Main image courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica.
Whether you wear makeup on the daily or only bring your products out for special occasions, you might have noticed that the brands and products that you’re using aren’t as high quality as you’d like them to be, and that you might have no idea what’s actually in them.
You’re not alone! Shopping for makeup alone can be exhausting, and when you’re looking for makeup that’s free of any harmful ingredients, such as parabens or other toxins, it can make the process even more stressful. Searching through long, complicated ingredient lists that make no sense can seem like a fruitless task, but there are so many brands out there that try to be as transparent as possible about what’s actually in their products so that you know what you’re getting.
This spring, refresh your makeup with some clean beauty brands that’ll make your skin thankful you decided to make the switch!
A lot of beauty brands nowadays, ranging from skincare to makeup, have started using (and even misusing) the term “clean” when it comes to describing their products or company. Because clean beauty isn’t a regulated industry, and there are no specific laws or regulations in place that determine if a product is clean or not, there’s really no way to tell for sure.
The only government-regulated term related to clean beauty is organic, which means that it’s USDA-Certified Organic and has at least 95 percent organically cultivated ingredients, or is NSF Organic-Certified and contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients.
Another clean beauty term is cruelty-free, which means that a product has not been tested on animals. This is indicated by a Leaping Bunny certification. If you’re looking for something that’s chemical-free, be on the lookout for specific ingredient lists and claims such as “paraben free.” Other harmful things to avoid when searching for products include sulfate, formaldehyde, and phthalates.
Major companies like Sephora and Ulta now have specific categories that advertise clean brands and products that they have. More and more brands are also transitioning to producing cleaner products, which means that they’re more naturally derived, have fewer chemicals and synthetic ingredients, and/or aren’t tested on animals. Here are some clean beauty brands you should definitely check out:
Milk Makeup is a cosmetics and skincare company based in New York City that was founded in 2014, so it’s a relatively new addition to the beauty scene. Milk Makeup’s products are vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. Their products are also super aesthetic!
Milk Makeup has a line of cannabis-infused products known as KUSH. I’d recommend checking out the KUSH Mascara, which is infused with hemp-derived cannabis seed and is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, gluten-free, and coal tar-free.
Another popular Milk Makeup product is Lip + Cheek, which comes in 8 different colors and is a two-in-one cream blush and lip tint that is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.
Honest Beauty is a company launched by Jessica Alba that sells everything from diapers to hand creams! Their goal is to create safe, quality products through six steps: ingredient and material assessment, testing and validation, production, packaging, label transparency, and ongoing evaluation. They have a list of over 2,500 ingredients that are not allowed in their products, while the United States has only banned or restricted 11 chemicals from cosmetics as per the FDA.
Honest Beauty’s Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer is a double-sided mascara and lash primer that won Allure’s Readers’ Choice Award Winner in Clean Beauty in 2021. It also secured a win during the 2020 People Beauty Awards and is free of animal testing and EWG verified!
Another bestseller is the Liquid Lipstick that’s made with avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, which was an Allure Best of Beauty Clean Beauty winner in 2019, and is also free of animal testing, and EWG verified.
bareMinerals has been around since 1976, and their mission is to create clean beauty that’s good for your skin, the community, and the planet. bareMinerals products are cruelty-free, and they’ve restricted over 2,500 ingredients in their products. 71 percent of their formulas are vegan and all of their new products that have launched since 2020 are vegan as well!
All of their products are free of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, triclosan, triclocarban, propylene glycol, mineral oil, coal tar, and microbeads. Their Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer is a 3-in-1 moisturizer, skin tint, and sun protector with SPF 30. It’s vegan, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic too! It’s a 4x winner for Allure’s Best of Beauty Hall of Fame.
Another one of their bestsellers is the Mineral Veil Finishing Powder, which is a talc-free setting powder that comes in two shades. It’s also vegan, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic.
W3ll People was only founded in 2017, but it’s been making waves in the beauty community. W3ll People’s products are plant-powered and their ingredients are ethically sourced and renewable. They are also Leaping Bunny and PETA certified and many of their products are EWG verified. They have a list of 700 ingredients they won’t include in their products, some of which include parabens, coal tar, formaldehyde, silicone, phthalates, propylene glycol, and lead.
One of their bestsellers is the Bio Tint SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer, which has non-micronized zinc, broccoli seed oil, and raspberry seed oil. It comes in 14 different shades and was an Allure Best of Beauty award winner in 2020, along with their Expressionist Pro Mascara. Their mascara is formulated with castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and cellulose plant fiber.
If you’re looking for new clean beauty brands or products to try, be sure to check those out. Switching to clean beauty can make a positive difference in your life, your community, and even benefit the planet!