Sustainability shouldn’t be a buzzword, but it’s arguably become one. As beauty brands increasingly feel the pressure to do better from both industry eco-initiatives and their increasingly informed customers, many have begun labelling every tiny tweak to their manufacturing process as a certification of sustainability.

While all sustainably-minded change is undoubtedly good change, greenwashing by beauty brands has resulted in a lot of confusion – like packaging made from recycled materials that… somehow isn’t recyclable. It can be hard to know what’s genuine, and most of us don’t have the time or access to launch a full-scale investigation into a brand’s entire supply chain.

Thankfully, there are a number of players championing truly ethical and conscious practices in the industry, so if you’re looking to cut through the clutter in skincare to support brands that are really revolutionising the way things are done, here’s what to shop this Earth Day (as a bonus? They were all founded locally in Australia or New Zealand! We love to see it).

Conserving Beauty

Australia’s first waterless (and water-responsible!) beauty brand, Conserving Beauty, has just launched the world’s first completely dissolving makeup wipes! The Melbourne-based brand developed a patented fabric that works to deeply cleanse your skin of all makeup and impurities, before disappearing entirely in water – like Aspirin! Not only that, but the brand also manages every step of its water, carbon and waste footprint and each product is packed full of powerful ingredients that are ethically sourced.

Conserving Beauty InstaMelt™ Deep Exfoliating Day Dissolver Wipes, $39 SHOP NOW

Emma Lewisham

Newly B-Corp certified Emma Lewisham has been a leader in sustainable, natural products since its launch in 2019. The New Zealand-based skincare purveyor became the industry’s first carbon-positive brand last year, thanks to its 100 percent circular designed product offering. The refillable products were formulated to take the best of nature and merge it with modern science, resulting in an effective, luxurious skincare range that’s received the tick of approval from none other than environmentalist Dr Jane Goodall. The seriously illuminating day cream is our pick.

Emma Lewisham Illuminating Brighten Your Day Crème, $112 SHOP NOW


Another New Zealand beauty brand, Ethique wants the beauty industry to do away with plastic waste. The brand gained serious traction a few years back for its innovative beauty bars, which offered a solid (literally) zero-waste alternative to traditional skincare, bodycare and haircare products. Ethique’s ethos went viral after launching, with the likes of Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher sharing the brand on their social media pages. They’ve been pushing the boundaries of beauty ever since, expanding into serums, cleansers, moisturisers and, most recently, sustainable lipsticks. An estimated 800-900 million lipstick packages (usually plastic) are sold each year, inevitably ending up in landfill – a huge problem which the brand hopes to solve.

Ethique Bliss Bar™ Face Cleansing Bar, $25 SHOP NOW