A Roundup Of Our Favorite Clean Skincare Brands of 2022

Clean skincare brands have had a fantastic few years, and you can be sure that more clean beauty products will continue being introduced into the market in the future.

What exactly makes a beauty brand “clean?” It’s not just what their products are made from – more importantly, it’s what they’re not made from. Beauty products have had some highly sus ingredients added to them since the conception of makeup and skincare, not to mention ethical concerns regarding animal testing.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, “Clean beauty is a spectrum, but a case can be made that some ingredients should be avoided altogether. Below, the most common beauty ingredients of concern and the reasons why they’re so notorious.”

So, what does make a clean beauty brand truly clean? “Safe for people and the planet, clean means that a beauty product should have considered human and environmental health, using a nontoxic element as a baseline and plant-based ingredients for active results. Much like eating clean rejects the idea of processed foods and focuses on nourishing, plant-based produce that delivers all the vitamins and antioxidants needed for a healthy immune and digestive system, the same is true for clean skin care,” says Harper’s Bazaar.

In 2022, we had the privilege of testing out some clean skincare brand products, and we are going to do a roundup of our favorites and tell you why we love them!


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Algenist sent our Senior Editor, Emily, a bunch of products to try, including the GENIUS Sleeping Collagen, Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm, AA Barrier Serum, and Blue Algae Vitamin C Brightening Serum.

Algenist relies on algae – yes, that algae – and biotechnology to form their line of skincare products. When it comes to sustainability, here’s what they have to say:

“We formulate with a patented, regenerative portfolio of vegan ingredients that are born in a lab. With nature at the core of our business, we are committed to creating responsibly & mindfully – from raw materials sourced to innovative skincare formula development, to the highest standards of manufacturing with 100% vegan formulations – always evolving our practices to make positive change and be more sustainable every day.”

As far as Emily’s opinion, it’s glowing (almost as much as her skin!). Algenist has quickly flown to the top of her list of beauty brands. The sleeping collagen gets an especially rave review – she says it smells luxurious and glides on like butter. But if you have skin that tends to be more oily, the sleeping collagen could be a bit of a turnoff. For dry skin, though, it’s a dream come true!



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Our editor-in-chief, Kelly, tested out Proven’s skincare regimen and she absolutely loved it!

Proven is a woman- and AAPI-founded company led by Dr. Amy Yuan & Ming Zhao. They started the world’s largest skincare database called The Skin Genome Project. The Skin Genome Project won MIT’s 2018 Artificial Intelligence Award. It’s a powerhouse of personalizing skincare to each individual.

After taking a survey about her skin and age, the kit arrived with a personalized cleanser, day moisturizer with sunscreen, and a night moisturizer. 

She summed up her Proven experience by saying, “I like the light scent (of the cleanser) and it left my face feeling really clean and refreshed. Typically, I double cleanse, but with this cleanser, I felt like I could skip that second step, if I wanted, and still feel confident my makeup was all removed and skin was clean.”

The night moisturizer “is thick without being heavy and has a nice cooling feeling when applied. It absorbed immediately and I found I didn’t need to use much to get really good coverage. My skin didn’t feel sticky or tacky afterward, which is a big deal for me — I hate laying my face on the pillow with that gooey feeling from heavy serums or creams.”

And finally, the day moisturizer absorbed into her skin and was immediately invisible – she felt confident knowing her skin was protected from the sun all day.

Kelly noticed a difference in the texture and dryness of her skin since she’s been using this regimen. Even her husband commented on how nice her skin looked after about 10 days of using the products. The quality is really high and she will continue to use these products – she’s sold on Proven!



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Our writer Jessica tried out Pacifica, a brand of beauty products that still specializes in old-school solutions: cleansers, lotions, serums, even sunscreens you apply to your skin. 

The brand is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, meaning the company doesn’t use animal-derived ingredients or test its products on animals. So if you’re an animal lover like me, not only can you be confident the products aren’t bunk, but you can also preserve your conscience while you’re preserving your youth. 

First up, she tried the nourishing eye cream which is packed with vegan collagen that is easily absorbed by your skin, the cream also contains hyaluronic acid, flower extracts, and caffeine to moisturize and energize. She said “Creamy, lightweight, absorbs gently — sensitive skin pals rejoice with this treasure!!!”

She then sampled the Vegan Collagen Complex Serum, which is a magic moisturizer. The concentrated combination includes vegan collagen, hyaluronic acid, japonica seed oil, and flower extracts so that your skin can hold onto its healthy hydration.

Jessica’s review? “I am halfway through my bottle and I am obsessed! It makes my skin feel so smooth and hydrated without feeling oily at all.”

The Vegan Collagen Overnight Recovery Cream was a sure standout of the products. “I have moderate to severe acne and very reactive skin due to medications I am on, and the vegan collagen recovery cream SAVED me. It is so soothing after all the drying ingredients I have to use to maintain my skin, and I wake up with supple and dewy skin. GET THIS NOW.”

