Look Good

The Sustainable Beauty Edit: The most eco-friendly skincare, makeup and body products on the market right now

Small swaps can make a big difference…

Written by Jenny Brownlees
Published 11.09.2021

With the recent wildfires in Greece and Turkey and extreme flooding in London, most of us are now seeing the dramatic effects of the climate crisis first-hand.

Whilst making sustainable changes has been at the forefront of consumers’ minds for the past few years, seeing these disasters has no doubt reiterated the large-scale environmental changes that are needed the world over. 

It’s true that much of the responsibility lies with the large companies which are contributing to the problem on a giant scale. But there are still everyday changes we can all make to help reduce our carbon footprint. Whilst we can in no way buy our way out of this problem, if we are going to use toiletries (as most households do), they might as well be earth-friendly. 

The data speaks for itself: humans are polluting the oceans with around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic a year, and the damage to marine life and our ecosystem is fast becoming irreparable. Considering that 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles which get thrown out globally every year, there’s no better time to make an eco-friendly switch when it comes to your beauty routine.

Thankfully, our favourite brands are making positive changes – offering eco-friendly packaging, refills and vegan options. While at one time, shopping sustainably meant compromising on quality, that’s no longer the case. Making small changes over time really will make a difference, so we’ve rounded up the best sustainable buys that deliver results, all while being environmentally-friendly.

Skincare

Selfless by hyram – Retinol and Rainbow Algae Repair Serum – £28.00

Through his beauty brand, Hyram wanted to connect the beauty industry with social change. Since the launch, Selfless by Hyram has raised funds to help The Rainforest Trust protect 110,269 acres of Bolivian rainforest from deforestation – helping to store a cool 18,099,595 tonnes of C02 – as well as the Thirst Project, who have built six water wells in eSwatini, Africa, providing 3,423 people with access to clean drinking water for the next 50 years. 

Their Retinol and Rainbow Algae serum is our must-have. 

Foreo – Coconut Oil Nourishing Sheet Face Mask – £15.25

Foreo are economical in their use of energy and natural resources when making all their products, from their skincare devices to everyday items. Not only are these masks super-hydrating, they’re made from natural cellulose derived from eucalyptus wood pulp – meaning they’re fully biodegradable. 

NUXE – Ultimate Night Recovery Oil – £37.00 

Made from 100% natural origin ingredients, NUXE’s new Bio Organic Waterless range has been created without water to help preserve the resource. Plus, the eco-designed glass bottle is made from 30% recycled glass. 

Upcircle – Beauty Face Moisturiser With Argan Oil – £18.99

Many ingredients that make our skin healthier and more radiant, such as coffee grounds or brewed chai tea spices, often end up going to landfill unnecessarily. UpCircle questioned this wasteful practise and began using leftover natural ingredients to create their award-winning beauty products. We are huge fans of this luxe-feeling moisturiser.

Patchology – Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Hydrogels – £45.00

Patchology has recently launched their single packs of eye gels into jars, making them a sustainable option that can be widely recycled.

Face Halo – Original 3 Pack – £18.00

Ditch your face wipes for these clever reusable makeup removers. An effortless way to speed up your end-of-day routine, they’re an eco-friendly game changer. HLN have a pair on rotation at all times.

REN – Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel – £17.00 (was £23.00)

REN has long been a HLN favourite, but you’ll be encouraged to know the brand is doing great work for the environment too – from using sustainably sourced ingredients and reclaimed ocean-plastic packaging to initiating a refill scheme. 

The brand aims to be zero waste by the end of 2021, even teaming up with their competitors Biossance, Caudalie, Herbivore and Youth To The People to help them commit to produce only planet-friendly packaging by 2025. Whilst you’ll love every product in the range, our favourite buy is the Evercalm cleansing gel – perfect for sensitive skin.

Make-up

Origins Pretty in Bloom™ – Longwear Foundation SPF 20 – £28.50

Origins is committed to using earth-friendly ingredients in all its products. Through the creation of the Origins Green The Planet Fund, they’re helping offset carbon emissions, combat climate change and restore ecosystems through global tree-planting initiatives. So far the brand has planted and cared for 1,858,675M+ tree saplings around the world. So if you’re looking for a new longwear foundation, make it this one.

ILIA Beauty – ILIA Multi-Stick – £33.00

Not only are ILIA’s products seriously lust-worthy, but the brand is also committed to offering clean products with conscious, carefully selected ingredients. Their packaging uses recycled aluminum, glass components and responsibly sourced paper with a recycling programme available for customers.

Kjaer Weis – Iconic Edition Compact – £13.00

Dreamy high-end make-up is hard to find, but we hit the jackpot when we discovered Kjaer Weis. They were the first luxury beauty brand to introduce refillable packaging at their launch, and their commitment to the environment extends from being refillable and recyclable through to their approach to product formulation. Their certified-organic ingredients are hand-selected for quality and sourced from the eco-conscious partners the brand work with closely.

