Amid an ever-growing climate crisis, eco-friendly beauty, more specifically clean and sustainable beauty, remains murky territory. Despite growing efforts, it’s still largely undefined — with false labeling by brands, little-to-no regulations, and vague yet complicated terminology. To help demystify this space, we’ve rounded up the best eco-friendly beauty brands and products to shop — now and always.
Known for its heavy use of plastics, harmful materials, and waste production, the cosmetics industry is a big contributor to environmental destruction. According to Zero Waste Week, an environmental campaign to reduce landfill waste, the beauty industry as a collective produces more than 120 billion packaging units a year. Beauty purveyors and consumers also compound the issue whenever they opt for products with pollutants, which may wreak havoc on human health.
Fortunately, many beauty brands now strive to minimize their environmental footprint in favor of ecological integrity and conscious consumerism. While scouring through aisles, you may notice recycled packaging, organic ingredients over chemicals, and transparent labels.
But alas, the industry is still confusing, even as it becomes more saturated. Currently, the eco-friendly beauty space is littered with greenwashing, buzzy and hollow marketing, and claims without merit. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) upholds loose and considerably outdated regulations. This regulatory agency states that “under U.S. law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA approval before they go on the market,” with color additives as the only exception to the rule. The FDA will only intervene if reliable information is presented regarding the safety and efficacy of a certain product.
Without centralized authority, individual brands and entities have no choice but to bear legal responsibility. They must oversee their supply chains, product development process, and standards for testing and ensuring consumer safety. Naturally, this type of obscurity leaves room for interpretation, which further complicates the shopper’s foray into clean beauty.
With our eco-friendly beauty guide, we aim to make the complicated, uncomplicated.
What makes a beauty brand eco-friendly and sustainable?
There is no official FDA definition of “organic” and “natural” cosmetics, though all cosmetics labeled “organic” must adhere to guidelines established by the FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Brands, in turn, have found loopholes and often circumvent the rules (or lack thereof), as many that claim to be organic don’t have labels.
Therefore, it’s imperative for consumers to investigate, research, and compile information from reliable, unbiased sources. When it comes to defining sustainable and eco-friendly beauty brands, there are several key factors to consider.
- Ethical ingredients: Focus on vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and non-toxic labels. Vegan cosmetics do not contain animal-derived and animal ingredients. Cruelty-free cosmetics feature ingredients that have not been tested on animals at any stage of development. Organic and non-toxic cosmetics do not include GMOs, manufactured herbicides, artificial fertilizers, preservatives, colorants, parabens, or other toxic ingredients. Since greenwashing is so prevalent, it’s important to stay informed on the ever-evolving definitions of “natural,” “clean,” and “organic” beauty.
- Ethical and sustainable business practices: This means recyclable and reusable packaging to reduce waste; ethical ingredient sourcing for raw materials — where the brand is aware of the supply chain process and ensures safe working conditions and livable wages across the board. (Thanks to Terracycle, a volunteer-based recycling platform, it’s easy to recycle used beauty empties time and time again.) Brands with ethical and sustainable business practices are committed to carbon offsets, water and energy management, testing out renewable energy sources, minimizing manufacturing waste, and implementing recycling programs. They also partner with other cause-driven organizations for greater impact over legislation and policy, problematic norms, and injustices.
- Certifications: If you’re seeking greater transparency, look out for credible certifications with strident guidelines, such as Leaping Bunny, Fair Trade, PETA, etc. However, it’s important to note that many of these certifications only cover specific products, not a brand’s entire roster. They’re also not industry requirements.
- Shop at eco-first retailers: Since there are limited compulsory regulations and guidelines for brands to follow, retailers have spearheaded their own sustainability and clean beauty standards. For example, Credo Beauty has established The Credo Clean Standard and The No List to clearly define complex jargon. The retailer also promotes a recycling-and-rewards program.
Quick Links: Eco-Friendly Beauty Retailers
- Credo Beauty: Created by the Clean Beauty Council, this one-step destination upholds strident sustainability standards. For greater transparency, each brand offered is rigorously field-tested and examined.
- Sephora: As a way to clearly define “green” and “natural” beauty, Sephora offers a clean beauty category with products that are free of controversial ingredients, like parabens, sulfates, etc. Brands part of this program include a “Clean at Sephora” seal on their product pages, helping shoppers navigate with more confidence. Sephora also aims to minimize its environmental footprint.
