The beauty industry is anything but beautiful; toxic chemicals and plastic waste are a frequent byproduct of this industry.
Not only do these chemicals pollute the planet, the parabens and phthalates used in many of the formulas aren’t so great for our health, either.
Enter clean and sustainable beauty brands creating products that help us look good and feel good without harmful consequences.
What is the most sustainable makeup brand?
While we’d be hard pushed to pick just one, we can at least share a few of our go-to brands for clean, green cosmetics and skincare.
The Best Sustainable Beauty Brands Creating Conscious Cosmetics
Protect your skin and the planet with Activist Skincare’s ethically-made refillable products. Ingredients have been responsibly sourced, and they donate to several environmental non-profits.
For its all-natural ingredient lists and ethical sourcing (not to mention the quirky drawings on its sustainable beauty packaging), vegan brand Meow Meow Tweet has us purring over its eco-friendly skincare products.
Fat and the Moon are all about healing, both our bodies and the planet. The herbalist-created products are packed with minimally processed, natural, and ethically sourced ingredients and housed in reusable and recyclable packaging.
Talking of moons, we’re over the moon to find out that the number of sustainable beauty brands is rising as more and more brands create their products with our own health and the health of the planet in mind.
Eco-friendly beauty brands: what are they? Pop down to the bottom to learn how we chose our favorites from the clean cosmetics industry.
Our Curated List Of The Best Eco-Friendly Beauty Brands
1. Activist Skincare
Price Range | $6–$57 | Shop Activist Skincare
Values | Cruelty-free, organic, low waste
Ingredients | Ethically sourced, non-toxic, palm oil free, and cruelty-free. Note that all their products except the sunscreen (which contains beeswax) are vegan. All ingredients are rated “1” by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
What We Love | Women-owned brand Activist Skincare combines green chemistry and natural botanicals to create its small batch ethical and sustainable skincare products. Everything is ethically made in Los Angeles, and refills are available on a one-time purchase and subscription basis.
Activist Skincare’s Sustainable Beauty Range
Take a stance against toxic ingredients with Activist’s range of simple, sustainable beauty products formulated with responsibly sourced and safe ingredients.
They offer three different cleansers, a toning mist, two serums, and a facial oil. You can try them all with the Refillable Trial & Travel Kit.
Our personal favorite is the Sea to Skin Cleansing Gel, a gentle, luxurious cleanser for all skin types made with high-quality ingredients, including cold-pressed grapeseed oil and cucumber extract.
It not only cleanses away dirt, makeup, and impurities, but leaves even the most sensitive skin (i.e. ours) feeling hydrated—no after wash moisturizer necessary.
A feast for the senses, its vibrant blue color is thanks to superfood spirulina, and it’s naturally scented instead of with synthetic fragrances.
Activist Skincare’s Sustainability
Certifications | Certified organic by Ecocert and Quality Assurance International (QAI).
Ethical Sourcing | Committed to an ethical supply chain, Activist works with like-minded suppliers and supports female and POC-owned businesses as much as possible.
Carbon | Offering refillable beauty products, Activist says their refill pouches cut CO2 emissions by 99% compared to glass containers because they’re lighter to ship.
Thoughtful Packaging | Products come in refillable glass containers and refill pouches that can be recycled via TerraCycle. If you don’t have a TerraCycle drop-off point nearby, you can send them back to Activist instead.
2. Meow Meow Tweet
Price Range | $12–$30 | Shop Meow Meow Tweet
Values | Vegan, cruelty-free, organic, low waste
Ingredients | Ethically sourced, fair trade, organic, natural, non-toxic, non-GMO, palm oil free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
What We Love | This New York brand is the cat’s meow for eco-friendly beauty products. Their 100% vegan range is formulated using high-quality natural ingredients, and the quirky drawings on their eco-friendly packaging will add some fun to your zero-waste bathroom.
Meow Meow Tweet‘s Sustainable Beauty Range
From facial soaps and cleansers to moisturizing face oils and Vegan Lip Balm in compostable tubes, you’ll find plenty of affordable, sustainable beauty products for each step of your skincare routine.
