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The Green Glow Up: Our Top Clean Beauty Brands
Blog / Health & Beauty

The Green Glow Up: Our Top Clean Beauty Brands

It looks like the clean beauty trend is here to stay! We look at the brands improving the standards for clean beauty.
We all know the beauty space loves a trend, from cut creases to soap brows, we have seen it all and had some…regrettable beauty moments (I’m looking at you foundation lips👀). But, when it comes to clean beauty, it looks this buzzword is here to stay.

More recently there has been a surge in demand for clean, ethical beauty products as consumers become more aware and seek out brands that use non-toxic ingredients. This trend has caused a flurry of new clean beauty brands to emerge, offering environmentally friendly & effective formulas.

Research from Mintel found that 41% of UK consumers said they hold natural skincare ingredients as an important factor in decision making when searching for beauty products, the study also found over 33% of beauty shoppers are currently in market for clean cosmetics!

So, What Is Clean Beauty?

The clean beauty movement promises a ‘no nasties’ approach to product manufacturing, with most products only using plant powered, non-toxic ingredients in their formulas, meaning you won’t find parabens, sulphates or any other shamefuls buried in the ingredient list.

Many clean beauty brands are committed to positively impacting the environment by cutting their carbon footprint, using recycled materials in their packaging, and ethically sourcing their ingredients. All these factors produce skin loving products that give the planet a little TLC too. 🌍

All sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But there is one issue, regulation. Because the concept of clean beauty is so new and has grown so rapidly there is not yet a specific industry standard used to govern what products can be classed as clean, leaving this open to interpretation by brands.

The Brands Setting the Bar High

So, who are the beauty brands that are clean inside and out? In our Future of Beauty Sustainability report we looked at how consumers feel about sustainability and the brands who are making a difference in the beauty game. Here’s some of our faves:

REN Skincare


This range was born with sensitive skin in mind which led to the use of natural ingredients that are kind to the skin and the planet. But it doesn’t stop there, the REN website lists a number of impressive statistics on how they have been doing their bit for the planet including:
  •  repurposing over 85 tons of post-consumer plastic
  •  removing over 2.4 tons of plastic from the ocean
  •  saving over 900 kilos of plastic through increased use of aluminium.

REN also claim that they “were the first premium skincare brand to become Zero Waste” after making their pledge back in 2018 and have also partnered with Verdn to support them on their ongoing sustainable journey.


Drunk Elephant


The viral brand that’s very popular with the TikTok girlies, has gained a loyal following for its clean & effective skincare. Drunk Elephant products only use ingredients which directly benefit the skin and are all free from essential oils, silicones & drying alcohols, which they claim are part of the ‘suspicious six’, a list of ingredients they promise you won’t find in their products. Not to forget the brand has made a commitment to sustainability and makes all their packaging from recycled materials - not that you needed anymore excuses to go and try their products! 

In an interview with Grazia Drunk Elephant founder, Tiffany Masterson used Tequila to describe her approach to skincare formulations, “I have a tequila analogy. I always thought I couldn’t drink it, that it made me violently ill. But I came to realise it was the sugar and junk in a bad margarita that was making me sick. If I drink straight tequila, that’s good quality, I’m fine! I think of skincare in the same way”.




With a ‘never list’ that’s over 2,800 ingredients long, the only certified B Corp in our Top 3 brands, Beautycounter, are committed to setting higher standards for clean beauty. They aren’t just in it for the trend, they have been standing up for sustainability since 2011 when they launched and have committed to reach net-zero greenhouse gasses by no later than 2050. 

Gregg Renfrew CEO of Beautycounter said on the brand, “We set out to change the market because it needed to be changed, so the extent to which others are following suit and joining us in this effort is great. We still need more brands focusing on the safety of ingredients, and with integrity and transparency, but there’s lots of room for everyone to play in the sandbox”.
Clean beauty brands are owning the Health & Beauty space currently, providing the ever-growing aware consumers with safer, more environmentally friendly products that serve a positive purpose, without compromising on quality. It seems to me that clean beauty is more than just a trend and this new era of shoppers are simply holding brands more accountable for the ingredients & processes they use, expecting them to do better, and in the words of Lizzo, it’s “About Damn Time”.


For more info on clean beauty or a deeper dive into your beauty consumer behaviour, get in touch today at

Posted 11 July 2023 by Paige Byrne