2021 Winners The Best Affordable Eco Beauty Products Eco Beauty Awards
Byrdie Eco Awards Under $25 Winners
2021 eco beauty awards

The Best Affordable Eco Beauty Products

Keep scrolling for Byrdie's 2021 Eco Award winners.

After the year we've had, beauty has only become more paramount in our lives. It's the rituals and sensorial experiences that eased our anxious minds and helped us feel cared for amidst enormous adversity. Beauty is so much more than products—in fact, for many of us, it's been a lifeline during a time when we've had very little control over anything else. Vivian Diller, Ph.D, explains, "Like rhythmic breathing during meditation, morning beauty routines induce a feeling of calmness and control." With that, we've also had more time at home to dig into formulas—and better understand what works for us (and what may work against the planet). And thus, our fifth annual Eco Beauty Award winners were tested and chosen. You can read all about our process here, as well as learn a little more about the history of "clean" beauty. Ready? Let's get to the products.

Eco-conscious beauty products have historically been more expensive than their counterparts (for starters, the ingredients can be more costly to source), but you don't have to spend beyond your means for an efficacious blend. In fact, we identified several under-$25 finds that not only utilize clean ingredients, but also consciously choose sustainable packaging to reduce their ecological footprint. Skin- and earth-friendly products should be accessible to all, and while we have a quite a ways to go in the industry at large, we'd like to pay homage to those casting a wider net. Below, take a look at our 2021 Under-$25 Eco Beauty Award Winners.

01 of 11

The Hydration Hero

Weleda Skin Food
Weleda Skin Food $12
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Highlights

  • Certified natural by NATRUE
  • Skin-nourishing blend of bee's wax, botanical oils, viola tricolor, calendula, and chamomile to soften and heal
  • All empty tubes can be recycled via the brand's program with TerraCycle
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Sustainable Packaging

Learn more: All of the different beauty uses for Skin Food.

"There’s a reason Skin Food is beloved by practically every beauty editor, makeup artist, and dermatologist out there—as it can replace your moisturizer, eye cream, and lip balm. I mainly use it as a moisturizer, but also dab it on the high points of my cheeks before foundation for a subtle highlight, as recommended by Katie Jane Hughes. Weleda prioritizes raw ingredients from organic or biodynamic farming, and has reduced its water consumption by 25%, with 50% of its direct energy coming from renewable sources."
- Karli Bendlin, senior email editor

02 of 11

The Skin Soother

Blume Day Dreamer
Blume Day Dreamer $16
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Highlights

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Plumps, softens, and evens skin tone
  • For every sale, the brand donates to Days For Girls
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan
  4. Gives Back

"This creamy, gentle wash works into a lather, yet it never strips my skin. The blend of grapefruit, lavender, and chamomile is so calming as I wind down and start my nighttime routine. Blume uses clean ingredients, and for every sale, they donate to Days For Girls, which supports sustainable period solutions around the globe. Their products are also made in the U.S. to ensure fair wages and reduced emissions."
- Kathryn Vandervalk, editorial strategy director

03 of 11

The Instant Facial

Versed Doctor's Visit
Versed Doctor's Visit Instant Resurfacing Mask $18
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Highlights


  • Utilizes lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids to help resurface the skin
  • Not intended for sensitive skin
  • The tub is made with 50% post-consumer recycled plastic
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan

"This mask feels like Jell-O, which alone was reason enough for me to try it, but what's truly amazing is in just a few minutes, the formula dissolves dead skin—giving your complexion an entirely new lease on life. I consider it my SOS product when I've slept in my makeup or my skin is looking slightly dull or congested."
- Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director

04 of 11

The Magic Mask

Honest Beauty 3-in-1 Detox Mud Mask
Honest Beuaty 3-in-1 Detox Mud Mask $20
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Highlights

  • Jeju volcanic ash, activated charcoal, and refined white bentonite help to minimize the appearance of pores.
  • Manuka honey and shea butter hydrate and smooth your skin
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free

Learn more: The complete guide to charcoal for skin.

"This mask has been one of my favorites since I discovered it in Byrdie’s beauty closet two years ago. The multitasking mud mask is infused with jeju volcanic ash, refined white bentonite, and activated charcoal to remove dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of pores. Meanwhile, the presence of Manuka honey and shea butter helps to condition your skin. The brand is committed to improving recyclability and minimizing single-use packaging whenever possible. By the end of next year, Honest Beauty secondary packaging will be 100% tree-free, 100% compostable or recyclable, BPA-, chlorine-, and dye-free, as well as USDA BioPreferred."
- Olivia Hancock, associate editor

05 of 11

The Overnight Miracle

Nuria Hydrater
Nuria Revitalizing Jelly Night Treatment Mini $11
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Highlights

  • The key ingredient is bilberry, which is rich in natural fatty acids and vitamins to hydrate and nourish your skin overnight
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Nuria's ingredients are ethically-sourced and the cartons are manufactured using only renewable energy
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan
  4. Sustainable Packaging

