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Up Your Skincare Game: 6 Best Vitamin C Serums

Medically reviewed by Anna H. Chacon, M.D.

Reviews
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From eating foods for healthy skin to switching up your morning and routines, taking care of the largest organ in the body can get overwhelming. Recently, vitamin C has grown in popularity in the skincare world — but do the best vitamin C serums live up to the hype?

Vitamin C is not only an essential supplement for your immune system and overall health, but it's also a great skincare ingredient that can help limit inflammation, brighten skin, dull fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and reduce discoloration and dark spots.

Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine seems like a no-brainer, but before you start shopping for a serum, it's important to be aware that vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. Dermatologists say it's important to find legit and properly formulated vitamin C serums to capitalize on the benefits of the antioxidant. In this article, we'll help you find the right dermatologist-approved vitamin C serum to add to your routine.

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We all love a sparkling, clean, great-smelling home. However, to avoid harsh irritants and chemicals found in most traditional household cleaners, you'll want to look for eco-friendly cleaning products.

Opting for greener, non-toxic, biodegradable and natural cleaning solutions can help you to integrate earth-friendly products into your housekeeping routine.

In this article, we recommend six of the best eco-friendly cleaning products. Whether you're looking for an all-purpose disinfectant or a sustainable alternative to paper towels, you can use these cleaning supplies with the peace of mind that they won't harm either your health or the environment.

Our Picks for Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Choosing Our List of the Best Cleaning Products

Traditional cleaning products can contain toxins that can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Some cleaning products are also classified as hazardous, which means they can be even more damaging if not properly handled, stored and disposed of.

When choosing our recommendations for eco-friendly cleaning products, we considered the following criteria:

  • Product formula: We looked at each cleaning product's formula to ensure it was safe, natural and didn't include toxic ingredients.
  • Certifications: We made sure all products were EPA Safer Choice-Certified. This program certifies that products contain ingredients safe for humans and the environment.
  • Cleaning ability: A product may be Safer Choice-Certified and eco-friendly, but it needs to effectively clean and disinfect as well.
  • Buyer reviews: We chose products that had at least 4.0 out of 5 stars with more than 200 Amazon ratings. We also tested a number of the products ourselves to vet them.

6 Best Eco Cleaning Products

We've vetted many of the top household cleaning products, and these are the eco-friendly ones that impressed us the most.

Best Overall: ECOS Non-Toxic Orange All-Purpose Cleaner

ECOS

This citrus-smelling all-purpose cleaner is residue-free and works great on non-porous surfaces, including grills and ovens. ECOS Non-Toxic Orange All-Purpose Cleaner is plant-based, non-toxic, cruelty-free, biodegradable and packaged in a recyclable container.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 2,000 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This multi-purpose cleaner is Leaping Bunny, Climate Pledge Friendly, True Platinum Zero Waste and Safer-Choice certified. This cleaning spray is never tested on animals and is great for any water-safe surface. All of ECOS' eco-friendly cleaning products are sustainably produced in carbon-neutral and water-neutral environments.

$8

Best Glass Cleaner: Seventh Generation Glass Cleaner

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation Glass Cleaner comes in a spray bottle made from recycled materials and that can be recycled again so it doesn't end up in a landfill. It leaves glass, chrome, mirrors and stainless-steel surfaces in your home clean and streak-free. The cleaner's citrus scent comes from 100% essential oils and botanical ingredients and is hypoallergenic, containing no dyes or artificial fragrances.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 1,250 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Seventh Generation's plant-based formulas are safe for you, your pets, your home and the environment — the company is a certified B Corp, and its products are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.
$16

Best Dish Soap: Seventh Generation Dish Liquid

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation's dish soap also earns a spot on our list of the best eco-friendly cleaning products. This lavender-and-mint dish soap utilizes 100% essential oils, fights grease and helps break down dried-on foods, making dishwashing a breeze. It is EPA Safer-Choice certified and a USDA Certified Biobased Product.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 19,500 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Seventh Generation's dish soap is 100% biodegradable, and its packaging is both recycled and recyclable. The formula is plant-based and is Amazon-certified Climate Pledge Friendly. All of the cleaning brands' ingredients are listed right on the packaging, so you know exactly what's in the product.

$17

Best Bathroom Cleaner: Biokleen Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner

Biokleen

Biokleen's bathroom formula makes green cleaning easy. Made in the U.S., Biokleen's products don't contain phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, brighteners, artificial colors or artificial fragrances. The spray's formula blends live enzyme cultures, lavender and lime extract to break up tough bathroom grime and deodorize countertops, sinks and more.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 750 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Biokleen's non-toxic, plant-based multi-surface cleaner uses biodegradable ingredients, and the company never tests on animals. It doesn't emit harsh fumes or leave behind residue that can pollute waterways.

$10

Best Laundry Detergent: Dropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods

Dropps

Dropps Laundry Detergent Pods are a sustainable, plastic-free alternative to traditional liquid laundry detergent jugs. They come in a compostable cardboard box, and the pods themselves are made from a biodegradable, water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol membrane. Dropps also makes unscented laundry detergent pods, which are great for sensitive skin, and fabric softener pods to round out your eco-friendly laundry routine.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,300 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Dropps' formula doesn't use dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates or phthalates. The laundry pods are certified Climate Pledge Friendly by Amazon, and the company has committed to carbon-neutral shipping.

