Women Who Self Care's Guide to Ethical Skincare Brands: Cleanser
We’re all about female empowerment at Women Who Self Care. We know that feeling good is about more than just beauty, but sometimes, when a makeup look slaps and your skincare routine is flawless, there is no beatable feeling.
Our vibe is conscious, and anytime we can choose the better, more ethical option, we will.
According to recent research, the UK is the seventh-largest consumer of cosmetics in the world, with Brits spending on average £32.5 million on cosmetic products annually. Skincare purchases make up 22.3% of this figure - that’s a lot of skincare products being used and thrown out every year.
One way to combat this is to invest in eco-friendly skincare brands, which champion natural ingredients and recycled packaging to help reduce the beauty industry's impact on environmental degradation.
Comparing ingredients, packaging and price, we have compiled a list of seven ethical skincare brands, all of which are based in the UK!
Upcircle // £
Founded in 2015 and based in London, Upcircle began life as an innovative way to stop food waste by transforming it into skincare and body care products. Founders Will and Anna created an amazing body scrub from the leftover coffee grounds collected from various London coffee shops - ingenious!
After their initial success at the London Coffee Festival and a partnership with Urban Outfitters, Upcircle expanded and have created a line of skincare products covering a whole range of skin concerns.
All their ingredients are natural, vegan and recycled/repurposed to make amazing products that are gentle but effective. All the packaging is recyclable, and products are handmade in the UK - it’s pretty much as sustainable as you can get, for a very reasonable price.
Sknfed // £
Based in London, Sknfed's founder, Marzena Mlynarska, saw a gap in the market for natural cosmetic products and decided to fill that gap herself! Mlynarska started by making soaps and giving to friends and family; before moving into the Vegan and Ethical Markets. Sknfed has seen great success as a brand offering natural, organic and vegan products at a reasonable price point.
Sknfed's best seller is their Organic Face Soap, £8.95 for 100g. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, this soap bar is excellent for gentle exfoliation and cleansing. The addition of raw shea butter helps to soothe the skin and keep it moisturised without clogging pores. All ingredients are 100% natural, and the packaging uses no plastic and can be recycled.
Facetheory // ££
Facetheory is based in Sheffield and ships worldwide to over 40 countries. Their brand promotes clean skincare, and while they focus less on natural ingredients, they do utilise botanical extracts where they are beneficial. However, all their products are free from silicones, parabens, mineral oils, PEGs, SLS and SLES, and are cruelty-free and vegan.
Our fave is the Clarifying Cleanser C2, a cleansing cream at £11.99 for 180ML.
Containing Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid, this cleanser is excellent for targeting oily, blemish-prone and congested skin. As it contains active acids, Facetheory recommends only using a small amount of product at a time, and suggests that 180ML lasts the average customer two months - pretty good value for money!
They offer a range of other active acid cleansers for different skin concerns. All their products are in glass jars with aluminium caps, or 100% aluminium tubes, both of which are easily recycled. Facetheory have also committed to removing plastic from their shipping process and strive to use biodegradable packaging in all orders.
Lani // ££
Lani is a seriously cute, Instagram worthy skincare brand. Founded in 2014 and offering natural, vegan and cruelty-free skin and hair care, Lani also consistently donates to over 20 charities, with proceeds from orders going towards causes that founder Viola Radomsky, believes in. All the products are free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, silicones and animal-derived ingredients, plus they all come in amazingly bright and colourful glass bottles and jars - which of course, can be easily recycled!
One of their cult products is the Blue Mint Facial Cleanser. At £20.99 for 65g, this cleanser comes in powder form and transforms into a blue foam when mixed with water. With purifying clay, coconut milk and mint, this cleanser is hydrating and soothing, and great for removing light make-up.
If you're someone looking for ethical products which will also look great on your bathroom counter, this might be the brand for you!
Conscious Skincare // ££
Based in Wales, Conscious Skincare is the creation of Rebecca Martin; Rebecca decided to try making her own natural skincare when she had difficulty finding anything in the mainstream market that was rich and hydrating enough for her dry skin. With a determination to sell truly organic, natural and effective products, Rebecca created Conscious Skincare.
Conscious Skincare's packaging is either glass or aluminium, meaning it can all be
recycled easily. Rebecca and her team also understand that sometimes, the packaging is just about looks rather than being practical. They decided to skip out on unnecessary boxes, which just end up getting thrown away, and have a clean and simple design for all their products - so your money is being spent on the skincare, not the bottle it arrives in!
Their Enrich Natural Facewash is £19 for 235ML, and contains Geranium and Lavender to cleanse and tone your skin. They also offer a 15ML sample size for £3, a 235ML size with no pump for £18 and a 500ML refill bottle for £34, so there is an option for all budgets.
Evolve Beauty // £££
A little more of the pricer end, Evolve Beauty offers handmade products which are vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly. Evolve products are made in small batches in a Hertfordshire studio, preserving the freshness of all the natural ingredients. In 2019 Evolve Beauty moved to an 'eco studio' that uses wind power and low energy lighting, so it's not just the products that are good for the environment!
Evolve's Gentle Cleansing Melt comes in at £22 for 120ML, and contains organic baobab oil which soothes and hydrates the skin. A nourishing lotion formula, the cleansing melt is a gentle product that helps to keep skin clean, calm and healthy.
One of Evolve's best selling products, the cleansing melt comes in a glass jar that gives off major luxury vibes, and again, is of course, 100% recyclable. A great option for those with a slightly higher budget or if you are looking to treat yourself.
BYBI // £££
BYBI is another brand with products fit for your Instagram feed! Founded by two beauty bloggers in 2017, Elsie and Dominika took their industry knowledge and made a splash by offering vegan, natural and cruelty-free products that looked modern, young and at home in any influencers bathroom cabinet. BYBI's journey started as a kitchen experiment in an attempt to make avocado face masks! BYBI is now a green beauty empire that aims to create products in the most ethical way possible.
BYBI's Crystal Clear Facial Gel Cleanser is a blend of prebiotics and salicylic acid, created to prevent breakouts and deeply cleanse skin without causing dryness. At £24 for 60ML it's slightly more expensive than other options, but it has amassed a legion of supporters who swear by the product. All the ingredients are naturally sourced and are often recycled from the supply chains of other products. The cleaner's packaging is made from upcycled sugarcane, which is 100% recyclable.
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