Following a daily skincare and beauty routine is one of the best ways to guarantee long-term skin health and a radiant complexion. But if you are a skincare junkie, you know that skincare requires a couple of bottles at a time, which can be wasteful and unsustainable.
So, what does sustainable skincare mean?
Sustainable skincare is all about keeping your skin healthy while conserving the environment. A sustainable skincare brand is one whose products are neither harmful to the user nor the environment. Thus, a sustainable skincare product is toxic-free, ethically sourced, and sustainably packaged.
A sustainable skincare routine involves using eco-friendly products that meet our needs while conserving the environment. A sustainable skincare routine is one of the ways you can incorporate self-care with sustainable living.
This article will help you discover the most sustainable beauty and skincare brands that you should definitely try out.
Why You Need a Sustainable Skincare Routine
Like fast fashion, the skincare and beauty industry promotes buying of the latest products in the market. As a result, tonnes of plastic bottles and half-empty skincare products end up in landfills.
According to research, the global cosmetics industry is responsible for 120billion packaging units annually. Crazy, right? Moreover, most of these products are often in plastic packaging, so your guess is as good as mine. It might probably take the next couple of hundred years to decompose.
Again, most of these beauty products are made of toxic chemicals and synthetics coupled with unregulated formulas, which can be dangerous to your health.
It’s not all gloomy though, don’t be sad. There are brands out there making skincare very sustainable and eco-friendly. The sustainable beauty industry is growing quite well.
Here are some of the best eco-friendly beauty brands shaking the industry. Let’s explore!
13 Best Sustainable Beauty Brands That You Should Try
1. Activist Skincare
Activist’s motto is, “Your best skin’s advocate”. This skincare brand aims to provide the best sustainable and super-effective skincare.
Their products are made of active ingredients and packaged in plastic-free containers.
They have travel kits in small bottles, perfect for testing before you can buy the whole product. You also get to enjoy special savings when you buy curated skincare sets for your skin type.
They donate 5% of their revenue to non-profit organizations for the planet. Moreover, they allow you to choose the organization where you want your 5% donated at no extra cost.
About: Incredible skincare products.
Ingredients: 100% vegan and cruelty-free ingredients
Packaging: Refillable glass containers and pouches.
Value: Donates 5% of their revenue to environmental advocacy.
From: California, US
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Like farm-to-table restaurants, Blendily makes sustainable beauty products from flora planted in their own garden. They use plants and flowers that they grow themselves.
They have a wide range of wellness botanic products for self-care and rituals. Most of their products are packaged in glass containers, though the dispensing tops are plastic.
About: Botanic products for self-care and ritual
Ingredients: Farm-to-table Botanics
Packaging: Refillable glass containers
Value: locally sourced materials, handmade products
From: Oregon, US
Available at: Blendily
3. River Organics Beauty
Want to highlight your natural features while maintaining nourished skin? River Organics is here for you. They approach makeup and skincare as one, making your beauty routine simple yet outstanding.
Their products are handmade using custom formulas and focus on naturally grown ingredients, which are soft and suitable for all skin types.
4. Rainwater Botanicals
Rainwater Botanicals is committed to the planet and the health of its customers. They use locally sourced ingredients, and their products are handmade in small batches to ensure quality and freshness.
They have a wide range of sustainable products, including skincare, hair care, natural deodorants, perfume oils, and healing salves.
Are you the high-standard skin minimalist or the adventurer who’s too busy for skincare routines? Well, Dewmighty gets that, and they have perfect products for you.
They have formulas for each skin type and a dermatologist in place to ensure zero irritation on your skin.
About: Unbottled, slow skincare and beauty essentials.
Ingredients: Plant-based ingredients
Packaging: Refillable stainless steel tins and glass containers
Value: A member of the plastic pollution coalition
From: California, US
Shipping: Worldwide, except in China and a few other remote locations
Available at: Dewmighty
Ethique is one of those brands that is revolutionizing the whole beauty industry. They make all their skincare and haircare products in a solid bar form, eliminating the use of water and plastic.
Born out of frustration with the vast amounts of waste generated by the cosmetics industry, Ethique has been able to save over 13 million plastic bottles and is aiming for half a billion by 2030.
The company began with zero-waste bathroom essentials and has since evolved to produce other skin and beauty items.
They plant a tree for every order you make to offset their carbon emissions and also donate 2% of their sales to charity.
About: Solid (bars) skincare products
Ingredients: Plant-based and palm oil-free ingredients
Packaging: Compostable paper packaging
Value: 2% revenue donations to charity, direct trade, and living wage certified.
From: Christchurch, New Zealand
Shipping: Canada (excluding Canadian PO boxes), United States, and United States Minor Outlying Islands.
Available at: Ethique
7. Conscious Skincare
Just as their name suggests, they are very conscious about the environment and the well-being of their customers. All their ingredients are plant-based, ethically sourced, and practice fair trade.
They are certified by PETA and the vegetarian society and have a cruelty-free logo on all their products. They also have very sustainable packaging options.
Moreover, they allow you to sample their face products before you can make an actual purchase.
About: Natural, organic, and vegan skincare
Ingredients: vegan and cruelty-free certified ingredients
Packaging: Glass and aluminum bottles
Value: Certified by PETA and Cruelty-Free International
From: Wales, UK
Available at: Conscious Skincare
8. Skin Essence Organics
I like that this brand has a collection for different skin types: combination/normal skin, dry skin, acne/oily skin, sensitive skin, you name it.
