The Absolute Best Clean Beauty Products on the Market Right Now

From brands that are creating certified vegan, cruelty-free, and earth-friendly products.

A photograph by Ryan McGinley, styled by Edward Enninful in W July 2013. A model sits in a garden
Photograph by Ryan McGinley, styled by Edward Enninful. W July 2013.
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Granola-meets-glamorous seems to be precisely where the beauty world is heading—and this credo extends far beyond the loosely defined idea of “clean beauty.” In recent years, many of our favorite skincare and makeup brands have revamped their products to not only offer cleaner formulations, but also prioritize sustainable farming practices and create minimal waste. They’re moving beyond the “clean” label that encompasses the usual vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certifications; now, it’s all about zero waste, compostable and recyclable materials, and sourcing responsibly. The shift is likely driven by a growing demand for non-toxic formulations, (and, in turn, the companies’ bottom lines). It’s become quite common for beauty lines to partner with Sustainable Forestry Initiatives, Forest Stewardship Councils, or to implement tree-planting programs while working solely with farmers that responsibly cultivate their land.

In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve selected a handful of our favorite clean and earth-conscious products—which not only look divine on your face (those Merit lipsticks and the Ilia foundation...don’t even get us started), but also minimize damage done to the environment through industry. The next time you throw on a vegan leather Stella McCartney jumpsuit while applying some Blue Lagoon Eye Cream formulated from repurposed Icelandic seawater, you can feel confident that, however large or small, you are doing your part to heal this beautiful planet.


Even the most sensitive skin can reap the benefits of this high-performance mineral sunscreen that delivers quality, non-greasy UVA, UVB, and blue light protection. The sheer zinc oxide formulation contains brightening vitamin C and nourishing squalene, which provides a beautiful and supple glow upon each application. As with all MDSolarSciences products, the formulation is vegan, reef-safe, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. The packaging is 100 percent recyclable and meets Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards: to conserve wildlife and water, practice climate-smart forestry, and support relationship-building with Indigenous people. An added earth-friendly bonus: all products are manufactured in their zero-carbon facilities using solar power.


For a mere $13, Native’s Plastic Free product is an effective, earth-conscious deodorant that keeps you dry while keeping your carbon footprint low. Native’s zero-waste version delivers no pesky stickiness or lingering heavy residue. Crafted from paperboard sourced from responsibly managed forests, these deodorants also come available in scented versions that are free of any aluminum salts, parabens, and phthalates—meaning you will be free of irritation, skin sensitivities, and allergies.

Face Cleansers

When you crave a cleanse that goes deep without stripping the skin, Costa’s oil-to-gel cleanser should be your go-to. The product fully removes thick makeup while keeping the skin feeling hydrated and soft. Most of Costa Brazil’s formulations are organic, wild harvested, and the brand only works with the most reputable and sustainable suppliers. Their packaging is biodegradable (which is designed to biodegrade within a standard time period) and uses FSC certified paper.

We commend the formulation just as much as the innovative, earth-friendly packaging. Thanks to Evolve Together’s powder foaming face wash—which uses the exfoliating power of coconut shells, castor oil, and magnesium carbonate—your skin will not only be pristine, but you’ll be creating less waste. A 30-pack (which costs $42), contains the product in Evolve Together’s 100 percent dissolvable and septic-safe paper packaging.

Face Creams

Osea’s cream is an excellent choice for summer, especially when skin tends to be hypersensitive due to heat and sun. This clean formulation hydrates the skin with a polysaccharide-rich, ethically sourced seaweed infusion. Containing pre and probiotics to maintain a healthy microbiome layer, this water cream hydrates your skin for a clinically proven 72 hours. The jar is made of glass and is recyclable, and the formula boasts clean, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan derivatives.

This is plant power at its very best. Tata Harper’s fast-acting night cream plumps and nourishes beautifully, utilizing a whopping 43 organic plant botanicals to repair the skin while you sleep. The natural flavonoids and proprietary avocado peptides work together to deliver smoother skin and less noticeable facial lines the next morning—without any heavy residue, we might add. The glass bottle packaging is fully biodegradable and 100 percent of the ingredients of this rich night cream are from natural origin.

Light but mighty, Harper’s best-selling day cream combines large and small molecular hyaluronic acids to give skin the ultimate moisture benefits, as well as visibly impressive suppleness. Alfalfa, calendula, and soothing lavender create superior nourishment and provide calming benefits that keep the skin glowing and firm. In addition to the biodegradable glass bottle packaging, Harper’s whole line of products are derived from natural origins, with 60 percent of the total ingredients sourced from organic farming.