But the Vegan Cream Creamy Gel Cleanser was the winner, according to Jessica. “I’ve tried several cleansers from Pacifica, but this one is my favorite so far! Very lightly scented, creamy, and moisturizing! I love how refreshed my skin feels after!”

She tried Proven’s Vegan Collagen Lash Serum & Primer, Vegan Collagen Fluffy Lash Mascara, Vegan Collagen Lip Plumping Gloss, Vegan Collagen Hydrating Milk Tonic, Vegan Collagen SPF30 Every Day Lotion, and Vegan Collagen Hydro-Treatment Undereye & Smile Lines patches. The consensus was the same – she loved every product and continues to use them!


 The Ordinary

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Our senior editor, Emily, was a little behind on keeping up with a consistent skincare regimen, but that all changed when she tried The Ordinary

After taking The Ordinary’s quiz, here’s what products were recommended for Emily to use:

She settled on on the following routine: 

  • AM: Cleanser, HA, Moisturizer

  • PM: Cleanser, HA, Squalane, Moisturizer

  • 2x/week: Peeling solution

Not only is she a fan of the products, but she noticed a drastic change in her skin, and so did we – her before and after pictures were like night and day!

“My pores are way less noticeable now and my skin tone is more even. The redness I’m prone to on my cheeks has been drastically reduced, and my skin consistently feels smoother,” she says.


ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 

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I was the lucky one to review ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 and after a false start, which you can read about here, I am head over heels obsessed with this serum and this brand. My skin has never looked better and the dewy glow it gives keeps giving. The tint lasts all day and it has sunscreen, so no extra steps needed to protect your face! 

In addition to the skin tint, I tried the Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm in Warm Red and it is the silkiest, most hydrating tint I’ve ever used. The color is buildable, so it can go from a light kiss of red to a full on vamp red.

And the Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint is now my favorite eyeshadow! I chose the Copper Bronze shade and there are two more colors on the way. The color goes on as a cream but dries as a metallic powder, and there is no creasing in sight.


ĀTHR Beauty 

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We got our hands on ĀTHR’s Moonlight Crystal Palette and took it for a spin (fun fact: 10% of proceeds from the Moonlight Eyeshadow Palette will go to the Attic Youth Center, dedicated to serving exclusively LGBTQ youth and Allies). 

ĀTHR Beauty takes clean, sustainable beauty to the next level. ĀTHR Beauty founder Tiila Abbitt refuses to produce anything until she knows it will be made as sustainably and clean as possible – and this goes for everything from pigment to packaging. All ĀTHR packaging can be recycled through Pact Collective.

Rachel raved about the palette, saying “The shades are easy to work with, blend easily and are buildable for more saturated color, if that’s what you’re looking for. They can also be easily sheered out for a nice natural look if that’s more your style! 

“The colors are wonderfully pigmented as well, and we love the range of shades – perfect for everyone, regardless of whether you want a subtle or bolder look.” 

Click here to see some glam makeup looks from our beauty guru Rachel!


The Ordinary’s Multi-Peptide Lash and Brow Serum

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Our writer and fearless “Markey Tries It” go-to girl tested The Ordinary’s Multi-Peptide Lash and Brow Serum and she loved her results.

“Putting on the lash serum has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the day. I plucked my eyebrows the first day I got it, and they’ve grown back in the week I’ve been using it. I will say, if you’re like me and your eyebrows are a bit patchy, this serum won’t make new hair grow, but it will enhance and grow the hair that’s already there,” she says. 

Her eyebrows are thicker and fuller than they’ve ever been – Markey plucked them the day she got the serum and the hairs that were plucked grew back in less than four days, proving that the serum works! She’s also noticed that her eyelashes are longer and the bottom ones look a bit fuller.


W3ll People 

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In 2008, W3ll People was founded by a group of three people: a makeup artist, an entrepreneur, and a dermatologist, all on a mission to create an organic, clean, and cruelty-free beauty line.

Our content strategist Samantha got her hands on a few of W3ll People’s products to review and she was amazed at the results!

Samantha used the SuperPowder Bronzing Powder, Bio Booster Oil, Power Eyeshadow Palette in Sepia, and the Loose Brightening Superpowder.

She loved the bronzer, which gave her skin a nice, healthy glow and is buildable. As for the oil, it is super hydrating and is recommended to use AM & PM. “I use this oil as my base under my foundation to help achieve that glowing, dewy skin look. While it is an oil, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or greasy – it settles in really nicely. I have combination skin, so finding products that work for me is hard, but my skin loves this oil!”

“When it comes to eyeshadow, I tend to go towards more neutral colors, which is why I was drawn to this palette. While the colors are neutral, they’re also bright and fun. The product is buildable and doesn’t pack a pigmented punch, but while some see this as a downfall, I kind of love it. You can use this palette to bring your look from day to night by simply building up your subtle colors at the end of the day.”

The powder was hands-down her favorite! She says “I use this powder to set and bake, and it’s kind of amazing. The powder itself smells really clean and is super soft, and it sets really well, too. I’ve noticed I get less oily throughout the day when I use this powder, which I really like.”



Do you have a favorite clean skincare brand that you think we need to try? Let us know in the comments!

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