Clean skincare isn’t having a moment; it’s changing an industry. As beauty communities have become more mindful about what they put in and on their bodies, choices in skincare products have begun to shift. Brands understand that creating products with clean ingredients and cruelty-free testing is ethical and essential in forward-thinking.
While natural skincare was mainly found in small sections at health food stores, today, a simple stop at Sephora or Saks Fifth Avenue will have you shopping clean skincare brands ranging from the well-known Tata Harper to influencer-favorite Summer Friday’s.
Below, we created a beginner’s guide to the best clean skincare brands to explore. These lines were created without harmful chemicals and toxins but with the earth’s sustainability in mind. So get ready to experience noticeable results from natural ingredients.
Best Wellness: Herbivore
In a small Seattle kitchen, Julia Wills and Alexander Kummerow founded the head-to-toe skincare line Herbivore. With the idea that bathing and skincare rituals should be an enjoyable experience, the duo opted for a collection of products that had natural ingredients, multi-functional uses, and prism-like packaging. And since then, the aesthetically pleasing line has grown to become a go-to for clean skincare. While our shelfies aren’t complete without the essential rose quartz face roller, it was the Bakuchiol Serum that became the cult-favorite product.
Best Luxury: Tata Harper
Health is the ultimate luxury, and Tata Harper products hold true to that statement. Since 2010 Harper and her husband have been living by the farm-to-face approach creating this exceptional line of products. She initially began developing products for herself, a woman who refused to risk her health for beauty. Eventually, she realized there was a large market for women like her who valued the efficacy of clean ingredients in their skincare. Harpers’ products tailor to many different skin types, textures, and concerns, but each skin issue results in a noticeable radiance when her products are applied. What we love most about this brand is that they encourage an eco-friendly approach to its users to refill their products or recycle the bottles they are no longer using.
Best Farm-to-Face: Farmacy
Farmacy believes in sustainable beauty, natural ingredients, and philanthropy, and its brand reflect that. With a mission to cultivate conscious skincare, Farmacy uses farm-sourced ingredients to create clean formulas. In addition to ethically sourced ingredients, they are also making a difference in the world by planting seeds to help fight food insecurity and promote ethical production.
Best J-Beauty: Tatcha
Japan’s official safety and pure standards are one of the highest in the world – and Tatcha’s products go above and beyond to adhere to that quality. As a result, this J-Beauty brand is one of Sephora’s bestsellers, and for a good reason. Tatcha has become a cult-favorite in skincare with popular products like the Deep Cleanse gel cleanser and the Brightening Serum. Every formula starts in the fields and seas of Japan, where nutrient-dense superfoods like green tea, rice bran, and algae are ethically sourced to create result-driven skincare.
Best Shelfie: Drunken Elephant
If there was one specific brand that specialized in eliminating ingredients in its products, it would be Drunken Elephant. With virgin marula oil being one of its key ingredients in nearly all of the products, founder Tiffany Masterson believes this specific oil filled with fatty acids and antioxidants is the key to her product’s success – and she’s right. Drunken Elephant has showcased how to give maximum results with minimal ingredients with bestselling faves ranging from skincare to haircare.
Best Family-Owned: Youth to the People
The women were at the forefront of the brand when this company was founded in 2015, but now the grandsons Greg and Joe have taken the skincare line into their own hands. Youth to the People is made with the plant in mind; the products are light but powerful, as many of the ingredients are cold-pressed , delivering high potencies of superfoods. As impressive as the brand’s face wash, mask, and moisturizers are, its mission to protect the planet, people, and animals is what has us sold.
Best Gentle: Caudalie
This French skincare line delivers gentle formulas with strong results. Caudalie specializes in natural yet luxurious formulas to create best-selling products with the sole ingredient being the grapevine. A fun fact on the cult-classic Beauty Elixir mist is that the Queen of Hungary inspired the creation of this product.
Best Vegan: True Botanicals
When Hillary Peterson learned she had thyroid cancer, she channeled her frustration and fear into a passion for creating pure and potent beauty products. And with a team of predominate women who understand that you don’t need toxins to get results, True Botanicals was born. This skincare line ranges from serums and mist to haircare and CBD products. True Botanicals is a powerful testament that truly transformative skincare can be cultivated from nature and innovation.
Best Body Care: Nécessaire
As much time and attention we spend on our faces, it’s time to divert that focus to our bodies. The minimal and chic brand Nécessaire obsessively researches its clean formulas so that its ingredients are clean, high-quality, and effective. The product lineup includes body washes, body lotions, and serums to help soothe and smooth.
Best Celebrity: Humanrace
If this is as close as we can get to bottling Pharrell’s Williams youthful DNA, then well, take it. The man who seemingly has the route to the fountain of youth launched Humanrace skincare in 2020, with the focus being on gender-neutral and sustainable beauty. Think simplistic ingredients and recyclable products.
Best Influencer: Summer Fridays
If you’ve been following Marianna Hewitt for a while, then you’re well aware of her long journey from influencer to entrepreneur. After searching for clean beauty products to match a busy schedule, Hewitt and her partner Lauren Ireland created Summer Fridays. With their first product being the Instagram-fav Jet Lag mask. Since the release, the line has grown to be a Sephora staple and a skincare must-have.