With all of the greenwashing out there, it can feel intimidating to try to figure out which makeup brands actually use clean ingredients, let alone which brands are also eco-friendly and ethically-produced. While sites like EWG’s Skin Deep Database can help to decipher which ingredients are worth worrying about, it ends up feeling like a lot of research to check each product if all you’re trying to do is quickly fill your cart with makeup and move on with your day. Moreover, EWG won’t tell you whether the makeup brand you’re considering also follows sustainable and ethical practices.
Thankfully, there are online stores like Credo Beauty that help to make the process easier. In order for brands to meet Credo Beauty’s Clean Standard, companies must demonstrate transparency across multiple measures, including clean ingredients, safety, sustainability, sourcing, and ethics. Even so, it’s nice to have a list of clean makeup brands to try where you can purchase directly for the widest selections. The following clean makeup brands offer high quality products with clean ingredients and responsible business practices.
True + Luscious
True + Luscious uses pure pigments and plant-derived natural ingredients to formulate everything from eye shadow to lipstick to eyebrow pencils with a commitment to using sustainable elements — like sustainably-sourced wood instead of plastic in their eyebrow pencils. On EWG Skin Deep at the time this article was published, all of its products except the complexion powder were rated in the green (the complexion powder received a score of 4, which is still safer than many of the alternatives on the market). The self-proclaimed indie company is woman-owned and also sells clean beauty serums and makeup tools.
For a wide variety of clean makeup options including everything from foundation to mascara to lipstick, rms beauty is formulated from a combination of organic, raw, food grade, and wildcrafted natural ingredients with the vast majority of its products showing up as green on EWG Skin Deep at the time this article was published. The company works with a toxicologist to ensure the human safety of its ingredients and is committed to transparency in the production process. Additionally, the brand doesn’t use parabens, gluten, synthetic fragrances, GMOs, sulfate, phthalates, and talc. In 2022, rms beauty launched an initiative to use more sustainable packaging and cut back on the use of plastics. And, when it comes to customer satisfaction, the excellent reviews speak for themselves.
Axiology offers 100% plastic-free makeup crayons (called multi-sticks and balmies) made from natural ingredients — like castor and sunflower oils — that earned a green rating from EWG Skin Deep at the time this article was published. In addition to being non-toxic, Axiology’s products are vegan and never tested on animals. Moreover, the packaging is earth-friendly with recyclable boxes sourced from Bali island trash and lipstick tubes made from recycled paper with a recyclable carrying case. Best of all, Axiology’s products are great on lips, eyelids, and cheeks, offering a versatile makeup option in a variety of gorgeous colors.