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11 Best Clean & Eco Friendly Skincare of 2023

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Konstantina Antoniadou


Looking for the best clean skincare brands with safe, natural ingredients in 2023? This is the perfect time to swap your plastic-packaged formulas with zero-waste options from beauty brands with sustainable packaging! Take a look at our favorite ethical skincare brands below.

If you love ethical skincare, you’ll probably want the 13 Best Sustainable Vegan Makeup Brands For An Ethical Glow Up or the 25+ BEST Affordable Organic Skincare Products of 2023.

Best eco-friendly clean skincare brands of 2023

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While most of us tend to purge our closets once or twice per year to refuel our wardrobes with some much-needed sustainable fashion gems, our skincare regime doesn’t seem to get the same royal treatment. 

Raise your hand if you too have a random bin chock full of old, miscellaneous products purchased in a moment of weakness from unsustainable beauty brands before you had any clue of what clean skincare is all about.

Let’s avoid our past mistakes! Amazing clean skincare brands are gaining momentum with more and more people becoming aware of the tremendous impact of plastic packaging and chemical-packed formulas, and we are here for it!


Our biggest crush? Refillable Clean Skincare!

Cosmetic waste is a huge issue. It’s estimated that between 20 and 40% of beauty products, depending on the category, end up as waste. In fact, about 70% of the beauty industry’s waste comes from packaging which almost always ends up in landfills or “swimming” in the ocean. 

The UN environmental program noted that “if the waste trend continues, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.” In reality, when you use a skincare product containing microbeads (like many scrubbing or exfoliating formulas), you actively help send countless microplastics down the drain and into water bodies. 

Eco friendly beauty brands, on the other hand, not only manage to keep their products natural but also avoid wasteful packaging without forgoing quality, effectiveness, or aesthetics. Beauty brands with sustainable packaging mostly use refillable containers made of glass, paper-based tubes, and aluminum tins to “dress” their clean skincare formulas. A few extra special brands (like activist skincare and plaine products) have refillable options!

We rounded up the most noteworthy zero waste skincare brands to help you update your beauty arsenal with nourishing, super-effective additions that are kind to your skin and the environment. 

What is the most eco-friendly skincare packaging?

Stainless steel and tin are by far the most eco-friendly skincare packaging due to the high recycling rate. Aluminum is also a great sustainable and 100% recyclable option. In fact, aluminum can be recycled an infinite number of times, which means that it’s a truly circular material.

Additionally, some of the best zero waste skin care brands also use glass to package their clean skincare formulas. This is mostly because, aside from requiring less energy to recycle existing glass than to melt raw materials, is also reusable and refillable.

Last but not least, paper and cardboard packaging are bio-based, biodegradable, and recyclable which means that they are yet another eco-friendly skincare packaging alternative to plastic.

What is the best clean skincare line?

There are so many affordable clean skincare brands with lines that tick all our quality and sustainability criteria. Activist Skincare’s high-performing 7-product lineup is made locally with premium active ingredients and natural botanical extracts (and is used by our very own founder of SKL!). 

Plaine Products’ zero-waste antioxidant and nutrient-rich formulas range from shampoos to body lotions and deodorants. Common Heir’s Vitamin C serum is a cult-favorite clean skincare breakthrough — these were only a few honorable mentions, you can discover more ethical skincare brands below.

What is the best packaging for skin care?

While we love seeing beauty brands with sustainable packaging, some materials are more environmentally-friendly than others. 

Refillable skincare options like glass and aluminum are going to be superior. The best packaging for skin care is the one that offers durability, strength, and high resistance without polluting the environment, and thus, biodegradable and recyclable options are preferred. Glass, metal, aluminum, and paper are all great options for skincare packaging.

What is the safest skincare brand?

When it comes to the best clean skincare brands of 2023 with the safest, most effective ingredients Activist Skincare, Fleur and Bee, Klei Beauty, Non Gender Specific, Meow Meow Tweet, Common Heir, Herbivore Botanicals, Plaine Products, Loli Beauty, Rainwater Botanicals and Fat & The Moon are the best options on the ethical beauty market.

This post is about affordable clean skincare brands.

Best Clean Skincare Brands With Sustainable Packaging

Activist Skincare, the woman-owned, self-made business, takes sustainable clean skincare to whole new heights with a minimalist-yet-complete approach. 

Their refillable, high-performance skincare not only encourages us to get rid of unnecessary waste but is also packed with super-effective, premium active ingredients and natural botanical extracts with no added fillers, endocrine disruptors, or toxic chemicals. 

The brand’s entire line is built around the 4-Step Activist Method — a highly customizable regimen structure that allows us to choose the best products based on our individual skin type and concerns.