Psst… the Coconut Cacao flavor is our absolute favorite!
Wake up your skin and your senses with the refreshing Matcha Lime Face Exfoliant Mask.
Full of natural nourishing ingredients, including marshmallow root, matcha, green clay, aloe, and pineapple, this gentle, hydrating exfoliator is suitable for all skin types. The powder form means it will last for ages, too.
Meow Meow Tweet‘s Sustainability
Certifications | USDA-certified organic, Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free, Climate Neutral, B Corporation (B Corp), and Plastic Negative Certified.
Ethical Sourcing | Fairtrade products include coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, sugar, and coffee. Meow Meow Tweet ensures that plant ingredients come from sustainable sources and prioritizes women-owned companies when choosing suppliers.
Carbon | Meow Meow Tweet is carbon-neutral certified.
Thoughtful Packaging | Products are housed in compostable cardboard, aluminum bottles, and glass jars with aluminum lids. The small amount of plastic they use is offset via a partnership with rePurpose Global, and shipping is 100% plastic-free.
Pay It Forward | MMT gives back to a different charity each month, particularly smaller, grassroots organizations working for environmental change, social change, and animal rights.
3. Fat and the Moon
Price Range | $6–$56 | Shop Fat and the Moon
Values | Cruelty-free, organic, low waste
Ingredients | Ethically sourced, natural, non-toxic, minimally processed, palm oil free, and cruelty-free. Many products are vegan, but some contain beeswax.
What We Love | This women-owned brand draws upon the founder’s herbal wisdom to create some of the best eco-friendly beauty products, as they call them, “plant potions for your bod garden”. All herbal products are handmade-to-order in Grass Valley using high-quality, responsibly sourced ingredients.
Fat and the Moon’s Ethical and Sustainable Beauty Products
One of the best sustainable beauty brands for natural eco-friendly beauty products, Fat and the Moon offers balms, cleansers, lotions, perfumes, makeup, shampoo bars, conditioner bars, foot powder, and much more.
Add some conscious color lips and cheeks with the luscious Beetroot Cheek + Lip Stain. It’s naturally colored using alkanet root and beetroot and, in true zero-waste style, comes in an aluminum tin (no plastic in sight).
They also offer several natural, nourishing products for mama and baby, including the Growing Belly Balm.
Fat and the Moon’s Sustainability
Certifications | Fat and the Moon is in the process of becoming a Certified B Corp. Over half of their ingredients are certified organic—we’ll be reaching out to check on the awarding body. The coca powder and refined coconut oil they use are Fair Trade Certified.
Ethical Sourcing | Plant ingredients are responsibly sourced. They aim to increase their use of regeneratively grown ingredients and prioritize ethical suppliers.
Carbon | Fat and the Moon has calculated its emissions. They are seeking ways to cut their Scope 3 emissions, e.g., through increasing their business orders. They offset some of their shipping emissions. You can read more in their latest ESG Report.
Thoughtful Packaging | Their sustainable packaging for beauty products comprises reusable aluminum and glass containers, compostable pouches, and cardboard.
Pay It Forward | Through partnerships and donations, Fat and the Moon supports several people and organizations working for social good.
4. Conscious Skincare
Price Range | £3–£46 | Shop Conscious Skincare
Values | Vegan, cruelty-free, organic, low waste
Ingredients | Non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free, and mostly certified organic ingredients.
What We Love | Conscious Skincare ticks all our criteria with its eco-friendly organic beauty products. Everything is handmade in Wales in a food-grade facility approved by the Soil Association.
Conscious Skincare’s Ethical Beauty Products, UK
If you’ve been searching for sustainable beauty brands in the UK, you’re in luck. This North Wales based brand has plenty of ethical products for faces, bodies, and hair.
For faces, they offer everything you need to cleanse, scrub, tone, and moisturize, including their award-winning Orange Blossom Toner. Made with organic orange blossom water, this naturally fragranced toner is suitable for normal to oily skin and doubles as an on-the-go spritz for a quick freshen-up.
