Earth Day Awards: The Best All-Natural and Organic Beauty Products of 2021
Every year the clean beauty game gets stronger and stronger. There’s no better time than Earth Day (April 22) to celebrate the best green beauty. With more natural, organic and free-from products, there are more contenders to pick from. So the 2021 Earth Day Awards winners really have to be top-notch.
Clean beauty is all about beauty without compromise. It’s not too much to ask for nontoxic products that come in recyclable and/or biodegradable packaging and formulas that deliver noticeable results. The proof is in the picks. Get ready for glowing skin, healthy hair and a nourished body.
Below are the best clean beauty products that have earned their green stars and a place in our 2021 Earth Day Awards.
Best Face Wash
Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel, $89 at Susanne Kaufmann
This luxurious cleansing gel is one of the refillable products from the sustainability-focused brand. The refill packaging is crafted out of 75 percent post-consumer material. The plant-based formula helps balance your skin’s pH and gets rid of impurities thanks to sugar surfactants that are easily biodegradable.
Humphreys Soothe Witch Hazel With Rose Alcohol-Free Toner, $10.99 at Target
This alcohol-free toner contains organic ingredients, like wild crop certified witch hazel that has been distilled to preserve its skin-perfecting potency. The affordable pick is dermatologist-tested and free from soaps, dyes and gluten.
Best Facial Mist
Pai Century Flower Lotus & Orange Blossom Soothing Tonic, $39 at Pai
New name but still the same amazing Leaping Bunny- and COSMOS-certified mist. Spray the nutrient-packed "living water" after cleansing or whenever your skin feels angry and inflamed. The formula calms, hydrates and smells like a bouquet of fresh flowers.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence, $225 at Vintner’s Daughter
This vegan treatment proves essence can be a real game changer in your skin care regimen. It’s jam-packed with nourishing, natural ingredients, including probiotics, balancing adaptogens, stabilized vitamin C and a fermented complex to renew skin.
HoliFrog Halo AHA + BHA Evening Serum, $58 at HoliFrog
There’s no need to pick between AHAs and BHAs since this clean night serum has both. It features a potent 11 percent blend of glycolic, lactic, phytic, citric and salicylic acids to treat a range of skin care concerns from congestion to dullness. Plus, the brand is part of the Leaping Bunny program.
Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream, $42 at Sephora
Finding a gel moisturizer that provides enough hydration with an airy texture can be tricky. This lightweight vegan moisturizer delivers thanks to three types of hyaluronic acid and skin barrier-boosting amino acids along with glycerin.
Best Face Mask
Kinship Mint Mud Deep Pore Detox Mask, $23 at Kinship
This gorgeous mint green mud mask is a clean, plant-based treatment that detoxifies congested skin using chemical and physical exfoliation. The jar is made with recycled Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) and post-consumer recycled materials. The natural vibes carry right down to the scent since it smells like wild mint after a rain shower.
Best Eye Cream
Indie Lee Restorative Eye Cream, $68 at Indie Lee
Indie Lee has over 1,300 banned ingredients so what makes it into this nourishing, cruelty-free eye cream is nothing but the best. Centella, licorice root, algae and paracress brighten and plump for more awake peepers. It’s also certified COSMOS natural.
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen, $42 at Biossance
This sheer mineral sunscreen now comes in a jumbo version. So there is no excuse to skip SPF. This reef-safe sunscreen offers an imperceptible finish and a nontoxic formula.
Best Body Wash
Lush Sleepy Shower Gel, $9.95 at Lush
With the same unmistakable hue and lavender-tonka formula as the OG body lotion, this vegan body wash gently cleanses skin while washing all your worries away thanks to its calming scent.
Best Body Scrub
Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Milk Body Polish, $36 at Herbivore Botanicals
The latest edition to Herbivore Botanicals’ beloved body polish range is this hydrating coconut milk formula. The 100 percent natural body scrub is suitable for all skin types and contains organic ingredients, including virgin coconut oil. Bonus: It comes in a glass jar.
Best Body Lotion
Grown Alchemist Body Cream Mandarin, Rosemary Leaf, $26 at Grown Alchemist
Grown Alchemist is one of the great natural A-beauty brands. This clean, cruelty-free body cream is formulated with bioactive ingredients to moisturize dry areas and improve elasticity. Standouts include vitamin C from cold-pressed mandarin orange oil and nourishing jojoba oil.