- Dermstore: Dermstore offers an exhaustive range of clinical and natural products. Dermstore works with top dermatologists, estheticians, hairstylists, and makeup artists to deliver expert advice on beauty concerns.
- Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly Page: Amazon’s Climate Pledge requires participating companies to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2020.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
No. of shades: 30 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
An award-winning tinted serum that delivers dewy coverage, protection against harmful rays, and a barrage of skincare benefits. The ILIA Skin Tint is formulated with a synergistic blend of niacinamide, plant-based squalane, and hyaluronic acids to visibly smooth texture, minimize the appearance of pores and harsh lines and hydrate the complexion. It’s among the best foundations, hands down.
ILIA is a clean-centric, radically transparent beauty brand that consistently moves the needle in sustainability. In addition to implementing a thorough approach to sourcing ingredients, ILIA uses recycled aluminum, glass components, and responsibly sourced paper with its packaging.
• ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 available at Credo Beauty for $48
Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream
No. of shades: 28 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free; non-irritating, allergy tested, clinically tested, noncomedogenic, and dermatologically tested
The two-in-one, ultra-velvety eye cream and concealer that minimizes the appearance of dark circles and imparts a radiant finish. The concealer leverages hyaluronic acid, peptides, and caffeine to hydrate, plump, and brighten the complexion; and feels incredibly lightweight when applied. Simply put, it does it all, whether you want to conceal dark circles, puffiness, and dullness or tackle blemishes and redness. For comparison purposes, it functions similarly to the new and legendary Shape Tape Creamy Concealer. If you don’t know how to apply concealer, we’ve covered all the bases.
Kosas has banned over 2,700 unwanted (but sadly common) ingredients and adheres to Sephora and Credo Beauty clean standards. The brand’s signature lip colors come in aluminum tubes with a magnetic cap, and though aluminum packaging is known to be a bit persnickety, it’s environmentally conscious and aligns with the tenets of green cosmetics. Kosas is also Leaping Bunny Certified, a highly regarded cruelty-free certification for non-animal tested products.
• Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream available at Kosas for $28
lilah b. Divine Duo Lip & Cheek
No. of shades: 8 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and free of synthetic fragrances
Adorn your face in rich pigmented color with the Divine Duo Lip & Cheek, a long-wearing yet creamy and nourishing makeup staple. Capsuled in sleek packaging, this versatile product is enriched with aloe, agar, and other botanicals to bring a healthy glow and matte finish. Its formula is also blendable and buildable to your liking.
lilah b. operates on a “make beauty simple” philosophy, curating multi-use products in signature stone compacts. All lilah b. products are formulated without gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and are vegan friendly and cruelty-free. lilah b. also offers a recycling program: All you have to do is email [email protected] to receive a prepaid return shipping label. You’ll then be able to send your unwanted beauty products — from the brand or elsewhere — and lilah b. handles the rest.
• lilah b. Divine Duo Lip & Cheek available at Sephora for $46
rms Beauty Buriti Cream Bronzer
No. of shades: 1 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, formaldehyde-free, phthalate-free, and free of mineral oils; contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances and comes in recyclable packaging
From the leading pioneer of the clean beauty movement, the Buriti Cream Bronzer offers a natural sun-kissed glow and intense hydration. The buildable bronzer is formulated with a medley of wildcrafted buriti oil, shea butter, and organic cocoa butter that works on all skin tones; and serves as a stunning luminizer for those with darker tones. With this item, you can decorate your cheekbones, eyes, lips, shoulder blades, and bridge of your nose — the opportunities are endless.
rms Beauty commanded the clean beauty wave before it became trendy among shoppers. rms Beauty leverages high-quality and high-performing clean ingredients, which are meticulously sourced and tested for purity. These ingredients are raw, food-grade, organic, wildcrafted, and natural (as close to their natural state as possible). All rms Beauty products feature minimal, recyclable, or reusable packaging.
• rms Beauty Buriti Cream Bronzer available at Nordstrom for $28
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream
No. of shades: 6| Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, reef-friendly, and free of artificial dyes; formulated with an organic base of botanical juices instead of added water
Juice Beauty’s CC Cream is the pinnacle of versatility, working to color correct, deliver a second-skin finish, and tackle signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. Packed with nourishing oils, vitamins, and zinc oxide, it provides broad-spectrum sun protection without chemical SPF ingredients, such as oxybenzone. The cream serves as the ultimate hydrator whenever your other creams just aren’t cutting it.
