It’s always important to be mindful of the environmental impact that our consumer habits have on the planet, and especially so during Earth Month. This year, consider making at least one eco-friendly swap in your daily routine, and more specifically, in your beauty regimen. While the beauty industry has long been one of the worst offenders in polluting the earth and draining natural resources, there’s been a positive turn around over the past several years, as numerous skincare brands have made a concerted effort to adopt more sustainable practices.
Unfortunately, there’s still a ton of greenwashing in the beauty industry, and it’s difficult to definitively label a brand as “clean” due to the lack of regulations and official certifications. While the beauty industry has a long way to go to achieve a more sustainable future, the good news is that plenty of brands are doing their part to get there, including employing more eco-friendly and ethical actions when sourcing ingredients and packaging products, as well as implementing environmentally-focused recycling initiatives and programs.
Even though there’s still major work to be done, every small change helps, so take a step in the right direction and make an effort to purchase your beauty products from sustainably-focused brands, whenever possible. It’s always important to shop with purpose, and what better time to start than with Earth Day 2023 coming up on April 22? Below, see the worthy skincare brands that are giving back and focusing on sustainability initiatives this Earth Day.
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The Sustainably-Focused Skincare Brands to Shop for Earth Day
Mindfully update your beauty routine with these sustainably-focused products.
Luxe beauty brand Chantecaille works on multiple charitable collections and initiatives every year. There are several Chantecaille products you can purchase that will give back to environmental causes, including their refillable Future Skin Cushion Foundation. Every cushion foundation purchased helps feed an orphan baby elephant rescued by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. And don’t forget that all of the brand’s products are formulated without phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, palm oil and GMOs.
Summer Fridays uses only vegan ingredients and is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. The brand also uses all eco-friendly, recyclable packaging, and has a give-back rewards program where customers can send in five of their Summer Fridays empties and get a $25 e-gift card to be used on the site in return.
Clean beauty brand Tower 28 (it’s is great for sensitive skin types) pledged to transition its packaging to at least 50 percent PCR (post-consumer recycled plastic) packaging by 2023. For Earth Day this year—and every year going forward—the cruelty-free, paraben-free California-based brand has pledged to donate 100 percent of gross profits of the Rescue Tee from their online site sales to support ocean conservation via their partnership with environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay, which is dedicated to cleaning and maintaining the Los Angeles waters. On Earth Day, 20 percent of sitewide profits are donated to the organization.
BareMinerals launched a new mail-in recycling program, where customers add a recycling kit to their online order in order to receive a recyclable mailer, complete with a prepaid return label. They can then send back their empties in exchange for 20 loyalty points per kit returned, which helps prevent more material and plastic waste from going into landfills. Plus, BareMinerals’ new bottles and jars are made entirely with PCR materials, and the makeup bags and pouches are created using recycled plastic bottles.
Scarlett Johansson’s vegan skincare line The Outset is all about “consciously clean,” plant-based, high-quality botanical ingredients, and they donate a portion of all proceeds to environmental causes.
Clean skincare pioneer Tata Harper has an ongoing partnership with Trees for the Future, and just in time for Earth Month, the brand has expanded their refillable offerings with the launch of their refillable and reusable Illuminating Eye Creme, which is made using tons of botanical ingredients. Like all Tata Harper skincare products, this brightening formulation is made with sustainably-sourced, natural ingredients, and is free of toxins, fillers, artificial colors, artificial fragrances and synthetic chemicals.
In 2021, Fresh launched their Forever Fresh initiative, in which the brand promised to work towards eco-friendly ingredient sourcing, packaging and climate action, including a goal of using 100 percent recycled materials for packaging by 2025, and to source 100 percent renewable energy for all Fresh boutiques globally in 2023. Fresh plans on using PCR materials for all of their plastic tube products by the end of this year, and the brand has an ongoing partnership with Save the Truffle, an organization that works to protect the white truffle’s ecosystem.
Clean skincare brand Eminence Organics is a Certified B Corporation, which is only given to companies that meet the highest social and environmental standards, plus public transparency and accountability, in working towards a more sustainable economy. All products contain a minimum of 70 percent (and up to 95 percent) of organic ingredients, and they never do animal testing. The brand has an ongoing partnership with Trees for the Future, and plant a tree for every single product sold.