Huge bonus? Once you run out, the brand will ship sustainably-packaged refill pouches to your doorstep through their refill subscription program. The benefits? Reduce your CO2 emissions and plastic waste while saving 15% off regular prices!

Price: Starts At $18

Discount code: SKL15 for 15% off

Packaging: Glass Containers, Shipped In 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Unpadded Envelopes 

Main Ingredients: Vegan & cruelty free Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid, Peptides, Organic Hydrosols, Panthenol, MSM, and More

Location: California, USA

Shop Activist Skincare Here

We can’t talk about the best clean skincare brands 2023 has to offer without mentioning Fleur and Bee. 

Blending the power of plants with modern science, the sustainable skincare brand offers an array of multi-active formulas chock full of 32 nourishing actives and no parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, or other chemicals. 

Aside from using renewable energy, the company is also Leaping Bunny™ certified which means that their good-for-you cleansers, toners, serums, eye creams, masks, and moisturizers are vegan and cruelty-free. 

Lastly, like most zero waste skin care brands, they also allow us to “Shop by Skin Concern” and find the perfect product for fine lines and wrinkles, dryness or dark spots, and dullness – just to name a few.

Price: Starts at $18

Packaging: Glass & FSC-Certified, 100% Recycled Post-Consumer Waste Paperboard

Main Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil And Organic Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid And Sea Buckthorn Oil

Location: CA, USA

Shop Fleur and Bee Here

For Klei Beauty, being one of the best beauty brands with sustainable packaging simply wasn’t enough. 

They focus on promotining self-love, and giving back to the environment and their Brooklyn community, one clean formula at a time. 

On their virtual shelves, you can find an array of spa-worthy natural skincare running from water-free and cruelty-free herbal bath soaks, milk soaks, body scrubs, facial oils, clay masks, cleansers and steams. 

Everything is lovingly made in the US with responsible manufacturing practices. Plus, the ethical skincare brand’s packaging is extremely aesthetically pleasing – which is always a plus if you want to proudly display your clean beauty formulas. 

Price: Starts at $20

Packaging: Recycled PP Lids And Glass Jars,

Main Ingredients: Ink Clay, Coconut Milk, Chamomile, Spearmint & Lavender Floral

Location: Brooklyn, USA

Shop Klei Beauty Here

As the name suggests, Non Gender Specific believes that ethical skincare brands should cater to all genders equally. 

Lauded as The world’s leading gender-neutral beauty with botanical-rich, cruelty-free, and vegan formulas, they only use Sustainably conscious methods to source their skin-loving ingredients. 

The brand targets several skin concerns but their coveted Phytonutrient Concentrate is definitely the highlight of their entire glow-giving collection; it offers 23 powerful botanicals that deliver over 72 nutrients in every drop-now that’s impressive. 

Granted, it’s a bit more pricey than most eco friendly beauty brands, but they are definitely worth it! 

Price: Starts At $10

Packaging: Recyclable Glass Containers 

Main Ingredients: Lemon Peel, Mushroom, Nettle Leaf, Grapeseed, Rose, Microalgae And Pine Bark

Location: Canada

Shop Non Gender Specific Here

When it comes to affordable organic skincare, Meow Meow Tweet is definitely amongst the best clean skincare brands 2023 has to offer. 

Ideal for dry and cracked skin, their wide range of certified organic ingredient formulas and natural nourishing oils deliver a much-needed super-hydration boost by delivering nutrients and promoting cell regeneration. 

Much like the rest of the zero waste skin care brands on the eco market, they offer a refill program to restock your Leaping Bunny Certified, nontoxic sunscreen, moisturizer, cleanser, hydrator, etc.

Price: Starts At $6

Packaging: Metal Bottle With Metal Lid And Paper Label

Main Ingredients: Rose Geranium, Juniper Carrot Seed, Arrowroot, Coconut Oil

Location: USA

Shop Meow Meow Tweet Here

Next on our list of affordable clean skincare brands is Common Heir, the award-winning new skin hero that managed to reimagine Vitamin C serums in order to join you in your battle against dark spots. 

Stable, effective, and sustainable, their second clean skincare product, the Retinol, aims to bring you a post-facial glow without irritation boosted by smoothing botanicals that detox and visibly renew skin. 

The best part? It’s ideal for melanin-rich skin, sensitive skin, and your beautiful skin. Ultimately, if you are on the lookout for science-backed results, premium, luxurious products, and plastic-free, display-worhty packaging, this brand is for you.

Price: Starts At $18

Packaging: Recyclable Plant-Based Capsules 

Main Ingredients: Retinol, Plant-Derived Squalane, Astralagus, Algae Oil, Spilanthes Acmella, Vitamin C & E, Marshmallow Extract, Licorice Root

Location: USA

Shop Common Heir Here

Safe,vegan, and cruelty-free, Herbivore Botanicals is one of the best clean skincare brands of 2023. 