Since 2005, Juice Beauty has championed antioxidant-rich skincare and plant-based makeup, radically transforming “the chemistry of beauty” with a wellness-oriented approach. As an effort to limit pesticides and synthetic fertilizer residue, the brand leverages organically farmed ingredients, which have higher antioxidants to fight free radicals on the skin. Juice Beauty’s supply chain is also worth noting — as the brand aims to eliminate the use of virgin plastic from a product’s conception to completion. Juice Beauty is proud to be Leaping Bunny certified, PETA compliant, and Vegan certified by the American Vegetarian Association.
• Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream available at Dermstore for $39
Honest Beauty No Makeup Makeup Kit
No. of products included: 7 best-sellers | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, silicone-free, sulfate-free, and free of synthetic fragrances
Meet the best beauty bang for your buck: the No Makeup Makeup Kit by The Honest Company. This robust set houses all of the essentials, from an illuminating primer and tinted moisturizer to a precise eyebrow pencil and lengthening mascara. With these products used together, you’ll enjoy a coveted, millennial-minimalism glow all year round. The ultimate natural makeup look is well within your reach.
Conceptualized by Hollywood starlet Jessica Alba, The Honest Company is a wellness brand with an encompassing spectrum of clean products across categories. The Honest Company prioritizes transparency, sustainability, and environmental responsibility above all else, adhering to a list of over 2,500 chemicals and materials to avoid in the supply chain. When it comes to packaging, the brand does not use common materials, specifically PVC and polystyrene, due to their environmental and human health impacts.
• The Honest Company No Makeup Makeup Kit available at The Honest Company for $100
Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss
No. of shades: 10 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free; no irritants and allergens
Emblazoned with the brand’s playful font, this lip jelly features a non-sticky, non-drying, and hydrating formula, all while adding a touch of translucent color. The ShineOn Gloss harnesses apricot kernel oil, raspberry seed oil, and rosehip oil, packed with nourishing properties that protect the lips. And don’t even get us started on its shiny, long-lasting finish: We’re willing to wax poetic about it all day long to anyone willing to listen.
A relatively newer brand, Tower 28 is “clean beauty democratized,” offering products at accessible price-points in a historically expensive category. Though inclusive in ethos and action, Tower28 abides by an extensive blacklist, which prohibits toxic and harmful ingredients from the supply chain. The brand also follows rigid standards established by Credo Beauty and California Prop 65, a law requiring businesses to provide warnings to Californians about “significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
• Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss available at Sephora for $14
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer
No. of shades: 20 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
A weightless gel-cream formulated to streamline makeup, skincare, and SPF benefits in one. Packed with hyaluronic acid and olive-derived squalane, the best-seller offers natural coverage, much-needed moisture, protection against harmful rays. The result: an enviable sheer glow that’ll elicit plenty of “where can I buy that because you look radiant” responses.
bareMinerals is an industry leader in clean, conscious beauty and has restricted over 2,500 ingredients, including the 1,400+ banned in the E.U. With ever-evolving standards and formulations, the brand aims to go fully vegan by the end of 2021. bareMinerals also works to minimize the use of plastic and virgin materials, using FSC-certified paper from responsibly managed forests in the packaging process. The brand strives to have 100% of its products include recycled and/or recyclable materials by 2026.
Beyond sustainability and ecological integrity, bareMinerals advances philanthropic initiatives, specifically with The Power of Good Fund. Created in 2019, this program supports women’s empowerment and equal access to education.
• bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer available at bareMinerals for $33
Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter
No. of shades: 2 | Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Compared to powdery highlighters, this gel-based illuminator imparts a natural, “glow from within” look on its own — or mixed with foundation and other skincare products. Available in bronze and champagne pink hues, it leverages Vitamin C, plant-derived glycerin, and rosehip seed oil to help brighten and moisturize the complexion.
When it comes to clean beauty, Sale prioritizes efficacy, sustainability, and transparency as guiding principles. To educate and inform shoppers, Sale promotes a “no list” that outlines and prohibits harmful ingredients. Additionally, the brand works to eliminate plastic from packaging whenever possible and uses renewable resources to reduce carbon emissions. (The company’s warehouse is entirely solar-powered.)
• Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter available at Sephora from $15- $25
Skincare & Body
Herbivore Botanicals Cloud Jelly
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: Suitable for all skin, including sensitive types
One of the best new makeup releases of April, Herbivore’s pastel-pink Cloud Jelly is a hyaluronic acid-alternative serum packed to the brim with Tremella mushroom. Tremella Mushroom is a hero ingredient that hydrates and plumps the complexion (and can hold up to 500x its weight in water for retaining moisture!). The serum also features vegan collagen and strawberry extract, both of which moisturize, nourish, and brighten the complexion. Contrasting similar iterations, its non-sticky, jelly-like formula glides effortlessly when applied. Plus, it’s infused with notes of natural, light floral, and fruit scents.
Herbivore harnesses the power of nature, curating products with simple ingredients and minimal environmental impact. When it comes to packaging, the brand uses glass and paper and only opts for recycled and recyclable plastic when necessary. All products are biocompatible and free of synthetic ingredients, like dyes and fragrances. Rather, the brand prioritizes plant-based, food-grade, and cold-pressed oils, GMO-free soy wax, and other certified organic ingredients.
• Herbivore Botanicals Cloud Jelly available at Sephora for $48
SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and fragrance-free
Key Benefits: A dense hydrator that leverages active lipids, peptides, small particle hyaluronic acid, and shea butter to brighten, firm, and plump the skin
This SkinFix Face Cream is sorcery in a jar, thanks to infused lipid fillers. Lipids are the skin’s natural fats that help strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, which holds moisture, and shields from damage, dirt, and impurities. To aid this process, the product’s Lipid Fillers work to restore naturally existing lipids in the skin barrier. The outcome: a replenished complexion that’s visibly more plump, hydrated, and radiant.
Proud to be “Total Skin Nerds,” SkinFix is a clean and clinically active skincare brand that leverages actives and other nutrients, emollients, and minerals. The brand’s ingredients have earned the ECOCERT designation — for context, ECOCERT is an organic certification organization and determines ingredients that have been “produced in an environmentally way with respect to local biodiversity.”
In addition, SkinFix cartons are made from recycled and reclaimed fiber; and the brand’s naturally biodegradable cardboard features existing paper with vegetable-based ink. SkinFix aims for 75% of its products and tubes to be completely or partially comprised of PCR (reclaimed or recycled) plastics by 2021.
• SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream available at Sephora for $50
Tata Harper Water Moisturizer
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A weightless refillable moisturizer with natural peptides and hyaluronic acid; excels in skincare for dry skin
The Tata Harper Water Moisturizer is a large glass of ice water that quenches dehydrated, cracked skin. For a healthy glow, the hydrator utilizes a blend of orange blossom peptides, macro hyaluronic acid, and pomegranate spheres to retain water and support the skin’s natural barrier.
This moisturizer stands out for its sustainable design: a thoughtful refill system to reduce overall waste. The concept is simple: Users can get a refill pod once their jar is empty, and each refill pod offers 30 days’ worth of product. When users opt for the refill cup, they can save 11 jars from joining the landfill each year.
Tata Harper is a prominent leader in natural luxury skincare, earning accolades from shoppers, experts, and top-tier media. For greater efficacy and transparency, all Tata Harper products are free of toxins, fillers, GMOs, artificial colors and fragrances, and synthetic chemicals. Instead, the brand sources raw, high-performing, and highly-concentrated ingredients from over 68 countries. Most packaging is made of glass, a recyclable and reusable material.
Tata Harper is certified by PETA, American Vegetarian Association, Forest Stewardship Council, and ECOCERT.
• Tata Harper Water Moisturizer available at Sephora for $68
Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, free of synthetic fragrances, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A nourishing vitamin C oil that visibly brightens and firms the complexion; suitable for all skin types and targets dryness and dullness
Fueled by sugarcane-derived squalane and chios crystal oil, this best-seller features a lightweight formula designed to bring rich hydration, improve tone and texture, and boost firmness and suppleness. It instantly absorbs into the complexion and imparts a dewy finish without leaving behind residue.
Biossance formulates nontoxic skincare through ethical and sustainable ingredient sourcing, and follows a blacklist of 2,000+ toxic ingredients like religious dogma. The brand’s formulations are created in a facility certified by My Green Lab, which leads the pack in sustainable laboratory practices, responsible use of energy, waste, and water. In 2019, Biossance launched an online school on clean beauty, serving as a one-stop education resource for shoppers.
All Biossance products include recyclable tubes and bottles, and outer cartons are made from renewable sugarcane paper. The brand also uses carbon-neutral shipping and collaborates with cause-driven organizations like Oceana and Black Lives Matter.
• Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil available at Biossance for $72
Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A vitamin C serum that leverages caffeine to brighten, reduce hyperpigmentation, even tone, depuff, and firm the complexion
The antioxidant-rich Caffeine Energy Serum targets dark spots, dullness, and fine lines and wrinkles with powerful ingredients, including passion and dragon fruit and clean caffeine. It replenishes, depuffs, and enhances the complexion’s natural contours, bestowing you with a sought-after (and long-lasting) glow.
Youth To The People has an admirable brand mission rooted in sustainability and integrity, one that drives much of its initiatives. The brand sources extracts from local suppliers when possible, and all products are biodegradable — so they won’t cause harm to oceans once rinsed off. Youth To The People follows the European Union’s list of 1,300 ingredients that are banned in cosmetics. To reduce plastic waste, Youth To The People opts for glass bottles and jars and prioritizes post-consumer materials in the supply chain.
• Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum available at Sephora for $68
Follain Refillable Everything Soap
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, clean ingredients, and free of synthetic fragrances
Key Benefits: A deeply nourishing, all-natural, biodegradable, and vegetable-based soap
Packed with lemongrass and lavender, the Refillable Everything Soap is a formidable contender against dirt and grime, formulated with gentle ingredients that get the job done in one go. It serves as a non-toxic pet shampoo, carpet-cleaner, skin-hydrator, a practical companion for hand-washing dishes — the list is endless. This non-drying cleaner comes in a variety of refillable sizes and crisp aromas. In short, one of the ultimate kitchen essentials you need.
Follain is a leading advocate for transparency in an otherwise opaque industry. Working closely with dermatologists, environmental health, and green chemistry experts, the brand sources safe synthetics and natural actives, and has banned over 1,500 harmful ingredients. All Follain products are Leaping Bunny certified, and the majority of products are vegan.
• Follain Refillable Everything Soap available at Follain for $18
Dove Refillable Deodorant
Key Ingredients: Cruelty-free, aluminum-free, and hypoallergenic
Key Benefits: A groundbreaking refillable deodorant stick formulated for sensitive skin types; great addition to any skincare routine for sensitive skin
Dove’s Refillable Deodorant is made from durable stainless steel for long-lasting use — and won’t ever wind up in a landfill. The refills have an enduring lifespan since they’re made from 98% recycled plastic and packaged in 100% FSC-graded paper from well-managed forests.
Packaging aside, this stench-eliminator features a gentle and moisturizing formula that pairs nicely with irritated-prone skin. Sans alcohol and harsh ingredients, it soothes irritation, be it from shaving or chafing; and you’ll enjoy soft and smooth underarms all day long (they’ll smell fresh, too).
Dove is committed to reducing plastic waste by making the brand’s Beauty Bar packaging plastic-free globally, launching 100% recycled plastic bottles, and releasing a new refillable deodorant format. Through infographics and concise website copy, Dove educates and empowers shoppers to learn more about the ins and outs of clean and sustainable beauty.
Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, nut-free, paraben-free, phosphate-free, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free; comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A multi-benefit, reparative treatment designed to produce shine, smoothness, body, and intense moisture
A recent launch by Olaplex, the best-selling haircare brand among consumers and professionals, the No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask restores and repairs compromised locks with patented bond-building technology. Suitable for all hair types and textures, this treatment rebuilds broken bonds, which are responsible for maintaining hair’s structure and strength. It’s modern-day sorcery in sleek packaging.
Olaplex formulates all of its products without beauty industry toxins — and without testing on our furry friends. The global sensation prioritizes recycled materials for packaging, green manufacturing to reduce environmental impact, and responsible ingredient sourcing.
• Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask available at Sephora for $28
Hairstory New Wash
Key Ingredients: Cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, detergent-free, and free of synthetic fragrances; biodegradable formula that won’t harm marine life when rinsed away
Key Benefits: Reduces packaging waste and suitable for all hair types
For better hair health, the New Wash hair cleanser is formulated to remove excess dirt, oils, and residue residing on your scalp. This haircare hero is infused with essential oils and naturally-derived saturated cleansers, which drench locks in rich hydration, and bring long-lasting shine and softness.
To minimize environmental impact, Hairstory has eliminated plastic bottles across its New Wash range in favor of biodegradable pouches; and one pouch can replace both your shampoo and conditioner. According to the brand, “switching from bottles of shampoo and conditioner to a single pouch of New Wash reduces plastic consumption by 91%.”
