16 Clean Products Byrdie Editors Always Buy at the Drugstore
Earth Day is in less than a week, so it probably won’t come as any kind of surprise that we’ve already put a lot of time and effort into thinking about sustainability this month and the types of practices and products we can embrace to make our world a happier, healthier place. However, to get the ball rolling, we thought we’d start off with the basics: a quintessential (and sustainable) drugstore product rundown featuring every kind of product you might need to make your current regimen a bit nicer where sustainability is considered. Yep, from mascara to body oil to pomegranate-infused serum, we found the best sustainable drugstore products in all of our favorite beauty categories to convert you to a more sustainable routine.
Fun fact: I originally discovered this cleanser via my mom (a 70-year-old immortal with the skin of a glowing angel’s baby bum), and I’ve been smitten ever since. It’s vegan, biodegradable, organic, and cruelty-free. It also brightens up a dull complexion lickity-split thanks to an impressive host of antioxidant-rich ingredients like white tea, lemon, and orange.
Plus, according to the brand, they focus on minimizing the footprint of its products on the planet, by prioritizing packaging made from “high post-consumer material content and sustainably sourced paperboard” which is recyclable after use. Plus, all of the brand’s formulas are “tested to evaluate the organic carbon to CO2 conversion rate necessary for biodegradable certification.”
I first tried this mask a few months ago, and it’s been a constant in my mask rotation ever since. The ingredient list is sustainably sourced, simple (only seven ingredients!), and boasts offerings to help clarify and brighten like sea salt from natural oceanic clay and willow bark—active plant extracts which the brand states on their website are sustainably sourced from around the world.
This toner is made with only five ingredients (water, organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic witch hazel, and organic clary sage and sandalwood essential oils), and what it lacks in complexity it more than makes up for in efficacy and sustainability. (The brand only ever uses truly natural ingredients that are certified organic, fair trade, or sourced from family farms.)
My Brazilian roommate (who’s passionate about sustainability) told me about this game-changing serum from the Switzerland-born skincare brand Weleda last year, and it’s been on my drugstore must-try list ever since. Yes, it’s on the pricey side of the spectrum, but considering celebrities also love the brand and we’ve seen other serums about three times the price of this one, we feel confident that it’s 100% worth the splurge. Need further convincing? The brand implements biodynamic agriculture, uses raw materials, and works to be as environmentally-friendly as possible in order to reduce energy consumption company-wide.
5. Exfoliating Scrub
Priding itself on eco-friendly, 100% vegan formulas and “0% questionability,” Acure brings green beauty to the forefront of your drugstore beauty experience, and lately, we’ve been crushing on this gentle brightening scrub, which not only yields a brilliant after-glow but a brilliant ingredient list as well. MVP players include aloe vera, French green clay, rooibos leaf extract, lemon peel, argan oil, madonna leaf, and blackberry, açai, and pomegranate fruit extracts.
According to their website, the brand is a “family owned and operated company founded on sustainable principles to provide the highest quality natural and certified organic personal care.”
The name may be a mouthful, but it’s only to be expected considering its game-changing, multitasking abilities, which will help recharge, hydrate, and treat depleted, overworked complexions. Oh, and it gets its “DIY” name from the unique dual-chamber system, which allows you to personalize your product by dispensing your preferred amount of creamy Greek yogurt, probiotic-rich moisturizer and superblueberry booster to your skin’s liking. Not to mention, the brand prides itself on an eco-friendly mission to always contain at least 95% natural ingredients, to be free of parabens and other nasties, and to be made with recyclable materials for ultimate sustainability.
You know how important sunscreen is for happy and healthy skin, but finding an effective formula that also meets sustainable ethos isn’t the easiest. Which is precisely why Team Byrdie loves Bare Republic—a brand known for its eco-active skincare offerings. We like this stick for multiple reasons: its biodegradable formula, its non-abrasive yet pleasant coconut vanilla scent, and its 80-minute, water-resistant durability. It’s also lightweight in texture and easy to apply.
We’re pretty sure this sustainable drugstore foundation from Burt’s Bees is one of the best (if not the best) money can buy. Not convinced? Check out the full-coverage, meadow foam–infused formula for yourself. Plus, the brand states on their website that they’ve committed themselves to a policy of sending zero waste to landfill—just one of the multiple ways they’re one of the best sustainable companies you can find at your drugstore.
9.Blush and Bronzer
For an instantaneous complexion pick-me-up, W3ll People’s creamy blush duo has you covered. The nontoxic, cruelty-free, and vegan formula not only delivers saturated, long-lasting pigment but also imparts the most universally flattering glow. In addition to their trademark organic formulas, the brand never uses fillers, propylene glycol, petrochemicals, or petroleum by-products, is hand-crafted in small batches in the USA, and is completely cruelty-free (and tested by the W3LL People studio by their Green Beauty Pros).
Not only did this drugstore favorite make our best-of mascara roundup for its impressive water-resistant wear, but the brand is also ultra-sustainable to boot. For instance, it’s partnered with Preserve to create a user-friendly recycling program so you can send your empty (and rinsed-clean!) products back with a pre-paid shipping label in the shipping vehicle of your choice. (We recommend utilizing something found in your recycling bin.)
11. Lip Balm
Thoughtfully crafted with organic beeswax, jojoba, avocado, and hemp oils and top-quality essential oils (in this case, peppermint!), your lips will love this sustainable drugstore product. Dr. Bronner’s is loved for its zero-synthetic ingredient policy and other sustainable priorities like regenerative organic farming projects, soil enrichment, and tree-planting programs and 100% post-consumer recycled packaging.
12. Body and Hand Lotion
Aside from the fact that it smells like a Hawaiian vacation in a bottle, this replenishing drugstore formula pampers skin with sustainable ethos (they’re 100% vegetarian and are committed to biodegradable formulas and recyclable materials) and things like cocoa butter (in case that wasn’t already obvious), shea butter, vitamin E, and luxe oils from jojoba, macadamia, flax, and sunflower.
13. Body Oil
Organic, responsibly harvested ingredients are the bread and butter of the dreamy apothecary-inspired brand Fig & Yarrow. To be honest, we’re enamored with all of its good-for-the-skin and good-for-the-planet offerings but are especially entranced with this dreamy bath and body oil, which does the name justice in that it quite literally makes you smell like you’ve just frolicked through a meadow (thanks to subtle hints of chamomile, lavender, and rosewood).
13. Body Oil
If soaking your body in sustainably sourced purity and restoration sounds divine, look no further. With one sole ingredient (organic bladderwrack seaweed sustainably harvested right off the coast of Maine), this vitamin-infused detox soak can be your one-stop antidote for those inevitable stress-filled days—sans alcohol. Oh, and the drugstore price tag isn’t half bad either.
15. Shampoo and Conditioner
Gone are the days when we couldn’t find organic, sustainably sourced haircare products in the aisles of the drugstore. SheaMositure brings to the table natural, organic, sustainably produced goodness specifically made “with love for you and your body.” Fair-trade and cruelty-free, this lusciously moisturizing shampoo and conditioner magically works wonders for all hair types and textures but is especially wonderful for those with coarse and curly hair.
16. Nail Polish
Despite the color name (Drama, in case you were curious), there is none when it comes to Piggy Paint’s eco-friendly beauty ethos. Nontoxic, water-based, practically odorless, made in the United States, and free of all harsh chemicals, this sustainable drugstore product pick also happens to be one of the most affordable nail polishes we’ve found in the nontoxic category. Plus, the wide-spread color range is adorable.