6 Organic & Natural Foundations to Smoothly (and Sustainably) Face the World
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Attention, attention: you can now save face and save the planet at the same time.
To continue building on our foundation of sustainable makeup resources, we’re digging through those hard-to-read labels and chemical-laden ingredients to find truly natural foundations which don’t have a sci-fi sounding formulation.
We want a foundation that’s so organic and natural that you could literally eat it.
Fortunately for our faces (and anyone out there with strange food cravings), there are several brands using natural and organic (and even food-grade) ingredients.
These three brands in particular provide the smoothest, most sustainable coverage: Dab Herb makes a 3-in-1 organic natural foundation that has an impressive lineup of ingredients, Dirty Hippie is an all-round eco-friendly gem of a company, and Plant Makeup’s foundation is free of everything you wouldn’t want to put on your face.
To read more about how we picked these brands, head to the bottom of the article.
Now grab your vegan makeup brushes and sponges and let’s start applying that sustainable foundation.
1. DAB HERB
Dab Herb’s Organic Foundation
If organic foundation is what you’re looking for, Dab Herb is the answer. The brand happens to be one of our favorite zero waste beauty brands and this is because, in addition to mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow (and much, much more), they also have some of the best organic vegan foundation we’ve found.
The Herb Foundation comes with almost zero minerals and uses plant pigments and phytonutrient herbal infusions to provide a natural means of hydration and nourishment for all skin types. Cure, don’t just cover.
For those of us in need of a time-saver, they also have a 3-in-1 Serum Foundation, which is an infusion of primer, moisturizer, and concealer in one weightless formula.
Both products are made with certified organic and food-grade ingredients like hemp seed oil, beetroot, and Gotu Kola (a medicinal herb of the parsley family known for its ability to relieve anxiety and improve cognitive function – perfect for the face, really).
About Dab Herb
The so-called “medicinal makeup” from Dab Herb uses the best food-grade, organic, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients to promote radiance and healing.
The brand’s creator, Crissy, combined her love of wellness, clean beauty, and giving back to create sustainable beauty products that could be enjoyed by men and women—any age, any color, any skin type, and any condition.
They also support “Made in the Free World,” an organization committed to ending slavery and human trafficking by providing services to rescue and support victims.
For fellow zero wasters, they only use paper mailers, and thus both product housing and shipping are plastic free.
2. DIRTY HIPPIE
Dirty Hippie’s Natural Foundation
The name “Dirty Hippie” might not sound compatible with foundation, but trust us, it is. They create some of the most natural foundations around.
Their zero-waste foundation powder is free of all of the toxic fillers off-the-shelf beauty brands typically include like titanium dioxide. Instead, it’s made with natural arrowroot powder and GMO-free corn starch.
It also comes in three shades: Moonlit, Sunkissed, and Goddess—sounds derma-dreamy, right?
About Dirty Hippie
We’ve been batting our lashes at Dirty Hippie for some time now—literally, they’re one of our favorite zero waste brands for all things beauty and personal care. From hair care to deodorant, they keep you a not-so-dirty hippie.
This Australian zero waste company’s products are all handmade and free of palm oil and animal products. They work hard to find local ingredients and when they can’t, they opt for only certified Fair Trade oils and powders instead.
They’ve laid an impressive foundation for ethical and sustainable operations, too. The brand uses collected rainwater and is on their way to a completely solar-powered HQ. Until then, they offset 50% of their emissions.
We also love them for their recycling program. If you’re in Australia, you can send back your aluminum tins (like what the concealer comes in) to be refilled. For those who don’t, they do their best to package in reusable glass or compostable recycled cardboard tubes. They also ship in recycled newspapers that they collect themselves.
We could go on and on about Dirty Hippie, but we’ll leave you with the comforting knowledge that they regularly donate to a range of environmental, social, and animal organizations.
3. PLANT MAKEUP
Plant Makeup’s Organic Foundation
When you try the organic powder foundation from Plant Makeup you’ll realize the truth in their core belief: makeup can be skincare!
