Next to mental health, my priorities have always aligned with nature: specifically the ocean. It warms my heart to see how many companies are working towards a zero waste consumer model, and I am so excited to share some of my favorite brands and products with you! I will only share what I use myself, and I am not (yet!) sponsored by any of the companies mentioned here. I am constantly looking for new sustainable cosmetics in particular, and will be regularly updating you when I find something great!
Tula-Under Eye Balm
Carriers: Ulta, Target, Amazon
Honestly, the Tula under eye balm is the perfect highlighter, gently cooling and all around WONDERFUL. I use this magic stick pretty much daily if I’m not applying makeup, did I mention it’s affordable? I especially love it for work, the slight shimmer gives me a glow that lasts all day and shows up well in photos!
Full disclosure: I have not tried their other products, but I know many who swear by them. Previously, I only knew Tula to be cruelty free but hadn’t done much research on their ocean friendly practices. When ordering directly from Tula, you can select “carbon neutral shipping” to offset the environmental impact of your delivery.
Tula is at the beginning of their sustainability journey, and relies more heavily on partnerships rather than practices they’ve directly begun. In my book, that’s alright, and much more than most other affordable beauty brands are doing to help our Mama Earth.
One of Tula’s most notable partnerships is with TerraCycle, a third party recycling company that will take all of your used Tula cartridges. With TerraCycle, you can create a free account, print a shipping label, and use any box you have to send them your empty cosmetics (make sure it’s through UPS). Tula is certified cruelty-free, and when you order through them directly, their mailing materials are 100% curbside recyclable.
Carriers: Target (select locations), Walmart (select locations), Amazon
Ethique is an incredible brand for so many reasons! They make their products accessible, which is HUGE in promoting the use of sustainable beauty. I know it seems counterproductive because so much gas and shipping is involved in chain supermarkets, but this actually promotes eco-friendly practices. If the consumer sees that products like this are becoming more mainstream, it encourages them to be more aware of their own household.
I use Ethique’s body lotion bars, but have gifted many sample packs to friends which include shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash bars.
Sidenote: the best shampoo and conditioner bars I’ve found are from LUSH, but they partner closely with PETA and that doesn’t quite fly with me.
They offer adult, child, household and even pet products! Ethique reduces their carbon footprint just by selling bars instead of liquid products. Just one shampoo bar is 8% of the carbon footprint of the liquid alternative. Their packaging is 100% plastic-free, and that includes shipping products if you order online directly from them! Completely compostable and sustainable. It requires water to make paper however, so Ethique purifies their water before putting it back out into circulation, minimizing the chlorine and acidic byproduct.
They truly practice what they preach, and are as green a company as possible in almost every aspect. Ethique is available on Amazon, but you won’t be able to get it completely plastic-free if you order from a third party, so I recommend ordering directly from them or any store I’ve listed. Ethique goes above and beyond when it comes to greenhouse gasses and shipping, because they are based out of New Zealand and opened warehouses in the UK and US to minimize freight travel in the ocean.
The Ethique site is incredibly informative; they’re even transparent about their pricing! I can’t wait to do a full product review for one of my newsletters (shameless plug, go subscribe now!) because I’ve been blown away by how holistically committed they are to our Mama Earth.
- Their offices are powered by a proven carbon neutral company Ecologi, and even their employees are offered carbon neutral resources in their day-to-day lives for travel and household needs.
- A tree is planted for every order made, and they’ve researched the areas that need trees and mangroves most desperately: Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
- Ethique’s website is the most extensive I have ever seen, as far as how to store their products, what to do with your soap scraps, and even videos on how to properly use the shampoo and conditioner bars to wash your hair and minimize waste.
Carriers: Ulta, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Whole Foods
This reef safe sunscreen surprised me the most. Badger was one of the first sunscreens to become certified “reef-safe” in 2008. “Reef safe” indicates that there are none of the following chemicals:
- 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
- Any nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium (if it doesn’t explicitly say “micro-sized” or “non-nano” and it can rub in, it’s probably nano-sized)
- Any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads”
They have been committed to sustainable and regenerative agriculture since their start in 1996, which is way before most skincare products even had eco-friendly practices on their radar! Badger is a family owned company to boot, boasting “Collaborative Executive Officer” sisters heading the movement.
Not only are they committed to using sustainable packaging (the majority of products are in aluminum tins), but Badger conducts yearly waste audits and as reported an incredible 91.55% energy and waste diversion rate over the past few years!
The most interesting water saving practice to me comes in cleaning form. They use oil-based cleaning instead of water in cleaning their machines. They’ve determined it has saved 84% of their wastewater in 2020! If other companies use this practice, they do not advertise it as Badger does.
Badger, like Ethique, makes the effort to treat their wastewater as well. Only 20% of global wastewater is treated at all, so just one company reducing their water output by 84% is monumental in the sustainability movement. I love their after sun balm too, and use it pretty regularly, especially after beach trips.