At home, we’re always trying to do better each day in taking care of the planet by reducing our waste and being mindful of what we buy. But when it comes to beauty products, I still tend to stick with the bigger name brands, even though I know most of them aren’t very ethical or sustainable, because I didn’t really know what else to get.
Do you know if your beauty products are ethically and responsibly made and if their ingredients are not harmful for yourself or our planet? Probably not! It can be hard sometimes to choose between the thousands of creams, cleansers, moisturizers, make-up and other beauty items that are out there in the shops. We’ve grown up with marketing from big name beauty brands, but often those turn out to have hidden secrets and there are much better alternatives out there.
To make things really easy for you, we’ve asked 16 of our favourite travel bloggers to tell us a bit more about their own personal favourite ethical and green beauty brands that they use, so you can make an informed decision next time you renew your supply of skin care and other beauty products!
Having evolved over billions of years to protect themselves from the Land Down Under’s harsh climate, Australian natives have unusually high concentrations of Vitamins E, C and antioxidants. Beauty brand Mukti Organics harnesses a range of Australian native extracts—including two indigenous fruits, the Kakadu Plum and the Quandong—to formulate a range of skincare essentials, anti-ageing serums, lip balms, and hair care products.
Mukti products are anti-inflammatory, super hydrating, and offer natural sun protection. The entire range is vegan, chemical-, cruelty- and GMO-free, and uses Fair Trade Certified coconut oil. Shop online, with worldwide shipping available.
A favorite of from Emily Lush from Wander-Lush
Natura Brasil has an interesting business model regarding sustainability. They not only use natural ingredients from the Brazilian biodiversity, but they also have partnerships with local communities and families from the Amazon region to cultivate and extract these ingredients in a sustainable way.
In addition, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that the environment is not their only concern, as they have many programs in South America to support cultural and social initiatives. Last, but definitely not least: One of the things I love the most about Natura is that they believe that beauty is about being yourself, different and imperfect.
A favorite of from Bruna Venturinelli from Maps ‘N Bags
Ethique’s range of solid cosmetics are the perfect answer to reducing plastic waste and making an ethical choice without compromising on quality or effectiveness. Their shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers and scrubs smell delicious and last a long time.
The bars and packaging are all made from biodegradable ingredients and are cruelty-free and vegan. Ethique is a certified B-Corp and 2% of all profits are donated to charity.
A favorite of from Rohan Cahill-Fleury from Travels of a Bookpacker
One of my favorite skincare brands of all time is Lumene. Lumene is a Finnish brand inspired by the Finnish wilderness. Their products use ingredients such as Arctic cloudberry or church. Many of their ingredients are waste products from other industries, such as the paper industry, which would otherwise go unused.
In addition to their commitment to sustainability, Lumene’s products are also cruelty-free and not tested on animals.
A favorite of from Jacky from Nomad Epicureans
Lush is doing great things for the ethical cosmetics industry! Many of their products, including their wildly popular shampoo bars, are entirely packaging free. You can also buy packaging free body soap, conditioner, and even moisturizer! The products that do use packaging use 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Even better, they encourage customers to return and recycle their used packaging by offering a special incentive: bring in 5 used plastic packages and get one free face mask to take home! Plus, their products are not tested on animals and much (but not all) of it is completely vegan.
A favorite of from Allison Green from Eternal Arrival
I discovered Nashe Cosmetics whilst travelling in Central Istria, Croatia. This brand hand makes it’s products locally and uses only the best natural ingredients. They offer a range of Hair and Beauty products that are packaged and hand decorated.
Nashe cares about the environment and keeping production local. I just can’t travel without my solid perfume stick. It smells divine, its small, compact and leakproof. The perfect travel companion!
A favorite of from Rosina Dimech from Find the Map
Winni’s has a strong focus on environmental sustainability. On top of this, its products, whether for personal care or for house care, are very delicate on the skin.
Their bestseller is the Marseille soap, which can be used in many ways and as such it is perfect for traveling. While it is the perfect soap for laundry, it can also be used as a body wash and as a shampoo. At the same time, Winni’s has a full range of personal care products.
A favorite of from Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World
Nairian is a natural and ethical cosmetics brand from Armenia. The ingredients are all 100% plant-based and sourced from Armenia’s highlands ensuring that customers get a chemical-free experience when using the products.
