When it comes to foundation for your face, whether its the base for the rest of your makeup or all you’re wearing that day, you want to make sure it’s eco-friendly and the right one for your skin type. Check out our list of the best eco-friendly foundations for all skin types!
As we grow and age, our skin changes. They don’t call it baby soft skin for nothing. We start off new and dewy and each day, our skin is subject to various environmental situations and conditions.
You probably already know but our skin is our body’s largest organ. And, since our face is covered by, well, our skin, what we put on it is just as important as what we put in it. Our facial skin is more delicate than say the skin on your knees or thigh, and it needs to be taken care of.
Yes, of course…there are those who “Just splash a bit every day and my skin is great!” If honest? Most of us are jealous of those lucky ladies because maintaining skin is hard! Our skin is made up of various lipids, proteins, minerals, chemicals and of course, water. Did you know that your body’s skin weight is about six pounds? Yes, give or take, and that often varies by hydrated we are. The better hydrated we are, the more plump and protective our skin is.
And that’s the bottom line when it comes to skin. Skin’s main job is to protect us from germs and infections. About every 27 days, our skin regenerates itself to be able to do this job well, and we can help fight the battles by taking care of ourselves.
Not to mention, who doesn’t feel better when their skin looks happy and healthy?
Makeup Needs To Be Thought Of As Skincare
Interestingly, most of us don’t even think of what we put on our faces as ‘skin’ care. Yes, we HOPE that all of you know the importance of sunscreen when it comes to protecting your body from skin cancer, but even more, we hope you understand and know the importance of the type of sunscreen you use on your body and face. Chemical barrier sunscreens are toxic, and you really need to use physical barriers like zinc or titanium dioxide. Many foundations now include sunscreen in their formulations, and they’re not that thick white stuff you’re envisioning on your nose!
You’ve also probably taken care to investigate the types of toothpaste you use, the type of deodorant you slather on and the type of shampoo and conditioner you put on your hair.
But foundation, for whatever reason, seems to be one of the last things to hit the natural and organic road. Too often, it takes a million years just to find the right shade for your skin, and when you do? Brand (and shade) loyalty often reigns supreme.
Sometimes mamas are so in love with their foundation’s familiarity, they stay with it because they feel like concessions they’re making elsewhere are enough to compensate for the damage to their skin they incur when they use chemical foundations. Mamas! It doesn’t have to be this way! More and more foundations are turning to clean and green formulations using safe ingredients, and in tons of great shades sure to match, too.
What’s The Switch All About?
So what exactly is it about foundations you need to be careful of? Well, if you’re thinking of makeup as skincare, as you should, then you’ll want to avoid the same things. You don’t want to expose your skin to toxic and irritating chemicals. Some ingredients like parabens and phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Many have fragrances (synthetic chemicals) and mineral oil (Ew. Don’t be fooled by the word mineral!)
Additionally, many of the most common foundations you’ll find in just about any beauty section (but a natural or organic one) have ingredients like polyethylene glycol, otherwise known as PEGs. PEGs are petroleum-based compounds that could potentially be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide. Aside from being a pain to say (and spell), both are known carcinogens.
Again, ew. On your face, no less.
More, don’t you want to use products that actually do something for your skin, instead of take something away? Many clean and green foundations have ingredients that not only lay a great base for makeup, but help protect and nourish your skin as well. More makeup than ever uses butters and oils and natural ingredients that work in harmony with our skin.
Organic Vs. Natural: Are They The Best Eco-Friendly Foundations?
In a few words? Yes, they probably are. Companies that are committed to making the best eco-friendly foundations are more likely to be ‘natural’ or organic because of the processes and belief systems behind the products.
Just like in life, ‘natural products’ are often greenwashed, and natural doesn’t always mean it’s good for you. Lead is natural; lead is NOT what you want in your foundation (or anything else, for that matter).
Typically, organic foundations are ones that come from companies that are eco-friendly and socially conscious. They’re most likely vegan and cruelty-free, and made with processes that are better for the planet. Some natural foundations fall into those categories as well, and just don’t have the ‘organic’ certification. We’re always hesitant to say something organic is always better because that’s not always the case. I would much rather buy from my local farmer who practices with organic farming methods but just didn’t go through the harrowing process to certify than to buy the same organic produce from a country I don’t trust their processes.
So the bottom line when it comes to only organic or natural foundations is what we always say–be a researcher, read your labels, know what to avoid, and stick with companies you know you can trust. And never, ever be worried about researching each and every ingredient!
So Why Doesn’t Everyone Look For The Best Eco-Friendly Foundations?
There’s a misnomer about natural, organic, and eco-friendly products that they just don’t ‘work’ as well. That couldn’t be more true. The better natural and organic products hold up well against their chemically-laden counterparts with regard to coverage and lasting ability. Organic and the best natural foundations use high-quality ingredients that focus on moisturizing and freshening your face with plant-based ingredients and pigments.
They do so without overwhelming scents and weight.
The issue may be in the cost. But when you think about what most people spend at the makeup counter at their local department store? You’re really not saving much less. In fact, some of the ‘better’ department store brands will charge even MORE for their ‘clean’ and green lines.
And, if the last decade of exponential growth in organic and natural products has shown us anything, it’s that our dollars do matter. The more we buy natural and organic products instead of their chemical cousins? The more manufacturers will produce products that work, are safe and are affordable.
Foundation Vs. BB Cream Vs. CC Cream VS. Tinted Moisturizer
Wow. Just typing all that out exhausts us, so we understand how shopping for the best natural foundations and being thrown in a sea of letters and creams and tints can leave you overwhelmed.
So, what IS the difference? Is there really even one?
