There's no denying that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact. And with 120 billion units of packaging being produced by the global cosmetics industry year on year, according to a report published by ZeroWaste in 2018, it's easy to understand why. With statistics like that, it's imperative and more important than ever that we consume beauty products mindfully but it can be hard to know where to start when you're thinking about making more sustainable choices. Thankfully, the beauty industry has been taking steps towards helping to create a cleaner and greener planet and there are now a whole host of efficacious and sustainable beauty brands on the market.
But before we get started, when we discuss sustainable beauty products, what do we actually mean? Typically, the term is used to encompass products made using environmentally-friendly formulations, ethical production practices or packaging methods and, for sustainable cosmetic products in particular, the use of natural ingredients produced from renewable raw materials. Ready to revamp your beauty cabinet and routine? Keep scrolling...
SHOP OUR EDIT OF THE BEST SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY PRODUCTS:
A beauty brand that has stood by their sustainable beliefs from the beginning, this brand never tests on animals, uses only sustainable plant ingredients and chooses recyclable or biodegradable packaging where possible. They stand as a business which is trying to minimise their impact on the planet through both its efforts in packaging and ingredients. Their hero product, The Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil is formulated with four key ingredients and is the ultimate multi-tasker. It deeply conditions the skin, improves firmness and elasticity as well as promotes a clear and even skin tone.
Founded by Miranda Kerr, Kora Organics is powered by natural ingredients that help to heal from the inside out. Formulated with a key ingredient derived from the noni fruit, this is a superfood used for healing. The brand has also pledged to use only high performance certified natural and organic ingredients, Kora doesn’t design any of its products with sulphates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours, T.E.A, D.E.A, silicones or synthetic derivatives. The Noni Glow Face Oil is made to replenish and invigorate the skin, using all-natural ingredients, it brings dull skin back to life.
Harvested and handcrafted in the Ayurvedic tradition, Uma believes in transforming natural and organic ingredients into a luxury experience that takes care of the mind, body and spirit. Blended and bottled in small batches, their oils are curated on the foundation that if you can know the exact supply chain of your organic food, then why shouldn't you know the same about your skincare? Their Ultimate Brightening Face Mask was formulated after years of research into what natural ingredients can reverse and improve the appearance of hyper-pigmentation, sun damage and anti-ageing. Infused with saffron, cinnamon, lemon and orange peel, this mask is the ultimate skin treat.
Coined to change the way the world removes makeup, Face Halo has produced a re-useable and modern-day muslin cloth. As cotton wool and makeup wipes impact the planet, this lasts up to a 200 use wash cycle, replacing 500 makeup wipes. It removes makeup using only water and no harmful chemicals needed. The halo has created a way to be kinder to your skin and the environment at the same time. Win, win.
A botanical brand that believes in the power of raw and ethically-sourced ingredients. Highly-concentrated, delivering maximum results, Tata Harper is conscious about the environment and the ingredients placed within the products. The Clarifying Cleanser targets impurities and balances oil for a clearer and more revitalised complexion with 100% of the total ingredients being from a natural origin and 47% of the total ingredients from organic farming.
This brand uses 40% recycled glass, no palm oil and all formulas are 100% vegan friendly. They also never test on animals and as a brand rooted in science and nature, they are 100% microbead-free, only using natural exfoliators such as jojoba beads to maintain the marine life. Their Retinol 10TR is made up of the highest strength retinol (1%) that will super charge cell renewal, improving hyper-pigmentation, texture and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Founded by the Bollati Family, The Davines group started as a research lab formulating high-end haircare and cosmetics before venturing out on their own. Ethical and sustainable, the brand believes in a three-pronged attack towards sustainability, the people, the planet and the community and each driver is spearheaded towards a better future. Their Melu Shampoo is formulated for either long or damage-prone hair. It gently cleanses without damaging the strand’s structure and leaves hair deeply nourished thanks to ingredients such as olive oil and spinach leaf extract. The Melu Range in particular is carbon neutral, uses recyclable and bio-based materials and the brand itself contributes to the protection of forests around Europe.
