One of the first things I do when I discover a new brand, or before I purchase a product, is scroll through their social media, then straight to their website to learn about the products and look at the “about us” page. Brand transparency and customer relationships are more valued than ever which has opened a whole new window into what it takes to create good formulations, sustainable packaging, and climb the cosmetic innovation mountain. While completely “clean” beauty is an unregulated term (and one that can take on many different meanings and sets of standards), I wanted to compile a list of brands that have found harmony between naturally and synthetically derived ingredients, put great thought into scientific studies and research, and don’t compromise on high standards. If you are someone who follows a lot of skincare/beauty-loving social media pages, you probably know most of these brands already, but whether you are already familiar with them or not I hope this post can provide some insight.
Clinical ingredients meet clean standards, Allies of Skin formulas are made with performance in mind. The products are designed to meet the demands of a busy schedule, keeping a simplistic approach, while delivering maximum results. Products are made in small batches and dermatologist-tested. The packaging is made with 100% recycled paper and uses soy-based ink. The Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum and the newest addition to the line, Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser, have become widely talked about (and loved) among skincare enthusiasts. I’m looking forward to trying products from this brand and seeing what they come up with in the future!
Founded by Nancy Twine. Briogeo products are free of silicones, parabens, SLS, SLES, phthalates, DEA, and synthetic color, so if you have sensitivities to any of these ingredients, this is a great brand to try! They also include percentages and sources of the naturally derived ingredients in their products as a part of their commitment to transparency. Briogeo is a diverse brand, made for all hair types and textures; you can take this quiz on their website to find which products will work best for you! If you’re sensitive to fragrance in particular (which is in most hair care), the new Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing range is the way to go! I recently purchased the shampoo and conditioner from this line (the aloe + oat milk range) and have had pleasant results so far, although I’ve only used them once so I can’t give an in-depth review yet. I particularly like the conditioner because it rinsed out easily and did not leave my hair feeling weighed down. It also did not break me out around my hairline, which is another problem I seem to have with conditioners. I have also used their dry shampoo in the past and really enjoyed it!
Created by dermatologist Sam Bunting. Having troubled skin herself and seeing a need in her patients, Dr. Sam recognized the gap in the skincare market that products were not being made for aging and blemish-prone skin. Her range offers an uncomplicated basic routine with elegant, no-frill formulas meant to work for everyone. Dr. Sam also has a youtube channel where she makes valuable and easy to understand skincare videos. If you have trouble knowing how and why to use skincare, her videos are a great source of information!
Founded by Emily Parr and Majeed Hemmat. No matter your skin type, HoliFrog is a brand created to amplify the cleansing experience and I love their idea of “Situational Cleansing”. Often times cleansing goes underappreciated while expensive serums and creams are expected to do all the magic. However, without properly cleansed skin you are basically spreading the products on top of cling-wrap (meaning, they won’t be as effective if you have left-over sunscreen, make-up, or dirt & grime from the day on your skin). HoliFrog cleansers are designed to be as useful as any other step in your routine, being filled with nutrients and pH balanced to set up the rest of your routine!
Founded by Susan Yara and Ben Bennet. Susan is well known in the skincare world for her no bs, well-rounded approach to skincare, and has very informative youtube videos. Naturium is about using responsibly sourced natural ingredients and intertwining them with science. Their products deliver major ingredient punches while being user-friendly and fair priced. One of my favorite things about this brand is the ingredient dictionary which combs through the ingredients in the products, whether they’re synthetic, natural, or naturally-derived (plus the source of the naturally-derived ingredients), and the benefits/reasoning why that ingredient is being used. They think through everything, from the formulation to the best packaging to ensure a lasting product, all while remaining as earth-friendly as possible. With evolution in mind, Naturium keeps up to date with the latest ingredient research and has an ongoing commitment to up their recyclability game (the packing peanuts even dissolve in water!).
Founded by Paula Begoun. Paula’s Choice brand is based on truthful formulation and science-backed research. They closely follow and cite studies to offer the most up-to-date, useful, and effective products. I love that they offer travel sizes of several products so you can test it on your skin before buying full-size products, which is great if you have sensitive or reactive skin. I also their ingredient dictionary as one of my go-to sources for ingredient information. They are also part of the TerraCycle program, so you can be sure your empty Paula’s Choice products are being properly recycled without having to worry about sorting out for yourself what can and can not be recycled (which can be quite tricky with beauty packaging).
An umbrella brand of DECIEM, The Ordinary offers “clinical-formulation with integrity”. This brand is accessible to anyone wanting to incorporate the most loved and exciting ingredients into their routine while not spending a lot of money. If you have a strict budget or want to dip your toes in the ingredient pond, this is the brand to look into, even being more affordable than a lot of products you can find at the drugstore!
What are some beauty brands you’ve been seeing a lot of lately and do you plan on purchasing from them?