$52

Best Eco-Friendly Paper Towels: Bambaw Reusable Bamboo Paper Towels

Bambaw

Bambaw's multipurpose bamboo paper towels can be machine washed and reused up to 100 times. This not only helps the planet, but it also saves you money, because you don't have to constantly replenish your paper towel supply as often. One roll replaces the equivalent of 65 single-use kitchen paper towel rolls, and the towels can be used on multiple surfaces, from wood to plastic to ceramic.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 1,900 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Bambaw's supply chain and transport are carbon-neutral certified by CO2logic. Along with offering sustainable swaps for consumers, the Belgian company also uses a portion of its profits to fund zero-waste research campaigns through partners 5gyres and the Plastic Soup Foundation.

$7

FAQ: How Do I Know What to Buy?

What are the best eco-friendly cleaning products?

We recommend ECOS Non-Toxic Orange All-Purpose Cleaner as the all-around best eco-friendly cleaning product. We also like Seventh Generation's glass cleaner and dish soap.

How can I make my household cleaner eco-friendly?

When looking for an eco-friendly household cleaner, make sure to check the ingredients list for harsh chemicals and consider the product's packaging. You can also make your own natural cleaning products using ingredients like baking soda, salt, water and vinegar.

Are Method cleaning products eco-friendly?

Method's formulas are non-toxic, cruelty-free, and formulated from naturally derived ingredients. Additionally, most of its soap bottles are made from recycled plastic and are designed to be recycled at the end of their lives.

What is the safest dishwashing liquid?

For an eco-friendly, safe dishwashing liquid, we recommend the Seventh Generation Dish Liquid.

Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

If you live in an apartment without its own roof or if you're a business owner renting a commercial space, a community solar project may help you save on electric bills. Community solar power is a great option for individuals and businesses who can't install their own solar panels.

You can join a community solar project by purchasing a share or by paying a subscription. Then, the electricity production that corresponds to your ownership percentage or subscription will be measured and subtracted from your power bills. This is possible even if the community solar panel installation isn't located in your neighborhood — by investing in the project, your share of the solar generation is simply subtracted from your bill.

In this article, we'll outline the pros and cons of community solar subscriptions and help you decide whether to invest in your local program.

What is Community Solar?

Community solar is a term used to describe photovoltaic systems that are shared by many consumers, including homeowners, renters, businesses, nonprofit organizations and more. Electricity savings and other benefits from the solar project are split among its shareholders and subscribers at a rate based on the level of investment.

When starting a community solar project, developers will establish the geographic area from which consumers are eligible to join. Some programs have installed multiple solar power systems in the same area, allowing a larger number of shareholders and solar subscribers.

Community solar power is possible thanks to virtual net metering. Through this process, a percentage of the electricity produced by the community solar panels is subtracted from the total amount of power you use in your home even though the panels aren't located on your property. Here are a few key things to note:

  • The kilowatt-hours produced by a community solar project are measured for each billing period and are divided based on ownership shares.
  • If a community solar array produces 10,000 kWh of electricity and you own 5% of the project, you get 500 kWh for that billing period.
  • The value of those 500 kWh will be subtracted from your power bill, so if you use, for example, 750 kWh of electricity in your home, you'd only pay your utility company for 250 kWh.

Benefits of Community Solar

The main benefit of community solar is saving on power bills, especially in places with high electricity prices and abundant sunshine. However, the concept of sharing a solar array brings many other benefits, both technical and economic. These include:

  • Community solar can be used by homeowners or renters who can't install rooftop or ground-mounted solar panels. Some roof structures are not suitable for solar panels, and others are too shaded from surrounding buildings or objects to be effective. Community solar may also be an option if you live in an apartment without its own roof or if you simply don't like the appearance of rooftop solar panels.
  • You can easily take your solar savings to another home or apartment. If you install solar panels and decide to move in a few years, you must either sell them or take them with you. On the other hand, when joining a community solar project, you can simply assign the savings to your new address.
  • You can sometimes sell or donate your community solar share (depending on program conditions). This is useful if you move to a location that is not covered by the community solar program or if you decide to install your own solar panels in the future.
  • Community solar supports a more diverse customer base. To install your own solar panels, you must have the cash for an upfront payment or qualify for a loan. This financial barrier is eliminated with community solar — consumers can pay a monthly subscription or can purchase a small share according to their budget.
  • With community solar, you can forget about maintenance and part replacements. Solar panels need regular cleaning to stay productive, and components like inverters and solar batteries must usually be replaced after about 10 years. However, you don't have to worry about maintenance with community solar, as there is a project developer in charge.
  • Community solar shareholders are eligible for the federal solar tax credit. When purchasing a share of a community solar project, you can deduct 26% of your investment on your next tax declaration. Just keep in mind that this benefit is not available when joining as a subscriber, since technically you don't own a part of the community solar farm.

