Price can sometimes make it hard to find better choice products when it comes to non toxic living. But, I am here to make that bit easier. I am rounding up the best affordable clean beauty brands. This includes the best in clean makeup and natural skincare!
By now you may be familiar with some of the big no-no’s in clean beauty such as phthalates, parabens, artificial fragrance, but who has time to research affordable clean beauty brands? If you don’t need to budget then feel free to move on with your day, but if you want clean beauty products that are affordable and actually work, then keep reading.
Over the years I’ve tried just about every clean beauty product on the market, so today I’m going to be your tour guide to the best and most affordable clean beauty brands out there in makeup and skincare.
*Affiliate Disclosure: I do have affiliate links in this blog post. If you purchase something from my link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. This comes at no cost to you, but is paid by the company. I do not take becoming an affiliate with any company lightly. If I am, it’s because I believe in the company and their product.
*Suzi(Gurl Gone Green) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
What Is Clean Beauty?
My definition of clean beauty:
Beauty products formulated without harmful chemicals.
It’s not unusual to encounter carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and skin irritants in mainstream beauty brands.
Some of the reasons harmful chemicals are used are: to extend shelf life, prevent growth of mold, to give a product a more appealing texture or smell.
Sadly, the EU is much more stringent in their regulation of cosmetic ingredients than the U.S. is. In fact, 11 ingredients are banned in the U.S. by the FDA, but over 1,300 ingredients are banned in the EU.1
What To Look For In Non Toxic Beauty Brands
In the world of greenwashing, there are a few things I look for when determining if a brand is truly non toxic.
You’ll want to scan a product’s ingredient label or a brand’s website to make sure they don’t use the following ingredients in their products. These are considered some of the big “no-no” ingredients in the clean beauty world but by no means is it an exhaustive list!
Butylated Hydroxyanisol (BHA)
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Ingredient Sleuthing Tools
When in doubt do some ingredient sleuthing on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database on the Environmental Working Group site or use the Think Dirty app. The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is great for understanding the safety of a product and can be searched by ingredient, product, or brand. These are two great sources to bypass the marketing jargon and find out if a product is truly clean or non-toxic.
3rd Party Certifications
These are some of the more popular certifications that can help substantiate a clean beauty brand but they are not a stamp of approval.
Credo Clean Standard
Fair Trade Certified
It’s always a good sign if a brand tries to minimize their use of plastic. Look for brands that use packaging that’s biodegradable and 100% recyclable or are working towards sustainable packaging. They may use 100% recycled FSC-certified paper for their cartons or even kraft paper tape instead of plastic tape.
Benefits To Using Clean Beauty Brands
While a few encounters with harmful chemicals isn’t going to lead to immediate adverse effects (ie – cancer) but the continual exposure and accumulation of such chemicals can.
It’s the toxic load or body burden that we accumulate through incremental exposures that can lead to health problems.
These exposures can have greater consequences when the chemicals work synergistically to amplify toxicity – just what we want, right?
Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals
Your health and skin will be healthier from the inside out without exposure to harmful chemicals and skin irritants. Chemicals can dry out skin leading to dull, irritated skin. Another common complaint is contact dermatitis.
Contain beneficial ingredients for your skin
Natural, plant-derived vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can enhance and benefit the skin for a truly healthy glow.
Support positive change
Supporting clean beauty brands is supporting positive change in the beauty industry. Many of the clean beauty brands are mission-driven with the founder being influenced by personal health challenges and the desire to create beauty products that support physical and environmental health.
Best Affordable Clean Makeup Brands
Tower 28 Beauty was founded in 2019 and offers both skincare and makeup products. The brand gets its name from a lifeguard tower that sits where the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach meet.
The founder Amy Liu, created Tower 28 because she suffered from eczema and wanted clean beauty products that were safe for sensitive skin. Even natural beauty products, while full of great and nontoxic ingredients, can contain things like essential oils and plant botanicals that can be irritating to those with sensitive skin.
Founded by actress Jessica Alba, Honest Beauty creates clean, sustainable, well-designed products that work. They demonstrate their clean standards by banning over 3500 questionable ingredients and make sure their products live up to their promise by undergoing rigorous testing.
Sustainability is demonstrated through their compostable recyclable paper to their recyclable aluminum, tin, and glass. They also are socially-conscious and have donated over 25 million products to families in need.
Well People creates award-winning beauty products from premium, ethically-sourced, and plant-powered ingredients. This means that they stay far away from synthetic fillers, sulfates, preservatives, fragrances and 1,700 questionable ingredients. They are a pioneer in the natural beauty industry and have 35+ and growing EWG-Verified products to underscore their commitment to super clean products.
To support equality and human rights, Well People has joined the Fair Trade Certified Program and is the first beauty company to utilize a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory. Their boxes are also printed on FSC-Certified paper, and they are exploring ways to utilize corn, sugar and post-recycled materials in their containers.
Susan, the founder of HAN had her “aha” moment when she was pregnant and couldn’t find any clean beauty products that rivaled conventional products. She used her background at Sephora to create a clean cosmetic line that’s universally appealing and enHANce one’s natural beauty with skin-supporting ingredients and clean color.
HAN leaves out 2,700 ingredients in favor of ingredients that will enhance natural beauty safely. All of their products are vegan and cruelty-free. HAN’s packaging is made from recycled paper and Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic.
ZuZu Luxe is a LGBTQ+ and Latin-owned global natural beauty empire that was founded by Gabriel De Santino in 1992 as a botanical skincare company. They are a leader in the natural, vegan, gluten-free and cruelty free cosmetics industry.