For clean skincare company Luzern, sustainability isn’t just a fad. The brand has focused on sustainable and green ingredients ever since its launch over two decades ago; Luzern also uses recycled glass bottles to package their products, which are made in small batches and free of toxic preservatives. Through Luzern’s ongoing ‘The Planet, People and Peace’ Initiative, the brand donates three percent of all profits to three charitable verticals; 1 percent to the planet, 1 percent to people and 1 percent to peace.
Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics goes a step above just natural skincare; the brand follows the highest global standards for safety. The brand’s skincare products are formulated with certified organic and naturally-derived ingredients that are high in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids.
The brand succeeded in its pledge to become certified by Climate Neutral for 2022, working to achieve carbon neutrality. Since 2021, all Kora Organics products have been made with recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials for packing, and the brand gained further recognition by launching products with refillable packing, including the cult favorite nourishing Turmeric Glow Moisturizer, Vitamin C Eye Cream and the Active Algae Lightweight Moisturizer, which come in refillable glass containers, as well as using glass bottles for their cleanser oil and hydration mist.
Origins uses all naturally-derived ingredients in its products. The brand has a longstanding partnership with One Tree Planted, and has worked with a number of other nonprofits over the years to plant over 2 million trees. This year, Origins Green the Planet is expanding its support of forestry initiatives in the U.S. and also embarking on projects in Asia and Europe.
Skincare brand Byoma proves that sustainable products don’t have to have a hefty price tag. Byoma, which recently debuted a new sunscreen, is all about affordable, barrier-boosting skincare, with an emphasis on recyclable and refillable packaging, to minimize single-use plastic. They also partnered with One Tree Planted, and for every product purchased, a percentage of the sale is donated to the organization.
Glow Recipe is perhaps best known for oft-viral products like their dew drops, a key component for a glazed donut vibe. The carbon-neutral, clean brand has a major focus on eco-aware packaging, including a refill pod for their cult favorite Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream, which is made with 50 percent PCR materials. They also have an ongoing partnership with TerraCycle, a no waste program that makes recycling products easier than ever, thanks to their zero waste boxes.
Brazilian brand Natura, which received B Corp certification in 2014, focuses on using Brazilian biodiversity ingredients within their products, as well as using recycled glass and recycled plastic for packaging. They work directly with local communities in the Amazon to source the ingredients in order to help conservation efforts, too, and they work with nonprofit local initiatives that support and invest in education.
Korres is a clean Greek beauty brand that focuses on natural, eco-friendly ingredients and products. They have a major recycling program and have focused on supporting local farmers and workers since their launch in 1996. The sustainably-focused brand buys all of its plant materials from Greek farmers and uses 90 percent recyclable packaging.
One Ocean Beauty
In case you couldn’t tell from the name, One Ocean Beauty is all about water—in fact, the clean, cruelty-free brand is inspired by the ocean. One Ocean Beauty sustainably creates its products using marine ingredients as well as recyclable packaging and materials. They have an ongoing partnership with Oceana, and have made major donations to help support ocean conservation.
This Jackson Hole-based brand is all about “wildcrafting,” in which they hand-harvest native plants at their most potent, and then pair them with clinical actives. It focuses on sustainability and preserving natural resources, and the brand also gives back a portion of every single purchase to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation’s rewilding efforts; thus far, they’ve restored 1,350-acres of grassland. Alpyn Beauty is also a member of 1% for the Planet.
Murad, which is already a cruelty-free brand, upped its eco-friendly nature last year, when it began a partnership with no-waste program TerraCycle, to make it easier for customers to recycle their empties. The brand is taking steps towards more sustainability initiatives, including transitioning away from virgin plastic and switching t0 PCR components, in order to be 100 percent recyclable by 2030.
Farmacy is a clean, cruelty-free skincare brand that emphasizes conscious beauty; they use 95 percent recycled materials in their packaging, and aim to use 2.25 tons of upcycled ingredients in their products this year. They also have longtime partnership with a number of farms in order to responsibly source their ingredients.
Paula’s Choice aims to have zero net zero emissions within their operations by 2030, and they also have an ongoing partnership with TerraCycle, which has kept 500,000 Paula’s Choice empties out of landfills.