Beauty Brands

Sustainable Beauty Brands You Can Find at Big Retail Stores

Beauty products should enhance the world and its inhabitants, not damage them. According to Zero Waste Europe, “Over 4000 chemicals are potentially present in plastic packaging,” and every year, the cosmetics industry is responsible for introducing over 120 billion units of this packaging into the environment (this is not to mention that many toxic ingredients, like phthalates and sulfates, are present in beauty products themselves). Once we are done using our favorite makeup, this unhealthy plastic is left to sit in landfills, often for hundreds of years, while chemicals from these products enter the soil and water (through drains) and hurt animals, humans, and the planet as a whole. 

We want to enjoy our makeup and not worry that it is making the world a worse place to live in. That’s why we are making a concerted effort to use and highlight ethical, natural, and sustainable beauty products that don’t take so much from the Earth, but rather aim to help it. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. We found five amazing brands that are leading the way towards truly eco-friendly beauty, and they’re all available at your favorite big retail stores like Target, Ulta, Sephora, and Walmart.

Hey Humans


Co-founded and creative directed by Jada Pinkett Smith, Hey Humans describes itself as “personal care with a conscience.” The clean brand prides itself on using 99% plastic-free packaging, and products “made from recyclable aluminum and paper,” “clean and naturally-derived” ingredients, vegan and cruelty-free formulations. Added bonus? All items are $6 or less. You can grab Hey Humans items exclusively at Target.

Try the: Natural Deodorant, Available at target.com, $4.99

Elaluz

 

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We have previously sung the praises of Brazilian Camila Coelho’s beauty brand Elaluz, mainly because it is eco-friendly. In addition to using natural, non-toxic, Brazilian superfoods like Camu Camu, the brand, available at Ulta, aims “to use recyclable, reusable materials, and FSC-certified boxes” whenever possible. Elaluz also releases timeless, must-have products individually, instead of bombarding consumers–and the planet–with tons of product.

Try the: Lip and Cheek Stain, ulta.com, $18

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees, with its sunny yellow packaging, has been a mainstay at drugstores, Target, Walmart, and more for decades. It’s tagline is “true to nature,” and they mean that, sourcing natural ingredients like its iconic beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, essential oils, and more. And they go the extra step towards sustainability by utilizing recyclable packaging, and recommending that consumers send back used packages via TerraCycle. At Burt’s Bees, there’s a product for most every need, but Burt’s Bees’ classic offering will always be its beeswax lip balm.

Try the: 100% Natural Origin Moisturizing Beeswax Lip Balm Original, walgreens.com, $9.99 (4-pack)

C’est Moi

Clean, sustainable beauty products at Walmart?! Yes, they exist! C’est Moi, a brand “formulated for young delicate skin types” is stocked on the mega-store’s shelves.

They create skincare and makeup products that help, not hurt, skin, like their gentle gel facial cleanser with aloe, give ‘em lip (& cheek) tinted balm, and soothing cucumber and aloe gel facial mask. All vegan, dermatologist tested, made with clean ingredients, EWG certified, and with no animal testing. Added bonus? Everything is under $20, and also available at CVS, Target, Amazon, and on their website!

Try the: One of One Chill Out Calming Cucumber Facial Treatment, walmart.com, $15.97

Planet KIND

We have to applaud big brands like Gillette when they make changes to improve not only their products, but their effect on the environment. Planet KIND is the company’s answer to eco-friendly, sustainable razors, theirs made from recycled plastic bottles. They want you to “discover a new world of sustainable shaving and skincare,” with their razor and blades kit (“razor handle made with 60% recycled plastic”), protective shave cream (“infinitely recyclable metal” tin), refreshing face wash (“made with 85% recycled plastic”), and nourishing moisturizer (“made with 85% recycled plastic”). Added bonus? The products are affordable ($8 up to $20 for the razor and blades kit), and you can send your used razors and blades to TerraCycle for recycling.

Try the: 5-Blade Razor + 2 Razor Blade Refills, target.com, $9.99

V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi is a writer at BoldLatina, Refinery29, LatinaMedia.co, and Mission Local. Her work focuses primarily on fashion, beauty, and Latinx culture. She has also written on San Francisco for a number of publications including the San Francisco Examiner, Bob Cut Mag, 7x7, and The Bold Italic. Alex recently co-founded the Latina Writers community.