Community solar is an easier alternative to installing your own solar power system. The project developer is responsible for financing, installation, operation and maintenance, and you can reduce your electricity bills by simply buying a share of the project or subscribing.

However, installing your own solar power system also brings many benefits. You save the full economic value of the electricity generated, for example. Onsite solar power also increases the value of homes and commercial buildings, and many incentive programs are only available when you buy solar panels directly.

If you're weighing each option, it can be helpful to get a free quote for a home solar installation. Fill out the form below to get connected with a top solar company near you.

How Does Community Solar Work?

In a few words, community solar lets you save on power bills with a shared photovoltaic array, instead of having your own system. However, not all community solar projects are alike, and they can be classified into several types:

  • On-site vs. off-site
  • Ownership vs. subscription

Community solar should not be confused with group purchasing, which happens when many homeowners or businesses purchase individual solar systems at bulk prices. This does not count as community solar, since the project is split into many private installations.

On-Site Vs. Off-Site Community Solar

Many real estate developers use on-site community solar projects in their residential, commercial or mixed-use projects. The electricity generated by solar panels reaches consumers through a private power system, without depending on the local electric grid. On the other hand, off-site community solar is supplied via the grid.

Here are the main benefits and drawbacks of each type of community solar project:

On-Site Community Solar Off-Site Community Solar
Pros On-site community solar systems often achieve higher savings — because they don't use the local electric grid, they don't pay transmission and distribution fees to a utility company. Off-site community solar projects can serve a larger number of customers. You can also keep your ownership share or subscription when moving to another address, as long as you stay within the project's service area.
Cons On-site community solar is only available for local property owners and tenants of communities that have installed these energy projects. Depending on limitations with your local power grid, you may not yield as high of savings with off-site community solar.

Ownership Vs. Subscription Model

Community solar projects offer ownership shares and subscriptions. Some projects only have one option available, while others let you choose. You can save on power bills with both options, but understanding the differences between them is important:

  • When you purchase an ownership share in a community solar project, the corresponding percentage of power generation is yours for the entire service life of the project. Also, since you're a partial owner of the system, you can claim 26% of your investment as a federal tax deduction. However, owning part of a community solar project means you must have the capital to pay upfront.
  • When you subscribe to a community solar project, there is no upfront investment. Instead, you pay a monthly fee. This means there is an ongoing cost, but the corresponding power bill savings are higher than the subscription fee. Keep in mind that subscription costs may increase over time, while an ownership share represents a single upfront payment.

Each option has pros and cons — you will generally save more when you become a shareholder in a community solar project, but a subscription comes with zero upfront cost. Also, consider that you must sell your share if you move to a location not covered by a community solar project, while a subscription can be easily canceled.

Is Community Solar Available Near You?

Community solar offers many benefits, but it is not available nationwide. To scale these types of projects, state governments must first enable this business model by law. Also, developers are more likely to invest in community solar projects if market conditions are favorable. Generally, the best states for solar power are those with incentive programs, abundant sunshine and/or high electricity prices.

There are currently 40 states with at least one community solar project in operation, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported that 3.1 GW of community solar were online and operational by the end of Q1 2021. There is an optimistic outlook for community solar, and the SEIA has forecast a growth of 4 GW over the next five years. Each gigawatt of solar power can cover the electricity needs of around 186,000 American homes.

If you're interested in community solar power, you can check local government and utility websites — there could be several projects available near you.

FAQs: Community Solar

Is community solar legit?

Like all power generation projects, community solar systems are subject to laws and regulations. If you look for a developer that uses high-quality solar components and qualified installers, community solar is a reliable option to save on power bills for many years.

Is community solar a good deal?

To join a community solar project, you must become a shareholder with an upfront investment or pay an ongoing subscription. The power bill savings achieved will be higher than your monthly utility payments in both cases, but depending on the pricing model of your community's program, one option may present a better deal than the other.

What is community solar, and how does it work?

Community solar is an alternative to installing your own solar panels: You participate in a shared solar project as a shareholder or subscriber, and you get part of the electricity produced. This is a great option for individuals or companies who can't install their own solar panel systems due to lack of space or other limitations.

How does community solar make money?

Based on your ownership share or subscription type, you get part of the electricity produced by a community solar array. The kilowatt-hours generated are subtracted from your power bill — just like when you own solar panels directly.

Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, fast food, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.

Darryl Leniuk / Getty Images

Whether you live on the beach or in a landlocked city, all water eventually makes its way to the ocean, which is why it's so important to use reef-safe sunscreen. Traditional sunscreens can be toxic both to your body and to our important ocean environments, but there are plenty of safe options available.

At its most basic, reef-safe sunscreen is sunscreen that only uses mineral-based UV-blocking ingredients. However, there's no regulation on using the term "reef-safe," so it's important to thoroughly vet the ingredients of any product you're considering purchasing.

To save you some time and effort, we've done the research for you, and in this article, we'll break down the six best reef-safe sunscreens on the market today.

Why Switch to Reef-Safe Sunscreen?

