Natural, whole, clean, green, eco-friendly, nontoxic, plant-based... As consumers, it’s hard to wade through the noise that is the clean beauty industry. Yes, we’d love to be able to pronounce the ingredients in all the products we put on our skin. No, we don’t have 18 free hours to do all the research required to learn them all.
Not to worry: There’s a place you can trust for all things skincare. Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty™ is a guided, transparent way to shop brands that are certified in one or more of the following categories:
Clean Ingredients: Excludes parabens, phthalates, and other ingredients on Ulta Beauty’s Made Without List
Cruelty-Free: Not tested on animals
Vegan: Created without animal ingredients, by-products or derivatives
Sustainable Packaging: Reduced, recyclable, or refillable packaging to minimize waste
Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty makes it super easy to find the right products from brands that share your values, backed by education and research so you can make an informed purchase (without a thousand Google searches—hallelujah). Here, our top skincare picks.
1. Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum
Not only does it pass the rigorous certification for the “clean ingredients” pillar of Conscious Beauty, but it also contains a special ingredient—niacinamide, which helps improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and texture, dullness and enlarged pores.
2. PEACH & LILY The Good Acids Pore Toner
Dip your toe into this beloved brand—famous for its clean, alcohol-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free formulas—with this all-star toner. It gently exfoliates, tightens and refines the appearance of large pores without drying you out. We’ll take five.
3. Ulta Beauty Collection Watermelon Sleeping Mask
Winter skin: Say hello to summer-in-a-jar. Watermelon extract helps lock in moisture while you sleep, while aloe leaf plumps and hydrates. And you’ll sleep extra soundly knowing zero animals were harmed in the process.
4. Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen
This SPF 32 mineral sunscreen is Leaping Bunny certified. The probiotic blend is ideal for blemish-prone skin and blends in like a lightweight moisturizer, leaving a subtle glow and no garish white streaks.
5. Dermalogica PreCleanse
If you’re not pre-cleansing—i.e. melting away makeup, sunscreen and daily pollution—with this vegan formula of Kukui Nut, Vitamin E and Rice Bran, you’re doing your nighttime routine wrong. Let’s fix that.
6. Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Barrier Eye Cream
Ceramides: fatty acids used in cosmetics with anti-aging properties, often derived from animal skin. Vegan ceramides: Derived from plant-based lipids to help replenish moisture.
7. Beekman 1802 Milk Wash Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser
We like this brand’s goat milk and probiotic cleanser, but we love, love, love their partnership with Terracycle, which lets you recycle your empty products so the tubes, bottles and jars can be used in future packaging.
8. INDIE LEE Banish Solution
“Kryptonite for pimples” is one reviewer’s five-star summary, and we think that says it all. The overnight acne killer comes labeled with FSG (Forest Stewardship Guild) paper, and the brand encourages sustainability through their empties recycling program.