Nothing beats finding a skincare product that works for you. But you know what’s even better? When you find a product or brand whose values align with your own. As someone who values sustainability throughout a number of aspects of my life, that’s why I decided to bring you this article on the best sustainable skincare brands.
It seems like every day there’s a new skincare brand popping up. With the emergence of all of these brands, it can be tricky to narrow down one that works for you and also places value on ethical initiatives. That’s why I’m excited to run you through this comprehensive list of sustainable skincare brands to check out. Let’s get into it!
Note from Hailey: We all need a little makeover sometimes. This article was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated and revamped for accuracy and consistency.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site! Read more about my disclosure policies here. All prices are accurate at the time of the article and are subject to change.
What Is Sustainable Skincare?
Sustainability is an umbrella term that spans a number of meanings and types of ethical initiatives. Sustainable practices can entail a number of factors including manufacturing, ingredient sourcing and testing, labor rights, and environmental factors.
In this article, we look at a number of brands that place various emphases on sustainability. Implementing ethical practices throughout business can be a very wishy-washy area. People have different definitions of what’s considered sustainable or not.
The brands below all stood out to me as having various forms of sustainability, all of which are making a positive impact in one way or another. I’m a firm believer that no amount of sustainability is too small. We have a lot of work to do to fix this planet and baby steps are as important as big ones.
The brands below take into consideration cruelty-free testing, clean ingredients, and eco-friendly packaging. I hope you’re able to find one that works best for you out of the 15 sustainable skincare brands listed here. Now let’s jump into it!
What Skincare Brands Are Sustainable?
Here are my top 12 favorite sustainable skincare brands that everyone needs to know about. Not only do these brands have amazing products but they all stand out in one way or another when it comes to their ethical initiatives.
Facetheory is the first brand on this list of sustainable skincare brands. This brand is a go-to amongst eco-friendly savvy shoppers for a number of reasons. Facetheory is a firm believer in accessible pricing and that you shouldn’t have to sell your soul for fair skincare.
Facetheory’s products are all vegan and cruelty-free as they are Leaping Bunny and PETA certified. As for packaging, Facetheory said “bye!” to single-use plastic and provide their products in amber glass jars or aluminum tubes all of which make for easy recycling. In addition to this, all of their delivery packaging is biodegradable. Read more about their sustainable policy here!
All of Facetheory’s products are made with natural ingredients and without parabens. One of their best sellers is their Hylafexta Serum which is perfect for anti-aging as it boosts hydration and elasticity in the skin.
REN Clean Skincare has been around for over 20 years, starting at a time when clean skincare was nearly non-existent. The brand started when the founder’s wife was experiencing skin sensitivity which made him realize there is no reason anyone should have to compromise the health of their skin.
In 2018, REN pledged to become a Zero Waste company by the end of 2021 and they did just that! All of their packaging is either recyclable, reusable, or made from recycled materials. They have also partnered with TerraCycle and created a bottle made from 80% recycled plastic and 20% plastic debris from the ocean which was a first of its kind in the beauty industry. REN has helped move 1.5 tons of waste from the ocean and has created over 150,000 bottles for their Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium collection.
REN Clean Skincare does not test on animals, although not all of its products are 100% vegan. As for top-performing products, their Ready Set Glow AHA Tonic is a great exfoliating toner to help brighten skin as well as their Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm which helps calm and soothe your skin while you sleep.
Mad Hippie is dedicated to creating a better beauty industry by encouraging inclusivity, honesty, and healthier choices. This brand has an unwavering commitment to not only making amazing skincare but encouraging people to make healthier choices in regard to both social causes and the environment.
Mad Hippie participates in a number of charitable causes including Save the Elephants and Oceana. They donate $1 of every web sale to conservation, which proves how seriously they take their role in making an impact socially and environmentally.
Their products are both cruelty-free and vegan, except for their SPF which does contain beeswax. When it comes to physical packaging, Mad Hippie has partnered with Terracycle which allows you to recycle your old products. Plus, it’s free!
Wildling Beauty is a force to be reckoned with as this brand was created by an acupuncturist, herbalist, and holistic esthetician. With their combined expertise and love for beauty and wellness, Wildling Beauty was born and has been thriving ever since.
This brand works with local family-owned farms, sustainably wild foraged plants, as well as fair trade communities to ensure they’re putting good back into the earth and communities.
As for sustainable practices directly involving products, all products come in recyclable and reusable glass packaging. I love this type of packaging because there’s so much you can do with old glass containers! I recommend taking a look at Pinterest. All of their shipping materials are biodegradable and compostable as well as their product boxes are made from sustainable wood which protects forest ecology, animals, indigenous people, and water quality.
Wildling Beauty is known for their Gua Sha skincare tools which are made of authentic Bian Stone that is obtained from bountiful sources and is ethically mined. They are also 100% vegan and certified by Leaping Bunny and Peta. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Activist Skincare is a skincare brand handcrafted in Southern California. With a love for skincare products and a desire to make a positive image, Activist got their name (active ingredients + advocating for change). Activist takes their role in the skincare game seriously which is evidenced by how they run their business.
Activist creates their products from ethically sourced, environmentally-sustainable ingredients. They place a specific emphasis on women and people of color when choosing who they partner with when creating their products, which is translated through their products and customer experience as a whole. The brand is vegan and cruelty-free. The only product that is not vegan is their sunscreens which are made with responsibly sourced organic beeswax.
