Eco-beauty seekers who cringe at the sight of overpackaging may have noticed a new green trend — box-free beauty products. While many companies still insist on putting small jars and bottles of face serums and cleansers in a second layer of plastic packaging, more brands are embracing the more naked look, foregoing the box to let the glass and plastic containers stand free.

Green beauty brands like Aubrey have offered many of their cleansers and lotions box-free for years, but the trend seems to be catching on with larger, more mainstream brands. For example, Astral Brands — owner of mineral makeup line Pür Minerals and direct sales beauty companies Aloette Cosmetics and CosMedix cosmeceuticals — recently reduced the number of paper cartons in its product lineup, and reports that since last year, nearly 2,000 trees have been saved from being turned into packaging.

Even higher-end natural beauty brands like Tata Harper are going boxless. Pick up a bottle of Tata Harper’s products and you'll notice that an extra paper layer of product information can be peeled off, so you can learn all about the product even without an extra box packaging the whole bottle.

I hope this trend catches on with more companies. I, for one, go out of my way to opt for products with less packaging. This is why I prefer bar soap — either bought completely unpackaged from local soap makers, or minimally-wrapped in a single slip of paper like Dr. Bronner's soaps — to bottled liquid soaps and body washes. Do you specifically seek out beauty products with less packaging?

Beauty outside the box
Beauty companies like Aloette Cosmetics and Tata Harper are saving trees -- by eliminating the paper box packaging for their products.