The 10 Best Sustainable Beauty Brands to Shop Now
From their toxic formulas that seep into the environment to their plastic packaging that ends up in landfills, beauty products can do a number on the earth. But some brands are striving to improve the industry—prioritizing clean ingredients, sourcing materials ethically, not testing on animals, and using eco-friendly packaging and shipping processes. Here, we rounded up 10 of the best sustainable beauty brands.
True Botanicals was born out of frustration. After founder Hillary Peterson was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at a young age, she discovered the ubiquity of toxic ingredients in beauty products and felt unwilling to settle for them. Now, her women-led company produces powerful formulas that abide by a MADE SAFE certification, which restricts more than 5,000 chemicals that could potentially harm people and the environment. The brand also makes sure to minimize environmental impact in development, production, packaging, and shipping.
Sheet masks are excellent for sealing in ingredients (and therefore amplifying their effects), but between the individual packaging, single-use applications, and excessive serums of most, they can also be extremely wasteful. Enter: Orveda’s Prebiotic Emulsion, which comes with a reusable silicone mask. The vegan formula serves as an intensive moisturizer and hydrating treatment, and it’s augmented by the mask to make the most of the application. Plus, all of the brand’s products are packaged in pure glass to protect the active formulations and avoid plastic waste.
When it comes to ethical hair care, Rahua is top of the class. The rainforest-grown beauty brand’s founders work alongside the indigenous people of the Amazon to harvest ingredients only from self-sustained forests, and the signature Rahua oil is obtained through their ancient ceremonial process. The brand’s formulas are non-toxic and clean, preventing water pollution, and packaging is recyclable. Best of all, environmental philanthropy is built into the brand, including through its Pink Flamingos Project, a natural habitat clean-up effort.
If you typically take off your makeup with single-use remover wipes (we get it—they’re convenient), you know how quickly they can pile up in your trash can. It makes sense to opt for a biodegradable version, and Omorovicza’s is one of the best on the market, made from completely natural micellars. To reduce packaging waste, simply buy the original Peachy Micellar Cleansers jar once, then stock it with the eco-friendly refill pack when you run out.
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At Naturopathica, nature’s in the name—and in the products. The brand uses clean, sustainable ingredients derived from renewable resources and manufactured with environmentally friendly processes. Animal-derived products, irritants, and toxic ingredients are never used. Many of Naturopathica’s products are certified natural and organic by Ecocert, an independent organization that provides an in-depth review of ingredients, manufacturing, processing and more.
Clean beauty brand ILIA describes itself as makeup infused with skincare, offering products that combine natural ingredients with safe synthetics for truly effective results. The line is also packaged sustainably with recycled aluminum, glass, post-consumer recycled paper, and vegetable-based dyes. We recommend first trying the bestselling True Skin Serum Foundation made with aloe leaf, rosehip, jojoba, and marula oils.
The largest "1% for the Planet" contributor of the global cosmetic industry (responsible for planting over 8 million trees by 2021), Caudalie is committed to preserving the environment through its donations and product formulas. Natural active ingredients like vine and grape extracts, floral and botanical waters, and plant and fruit extracts make up the base of its products, while safe synthetics are added in small quantities as needed. What you won’t find: potential endocrine disruptors, animal-derived ingredients, mineral oils, or irritants.
Tata Harper produces its cult-favorite skincare and makeup products in small batches on the founders’ own organic farm in Vermont, pioneering the farm-to-face movement. On its site, you can even follow your bottle to find out who made your product and how fresh it is. The brand is all-natural, using 100% non-synthetic, non-toxic ingredients that are found in nature, so the products are completely free of artificial colors, fragrances, and fillers. To top it off, packaging is eco-friendly, from custom glass bottles and post-consumer materials to soy based ink for printing and recycled paperboard.
While many people associate natural skincare with inherently good skincare, Drunk Elephant begs to differ, focusing on clean and biocompatible ingredients over natural ones. For example, while some natural beauty brands use essential oils for fragrance in products, Drunk Elephant does not, acknowledging that despite their natural origin, they are often irritating to skin. None of Drunk Elephant’s products contain the “Suspicious Six”—silicones, essential oils, fragrance/dyes, drying alcohols, SLS, and chemical/synthetic sunscreens—and all are made in the U.S.
For sustainable makeup, we love W3ll People, a brand that handcrafts products in small batches in the U.S. The line is never tested on animals and is non-toxic, containing innovative botanical complexes. Be sure to check out its all-natural Expressionist Volumizing Mascara, colored dark black with hyper pure mineral pigments.
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