Greener Beauty Products


Over a year ago, Laura and I recorded an episode of the podcast about green beauty and skincare products. At the time I was doing pretty good in the shower department, using Live Clean shampoo and conditioner and Dr. Bronner’s as body wash. I still love both products but just haven’t been able to find them in Korea.

Unfortunately back then I wasn’t doing so great in the makeup and skincare department, and I still wasn’t until a couple months ago. I found it harder to make switches with my makeup, mostly because I buy new makeup so rarely and because I didn’t know where to start. It seemed like all drugstore makeup was icky and full of chemicals and that all potentially eco- and body-friendly makeup was expensive and hard to find. Poor excuses, I know, but they still managed to hold me back.

When I moved to Korea and started using iHerb, I realized that in addition to great pantry staples, I could also use the website to buy healthy beauty products at drugstore prices. It had always bugged me that I wasn’t avoiding putting certain toxins onto my face and body, but I just hadn’t made the jump. Happily, I now have and I don’t see any reason why I’d go back.


If you’re considering transitioning to a greener skincare or beauty routine, make it just that: a transition. You don’t have to overhaul your entire collection of products overnight – you can start small. The next time you run out of something, try replacing it with something greener! In our blog post, we linked to the above graphic as seen on Elise’s blog. It’s such a great resource for these kinds of changes because it makes it simple to check labels for the worst toxins when you’re looking for new products. If it doesn’t have one of those bad guys listed on the package, you’re probably safe.

We also linked to EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database, which rates products based on their safety in a number of categories. I’ve since learned that the database uses an imperfect rating system with many inconsistencies (read more here and here) but nonetheless I think it can be worth a check as well before you make a new purchase, as long as you take the information with a grain of salt.

And of course you needn’t go to iHerb to get these products. A lot of companies are aware that customers are starting to want products free from parabens and SLS, so more than ever you will probably be able to find great options at the drugstore!


I’m happy to say that I’ve switched out lots of my beauty products and now most of the things I use on a daily basis are free from the most harmful toxins, but they still work wonderfully! I’m still currently in the market for a greener concealer and liquid eyeliner.

Physician’s Formula Super BB Cream: I’d fallen for BB creams last year because I loved the all-in-one nature of them, but had been using a not-so-green one. I recently switched to this one and I’m pretty satisfied overall! It’s not a very heavy coverage but it does what it’s supposed to and it’s a good green option.

Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder: I’d never really used powder before, but I’m liking this one. For days that I don’t feel like using the BB cream, this gives me a (very) light coverage option. I’ve never been one for foundations, but I like that this makes me look just a little more polished.

E.L.F. Cosmetics Mellow Mauve Blush: This blush does unfortunately contain one toxin, talc, but it’s very cheap and works pretty well. I would probably choose another colour next time because this one doesn’t show up very well on my face.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara: I love this stuff. It works exactly like a mascara should, but it’s free of all those yucky chemicals. This is a really great product.

Sierra Bees Organic Mint Burst Lip Balm, Alba Botanical Terra Tints, LUSH Santa Baby Lip Tint: I don’t often use lip balm, but I keep the first two in my bag and I’ll use those if my lips are feeling chapped. The LUSH tint I got as a Christmas gift -it’s very pigmented and good to use as a lipstick.



As it stands now my shower products aren’t overly green, but my next purchases will be. I’m using Tresemmé shampoo and conditioner and a Korean brand of lavender body wash. I use Johnson’s Baby Bedtime lotion and my own homemade, completely natural deodorant. Depending on the day I wash my face either just with water or with a Korean brand face wash. I’m planning to start washing my face with oil (learn more about that here) soon.

Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel toner: I just started using toner for the first time about a month ago and haven’t noticed any real changes in my skin. But it helps me get off all my makeup and the smell is nice, and it makes me feel like my face is very clean after I use it. I’ve been using it with these organic cotton rounds.

Queen Helene Mint Julep mask: I didn’t realize this had methylparaben in it, so I probably won’t be buying it again. I’ve also never used a mask in my life, but this product had gotten such good reviews and is very cheap so I gave it a try. Overall I don’t think it did much for me, but I’ll keep doing the treatment every once in a while.


I’m planning to keep exploring greener options and incorporating the good ones into my daily routines. It’s fun, and it’s good for me and my body!

Do you make an effort to use greener beauty and skincare products? Do you have any tips for choosing them or specific products to recommend? I’d love to hear which ones you like in the comments.

Note: while this post contains a couple of affiliate links, mostly I linked to the iHerb product listings (which I am not currently an affiliate for) so that you can find out more information about the products.

2 thoughts on “Greener Beauty Products”

  1. I’m on a mission to green up all of our household and beauty products. I also really care about products that have no testing on animals. I would think “green” products would tend to be this way, do any of these products have “cruelty-free” or “no animal testing” certification? Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. stephaniepellett

      Hey Kelsey, thanks for your comment. Awesome question! The EWG Skin Deep database I mentioned often takes animal testing into account when they make their ratings, and you can also check out PETA’s cruelty-free companies list ( As for the products I mentioned in my post: E.L.F. Cosmetics, Physician’s Formula, Honeybee Gardens, Alba Botanica, LUSH, and Queen Helene are all cruelty-free and don’t test on animals. I unfortunately couldn’t find information on Tresemmé, Sierra Bees or Thayer’s. Hope that helps! Good luck with your greening. :)

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