The Beauty Memo

8 sustainable beauty brands that do good

You don’t have to choose between quality and sustainable beauty anymore. Here, MALENA HARBERS reveals the eco-friendly products that will keep your makeup, hair and scent choices on point, while also being kind to the planet

Clockwise from top left: La Bouche Rouge Le Sérum Noir Mascara; Rahua Classic Conditioner Refill; Sana Jardin Berber Blonde Eau de Parfum; Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer; One Ocean Beauty Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil; Ren Clean Skincare Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash; La Mer Blue Heart Crème de La Mer; Costa Brazil Resina De Breu

We’re all searching for ways to make a positive impact on our environment, and building a greener beauty regime is one to consider. Thankfully, there are many beautifully packaged, results-driven brands that are opting to reduce their effect on the planet, whether by sourcing sustainable ingredients, eliminating harmful plastic packaging, recycling, upcycling, and helping to fund conservation and protection initiatives. Here are the industry game-changers making a solid case for sustainable beauty…

One Ocean Beauty

As its name suggests, One Ocean Beauty focuses its sustainability initiatives on the sea. The brand has partnered with Oceana – the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation – and uses blue biotechnology (a lab-controlled bio-fermentation process) to reproduce the active ingredients of algae, kelp and seaweed for its marine-based formulas instead of harvesting plants from the ocean. The Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil is a must for dry, stressed skin and hair – and it is housed in 100 percent recyclable packaging, of course.


Rahua sources its star ingredient, ungurahua nut oil, from the Amazon rainforest, and this jungle’s preservation is at the heart of the haircare brand. It not only supports local communities to produce the oil but, with every bottle of Rahua purchased, one acre of rainforest is saved per year. Beyond the Amazon, the brand has also partnered with the Pink Flamingos Project to protect these tropical birds from shoreline plastic pollution in the Galápagos Islands, while its shampoo- and conditioner-refill pouches reduce plastic consumption by 90 percent.

Tata Harper

Not only is every single ingredient in Tata Harper’s formulas fully biodegradable and 100 percent natural, but her entire skincare range is sustainably made from start to finish on her Vermont farm. What’s more, glass bottles, recyclable bio-base sugarcane plastic, carton paper made from sustainably managed forests and biodegradable soy ink round out her eco-minded packaging initiatives. Try her cult-classic, intensely hydrating Water-Lock Moisturizer, which can be refilled with a product pod once it runs out.

La Mer

Just as nutrient-rich fermented sea kelp is integral to La Mer, so too is the brand’s commitment to cleaning up and preserving our oceans. Its Blue Heart Oceans Fund has supported many preservation projects, such as helping to plant 400,000 mangroves in the Caribbean – essential plants for promoting the eco-system of marine animals. As for packaging, it pledges that 75 percent will be be recycled, recyclable, reusable, refillable or recoverable by the close of 2025.

La Bouche Rouge

If you want the perfect red lip with maximum color payoff and eco credentials, this chic Parisian makeup brand ticks all the boxes. But it’s La Bouche Rouge’s signature environmentally friendly refillable lipstick cases that really stand out, thanks to their construction: excess leather from France’s renowned Tanneries du Puy and metal instead of plastic tubes. Just as covetable is the 100-percent-recyclable glass mascara bottle and microplastic-free, refillable highlighter housed in its own hand-stitched leather pouch.

Sana Jardin

Proving exotic, beautiful fragrances don’t need to come at a cost to the environment, this luxury perfume house chooses synthetic over natural ingredients to prevent over-farming of endangered plant species. Where natural plant essential oils are used, the flower waste is upcycled by the Moroccan women who hand-pick the flowers for production, converting it into a line of products that these women can sell and earn 100 percent of the profits from. Try Sana Jardin’s Berber Blonde Eau de Parfum for a captivating summer scent with a social conscience.

Ren Clean Skincare

Upholding a zero-waste pledge by the end of 2021, Ren offers recyclable packaging and refillable bottles made out of recycled ocean plastic, like its Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash, which delivers an invigorating boost for sluggish mornings. The brand has also eliminated sample sachets and has created the first reclosable and recyclable sample-size tube made with 100 percent recycled aluminum, which, unlike plastic, can be infinitely recycled.

Costa Brazil

This eco-minded beauty brand from Francisco Costa (Calvin Klein’s former creative director) has some serious credentials to match its designer reputation. Each product in the line is infused with sustainably sourced ingredients native to the rainforests of Brazil, including breu, a healing tree resin. Costa Brazil has partnered with environmental organization Conservation International, which, along with reforestation efforts, works with local cooperatives to harvest these ingredients while helping to conserve the natural ecosystem. FSC-certified paper boxes and recycled and biodegradable packaging materials add to the planet-friendly efforts.