We are paying more attention than ever to the ingredients that we put on our bodies in the form of skincare, makeup, haircare, body care and even nail polish. As a result, clean beauty product availability has really expanded in the last few years.
Historically and notoriously expensive, you can now find clean beauty products available at affordable prices at the drugstore. While you are paying less at the drugstore than what premier brands charge for their clean products, you can still get effective products that sometimes even outperform their luxury brand counterparts.
While I am nowhere near using all clean products, I’m glad to be able to incorporate a few into my current beauty routine. My skin is somewhat sensitive, so adding some clean beauty products to my beauty routine was a no brainer. Before we take a look at the clean drugstore beauty products I am loving, did you ever wonder what “clean beauty” actually is?
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What Is Clean Beauty?
While there is no official definition of clean beauty by the FDA, beauty products generally are considered clean if they are made without toxic and harmful ingredients and are transparent about their ingredient labels. Easier said than done in an industry that is hardly regulated. I couldn’t believe it when I read that the last piece of regulation in the personal care industry was passed in 1938. How is that possible?
As you can see it is largely up to individual companies to decide how to formulate and market their products and many describe their products as clean without any oversight. Companies label their products from everything from “clean” and “natural” to “organic” and “green” and these labels can have many interpretations.
You must look beyond the front of the package to the ingredient list. Some toxic ingredients to avoid include parabens, phthalates, PEGs, sulfates, formaldehydes and formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, BHT, BHA and more. Luckily, you can easily Google a product to learn about the company behind the product and the company philosophy in regard to not only product formulations but also other important things like processes and packaging.
Keep in mind that clean doesn’t necessarily mean using only natural ingredients. There are many man-made ingredients and safe-synthetics that are non-toxic. These ingredients are often used in clean formulas when they are necessary for optimal product performance.
Clean Beauty Favorites from the Drugstore
It seems like this year there are more clean beauty products than ever available at the drugstore. And this is not referring to just makeup or skincare. You’ll find clean beauty products available in many beauty categories, such as haircare, body care and even nail polish. Here are a few of my current clean beauty drugstore favorites:
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum provides the benefits of alpha-hydroxy acids from the hibiscus plant to improve skin texture and tone. It contains antioxidant bilberry extract and moisturizing sugar cane extract. It also contains sugar maple extract which contains natural malic and tartaric alpha-hydroxy acids. Hyaluronic acid hydrates and glycerin moisturizes.
This is a super lightweight serum/concentrate and a few drops are easily absorbed into the skin. I love that this is a clean serum and is filled with natural AHAs in the formula for gentle exfoliation. It provides a pretty glow that is not at all shiny but feels absolutely weightless after it is absorbed. It does not interfere with makeup either.
I like using this serum on days that I need a break from the heavy hitters like retinol and some stronger forms of Vitamin C. The difference with this serum is that it is gentle and clean!
Related: A Guide to Acids in Skincare
Made with plant-derived ingredients and cold-pressed plant extracts, Raw Sugar Simply Body Wash in Lemon Sugar is free of sulfates and parabens. It is formulated with lemon, coconut, ginger and sugar cane extracts.
This clean body wash is all about the bright uplifting fragrance. I fell in love with the body soap from Raw Sugar in the same scent and had a feeling that I might like the body wash as well. It provides a creamy lather and plenty of foam and is sized generously in a 25 oz bottle. It’s the ideal energizing body wash for your morning shower or bath.
Related: Not Your Average Drugstore Bar Soaps
Love Beauty and Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Conditioner infused with golden argan oil and is formulated to fight the frizz for smooth and shiny hair! Yes!! The conditioner is infused with fast-rinse technology, allowing the conditioner to break down quickly and save you water in the process.
Golden argan oil moisturizes and smoothes hair. It is sourced from a women’s co-operative with the Berber women of Morocco. This conditioner is 93% naturally derived and cruelty-free, paragon-free, silicone-free, dye-free, and formulated without phthalates.