Face Mask

Here, Lindstrom taps earth-derived elements to purify, illuminate, heal, and detoxify your skin. Activated bamboo charcoal, earth salts, raw cacao, and soil nutrients deliver a potent face mask that cleanses and brightens the complexion. We recommend you use this 100 percent certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably packaged gem of a product one to three times a week, depending on your skin type, for a fabulous glow.

Face Oil

The $190 price tag for this heavenly face oil is justified on all fronts. Rich in fatty acids, this lightweight product is vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified. A fusion of Mokaté oil seed derived from melons and squalene does wonders to instantly minimize lines and provide moisture to the skin day and night. You can pair this with a moisturizer and serum, but we love it on its own to seep in and do its magic. Retrouvé uses recyclable packaging and partners with the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure they’re meeting environmental and social standards in their production process. The majority of their product line also uses ingredients sourced from their Malibu farm.


No heavy, sticky feel here. Merit’s Signature Lip collection features an array of beautiful pigments, all with a saturated, soft matte color containing lip-conditioning squalene and sunflower seed oil. The line is clean, vegan, and cruelty-free and all packaging is either recyclable, reusable, or compostable.

Eye Cream

The firming and regenerative powers of Iceland’s mineral-rich seawater are what make Blue Lagoon’s eye cream one of our absolute favorites. The formulation contains a natural dose of Bakuchiol to delicately resurface the eye area, niacinamide to brighten, and the overall natural components help protect the skin barrier to support collagen regeneration. All formulas from Blue Lagoon are vegan, GMO-free, and paraben-, silicon- and petrochemical-free. Blue Lagoon’s packaging is 100 percent sustainable and uses secondary packaging (FSC certified paper packaging) as well as COSMOS-certified packaging.


Since the brand’s inception, Ilia has been consistently transparent with its formulations and has a tremendous regard for the earth’s future. While not all products are 100 percent organic, this label uses the best of natural and safe synthetics to create insanely efficacious products. It doesn’t hurt that the Skin Serum Foundation yields one of the most beautiful glow enhancements we’ve seen, with a sheer, medium coverage that is buildable and flattering for many skin tones. Ilia also offers a recycling program with Pact Collective, giving patrons a mail-back option, and partners with organizations like the 1% for the Planet program and One Tree Planted.


Proof that superior makeup does not need to come with a hefty price tag. This primer yields a superb glow alone or under your foundation; it’s so light and gentle, you can even use it around your eyes. An added bonus: the primer contains a proprietary light-reflective technology that helps minimize any makeup creasing as the day (or night) progresses—up to an impressive 16 hours. The compositions are all vegan, cruelty-free, and now use recyclable packaging.

Body Care

With the incorporation of this heavenly body oil into your routine, you can achieve smooth-as-silk skin effortlessly. Harnessing the healing power of vitamin E found in macadamia nut oil, we apply the body treatment oil to damp skin in the shower after a good body scrub. Since Aesop’s beginnings, the brand has maintained a fiercely independent approach to product research and development. They source ingredients from the most reputable suppliers across the globe, then marry contemporary technology with long-established scientific practices. Launching new products only in response to genuine needs expressed by their clients, and only after extensive research, means Aesop isn’t contributing to overproduction.


We buy this one-and-done mascara in multiples. A visibly gratifying product brought to you by veteran makeup artist Bobbi Brown, The Mascara is perfect in every way, keeping our lashes looking impeccable and full. Bobbi’s code of clean beauty means that all Jones Road products adhere to even more stringent standards than those set by the European Union, eliminating over 2,700 potentially toxic ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, PEGs, cyclic silicones, BPA, and EDTA. The mascara is also clean and vegan.


Henry Rose is becoming a beloved brand among discerning fragrance aficionados, distinguishing itself by its commitment to clean beauty and a truly beautiful assortment of fragrances. Flora Carnivora is our absolute favorite. Henry Rose is nontoxic and sustainably packaged, and provides 100 percent ingredient transparency—they haven’t hidden a list of added junk behind the term “fragrance.” Their products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and no known carcinogens or endocrine disruptors, and the label works with the Environmental Working Group to ensure their products don’t contain any ingredients of concern. The brand also works with Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute Inc. to ensure their offerings are certified for good material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness. The icing on top? They’re Leaping Bunny Certified.