Luckily, there is no need to sacrifice the health of your skin for the health of our planet.
Photo via Herbivore
Slowly but surely, each industry is coming to a reckoning with their role in perpetuating climate change. Now, it’s Big Beauty’s turn to make a change in sustainable skincare products. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition the beauty industry produces more than 120 billion units of plastic packaging each year. Most of which are not recyclable. With the United States generating more than 30 million tons of plastic waste per year, the plastics industry’s exacerbation of climate change is predicted to surpass that of coal-fired power by 2030. And packaging isn’t the only issue at stake when it comes to beauty products. Ethical production pipelines, sustainable ingredient sourcing. And the use of clean energy all contribute to the creation of a truly sustainable product.
Fortunately, we don’t need to sacrifice the health of our planet for the health of our skin, or vice versa. According to a new survey of over 10,000 beauty consumers from across the U.S., 76 percent of consumers are now seeking out sustainable, ethical products, precipitating an industry-wide shift. In 2023, there are more sustainable, high-quality beauty options than ever before. Though companies still need to address the problem. How can they ensure that consumers know which products truly meet ethical and sustainable standards, rather than just being marketed that way?
These nine items and brands are some of Worth’s favorite picks that take the guesswork out of finding quality, eco-friendly sustainable skincare products.
1. Regenerating Cleanser from Tata Harper — $88
This daily cleansing and exfoliating treatment helps to refine dull, congested skin. Made of all-natural ingredients including pomegranate enzymes, crystalline, coconut, and kimchi ferment. This best seller “provides gentle physical and chemical exfoliation with apricot microspheres and BHA from white willow bark to give you a healthy looking, radiant glow.”
Tata Harper manufactures all their products on their farm in Vermont. Which is located in one of the states generating the largest share of in-state electricity from renewable resources. Because they don’t rely on subcontractors for manufacturing or shipping, Tata Harper is able to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum and limit any excess of expired inventory. Additionally, the company is certified by ECOcert and committed to working exclusively with natural ingredient suppliers. And that are certified for natural processes and respect human and animal welfare.
2. Ocuwake Eye Cream EYE1 from Facetheory — $30
This specialty eye cream contains a blend of vitamin C, ferulic acid, licorice, and chamomile to help reduce the presence of dark circles, swelling, and eye bags. Formulated, specifically to help boost, smooth, and firm the delicate skin around your eyes. This eye cream works to inhibit melanin production, therefore minimizing hyperpigmentation and making your eyes brighter and more luminous.
B Corporation Certified, Facetheory stands by their foundational mission that “Beauty shouldn’t cost the earth.” The B Corp Certification requires an extremely thorough assessment of a company’s overall approach and impact. Facetheory works to ensure that they do not compromise the health of your skin or the health of the planet through their commitment to vegan ingredients, plastic-free and sustainable packages, carbon-neutral shipping, and more.
3. Active Hydration Vitamin C+ Antioxidant Serum from Activist Skincare — $64
Formulated for visibly brighter skin. This smooth serum works to both energize and smooth your skin while simultaneously working to protect it from free radical damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Including vitamins C and B5, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and panthenol, this serum can ameliorate hyperpigmentation, redness, and dryness.
The women-led brand Activist Skincare is committed to sustainability across the board. From ethically sourcing sustainable ingredients to partnering with sustainably-minded suppliers. Their signature eco-friendly packaging system comprises one chic, refillable, glass container. That you can refill with their low-waste pouches, allowing you to effectively meet your skin’s needs without damaging the environment.
4. Herbal Recovery Signature Mist sustainable skincare from Jurlique — $47
This rejuvenating facial mist is designed to bring instant hydration to dull or tired skin. Containing natural ingredients and antioxidants such as yarrow, pansy and calendula, the Herbal Recovery Signature Mist works to soften and nourish your skin while simultaneously helping to protect it from environmental pollutants.
Growing their own ingredients on a biodynamic farm in Adelaide, Australia, Jurlique understands their mission to be one of “slow beauty,” cultivating the connection between consumers, wellness and nature. Moreover, the company stopped sending waste to landfills in 2016, pivoted to only using solar powered warehouse facilities in 2019 and created a new formulation charter in 2022 to further their positive environmental impact.
