Non-Toxic, Clean Beauty On A Budget

A roundup of non-toxic, clean, natural and organic makeup for teens, tweens and anyone on a budget. Whether you’re looking for affordable makeup for the eyes, face + cheeks and lips, I’ve got a list of budget-friendly clean, natural, organic, non-toxic makeup that’s $30 and under.

teen applying makeup

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I’m always on the lookout for budget-friendly clean makeup for my 2 teenage girls. According to Dr. Kim Harley, Faculty Director of Wallace Center for Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, teens may be at higher risk of exposure to harmful chemicals in personal care products due to rapid reproductive development.

Research indicates that it really does matter what types of products teens are using in their beauty routines. In a 2016 study, 100 Latina teenagers had their urine tested for endocrine-disrupting chemicals before and after using products free from phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone for 3 days. In that short amount of time, there were significant drops in the amounts of most of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals after using the non-toxic products.

When it comes to my teenagers and myself, I make a conscious decision to purchase makeup products that don’t contain any endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  After reviewing ingredients from specific products, I found that there aren’t really any specific brands with 100% clean products (for example, W3LL People Lip Gloss contains questionable dyes and a preservative that I wouldn’t want on my lips).  I’ve included a list of ingredients to avoid below my recommendations for product that I would use or give to my teenagers to use.

I put together a list of non-toxic makeup products that won’t break the bank, since clean, organic and natural makeup can be on the pricey side. With categories ranging from eyes to face + Cheeks to lips + nails, all of the makeup I’ve listed is $30 and under.

Beyond clean, natural and non-toxic makeup for tweens, teenagers, and young adults, there are options for budget-friendly clean face lotion and budget-friendly clean face wash. Below is a list of non-toxic, clean and natural makeup that’s a healthy option for tweens, teens, young adults and anyone looking for skincare and makeup that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients like endocrine disruptors and PFAS chemicals.

*Cost was calculated at the time this article was published, and is subject to change.

clean makeup for the eyes

for the eyes



Brow Gel/Pencil

clean makeup for the face

face + cheeks

Setting Powder

clean makeup for the lips


Lip Gloss

Lip Balms, Butters & Tints

Lip Liner

Avoid These Ingredients In Makeup

  • Aluminum Powder- Aluminum powder is a metallic compound used as a cosmetic colorant in eye makeup. It’s a byproduct of aluminum manufacturing and is considered a neurotoxin. It is listed on makeup labels as aluminum, LB Pigment 5 or pigment metal.
  • BAK- Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) is a preservative found in eyeliner, mascara and makeup remover.  A 2009 study found BAK to be toxic to the epithelial cells of the eyes. BAK may be listed as benzalkonium chloride, quaternium-15 or guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride.
  • BHA and BHT- Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHA) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHT) are preservatives derived from petroleum and found in some mascara formulas. BHA is an endocrine disruptor and a possible carcinogen. BHT is a respiratory irritant and is considered toxic or harmful to human organ systems.
  • Carbon black- Carbon black delivers color to traditional mascara and other eye makeup. It’s been linked to cancer and organ system toxicity. Look for labels with carbon black, D & C Black No. 2, pigment black 6 or 7, acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black.
  • Coal Tar Dyes- Coal tar is recognized as a human carcinogen and may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals. These dyes are used as a colorant in eye makeup. You may find them listed as CI followed by a five digit number. (includes FD&C Blue No. 1 or Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.) They may also be labeled as Aminphenol, Diaminodenzene or Phenylenediamine.
  • Ethanolamine compounds (labelled as DEA, TEA and MEA)- Ethanolamines may be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Formaldehyde- Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, DMDM hydantoin, methenamine and quarternium-15 are formaldehyde-releasing preservatives found in cosmetics. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen as well as a skin irritant.
  • Lake Dyes– In general, lake dyes are petroleum derived colorants that may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)  Specifically, the dyes Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 can be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens.
  • Parabens- Parabens are a type of preservative used to prevent the growth of bacteria and prolong the shelf life of lip balm, deodorant, lotion, and other beauty products. The most commonly used are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben and butylparaben. Parabens disrupt hormone function and are linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. A 2004 study found high concentrations of parabens in breast tumor samples. The European Union banned the use parabens in cosmetics in 2012.
  • PhenoxyethanolPhenoxyethanol is a preservative found in skincare and cosmetics that is an ethoxylated ingredient. Ethoxylates can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both of which are associated with reproductive, developmental and endocrine effects, and these compounds can be carcinogenic.
  • Synthetic fragrance- Beauty products can list fragrance as one ingredient and don’t have to disclose the fact that these formulations may contain hundreds of ingredients. Synthetic Fragrance may contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants and neurotoxic chemicals (14). Synthetic musks like galaxolide and tonalide, are linked to hormone disruption. Fragrance formulations also contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors.

teen applying makeup