I think that we can all mostly agree: shopping for clean beauty hasn’t always been the easiest. We started with ‘natural’ beauty, and have managed to dive even deeper in defining the green beauty movement. While there are still some factors left up in the air, we’ve looked to certain resources to help us figure out how to be better consumers and discover new knowledge. We are forever students of life.
Luckily, many emerging brands in the clean space are coming to light, and attempting to educate their consumers on the values and definition of clean beauty. Sustainability will only become more important over time, and we beauty buyers need to stay up to date so that we’re purchasing with intention going forward.
Through my research, I’ve been able to discover a few key brands that have gone above and beyond to cultivate a unique experience and follow sustainable practices in order to make a difference in the world. Their products are a knockout, and their mission is something we can all get behind.
ILIA Beauty has been a power player in the clean beauty industry since its inception and has paved the way for other eco-conscious makeup brands. It offers consumers a private recycling program to make the process seamless and easy. Founder Sasha Plavsic even helped Sephora develop its current Clean Beauty Guide.
Flowers & Moondust
Flowers & Moondust is an African wholistic wellness brand dedicated to re-centering the power of African ancestral healing magic, empowering local African communities and encouraging wholistic wellness journeys through their products. The products are 100 percent organic, plant-based, sustainable and eco-friendly by using recyclable and biodegradable containers and mailers. The company proudly supports local Ghanaian economies, believes in fair wages and keeps money in their communities.
Free + True
The brand was founded by licensed esthetician and certified cosmetics formulator, Tami Blake. She masters simple, clean and effective through her product range, which is formulated in California using locally grown botanicals, and is boosted with high-tech, clean ingredients. Their internal ingredients list allows consumers to identify the popular ingredients used within their favorite formulas, plus their benefits.
In 2011, Beautycounter founder Gregg Renfrew learned that the U.S. only bans 30 ingredients from personal care products; this immediately set her on her mission to make beauty clean and safe for everyone to use. The company developed the Never List, a guide of bad-for-you ingredients that it has strictly banned from its product range and formulas. You can download the PDF yourself to keep on hand. The brand does a great job of keeping a history of clean beauty breakthroughs, and educating consumers on what exactly fits in the clean beauty space.
BLK + GRN
The BLK + GRN marketplace makes shopping for all-natural products from Black artisans easier than ever with its specially curated inventory. Whether you’re shopping for hair stylers, personal care products or home décor, you’re making a mindful buying decision. Chosen by Black health experts, every product must follow the BLK + GRN ethos.
Saie’s mission is to create clean makeup that you’ll actually love. The brand is now Climate Neutral Certified, Leaping Bunny Certified, Plastic Negative Certified and members of 1% for the Planet. Founder, Laney Crowell, wanted to develop a brand of clean makeup that was also well-designed and beautiful. Saie is open to the public about its mission and practices. It breaks down each and every ingredient in each of the products and explain why it’s used in the formula as well.
Sienna Naturals provides clean haircare products for textured hair types. Co-owned by Hannah Diop and Issa Rae, products are always free of harsh sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil, formaldehyde, artificial fragrances and dyes. Hannah Diop founded Sienna Naturals in 2012 in her apartment in Harlem, NY. After attempting to formulate the products herself, she was introduced to a chemist, another Black woman, who would formulate in Hannah’s kitchen every weekend.
Founded by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anomaly brings you quality haircare without compromise so that you can have beautiful hair without costing the Earth. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic trash, and ingredients are specially selected to ensure they are safe for your hair and the earth.
Ethique has been revolutionizing the personal care industry since its founding in 2012. The brand is 100 percent plastic-free and has been officially climate positive since March 2021. Just one of the shampoo bars has only 8 percent of the carbon footprint of the equivalent liquid product. The company is a beacon of transparency into the sustainable brand world.
Briogeo has proven time and again that clean and natural haircare products can be innovative and effective. The Black-owned beauty brand uses its famous naturally powerful NOVA complex and makes a distinct 6-free promise by focusing on ingredients that detoxify, hydrate and protect without wreaking havoc on our planet.
Pronounced “cake,” you can’t go wrong with celebratory plant-based skincare. Born from the knowledge that less is more, it’s here to make your skincare routine a #pieceofkaike through decadent yet minimal skincare solutions that nourish and treat melanin-rich skin. Founded by a single mom of 5, Keli Smith, the brand is set on celebrating skin with its minimal formulas.
Pholk Beauty is soul food for your skincare routine. The brand melds timeless folk beauty and herbalist wisdom with botanicals and minerals that have nourishing effects on the skin. It’s another great Black woman-owned brand that helps learn about the power of natural formulas, and how exactly to use them for our skin’s benefit.
Main + featured image via Jeans & a Tea Cup