Hair is left with the hair lightly scented of the delicate fragrance of ethically-sourced heirloom French lavender. The lavender is hand-cut and dried in the fields for two days which yields a soft fragrance with floral and fruit notes touched by sweet balsamic.
I love Love Beauty and Planet’s argan oil and lavender body wash, so I knew how lovely this fragrance would be. The conditioner felt very light upon application and rinsed cleanly, leaving my wet hair very smooth and silky. After drying it and dealing with a semi-humid day, my hair withstood the humidity pretty well and did not become frizzy. This clean drugstore conditioner may be the best drugstore conditioner for frizzy hair that I’ve tried.
Since Burt’s Bees powder blush is my current favorite drugstore blush, I had high hopes when I purchased Burt’s Bees All Aglow Lip & Cheek Stick. The cheek stick is available in six shades ranging in shades from nude, pink and red, to coral and plum. I ordered the lip and cheek stick in Blush Bay, a gorgeous universal pink shade.
This product is 100% natural and made with nourishing jojoba seed oil and sunflower seed oil. You’ll notice that the core has no color and that is because the core is coconut oil. This stick HYDRATES while providing a beautiful, natural color that is buildable. It’s just as pretty on the lips as it is on the cheeks.
While you can quickly swipe the stick across your cheeks or lips, I prefer to apply it to a clean finger first and then gently pat into my skin. It works better that way so that I’m not pulling on my skin or removing any makeup on my cheeks underneath. What a great multi-tasker. And don’t forget that this is perfect for travel or throwing in your gym bag if you want a quick hit of color on both your cheeks and lips.
This lip and cheek stick is formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS. Burt’s Bees products are not tested on animals and use recyclable packaging.
Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara is a natural mineral mascara that is made with coconut oil and vitamin B. It is formulated to lengthen, strengthen and volumize lashes. This mascara has a 100% vegan brush for easy coverage. You can apply a single coat for a more natural look but it also can be layered for more volume and a dramatic look.
I love using this mascara for a single coat natural look. It really lengthens my lashes and does not dry stiff and clumpy. It washes off easily at the end of the day. The best part is that it is mineral-based and very hydrating for your lashes.
Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty Company melds lip balm with lipstick in their Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm. The vegan tinted lip balm comes in 7 shades offering a sheer tint and hydrates up to 8 hours.
This lip balm is made of organic ingredients that are paraben-free. The color is buildable and if you are just looking for moisture, they also have a clear shade.
I ordered the shade Summer Melon for a gorgeous sheer pink shade. This is my new favorite tinted lip balm! It is so moisturizing and imparts the prettiest natural shade to your lips. This is not for those looking for a dramatic look, but rather just a touch of color.
I’m never one to pass up a multi-tasker, so I had to try Honest Beauty Magic Beauty Balm. It hydrates for up to 8 hours with shea butter, coconut oil (filled with vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids), olive oil, sunflower oil, argan oil and jojoba oil.
There are so many uses for this balm. Add moisture to lips, hair, cuticles, elbows, and more. You can even add a touch to your eyelids for a glossy look. It’s great for travel too.
I dedicated an entire post to Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. Nail Polish last year and I love this nail polish just as much now as I did then. The nail polish is plant-based, 100% vegan and made without 16 unwanted ingredients. Even the brush is made from plant-based bristles.
The polish provides a beautiful shine, dries quickly and wears really well. The beautiful neutral shade above is Elderflower Power. When looking at my finished manicure, I can’t tell the difference between this clean nail polish and regular nail polish. Good job Sally Hansen!!
Final Thoughts on Clean Beauty at the Drugstore
It seems like every day there are new clean products popping up at the drugstore. It looks like clean beauty is here to stay! Even better, clean drugstore beauty products are reasonably priced and so much more affordable than in years past.
What are your favorite clean products from the drugstore? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, and until next time…