Almost every girl begins her romance with skin care experimenting with conventional products. A trip to Target or Sephora feels like Christmas. For years, many of us look past some of the weird words on the ingredients list: parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, sodium laureth sulfate. Whatever, this cream promises I'm gonna glow like the Northern Lights, so I'm good with it. Well, it's not that simple. We know now that many of these foreign chemicals can cause major issues, like skin irritation, hormone disruption, neurological problems, and even cancer. And as if it's not bad enough that companies are totally cool with us putting carcinogens on our skin, most skin care brands even continue the archaic practice of animal testing. OMG. This is bad all around, right? Don't panic, though—there are tons of incredible, luxurious brands that do things right. Not only have they committed to sourcing organic, sustainable, plant-based ingredients, but they also definitely wouldn't harm a hair on a bunny's head. Here are seven of our favorite clean, green skin care brands that are all-natural and cruelty-free.
- OSEA Malibu Think about how hardcore seaweed is. It has to survive in one of the wildest places on the planet: the ocean. And it's evolved over thousands of years of floating in the sun to protect itself from constant UV exposure. So it's a no-brainer that seaweed is a skin savior. That's why OSEA Malibu founder Jenefer Palmer chose it as their key ingredient. Her grandmother believed that the ocean's full spectrum of minerals and trace elements gives it powerful restorative properties. Try the Blemish Balm and Ocean Cleanser (available in our subscription box program: The Year Of Wellness!) to harness the natural, nourishing forces of the deep blue sea.
- Herbivore We love plant-based skin care as much as we love noshing on greens. Herbivore concocts their products with organic, mostly food-grade ingredients (you probably wouldn't want to eat the Brazilian white tourmaline in their Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask, but you definitely want its radiance-boosting abilities). French pink clay, herbs, sea salts, and essential oils—virtually all the ingredients they use are active. That means no fillers, artificial scents or colors, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, or phthalates allowed. The Coco Rose Body Polish and their Lapis, Phoenix, and Orchid facial oils are perfection.
- Erbaviva Skin care that's safe enough for mom and baby? It doesn't get any more pure than that. Made with certified organic and non-GMO botanicals, Erbaviva is a fusion of European artisanship and California's green ethos. From belly butter and bath salts to baby oil and diaper cream, the offerings are everything a mother needs to nourish herself and her new bundle without harmful chemicals.
- Juice Beauty If you want high-performance, all-natural skincare that is super luxurious, Juice Beauty will be your jam. In collaboration with chemists, physicians, and microbiologists, founder Karen Behnke created an antioxidant organic juice base, the signature ingredient in the patented Green Apple Peel, Green Apple Brightening Gel Cleanser, and Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum, among others. Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan and she's obviously a goddess. Not a tough sell.
- Ursa Major If natural skin care isn't enough, how about super natural skin care? That's Ursa Major's tagline and it's both genius and true. Ingredients like sugarcane, lemon, sunflower, kendi seed, and birch may be earthly, but they give you an otherwordly glow. The Fantastic Face Wash and Fortifying Face Balm are everything.
- Kypris According to legend, Kypris is the name the people of Cyprus gave to the goddess Aphrodite, the ultimate embodiment of femininity, sensuality, and love. Kypris as a brand is just as ethereal as its namesake. Made with sustainable, organic ingredients—some wildcrafted, some sustainably grown—everything is derived from nature and scented and preserved with essential oils and plant extracts, giving it abundant phytonutrients. The Glow Filtre Mask boasts ingredients like pomegranate, sea fennel stem cells, sea algae, and silver ear mushroom to exfoliate and moisturize. Fancy, huh?
- Meow Meow Tweet Sorry to quote that Robert Palmer song, but Meow Meow Tweet's goods are simply irresistible. That's cause the ingredients—organic, unrefined plant oils and butters, steam-distilled and cold-pressed essential oils, and wildcrafted botanicals—are so simple, yet you can't wait to put the products on your skin. Maybe it's the super cute packaging (illustrated with love in-house). Or maybe it's the fresh scents of grapefruit and basil. Everything is made in small batches, so cleansing with the Pink Rose Clay Facial Soap or slathering on the Face + Body Cream feels like a special occasion.
So if you're gonna do skin care, better do it right. Your whole body, inside and out, will thank you. (And so will the bunnies.)