Some places, like Hawaii, have banned many reef-harming sunscreens, but most Americans still have the choice to stick with traditional sunblocks or go the ocean-friendly route. Why switch to reef-safe sunscreen? There are a number of reasons, including:

  • According to National Geographic, there are as many as 82,000 kinds of chemicals from personal care products (including sunscreen) in the ocean, and in 2015 alone, around 14,000 tons of sunscreen ended up on coral reefs globally.
  • Even if you aren't near the ocean, when you shower after applying sunscreen, much of it goes down the drain, entering the wastewater stream and eventually ending up in the sea.
  • Ingredients found in commercially made sunscreens such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, nano titanium dioxide and nano zinc oxide are toxic not only for reefs, but also for sea urchins, fish, marine mammals and other ocean creatures.
  • Oxybenzone can be absorbed by humans and has even shown up in urine and breast milk.

The 6 Best Reef-Safe Sunscreens

Now that you've got a few reasons to choose an ocean-friendly sunblock over an ocean-polluting one, here are our recommendations for the best reef-safe sunscreens on the market.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Best Overall: Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen

Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen is our overall first choice for reef-safe sunscreen. Once applied, the full-spectrum protection begins instantly and the formula won't leave your skin feeling greasy or sticky. This sunscreen has the highest water resistance per the FDA and can offer protection in water for up to 80 minutes, after which it should be reapplied.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 3,800 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This sunscreen doesn't contain any parabens, phthalates, BPA, oxybenzone, avobenzone, petroleum, gluten, dairy or toxic chemicals. Its one active ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, and it is not tested on animals.

$24

Best Organic Sunscreen: Badger Clear Zinc SPF 40 Sunscreen

Another product we love is Badger Clear Zinc SPF 40 Sunscreen. This reef-safe, broad-spectrum formula only has four ingredients: zinc oxide, sunflower oil, beeswax and vitamin E. It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and is fragrance-free.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with about 200 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This sunscreen is SPF 40 and doesn't use any fragrances, allergens, GMOs, parabens, dyes or artificial ingredients. Badger is a women-run B Corporation, and its sunscreen lotions meet the strict safety guidelines of the Environmental Working Group and Protect Land + Sea.
$27

Best for Sensitive Skin: Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion

The SPF 30 formulation of Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen is made for people with very sensitive skin. It uses a 100% non-nano zinc and mineral-based formula that has an 80-minute water resistance before needing to be reapplied. It also includes natural ingredients like soothing organic sunflower oil, jojoba oil, shea butter and avocado.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,400 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Babo Botanicals is a certified B Corp. Its sunscreen doesn't contain any added fragrances and is a PETA-certified cruelty-free product. It's also approved by the Environment Working Group.
$16

Best for Kids: Earth Mama Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

This SPF 40 water-resistant product is pediatrician- and dermatologist-tested for irritants, making it a good choice for children. Earth Mama sunscreen is made from a non-nano zinc formula that sits on top of the skin instead of absorbing into the skin, so it can effectively deflect UV rays and offer maximum sun protection.

Customer Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with over 450 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Earth Mama's kid-friendly sunscreen doesn't use chemicals or artificial fragrances. Using natural ingredients like shea butter and organic colloidal oatmeal helps kids who may get rashes on their skin. It is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and has UVA/UVB protection.
$15

Best for Activity: Stream2Sea Sport Sunscreen

Unlike typical chemical sunscreens, Stream2Sea uses organic, mineral-based ingredients to shield against UV rays. It sits on your skin rather than being absorbed into your pores, so it's safer for your health while also being safe for marine life. It's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and holds up to sweat, so it's great for outdoor activities.

Customer Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars with over 440 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This sunscreen's formula is eco-conscious and is free of parabens and sulfates. The packaging is also environmentally friendly, as it's made from sugarcane resin and recycled plastic milk jugs.

$17

Best Face Sunscreen: REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen

This mattifying sunscreen is made with 22% non-nano, naturally derived zinc oxide for broad-spectrum UVA, UVB and blue-light protection. Its mattifying effect helps to reduce the visibility of pores, making it great for everyday use.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 180 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This product is silicone-free, cruelty-free and vegan. The packaging is made with recycled plastic and can be recycled again when the tube is empty. It uses ingredients such as yellow passionfruit and rice extract and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores.
$38

FAQ: Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Which sunscreen is safe for coral reefs?

There are many sunscreens that are safe for coral reefs. We recommend Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen and Badger Clear Zinc SPF 40 Sunscreen as two of the best options on the market.

How do I know if sunscreen is reef safe?

The claim "reef-safe" is not regulated, so the only way to know if a sunscreen is safe for coral reefs is to check the ingredients list for yourself.

What sunscreen ingredients are not reef safe?

According to Save the Reef, when looking for reef-safe sunscreen products, the ingredients you should avoid include: oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, homosalate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, PABA, parabens and triclosan. Additionally, avoid any forms of microplastics, like "exfoliating beads" as well as nanoparticles of zinc or titanium.

Do I need to wear reef-safe sunscreen?

You should wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin and help prevent skin cancer. Whether it's reef-friendly sunscreen is up to you, but we highly recommend it for both your own health and the health of the ocean ecosystem.

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If you're a fan of experimenting in the kitchen but are conscious of the amount of food waste you produce, it may be worth looking into purchasing an indoor compost bin. Purchasing one of the best compost bins is a great way to reduce food waste, even in small spaces.