Gabriel Cosmetics has been paving the way in the beauty industry for the past 25 years. Gabriel products are made from 100% natural ingredients with no synthetic chemicals or animal by-products.
Originating as a mineral cosmetics label back in 2007, Mineral Fusion has since evolved into the leading natural cosmetics brand in the United States. Their collection is meticulously crafted with skincare elements, featuring lightweight minerals, enriching botanicals, and potent antioxidants renowned for their anti-aging benefits.
To nurture and enhance skin, Mineral Fusion chooses efficacious natural components and exclude gluten, parabens, talc, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates from their formulations. They also abstain from any form of animal testing.
Lily Lolo is the original natural makeup brand in Europe. They have mineral cosmetics that combine natural, chemical free ingredients with the best in mineral based technology.
Their foundations, powders and bronzers provide a flawless, airbrushed complexion and their eye shadows provide the ultimate in staying power. Their products don’t include any parabens, synthetic dyes and no nano-particles.
100% PURE™ is committed to providing pure products along with educating people on why 100% pure ingredients is so important. The 100% PURE™ brand also seeks to live with compassion, kindness, empathy, and be environmentally sustainable.
To this end, they are cruelty-free and use naturally sourced pigments in their products and go through a rigorous process to ensure that their ingredients are not sourced from animals.
Kinship believes that you are perfect just the way you are but in case you need a little support, they create clean plant-based products that are cruelty-free that actually work. Kinship is backed by scientists and industry experts.
According to Kinship, their products contain a proprietary microbiome technology – a plant-based pre-probiotic that is derived from the fermentation of lactobacillus to support a strong natural skin barrier. Supporting the microbiome is at the core of their brand because they know it’s reflected in how your skin looks and behaves.
BYBI is a pro-planet beauty brand from seed to shelf and committed to producing skincare with the lowest possible environmental footprint. They are 100% vegan and cruelty free and use superfood ingredients and super science formulations for healthy skin and powerful results.
BYBI was born in 2017 and is known for their pro-planet formulas and standout eco packaging. They created the world’s first carbon negative skincare product*, a brightening facial oil called Glowcurrant Booster.
Honest Beauty was founded by actress Jessica Alba and creates clean, sustainable, well-designed products that work. They demonstrate their clean standards by banning over 3500 questionable ingredients and make sure their products live up to their promise by undergoing rigorous testing. This includes makeup (see above) AND skincare products!
Live Botanical believes in living beautiful, fresh, responsible, and simple. This is why their formulas are created in harmony with the skin and spirit. To underscore their commitment to living fresh, they use whole plant infusions, botanical extracts, and unrefined oils, waxes and butters.
They endeavor to be socially and environmentally responsible from their sourcing, formulating, packaging to delivery. They embrace living simply by taking time to connect more with plants and to their customers.
Price point – $12-$70
Top Product Picks
Ambient Moisture Liquid
First Light Brightening Oil
Glowing Honey Mask
Greenhouse Glow Antioxidant Mask
Use Code GURLGONEGREEN to save 20% off your order.
Alpyn Beauty uses wildcraft ingredients from Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is where the formulas are also created. These plants withstand so much to survive the harsh climate changes that are present there. From sub zero temperatures, to the scorching heat, these plants have learned how to protect and thrive.
Alpyn Beauty then takes these precious plants and uses their superpowers in their formulas to create skincare magic. Just as the plants protected themselves from the elements, they do the same for the skin.
Price point – $28-$273
Top Product Picks
Willow & Sweet Agave Plumping Lip Mask
PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer
Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel
Triple Vitamin C Brightening Bounce Cream
Use Code GURLGONEGREEN15 to save 15% off your order.
One Love Organics was one of the first natural skincare brands that was making effective clean beauty products back in 2010. Suzanne the founder combines her background of science and nature to create One Love Organics products.
The name One Love Organics was chosen to remember what is most important: to live and love well. One Love Organics really takes it to the next level when creating their formulations. They have an Ecocert Licensed manufacturing facility in Georgia where they produce their products in small batches. They never include synthetic dyes/fragrance, parabens, GMOs, nanoparticles, phenoxyethanol, silicon, or PEGs in their products.
When founder Steven and his wife Sara Jade became parents, they discovered a need for clean personal care products that had an organic certification.
Sky Organics products are designed to complement and enhance your clean beauty routine, and formulated with only the ingredients necessary to deliver desired results. They seek out organic ingredients whenever available and all of their ingredients are sustainably grown, harvested without chemicals, pesticides or synthetic fillers, and maintain their natural integrity and potency.
Weleda was founded by the physician Ita Wegman and the philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner who recognized the connections between nature and the human body, mind and spirit. Weleda’s homeopathic medicines, dietary supplements, and NATRUE-certified natural personal care products can be found in over 50 countries.
Weleda is a co-initiator and member of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), which ensures that strict ethical criteria are applied to all natural raw material supply chains.
Herbivore Botanicals creates products that deliver noticeable results infused with personal rejuvenation and a little indulgence. They believe in the power of nature to deliver results you can see and feel.
They ethically source the finest raw natural materials the earth has to offer from French pink clay to Brazilian gemstones. Their products are created with natural ingredients, plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam distilled therapeutic-grade essential oils, GMO free soy wax, recyclable and reusable packaging, and many certified organic ingredients.
Suzi is a wife, and mama who is passionate about sharing her natural lifestyle with those around her. She created Gurl Gone Green to show how our everyday decisions, from what we use on our face, home and the food we eat affect us more than we know. She loves holding space where people can weed through the marketing clutter to find truth, and ultimately make the best decision for their families.
Hi! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a wife, and mom who is passionate about all things natural living. Grab your favorite drink and let’s get to know each other!