To offset climate change and catch up on urgent carbon emissions reduction goals, some brands in the beauty industry are going even further than being sustainable or carbon neutral. They are trying to be carbon negative, some even doubling the amount they offset emissions beyond net zero. Here are some of the cleanest beauty products you can find in 2022 that are aiming to do more than their part to fight climate change.

What makes a beauty product sustainable?

When beauty brands say they’re sustainable, some are only talking about one aspect of their product, such as sustainably harvested herbs. Being sustainable is a lot more than that. You need to factor in sourcing ingredients, fair trade labor practices, how far ingredients and products need to be shipped, packaging waste and more.

Related: 17 green beauty brands that you may not know

Signs of a truly sustainable beauty product include the following:

  • – zero waste, biodegradable or recyclable packaging
  • – refillable containers
  • – organic ingredients
  • – mostly natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals
  • – cruelty free or no animal testing
  • – offset emissions or products that absorb carbon

The problem with beauty brands calling themselves sustainable is that it often doesn’t go far enough, and how many of us really are living a fully sustainable lifestyle? Signs that a beauty brand is making a real effort toward sustainability rather than using it as a buzz word are that they also participate in the following programs to further reduce their carbon footprint:

  • – independent sustainable industry certifications
  • – sustainable manufacturing facilities
  • – low plastic or flat pack shipping to reduce emissions and waste
  • – donating to conservation, wildlife or other organizations fighting climate change

One way you can check if a brand is truly sustainable is to see the independent certifications they have on their label. This takes the claims out of the hands of the company and holds them to an independent standard. Just remember that small Etsy brands might not be able to afford to participate in these testing programs. If you find a small beauty brand that has just a few natural ingredients and recyclable packaging, that’s also a great company to support.

A man with a white cream smeared all over his face presumably washing his face with a soap

Carbon negative cleansers

BYBI launched the world’s first carbon negative cleanser with the Glowcurrant Booster. The cap and nozzle are biodegradable and compostable and don’t leave behind microplastics. The bottle and carton are made from sugar cane, which is a 100% recyclable material that is carbon negative.

Sukin Naturals offsets carbon emissions by planting trees. It has an entire line of cleansers, toners and a green clay mask. The products contain kale, kaolin and bentonite clay, rosehip oil, avocado oil, goji berry, baobab and parsley with very few chemical additives.

Tropic Skincare has double offset its emissions since 2018. They are carbon neutral certified and run their offices on 100% renewable energy with zero waste from their offices going to the landfill in 2019 and 2020. They also support conservation projects around the world.

A display of makeups and makeup brushes

Carbon negative and organic makeup

LOOPECO’s nude moisturizer is working toward being carbon negative and includes apricot and shea butter with very few other ingredients. It is housed in a recyclable tube.

HIGHR Collective was launched out of London in 2020 to be sustainable from jump. The company tracks every aspect of energy usage to offset emissions. They can accurately tell you how much CO2 is saved by each tube of lipstick they produce. These lipsticks use 100% solar energy to be produced, are plant based and responsibly sourced, and the outer packaging is recyclable. If you send the inner lipstick tube back after use, the company can disassemble and recycle that too.

If you find sustainable beauty confusing, you’re not alone. Brands that are still working towards being carbon negative or as neutral as possible but are still clean choices include 100 Percent Pure that makes fruit-pigmented makeup safe for many chemical allergies. Another is ILIA, which plants trees and makes organic products that are cruelty free with eco-friendly packaging. Lastly, RMS Beauty makes food-grade, non-toxic organic makeup with recyclable and reusable packaging.

Two green shower bottles in a shower container against white tiles

Carbon negative hair products

Carbon negative Pinkalicious shampoo from Ethique is made possible by creating a shampoo bar. Just by reducing water content in their products from a liquid shampoo to a bar, the product already has only 8% of the carbon emissions of a liquid shampoo.

The Simmer Down Serum from Neighborhood Botanicals offsets double its emissions.

And finally, Davines makes a shampoo that is carbon negative, even offsetting the electricity its employees use. They’re also B Corp Certified, which means they have committed to doing good in the world and being a benefit to society in a multitude of ways.

Images via Pexels