In this article, we'll go over what at-home composting is, how to do it and the best compost bins to aid you in the process.

How Home Composting Works

Compost is organic material that is added to soil to aid plant growth. Thirty percent of the waste we create comes from food scraps and yard waste, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If these materials were composted, less waste would end up in landfills — where food scraps sit, take up space and release methane into the atmosphere — each year.

To create compost, just three elements are needed.

  1. Browns: This is the base of the compost and it includes organic waste like dead leaves, branches, dirt and twigs.
  2. Greens: These are the items that mostly come from your kitchen, like fruit and vegetable scraps or coffee grounds, but it also includes grass clippings.
  3. Water: Adding the correct amount of water to your compost will help it to develop.

The general rule is your compost should have equal parts browns and greens. The brown elements add carbon, and the green materials add nitrogen. The water helps by providing moisture and breaking down the organic matter.

How to Compost in Your Home

If you're interested in composting but don't want a large heap of kitchen waste and other compost materials in your yard, you're not out of luck. There are a variety of ways to compost at home without having a compost pile sitting in your yard.

The best way to approach composting will depend on how much, how often and how sophisticated you want your compost to be. For example, if you have a sizable garden, you may consider a compost tumbler or a worm composting bin with a large capacity. If you're in an apartment or don't have enough outdoor space, a countertop compost bin may be a better choice.

Listed below are several top-rated countertop composters, and further down, we explain a few different compost methods. This information can help you create the right compost style for your home.

Best Indoor Composting Bins

Now that you have an overview of the process and methods of in-home composting, we have compiled a list of the best compost bins for indoor use.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Best Overall: EPICA Stainless Steel Compost Bin

The EPICA Stainless Steel compost bin is easily cleaned and conveniently sized, as it's small enough to be kept indoors but big enough to hold several days' worth of kitchen scraps. The odors are concealed within the bin naturally, as it uses a replaceable activated charcoal filter. This makes it safe to keep on your kitchen counter without worrying about bad smells. It's also been featured in Forbes and Bon Appetit.

Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 12,400 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: The bin is made from non-rusting stainless steel. It's designed to be leak-free and the 1.3-gallon capacity is a perfect size for any home or apartment.

$23

Most Sustainable: Bamboozle Food Compost Bin

If you're looking for a kitchen compost bin that's made from more sustainable materials, you may be interested in the Bamboozle Food Compost Bin. This minimalist, dishwasher-safe bin is made with durable yet eco-friendly bamboo fiber that's harvested without damaging the natural landscape. This composter can hold over 1 gallon of food waste and has a charcoal filter in the lid that traps odors.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Bamboozle's modern-looking compost bin is an item you can be proud to display on your countertop. It's made with biodegradable bamboo fibers that are coated in a nontoxic cornstarch-and-melamine resin that breaks down in about 22 years.

$50

Most Aesthetically Pleasing: Chef'n EcoCrock Compost Bin

The Chef'n EcoCrock long-lasting compost bin is odor-free and adorable, featuring a light green plant sprout on the lid. This bin can hold up to 0.75 gallons of waste and the lid is vented, allowing air to flow to the food scraps while locking in any foul odors with a charcoal filter. It has a dual bucket design, with a removable bucket for easy cleaning when the bin becomes full. The inner bucket is dishwasher safe on the top rack.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 2,000 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: The size of this bin, and its style, makes it a great fit for apartments or smaller kitchens. The non-stick material of the inner bin makes the scraps easily slide out without a mess. This bin includes two disposable charcoal filters.

$40

Best Bokashi Bin: All Seasons Indoor Composter

The All Seasons Bokashi bin is easy to use because it incorporates a spigot to easily access "compost tea" that can be immediately used as a powerful plant fertilizer. The bucket itself is made from high-quality BPA-free plastic, and the inner compost bin is made from 75% recycled plastic bottles. This bokashi composting kit can recycle all kinds of kitchen scraps — including dairy, meat, small bones and paper.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 450 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This 5-gallon bin can recycle more kinds of food scraps so that almost none of your kitchen waste will end up in the landfill. The microbes that ferment the compost help contain any smell and keep away pests. Plus, the recycled and BPA-free plastic ensures that no harmful chemicals will seep into the compost.

$54

Best Food Cycler: Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

A food cycler is an elevated kitchen compost bin — it takes your food scraps and turns them into usable fertilizer within a few hours. The Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 breaks down food into a tenth of its original size, allowing you to mix it into your soil for a nutrient-rich fertilizer. The cycler is suitable for indoors because of its carbon filtration system.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 700 Amazon Ratings

Why Buy: The product, with a three-year warranty, processes your food scraps within four to eight hours. It has a 0.53-gallon capacity and can be stored and used anywhere there's a nearby power source. The cycler not only takes traditional compostable scraps, but it can also process bones. The cycler is simple and easy to use and can be cleaned in the dishwasher with the removal of the inner bucket.

$300

Best Options for Indoor Composting

There are many compost bins to choose from if you don't have a lot of space or are looking for apartment-friendly composting. Here are three approaches that are great for indoor composting.

