Cleanliness is subjective. Just ask any kid under 10 who pronounces their room tidy after leaving their dirty socks next to the hamper or shoving a years' worth of homework into a single desk drawer.
And "clean" beauty is no exception. Though the buzzword has been floating around the industry for years, there's still no universally agreed-upon criteria for what makes a product "clean," "green," "natural," or "eco-friendly." (And yes, the quotation marks around all those terms are very much intentional.)
For us at ishonest, it's about what's not on the ingredient list: Products that meet our definition of "clean" do not contain parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, cyclic silicones, polyethylene or polypropylene (microbeads), aluminum salts, formaldehyde, hydroquinone, PEGs, triclosan, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, or toluene. (If you're curious, you can always read more about how we landed on the ishonest Clean Standard.)
Sure, scanning ingredient lists until your eyes bug out isn't exactly the sexiest part of the job, but it was worth it to yield this list of high- performing products you, dear reader, can feel extra good about. This year, our Best of Beauty "Clean" winners include a tinted balm that looks equally ethereal on cheeks, lips, and lids, a no-budge mascara, and a body scrub that will turn your shower into a spa.
Hair: Love Beauty and Planet Volume and Bounty 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner Bar
A heart-shaped bar that pumps coconut water into our hair, the one-step formula that is the Love Beauty and Planet Volume and Bounty 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner Bar makes cleansing and conditioning an actual piece of cake.
Body: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream
The pale pink pump of Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream puts the "treat" in "treatment." Scented with watermelon extract and packed with skin- brightening AHAs, the weightless lotion leaves every inch supple and luminous.
Hair: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Conditioner
Brimming with amino acid-packed marine algae extract, the silky Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Conditioner delivers all the moisture our dry, damaged hair craves.
Hair: Uhai Intensive Deep Conditioner
Intensely hydrating with a whipped, almost fluffy texture, the omega-rich Uhai Intensive Deep Conditioner buoys curls while boosting softness and shine.
Hair: Adwoa Beauty Protect + Shine Oil Blend
Infused with essential oils and spearmint, the lupine cocktail in Adwoa Beauty Protect + Shine Oil Blend calms the scalp and adds luster to kinks, coils, and curls.
Skin: Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen Zinc Oxide SPF 32
Good, clean sunscreen â€” the mineral-based Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen Zinc Oxide SPF 32 has a pearly tint that helps it adapt to your skin tone, blending into an invisible sheen.
Skin: Humanrace Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator
Pharrell knows how to create a winning track â€” and, as it turns out, winning skin care. Glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, and ultrafine rice particles work in concert in the Humanrace Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator to dissolve roughness and slough away dullness, revealing noticeably smoother, brighter skin.
Skin: Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer
Balm-thick and banana-yellow, the pigmented mix of turmeric and rosehip oil in Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer transforms skin into glowing perfection. The refillable glass jar transforms our bathroom into #shelfie material.
Skin: Ã‰minence Organic Skin Care Mangosteen Gel Moisturizer
Ã‰minence Organic Skin Care Mangosteen Gel Moisturizer, a gel-cream hybrid, keeps skin dewy and pliant while it perfects, blurring pores with a soft matte finish.
Skin: Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil
A superhero trio of oils (olive, sunflower, castor) in Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil clings to the natural sebum produced by your pores, whisking away dirt and makeup without relying on surfactants that strip skin dry.
Skin: Indie Lee Restorative Eye Cream
The antioxidant equivalent of eight hours of sleep, the soothing Indie Lee Restorative Eye Cream tightens and brightens undereyes with a potent blend of plant extracts and licorice root.
Skin: Honest Beauty Calm & Heal Melting Balm
The comforting Honest Beauty Calm & Heal Melting Balm delivers salvation to chapped, cracked skin with allantoin (a skin protectant) and anti-inflammatory ingredients, like rice bran.
Makeup: Tower 28 Beachplease Luminous Tinted Balm
The only acceptable way to achieve natural color (in our book) is with Tower 28 Beachplease Luminous Tinted Balm, a plant-based balm (it comes in six shades), bathes cheeks and lips in shimmer-free, sun-kissed warmth.
Makeup: Jones Road The Best Pencil
Drawn precisely along the lash line or smudged into a smoky haze, the ultra- dense, ultra-intense pigment of Jones Road The Best Pencil adds seamless definition.
Makeup: Ilia Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint
The water-based formula of Ilia Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint bestows a wash of gleamy color that won't sink into creases or fade into oblivion.
Makeup: Merit Clean Lash
Ideal for everyday use, the carbon-black Merit Clean Lash mascara lifts and defines lashes while leaving their ends elegantly clump-free.
Makeup: Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight
Sleek and weighted, the palm-size Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight compact has the polished feel of a river stone. Blended onto cheekbones, the luminous cream seems to transform the landscape of our face.
Makeup: Saie Slip Tint
The tinted fluid of Saie Slip Tint feels like nothing on your skin but does everything you could want: evens out discoloration, eliminates dryness, and undoes dullness with brightening ingredients, like licorice root.
Makeup: Beautycounter Skin Twin Creamy Concealer
Suspended in avocado butter, the rich pigments of Beautycounter Skin Twin Creamy Concealer seem to float over fine lines, diffusing shadows while erasing crepiness.
Body: Right to Shower Bar Soap
A soap that raises the bar in every respect: Proceeds from the wholesome Right to Shower Bar Soap support an initiative that brings mobile showers to our fellow humans living on the streets.
Body: Henry Rose Windows Down
Henry Rose Windows Down is the fragrance version of driving off into the sunset: Notes of Earl Grey and orange flower are invigorating out of the gate; musk and amber settle into a smooth, dusky trail.
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