It includes 50ml versions of their top-rated vegan and eco-friendly beauty products and a fair trade organic zip bag.
Conscious Skincare’s Sustainability
Certifications | EWG VERIFIED™, PETA-approved, The Vegetarian Society Vegan Approved, PETA cruelty-free and vegan, The Good Shopping Guide Ethical Verification, and Ethical Consumer Best Buy. Organic certification comes from Ecocert, Soil Association, and USDA Organic.
Thoughtful Packaging | Products are packaged in refillable glass and aluminum bottles, jars, and tins. You can choose whether you want a plastic pump, and their refillable beauty products come in recycled and recyclable plastic containers. Some product labels are biodegradable, and shipping boxes are recycled and recyclable.
Pay It Forward | Conscious Skincare gives back to local organizations, including Greenacres Animal Rescue.
5. Moonrise Creek
Price Range | $6–$46 | Shop Moonrise Creek
Values | Cruelty-free, organic
Ingredients | Natural and cruelty-free. You will find mica and titanium dioxide in their mineral cosmetics range. Most of their products are vegan, but some contain beeswax and goats milk.
What We Love | This female-owned brand harnesses the power of plants to create its range of eco beauty products. Everything is freshly made in small batches without the use of preservatives.
Moonrise Creek’s Eco Beauty Products
From luxurious clay masks to tinted moisturizers, Moonrise Creek offers everything you need for a botanical beauty routine. Their range of mineral cosmetics includes concealers, foundations, primers, powders, moisturizers, and vegan brushes to apply them with.
Give your skin some TLC with the Lavish Face Cream. Full of powerhouse plant oils, including rosehip, camelina, kukui nut, and argan, it absorbs easily to feed and hydrate skin without blocking your pores.
For a nourishing eyelash treatment, you can pop on some of Moonrise Creek’s Nutrient Rich Clear Mascara before going to bed. The all-natural ingredients will work their magic overnight, and the soft, clear finish makes it a great all-round mascara for daytime, too.
Moonrise Creek’s Sustainability
Ethical Sourcing | While some products do contain palm oil, it is sustainably sourced. We’re contacting them to find out about their mica sourcing.
Thoughtful Packaging | Many of Moonrise Creek’s products come in glass jars and bottles. The herbal apothecary products and some of the tinted lip balms are packaged in tins. They do use plastic packaging for some items.
Price Range | $15–$210 | Shop Axiology
Values | Vegan, cruelty-free, organic, zero waste
Ingredients | Ethically sourced, non-toxic, fragrance-free, palm oil free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Many of their ingredients are organic. They use synthetic mica.
What We Love | This 100% plastic-free beauty brand offers multi-purpose crayons made with nourishing natural ingredients and free from synthetic preservatives.
Axiology’s Sustainable Beauty Products
Some of the best sustainable beauty products are multi-use products that help to minimize consumption. Axiology’s Balmies and Multi-Sticks do just that.
We personally love the versatility of the 3-in-1 Balmies crayons, which come in a selection of hues and can be applied to eyes, cheeks, or lips for instant color. Plus, they’re super light and pocket-sized, perfect for all-day touch-ups.
Ideal for those with drier skin, the Cream Color Multi-Sticks contain hydrating coconut and avocado oil.
The Balmies, while still packed with nourishing ingredients like hemp and plum oil, have a drier matte finish suited to oiler skin.
Certifications | PETA cruelty-free and vegan
Ethical Sourcing | Axiology’s chosen mica supplier supports the organization “Made in a Free World” and its efforts to remove children from mines.
Thoughtful Packaging | The crayon wrapping, tubes, and boxes are all made from FSC-certified paper.
Pay It Forward | Axiology partners with a women’s cooperative in Bali for their recycled box packaging. They donate to animal charities, including local sanctuaries.
7. Andrea’s Organic Market
Price Range | $5–$84 | Shop Andrea’s Organic Market
Values | Cruelty-free, organic
Ingredients | Natural, non-toxic, non-GMO, ethically sourced, palm oil free, and cruelty-free. AOM uses fair trade ingredients when possible. Some products contain goat’s milk, but they offer a coconut milk vegan alternative. They also use beeswax and honey in some of their products.