Compost Bins

The simplest way to compost is with a compost bin. You can choose from many shapes and sizes depending on what your home can accommodate and the style of your home. Compost bins are made for storing food waste, which you can then put outside in a larger compost area. Your city or neighborhood may even have a community compost site. Worried about smells or fruit flies indoors? Don't be — compost bins are designed to seal tight and trap odors. Having a countertop compost bin allows you to toss food scraps right there in the kitchen rather than having to venture outside each time you need to compost something.

Food Cyclers

A food cycler takes your kitchen scraps and breaks them down to create a soil amendment. Many cycle for just a few hours and break down food almost entirely. You plug food cyclers into the wall, and the electric energy rapidly provides you with usable finished compost.

Food cyclers differ from traditional compost bins because they use electricity to speed the process of creating usable fertilizer, while traditional composting takes time, aeration and water to break down naturally. The food cycler's process of filtration, cooling, grinding and drying gives you easy access to a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

Bokashi Composting

Bokashi, a Japanese word meaning "fermented organic matter," is a type of composting system that uses inoculated bran to help recycle kitchen scraps of all kinds — even meat, fish and eggshells.

Here's the process you'll need to follow if you opt for Bokashi composting:

  1. Mix food scraps and inoculated bran
  2. Press mixture into a Bokashi bucket
  3. Cover with another layer of bran
  4. Every other day, for 10 days, draw off leachate, or "compost tea," a liquid byproduct of anaerobic composting material

This is the only care needed throughout the Bokashi composting process. A Bokashi bucket includes a spigot where the leachate can come out.

Final Thoughts: Kitchen Compost Bins

Whether you invest in an indoor compost bin or have your own DIY system, finding ways to keep food scraps out of our landfills will help the environment and lead you to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Any of these indoor compost bins is a step in the right direction and will help make composting your food scraps seamless and easy.

For those who struggle with sensitive or dry skin, natural soap may be an eco-friendly remedy. Commercially made soaps sometimes lack moisturizing ingredients and contain preservatives that help soap to foam up but also leave your skin feeling stripped, raw and itchy.

Even the FDA has stated that mass-produced soaps, whether in liquid or bar form, aren't really soap, but rather synthetic detergent products. This makes it even more compelling to seek out natural soaps made from moisturizing, organic and skin-enriching ingredients.

Natural and organic soaps are made from nature-derived ingredients that help your skin to stay soft, and moisturized without any added toxic chemicals. They're also better for the environment, as nothing unnatural will enter the water stream when that soap goes down the drain. Let's take a look at the seven best natural soaps on the market today.

7 Best Natural Soaps

Based on our market research, these are the best natural soap bars and liquid soaps available.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

What is Natural Soap?

Most natural soap is made from a combination of oil, lye (which contains water and either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide) and sometimes essential oils and natural colorings.

Many soaps you find on store shelves are filled with chemical fragrances and dyes, harmful sulfates and unsustainable ingredients like non-certified palm oil. Natural soap doesn't contain any synthetic chemicals or harsh active agents (also called surfactants). Because your skin is a highly absorbent organ, switching to a natural soap isn't just better for your epidermis, but for your whole body.

Our Recommendations for Natural Soap

If you're ready to lather up naturally, read on to learn more about some of the best natural soaps on the market today.

Best Overall: Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

Dr. Bronner's has been in the soap game for over a century, and its Pure-Castile Soap consistently tops best-seller lists for a reason. This natural soap is not only good for washing your face, hair and body, but it also can be diluted and used as an eco-friendly cleaning product for laundry, dishes, mopping and more. It's good for you and the planet, because when it's diluted, you get more bang for your buck and use less soap, meaning less packaging waste in the long run.

Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 19,200 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This pure castile soap utilizes a vegan, cruelty-free formula that's great for sensitive skin. It's made from organic oils and certified fair trade ingredients that are sustainably sourced from places with ethical working conditions and fair wages. The liquid soap is biodegradable and isn't made with synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Tom's of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin

Tom's of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap is gentle on skin and helps you retain your body's natural moisture. It's hypoallergenic, vegan and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified palm oil. If you need another reason to purchase this natural soal, 10% of Tom's of Maine's profits go to nonprofits working on issues including education, children's health and the environment.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 150 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This bar soap's formula is tested by dermatologists and is fragrance-free. It's made with natural ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil, making it a good choice for those with sensitive skin. Tom's of Maine doesn't test on animals and doesn't sell products with artificial fragrances, parabens or preservatives.

Best Allergen-Free Soap: Grandma's Pure Lye Soap Bar

This all-natural soap may be a great face and body cleanser for those who suffer from acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or another skin condition. This is because it's made with just three ingredients: food-grade lard, water and lye. Grandma's unscented soap bar could also be good for soothing bug bites, rashes and poison ivy. (But do note that it's not vegan if that's something you're looking for in your natural soap.)

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 900 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This pure lye soap is Mayo Clinic SkinSafe certified, which means it's guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals that cause allergies and cause itchy skin. The formula is detergent-free and doesn't have any additives that trigger dryness or irritation.

