You opt for organic when it’s available, you sort your recycling, and you walk instead of drive when you can. You’re doing your part to be more green for the greater good, but what about the beauty brands you’re buying? They tout their products as “clean” but are they really walking the walk behind closed doors?
Wonder no more: Sephora has created a new standard for their clean beauty category called Clean + Planet Positive. Products that meet the standard will have a special seal. When you see the seal, it means not only are you getting the clean ingredients you love (no parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates, mineral oils, formaldehyde, and more) but that the brand is doing its best to be eco-conscious behind the scenes too.
According to Zero Waste Week data from 2018, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry, contributing to the loss of 18 million acres of forest annually.
I know what you’re thinking: Can my beauty products really make a difference when it comes to the environment? Yes! And this is exactly why it’s so important to support brands that are taking a stand to do something about it. And with incredible brands leading the charge (peep more on my fave product picks below), you can be a part of this positive change while still being able to indulge in skincare, makeup, or any other form of beauty.
Here’s exactly how brands make the cut for Sephora’s Clean + Planet Positive Seal:
- Clean Ingredients: Clean at Sephora approved. No parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates, mineral oils, formaldehyde, and more. See a full list of Sephora’s excluded ingredients here.
- Climate Commitment: Brands must meet at least one of the following climate goals: Carbon-neutral operations, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, or corporate office and owned operations powered by 100% renewable energy.
- Sustainable Sourcing: Cruelty-free, using only sustainably harvested palm oil and mica, no microplastics, and up to Sephora’s CBD standards.
- Responsible Packaging: Must reduce, recycle, and reimagine the way they package. That means: No single-use items or unnecessary materials. Designing with recyclability in mind. Innovating with plant-based ink, biomaterials, refillable components, post=consumer recycled materials, and more.
- Environmental Giving: Donate at least 1% of profit to a credible, long-term giving program that is multi-year and ongoing, or be a Certified B-corp.
Ready to shop? Here are a few favorites that hold the Clean + Planet Positive seal.
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Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser
This cleanser is like a green juice for your face with ingredients like kale, spinach, and green tea to help revive, nurture, and soothe as it cleanses.
Planet bonus: Youth To The People only uses glass packaging and all products are recyclable. The outer packaging is also all post-consumer and Forest Stewardship Council certified.
Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm
Sunflower and ginger root oils melt makeup instantly while papaya extract gives a gentle exfoliation for a deep clean that’s not stripping.
Planet bonus: All of Farmacy’s ingredients are sustainably sourced and grown on local farms. They also partner with Feed America to reduce food waste in the US.
Squalane + 10% Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum
A hefty dose of vegan lactic acid gently exfoliates skin overnight for more glowy, fresh appearance come morning.
Planet bonus: Hydrating squalane is also a core ingredient in the Biossance line. While this ingredient was derived from sharks in the past, Biossance uses sugarcane-derived squalene which saves two million sharks each year from being harvested.
Vinoperfect Anti Dark Spot Serum
Grape vine sap is used in place of vitamin C for major dark spot brightening benefits in this hydrating serum.
Planet bonus: Caudalie has already helped to plant 8 million trees all over the world.
Made with 91% natural ingredients, this moisturizer quenches dry skin’s thirst with natural oils including avocado, marula, and rose hip seed oil.
Planet bonus: It comes in a jar made of 55% sugar cane residue (AKA not plastic!), and the box is from sustainably maintained forests and decorated with plant-based inks.
Water-Lock Moisturizer with Skin-Smoothing Peptides
Not only does this moisturizer hydrate skin, it keeps skin hydrated thanks to ingredients like orange blossom peptides and pomegranate spears that help lock in moisture.
Planet bonus: It’s refillable! Once you’re out just buy the refill pod and pop it into your glass jar. Personal bonus: It’s better on your wallet too.
Chelsea Burns is the Beauty Director for Women’s Health and has been writing in the beauty and wellness space for over six years. She’s an expert at testing products and is always on the hunt for the best tinted moisturizer.
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