10 Beauty Products That Are as Good for the Environment as They Are for You
It's no secret that the beauty industry hasn't been as quick to join the sustainability party as some other business sectors. Think: superfluous packaging and containers that are eye-catching, but not recyclable. But some companies are now making a real effort to stem that waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Here are a few of our favorite picks.
1. Aether Beauty Crystal Gemstone Palette
These 12 universally flattering eyeshadows, in various nudes and browns, are made with organic coconut oil and shea butter that give them a lush consistency. And the whole thing is zero-waste—meaning the packaging, palette and shadow pans are not only made from recycled materials, but can also go back into the recycling can.
2. Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser
Prickly pear extract and other botanical ingredients gently exfoliate oil-prone skin, leaving it soft and blemish-free. Like many Tata Harper products, it comes in a recyclable glass bottle. And other components that would usually be made of plastic—like the pump dispenser—are made from sugarcane, a renewable resource.
3. Kevin Murphy Angel Wash Shampoo
Extracts of green tea, tangerine and lavender make for delicate suds that pamper and preserve color-treated or dry and damaged hair, even when used daily. Better still: The bottles are made from reclaimed ocean plastic, can be recycled, and the square shape allows more to be packed in a box, so less fuel is used in shipping. Clever!
4. One Ocean Beauty Eye Revival Marine Cream
This eye cream gets raves for its ability to reduce under-eye puffiness, hydrate and minimize fine lines. The potent formula contains extracts from algae produced through a sustainable biotech process—rather than being ocean harvested, which can harm marine life. Bonus: All the packaging is 100% recyclable.
5. Kahina Argan Oil
There's a reason argan oil has a cult following: it's not too heavy or too light and is packed with vitamin E, polyphenols and essential fatty acids that soften dry skin. This one is certified organic and fair-trade, harvested by villagers in rural Morocco. The outer packaging is made with recyclable paper; the bottle can go in your blue bin too.
6. PYT Beauty The Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette
With shadows that range from office understated and date-night fun to party sparkle, this palette will be your new go-to. Each hue is richly pigmented—once rare in eco-friendly makeup. The shadows are free of 28 sketchy ingredients (everything from parabens to oxybenzone) and the palette itself is recycled and recyclable.
7. Peach Not Plastic Lavender Coconut Soothing Body Lotion Refillable Stick
Coconut milk melds with wild lavender and shea butter for a non-greasy formula that works 1,000 times better than many other lotions we've tried (and we love the no-mess stick, packaged in recyclable aluminum). It's plant-based and made without sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates and synthetic dyes.
8. Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish
Nail enamel is not exactly know for being green. But Habit's line is nontoxic and cruelty-free and comes in gorgeous, long-lasting shades. The formula is boosted with myrrh extract, which contains calcium and magnesium to help keep nails healthy. And the glass bottle is recyclable and is topped with a biodegradable bamboo cap.
9. Captain Blankenship Sea Shine Shampoo
Organic, vegan and free of synthetic preservatives, parabens and sulfates, this shampoo leaves hair shiny and hydrated, thanks to vitamin-packed sea kelp and spirulina, while lemongrass and lime essential oils make it smell so heavenly. (And isn't that really how we pick shampoo?) The bottle is also made entirely of recycled ocean-bound plastic.
10. Oui the People Big Mood Bath Soak
The dreamy scent of Italian bergamot essential oil and skin-softening organic aloe team up to bring serious chill to your next hot bath. It's free of phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, petrolatum and synthetic fragrances, and the pouch it comes in is fully recyclable.
This story originally appeared in EatingWell Magazine April 2020 and EatingWell Magazine April 2022.