You’ve resolved to clean up other aspects of your life: your diet, your fitness routine, even your kitchen cabinets (bless you, sweetheart). So what about your beauty regimen? This year, use products that make you look good and feel good. Vegan, organic, all-natural, gluten-free, zero sulfates or parabens, no chemicals you can’t pronounce, eco-friendly and sustainably produced: These are a few of my favorite things. Here, 14 clean beauty products that your skin will love too.
Recently launched Cleen Beauty (it debuted in October at Walmart) is on our radar for our 2020 cosmetic-bag overhaul. For one, it boasts an under-$10 price point (a rare occurrence in the world of clean skincare). It’s cruelty-free and vegan, and all its products are free of synthetic dyes and fragrances, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil…basically everything your derm warns against. This rosehip jelly cleanser, for example, contains real rosehip oil and rose water to improve texture and brighten dull skin. It also contains bladderwrack seaweed extract to unclog pores and remove makeup, dirt and oil.
Another affordable clean skincare line that rings up at $10 or less: Walmart’s new Earth to Skin brand. Like Cleen products, Earth to Skin items don’t contain any icky chemicals like parabens, (which can penetrate deep into the skin’s layers and cause hormonal disruptions), gluten (which can cause problems for those with gluten sensitivities), sulfates (can overly dry out the skin), phthalates (can also cause hormonal disruptions) or mineral oil (derived from petroleum). Our top pick is Earth to Skin’s Tea Time Anti-Aging Serum, which harnesses the benefits of black tea and kombucha to tighten pores, reduce fine lines and improve skin elasticity.
Calling all dark-circle sufferers: A best seller from the same line, this Banana Brightening Eye Cream is formulated with banana and mango extracts that are high in vitamins A, B, C and E. The cream helps reduce the signs of aging around the eye area by plumping up crow’s-feet and fine under-eye lines, as well as lightening the appearance of dark circles and eye bags. It’s also got squalane (an emollient derived from olive oil that helps skin retain moisture) and shea butter for added hydration.
Don’t let this athletic packaging sway you: This balm does some serious beauty legwork. It’s got konjac root, wild mint, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to lock in moisture and protect from environmental damage, and it comes in two gorgeous shades (a dusty pink and a bright coral) plus one clear version for when you just need a regular ol’ swipe of lip balm. Plus, the Kosas brand is known for its strict adherence to clean, botanical, non-synthetic, cruelty-free and gluten-free beauty.
While most powders we put on our face contain talc, a naturally occurring magnesium silicate mineral (not proved to be harmful for use in cosmetics, although it’s not blameless, either), Kjaer Weis certified organic products, including this cream blush, contain none of it. Instead, this award-winning rouge contains jojoba and rosa rubiginosa seed oils and Gardenia Florida fruit extract. It’s also CCPB certified (the European seal of approval for natural and eco-friendly products) and produced in Italy, where 95 percent of its ingredients are organically farmed.
A slight discoloration or a dry, clumpy texture in your foundation bottle means it’s probably time you swapped it out for a new one. But instead of reaching for the same old brand, why not go for something that won’t make you feel like you’re wearing a mask all day? Enter Ilia, a Vancouver-born brand that focuses on a mix of natural and organic botanics, plus a small amount of healthy synthetics that let the product perform at its best. Ilia’s True Skin Serum, a beauty award winner, contains the tiniest amount of silicone necessary for its barely-there texture, plus aloe leaf, rosehip, jojoba and marula oils to soothe irritations, tame redness and plump fine lines.
PSA: The moment you read the ingredients on your go-to, apply-it-five-times-a-day lipstick, you may not ever want to wear it again. That’s because a lot of lipsticks still contain traces of lead, petroleum, paraffin and other chemicals that don’t belong anywhere near your mouth. RMS Beauty’s best-selling Wild with Desire lipstick, however, is non-GMO, non-nano (meaning no trace chemicals), soy-free, gluten-free and cruelty-free. Plus, I love the Flight of Fancy shade is “like a sunbeam on your face.”
The same goes for your mascaras. There’s something terrifying about putting such harsh chemicals so close to our precious peepers, which is why making the switch to all-natural, organic mascara is the way to go. W3LL People’s beauty-award-winning Expressionist mascara contains no aluminum, parabens, gluten or petroleum derivatives. Instead, it gets its non-clumping, hyper-pigmented, nontoxic formula from beeswax and palm and sunflower seed oils.
If you’re anything like me, you keep your concealers around ’til you’re scraping the bottom of the tube. Instead, swap out your old crusty one for this green-beauty cult fave. The Hynt Duet Perfecting Concealer checks every clean beauty box and is made with avocado oil, aloe vera leaf and cupuaçu seed butter. It covers dark spots, acne scars and under-eye circles with just a dab and without feeling too cakey, and comes in a pretty glass jar with a pink lid, which can both be recycled when you run out.
What better way to clean up your beauty routine than by arming yourself with a powerful pollution shield (especially if you’re a city dweller)? These anti-pollution drops use purslane extract (an antioxidant-rich medicinal plant), hyaluronic acid, disodium EDTA (which deactivates heavy metal ions in the air) and cocoa-seed extract to protect your precious face from environmental stressors that can contribute to long-term damage and premature aging—all while also leaving skin super dewy and evenly toned.
Use this creamy concealer compact to cover any number of facial sins, and feel good about what you’re smudging on in the process. Made from jojoba oil, frankincense, castor oil and lanolin, this creamy concealer comes in 12 shades and provides blendable coverage without drying skin or looking muddy. Plus, reviewers say a little really does go a long way. The brand, Ritual de Fille, is 100 percent natural and ethically sources all of its raw materials, so you can feel a little better about buying one for all your friends too.
Just because you’re making the switch to clean beauty (go you!) doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice luxury. The epitome of all-natural luxe beauty may be Hourglass, a beauty brand that made “cruelty-free” its entire mission statement and donates 1 percent of all profits to the Nonhuman Rights Project, the only civil-rights organization for animals. This product’s 24k-gold-plated lip oil applicator dispenses drops of an anti-aging formula—a blend of essential oils, vitamins and three powerful active ingredients—to improve lips’ volume, dryness and health.
With more than 3,000 five-star reviews and a major cult following (celebrity, too) this serum just might be the one product you absolutely have to invest in (if you’ve got the change to spare). Its 22 active ingredients are cold-pressed into a grapeseed oil–based formula to cover all kinds of skincare woes. It evens coloration, restores elasticity, minimizes pores, boosts skin’s natural radiance and improves blood circulation, among other things. Of course, it costs a pretty penny, but if Jennifer Sauri said this serum made her want to be a “better person,” we’re so on board.
One of Goop’s best-selling products, this lip and cheek stain does double duty and has one of the cleanest track records in the luxury beauty game. It’s free of GMOs, toxins, fillers, artificial colors, artificial fragrances and synthetic chemicals, and it uses a blend of anti-aging neuropeptides and all-natural vitamins and minerals to add the perfect amount of flush to cheeks and lips while filling in fine lines and wrinkles.