In addition, Hairstory recently hosted its first Sustainable Beauty Summit, which provided a platform for industry experts to discuss topics like greenwashing and conscious consumerism.
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: Boost hair strength, shine, and silkiness, and improves the long-term health of damaged strands
The award-winning Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Hair Mask does it all: It offers root-to-tip hydration to compromised hair, controls frizz, improves texture, and acts as a shield against future damage. The mask touts an antioxidant-rich, naturally derived formula that includes rosehip oil, algae extract and nourishing B vitamins.
Briogeo offers tailored solutions, which integrate a proprietary blend of natural oils, vitamins, and antioxidants — rather than harmful ingredients like sulfates, silicones, and parabens. The brand abides by an ingredient blacklist and sources sustainable packaging when possible. In fact, all Briogeo bottles contain at least 25% post-consumer recycled plastic.
• Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Hair Mask available at Sephora from $12-$115
Dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A versatile hair treatment and styler that strengthens, softens, detangles, prevents breakage, and tames frizz
Fueled by prickly pear and moringa leaf, this oil-based solution revives mops of chaotic hair to add shine, mend split ends, and soften texture. The Prickly Pear Hair Oil works to combat free radicals that adversely affect hair health — and is fueled by fatty acids omega 6 and omega 9, proteins, and vitamins. Albeit suitable for all hair types, it particularly enhances curly tresses.
Dae aims to simplify haircare — bringing uncomplicated and effective ingredients derived from the desert. Sustainability drives much of Dae’s initiatives and formulations. For every product purchased, the brand donates 15.8 gallons of water to charity water, a non-profit organization aiming to bring clean water to developing countries.
• Dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil available at Sephora for $36
Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A multipurpose oil blend that’s enriched with kakadu plum to help curls feel soft, smooth, and silky
For optimal hair and scalp health, the award-winning Everyday Gloss is formulated with fatty acids, oils, and vitamins to bring slip and long-lasting shine. This treatment is tailored to curls, coily, and textured hair; however, it’s suitable for all hair types pre- and post-wash. All things considered, you’ll still want know The Curly Girl Method when it comes to curl care and maintenance.
Bread Beauty Supply was conceived to offer streamlined haircare for Black women with textured hair types 3A-4C. The brand prioritizes sustainable packaging: Products are available in pouches and glass bottles, rather than traditional plastic bottles.
• Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss available at Sephora for $24
Authentic Beauty Concept Hydrate Lotion
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, and free from microplastics, mineral oil, and artificial colorants
Key Benefits: A moisturizing lotion for dry hair that’s designed to tame frizz and protect against heat damage
Unruly frizz is no match against Authentic Beauty Concept’s Hydrate Lotion, formulated to help hair feel supple, manageable, and silky-soft to the touch. This solution is packed with mango and basil, both of which are well known for their soothing and nourishing properties. In other words, the perfect dose of hydration for dehydrated strands.
Co-created by a hairdresser collective, Authentic Beauty Concept is a holistic brand that houses products with carefully selected, pure ingredients. More notably, the brand leads in sustainability: All bottles, jars, and cans are both recyclable and reusable. To reduce plastic waste, the brand recently launched The Refill Bar, which allows users to return empties rather than discard them through the trash. Authentic Beauty Concept also supports the Sustainable Guar Initiative (SGI), a cause-related effort spearheaded by non-profit organization Technoserve and chemical company Solvay. The SGI educates farmers on climate-smart agricultural practices.
Susteau Moondust Hair Wash
Key Ingredients: Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and comes in recyclable packaging
Key Benefits: A powder-to-lather creamy formula that gently cleanses hair without over-drying
With fresh notes of ylang-ylang, geranium, black currant, and clove, the Moondust Hair Wash transforms from a concentrated powder into a sudsy, silky lather. It deeply conditions and hydrates parched strands, courtesy of milk surfactants derived from coconut oil, plant-based rice, protein, and aloe vera.
Better for your hair and the environment, Sustaeu is hailed for clean, conscious, and concentrated formulas — using little to no water in the process. Compared to gels, creams, and liquid-based haircare solutions, Sustaeu products are virtually waterless and thereby more sustainable. How so, you ask? Well, going waterless saves energy and materials across the entire supply chain. Sustaeu bottles are made with over 95% ocean-bound, recycled plastic.
• Susteau Moondust Hair Wash available at Susteau for $29