Being a college student, I understand what it is like trying to keep up with a normal skin care regime while on a budget. Everyone deserves effective products with the least amount of chemicals and harmful ingredients, but the reality is, skin care can be expensive. Through their use of organic and natural ingredients and equally beneficial ethical practices, these natural skincare brands aim to redefine the beauty industry at an affordable price.
1. St. Ives
Product of Choice: St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub, $3.97
St. Ives uses 100% natural moisturizers, exfoliants and extracts in their dermatologist-tested skin care, incorporating natural ingredients such as apricot kernels, ground pumice, walnut shells, and cornmeal as an alternative exfoliant to plastic microbeads; eliminating the contribution to microplastic pollution in oceans.
Natural ingredients | Cruelty free | Hypoallergenic | Paraben-free |
2. Mad Hippie
Product of choice: Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser, $15.99
In addition to raising awareness and support for social causes & the environment, Mad Hippie features products of natural origins: opting for antioxidants, peptides and alpha hydroxy acids instead of chemical additives. The brand supports non-profit organizations, donating $1 of every web sale to Save the Elephants and the Whole Planet Foundation, which aims to empower female entrepreneurs globally.
Cruelty-free | Made in USA | Web Sale Donations | Eco-Friendly Packaging | Outreach Programs | Vegan | GMO-Free | Non-comedogenic |
3. Cleen beauty
Product of choice: Cleen beauty Acai Face Scrub, $6.97
Cleen beauty uses high quality, cruelty-free and vegan products with equally clean ingredients formulated without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances & dyes, SLS/SLES, and mineral oil. Cleen beauty supports the Look Good Feel Better, an organization that helps people with cancer navigate appearance-related side effects of treatment.
Made in USA | Cruelty-free | Gluten free | Natural ingredients | Associated with Look Good Feel Better Organization
Product of choice: Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Facial Gel Wash, $6.99
Since their inception, Simple skincare is based around aiding sensitive skin, excluding harsh chemicals, color, fragrance, parabens, alcohol, animal derived ingredients and MIT. All products are hypoallergenic, pH-balanced, non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested. In addition to being skin-friendly, Simple aims to be equally environmentally friendly, 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
No fragrance | Hypoallergenic | Cruelty-free | Vegan products | Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan | Recyclable/Reusable/Compostable by 2025
Product of choice: Alaffia Coconut Reishi Day Cream, $18.99
Alaffia boasts a strong commitment to the use of natural and indigenous ingredients within Africa. Their mission: to advance gender equality and reduce poverty in West Africa through fair trade of resources. The brand’s social enterprise model aims to empower communities and protect the environment through their sustainable and transparent packaging.
MADE SAFE certification | Non-GMO | Fair Trade | Alaffia Foundation | Indigenous Ingredients | Sustainable & Transparent Packaging | Ethical |
Product of choice: Nourish Organic Renewing & Hydrating Eye Treatment, $10.99
In addition to being the first company in the U.S. to develop USDA certified organic beauty products, Nourish Organic is a company committed to sustainable practices; recycling and repurposing materials, conserving energy and reducing their carbon footprint. Their vegetarian and vegan products, made with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and plant extracts are sourced from organic farmers.
Fair Trade Organic Shea Butter, Ghana | Organic |BPA-Free Bottles | No artificial fragrances or preservatives | Non-toxic, paraben- & sulfate-free | Made in USA |Cruelty-free
7. DERMA E
Product of choice: DERMA E Illuminating Rosehip & Cranberry Face Oil, $16.50
DERMA E delivers products with high ethical standards, 100% vegan, cruelty-free formulas that do not contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors, gluten, soy or GMOs. The packaging components are recyclable and offset 100% of conventional electricity use with wind energy certificates. DERMA E supports a variety of global and environmental organizations such as: Paraguay Project, Vitamin Angels, World Wildlife Fund, Health the Bay and Special Olympics.
Vegan | Cruelty free | Recyclable Packaging | Natural & organic ingredients | Supports environmental & global organizations | Wind energy certificates | Reef Safe Sunscreen
Product of choice: Thayers Alcohol-free Unscented Witch Hazel Toner, $10.99
Thayers has provided customers with natural remedies for over 170 years! Their staple ingredient: Witch Hazel, is Certified Organic and sourced from a family farm in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Made the old fashioned way, Thayer’s products contain 95% more tannins, a naturally occurring substance found in the bark and skin of some plants that is used to combat acne. In addition, Thayers formulations are entirely free of all artificial fragrances, flavors, sweeteners, colors and dyes.
Cruelty-free | Recycled & renewable packaging | Certified Organic | Vegan | Gluten free |
Product of choice: Humphreys Witch Hazel Astringent, $4.88
Humphreys produces all-natural, homeopathic astringent cleansers from natural extracts of the Witch Hazel plant. The brand uses only traditional and gentle ingredients, avoiding the potential of stripping the skin of essential moisture.
Natural | Homeopathic Extracts | Gentle formula |Cruelty-free |
10. Burts Bees
Product of choice: Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner, $9.99
Originally known for their beeswax candles and lip balm, Burt’s Bees has maintained it’s commitment to supporting communities and the environment through responsible sourcing and recyclable packaging. The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Rural Advancement Foundation International, and Habitat For Humanity are just a few of the many like-minded organizations that the brand is partnered with.
Recyclable packaging | Cruelty-free | Responsible sourcing | Natural | Chemical-free | CarbonNeutral Certified | Burt’s Bees Foundation |
11. iQ Natural
Product of choice: Organic Pumpkin Enzyme Facial Peel Mask, $17.00
iQ Natural is a company focused on developing products with Certified Organic, High Concentration Active-Naturals and Holistic Plant Based Ingredients at an affordable price. By sourcing ingredients from impoverished communities, iQ Natural ensures financial support to the community’s economy, while producing small batch products to ensure consistent quality.
Ethically sourced | Chemical free | Cruelty-free | Gluten free | Certified Organic | Charity volunteering
Product of choice: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Facial Treatment, $7.99
The use of clay in skin care dates back to the Egyptians, German and Roman spas some 4,000 years ago. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay continues this tradition, incorporating bentonite clay sourced from Death Valley, California. The extractive properties cleanse pores of impurities when combined with equal parts water and apple cider vinegar.
100% Pure Calcium Bentonite Clay | Cruelty-free | Fragrance-free | Natural Ingredient |