I started transitioning to ethical skincare brands last year. Some, I’ve been using for 2-3 years without even knowing they were cruelty free, which made me super happy because I didn’t have to give up on products I loved. I still have some work to do in the makeup department, but when it comes to skincare, I’m proud to announce that I’m exclusively using only ethical skincare brands.
Because of my job, I get to try so many amazing (and not so amazing) brands for free and I understand not everyone gets to do that. This is why I decided to share this detailed post. These are the brands I’m loving right now.
I’m only sharing the products I’ve used, because it’s impossible for me to try them all and recommend them all. Just know that these are all ethical skincare brands and you can buy any of their products depending on your routine, skin type, budget and needs on their respective websites, which I’m sharing below.
Favorite ethical skincare brands
The first brand I want to mention is Lexli. I never heard of this brand until last September when they reached out and offered to send products for me to try. All of their products use a base of pharmaceutical-grade aloe vera – the same high grade that is used on surgical skin flaps to calm inflammation and encourage healing. Out of the products they sent, I consistently used these 3, finished them all and I’m about to order more:
- Moisture Intensifying Serum: I applied this after I cleanse my face and before my moisturizer. It’s so rich and hydrating, but at the same time it absorbs super fast. One of my favorite products for sure and I think it’s great for Winter.
- Rejuvenating and firming Eye Cream: I’m a sucker for a good eye cream! I’ve been taking good care of my under-eye area since my early twenties and I think it has paid off. I cannot recommend this one enough!
- Night Moisturizer: Loved this rich moisturizer! It’s so hydrating and has been amazing all Winter (which, mind you, it started in October in Chicago!).
If you sign up for Lexli’s newsletter on their website, you’ll get 20% off your first order. They also have a really nice reward program and expert assistance to help you figure out what type of products your skin needs. Their products are available online and they are super affordable too. These 3 products lasted me about 10 weeks. I still have this exfoliant at home that I’ve only used a couple of times and I really liked it. I intend to finish it once I run out of a couple other ones I have. I’m excited to try it because it has amazing reviews! I also have this Acne Clarifying lotion, that I haven’t had to used because it’s for acne, and ever since doing micro needling I haven’t had many breakouts, but I’ll keep you posted if I need to use it in the future.
I’ve been using this brand on and off for the past 2 years. I don’t know how, but I started receiving these products out of nowhere and that’s pretty much how I started trying them. I think they do a great job at balancing clean, clinically proved products that actually work really well. Right now these are the ones I’m using:
- Hand repair cream: I keep this hand lotion in my night stand and apply it every night on my hands and feet before bed time. I’ve had mine for a little while now and that’s why the package is different, but it’s the same great product.
- Eye cream: I’ve used this eye cream twice already. It’s $54 and it lasts about two and a half months (even a little bit more maybe). It’s one of the best eye creams I’ve ever used!
- Foaming Oil Cleanser: I keep this cleanser in the shower and use it mostly in the mornings when I shower after the gym. I have another cleanser that I use when I’m wearing heavy makeup (more on that below), but I still end up using this one every day. It’s kind of a creamy oil that feels very hydrating and that’s why I really like it.
Skinfix’s products are a little bit more expensive than Lexli’s, but still affordable and some of them are pretty big, so they last longer. It ends up being the same I think. I can’t recommend this brand enough! If you want to learn more, feel free to browse their website here. I have some of their other products to try at home, so I’ll keep you guys posted when I do. Maybe I’ll just add them to this blog post! Stay tuned :)
I’ve been using these products on and off for the past 3 years! I started using them before I knew they were cruelty free! I’ve done giveaways to their products a couple of times and I’ve always gotten great feedback. This brand is truly amazing. These are the products I’ve used:
- Hydrophilic cleansing oil & Phytoactive Hydro Base: These 2 together are pure magic. HY-OL is step 1 of a 2-step deep action cleanser. I use these two when I have makeup on. First I use this towel with just water, then I apply these 2; the oil followed by the Hydro-Base. Right now I’m dying because I forgot to pack them from Florida and I kind of miss them, but I’m doing ok because I’ve been using the one from Skinfix, so all it’s good!
- Special care: Ampoules. I couldn’t not mention these! Babor makes these amazing serum concentrates and I use them occasionally when my skin needs a little extra boost. I think they are great to use every once in a while to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. They have different ones for different needs though… Totally worth checking out! Browse them here and figure out which one works best for you.