Nairian ships to many places across the world and you are able to experience the divine nature of Armenia at your doorstep on the other side of the globe!
A favorite of from Megan Starr from Meganstarr.com
Leahlani Skincare is an artisanal and natural beauty brand direct from the black-sand beaches of Hawaii. It’s founder Leah, turned a struggle with cystic acne into a passion for effective green beauty, and ultimately, a booming organic beauty business.
Leahlani’s ethos is all about turning your skincare routine into a ritual that’s both indulgent and nourishing. And the ingredients found in each of Leahlani’s products, fresh Hawaiian nectars, botanical actives and tropical oils, are a testament to just that.
A favorite of from Yariella Coello from The Beauty Backpacker
Aesop is an Australian based skincare brand now found worldwide. Their growing popularity is due to their approach of integrity and transparency in all aspects of their brand. The product formulations are available for skin, hair, and body care. Their products are free from colourants, mineral oils, silicones and parabens.
Approximately 4 products in their range use Palm Oil, but this is sourced from palm oil that is from certified RSPO suppliers. Aesop uses recyclable glass, plastic and cardboard as much as possible in their packaging. Aesop is 100% animal testing-free. I find their products do what they promise and the smallest amount goes a long way!
A favorite of from Erin from downbubble
Kay Casperson: beautifulife
After a visit to Sanibel Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I wanted to stay forever. The swaying, breezy spirit of the island is celebrated through the beautifulife products created there by Kay Casperson. She own multiple spa sanctuaries in Sanibel and Captiva, which offer a line of skincare that smell and feel like the sea, using natural ingredients.
She also incorporates affirmations to each product that empower you to feel your best. I appreciate a beauty line that serves a positive outlook on your inside and outside self.
A favorite of from Eileen Cotter Wright from Pure Wander
Friendly Soap make a luxurious range of soaps and shampoo bars. By not using synthetic chemicals, their products are better for both you and the environment; a pleasure to use on your skin.
In terms of other ethics, they have done the research for you and tick all the most important boxes – their soap is vegan, plastic-free, not made with palm oil, has a low carbon footprint and is made in the UK. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
A favorite of from Katie Featherstone from Feathery Travels
Plum is a vegan and cruelty free beauty brand from India. This company avoids non-recyclable plastics in packaging and donates 1% of the sales to environmental non-profits.
Beyond its responsible focus, Plum is also an organic brand that doesn’t use SLS, parabens and other harmful components in its products. Plum promotes natural skin and diversity and advertises against a popular trend in Indian market – i.e. fairness and skin-whitening creams.
A favorite of from Natalia from Mytriphack
It’s always a priority of mine to use ethical skincare, but it’s equally important that it does what it says on the jar. Antipodes combines ethical and sustainable business practices and organic ingredients to create their range of divine face and body care products. But the best bit is that their products really work!
I’ve been a huge fan since trying out the miracle working Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream and the age-defying Avocado Pear Night Cream many years ago, and now my skincare routine is, more often than not, 100% Antipodes.
A favorite of from Nadine from The Kindest Way
Alaffia is a skin care company right from Togo in West Africa, founded by a local with a dream to make his country a better place. Alaffia products are made out of all natural ethically traded ingredients. They have expanded now to carry a huge range of products from skin to hair care.
Alaffia’s goal is to empower and employs women from rural Togo and pay them a fair wage. Aside from this they also run a number of empowerment and conservation projects included reforestation projects, education projects, maternal care projects, and FMG (female genital mutilation) projects. They’ve also planted more than 60,000 trees since 2003. How awesome is that!?
A favorite of from Natasha from The World Pursuit
I have been using a few different Urban Decay products as staples since they originally came out. At the time, I wasn’t as concerned with finding ethical beauty products as I am now. As this has become something I care more about, Urban Decay has grown with me.
They have been committed to being vegan and cruelty free for decades even discontinuing sales to China in 2012 when Chinese law would have forced them to test on animals. Beyond this, their products are genuinely some of my favorite of all time, and I never go anywhere without them.
A favorite of from Stephanie Craig from History Fangirl
If you have any additional suggestions, we would love to hear from you in the comments!