My favorite thing about Activist Skincare is that they have refill options. All products come in refillable glass containers with low-waste refill pouches as a part of their eco-friendly packaging system. So if you run out, no need to get rid of the bottle or jar! Simply order a refill. You can also subscribe to refills!
Osea Malibu is a female-founded and family-operated sustainable skincare brand that believes that the ocean should be part of everyone’s life. As an ocean lover myself, I love the idea behind this. Founded in 1996, Osea has built their brand around naturally-derived ingredients and clinically-proven results.
The star ingredient throughout Osea’s products is seaweed, which is sustainably sourced from around the world. Seaweed contains a number of rich nutrients including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Osea is also cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Osea has pledged to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in order to offset their carbon footprint. As a brand that is named after the ocean, sun, earth, and atmosphere (Osea, get it?), it’s clear to see their love and appreciation for the world around us.
Juice Beauty creates antioxidant-rich and plant-based products in high-quality, luxurious organic formulas. The founders’ mission when creating Juice Beauty was to create organic products that outperform standard beauty products, which is proven by a number of multiple clinical tests that target various skin benefits.
“Farm to Beauty” is how Juice Beauty approaches sourcing its ingredients. This is where antioxidants come into place as organically farmed ingredients contain more! Juice Beauty doesn’t test on animals and is 100% vegan. Their products are also coral reef and wildlife friendly with the absence of synthetic dyes, fragrances, and chemical sunscreens.
One of my favorite things about Juice Beauty is that their farmhouse, organic farm, and corporate headquarters are all solar-powered. It’s clear to see that Juice Beauty values the people and the planet from the ground up.
Eight Saints is all about ingredients. Their mission is to help you understand the ingredients you’re buying while understanding the function of the ingredients. They have a wonderful article on organic and natural skincare claims which you can read here.
This brand narrowed down 8 key ingredients that maximize skin health (Eight Saints, get it?). All of their products contain either one or more of these ingredients. What’s special about Eight Saints is that they use ingredients found naturally in our skin which helps strengthen skin as we age. They responsibly source all ingredients, are small batch processed so there’s no overproduction, and is made directly in the USA.
Eight Saints offers the option to try 12 of their best sellers for only $10. This brand also has some of my favorite packaging on this list of sustainable skincare brands with a simplistic but muted colorful tone. You can also take a quiz on their website to see your skin health score and find the perfect routine for your specific skin type.
One major thing I always look for but am not finding with Eight Saints is anything regarding their packaging and if it’s recyclable or reusable. So if that’s a deal breaker for you, I’d steer clear.
Herbivore Botanicals believes that skincare is self-care. Founded in 2011, this brand has been a consistent source for those seeking powerful natural ingredients that are gentle on both our bodies and the planet.
This brands ethically source all raw natural ingredients which are a combination of vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that all provide various benefits to skin health. Herbivore Botanicals are created without synthetic ingredients, or parabens and are also cruelty-free and vegan.
Herbivore Botanicals encourages sustainability through its brand by providing tips on how to make environmentally conscious decisions which you can read about here. Their packaging is also recyclable and reusable. Click here to read suggestions on how to upcycle their packaging.
Grown Alchemist is an Australian beauty label with some of the best sustainable skincare products you will find. My sister is a huge Grown Alchemist fan and has been for a while because of their plant-based formulas. The brand combines science and skincare to repair and regenerate the skin.
This brand has a team of experts that have developed science-backed formulas to improve the health of your skin by using active ingredients that promote cell regeneration. You won’t find any microplastics in their formulas as well as parabens.
Grown Alchemist is cruelty-free and 100% vegan. One of the best things about Grown Alchemist is their packaging which is not only stunning, but they offer refill pouches so you can reuse your original product’s packaging.
100% Pure is dedicated to providing the healthiest products to its customers. Not only does this brand lives by a rule of compassion, but to be environmentally sustainable as well in order to help both people and animals.
This brand formulates its products with plants, minerals, and marine vegetation that changes chemically due to processes like fermentation, distillation, and old processing. 100% Pure is strict with its guidelines and will never produce products that have harsh or toxic ingredients. All of their products are also naturally pigmented from fruit, vegetables, tea, and cocoa in order to avoid harsh dyes.
100% Pure is also cruelty-free and vegan. They go through a process with each ingredient to ensure it’s never sourced from an animal. It’s clear they are dedicated to finding the best of the best for both the earth and humankind!
Indie Lee has an amazing story. In 2019, the founder of the brand was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given six months to live. After surviving a successful surgery, she’s made it her personal mission to educate others to make healthy choices. Indie has done this by creating products that are not only effective but safe as well.
This brand implements ethical practices on a variety of levels from ingredient sourcing to processing, all the way to the end of the product’s life. They are COSMOS certified which is a constantly changing biodiversity and sustainability certification which continues to hold Indie Lee accountable to achieve the highest standards in which to run the business.
Indie Lee bans more than 1,300 ingredients from their products including parabens, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrance. They are Leaping Bunny certified and have recently introduced their first refillable packaging solution.
Thank you for reading!
I hope you all enjoyed this article on some of my favorite sustainable skincare brands! With this list, you won’t have to compromise your skincare or your ethics.
With love or whatever,