less CO2 emissions in shipping and 38 percent less water used in manufacturing. And that’s not to mention that the brand’s body wash arrives at your home in a compostable zip pouch packed into a compostable mailer.
“If Plus can spark conversation, and empower more people to make better choices for the planet, that’s a win,” says Schott.
Keep in mind that you can’t store Plus Body Wash in your shower because there’s a good chance they will disappear. “Since the sachet is dissolvable, it’s best to store the Body Wash in a dry area, like your medicine cabinet or drawer,” Schott advises. “We recommend keeping them stored in the compostable zip pouch they come in for protection—it has a moisture and oxygen barrier. Just grab the sachet on your way into the shower, and you’re ready to go.” Shop the brand’s debut range of body wash below.