They promise to make you smell and feel amazing while also adding enjoyment to your daily routine with the help of natural, high-quality ingredients. 

From Vitamin C + Turmeric Brightening Serums and Retinol Alternative Firming Eye Creams to stellar anti-aging face oils, the brand is a skin-loving haven! 

On top of that, if you are really into high-performing zero waste skin care, you can also opt for their gift sets which start at $37.

Price: Starts At $24

Packaging: Glass And Paper, Recycled & Recyclable Plastic

Main Ingredients: French Pink Clay, Brazilian Gemstones, Jasmine Sambac Oil, Coconut Fruit Juice

Location: USA

Shop Herbivore Botanicals Here

With a slew of eco friendly travel products for your next eco adventure -including some ah-mazing refillable body wash options – Plaine Products should definitely be on your radar. 

Their range of USA-made, clean skincare includes sustainable zero waste shampoos as well as vegan, cruelty-free, and refillable face washes, moisturizers, beauty oils, and face toners. 

The B-certified corp loads their formulas with good-for-you antioxidants and nutrients that refine texture and diminish wrinkles, scars, and fine lines without the use of chemicals. It’s no wonder why they are considered one of the best and most affordable clean skincare brands of 2023.

Price: Starts at $5

Packaging: Aluminum, 100% Recycled Shipment Packages

Main Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rosa Canina Seed/Fruit Oil, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum

Location: USA

Shop Plaine Products Here

Sustainably and ethically sourced clean skincare formulas that are 100% waterless multi-tasking AND long-lasting? 

Yes, please. Loli Beauty is The world’s first sustainable + certified MADE SAFE® organic beauty brand with a growing range of vegan and cruelty-free Cleansers, Toners, Oils, Serums, Moisturizers, Masks, and Scrubs. 

Their organic face oil, for example, is sustainably up-cycled from the kernel of the French Ente plum while the Date Nut Brûlée moisturizes like skin food, rich in skin-plumping fatty acids, and protective vitamin E. 

No matter your preferences, it’s hard to find eco friendly beauty brands with such effective and clean formulas.

Price: Starts At $38

Packaging: 100% Certified Compostable Packaging.

Main Ingredients: Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil, Tea Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Date Nut Oil, Olive Oil, Tamanu Oil

Location: USA

Shop Loli Beauty Here

10. Rainwater Botanicals

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With over 64,648 sales and hundreds of glowing reviews, Rainwater Botanicals is certainly a worthy addition to our list 2023’s best clean skincare brands. 

Their slew of vegan, organic, ethically sourced, zero waste formulas are handmade in small batches for quality and freshness and they source most fine ingredients locally. 

Impressively enough, Rainwater Botanicals’ first and most popular product, Rainwater Botanicals Healing Salve, was formulated in 1999 but currently, they have everything from facial cleansers and serums to deodorants, fragrances, to creams and eye treatments. 

What makes them one of the best beauty brands with sustainable packaging? Their commitment to glass and zero-waste aluminum.

Price: Starts At $11

Packaging: Glass & Aluminum Bottles

Main Ingredients: Apricot Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Wild Shea Butter, Rice Bran Oil, Blueberry Seed Oil

Location: Washington, USA

Shop Rainwater Botanicals Here

A few favorites from Rainwater Botanicals:

Aside from being one of the best sustainable makeup brands with multi-tasking, color-rich formulas, Fat & The Moon is also among the top affordable clean skincare brands with hydrating head-to-toe herbal skincare products that work! 

Toxins have no place on our faces, and thus their handmade-to-order formulas are chock full of all-natural, ethically sourced ingredients. 

Their collections include creamy face cleansers, masks, face oils shampoos, and even organic baby powders that promise to keep you hydrated, ridiculously nourished, and safe throughout the day.

Price: Starts At $17

Packaging: Glass & Aluminum

Main Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Elderberry extract, Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder, Beeswax, Essential Oils of Black Pepper  

Location: USA

Shop Fat & The Moon Here

This post was all about the best clean skincare brands with eco friendly packaging

Luckily for us, there are so many affordable clean skincare brands ready to help you tackle all your complexion’s need with ethical skincare that’s natural, safe and eco-friendly. Our favorite beauty brands with sustainable packaging above use glass, aluminum and paper to inspire us to minimize waste and focus on what matters the most: effective, natural formulas that actually work. 

This post was sponsored by the ever amazing Activist Skincare. As always, we only work with brands that meet all of our sustainability requirements with full transparency.

If you liked this post, you’ll definitely want to check out these other posts from SKL:

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