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There isn’t one way that brands define “clean,” and there aren’t any clear regulations that determine what allows a beauty product to make the claim. As a customer, it’s really difficult to make informed choices when you’re trying to sort through the often overwhelming selection of (supposedly) clean products. That’s where the Clean at Sephora seal comes in. Sephora has made it easy to be a conscious beauty consumer by setting a very strict list of criteria that qualify products for its Clean at Sephora seal.
To make the cut, products must be formulated without certain ingredients that could be harmful to your health or the environment.
Products cannot contain the sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes and formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, oxybenzone, and coal tar, among other potentially hazardous ingredients. There’s also a long list of ingredients that can only be included in a product under very specific conditions. For example, petrolatum and paraffin may only be USP grade and only talc with no detectable levels of asbestos may be used.
For fragrance brands, the list of ingredients that are absolutely excluded is even longer. Plus, skincare, hair, and makeup brands with the Clean at Sephora seal need to have less than one percent of synthetic fragrances and no undisclosed fragrances.
On top of that, Sephora just debuted its Clean + Planet Positive seal, which not only constitutes products as Clean at Sephora, but also highlights brands that are focused on climate commitment, sustainable sourcing, responsible packaging, and environmental giving.
Now that you know what the seal means, it’s time to shop. Below, check out 12 hands-down favorites that will instantly upgrade your makeup, hair care, and fragrance stashes.
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Hydro Grip Eyeshadow and Concealer Primer
This recent addition to Milk’s Hydro Grip line helps prep both the eyelid and under-eye areas for makeup application. While it does help prolong the wear of your makeup and prevent creasing, it also works to nourish the skin thanks to hemp-derived cannabis seed extract, hyaluronic acid, and blue agave extract. Milk Makeup products are also cruelty-free, paraben-free, and 100% vegan.
Air Brow Clear + Clean Lifting Treatment Eyebrow Gel
The fluffy laminated brow look is here to stay, and you can easily achieve it with this brow gel from Kosas. Though it’s clear, it coats individual brow hairs to make them appear thicker, and the triangular spoolie brush grabs strands hold them in place so they actually stay. This gel also contains panthenol pro vitamin B5, biotinoyl tripeptide-1, and trehalose, which the brand claims can help to visibly thicken brow hairs.
Clean Glowing Skin Foundation
If you have normal to dry skin and are looking for a light coverage foundation for every day, try out this one from Sephora Collection. It leave you with a soft, radiant finish that looks like your skin, just a little better. It’s formulated with the antioxidants matcha tea powder, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamin C, which can help to visibly brighten the appearance of skin.
Baby Cheeks Blush Stick
Cream blushes are perfect for achieving a natural flushed cheek, and these Westman Atelier sticks come highly recommended by beauty editors and professional makeup artists alike. With six different shades that are compatible with all skin tones, it’s easy to find the right color to complete your makeup look. These blushes also contain hydrators like jojoba seed oil to keep skin looking fresh and dewy.
Fullest Volumizing Mascara
When it comes to clean mascara, ILIA has set the bar high. The fluffy bristles grab each lash to make them appear thicker and fuller for a voluminous look. The mascara is also formulated with arginine, an amino acid in keratin, to condition and provitamin B5 to strengthen lashes.
Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter
Whether you need a glowy base under your foundation, a little extra shine on the cheekbones, or some luminosity on no-makeup days, this gel highlighter from Saie is a great addition to your makeup kit. It comes in two different shades so you can pick the one that best fits your skin tone (though both are super versatile). Vitamin C helps brighten, while glycerin and rosehip seed oil keep your skin hydrated.
Softlight Clean Dewy Hydrating Concealer
The hero product of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s new makeup and skincare brand, this concealer is great for lighter makeup days but is perfectly buildable when you need more coverage. It’s a non-comedogenic product, meaning it won’t clog pores, formulated with squalane and vitamin E to hydrate, calm, and protect the skin while still providing the coverage you need. Rose Inc products are vegan, cruelty-free, and come in recyclable packaging.
Power Move Hydrating Soft Matte Lipstick
Bite Beauty has long been known for its stellar lip products, and this lipstick is no exception. The one-swipe pigmentation ensures that you never waste any product, and the longwear formula doesn’t feel heavy on the lips. While other matte lipsticks can be drying, this one is hydrating thanks to cocoa butter and tapioca pearls mixed with fatty acid waxes. The finish is velvety soft for everyday wear.
Nurture Hydrating Shampoo
Celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness’s new haircare line will get your strands looking, in his iconic phrasing, gorgina! The sulfate-free products are formulated for all hair types (including color-treated). The shampoo has Hemisqualane to thoroughly cleanse while supporting optimal moisture for smooth, sleek hair. It also contains aloe leaf juice for hydration, and panthenol (aka vitamin B5) for added softness, while the conditioner has camellia seed oil for shine.
Cactus Flower Leave In Conditioner
Inspired by the flora found in Arizona, Dae embodies the carefree nature of the southwestern desert. Their Cactus Flower Leave-In Conditioner, formulated to be compatible with all hair types, hydrates hair throughout the day, aids in styling, and provides heat protection. Its hero product, cactus flower, is packed with vitamins and minerals to encourage hair health, and it also contains prickly pear extract to moisturize your strands.
Radiant Nectar 3.4oz
Clean fragrances used to be hard to find, but Sephora carries an excellent selection. Clean Reserve not only formulates their scents to meet the Clean at Sephora standards, but they also package and create their products with sustainability in mind. You’ll love having this perfume—a beautifully balanced mix of fruity and musky—in your rotation, especially for daytime in the spring and summer.
Vanilla Woods Eau de Parfum 1.7oz
As we head into the fall and winter months, you might want to turn to a warmer, slightly sweet fragrance. Not only is this 7 Virtues scent considered Clean at Sephora, it also has the Plant Positive addition on its seal. The vanilla in this perfume is balanced with notes of pear and rose for a touch of brightness.
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