What We Love | Oklahoma-based Andrea’s Organic Market is an affordable, eco-friendly beauty brand making products good for you and the planet. You won’t find any harmful chemicals or synthetic ingredients in their handmade offerings.
Andrea’s Organic Market‘s Eco-friendly Beauty Products
This sustainable beauty brand offers face scrubs, face masks, lip scrubs, lip balms, serums, body scrubs, body creams, body mist, hair masks, and much more, all made with high quality ingredients like raw butters and cold-pressed oils.
For some natural pampering, their Sea Mineral Facial Mask is packed with nourishing natural ingredients, including kelp and spirulina. Choose between the goat milk or coconut milk vegan version.
While you’re at it, you can also treat your lips to some gentle exfoliation with the Coconut Lip Scrub. It’s made with raw vegan ingredients, including cane sugar, coconut milk, and blue agave nectar.
Andrea’s Organic Market‘s Sustainability
Certifications | Organic, Fair Trade (we’ll be reaching out to check which certifying bodies they use).
Ethical Sourcing | AOM prioritizes the use of fair trade ingredients.
Thoughtful Packaging | Products are housed in reusable glass bottles and jars, and you can opt to switch out plastic pumps or spray tops for a recyclable metal cap. All paper is recycled, and shipping is plastic-free, right down to the hemp string, packing peanuts, and biodegradable tape. Biodegradable refill pouches for dried products are available on request.
8. Dab Herb Makeup
Price Range | $3–$240 | Shop Dab Herb Makeup
Values | Vegan, cruelty-free, low waste, organic
Ingredients | Ethically sourced, natural, wild-crafted, organic, fair-trade, vegan, food-grade, non-toxic, palm-oil free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
What We Love | With its “Nature to Nurture” ethos, Dab Herb Makeup ticks all our boxes with its sustainable beauty and skincare products. Made from high-quality food-grade organic or ethically wild-harvested ingredients, you can rest easy knowing their products are safe and healthy for your skin.
Dab Herb Makeup’s Ethical Beauty Products
From plant-based tinted moisturizers served in wooden pots to herbal eye shadow in glass jars, this Californian-based beauty brand has plenty to offer those seeking sustainable American beauty products.
Their Organic Herb Lip Paint is made from 100% food-grade ingredients, many of which are certified organic, including unrefined avocado and hemp seed oils, beetroot, cherry, and rosehips. Soft and blendable, these natural lipsticks go on sheer but can be built up to a glossy finish.
Available in four lush colors, they’re also ideal for moisturizing dry lips. Before discovering this, we hated wearing lipstick because of how it would dehydrate our lips. Now, we love wearing it!
Choose between a glass jar with a metal cap or a bamboo and plastic push-up tube. (We recommend the former for a plastic-free pout).
Dab Herb Makeup‘s Sustainability
Certifications | USDA Organic
Ethical Sourcing | Dab Herb Makeup chooses suppliers that share the brand’s values. The small amount of mica they use is responsibly sourced from USA mines.
Thoughtful Packaging | You’ll find glass containers, metal tins, and gorgeous reusable, responsibly sourced wooden pots. Some of their containers have plastic sifters but these can be removed on request. Orders are shipped plastic-free.
9. Honeywild Apothecary
Price Range | $5–$65 | Shop Honeywild Apothecary
Values | Cruelty-free, organic, low waste
Ingredients | Ingredients in Honeywild Apothecary eco beauty products are ethically sourced, fair-trade, non-toxic, cruelty-free. Many ingredients are certified organic, and some are wild-foraged. Some products contain locally sourced honey and beeswax.
What We Love | Honeywild Apothecary offers the next best thing to homemade sustainable beauty products with its simple, natural formulations freshly made in small batches. They have their own 5-acre farm where they grow flowers and herbs to create infused oils and practice responsible beekeeping.
Honeywild Apothecary‘s Sustainable Beauty Products
From cold-pressed soaps and botanical bath salts to natural deodorants and organic lip balms, Honeywild offers an inviting range of nourishing and sustainable self-care products.
