2024 Beauty Awards

These Eco-Friendly Beauty Products Are Setting The Bar High

The future is sustainable.

Written by Bustle Staff
Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Stocksy; Product Images Courtesy of Brands

Clean beauty has been dealing with an accountability crisis these past few years, but in 2024, it looks as if brands are truly becoming more transparent. Part of that can be traced to the passage of the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) in 2022, which gave the FDA more authority to crack down on the safety of how cosmetics and personal care products are produced, marketed, and tested. But, a good portion of that can also be linked to the brands that are paving the way in defining what clean and eco truly means and setting clear guidelines for their manufacturing, supply chains, ingredients, and claims. The winners in this category are all trailblazers in the eco-conscious movement, demonstrating that clean, efficacious products not only exist, but are the future. Keep reading for the best eco, clean and planet-friendly products of 2024.

Best Eco Moisturizer

Bring the mountains to your face with this ultra-rich moisturizing cream from Vermont-based beauty brand Ursa Major. It’s super-concentrated with a clean formula that features plant-based actives like tremella mushroom, alpine skullcap, plant-derived ceramides, moss stem cells, and cloudberry to hydrate, boost your skin barrier, soothe, and soften skin. “When I interviewed Camila Cabello, she revealed one of her holy grail products is an Ursa Major moisturizer, so I was excited to try this — and I loved it,” says BDG staffer Rachel Chapman. “It provided refreshing hydration, and I loved the smell and the thickness of the cream.”

Best Eco Concealer

A medium-coverage concealer that’s perfect for undereye circles, dark spots, and blemishes, this hybrid makeup and skin care product has a hydrating formula that’s infused with hyaluronic acid, brightening licorice root extract, and vitamin C derived from wild-harvested kakadu plum. With a weightless texture that blends easily and melts into skin, it helps brighten, blur, and cover dark circles, hyperpigmentation, and blemishes with ease. “This is the best concealer I've ever used,” says BDG staffer Katie Garrity. “It doesn't make me break out, feels good on my skin, and has the best coverage!”

Best Eco Blush

With 99.9 percent natural origin ingredients, a vegan formula, and completely plastic-free and compostable packaging, this cream blush stick takes the guilt out of your makeup routine. “I was really impressed with the quality of the blush and its packaging,” says BDG staffer Dayna Lawrence. “As someone who makes purchase decisions based on sustainability, I was really excited to see this paper packaging. It takes some getting used to, since you have to push up at the base while applying, but once you get it down, you don't even think about it. The formula was smooth, creamy, and blended beautifully. I want it in every shade!”

Best Eco Fragrance

Many fragrance notes used today are synthetic alternatives of their original natural source, because it’s become either too unsustainable to farm them or deemed too cruel to extract them from their natural source. Kindred Black solves that problem with this eco-friendly perfume oil by using wild-harvested sweet copal resin from its herbalist partner in El Sargento, Mexico. Hand mixed with oils of marula, peony, coconut, jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, and ginger lily root, it creates an addictive aroma that’s impossible to ignore. “Truly a sensual and intoxicating perfume...and I'm not even a florals type of girl,” says BDG staffer Layla Halabian. “This had a great sillage on me, too, which I always appreciate.”

Best Eco Eyeshadow

We love a good glitter shadow as much as the next beauty lover. What we don’t love? The horrible impact mica mining has on workers and the environment. These shimmery trios from Neen feature ethically sourced mica in high-impact shades, so you can get your sparkle on without worrying about causing major damage to other people and the planet. Plus, they come in refillable silicone compacts, so there’s no plastic packaging waste to deal with. “These palettes are nicely curated, and I like the silicone packaging,” says BDG staffer Caroline Wurtzel. “The small palette size is also great for travel.”

Best Eco Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees lip balm is a classic skin-care staple that has been a part of so many of our judges’ routines at some point in their beauty journey. It’s one of those products that is equally synonymous with clean beauty and efficacy. We didn’t think there was a way for the brand to improve upon their beloved lip moisturizer, but they’ve proved us wrong by ditching the plastic tube in favor of a 90 percent recycled paper tube. It’s the same great creamy formula you love, packed with moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil, now in more planet-friendly packaging. “I'm a long-time Burt's Bee's user and this is a nice sustainable alternative for those who are already fans of the product,” says BDG staffer Anne Vorrasi.

Best Eco Body Bar

When is a bar soap not a bar soap? When it’s this solid body serum cleanser from hanni, which replaces three products in one little bar. The soap-free wash uses plant-derived cleansers and has a gentle pH of 5.5, yet still creates a cushiony lather that washes away dirt and grime. It also doubles as a serum treatment to infuse skin with moisture and can even work as a shaving cream. If all that wasn’t enough, it’s gynecologist-tested to be safe on intimate areas. “I actually really liked this and found it moisturized my skin way more than I thought a bar soap could,” says BDG staffer Kelly Faircloth.

Best Eco Body Wash

As much as we adore how fuss-free body washes are, they aren’t the most eco-friendly of products. Packed in single-use plastics and made with over 70 percent water in their formulas, these liquid cleansers do great things for our skin but rate pretty low on the sustainability scale. Not so with Everist, which packages its unique wash in a 100 percent recycled and recyclable aluminum tube. The cream wash is water-activated and highly concentrated with skin care actives, like 20 percent aloe vera and 25 percent glycerin to hydrate and soothe skin, plus biodegradable bamboo charcoal particles to help gently exfoliate. Because it’s concentrated, a little goes a long way, and it comes with a tube key to help you get every last drop out of the package.

Best Eco On-The-Go

Luna Daily’s genius instant cleansing spray is an eco-friendly take on your beloved wipes. Simply spray directly on skin, (or on toilet paper and then wipe on skin) to cleanse and deodorize your less-than-fresh bits in a flash. Its blend of thermal water and skin microbiome-friendly ingredients soothes, hydrates, and gets rid of the funk from sweating, not showering, periods, or just plain living. Spray it literally anywhere below the neck to feel fresh. “This hydrating spray came in clutch on so many occasions and perfectly toed the line between being gentle enough for sensitive areas, but hydrating enough that my outer skin felt moisturized throughout the day when I used it,” says BDG staffer Theresa Massony. “The scent is also great — not too overpowering, but just enough to leave a light, clean smell.”