If you’ve ever found yourself four pages deep on Google trying to find out what exactly “clean” beauty is — well, same. While many brands stamp the term on ads and slogans, the definition is not as cut and dry as, say, defining the term “vegan.” Even with the uncertainty, there are brands you can count on when it comes to safer, non-toxic ingredients, like crowd-favorite Beautycounter. If you’re in need of cleaning out some vanity space in favor of products without ingredient lists longer than your CVS receipt, these brands similar to Beautycounter are sure to hit the mark.
First things first: In a Wizard of Oz, pulling the cloth away moment, there is not one, uniting term for “clean beauty.” Each brand tweaks and specializes the term to mean what it wants and what standards its products follow. However, as a concept, clean beauty is necessary. Which is what Beautycounter founder Gregg Renfrew thought in 2013, too. As part of the brand’s mission, it eliminated more 1,500 “questionable or harmful” ingredients and put them on its Never List™; meaning they’re never present in the long list of products offered: makeup, skincare, men’s care, and bath and body.
While Beautycounter has become a staple in the clean beauty community (thanks to highly rated products like the Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation and Counter+ No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil) other brands are taking up the torch, too. From Honest Beauty — which has its own running list of never-used ingredients — to Pacifica, which features an even wider gamut of products that are 100 percent vegan and cruelty free, there’s an ever-growing list of brands making safer, more thoughtful products. Keep scrolling for six you’ll want to add to your must-shop list immediately.
This brand’s products are clean AF. Which, according to its website, actually stands for “always free”, meaning its products never contain “carcinogenic, toxic, hormone and endocrine disrupting ingredients, as well as ingredients that have been linked to the formation of certain cancers.” One thing the products aren’t free of, though: high pigmentation. In each category — face, lip, and eye — the brand packs tons of color and range. Choose from 20 non-comedogenic foundation shades and finish with a swipe of matte liquid lipstick that leaves your pout smelling like fresh apples thanks to essential oils.
2. Honest Beauty
Actor Jessica Alba created Honest Beauty in 2011 when she felt like she wasn’t getting what she wanted (and too much of what she didn’t want) from beauty brands. Upon inception, the brand immediately created an ever-growing “No List,” eliminating over 2,500 chemicals or materials from its products that could pose a threat to the human body. That means you can shop things like the best-selling hydrogel cream and shampoo and body wash and know what is — and what’s not — ending up on you and your baby’s skin.
Looking for a one-stop clean(er) shop? Look to Pacifica. The brand not only has your skin, hair, makeup, and bath and body needs covered, but fragrance and supplements, too. The vegan and cruelty-free brand has actually been around since 1996, and its MO has been the same since it began. However, the brand is definitely not stuck in the ’90s. It’s entered 2020 with a new CBD product, Cosmic Beauty Drops CBD Balancing Serum and various hemp-infused launches like the Tiger’s Eye Hemp Infused Eye Shadows. It also doesn’t hurt that the packaging is Instagram worthy.
4. rms Beauty
For RMS Beauty, it’s as much about the ingredients it *does* use as the ones it avoids. Yes, it does have a very long list of no-no’s: Its website states that all of its products are “non-gmo, non-nano, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, cruelty-fee and free from soy, gluten, parabens, sulfates, phalatates, silicone, talc, petrolatum and polyethylene/PEGs,” with the exception of the RMS Beauty volumizing mascara, which contains wheat starch. However, it also proudly explains what’s used throughout its collection as well, like coconut oil, shea butter, and more, all of which are Certified Organic.
5. KORA Organics
Founded by former Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr, Australian brand KORA Organics takes a “holistic approach to skincare,” as its website explains, using “special ingredient” noni (a superfood derived from the noni fruit) throughout its products and energizing its collections with rose quartz to infuse products with a soothing energy. And though the latter practice may or may not be something you believe in, the brand also abides by some scientifically established standards in the creation of its products as well. According to KORA Organics’ website, every product is “certified organic & certified natural in accordance with COSMOS strict standards,” so “no Sulfates, Parabens, Synthetic Fragrance, Synthetic Colors, T. E. A., D. E. A., Glycols, Silicones, PEGS, Ethoxylate, Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde derivatives are used.” Additionally, all of its products are cruelty free, not tested on animals, and free of added herbicides and pesticides.