Best Hand Soap: ECOS Hypoallergenic Hand Soap

Lemongrass-scented ECOS Hypoallergenic Hand Soap is non-drying and helps to soften skin with ingredients like vitamin E. Its gentle formula can also help to maintain the thin film on the skin's surface called the acid mantle. This biodegradable, pH-neutral soap is an Environmental Protection Agency Safer Choice-certified product and is made with plant-based ingredients.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 800 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This hand soap is infused with vitamins, antioxidants and organic essential oils helping moisturize and protect hands. Its formula doesn't include any formaldehyde, petrochemicals, GMOs, phosphates, chlorine or ammonia. ECOS is a cruelty-free brand and never tests on animals.

Best Face Wash: Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash

Natural, organic and vegan skin care products can be hard to come by. Ursa Major's face wash helps brighten, exfoliate and hydrate skin. This natural face wash is a foaming gel cleanser that has a woodsy aroma, as it's infused with cedar, spearmint, lime, lemon, rosemary, black spruce, vetiver and lavender. It's good for those with normal, oily or combination skin.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This face wash is made with natural ingredients including lemon to exfoliate, aloe to hydrate and sugar maple to help brighten the skin. The formula also uses rice seed and coconut-derived surfactants. It is sulfate-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free and doesn't contain any petrochemicals, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, colors, silicones or glycols.

Best Body Wash: Avalon Organics Bath and Shower Gel

Avalon Organics Bath and Shower body soap has a calming aroma of lavender essential oils that helps to soothe the body. It gently cleanses and hydrates the skin by using natural and organic ingredients that meet NSF/ANSI 305 Personal Care standards. This formula of this body gel also meets the Environmental Working Group's strict criteria for ingredients, transparency and health.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 5,800 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Along with meeting NSF/ANSI 305 and EWG standards, Avalon Organics' natural soap is certified USDA Organic and Leaping Bunny cruelty-free. It's a vegan formula that doesn't have any parabens, phthalates, synthetic colors or fragrances.

Best for the Environment: Ethique Eco-Friendly Bodywash Bar

Ethique works to eliminate plastic waste by using compostable, plastic-free packaging. The company's Eco-Friendly Bodywash Bar is made with essential oils and olive oil, which creates a creamy, moisturizing natural soap. Ethique's selection of body wash bars includes scents like orange-vanilla, peppermint-lavender, lime-ginger and more. They are suitable for any skin type.

Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 1,400 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This product is 100% vegan, cruelty-free and palm-free. Each year, 20% of Ethique profits go to charities that are improving the environment. The ingredients are ethically sourced, sustainable and natural.

Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Soap

What is the most natural soap?

The most natural soaps are ones made with few ingredients. Most of the best natural soap brands use plant-based ingredients, but some use animal-derived ingredients like lard, which has been used in traditional soap making for thousands of years.

Is natural soap better for your skin?

Your skin is an absorbent organ, and the toxic chemicals that you apply to it have a fair chance of ending up in your bloodstream. Natural soap not only prevents this, but it's also more gentle on your skin, making it less prone to irritation.

What is the best soap without chemicals?

According to our research, Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap is the best natural soap. We also highly recommend Tom's of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap for Sensitive Skin.

Is natural soap better for the environment?

Natural soap is much better for the environment than soap made with synthetic materials. Most soaps wash off with water, and when that water goes down the drain, it carries the soap's ingredients along with it. If you use soaps formulated with toxins and synthetic chemicals, those ingredients will make their way through the wastewater stream and end up in lakes, rivers, oceans and other bodies of water.

Ridofranz / Getty Images

Natural deodorant has recently made its way into the mainstream marketplace. As people are looking for natural shampoos and soaps, they're also seeking out sustainable, aluminum-free alternatives to traditional antiperspirants and deodorants. But do they really work as well as their chemical-filled counterparts?

Aluminum is the ingredient in conventional antiperspirants that blocks your sweat glands. While this element was thought to be linked to breast cancer and other diseases, the American Cancer Society has stated there's very little scientific evidence to support the claim.

Even so, natural deodorants are another great option for those who are looking for a product that won't clog their pores or leave chemicals on their skin. Natural deodorants often use fewer ingredients and can even come in more sustainable packaging, making them a better choice for the environment.

Finding the best natural deodorant for you might take trial and error, but we have compiled a list of our favorites.

Our Picks for the Best Natural Deodorants of 2021

If you think of applying deodorant as part of your skincare routine, you'll understand why it's important to consider what products you use under your arms. The following eight products are our top recommendations for the best natural deodorants to get you through the day.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Best Overall: Native Natural Deodorant

Native deodorant is great-smelling, long-lasting and all-natural. This deodorant stick feels fresh and light but rolls easily onto the underarms because of its solid formula. Although it contains no aluminum and is not an antiperspirant, a few reviewers say it did leave them feeling dryer than other brands.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 52,000 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This vegan deodorant is gluten-free, paraben-free and aluminum-free. It includes natural ingredients including coconut oil, tapioca starch and soothing shea butter. As a brand, Native never tests on animals, is cruelty-free and supports 1% for the Planet.