Their non-mineral organic foundation is super versatile and very plant-based (as the name might suggest). It’s free of oxides, mica, and toxins, and instead contains ingredients like organic and fair trade cacao powder, organic and fair trade cinnamon, organic arrowroot powder, and organic aloe vera.
But it’s not just a foundation, it can also be used as a brow filler, eye shadow, and bronzer. Any regular readers of our sustainable beauty guides will know we love multi-use products because it reduces the amount of items we need, saving money and the planet.
“Packaged with love and nature friendliness,” this organic eco friendly foundation comes in a reusable aluminum tin.
About Plant Makeup
Because we couldn’t do it justice, here’s what Plant Makeup has to say about themselves:
“Plant Makeup is unique artisanal apothecary formulated skincare handmade with 100% natural ingredients… everything we create is inspired by a natural flow of energy to just be the natural you.”
It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Plant Makeup is one of our fave zero waste makeup brands.
Owner, creator, apothecary, and artist Jes started Plant Makeup in the way all beauty brands should begin—by studying plants. Realizing that plants work as a natural dye, she started making products that promote true natural beauty.
Since her upstart in 2004, she’s created herbal teas, botanical fragrances (that are also vegan friendly), and of course, plant-based makeup. She’s single-handedly revived ancient beauty secrets that thousands of customers around the world can enjoy today.
Recycled, upcycled, and compostable materials are used for shipping, all batches are small, and all ingredients are vegan and local, organic, fair trade, palm-oil free, and/or sustainably sourced.
4. BEE YOU ORGANICS
Bee You Organics’ Natural Foundation
Bee You Organics has a great natural foundation for sensitive skin that provides sun protection, is non-comedogenic, and will help clear up acne.
The full coverage foundation includes three simple and natural ingredients: pure kaolin clay, zinc oxide, and iron oxide. The Kaolin clay strips dead skin cells and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, the iron oxide has anti-aging properties, and the zinc oxide, of course, provides reef safe sun protection. How about that for a functional trifecta.
With B.Y.O you can BYO mineral foundation as it comes in both travel sizes and full sizes. You can also choose between either a reusable tin or a glass container, and with or without a plastic sifter.
For even more choices, this zero waste foundation powder comes in seven shades, making it a versatile choice for just about any face.
About Bee You Organics
Bee You Organics focuses on clean products that are good for people and the Earth. They stick to healthy ingredients and have a long list of not-so-good ones they avoid (think: parabens, phthalates, fragrances, preservatives, SLS / SLES, toxins, palm oil, and emulsifiers).
Their environmental efforts extend beyond their consciously chosen ingredients to how you receive them. They only ship in recycled and recyclable packaging and accept returned containers for recycling.
5. ELATE COSMETICS
Elate Cosmetics’ Natural Foundation
Elate Cosmetics has a natural foundation that can suit any face, any time, any place, whether your skin prefers liquid, cream, or powder.
The most zero waste foundation Elate makes is their Pressed Powder variation, which comes in 8 shades all with a refill option if you already own the bamboo compact. Note, however, because it is a powder formula, mineral ingredients like mica and titanium dioxide are the primaries.
For those looking for a foundation with less mineral content, check out either their Refresh liquid foundation or Uplift creamy natural foundation. Both come in 18 different tints, all of which are able to provide a healthy, radiant glow—and do so naturally.
While still containing a little mineral content for added tint and sun protection, these also feature greater percentages of organic ingredients intended to moisturize and nourish the skin, like coconut oil, sea buckthorn, and jojoba oil.
Both types of long lasting natural foundation come in reusable / recyclable glass jars with either a recyclable lid that includes a bamboo component that can be crushed and composted.
About Elate Cosmetics
Elate Cosmetics bases its business on five conscious beauty principles: impact, ethics, community, future, and mission. When’s the last time you found a beauty brand that cared about something more than just profits?
