There is more awareness and interest these days, as consumers, in the sustainability and ethics of brands. Skincare is among the most commonly used and repurchased sector of products, and there is so much out there to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to find brands that match both your skin needs and keep sustainable practices in mind. If you don’t know a lot about skincare, some brands can go a bit unnoticed, but are well loved among skincare enthusiasts. Here’s a list of 13, plus a bit about their stories.
Josh Rosebrook started as a hairstylist in his 20s and found great interest in natural ingredients, leading him to create his own hair and skincare products. I have only purchased from this brand a couple of times, but it is among some of the best, kindest customer service I have ever received! I could really feel the warmth and passion put into these products with every email and order I received. Josh Rosebrook products are full of wonderful plant ingredients, all of which are 100% biodegradable. They also use minimal, sustainable packaging and biodegradable packing peanuts, so you can feel good knowing you are not just buying a single item(s), but into an immensely ethical brand as well. You can check out their ingredient section on the website, which lists all the beautiful plants they use and explains the uses and benefits of each. Although I haven’t tried many of his products, my favorite so far is the new Daily Acid Toner. It is the first exfoliating product I have been able to use in a long time that does not irritate my skin at all. It makes my skin feel refreshed and leaves a nice glow!
May Lindstrom grew up with severe allergies, sensitivities to most products, and a love of mixing ingredients in her backyard (like mud from a nearby river and plants from her garden). With all this in mind, she created a line of products tailored to stressed or damaged skin and launched in 2012. Every ingredient used in these products is sustainable and made with social conscience, which you can explore here. One of the coolest components of this brand is that every product is mixed and packaged by a small team in their own facility, so you know exactly where it’s coming from, as well as how and when it’s being made. This is definitely the pricest brand on this list, and while the products speak for themselves, you are also getting elegant packaging and the true love that is put into every single bottle.
Founded by influencer Liah Yoo, Krave Beauty was inspired by the confusion many of us face when shopping for skincare; questioning products with unsubstantiated claims, using irritating ingredients, and over-complicated routines. The Krave Beauty philosophy is to “press reset”, get back to the basics of skincare, and be more gentle with our skin barrier. The focus on products is simplicity and efficacy. Another great thing about Krave Beauty is their continuing commitment to sustainability, from carbon footprint, to the glue and ink used for labels, and also reducing excess packaging to begin with. Most of their packaging is completely (or almost completely) recyclable, but you can check out the recycling guide here for more detail.
Berkeley Labs, which originally worked on finding a cure for malaria, decided to shift their focus to skincare, creating Biossance, a scientist lead brand that values biotechnology. Biossance focuses on formulas that are both effective and environmentally friendly, along with sustainable packaging and carbon neutral shipping. Rarely do I try more than one product from a brand that I truly love, and Biossance is one of them. The 100% Squalane Oil has been my most used from the brand, and has become a multi-purpose staple, using it as a face, body, nail, and hair oil.
Founded by esthetician, Lesley Thornton. Klur products are a blend of botanical and lab created ingredients, all while keeping packaging minimal, reusable and recyclable. Read more about their formulation philosophy on the website.
Sometimes we focus so much on face products, we forget body care is just as important. Founded by Randi Christiansen and Nick Axelrod, Necessaire is a body care line that keeps efficacy and good ingredients in mind. You can delve into ingredient yes and no lists on their website. If you’re looking to up your shower game with nourishing, PH balanced body care, this is a go to brand.
Founded in 2018 by Colette Laxton and Mark Curry. Inky List has an affordable, simplistic approach to skincare. According to the website, Inky List packaging is currently 91% recyclable and is committed to being 100% recyclable by the end of 2020! They have a section on their website, called askINKEY, where you can connect with a member of their team to ask questions about specific products or ingredients.
Another brand that combines nature and science, Farmacy has high standards for what goes in (and doesn’t go in) their products, including ditching things like synthetic fragrance and SLS, which can be irritating for some people. They also work with farms around the world to source ingredients.
If you prefer drugstore skincare, this is a good brand to look for. Simple products are.. well, simple. They offer no frill, good skin care basics, at an affordable price. Simple products are also made to be safe for sensitive skin. Their website mentions their plan to have fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025. That is a great achievement for a drugstore brand!
Launched in 2003 by Susanne Kaufmann. Susanne grew up in the Austrian Alps, and after taking up the family hotel business, she decided to create a skincare line, keeping her holistic approach in mind, to be used in the hotels wellness spa. Eventually she opened up to the public, and you can now find her products online or in spas around the world. They search for high quality ingredients and use cold-press extraction to get the most out of the botanicals. You can look at the full range of products on the website, to get insight into each and every ingredient.
Founded in 2013 by retired ballet dancer, Jordan Samuel. While Jordan was still professionally dancing, he began searching for and mixing his own makeup remover and hydrating serum, to remove stage makeup and soothe overworked skin. These products eventually become his star The After Show Treatment Cleanser and Hydrate Facial Serum. After retiring, he became an esthetician before coming up with his own calming and functional line of products. Something I recently noticed is how inclusive and conscious he is about accessibility. There are many options to help those with epilepsy, visual impairments, blind users (and more) easily navigate the website. Jordan also has a youtube channel where he talks about his products, all things skincare, and has discussions with other skin care experts.
Founded by Natalie Smyth, Deviant was created to be an all inclusive skincare brand. The focus is kept on effective ingredients that benefit the skin, and the products are made in small batches to ensure quality control. The Cleansing Concentrate has a luxurious texture that glides on the skin effortlessly and leaves the skin ready for the next step, without feeling stripped. Thoughtful formulation accompanied by sleek packaging and reasonable price point makes this brand a must try.
Founded by Katherine Power (also CEO of Who What Wear), Versed is another drugstore brand (you can find this line at Target) that keeps formulation and sustainably in mind. Their packaging is currently made of 92% recyclable materials, plus they have a recycling guide so you know what to do when you finish a product.