$12

Best Men's Deodorant: Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Deodorant

If you can't spend more time outdoors, at least you can smell like the wilderness. Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Deodorant comes in scents like Deep Forest, Mountain Spring and North Woods, and its formula is just as eco-friendly as you'd expect, with ingredients like aloe and sunflower seed oil. A perk of buying Tom's of Maine deodorants is that 10% of all proceeds go to charities supporting children's health, education and the environment.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 4,400 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This great-smelling product is aluminum-free and offers 24-hour protection. It doesn't use any artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives. Tom's does not test on animals, making this deodorant cruelty-free. The company is also a certified B Corp.
$6

Best Women's Deodorant: Megababe Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant

The Megababe Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant is made using cornstarch instead of baking soda. It glides on smoothly compared to some other natural deodorants that use a sticky-textured application. Its vegan formula goes on clear, preventing clothing stains, and the scent leaves your pits smelling like fresh roses. (If you're not a floral fan, there are also beach and soap scents.)

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 300 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This deodorant is free of aluminum, baking soda, alcohol and parabens. Megababe's deodorant is made from a blend of natural ingredients including sage and green tea and is not tested on animals.
$24

Best Scent: Schmidt's Jasmine Tea Sensitive Skin Deodorant

Made with 100% natural, certified fragrances and essential oils, Schmidt's Jasmine Tea Sensitive Skin Deodorant both smells beautiful and keeps you fresh all day long. The scent — a blend of jasmine tea and green tea — is formulated with essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances, and the product as a whole is made for those with sensitive skin, so you don't have to worry about irritants.

Customer Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with over 1,700 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Schmidt's natural deodorant is Leaping Bunny and Ecocert-certified natural. It's not only free from aluminum, phthalates, baking soda and synthetic fragrances, but it's also vegan and cruelty-free.
$10

Best Eco-Friendly Packaging: Each & Every Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant

Each & Every's Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant uses Dead Sea minerals instead to keep you fresh all day. The plant-based packaging is made from 100% renewable sugarcane, which is a net carbon-negative plant. Although sugarcane packaging isn't accepted by most municipal recycling facilities, Each & Every has set up its own program through which you can recycle your used deodorant sticks.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 12,800 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This vegan deodorant stick is made from only six ingredients and is free of toxins, baking soda, aluminum and parabens. It's also a cruelty-free product, as Each & Every doesn't test on animals. It offers body odor protection with its synthetic-free lavender and lemon scent.
$15

Best Fragrance-Free Deodorant: Kopari Fragrance-Free Deodorant

For those trying to avoid fragrances, Kopari's deodorant is non-toxic and aluminum-free, using natural-based ingredients like soothing coconut oil and sage oil. The company sources its coconuts from family farms in Davao, Philippines, and uses a portion of its proceeds to fund community projects such as building homes, donating school supplies and setting up clean water access.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 with over 140 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Kopari's unscented deodorant is naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial, soothing and hydrating. It goes on clear, so you avoid stains on your clothing, and its formula is free from aluminum, parabens, toxins, phthalates and gluten.
$14

Best Spray Deodorant: Ursa Major Sublime Sage Deodorant

For those who want their armpits smelling great without a roll-on formula, Ursa Major's spray deodorant is an excellent option. It's important to note that while making the switch from stick deodorant to spray, you may experience a two- to three-week detox period; a spray will reach its full potential after three weeks.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with 145 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: This vegan and cruelty-free deodorant is non-staining and non-toxic, absorbing excess moisture and soothing sensitive skin. It uses 23 natural ingredients including sandalwood, lemon myrtle and sage. Ursa Major is also a certified B Corp, so you can feel good about supporting this company.
$18

Best for the Environment: Ethique Rustic Solid Deodorant

Using natural scents of lime, cedarwood and eucalyptus, this deodorant smells rustic and lasts all day. The Ethique Rustic Solid Deodorant formula also includes jojoba and sweet almond oil, which make for a smooth application, as well as bamboo, which can absorb up to 200% of its weight in sweat. Although this product is not an antiperspirant, the bamboo can help you stay drier, according to customers.

Customer Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with over 2,400 Amazon ratings

Why Buy: Ethique is a zero-waste, sustainable beauty brand. This vegan deodorant is certified Climate Pledge Friendly, using biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging to create a minimal environmental impact. It is also free of baking soda, aluminum, plastic and palm oil.
$13

Why Should You Switch to Natural Deodorant?

With natural ingredients, you can manage your sweat and body odor in an organic, eco-friendly way. Many natural deodorants also use sustainable packaging, ensuring a lesser impact on the environment. Natural deodorants don't clog the pores of your skin, allowing good bacteria to do their job and help you to naturally be less smelly and sweaty over time.

Tips on How to Make the Switch

Before switching to a natural deodorant, it's recommended to go au naturel for a few days. This allows your body to push out the chemicals from your previous deodorant or antiperspirant and minimizes the irritation that can come from changing products.

As you begin to use natural deodorant, you can expect an adjustment period of up to a month as your body regulates itself. (For some people, this detox stage can be shorter.) If the idea of walking around without protection makes you uncomfortable, try dabbing your armpits with tea tree oil, lavender or thyme essential oils that will help mask any unwanted smells.

After the initial transition, your natural deodorant will start to work as well as your previous product.

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