29 ways towards your clean beauty conversion.
Clean beauty is supposed to be better for the environment and for your skin, too.
And we all love to take good care of both. We tirelessly search for the magical potion that’s supposed to do it all, progressively building up our very personal rituals.
With a raising demand for sustainable products, companies have started a massive conversion towards greener proposals.
And, if many of them are doing a good job in leading a sustainable and fair production system, at least as many are investing more time and money in claiming how green they are rather than actually doing the hard work to ensure its sustainability.
So how do we pick between infinite choices, incomprehensible ingredients lists and enticing packaging?
We did some research for you and this is our ultimate clean beauty shopping list. Copy that 🙂
Italian clean beauty market place. They select 100% natural based organic products featuring a full ingredients’ transparency on their website. Packaging is almost completely plastic free (if you find some, it’s recycled) while shipping boxes are 100% recyclable and made of 80% recycled paper. In addition, they participate in funding several climate protections projects around the world. Skincare to make up. Most products range between 30 and 50 Eur. Ships everywhere.
Certified Leaping Bunny and B-Corporation. Products of highest quality. Their Ethical Sourcing Program monitors environmental and social impact of their supply chain and aims to reduce packaging impact. They have an in-store packaging return program (Rinse and Return). The company is committed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2030. In Australia and New Zealand, they are certified carbon neutral. Ships everywhere. Avg 30-50 Eur.
100% made in Italy, skin and hair care. Certified organic ingredients sourced from biodynamic agriculture in Tuscany, powered 100% by renewable energy. Locally sourced and traceable production thanks to short and local supply chain. Packaging is made 100% from recycled fibers and 100% recyclable bottles. They take part to the Treedom campaign, assigning a tree for each online purchase and creating the “Biofficina Tuscan Forest”. Avg price 15 eur. IT only.
As sharks are hunted daily for their squalene (an oil in their liver used for skincare products), Biossance scientists patented a renewable, sugarcane-derived version of it, called squalAne, making it the main ingredient of their products. Sustainably sourced ingredients certified by Peta and Leaping Bunny. Bottles are 100% recyclable and outer cartons are made from renewable sugarcane paper without dyes or inks. Committed to being zero-waste by 2025. In partnership with carbonfund.org, they plant trees and fund reforestation to offset every order shipped. All lab formulations are certified by My Green Lab. They collaborate with organizations like Oceana, Direct Relief and Breast Cancer Prevention to educate on environmental, social and legislative issues. They have created a “ Clean Academy” which teaches about sustainability best practices and clean ingredients. Avg price is slightly higher (40/50 Eur) but totally worth it! Ships everywhere.
Cocokind has joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which means the company is actively searching for and implementing improvements to packaging systems. The company is also reimagining its “cycle-back program” for a more sustainable long-term solution, because shipping empty bottles across America seems counterproductive. US/CA only. Avg price 15-20$.
Part of DAVINES group. Certified B-Corp. They produce in Italy with renewable energy. Their packaging is fully recyclable and offset their CO2 emissions through Ethio Trees, a project of reforestation and social regeneration. They have established a scientific garden which is an open air lab inside the Davines Village in Parma, where they study new botanical molecules for their innovative cosmetic. No silicons, artificial colors or animal byproducts. Italy only.
Last year, the Italian brand unveiled its spectacular new HQ, Davines Village, featuring a host of sustainable initiatives: 100% of its electricity is from renewable sources, it is single-use plastic-free, has electric vehicle charging points and repurposes its restaurant’s organic waste. Last year the company also achieved carbon neutrality for packaging production. They are committed to become net zero emissions by 2030. Certified B-Corp. Ships everywhere. Avg price $35.
Among my favorites. A pioneer in this field, the 50-year-old brand uses biodynamic farming methods to grow its ingredients, and 100% green electricity. Most of its high-quality, plant-based offering is packaged in glass and aluminium jars and tubes; what plastic remains has begun the transition to PCR, saving 65% of raw oil in the process. Among others, they work with the World Hunger Project in Africa and Afghanistan. Ships everywhere.
Early leader of the “clean beauty” movement, the startup was acquired by cosmetic giant Shiseido in 2019. Ingredients are based on biocompatibility, which is when they match the skin’s natural pH level. They fully avoid the “suspicious 6” (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreen, fragrances, SLS), suspected to be at the root of most skin issues. Available in US and EU selected countries.
Italian make up brand. Their website features full (interesting) disclaimer on current greenwashing in the clean-beauty movement. Their formulas are subject to strict EU regulations, free from paraben, sulfates, formaldehydes etc… 100% made in Italy, local and contained production. Committed to eliminating plastic from all secondary packaging by end 2020. Great marketing. Packaging and IG are very cool. They also sell brand-related merchandise.
Born 2015 in New Zealand. They use no packaging at all, everything comes under form of bar. Certified B-Corp. Natural derived ingredients. All its products are compostable, free of plastic, palm oil and non-sustainable paper stock. Face, hair and body products come in solid bar form, saving about 1l of water each versus bottled products. Ethique’s carbon-neutral practices are projected to save 10m plastic bottles from manufacture and landfill by 2020. Price range below 20 EUR / USD. Available worldwide.
Multitasking 100% natural oil. Ingredients are organic oils (coconut, olive, argan, jojoba, castor) mixed with organic lavender, geranium and sage. Pure as is. Ships everywhere. M size less than 20$.
Made in Italy. Ships globally through Neiman Marcus and Goop. Ingredients are grown in an organic estate among the sicilian hills and combined with innovative science. They adhere to EU strict regulations banning over 1’300 chemical ingredients. La Fortuna Estate is sustainably grown and wild-foraged. Avg price 100 Eur.