Yes, there’s a difference. Are we going to tattle if you call a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer your ‘foundation’ though? No. No we are not. Because really, when it comes down to it, it’s just about what you want.
BB Creams give coverage and skin-care combined. Typically containing sunscreen and SPF protection, as well as antioxidants, a BB Cream is usually lighter than a foundation is but still a bit heavier than a tinted moisturizer. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have full sun protection with SPF protection though, and make sure it’s strong enough and well enough applied.
A tinted moisturizer is typically your lightest coverage for a foundation. It’s moisturizer, with a tad of tint, and it’s usually a sheer layer. Often worn for a base alone by women who don’t typically wear makeup but want a little more complexion smoothing, there are lots of tinted moisturizers that also nourish your skin.
A CC Cream is more like a foundation in that it’s kind of like a BB Cream but designed to have color correction. They’re typically used to even red or sallow skin but it’s still not as thick and heavy as a foundation. Many think of a CC Cream as the new and improved BB Cream, and may often be used more. Honestly, many feel they’re interchangeable
Foundation is the creamiest and thickest of the face bases. Foundations typically come in every shade you can imagine and they’re great if you have tough-to-match skin color (let’s be real–many of us do!). Foundations are meant to be nearly customizable to match and you can even mix and match to get your perfect shade, whereas with BB/CC Creams, there’s not too much color tint option for mixing.
Some consider BB and CC Creams like a good all-in-one shampoo and conditioner. They do a good job of several things and coverage and matching are decent. But foundations–foundations are more customizable and often put over a tinted moisturizer or BB Cream as the foundation over a primer.
The bottom line for a foundation is that it will give you the most coverage and most match ability of any base for makeup, and because it gives so much coverage you could wear it alone. That said, more natural and organic foundations are not much more than tinted moisturizers, so remember that if you’re looking for lighter coverage.
Here are some of our forum mamas’ best eco-friendly foundations picks!
Juice Beauty is known for their plant-derived Phyto-Pigment ingredients. Their skin-perfecting foundation serum is a full-coverage formula that gives a smooth, glowy appearance. It’s formulated without silicones and is full of hydrating coconut alkanes and anti-oxidants. Juice is one of the brands that mamas in our forum tell us they wear all the time just as a base and without any makeup for a natural, flawless finish. Rich in Vitamin C & E, it really doesn’t feel heavy but still gives wonderful coverage for base.
Juice has been cleaning up the beauty scene since 2005, and is vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable, Certified Organic beauty that is also wellness for your skin.
HoneyBee Gardens is a woman-owned natural products company founded in 1995. They’ve been vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free before it was in style, and their products are really reasonably priced. Their Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation is free of all the ick and evens out your skin tone with soothing vitamin E and gentle botanicals. It can be worn on bare skin for a radiant finish to help your skin shine, and their compact is eco-friendly.
Founded to revolutionize clean beauty and bring new, true meaning to the word ‘crunchy,’ Crunchi is a super popular woman-owned company that believes makeup and skincare are synonymous. They’re vegan, cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified and they have a ton of colors of foundations. Known for being able to match lots of different skin tones and colors, Crunchi works to propel a movement that makes women become aware of potentially harmful ingredients in their daily cosmetics, and to offer safe and effective alternatives. Crunchi believes that educated consumers are powerful consumers, and they want to ensure women are conscious and smart about the ingredients in their makeup.
RMS is well known for being a clean and eco-friendly company. Their ‘UnCover’ Cover-Up Cream foundation is one you can use a little or a lot of, and not have to worry about cakiness like some other foundations. The ingredients are clean, organic and toxin-free and we love their commitment to the earth. The foundations come in recycled glass pots and boxes they package with are made from 80% post-consumer recycled fiber. They manufacture using 100% wind power. All their products are cruelty-free, soy-free and gluten-free.
Again, we can’t stress how much we love people who do better when they know better. That’s what happened with Kjaer Weis. Weis was a traditional makeup artist who worked in big fashion (Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire) but she kept finding the products she was using were irritating to so many of the women she was working with. Inspired to find better and do better, she created her own organic and eco-friendly company.
We love that her compacts accept refillable foundations that are made in Italy, and Certified Natural or Certified Organic by Italy’s certifying board. They’re not vegan because they do use beeswax, but man do they work well! She knew what she wanted a makeup to be, went out and made it and did so in an environmentally friendly way that is good to your skin too. The company works to be as close to zero-waste as they can and we’re all in!
Okay, so the name intrigued us, but what we really love is parent company Fifth & Skin’s commitment to not only making clean products, but sharing clean products and information about the importance with the world. Founded after too many family members were lost to cancer, Fith & Skin is another company that believes when you know better, you do better.
Their Better’n UR Skin foundation is 90% Certified Organic, vegan, cruelty- and gluten-free and infused with real vanilla for a truly delicious application each time. You can build your coverage with their air pump technology and it dries to a powder-like finish so it’s really great for oily skins. There are lots of shades to choose from too. It offers natural sun protection and is made in the United States with high-quality ingredients. Plus we love that a portion of every sale goes to the North Shore Animal League’s No-Kill Shelter to help save every dog and cat they can.
Founder Sarah Biggers was a makeup artist who went through a total life-change after an illness no one could figure out and which left her frustrated and seeking answers. She reorganized her whole life and followed holistic medicine, eating, living and skincare regimens. When she saw the immediate lifestyle changes making a difference in her health, she knew she’d found a new path to freedom for other women everywhere. She knew finding clean and healthy makeup products was no easy task, so she took the task upon herself, creating Clove and Hallow to be exactly what she knew it needed to be. Clean and green, this liquid foundation is vegan and cruelty-free and lets your skin do what it does best–glow naturally.
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