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The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Beauty Brands That Don't Sacrifice Quality for Sustainability

SheKnows 2023-01-24 Katia Iervasi
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When it comes to beauty brands, there is no shortage of eco-friendly options on the market. But with so many choices, it’s hard to decipher the ones that have the best ethics and safest formulas. As the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The question is: What is going on at your favorite cosmetic companies? To help you gather a few brands that should be on your radar, below is a list of the beauty brands setting a stellar example when it comes to eco-friendliness. Their beautiful and ethical products will not only make you look good, but feel good, too.

Today the term eco-friendly and clean are get tossed around without meaning. So what actually makes a beauty brand eco-friendly? A few factors come into play, but sustainable practices, naturally sourced ingredients, and conscious packaging are the most important features to look for. You want to seek out brands that eliminate toxins like parabens. You also want to find ones that try to reduce as much waste as possible with recyclable packaging. Even though it’s a task to find the best ones on beauty shelves, ahead, find the ones worth adding to your beauty lineup.

An original version of this story was published in October 2013.

The Body Shop

. - Credit: The Body Shop © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: The Body Shop The Body Shop

The Body Shop has been churning out beautiful, natural products for years, but now they’ve upped their game. They source high-quality, fair trade ingredients from farmers in places like Africa and pour everything into recycled plastic. The brand also refuses to test on animals.

If you’re searching for an eco-friendly serum that doubles as a primer, you can’t go past The Body Shop’s 2-in-1 Hemp Serum and Primer. It hydrates skin and preps it for your makeup. It leaves your complexion deliciously soft and smooth. And if you’re wondering what’s in the serum, the brand says they include “hyaluronic acid, hemp seed oil and Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera from Mexico.”

2-in-1 Hemp Serum and Primer $25.00

Origins

. - Credit: Origins © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: Origins Origins

Origins has some of the best formulas that actually deliver on their promises. The brand focuses on sourcing naturally derived ingredients without exploiting the earth. For over “30 years of Origins expertise in plant science and skin physiology, and meticulously identifies the high-performing, bioactive elements of the plant- and earth-based ingredients.”

One product you have to add to your lineup is the Ginzing Glow-Boosting Gel Moisturizer. It’s packed with ginseng and caffeine from coffee which works together to wake up your skin. It also leaves it looking rejuvenated, bright, and fully hydrated.

Ginzng Glow-Boosting Gel Moisturizer $36.00

Ilia

. - Credit: Ilia © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: Ilia Ilia

Ilia was birthed out of the belief that skin should look like skin, even while wearing makeup. Each formula is crafted from organic ingredients and packed in “recycled aluminum, glass components, and responsibly sourced paper.”

And you can’t talk about Ilia without mentioning the best-selling Skin Tint that acts as a serum and light tint. The super serum includes squalane and niacinamide, which smooths skin and leaves it with a dewy glow.

Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 $48.00

Jurlique

. - Credit: Jurlique © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: Jurlique Jurlique

This Aussie-based brand is leading the eco-luxe pack. The company has a sprawling 153-acre biodynamic farm in South Australia, on which they grow the organic chamomile, rose and lavender that makes up the base of their products. The other ingredients, like plums and citruses, are sourced from nearby organic growers. As if that wasn’t enough, Jurlique also runs a composting and revegetation project.

Jurlique’s best-selling Activating Water Essence+ enhances skin to absorb your serums and moisturizers quicker and more effectively. It has a blend of two powerful marshmallow root extracts that lock hydration into the skin without overwhelming it. Better yet, the water essence comes with 100% household recyclable and FSC-certified packaging.

Activating Water Essence+ $42.00

L’Occitane

. - Credit: L'Occitane © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: L'Occitane L'Occitane

Did you know your skin absorbs 60 percent of what you put on it? Well, when you apply a L’Occitane product, you can rest assured that you’re injecting your skin with some seriously nourishing stuff. The brand has a fully-sustainable organic farm in Corsica and they refuse to use chemical fertilizers. Best of all, the plant extracts are distilled at the site as soon as they’re harvested. No preservatives here!
 
We recommend stocking up on the brand’s hand creams that make your skin feel so silky smooth — they’re a must-have for cold winter months. We love reaching for them since the formulas are loaded with vitamin E, organic shea butter and lavender essential oils.
 
L'occitane Lavender Hand Cream $12.50
 

Korres

. - Credit: Korres © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: Korres Korres

This Greek-based company is one of the most eco-friendly in the world — and that’s a pretty big call. Korres only uses biodegradable ingredients (which is like opting for paper bags over plastic) and recyclable packaging. Most of their ingredients are sourced locally. What’s more, their practices are hard to beat: They use a steam (rather than electrical) generator to heat their facility, slashing their carbon footprint in a big way.

Korres’ Body Smoothing Milk will offer your dry, parched skin a soothing remedy. The body cream not only smooths and softens skin, but it also helps retain moisture for lasting hydration.

Body Smoothing Milk $26.00
 

Burt’s Bees

. - Credit: Burt's Bees © Provided by SheKnows . - Credit: Burt's Bees Burt's Bees

 
If Burt’s Bees were a person, he would be a tree-hugger. The brand is completely committed to using natural materials and ingredients. Their products are 99 percent natural and are housed in recycled packaging — not that you would ever guess! The company itself is also working on human and animal rights and is looking towards operating on renewable energy. 

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is a “classic”: It’s 100 percent natural and is brimming with essential fatty acids and antioxidants. The result? Soft, nourished and plumped-up lips. It also has a delicious vanilla bean scent.

Moisturizing Lip Balm $#3.99

Well People

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Well People is cruelty-free, clean, EWG verified, and powered by plants. The brand has stunning makeup picks that include ingredients like green tea, Pomegranate, rosehip, and broccoli seed oil that supports skin health.

Not sure what to try? The Supernatural Face Trio is a shopper favorite, and it’s no surprise why. The trio comes with three multi-tasking sticks with creamy formulas. One has a rosy hue that makes the best blush, and another gives a bronzy glow. Lastly, there is a stick full of shine, which makes it the prettiest highlighter.

Supernatural Face Trio $56.00

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