"This feel-good, jelly formula smooths and plumps your skin overnight—use it as a sleeping mask, trust me—and is vegan and cruelty-free. Nuria's ingredients are ethically-sourced, the cartons are manufactured using only renewable energy, and the packaging is recyclable. On top of that, the brand is carbon neutral (i.e. Nuria offsets the carbon footprint of every product, from raw material extraction and manufacturing through product use and recycling)."
- Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

06 of 11

The Do-It-All Healer

Typology 9-Ingredient Moisturizer
Typology 9-Ingredient Face Moisturizer $21
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Highlights

  • Fragrance-free moisturizer with a lightweight, non-greasy texture
  • Typology's ingredients are sourced from sustainable farms using gentle extraction techniques
  • Ingredients include hyaluronic acid, organic coconut oil, and sodium hydroxide
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan
  4. Sustainable Packaging

"Given that all of Typology's ingredients are sourced from sustainable farms using gentle extraction techniques and packaged in beautiful recyclable bottles and tubes, it's pretty remarkable how accessible its products are. The brand, which has French origins, only recently came stateside, but I'm already obsessed with the minimalist formulas and chic curb appeal and have lined my bathroom sink with its products."
- Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director

07 of 11

The Opulent Oil

Meow Meow Tweet
Meow Meow Tweet Juniper Carrot Seed Oil $25
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Highlights

  • A rich blend of organic plant oils and extracts help balance skin's oil production
  • Features a warm, woody scent
  • Locks in moisture and adds bounce and glow to your skin
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan
  4. Sustainable Packaging

Learn more: The complete guide to carrot seed oil for skin.

"This is an oil for anyone suspicious of oils. I never understood what a "dry oil" could feel like until I tried Meow Meow Tweet's. When I use it after a shower, it locks in moisture and makes my skin glowy, with no trace of grease whatsoever. Meow Meow Tweet uses clean ingredients and recyclable packaging (and they provide detailed recycling instructions for the dropper and the bottle). They also have bulk-buying and refill programs, so you can fall in love with their products and decrease your carbon footprint."
- Kathryn Vandervalk, editorial strategy director

08 of 11

The Damage Control

Mielle Organics Rice Water
Mielle Organics Rice Water Treatment $10
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Highlights

  • Rice water and yuzu strengthens hair, purifies your scalp, and soothes dry skin
  • Brings life back to dry, brittle hair
  • Prevents split ends
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan
  4. Black-Owned

Learn more: The benefits of rice water for stronger hair.

"Mielle Organics prioritizes using organic ingredients. Rice water is known to promote hair growth, soften strands, and strengthen hair, and this split end treatment does just that. As someone whose hair is prone to dryness and split ends, I've loved incorporating this into my daily routine. It's lightweight, nourishing, and instantly melts into each curly strand as I apply it."
- Olivia Hancock, associate editor

09 of 11

The Curl Enhancer

Camille Rose Moisture Butter
Camille Rose Curlaide Moisture Butter $17
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Highlights

  • Works to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss with jojoba oil and green tea, respectively
  • Can be used on wet and dry hair
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Black-Owned

"This past year I’ve let a lot of time pass between wash days. My natural hair is prone to dryness, which makes it brittle and undefined when left alone for too long. That’s where Curlaide Moisture Butter comes in. It’s formulated with jojoba oil to seal in moisture, as well as green tea to help reduce breakage. I spritz my hair with a little bit of water and use two quarter-size dollops and work it over my curls. After about 20 minutes, my curls are totally reborn."
- Star Donaldson, social media editor

10 of 11

The "Paris Filter" IRL

e.l.f. Jelly Pop
e.l.f. Jelly Pop Dew Primer $10
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Highlights

  • Unique gel texture grips your skin to keep makeup in place
  • Vitamins A, C, and E and watermelon extract help to improve your skin's texture
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan

"This isn’t just my favorite drugstore primer—it’s my favorite primer, period. The slightly tacky feel helps blur your skin and preserve your makeup for hours. Better yet? All of e.l.f’s skincare products are vegan and cruelty-free. In fact, in November of 2020, e.l.f celebrated an important sustainability milestone: The company eliminated 650,000 pounds of packaging materials, removing secondary cartons, vacuum formed trays, and paper insert cards."
- Eden Stuart, associate editor

11 of 11

The One-Swipe Staple

Axiology Balms
Axiology Balmies $14
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Highlights

  • Zero-waste, multi-use product for eyes, lips, and cheeks
  • Barely-there, shimmery finish you can layer
  • Packaging is made from up-cycled materials
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Vegan
  4. Sustainable Packaging

"These multi-use crayons can be used anywhere you want to add a little color. Balmies are zero-waste, which means they don’t add trash to the planet. They're tube- and cap-free, making them appear mini, but are the same size as a standard lipstick. Made from 10 ingredients or less, these balmies are planet-friendly (the packaging is made from up-cycled materials) and vegan. Committed to keep litter off the streets of Bali, they employ local women to gather and re-purpose trash, turning it into packaging for their own products."
- Annie Jackson, co-founder + COO at Credo

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