- Vitamin ACE Body Cream & Daily Hand Cream: I have never used a nice body lotion before, even though I have super dry skin, and even though it’s a splurge, I am never going back! I don’t apply body lotion every day because I feel like your skin becomes too dependent on it and since this one is so hydrating, it works perfectly for me. I only use it 3 times a week. My skin looks and feels very hydrated and it’s so smooth. I saw results since day 1 (and I rarely say this). I honestly love it so much! The hand lotion, I keep it in my handbag and apply it daily and I love the texture because it’s not sticky and it smells so good! Can’t wait to try more products from their SPA line.
I used this brand a couple of years ago for the first time and I fell in love with their Vitamin C serum. Sorry in advance for the photo, but it’s the only product I have left and I didn’t want to buy more because I have a ton of other stuff and it seemed like a waste. Anyways, this vitamin C serum is AMAZING!!! This is my third bottle and I plan to keep using it. Vitamin C is so important and vital to keep those annoying little wrinkles away! It costs $83 but I promise, it’s worth every cent!
They are one of the best (and I think less known) ethical skincare brands. These are the products I’ve used from EmerginC:
- Vitamin C Serum (pictured below): As I already mentioned, this is the best serum I’ve ever used! It’s only for daytime use, which is nice because it lasts longer ;)
- Triple threat cream: I absolutely loved this cream. It’s only for nighttime use, and they only recommend to use it periodically, not permanently, so I just used it once (for 8 weeks). The results were amazing! It really improved my skin tone and texture.
I got to try this brand because a friend gave this set to me as a birthday present and I loved it right away. It’s super affordable which I love. This set is called ‘The No-brainer’ and it’s only $29. It’s great if you are experiencing breakouts. I complement with other products because I like to make sure I’m targeting fine lines as well, but if you are younger than me (in your 20’s) this is a great budget friendly option.
Even though right now I’m only using their lip balms (And I have for years!), I want to recommend Burt Bee’s as part of my ethical skincare brands, because they are also a great option if you are on a tight budget. These are the products I’ve used in the past:
- Lip Shimmers & Tinted Lip Balms: Since a lot of the products that go on our lips get ingested, it’s very important to use the ones that have natural and safe ingredients. Some can contain harmful ingredients that may have health risks. Burt Bee’s is my favorite brand because their ingredients are clean and simple. These tinted lip balms are perfect because they add a pop of color while protecting and hydrating your lips.
- Renewal Firming Moisturizing Cream & Renewal Refining Cleanser: When I first moved to Chicago, these were the 2 products I used for a long time. They worked just fine for all the seasons. This brand really is a great option if you are on a budget. They don’t use any harmful ingredients and you’ll still witness great results.
And last but not least… For makeup brushes: Ecotools
I’ve always used Ecotools and full disclousure I have worked with them for the past 3 years, but this post is not sponsored. I just honestly love them so much. They are vegan, cruelty free and have very high quality, every-day brushes at very reasonable prices. They are by far on top of my list of ethical skincare brands for makeup brushes. These are a very important part of your skincare routine.
Ecotools has really cool sets, brushes, blenders and products to keep your brushes clean. Feel free to browse their website and learn more about what they have. If you don’t believe me, just read the thousands of positive reviews on their site about each one of their products. I’m working on a blog post on how to start a basic brush collection, so stay tuned for that.
Extra tips when skincare shopping:
- When shopping for skincare products, take advantage of the tools that most brands have on their sites. In most cases you can talk/chat to an expert about your skin concerns and they can recommend what’s best for you. Also, read the description of each product; brands are great at explaining what problems each product targets. And last but not least, check the size of the products. Sometimes products seem more expensive, when it reality they are only charging more because of the product’s size. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a huge budget. As you can see, there are so many options available that are clean, safe and affordable! Yes, some of the more expensive products target different concerns, but it’s important that you start taking care of your skin since your early 20’s. That’s what’s going to make the biggest difference in the long term.
- Vitamins, good food and daily use of sunscreen also play a big role. I shared a post called ‘Best vitamins for women in 20s and 30s’ you should definitely check out. Remember that good skin comes from within. Don’t expect to see major results if you are not giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to thrive. Also, don’t forget to remove your makeup every night ;)
Anyways, my skincare routine does change fairly often because it is my job to try new brands and products all the time and share my thoughts and recommendations. It will be interesting for me to see which products I take on my trip around the world! We are leaving for 2 years and I have limited space in my suitcase, so I need to be smart with what I pack. I have a general idea of what I want to bring, but I still need to figure it out… It gives me anxiety just to think about it because I use so many products and I know I have to simplify my daily routine… We’ll see!
Any questions? Leave them in the comments below! I always reply directly to your email to make sure you see my reply.
Thanks so much for stopping by and for being so awesome!! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week :)