5. Immortelle sustainable skincare Divine Youth Oil from L’Occitane en Provence — $115
L’Occitane recommends the Immortelle Divine Youth Oil, which is designed to boost skin radiance, texture, visibly reduce wrinkles, and improve skin firmness. The oil is rich in both omega 6 and 9 and contains naturally derived retinol alternative from Corsica, the Immortelle essential oil. Over 93% of L’Occitane customers recommend this product.
L’Occitane, a luxury skincare brand from the south of France has been dedicated to sustainable and Fair for Life practices for years. In 2016, the brand entered in a partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, focusing on reinforcing biodiversity and protecting sustainable harvesting practices. Additionally, the brand has been steadily working towards reducing its carbon footprint with a 14% in emissions from 2010-2016.
6. Atmosphere Protection sustainable skincare Cream from OSEA — $54
This everyday, lightweight moisturizer provides essential hydration while also working to protect your skin from environmental aggressors. Formulated with antioxidants such as seaweed, shea butter and omega oils, the Atmosphere Protection Cream leaves a smooth, radiant finish with a subtle scent of lavender, chamomile and clary sage.
OSEA’s mission for the past 27 years has been to create clean, seaweed-infused skincare. Committed to sustainability from day one, the brand is one of the few that is Climate Neutral Certified, Ocean Positive Certified, and has only ever packaged their products in glass and paper. Moreover, they are working to replace any plastic pieces, such as pumps, with alternative materials and have also partnered with TerraCycle to ensure that their bottles are properly recycled.
7. Botanical Kinetics Radiant Skin Refiner from AVEDA — $49
This clay-based exfoliant uses tourmaline, a multicolored gemstone. In addition to bamboo extract in order to help slough off any dead skin or buildup, leaving your face rejuvenated and refined. Designed to be used only twice weekly, the botanical kinetics radiant skin refiner provides a deep, sophisticated cleanse.
100% Vegan and B Corp Certified, AVEDA has been a sustainability trailblazer in the skin and hair care industries for over forty years. It was one of the first companies to use 100% post-consumer recycled materials in their packaging. Additionally, their manufacturing facilities are powered by both solar and wind energy. More than 85% of their manufacturing waste is either reused or recycled.
8. Argan Reserve Healthy Skin Concentrate from Josie Maran — $78
This specialty Argan Reserve harvested only once per year—made from Argan leaves, Argan press cake and Argan oil—is eleven times more powerful than 100 percent pure Argan Oil alone. Its combined elements allow it to penetrate deep into your skin to help visibly improve moisture, texture, tone, and radiance without heaviness.
All of Josie Maran’s boxes are made of 100 percent post-recycled materials. Both saving natural resources while also reducing the brand’s carbon footprint. In order to combat the effects of using plastic packaging, the brand is partnered with TerraCycle in order to provide a free and easy way for customers to upcycle their Josie Maran containers into office supplies and other sustainable goods.
9. MOON FRUIT Retinol Alternative Sleep Mask and sustainable skincare from Herbivore — $54
This powerful, smoothing sleep mask is formulated with Bakuchiol. An all-natural alternative to retinol as well as a combination of antioxidant-rich superfruits. Working while you sleep to reduce the appearance of any fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation or dryness, the MOON FRUIT Mask will have you waking up to healthier, hydrated skin.
Herbivore, founded in Seattle in 2011, strives to make their products. And packaging “as gentle on the planet as they are on our bodies.” With an emphasis on real, natural, high-quality ingredients, the company works to make their products as biocompatible as possible. Additionally, Herbivore only packages their products in glass and paper, only using recycled and recyclable plastic when strictly necessary.
The beauty industry produces over 120 billion units of plastic packaging each year, which contributes to climate change. Ethical production pipelines, sustainable ingredient sourcing, and the use of clean energy are necessary to create truly sustainable beauty products. However, finding the right eco-friendly skincare products can be challenging for consumers. Worth’s favorite picks for high-quality, eco-friendly skincare products are: Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser, Facetheory’s Ocuwake Eye Cream, Activist Skincare’s Active Hydration Vitamin C+ Antioxidant Serum, Jurlique’s Herbal Recovery Signature Mist, L’Occitane en Provence’s Immortelle Divine Youth Oil, and others. These brands are committed to sustainability and use natural, vegan ingredients, plastic-free, and sustainable packaging to reduce their carbon footprint.
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