Aside from being an Instagram hit because of their beautifully designed bottles, Herbivore Botanicals uses only natural ingredients that has been ethically sourced and then combined with essential vitamins, minerals and botanicals to turn their formulas into a highly-charged product with noticeable results. Their Bakuchiol Serum, a natural alternative to Retinol, is both brightening and smoothing as well as being derived 100% from the babchi plant.
Neal’s Yard is a brand routed in changing the environment They don't do animal testing, use natural and organic ingredients and actively campaign with wider organisations. The Aromatherapy Blend – Nighttime Oil is designed to enhance peace, tranquillity and harmony whilst you sleep, achieving a brighter you by the morning. Expect to smell a blend of lavender, vetiver, rose and bergamot.
Orveda believes in working with the skin not against it and the same can be said for its work with the environment. Using ocean-derived ingredients and being aware to not destroy the nature around them, they're mineral-oil free, plastic bead free and vegan as well as using less than 5% of plastic with their all of their products. The Prebiotic Emulsion is designed to preserve the skin’s natural moisture, acting as a lipid-restorer, the emulsion rehydrates and protects the skin’s outermost layer.
Based on two fundamental pillars, Cosmydor believes in being natural and fresh, supported by a 100% organic certification. Their products contain no chemicals and is 100% biodegradable. In addition, the brand uses no plastic containers, minimises their carbon footprint and offers a re-use and re-fill scheme.
Who doesn’t love a free lipstick? With their Back to MAC recycling scheme, MAC is working towards reducing the number of used products found in waste. If you take in six empty products to the store, you will receive a free lipstick of your choice. Personally, I would love a free replacement to my favourite MAC lipstick.
A clean hair care brand that believes in using only pure ingredients to deliver healthy and nourished hair. Ingredients come straight from nature, ethically-harvested and sourced, formulated through conscious chemistry, free from harmful chemicals, high concentration of ingredients meaning less water, gluten free, cruelty free and non-GMO. The Hydrating Hair Masque revitalises dry, coarse and damaged hair.
Believing you are your most beautiful when what you put in your body is from nature is a mantra that Burt's Bees has stood by since its founding in over 30 years ago. With over half its products being 100% natural and giving back to the life source that fuels a lot of our fruit and vegetables, Burt's Bees guides you to a singular belief of nature knowing best.
Aveda believes in caring for the world we live in and giving back to society. From reducing its carbon footprint to supporting the development of renewable wind energy, Aveda has always put the environment at the heart of its brand. It also creates responsible packaging, using 100% post-consumer recycled PET (recycled plastic) for 85% of their packaging. The Nutriplenish range is intensely hydrating and formulated with omega-5 rich organic pomegranate oil, coconut oil and mango butter that will leave hair healthy, nourished and manageable.
Clean in name and clean in philosophy, Clean Reserve is a fragrance brand that works with trusted formulas, transparent ingredients lists and eco-conscious packaging. Working with partners that also believe in green manufacturing processes, the fragrance is responsibly sourced and only created from sustainable ingredients.
A clean, luxury skincare brand that believes in shouting about beautiful skin. Focusing on beauty that breaks the cycle, Ilia is using the Teracycle Zero Waste Box platform that is dedicated to recycling those hard-to-recycle materials. By bringing your empty products to them, Ilia take responsibility in recycling your products sustainably and not adding to the landfill that contributes to the climate crisis. The Liquid Light Serum Highlighter is the secret to a natural and dewy finish on the skin, lightweight in texture, it blends seamlessly into the skin both on its own or under foundation.
Rooted in the belief that skincare should work but doesn’t cost the earth is the exact language that Bybi circulates through its ingredients, manufacturing and packaging. It only uses eco-ingredients that are renewable, up-cycled and ethically-sourced. In its manufacturing, Bybi is made in the UK and ensures that its manufacturers abide by a stringent recycling policy. In addition, it also meets the national living wage standard and demonstrates a strict ethical trading policy. For its packaging, they work with glass, bioplastic and grass paper to ensure both the product and its packaging are not costing the earth.
This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.