Nécessaire The Deodorant, $20 at Nécessaire
No aluminum, baking soda or stinky pits here. Its multi-mineral and multi-acid formula keeps underarms fresh and balanced. There’s a fragrance-free option as well as gorgeous scents. Nécessaire uses 85 percent post-consumer waste material for its product boxes, which are completely recyclable.
Best Lip Balm
The Jojoba Company Jojoba Lip Balm, $9.95 at The Jojoba Company
The hero ingredient in this vegan, natural lip balm is jojoba, which is actually a liquid wax ester that’s the closest botanical match to skin's natural oil. It helps carry active ingredients for greater efficacy. Combined with kakadu plum oil and coconut oil, dry lips are a thing of the past.
Rhyme & Reason Nourish & Gloss Shampoo, $8.99 at Target
Like it says on the 100 percent recycled bottle, Rhyme & Reason is eco-friendly and really good. The hair care brand is cruelty-free and the formula contains 92 percent naturally derived ingredients that leave hair feeling clean and looking shiny.
Kitsch Deep-Moisturizing Conditioner Bar, $14 at Kitsch
We know all about shampoo bars, but there are also great conditioner bars. This zero-waste formula has salon-quality active ingredients and no nasties like sulfates, parabens, phthalates or artificial fragrances. Don’t let the size fool you, the bar will last for about 100 washes.
Best Hair Treatment
Playa Ritual Hair Oil, $38 at Playa
There’s no silicone, SLS or parabens in Playa’s hair oil. A mix of apricot oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil hydrates all hair types and textures without greasiness. The formula actually goes into strands to nourish and repair.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40, $48 at Sephora
This lightweight serum foundation provides barely-there dewy coverage, comes in an extensive color range (30 shades) and is vegan. The clean skin tint has as many nourishing ingredients (squalane, niacinamide) as the next facial serum and it also has reef-safe SPF 40.
Best Cheek Product
Tower 28 BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm, $20 at Tower 28
This cult-favorite clean cheek product just got even better. That’s because it has expanded its sun-kissed shade range. The vegan multipurpose balm can be dabbed on lips, too.
Kjær Weis Quadrant Iconic Edition, $56 at Kjær Weis
This chic take on a quad earns style points and has eco-conscious credentials because it’s refillable. The clean eyeshadows are infused with organic extracts, including honeysuckle and gardenia plus carnauba wax and bamboo for a silky, easy-to-blend finish.
Saie Dew Balm Bouncy Marshmallow Highlighter, $18 at Saie
Anyone who prefers a #dewydumpling glow over an alien-like strobe will obsess over the long-lasting, glossy finish of this highlighter. It even comes in a tube crafted out of 100 percent post-consumer plastic.
Beautycounter Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick, $32 at Beautycounter
This nontoxic, buildable lipstick delivers a low-key, polished finish and it’s available in an abundance of shades. Unlike some artificial lip products, this moisturizing lipstick gets its scent from Ecocert-certified organic vanilla from Madagascar.
Honest Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer, $16.99 at Honest
This two-in-one mascara is definitely worth the extra step. The mineral oil-free pick has a lash primer on one end and an inky black mascara on the other. Used together, lashes get a major lift without clumping. There’s no smudging or flaking, either. The clean formula is dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested and suitable for contact lens wearers.
Bondi Sands Pure Self Tanning Drops, $24.99 at CVS
A self-tanner without any nasties? Yup. Bondi Sands launched its Pure range with clean and transparent products that come in 100 percent recyclable packaging, including these tanning drops. The vegan, dermatologist-tested formula is free of dyes, parabens and sulfates, but packed with nourishing ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
Ellis Brooklyn BEE Eau de Parfum, $105 at Ellis Brooklyn
Founder Bee Shapiro started looking for nontoxic formulas after the birth of her little girl, Ellis. The clean fragrance range has dreamy scents crafted by renowned perfumer Jérome Epinette. This spicy scent, which has notes of vanilla bean, cocoa absolute, dark rum and honey, is the latest buzzworthy launch.
Best Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. Nail Color, $8.99 at Ulta Beauty
The drugstore favorite has a vegan, 16-free, plant-based range. The extensive shades offer something for everyone. The nail polish even has a plant-based brush plus a built-in natural hardener and a top coat.