Elate Cosmetics shows us that sustainability and healthy skin can go hand-in-hand, which is why more than 90% of their ingredients are organic and many are fair trade.
Going even further down sustainability street, the Canadian company only uses recyclable / compostable packaging and they provide options for refills. The refills are even sent in a seed paper envelope that can be planted to grow wildflowers!
It’s no wonder that they belong to the Green Business Association, are a Certified B Corp, and an approved business of the Surfrider Foundation.
6. RAINWATER BOTANICALS
Rainwater Botanicals’ Natural Foundation
For a natural foundation with SPF, Rainwater Botanicals’ Glow Minerals and Flawless Minerals foundations will provide the sun protection you need.
They’re made with natural minerals and pigments, including the SPF barrier while improving your skin’s appearance.
This foundation is free from oils, preservatives, bismuth oxychloride, and fillers. It looks natural, feels natural, and comes in six different colors (with more on the way).
Your first order will come in a reusable jar and their newly offered refills all come in compostable packaging.
About Rainwater Botanicals
Rainwater Botanicals started out in 2000 with a simple Healing Salve. This salve was nothing short of miraculous for the thousands of people who used it for cuts, diaper rash, dry skin, eczema, rashes, and much more.
Realizing the healing capabilities of natural ingredients, Rainwater Botanicals went on to start making other zero waste skincare and cosmetics—all of which they believe in and personally use.
They prioritize local ingredients and use all the sustainable and organic ingredients they can get their hands on. Everything is handmade in small batches for freshness, so you can be sure that the wellbeing of the planet is just as important to Rainwater Botanicals as the beautiful faces of their 48,000+ customers.
HOW WE FOUND THESE ORGANIC AND NATURAL FOUNDATIONS
How did we dig through our bathroom drawers to find these brands selling organic and natural foundation?
Well, we needed a foundation, if you will, from which to look for the best organic and natural makeup. So, we used a plant-based makeup remover to get rid of greenwashing and incorporated the key points we found when exploring sustainable and ethical beauty.
After all was said and done, here’s what we thought about when looking for the best natural foundation:
- Non-toxic: This was the principal focus. Our faces lit up to find that most of these brands prioritize organic ingredients and even those that didn’t use GMO-free and sustainably sourced natural ingredients like aloe vera, cocoa butter, and coconut oil.
- Cruelty-free: This means no animals were used in the testing of these products.
- Vegan: Because vegan and cruelty-free don’t imply the same thing (mind-blowing, we know, because it should), we also don’t want to see animal byproducts in our makeup. We will sometimes make an exception here for things like ethically sourced honey, beeswax, and goat milk (i.e. things that can be ethically harvested without harming the animal). We will not, however, make an exception for some of the many other animal ingredients found in “normal” makeup (like carmine, which is made from dead bugs…eww).
- Palm oil free
- Ethical ingredient sourcing policies: To make us feel better about our morning makeup routines, we were excited to see the use of some ethical third party sourcing certifications (like certified organic and fair trade). However, we also know that many of these brands are small artisans and can’t afford full brand certifications.
- Zero-waste packaging: Reusable tins are great; refillable tins are even better. We were happy to see that all of these brands are covering up the blemishes of plastic pollution by only using reusable / recyclable / compostable packaging. While this article didn’t specifically focus on plastic-free or zero waste foundation, it was a big bonus, which we always try to include.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ORGANIC AND NATURAL FOUNDATION
Now you can face the world with makeup that’s natural, healthy, and sustainable. All natural foundation is a beauty trend that’s here to stay — just like these products will stay on your face all day!
We hope that, if anything, this article reminds you that you don’t need a lab-made formulation of synthetic chemicals to keep your face glowing and luminous. In fact, Mother Earth might just be the best makeup artist we’ve got. Maybe she should start a YouTube channel…
Now we’d love to take a peek into your makeup bag for the best organic foundations you’ve tried. If you have a brand to recommend, give them a shout out in the comments below.