by Suzanne Wentley
This article includes affiliate links.
It was a sad day for me when the classic natural beauty brand Burt’s Bees was sold to Clorox in 1999. I don’t know if they changed their formulas from their original focus on clean cosmetics and facial products, but honestly? I don’t like the idea of Clorox products on my body.
I’ve been slightly skeptical about beauty brands since. It’s hard to know if they’re really practicing what they preach. Of course, I’m also not particularly interested in ripping apart brands, because I also get that you can’t argue with results. If Burt’s Bees are working for you, then more power to you!
Still, I think most people today understand that adding chemicals and toxins to our skin isn’t going to help in our overall health journey. Plenty of brands also are packaged with ridiculous waste and in jars that can’t be recycled. I think we can get the best of both worlds: clean, environmentally conscious, and animal-friendly products that simply work.
I’ve looked at five top clean cosmetics brands, including the best eco-friendly soap bar, and shared what I’ve found with you in this wrap-up. Best of all, they can all be easily found online through Amazon so no wild goose chase is needed!
I’m all about using science and technology to make me feel better, and Juice Beauty founder Karen Behnke started there when she founded the company in 2005. She started by working with chemists, physicians, and microbiologists to create an antioxidant-rich, botanical juice base, instead of petroleum or water, for her products.
The results are makeup and beauty routines that feed the microbiome of the skin, and are cruelty-free, vegan, and organic — all while doing what you’re buying the product for anyway.
Trust me: You need a serum! Juice Beauty offers its Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Solutions Kit, which includes a moisturizer, booster serum, and eye treatment in an affordable bundle. It contains Vitamin C, which feels amazing on my skin, and other luscious ingredients like resveratrol-rich grapeseed, evening primrose, and jojoba oils.
You might also like to check out Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular CC Cream. It’s great for anyone who likes to get outdoors, as the zinc helps with reef-safe SPF 30 protection. It comes in five shades for color correction. Reviews suggest going a little darker than your first guess.
Call me traumatized from the whole Burt’s Bees switcheroo, but I needed to investigate what Honest Beauty meant by their name. Turns out, they’ve got a standard that focuses on label transparency, healthy ingredients, mindful packaging, and a constant evolution of their formulas. They’ve got more than 2,500 chemicals and materials that are banned from their products, and they test the ingredient they do use to make sure they get the job done.
The Honest Beauty Amazon store has it all. Whether you’re looking for makeup or a skincare routine, you can shop their everyday essentials or home in on your needs. They have products for hydrating, brightening, sensitive skin, daily defense, and age-defying goals. If you find a routine you love, you can sign up for a subscription and save.
Maybe skip their disposable make-up remover pads for a more eco-friendly option.
Have you heard of sea buckhorn? I hadn’t either until I found Sibu Beauty. The founders of this clean beauty small business leverage the benefits of this plant, which is not found in the sea but throughout India and the Himalayan Mountains. To harvest these powerful berries, they worked with the indigenous people to create a method of hand-picking that cares for the natural environment.
What’s so awesome about sea buckhorn? It’s basically a superfood for your skin. Filled with Omegas- 3, 6, and 9, as well as the hard-to-find essential fatty acid Omega-7, the plant’s little orange berries have a history of helping to sustain energy levels, improve cellular health, repair damaged skin, decrease wrinkles, help eczema and rosacea, and more.
At first, they started with supplements but soon realized the benefits of sea buckhorn on problem skin. The SIBU Amazon store is stocked with face creams, pure sea buckhorn juice, and seed oil. We think the SIBU facial soap is the best eco-friendly soap bar around.
Launched in 1995, the bareMinerals brand was an early adopter of clean cosmetics. Since the beginning, their makeup products were free from parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, chemical sunscreens, triclosan, triclocarban, propylene glycol, mineral oil, coal tar, and microbeads. Some of those ingredients I can barely pronounce, so it’s a wonder that most brands contain them. It’s always been cruelty-free, which is impressive especially back then.
Their flagship product is their Original Loose Mineral Foundation, which contains only five natural mineral ingredients. That’s perfect, and even more so because you know they’ve stood the test of time. I’m not into a lot of makeup, but the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream has SPF 30 and feels barely there.
Both their makeup and skincare products nourish your skin, healing instead of covering up whatever is going on. I recommend you stop by a store to find the perfect shade (they’ve got a lot) and then save money by buying it online.
As a minimalist, I love the idea of having clean cosmetic products that serve many tasks. So let’s talk about ILIA's Multi-Stick. It’s perfect for lips and cheeks, gluten-free, and available in 12 different shades. I wasn’t crazy about the packaging — until I saw that the brand encourages consumers to ship back up to 10 empty beauty products a month for recycling. It doesn’t even have to be their brand, which is simply awesome.
That’s not the only feel-good thing Ilia does. Since they started in 2011, they’ve been donating 1% to environmental causes. Now, they are donating 1% of their sales of their Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 (I’m telling you, you need serum!) to One Tree Planted with a goal of planting one million trees throughout Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador by the end of next year.
Their Limitless Lash Mascara also got my attention: It’s cruelty-free and made from 99% naturally derived ingredients, like bee and carnauba waxes, shea butter, and arginine (which is also known as keratin). Mascaras that can qualify as clean cosmetics? Why, I’m batting my eyes.
Get a Healthy Skin Routine
If you were like me and have a bag of half-used products that you don’t really love, it’s time for an upgrade. My suggestion is to find a brand you like and invest in a complete skincare routine. Besides a serum (I’m tripling down because I love you!), make sure you have a quality facial wash, toner, and moisturizer.
After all, you won’t have to use so many products if you keep your natural skin healthy and glowing. For many of us with environmental stressors everywhere, the natural products used by these brands can really help.
From there, you can pick a few choice make-up products for those special nights out. I personally prefer to keep a natural face most days, but there’s something wonderful about feeling polished and beautiful. You would be impressed by the drama I can conjure from a simple swipe of black liquid eyeliner. May you create magic with these clean beauty brands, too!
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