Brixy may be less than three years old, but the line of solid-form shampoos, conditioners, and body cleaners already have a leg up in the sustainable beauty space. Longtime friends and co-founders Kevin Brodwick and Trey Vilcoq were the masterminds behind the eco-friendly and non-toxic Thinkbaby and Thinksport personal-care lines before building Brixy from scratch. Now, the brand has added three facial cleansers while staying true to its plastic-free, water-conserving roots.

Brixy’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jennifer Brodwick, recalls, “When we launched in 2022, we started with hair care bars because of timing. We saw a new opportunity that was taking shape in the category of sustainable personal care. We always had a plan to enter skin care with solid facial cleansers knowing that it wouldn’t be a big divergence from what people were using or require an educational shift.”

Bowing with the hydrating Hydrating Facial Cleanser, Brightening Facial Cleanser, and Blemish Control Facial Cleanser, these are the first products formulated with the brand’s Brixy Blend that feature skin-friendly ceramides and niacinamide. Together, these ingredients work to support a healthy skin and scalp microbiome, protect against environmental stress and strengthen the skin’s barrier.

While these targeted formulas all share the Brixy Blend in common, they are differentiated by their hero ingredients. Brodwick was inspired to find a solution to her problem skin which flared up after moving to the dry, high-altitude climes of Park City, Utah from hot and humid Texas. Hence, the Hydrating Facial Cleanser features aloe for moisture and soothing, plus raspberry seed oil for its high concentration of antioxidants. (For the record, Jennifer prefers to call them “free-radical fighters.”) The bar is also formulated with powdered hyaluronic acid for extra hydrating benefits.

The Brightening Facial Cleanser is infused with rice powder for gentle physical exfoliation along with the “free-radical fighter” vitamin C to promote even skin tone, while the Blemish Control Facial Cleanser relies on a dash of salicylic acid to help prevent pores from becoming clogged. “We didn’t want to have anything too active in our facial cleansers. We want these products to be gentle yet effective with long-term use,” Brodwick explains.

But whatever you do, don’t call Brixy’s facial bars “soap.” Instead of harsh surfactants like sulfates, the brand relies on sodium cocoyl isethionate derived from the fatty acids found in coconut oil. According to Brodwick, “This cleansing ingredient is effective, but won’t cause over-drying or reactions in those with sensitive skin.”

Brodwick emphasizes that Brixy’s pH-balanced facial cleansers are designed to support the skin’s barrier and acid mantle. “Our plant-derived cleansing ingredients allow us to keep the pH of our bars in the 5.5 range, which is important because this is the natural, slightly acidic state of our skin and scalp. Typical soap bars can have a pH of 9 or 10 that is too high to leave you with soft, healthy skin and can potentially damage the skin barrier.” Supporting the acid mantle as well helps keep the skin’s pH in check as well.

Brixy also takes a unique stance on “fragrance” as an ingredient—meaning the word is a no-go for the brand. “We want to be transparent, and it’s impossible to know the ingredients in any fragrance since companies aren’t required to disclose them. We build delightful but very simple scents with one to three ingredients,” Brodwick said.

The brand has several other verboten ingredients, including palm oil because, “It’s used in so many different categories from beauty to food and beyond—which is causing mass deforestation globally,” Brodwick explains. “The preservative sodium benzoate is also on our never-ever-ever list because Kevin has very strong feelings about the science he’s read.” Naturally parabens, phthalates, triclosan, formaldehyde, synthetic colors and synthetic fragrances are on Brixy’s no-go list as well.

Brixy’s packaging (or lack thereof) is another differentiating factor. All you’ll find here is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper that is recyclable and compostable. The brand’s plastic-free commitment extends to its product ingredients as well. “Silicone for haircare isn’t always looked at as a bad player, but because it is technically a kind of liquid plastic we have chosen to formulate without it and without PEGs for the same reason.”

Although Brodwick stresses that there’s no standardized formula for making these calculations, Brixy believes their bars have replaced 832,619 bottles since the brand’s launch. The mathematical rationale: One hair care bar replaces three eight-ounce plastic bottles of water-based shampoo or conditioner, while one Brixy facial bar replaces two.

Traditional shampoos and conditioners are generally 70% to 90% water and Brixy’s bars average 9.45%, so another environmental advantage of solid-form personal care is that it requires substantially less of this increasing scarce resource to produce. “Despite there being no regulated way to quantify, we believe Brixy has saved 140,504 gallons of water to this day,” Brodwick shares. Brixy and other likeminded brands believe that less water weight translates to up to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions generated by shipping heavy bottles to both retailers and directly to customers. Water is also necessary for creating plastics, so avoiding this material altogether conserves even more.

After the facial cleanser launch, Brixy has a busy year ahead. In addition to replacing the surfactants that are currently found the body bars, the main priority on the agenda is updating the brand’s hair and body formulations to include the Brixy Blend. “It’s going to be included in all new formulas that touch the skin moving forward,” Brodwick shares.

This summer, Brixy will introduce two new functional shampoo and conditioner bars geared toward specific concerns. The Hydrate versions are formulated with aloe leaf juice, avocado oil and shea butter to moisturize dry hair and deliver extra bounce for curly and coily hair. The Strengthen bars are fortified with pumpkin seed oil, rosemary leaf oil and caffeine to help stimulate the scalp for those with damaged or thinning hair.

Further afield, Brixy is planning to take a swipe at solid deodorant. “It’s not going to be as hard as a hair or facial bar, but it will glide on smooth just like a regular deodorant,” Brodwick says. It will also be housed in a thick paper stock that is fully recyclable and compostable.

Brodwick also reveals that the number-one question she is asked about solid-format products is, “How do I use them?” Once that is explained the second question is, “How do I store it?” Enter Brixy’s Bar Boat. The bar holder is made of concrete for easy cleaning and features three slots with individual drainage plus non-slip feet. The Bar Boat has sold out twice, but Brodwick says it will be restocked this month.

“I just got back from our third trip to Expo West, and at first it was us and one or two other brands in the solid beauty category. This year, we finally had people telling us they had their first experience with solid-format personal care. New brands are popping up and the whole space is really growing. It’s an exciting thing to see.”