Their products are made of premium nature extracts made in small batches and packed in amber glass to ensure freshness and purity.
About: Organic Skincare
Ingredients: Certified organic ingredients
Packaging: Recyclable tinted glass and biodegradable packaging
Value: Certified organic by Ecocert and USDA
Available at: Skin Essence
9. Meow Meow Tweet
Looking for an all-around ethical brand, this is the one. They have an extensive range of pits, hair care, body, and face products.
Their products are vegan, zero waste, handmade and with no animal derivatives.
This brand believes that no one should be limited by their choices, hence having products for everybody, every person, and every identity.
10. Plaine Products
Plaine Products began with zero-waste shampoo bars but has recently expanded into skincare. The company’s mission is to provide you with zero-waste personal care alternatives. Their products are vegan, chemical-free, and come in refillable bottles.
About: Refillable vegan bath and body products
Ingredients: vegan and non-GMO ingredients blended with essential oils (instead of synthetic fragrances)
Packaging: Aluminium refillable packaging
Value: Certified organic by B Corporation and 1% for the Planet.
From: Ohio, US
Shipping: Within the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada
11. Fat and the Moon
Fat and the Moon is here to provide the most outstanding products possible for you, your skin, and the planet.
Each item is prepared by hand (and with love!) using the finest organically grown and thoughtfully selected ingredients. Discover their nourishing plant-milk cleansers, luscious lip paints, and rich organic body oils. Each product is also packed with consideration for the environment.
About: Herbalist Formulated products
Ingredients: plant-powered ingredients
Packaging: Compostable and recyclable packaging
Value: Committed to supporting social justice and inclusion. Certified by B Corporation and 1% for the planet
From: California, US
12. Yay for Earth
Yay for Earth started as a desperate attempt to create a gentle product for sensitive skin. Its mission is to provide gentle yet mighty products that leave you with beautiful glowing skin.
About: 100% eco-friendly beauty brand
Ingredients: Organic and nutrient-dense ingredients
Packaging: Glass, metal, and compostable packaging
Value: Zero waste production, supports local beekeepers and organic farming.
From: New York, US
13. Trail Botanica
Trail Botanica is a zero-waste vegan adventure skincare brand with artfully handmade products. They aim to provide the most sustainable and effective products for the community, environment, and the economy.
This brand is perfect if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Indulge in their wide range of products, including soaps, lip balm, deodorant, skin salve, and sun sticks.
About: Adventure skincare brand
Ingredients: Vegan ingredients
Packaging: zero waste packaging
Value: Voluntary batch record-keeping and GMP/FDA compliance
From: Pennsylvania, US
Shipping: Within the US
Available at: TrailBotanica
What Makes a Brand Sustainable
Sustainable skincare is perhaps a little more challenging to define because there are so many phrases that brands may use that are unregulated and signify almost anything.
Though they may make ethical or sustainable claims, beauty brands are not always true to their word. Instead, “sustainable” is misused as a marketing ploy, leading to greenwashing.
The good news is that there are indicators of sustainable beauty brands, and we’re here to enlighten you.
Here are some of the factors to consider when looking for eco-friendly beauty brands:
- Cruelty-free Products
The skincare industry is a major culprit when it comes to animal welfare. Many brands use animal derivatives or test their products on animals.
An anti-cruelty product means that no animals are used in its development. A transparent brand will display its cruelty-free accreditation on its products.
- Vegan ingredients
A sustainable beauty or skin care product should not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
Although most skincare products contain beeswax, especially sunscreen, the brand should ensure that the beeswax is sustainably sourced.
- Non-toxic/ natural ingredients
Conventional beauty products rely on petroleum-based ingredients and other chemicals for production. These chemicals are not only harsh to the skin but also require extensive mining, which is harmful to the environment.
Non-toxic ingredients are naturally grown from plants and sourced sustainably. Brands that utilize these ingredients are part of the clean beauty movement.
- Palm oil free
Palm oil plantations are responsible for a significant portion of the destruction of rainforests and the eradication of thousands of species. Instead of palm oil, brands can use other sustainable alternatives such as coconut oil.
However, a brand can be sustainable if it uses sustainably sourced palm oil.
- Ethical sourcing
Transparency in sourcing materials is one of the most important signs of a sustainable brand. Ethical sourcing looks beyond environmental impact and focuses on the entire supply chain.
Does the brand offer ethical treatment to its workers? Does it empower the community? Does it pay a fair price to its suppliers? All these factors must come into play.
- Eco-friendly packaging
Most beauty products come in plastic bottles, which are unsuitable for the environment. Brands are now switching to thoughtful or zero-waste packaging, which is excellent news.
The best packaging is those that are completely plastic-free or those that use compostable packaging.
Other options include recyclable aluminum, glass packaging, and brands that use post-consumer recycled materials.
Accreditations are essential as they can hold brands accountable for their claims.
Look out for accreditations such as;
- Certified Organic
- Soil Association
- B Corporation
- 1% For The Planet
Be sure to check other accreditations are country-specific.
- Resource management
A sustainable brand should effectively manage its resources, including waste management. Efforts such as zero waste, water, and energy management are good indicators.
The company should be able to promote a circular economy.
Switching to sustainable skincare can be an uphill task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start by replacing each product as it depletes; in the end, you will have a line of sustainable products.
What has been your experience with sustainable beauty and skincare? Also, let us know what you think of these sustainable brands? Have we missed any? We’d like to hear from you.