Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.Coco Chanel
There are hundreds upon hundreds of natural beauty brands…and thousands of products. But little did I know that I had been green-washed for years by some of my favorite brands. I am forever grateful to have read a 2015 article by Kristen Arnett, a pioneer in green beauty make up artistry, where she outed popular cosmetic brands as green-washers. Read it here: “Greenwashing in Cosmetics and the Brands that Might Surprise You.”
I immediately tossed out all of those brand products and started my quest to find affordable, accessible, effective, and reputable natural beauty products. However, living in Louisiana it was not easy. I had no clue where to start.
Much my to benefit, a Whole Foods had recently opened in my city. I heard the hype but thought Whole Foods was just a place for people who liked overpriced designer groceries and hippie products. But, I knew if any place in town would have something better, Whole Foods would likely have the basic options to get started.
I went there 2-3 days a week. I did not recognize one single beauty brand in the store except for Burts Bees because it was sold at drug stores and Target.
I dove in deep; exploring the brands and products I found there. One by one…I familiarize myself with ingredients, products, and brand ethos—including animal based ingredients and testing practices.
Within a few months, I started noticing some of these same brands and products at mainstream stores: Target, Walgreens, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Then I found online natural lifestyle stores like Vitacost and Pharmaca.
Today, it’s super easy for me to find exactly what my family needs, and I no longer consider natural and organic beauty out of reach.
Below you’ll find a list of brands that I use and recommend when asked by friends. You will also find a list of stores and websites that carry them. For the best deals, subscribe to their newsletters and social media channels.
Skin Care and Cosmetics
Natural, Organic and Clean Beauty Brand Retailers
Beauty Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes are a great way to discover and try new brands and products. The quantity and size of products, box cost vs. retail value, and delivery frequency vary by each box. Most boxes include a few discount codes to shop directly from a product’s website.
Some boxes also maintain an online store where you can purchase individual products and past boxes. These make for great gifts or restocking your favorite box items.
I recommend no more than two new boxes at a time until you are certain it’s a good fit. It is easy to quickly accumulate an excessive amount of products when receiving upwards of 10 new products monthly. Staggering the subscription by delivery times also helps. Ultimately, only you can decide which is most useful and the best value for your interest and budget.
Below are some of the most popular in alphabetical order:
Cruelty-free cosmetic brands have proven for decades that beauty doesn’t not have to hurt.
Cruelty Free Brand Searches
Certifying organizations have different standards and serve different geographic areas. These are the major ones. Cruelty-free certification is voluntary basis so there are cruelty-free brands that are are certified. Contact the brand directly for its cruelty-free practices if not certified by one of the following.
Beauty without Bunnies North America
Cruelty Free International International
Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) Australia
Leaping Bunny International