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6 Clean Beauty Brands to Watch Out For in 2020

Photo of Jonathan Van Ness and Tara Foley from Biossance’s The Clean Academy video series.

As more and more consumers educate themselves about the ingredients in their beauty products, the demand for cleaner beauty is becoming impossible to ignore. While the definition of “clean beauty” is difficult to pin down, it’s generally understood that in order to be considered “clean,” a product must be formulated without toxic—or even questionably toxic—ingredients. Think parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, and synthetic fragrances, to name a few. And for many clean beauty brands, it’s important for their products to be clean for the earth, as well: that means using sustainably sourced ingredients along with recycled and recyclable packaging. 

Last week, Tribe Dynamics partnered with Ipsy on the first-ever Ipsy Assembly, which brought together clean beauty insiders, including panelists from Youth To The People and Playa, to discuss why consumers are increasingly demanding clean beauty. To follow up on the informative panel, we investigated some of the rising clean beauty brands in the influencer space. Here’s what we found:


Clean cosmetics brand Kosas, known for its minimalist makeup products, netted $9.1M EMV between January and October 2019. This whopping 411% year-over-year EMV increase stemmed from 162% and 233% YoY jumps in Kosas’ influencer community size and content volume, thanks to the growing popularity of offerings like the Tinted Face Oil. The Tinted Face Oil scored mentions from 288 content creators between January and October, including powerhouse YouTuber Tati Westbrook. Tati dedicated an entire video to testing the face oil and was impressed by her results, lauding the “formulation and idea” and ranking as the product’s top-earning advocate. The influencer also proved to be the top EMV-driver for Kosas overall, generating a total of $697.2k EMV across seven posts. 

An advertisement for Kosas’ Tinted Face Oil.

RMS Beauty 

Organic and sustainable color cosmetics brand RMS Beauty, founded by makeup artist and wellness expert Rose-Marie Swift, also reps a “less is more” aesthetic. With products like the “Un” Cover-Up concealer and foundation, the brand encourages consumers to simply enhance their natural and healthy skin—not cover it up. This year, RMS Beauty garnered increased influencer attention: the brand’s $8.6M EMV total between January and October marked an 11% YoY EMV boost. Many content creators gravitated toward RMS Beauty’s range of highlighting products, particularly the Living Luminizer. The cream highlight accrued $1.2M EMV from 156 influencers. YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen praised the Luminizer’s “natural glow” effect, as opposed to having a “shimmer” finish, emerging as the product’s top earner with $230.7k EMV across 13 posts. 


Not only does sustainably sourced skincare brand Biossance impress influencers with its hydrating squalane-packed product line, having beloved Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn on Instagram) as an official brand partner doesn’t hurt either. In October, Biossance launched The Clean Academy video series, hosted by JVN along with leading clean skincare experts, which aims to educate consumers about what constitutes “clean beauty,” and how to make more informed purchasing decisions. #BiossanceCleanAcademy generated $79.8k EMV in October. Overall, the brand netted a total of $5.9M EMV between January and October—a significant 105% YoY surge. Beauty blogger Jenn Im (@imjennim) proved a particularly impactful content creator, driving $275.6k EMV across eight posts chronicling her LA meet-and-greet and Australia trip with the brand. 

Photo of Jonathan Van Ness and Tara Foley from Biossance’s The Clean Academy video series.

REN Clean Skincare 

REN Clean Skincare boasts a “clean to skin, clean to planet” philosophy with its sustainably sourced and packaged skincare products. The brand even pledges to become a Zero Waste company by 2021, meaning that their packaging will be “100% recycled, recyclable, and reusable.” In March 2019, Ren Clean Skincare launched its first SPF product, the reef safe Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen. The sunscreen quickly emerged as the brand’s top EMV-driving product between January and October, netting $776.9k EMV from 201 influencers. In all, REN Clean Skincare garnered $6.1M EMV, a 39% YoY increase. 


Founded by Shelby Wild in 2017, Playa aims to deliver natural and effortless, yet effective haircare products infused with the “laid-back California spirit.” And it’s safe to say the brand, which promotes sustainability and conscious production with its own product recycling program, is making (beachy) waves in the influencer community. Playa collected $2.5M EMV between January and October, an impressive 206% YoY EMV growth. Beauty blogger Valeria Loren (@valelorenbeauty), one of Playa’s top three EMV-generating ambassadors, shared that she is “obsessed” with the brand’s Endless Summer Spray and Soft Volume Powder. Valeria drove $121.8k EMV, mentioning Playa in 23 posts. 

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 9.02.50 AM-1


Clean haircare brand Briogeo is quickly becoming an influencer favorite. The brand made a splash in January when its Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray was featured in Boxycharm’s January 2019 box. And while Boxycharm momentum can be difficult to sustain, the exposure helped Briogeo cultivate a larger community of brand enthusiasts—1.4k influencers posted about Briogeo from January to October, a 56% YoY community expansion. While Boxycharm cemented the Farewell Frizz’s status as Briogeo’s top product with $2.2M EMV from 222 ambassadors, other products like the Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask and Be Gentle, Be Kind Superfoods Banana + Coconut Hair Pack also scored notable influencer endorsements throughout the year. Overall, Briogeo accrued $14.0M EMV in the time period, a 61% YoY EMV growth.

While clean beauty brands like Drunk Elephant and Tatcha have already made their mark in the mainstream, the impressive growth from these six brands indicates that we’ll likely be seeing an increase in clean beauty brands (and a decrease in toxic ingredients) in the space. 

To learn more about our Ipsy Assembly panel topics, check out our posts on notable Cult Beauty and Direct-To-Consumer brands. 

And for more insights into up-and-coming indie beauty brands, take a look at our Q2 Indie Beauty Debrief.

Click to See Q2’s Most Notable Indie Brands

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