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Our Head-To-Toe Guide to Clean Beauty

A beauty editor’s picks for plant-based products with feel-good formulas.

Here’s the bad news: The beauty industry has been largely unregulated for decades, and thousands of harmful chemicals lurk inside your personal care products (in Europe, more than 1,400 chemicals have already been restricted, while the U.S. has only banned 9). But here’s the good news: Clean beauty is on the rise. That means plant-based products with feel-good formulas are easier to find than ever — from dedicated natural beauty shops like The Detox Market to big-box stores such as Target and Sephora. But since making the switch to clean beauty can be daunting, we asked Michelle Li, the fashion and beauty market editor at Teen Vogue, for her recommendations. Scroll for her head-to-toe guide.

SHAMPOO

Shampoo bars are the ultimate clean-beauty products: There’s no plastic packaging involved. This one pulls a lot of weight in the shower by being shampoo and body wash. It gently cleanses, hydrates and strengthens hair.

CONDITIONER

Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty makes a great clean conditioner that will hydrate your dry locks. Nutrient-rich coconut juice keeps hair looking healthy, while sweet almond oil helps to soften and add that enviable shine.

EYE LINER

A clean liner formula for a clean line. This one contains zero cyclomethicone and is long-lasting. It dries quick and comes in a felt-tip pen that makes a tight or graphic line easy.

EYESHADOW

Who said clean beauty eyeshadows had to be boring? Kosas recently launched their high-impact colorful liquid eyeshadows that stay alllll day long. The formula itself is crafted to soothe delicate eyelids.

MASCARA

The babassu plant is the star of this mascara. It not only holds a perfect curl, it also nourishes and conditions lash hair. The brush itself builds some major volume because of how it mimics the curves of your lashline.

TOOTHPASTE

We use toothpaste twice a day and put probably the least amount of care into choosing the right one. Kopari’s toothpaste works to naturally restore enamel, whiten teeth and freshen breath without any fluoride. Antimicrobial coconut oil also provides a non-abrasive full mouth detox.

LIP OIL

Are your lips only smooth the first few moments after applying lip balm? Same. At this point we’ve become all too familiar with it and adapted by reaching for our lip balms constantly. But no more: Versed makes lip oil with a blend of jojoba, camellia, sesame and sunflower oil.

FACE MASK

This hydration mask goes deep, and provides intense moisture in just 20 minutes. The botanical oils and concentrated plant extracts will make your skin bouncy and plump. Just how we like it.

FACE MIST

Don’t underestimate the power of a good face mist. They’re there for you when your skin needs a mid-day refresh or before applying skincare products. This one contains coconut oil, pomegranate extract and calendula flower. One spritz is all it takes.

DEODORANT

Not only is this natural deodorant effective, but the refillable container keeps plastic far, far away from the oceans and landfills.

BODY WASH

The bladderwrack seaweed in this body wash is sustainably harvested and contains 65+ vitamins and minerals that will detoxify, hydrate and replenish skin after a long day. Lather up!

BATH SOAK

If you’re one of the lucky few that has a bath, you’re going to want to invest in Osea’s therapy bath. Gigartina Skottsbergii Extract (it’s a mouthful) is a red algae that hydrates skin and protects it from wind, dryness and air pollution.

BODY LOTION

We would gladly take a long dip in this body lotion. It’s rich in vitamin E to help skin feel supple and smooth, while also having a sweet and refreshing coconut scent.

NAIL POLISH

Ten Over Ten has non-toxic salons around the country, but if you prefer to do your nails yourself, consider these polishes. They’re easy on your nails and durable without all of the icky, damaging chemicals on your cuticles.

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