Milan based skincare brand with strong, fresh image. Products are vegan and organic, certified by AIAB which guarantees for natural sources, environmentally friendly production and a restricted use of chemical processes. No paraben, phthalates, silicones, synthetic fragrances or dyes. Avg price 40 Eur. Ships to EU and US.
Ilia may be better known for its clean beauty products (creams & make up); but the brand also advocates for sustainability, and ensures the use of recycled aluminum and post-consumer recycled paper printed with vegetable-based dyes. They have a program for which you can ship the finished product (of any brand) and they will recycle it 100%. The Serum Skin Tint is their best selling product ($46). Ships internationally.
Born a decade ago, after founder Indie Lee was diagnosed with brain tumor which doctors suspected to be derived from what she was putting on her skin. Products feature only organic natural derived ingredients. Productions happens mostly in France, which makes them obliged to adhere to EU standards (far stricter than US’s), banning over 1,300 toxic ingredients. COSMOS organic certified. Most of their products come in recyclables glass and feature Instagram friendly design. Avg price 40$. For EU shipment order through Selfridges.
Most of their ingredients are grown organically in their botanical garden. Products are 100% nature derived, non-GMO and without parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, phlalates, colorants etc… Eco-friendly packaging and aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2024. Carbon offset available on all orders. Australia/US/CA only. Avg price 60$.
Zero waste beauty, sourcing organic, food grade, earth friendly ingredients that are always packaged in glass. All ingredients are water free. Products are shipped in compostable bags and post consumer-recycled and recyclable materials. Some of the products feature main ingredients that are upcycled from food waste. For example, the brand sources oil from the kernel of the French Ente Plum directly from a farm that would otherwise discard them. US only.
Founded in LA in 2017. Top product is the Body Lotion. They use 85% post-consumer waste boxes and 100% recyclable paper for their boxes. They only work with FSC-certified vendors. No virgin forest materials are ever used. They have full “NO” ingredients list one their website. The company is carbon neutral certified. Clean ingredients. Avg price $25. US/UK only.
Its recycling scheme invites customers to take empty packaging from any brand to UK counters, to be washed, shredded and transformed into plastic pellets, which can be used in anything from new packaging to street signs. The scheme has processed more than 1.2 tonnes of empties since 2010. Return to Origins They partner with American Forests Global ReLeaf and as of today the have planted more than 1.3M trees. They use 100% renewable energy and by 2020 zero industrial waste-to-landfill. US/CA only.
California based. All of their products are bottled in recyclable glass. Plus, by eliminating the use of synthetic ingredients that are harmful for your skin, they also eliminate the harm that production would cost our ecosystem. Innovative formulations of certified organic, bioavailable seaweed are blended with pure steam-distilled and cold pressed essential oils. US only.
Certified B-Corp. Certified by Leaping Bunny and Peta. Their packaging is recycled pulp board, use eco-friendly inks (like soy), and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) materials for boxes. They purchase carbon credits to offset shipping of every online order, freight shipments and manufacturing process. They instituted a Supplier Code of Conduct based on which suppliers are chosen. Company commits to several environmental and social donations listed on their website. Ah, and their products? Among the best. Obviously no parabens, sulfate cleansers, pthalates, synthetic fragrances in facial skincare, mineral oil, TEA, petrolatum. Avg 50$. Available through Sephora for EU purchases.
Sustainability is considered in every aspect of the product line, from raw materials (renewable, GMO-free and many grown on the Vermont farm where she lives), to production (most are handmade in small batches on the premises, all using environmentally friendly processes), to bottles (any plastic is made from corn-derived resin). All paper and card is recycled and printed with soy ink. Avg price 80-100$. Ships everywhere.
Pioneering in this field long before it became a trend, in 1987 it launched Community Fair Trade, a commitment to local suppliers and projects. It has since invested in recycled plastic and given 2,500 waste pickers in India access to better working conditions, improved education and health services, a fair price for their work and predictable income. Empty containers can be returned to stores, to be recycled or repurposed. Certified B-Corporation. Ships everywhere. Avg price $30.
Brand from DECIEM. Global success due to clinical-advanced formulas at (very) low prices (below 10$). Products are free of: parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone. Essential and effective. You are gonna feel like a little chemist with your tiny glass bottles. Ships everywhere.
Every True Botanicals formula is MADE SAFE certified—made without 5,000+ known toxic ingredients. Products are developed, produced, packaged, and shipped to you in ways that minimize their impact on the environment. Ships partially to EU. California based.
French based Skincare & Haircare brand. Certified B-Corporation. Essential formulas loaded with natural active ingredients sourced from sustainable farms. Full traceability on the ingredients’ provenance. They use only recyclable materials and have reduced size of packages to limit carbon footprint of transportation. Ships everywhere. Avg price 20$.
More than 75% of Weleda’s plant ingredients come from biodynamic or organic farming, or controlled wild collection. Its commitment to biodiversity, and ethical treatment of workers, has been recognized by the Union for Ethical BioTrade – it is one of only two beauty brands to carry the UEBT mark and was the first to earn a Look For The Zero badge, showing none of its products contains any form of plastic. Ships everywhere.
Superfood skincare which is basically a green smoothy for the skin. Products are a blend of leafy greens, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Free of sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and added color. Jars and bottles come only in glass; boxes are 100% recyclable. Cruelty-free and 100% Vegan. Available in EU trough Sephora. Avg price 40$.