The Everything Balm is Honeywild Apothecary’s “everyday skin savior”.
Made with locally sourced beeswax, infused calendula oil, lavender essential oil, organic shea butter, and vitamin E. This nourishing multi-use balm is formulated to soothe and hydrate. Apply wherever your skin needs some TLC.
They also offer several gift sets, including the Natural Spa Kit, complete with a beeswax candle, bath salts, bath flowers, and body butter. An ideal self-care gift for a loved one, you can choose which scent of body butter and bath salt blend is included.
Honeywild Apothecary’s Sustainability
Certifications | Organic (unknown certifying body)
Ethical Sourcing | The honey and beeswax they use are either from their small farm or a nearby beekeeper. Palm oil is sustainably sourced.
Thoughtful Packaging | Many products are presented in glass jars with metal lids (and beautiful labels), and they use cardboard push-up tubes for deodorant and lip balms. Shipping is plastic-free.
How We Chose The Most Sustainable Beauty Brands
What is a sustainable beauty brand?
While no two sustainable beauty brands are alike, we looked for those committed to addressing sustainability at all levels, from responsible ingredient sourcing to plastic-free shipping.
Here are the criteria we used when looking for beauty brands that are sustainable.
B Corporation (B Corp), Climate Neutral Certified, Not Tested On Animals by Choose Cruelty-Free, Leaping Bunny by Cruelty-Free International, Cruelty Free and Vegan by PETA, Ecocert COSMOS Approved, EWG VERIFIED™, Fair Trade Certified, Plastic Negative Certified, Quality Assurance International Organic Certification (QAI), Soil Association, The Vegetarian Society, US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA Organic), Vegan Society Trademark
Note that not all of these sustainable beauty brands specified the awarding body for organic certification, so we’ll contact them to find out.
Most sustainable beauty companies on this list use a clean beauty approach with all-natural plant-based ingredients such as butters, oils, flowers, herbs, and essential oils.
Synthetic ingredients, if used, must be safe and non-toxic. Third-party verification from organizations such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides the necessary reassurance.
Because many ethical beauty products are freshly handmade in small batches using only natural ingredients, it’s important to store them correctly. Keeping them in the fridge can help them last longer. Check with the brand for any specific instructions.
An ethical supply chain is crucial, so we looked for the best ethical beauty brands taking steps to ensure that their ingredients are responsibly sourced. Many brands source Fair Trade, when possible, for ingredients like coconut oil and cocoa butter.
Due to concerns regarding child labor and the mining of mica, brands using mica in their makeup need to ensure that it is responsibly sourced. Likewise, those still using palm oil must ensure it is sustainably sourced and not contributing to deforestation.
Many of the sustainable beauty brands on our list are small businesses that hand-make their products in small batches. This avoids waste, and combined with sustainable packaging, makes for a lower carbon footprint.
Kudos to brands going the extra mile to reduce their carbon footprint by measuring their emissions, taking steps to reduce them, and carrying out carbon offsetting. Becoming Climate Neutral certified is the icing on the cake.
Considering all the disposable and hard-to-recycle plastic waste associated with beauty products, sustainable packaging is one of the most important factors.
Eco-friendly containers for beauty products include refillable and reusable glass jars and bottles, aluminum tins and bottles, cardboard tubes, and compostable paper.
If it’s not zero waste, it needs to at least be recyclable packaging and ideally made of post-consumer recycled materials.
Pay It Forward:
Beauty brands that are eco-friendly and give back add an extra glow to our skin.
Closing Thoughts On The Best Environmentally Friendly Beauty Brands & Products
If we’re trying to make something beautiful, it shouldn’t come at the ugly cost of harming the planet.
By supporting the top sustainable beauty brands, we can say goodbye to toxin-laden products housed in single-use plastic and hello to safe, clean formulas thoughtfully created and packaged with the planet in mind.
Share this article with your beauty-loving besties and help spread the word about the most ethical beauty brands changing the beauty industry for the better.