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Our Favourite Eco Brands That Are Making Beauty More Sustainable

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Main image – Liliyarodnikova/Stocksy

Isn’t it amazing how brilliantly a large portion of the beauty industry is doing at taking care of our planet now?

More and more brands have started to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint (and it’s becoming apparent that the ones who aren’t, are rapidly running out of excuses).

Whether they’re watching what they’re packaging their products in, which ingredients they’re using or how they’re sending orders to customers, economical beauty is finally becoming the way forward.

Here, I wanted to highlight some of the brands who are doing their bit to do the right thing for our world – and how – so that you too can do good with your purchases.

I also asked Alex McIntosh, co-founder and CEO of Thrive Natural Care what the future was for sustainable beauty. And former beauty director of OK! Magazine Rosie Underwood and a celebrity aesthetican, beauty expert Ian Michael Crumm, and our own team gave me some of their eco beauty insight too.


1. REN Skincare

Image – REN

Rosie thinks brands REN Skincare and Burt’s Bees are particularly kind to the planet. “The legends that created these brands deserve to be knighted or something,” she says. 

Ren uses 100% recyclable packaging, 20% of which is reclaimed ocean plastic. I love their Radiance Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic (£30 from REN UK /$40 from REN US) which helps to smooth the skin.


2. Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is not only big on using all-natural ingredients but helping to save honeybees too by sponsoring the British Beekeepers Association Adopt of Beehive Scheme. It raises awareness on the importance of honeybees as well as raising money for education and research into how to save them. 

Try Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Nourishing Mascara, ($12.99 from Burt’s Bees US) contains jojoba oil to help nourish and condition the lashes.


3. Hanahana Beauty

“Some brands are very transparent in their business practices,” says Crumm. “For instance, making strides in how ingredients are sourced and how purchasing power can positively impact a community in need.”

Crumm highlights Hanahana Beauty who, “produce decadent body butters that are rooted in ethically sourced shea butter and give proceeds back to uplifting community in Ghana.”

He adds, “it’s easy to disassociate with products bought in a store so I applaud Hanahana beauty for their transparency and humane business practices.”

Try their Skin Nutrition Powder Mask ($32 from Ulta Beauty US) which forms a paste when mixed with water to make a beautiful face mask.


4. Love Beauty and Planet

The name of Love Beauty and Planet says it all really. It’s not only vegan but the products are also filled with organic and sustainable ingredients, all packaged up in 100% recycled materials. 

Their Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo ($6.94 Love Beauty and Planet US) is sulphate free and smells almost good enough to eat.


5. Kjaer Weis

Image – Kjaer Weis

A favourite of our editor, Sally Underwood’s, is Kjaer Weis, whose product range is housed in refillable metal packaging.  A minimum of 95% of the brand’s ingredients are certified organic too and are all cruelty-free.

This brand may not be the cheapest one but its packaging makes it one of the most beauty waste friendly and the makeup formulas are beautiful too.


6. Simple Skincare

Simple Skincare is PETA approved and their Kind to Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes (£3.79 from Boots UK /£5.99 from Amazon US) break down in 42 days in compost and do not contain any animal derivatives.


7. Bybi

Image – Bybi

Sally is also a real fan of Bybi – they’re vegan and use sugarcane packaging instead of plastic where they can.

Try Day Glow Vegan Facial Tonic with AHA (£18 from Bybi UK /$17 from Bybi US), which is brightening and refining without being harsh on skin. 


8. Eco Tools

Eco Tools makeup brushes are particularly good, while being both affordable and more sustainable than many brands. Their brushes are not only vegan-friendly but also made with recycled and renewable materials.

I love their Skin Perfecting Brush (£8 from Boots UK /$7.99 from Amazon US) for its softness.


9. Living Libations 

Sally also loves Living Libations, who use almost no plastic in their packaging. With an impressive celebrity fanbase (Gwyneth Paltrow and Mandy Moore, anyone?), Living Libations offer organic, synthetic-free and Fair Trade-friendly products that generally look and smell beautiful.


10. Thrive Natural Care

As well as regenerative farming, Thrive Natural Care is also focusing on their packaging. “In seven years time, we aim to be fully regenerative impact with our packaging,” McIntosh explains. 

“Today that means moving out of plastic, using recycled plastic when that’s the best material (all our tubes and bottles), and certifying our full line as plastic negative (every Thrive bottle you buy now pulls the equivalent of two plastic bottles from ocean or land-bound waste).” 

Their Daily Defense Sunscreen Balm ($29.95 from Thrive US) is plant based and contains SPF 30.


Looking to the future

With so many brands jumping aboard the healthy planet bus, what does the future hold? Well, surely, things can only get better. “Regenerative is the future of skincare and business,” explains Alex. 

“It’s not just a deeper shade of green or a more “fair trade” wage. It’s actually better beauty. Brands that get on board with this today, whether big corporates or small indie brands, will outperform with better products and more satisfied customers.” It’s a no brainer, right?


The takeaway

As you can see from the brand round-up, beauty is trying – and hopefully succeeding – in making the world a more sustainable place. And this is just a handful of brands willing to make a difference.

You may have heard of some of these brands already, and some not. But even if you haven’t heard of any of them, you’ll see that they’re easy to track down and it’s pretty simple to make a purchase. 

It’s super encouraging to hear from McIntosh that there is more of an incentive for brands to go green now than not. I’d say this might be the only occasion when a bit of healthy peer pressure on the brands not doing their bit wouldn’t go amiss. 


Meet the experts 

Rosie Underwood is the former Beauty Director at OK! Magazine, as well as a teacher and specialist in Vinyasa flow. Rosie has trained with over 85 of the wellbeing industry’s leading experts, including Deepak Chopra, Dr Mark Hyman and Doctor Andrew Weil, and has formulated a unique, well-rounded teaching and coaching practice as a result.


Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity aesthetican and beauty expert as well as co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast with Dr. Elyse Love. He is known for his passion for skincare and sun safety, is actively involved in philanthropic efforts to promote skin cancer awareness and believes that #ProtectedSkinWins.


Alex McIntosh is the Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Natural Care


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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