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Is your favorite beauty brand guilty of 'greenwashing?' Here's how to find out

Four out of five consumers are skeptical about beauty brands' sustainability claims: are you one of them?

Greenwashing beauty brands

Clean beauty. We've heard about it, we want it … but what does it actually mean?

Turns out: not really much of anything. Shopping for eco-friendly and clean beauty products can be tricky because the labels don't always have a specific meaning (though the FDA does have some guidelines.) 

Luckily, there are some pretty simple ways to make sure your favorite brand isn't greenwashing or just using eco-friendly buzzwords to sell products.

Most importantly: ignore those buzzwords! Instead of trusting "eco-friendly," look for organic, ethically-sourced ingredients and certified compostable or recyclable packaging. 

Instead of relying on the company's definition of "clean beauty," check the product's credentials from organizations outside the brand. Official third-party certifications (Leaping Bunny, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, etc.) can be a great way to verify that the brands you love are taking their claims seriously.

We know it can feel a little daunting to get started. Lucky for you, we've rounded up some of our team's favorite clean beauty brands that aren't trying to greenwash their claims.

The Cool Down may receive a commission on purchases made through links on this page at no cost to you. Price and availability are subject to change. Learn more about our Product Mission here.


Araza Vitamin Boost Hydrating Face Mist with Lemongrass

Why It's Cool
Feeling dry? This vitamin boost face mist can help hydrate during skin-chapping months of winter. With 95% organic ingredients — meticulous sourcing, no greenwashing! — this aloe-based juice balances, soothes, and moisturizes.


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Face Mist with Lemongrass

Elate Cosmetics Refresh Organic Liquid Foundation

Why It's Cool
Why It's Cool: ​​Made from natural, fair-trade ingredients, this vegan, cruelty-free liquid foundation is lightweight and hydrating. You'll feel glowy all day with one of their colors that cater to a variety of skin tones.


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Organic Liquid Foundation

Eminence Organic Skin Care Eight Greens Phyto Masque

Why It's Cool
Why It's Cool: A fan favorite for acne-prone skin, this hydrating mask has a mix of organic and cruelty-free ingredients that help normalize oily skin and the appearance of breakouts. Eminence is a Certified B Corp that also plants a tree for every product sold.


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Organic Skin Care Eight Greens Phyto Masque

Izzy Zero Waste Mascara

Why It's Cool
Why It's Cool: Cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and zero waste — Izzy really comes through with certifications for their volumizing mascara. Best of all, each shipment comes with a way to return your old tube for reuse once you've finished.


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Izzy Zero Waste Mascara

Axiology Vegan Multi-Use Balmie

Why It's Cool
Why It's Cool: Vegan, plastic-free, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free, Axiology's balmies are an eco-friendly makeup bag's best friend. They're made with just nine ingredients so you know exactly what you're putting on your lips … and eyes … and cheeks!


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Vegan Multi-Use Balmie

Pangea Organics De-Stress Foaming Cleanser

Why It's Cool
Why It's Cool: Gently cleanse your face from dirt, oil, and the stress of your day with Pangea Organics' foaming cleanser. Keen to make your skincare routine plastic-free? This gentle cleanser comes in an aluminum tube or glass bottle.


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Pangea Organics De-Stress Foaming Cleanser

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