Allure Readers’ Choice Awards 2023: 15 Clean Beauty Product Winners Our Readers Love

We all have our limits. Sure, they aren’t necessarily written in stone, but we know ’em when we see ’em. That roller coaster that has just one too many loop de loops? Yeah, we’re good on that. Grabbing a second margarita at happy hour when we have a 9 a.m. meeting the next morning? It’s going to be a pass. Sometimes, it’s fine to set your limits as you go. But in an industry where there are no clearly defined rules for what makes a product “clean,” we at Allure recognized the benefits of creating our own set of guardrails. That’s why all of the winners of the Clean category in our 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards, presented below, are free of parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, cyclic silicones, polyethylene and polypropylene (microbeads), aluminum salts, hydroquinone, PEGs, triclosan, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, and toluene. Phew!

When we created this list back in 2019, we dubbed it the Allure Clean Standard. Of course, we didn’t formulate it alone. We talked to toxicologists, dermatologists, and chemists before zeroing in on 15 ingredients we think a “clean” beauty product should not contain. Of course, as science evolves, so too will our list.

Now that that’s out the way, we can focus on all the good stuff our “clean” winners do contain: There’s a concealer loaded with brightening vitamin C, a moisturizer packed with soothing ceramides, and a cleanser made with more superfoods than a green smoothie. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, once you’re finished perusing your fellow readers’ favorite “clean” picks, there’s a ton more products to explore. Though we recommend starting with our hair category then moving from skin, makeup, body and hair, in this case, there are no limitations: You can also check out the list in full here. 

All the Winning Products:

Readers’ Choice Awards: Clean 

FACIAL CLEANSER: Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser

In a revelation that will surprise absolutely no one who uses this face wash, Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser has won a Readers’ Choice Award (again). “The ingredients double down on the power of antioxidants, which simply put, help your skin cells defend against pollutants,” says Allure contributing editor Brennan Kilbane, who calls the actual cleansing aspect of this beloved formula “incredible.”

FACIAL MOISTURIZER: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Drunk Elephant knows how to lure us in with an appealingly weird combination of words (Lala? Retro? Whipped!). It also knows how to hook us with sophisticated formulas that do remarkable things for skin. Lala Retro Whipped Cream’s firming, damage-minimizing blend of hydration-boosting sodium hyaluronate and glycerin, along with natural oils, drenches skin in moisture without leaving it greasy.

SUNSCREEN: Supergoop Play 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 50 With Green Algae 

Supergoop Play 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 50 With Green Algae

Supergoop Play 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 50 With Green Algae won’t leave the dreaded mineral-filter white cast, nor will its algae leave a green one. The algae is in there to help defend against infrared rays and free radicals, boosting the overall protection powers of this moisturizing formula. Even though it’s fantastically sweat resistant, those with sensitive skin don’t have to fear irritation.

BODY WASH: Native Body Wash

Known for its aluminum-free deodorants, Native also makes a damn good sulfate-free body wash. Several actually, because like the deodorants, there are lots of fantastic scents to choose from. We don’t know if she found the time to vote in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, but we know Cardi B is a big fan of Native Body Wash.

BODY MOISTURIZER: Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream 

Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream

You’ll find sugarcane-derived squalane in every Biossance product because of its amazing moisturizing properties, but the real star of Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream is the second-billed caffeine. It does a fantastic job of giving skin a smoother look with the help of texture-improving niacinamide. Legs, upper arms, torso — they’ll all benefit from this clean blend.

NATURAL DEODORANT: Native Aluminum Free Deodorant Coconut & Vanilla

Native Aluminum Free Deodorant Coconut & Vanilla

POV: You’re not a fan of antiperspirant, but you’re also not a fan of being stinky. Native Aluminum Free Deodorant understands where you’re coming from. It’s available in a wide variety of delicious scents, but Allure readers are especially enthusiastic about Coconut & Vanilla. They’re even more enthusiastic though about Native’s effective odor protection and lack of aluminum, talc, and phthalates.

SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER: SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo & Conditioner

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo & Conditioner

You can find out almost everything you need to know about SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo & Conditioner from their names. The only other thing you need to know: Allure readers love them. Okay, fine, you might also want to know a couple of reasons why: The shampoo clarifies without stripping and the conditioner is especially adept at detangling wavy and curly hair while protecting it from breakage.

STYLING PRODUCT: Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème 

Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème

It’s one thing — and a very important thing at that — for a product to efficiently guard hair from heat damage when you’re styling it with a dryer and irons. It’s another thing entirely when that product also superbly reduces frizz and enhances smoothness so hair looks even healthier. Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème does both things beautifully.

FOUNDATION: BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15

BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15

When many people think of foundation, loose powder is not the format that pops into their head. Fans of BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15, however, can’t imagine it any other way. They appreciate how the loose mineral powder lets skin feel like it can breathe while evening out their complexion. Sensitive skin of every tone can count on finding a shade match that won’t make it irritated or red.

CONCEALER: Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer

Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer

For the second year in a row, Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer is taking home a Readers’ Choice Award due to its creamy, creaseless formula. Stabilized vitamin C, mastic, and albizia julibrissin bark extract give this corrector a skin-care feel, and thanks to a lightweight, seamless finish, it looks like you’re wearing just skin care, too. A true no-makeup makeup wonder.

BLUSH/BRONZER: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure

One of the glowiest blushes known to humans, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush adds highlighter-like dimension and gorgeous color in a single swipe. Allure readers are hooked on the Mood Exposure shade, a mauve that makes every complexion more radiant in a noticeable yet natural way. 

MASCARA: Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara

Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara

Where other clean mascara formulas may lack a wow factor, Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara comes through with major impact. “The opaque black formula holds a curl through a full day’s wear and layers beautifully, so you can create either soft definition or full-on, in-your-face lashes,” says Allure contributor Kat Suico, who also appreciates that the formula is cruelty-free.

EYE MAKEUP: Beautycounter Lid Glow Cream Shadow 

Beautycounter Lid Glow Cream Shadow

We’d wear Beautycounter Lid Glow Cream Shadow just for how soothing it feels when you apply it, but it just so happens to also deposit super-stunning color. Its 10 truly wearable shades illuminate lids with a creamy wash of buildable tint that’s pearlescent — never glittery.

LIP GLOSS/LIPSTICK: Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss 

Whether you call it a gloss or a treatment, you’re correct. Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss offers the benefits of peptides, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and natural moisturizing oils so lips feel the farthest thing from chapped. Meanwhile, its variety of shades leave the loveliest drenched look. It’s an irresistible combination and a makeup-bag must.

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