10 Ethical Beauty Brands That Are Insanely Instagrammable
For a self-care splurge you can feel good about.
It isn't a question anymore: Everyone, whether they've been keeping up with the latest buzzy beauty products or not, knows about the brand Lush. The UK-based clean beauty cosmetics company went from stateside cult secret to shopping mall staple to Instagram legend in a matter of years, skyrocketing to fame with every candy-colored bath bomb photographed and organic body scrub used. Operating in 49 countries, Lush has over 900 stores worldwide, and the #lush and #lushcosmetics hashtags on TikTok have over 1 billion and 130 million views respectively. And while the brand will undoubtedly always have a bath bomb-shaped place in fans' hearts — and a spot in their beauty arsenals — you may be on the hunt for the latest and greatest ethical beauty brands and stores like Lush.
Naturally, this is a bit more complicated than just finding a new brand with colorful bubble bath products. Lush is radically transparent with its ethics, offering products that are cruelty-free, handmade, recyclable — and the brand’s social impact goes on (including the radical move of quitting all social media in November 2021 to help draw attention to how social platforms damage people’s mental health). And while the conversation around clean beauty products has moved into the spotlight since Lush's debut on the scene, what categorizes a mascara or shower gel as "clean,” "ethical,” and "sustainable" is still difficult to define.
So, really, it comes down to what you're looking for. But to make things a little bit easier, below are 10 Lush alternatives that are transparent with their ethics and will still look amazing on your bathroom shelf. (Because, as Lush proved long ago, it's good to be both.)
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Do you often wander into Lush just to smell its products? You'll love the body and skin care brand Farmacy. The beauty brand focuses on yummy key ingredients (like moisturizing honey or vitamin-rich cherries) with fragrances that are just as delicious. Farmacy sources from organic farms in New York, Pennsylvania, and Brazil and offers sustainably sourced and recyclable packaging. Not to mention, its products and packaging are cruelty-free and made without phthalates, mineral oil, and parabens. You can shop the brand at FarmacyBeauty.com, Sephora, and Urban Outfitters.
Similar to how Lush's iconic bath bombs revolutionized bathing years ago — opening up the door for the modern "bathfluencer" — Nécessaire's minimalist products feel like a breath of subtly eucalyptus-scented fresh air. Its products are made without phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and silicones and also come with sustainable paper packaging. If you're in search of some Nécessaire products, shop them at Necessaire.com, Barneys New York, and goop.
3. Smith & Cult
Tune into Smith & Cult if your collection is stocked with Lush's versatile makeup. This beauty brand offers a similar aesthetic — playfully dark and rule-breaking — while also featuring multi-use products, such as its Locked & Lit Lip Balm. All Smith & Cult products are cruelty-free and made without parabens and phthalates. You can find them at SmithAndCult.com, Ulta, and Dermstore.
Give Reverie's clean hair care products a whirl if you've already shopped your way through Lush's supply. The brand focuses on good-for-your-hair ingredients that genuinely treat your tresses right from the inside out. All of the brand’s products are cruelty-free, vegan, and made without sulfates, silicones, and more. Plus, Reverie uses ingredients from sustainable, organic, or Fair Trade sources. Find products are GMReverie.com and Sephora.
5. Bathing Culture
Add the bathtub-centric brand Bathing Culture to your list of Lush alternatives. The eco-friendly brand is making a splash on social media thanks to its bright, retro packaging and concentrated formulas. Bathing Culture’s product line features sustainably grown, biodegradable formulas made without sulfates, parabens, and single-use plastics. Shop the brand at BathingCulture.com, goop, and CAP Beauty.
Launched by founder Priscilla Tsai in 2014, Cocokind is a socially conscious and USDA certified organic skin care brand centered around superfoods and virgin coconut oil. Its plant-powered, sustainable, affordable, and cruelty-free product lineup includes cleansers, cream, serums, sleep masks, and more. And Cocokind’s packaging — from glass to cartons to coatings — is all made of sustainably sourced materials and manufactured in the U.S. to reduce the carbon footprint. Shop for Cocokind products at Cocokind.com, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, and Target.
7. The Lip Bar
In search of some environmentally and socially conscious makeup essentials and pops of color? The Lip Bar should be your next beauty destination. From inclusive tinted moisturizer and powder to sparkly lip gloss, bold lipstick, and more, the Lip Bar has it all. And the best part is that everything is vegan and cruelty-free. You can find the brand’s product line at TheLipBar.com, Target, and Walmart.
8. Savor Beauty
Inspired by founder Angela Jia Kim’s mother, Savor Beauty is a clean beauty brand with roots in natural Korean self-care rituals. Each one of the brand’s products is handmade in small batches in New York and formulated with cruelty-free and certified organic ingredients. You can find Savor Beauty skin care products at SavorBeauty.com, Verishop, and in-store at Savor Spas in New York.
This clean beauty brand is named after the Queen of the Amazigh (“free people”), one of the most powerful warriors in Northern Africa. Dehiya (de-hee-yuh) skin care products are cruelty-free, made with fully natural and organic ingredients, and free of chemicals, artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates, fillers, mineral oil, and petroleum. Not to mention, all of the Dehiya’s argan oil is ethically sourced from Morocco's argan forest and hand-extracted by a local Amazigh women's co-op outside of Marrakech. You can shop the brand’s products at DehiyaBeauty.com, Madewell, Bloomingdales, and Urban Outfitters.
10. Tower 28
Tower 28’s motto is “good clean fun” for a reason. The makeup and skin care brand only uses ultra-sensitive ingredients, meaning its products are made with non-toxic, non-irritating, good-for-you ingredients that you can actually pronounce, and all ingredients comply with the EU’s extensive cosmetics regulations (far stricter than in the U.S.). Alongside the brand’s fun and lighthearted packaging, none of Tower 28’s beauty products include fillers, fragrances, or animal byproducts. Find Tower 28 products on Tower28Beauty.com, Sephora, and Revolve.
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