Welcome to the ultimate clean makeup brands list of more than 60 amazing brands you should know in 2024. From certified organic makeup to Sephora bestsellers, this list has every single clean makeup brand on the market.
Table of Contents
Clean Makeup vs Organic Makeup
There is no real definition for clean makeup, and every individual and brand defines it on their own terms. As a result, there is a lot of greenwashing and misleading marketing being done. I like to think of clean makeup as an umbrella term for “all of the above,” covering all brands on the spectrum of the clean.
Almost all popular clean makeup brands today use synthetics, plastics, petroleum byproducts and lake dyes in their products. Beautycounter, Kosas, ILIA, Tower 28, Well People, Saie Beauty, Jones Road and Westman Atelier are just a few examples of clean makeup brands that use synthetics.
Keep in mind that most popular Sephora clean makeup brands are not all natural. By using synthetics they’re able to cut down on costs, increase profits and improve product performance.
Organic makeup brands, on the other hand, must have at least 70% organic ingredients in their products. Makeup with the USDA Organic Seal must have least 95% organic ingredients.
If you want organic makeup, be sure to check the back of the product packaging or the label to see the percentage of ingredients that are organic. Certifications are really the only way to know for certain if a product is truly organic. But remember, organic certifications can be extremely costly for brands to obtain, so not all of them will have certifications even if they are organic. Ultimately, you should choose a non toxic makeup brand that aligns with your needs and concerns.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup
Here are the ingredients you want to be aware of when choosing a clean makeup brand:
- Parabens (e.g. Propylparaben and Isobutylparaben): These are linked to skin irritation, endocrine disruption, and harm to the reproductive system.
- Petrolatum or petroleum jelly: Petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
- Polyethylene (PEGs): These have been linked to various types of cancer.
- BHA & BHT: These are preservatives that can cause liver, thyroid and kidney problems and act as a tumor promoter.
- Phthalates: These chemicals are often used to enhance fragrance in cosmetics and can also be found in certain plastics. Phthalates have been associated with potential reproductive and developmental issues.
- Talc: A mineral ingredient widely used as a filler in various cosmetic products. Talc has been associated with potential respiratory issues and possible contamination with asbestos.
- Formaldehyde & formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: Avoid DMDM hydantoin, polyoxymethylene urea, diazolidinyl urea, bromopol, imidazolidinyl urea, glyoxal, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, which can cause irritation and rashes
- Fragrance: Companies don’t have to disclose fragrance ingredients by law because they’re deemed “trade secrets.” Fragrance can potentially cause allergies, skin irritation, and hormonal disruption.
- Diethanolamine (DEA): DEA can cause skin and eye irritation and is classified as harmful by the European Union
- Triclosan: This is an ingredient that fights bacterial contamination, but is not considered safe for humans.
- Siloxanes or silicones: Some are considered toxic and can harm hormone function.
Clean Makeup Guides by Product Type
- Organic Foundation
- Clean Concealer
- Organic Lipstick
- Organic Lip Gloss
- Cream Blush
- Clean Mascara
- Clean Talc-Free Eyeshadow
Budget Clean Makeup Brands using Synthetics
Budget Clean Makeup Brands 100% Natural
Certified B Corp Alima Pure is a line of luxury mineral makeup without dimethicone, petroleum, talc, and bismuth oxychloride. They make natural makeup with a focus on minimalism, both in ingredients and packaging. I recommend trying their powder face products.
Clean Makeup Brands using Synthetics
Clean Makeup Brands w/ Organic Ingredients
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Organic Makeup Brands
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Luxury Clean Makeup Brands
Zero Waste Clean Makeup Brands
Andrea is a clean beauty expert from Los Angeles, California with 10 years of experience in clean beauty, natural skincare and organic living. She writes for Organic Beauty Lover using her expertise to guide readers in choosing the best clean beauty products. Andrea graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 and has worked at multiple skincare companies, big and small. Connect with her @organicbeautylover.