Kjaer Weis – Lipstick – £44.00

A Kjaer Weis Lipstick is well worth investing in – the super-moisturising (not to mention refillable) lipstick range offers rich colour pay-off in every shade, with a velvety smooth finish that is activated by the warmth of your lips.

Pai Skincare – The Impossible Glow – £29.00

Made in Britain, Pai is a Maori word meaning “goodness” – which sums up the brand’s ethos. Independently certified by COSMOS (Soil Association), Cruelty-Free International and The Vegan Society, Pai has recently eliminated the use of leaflets and introduced recycled material into over 80% of their retail tubes. The brand has also invested in bioplastic made from sugarcane – a renewable and sustainable source of packaging – and have started their own recycling scheme.

Charlotte Tilbury – Hot Lips 2 Refill – £19.00

Your favourite Tilbury lippy is now refillable – meaning there’s no need to buy new.

West Barn Co. – Prep Mist – £18.00

This North East-based brand is dedicated to being eco-conscious. They took the time to find recyclable packaging, eco-friendly suppliers and refillable options for each of their products. And their prep-mist has become an integral part of our pre-make-up routine.

Haircare

Wetbrush – Go Green Detangler – £14.99

If you’re in the market for a new brush, this clever detangler is made of plant starch, meaning it’s biodegradable – breaking down within five years in landfill. Whilst this may seem a long time, consider that plastic can take 400 years.

Maria Nila – Eco Therapy Revive Range Shampoo – £20.00 

This new Eco Therapy range from our favourite hair brand is made from Ocean Waste Plastic. Better yet, the handy toiletry bag is derived from recycled mesh. 

Maria Nila – Beauty Bag Volume – £42.00 

Maria Nila – Beauty Bag Style & Finish – £38.40

Christophe Robin – Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera – £16.00

Do the earth a soild by opting for a shampoo bar. Your locks will love this super-moisturising version from Christophe Robin.

Bathroom cabinet

Last Object – Last Swab Basic Reusable Cotton Swab – £9.00

Able to be used again and again, these are perfect for makeup touch-ups.

Truthbrush – Petal Pink Medium Bamboo Toothbrush – £4.50

Making the swap to a bamboo toothbrush is an eco-friendly no-brainer.

Manifesto – Beauty Supplements – £39.90

If you’re a fan of a beauty supplement, try Manifesto gummies – packed in a reusable, refillable tin, wrapped in a home compostable bag and made from sustainably sourced ingredients. Not only that, the brand supports vital ocean conservation projects.

Crabtree & Evelyn – Herb Candle – £25.00

As well as coming in eco-friendly packaging, you can plant the paper from this candle in soil and it will grow into basil. A beautifully scented candle and an air-cleaning plant in one? We’re sold.

DAME – Reusable Tampon Applicator Set – £23.80

DAME are leading the way in eco-options when it comes to your period. Their Award-winning tampon applicator offers comfort without the plastic waste, with Self-Sanitising™ technology helping to keep this clever gadget clean for 12,000 uses. The brand also offer organic tampons and reusable pads, making your period a whole lot more earth-friendly.

Body

By Sarah London – Organic Body Oil – £36.00 

Certified-organic ingredients are made at this brand’s dedicated production space right here in England, packaged in recyclable glass and delivered in eco-friendly boxes free from single-use plastic and bubble wrap.

Wild – Refillable Deodrant – £25.00 

No need to keep using aerosols or plastic roll-ons when eco deodorant looks (and smells) this good. With a Wild subscription, a sustainable, aluminimum-free refillable deodorant is delivered straight to your door.

Floral Street – Wonderland Peony Eau De Parfum – £60.00 

Perfume fans will adore Floral Street’s sustainable scents. Ensuring eco-conciousness all the way through their products’ creation, the brand use raw, natural materials and work closely with suppliers and growers – ensuring their ethical treatment throughout.

 

Upcircle – Beauty Coffee Scrub with Lemongrass – £14.99 

Who knew leftover coffee beans could leave us with our softest skin ever? 

 

Rituals – Body Cream Refill – £15.50

As well as offering refills, Rituals pledge that all their formulations will contain more than 90% ingredients from natural origin by 2023. The brand has also been a proud supporter of the Tiny Miracles Foundation since 2011, helping to break the poverty cycle of Mumbai’s impoverished Pardeshi and Aarey communities. 

 

ESPA – Bergamot and Jasmine No Rinse Hand Cleanser – £25.00 

ESPA are continually implementing changes to become even more environmentally-friendly – from making the change to 2-in-1 body care to offering refills and removing leaflets from their product packaging. We use this hand wash daily, so we love that it can now be easily refilled.

 

Susanne Kaufmann – Warming Foot Cream – £43.00 

From the organically-grown ingredients to the sustainable manufacturing and new refillable packaging, Susanne Kaufmann is committed to leaving a light footprint on the planet. Every lust-worthy product is developed in-house at their eco-production facility, to ensure the highest eco standards are met.

 

Nuddy – Full Body Safety Razor – £29.00    

Say goodbye to plastic razors and hello to this swish brass version. Only the blades need replacing, but Nuddy have you covered with a blade subscription service. 

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