Home > Beauty & Grooming > Makeup > More Than Skin Deep: 9 beauty brands that give back
More Than Skin Deep: 9 beauty brands that give back

Look and feel good while you do good.

To kick off the new year, we’re spotlighting beauty brands that give back and make a difference, all available in Hong Kong. These make-up and skincare companies have committed to all sorts of charitable causes, from helping girls get access to education to raising awareness of endangered animals.

9 beauty brands that give back

beauty brands that give back philanthropy charities chantecaille


Sylvie Chantecaille’s passion for the environment started when she found out that the beautiful orange, black and white monarch butterfly was disappearing. Her ultra-luxe botanical brand Chantecaille regularly releases stunning Philanthropy collections paired with conservation projects — including the SUJÁN Tiger and Leopard Conservation Project in Rajasthan, India and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya — as well as making environmentally safe products, such as a coral reef-safe sunscreen.

What to buy
Any Philanthropy collection, though our pick would be the Philanthropy Cheek Shades, with six embossed compact colours that benefit the brand’s favourite conservation efforts, including monarch butterflies, coral reefs and wild horses.


beauty brands that give back philanthropy charities clarins


Family-run cosmetics company Clarins has a long history with medical research. Founder Jacques Courtin-Clarins created the Association for Polyarthritis Research in 1989 after growing distraught over his wife’s experience with rheumatoid polyarthritis. The association was renamed Fondation Arthritis and every year since 2012 Courtin- Clarins’ granddaughters have featured products that support it. Among Clarins Group’s other initiatives are providing emotional support to women with cancer through the associations Etincelle and Belle & Bien, and committing to FEED, which strives to end world hunger while advocating for education by setting up school nutrition programmes.

What to buy
Any Clarins product. Go for a festive choice and grab a gift set or pick up one of the brand’s bestselling skincare or makeup products.


Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics has stood against animal testing since its inception in 2004. The brand donates 1 percent of annual profits from hourglasscosmetics.com to the Nonhuman Rights Project, a US organisation that works to secure fundamental rights for animals, whose recent cases include petitioning for Happy the elephant’s move from the Bronx Zoo to a sanctuary. Additionally, 5 percent of annual profits from the Unlocked line are donated to the organisation’s efforts. Since December 2020, the brand has been fully vegan, making every purchase truly guilt-free.

What to buy
Technically, you can buy anything available online, as the brand ships to Hong Kong. We currently have our eye on the Unlocked + Caution Mascara Duo gift set, featuring two best-sellers guaranteed to add volume and length to your lashes.


beauty brands that give back philanthropy charities loccitane


Ultra-nourishing shea butter is a signature L’Occitane ingredient, and it’s all thanks to women in Burkina Faso who’ve been making the butter for the French brand since the 1980s. To honour this special bond, the L’Occitane Foundation was created in 2006; it’s committed to projects promoting women leadership, both in Burkina Faso and globally — including literary programmes, income-generating activity training and support for small businesses. In 2017, the brand partnered with the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. which supports women’s economic and political empowerment.

What to buy
Although Solidarity Balm is not currently available in Hong Kong, you can still choose anything from the collection — including a candle and the Solidarity hand cream, inspired by the traditional bissap drink in Burkina Faso infused with the hibiscus flower. All profits are donated to women leadership programmes in the West African country.


La Mer

A favourite of celebrities Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian, luxury skincare brand La Mer has committed to protecting marine habitats for more than a decade, supporting the sea through advocacy initiatives and partnerships with conservation organisations. In 2017, it launched the La Mer Blue Heart Oceans Fund to support ocean conservation projects around the world, including youth movements, planting mangroves in the Caribbean, and sustainability research and education (to name a few). The brand also nominates notable conservationists, scientists and creators as its Blue Heart ambassadors, such as marine biologist Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and wildlife photojournalist Thomas Peschak.

What to buy
While stocks last, pick up a limited-edition Blue Heart version of the best-selling Crème de la Mer that moisturises even the driest skin with cell-renewing Miracle Broth and antioxidant Lime Tea.



Lush put sustainability and environmental concerns at the heart of its company, making use of almond and olive oil over mineral oil and using 90 percent recyclable packaging (with the ultimate aim of 100 percent). So it’s no surprise that the brand has a dedicated charitable product: a Charity Pot Body Lotion, with 100 percent of the purchase price allocated to grants supporting environmental justice, as well as human rights and animal protection.

What to buy
The Lush Charity Pot, a creamy body lotion with a soft floral scent that features Fair Trade and organic ingredients such as olive and jojoba oil, and shea and Colombian cocoa butter and the Lush Charity Pot Coin.


MAC Cosmetics Keith Haring Viva Glam


MAC Cosmetics co-founders Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo created an intense brownish-red lipstick colour in 1994 — the Viva Glam — with a vision of making an impact on the community. As 37.9 million people globally are living with HIV/AIDS, 100 percent of the selling price of the lipstick goes towards prevention and treatment. “This little lipstick gave people dignity and saved lives,” Toskan once said. The campaign launched the Viva Glam Lipstick and the MAC AIDS Fund, which subsequently featured actress Chloë Sevigny and model Dita Von Teese as spokeswomen, and collaborated with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood.

What to buy
Viva Glam recently celebrated 27 years of giving back with three special-edition lipsticks in American artist and social activist Keith Haring’s signature primary-colour palette: a true red, blue and yellow.


Clean Beauty Brands


Hong Kong-based, Ayurveda-inspired Purearth is an award-winning skincare and wellness brand that takes pride in clean and sustainable products: 10 percent of its profits go to the Pure Purpose Foundation (PPF), a sister organisation that advocates conscious consumption, with social impact initiatives ranging from safe sanitation and period waste to tree plantation. For example, honouring a commitment to working with marginalised women, Purearth partners with micro-credit finance and self-help groups in remote Himalayan and tribal areas. PPF also runs an Eco-Pot Project, which builds toilets that provide safe sanitation for women and girls in the Himalayas and India’s Maharashtra state.

What to buy
Anything, maybe everything. Among the brand’s best-sellers are luxurious facial and hair oils, and the award-winning Mitti Raw Honey Face Mask, a concoction of raw organic honey and antioxidant cacao mixed with Ayurvedic botanical actives and clays.



Japanese beauty and skincare brand Tatcha is a cult (and our office) favourite, with luxurious creams, serums and other products rooted in traditional East Asian rituals. The brand partners with Room to Read, a non-profit organisation supporting children’s literacy and girls’ education across Asia and Africa. In 2014, Tatcha created the Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures fund to help girls stay in school and reach their potential through Room to Read’s education programmes. And, beginning this year, the brand is also bringing diverse books to neglected communities in the United States through Room to Read’s literacy initiative.

What to buy
Every Tatcha purchase supports education equality. Go for a set like the Purify, Treat, and Hydrate Trio, a three-step ritual that harnesses the power of hyaluronic acid, Okinawa algae and nourishing Japanese ingredients. It includes a full-size Dewy Skin Cream, a travel-size Rice Wash, a travel-size Dewy Serum and a stunning complimentary Furoshiki Cloth Wrap.


(Hero image courtesy of Tatcha, featured image courtesy of Chantecaille)

Sakina Abidi
Editorial Assistant
History graduate and poetry person, Sakina is a recovering journalism student currently in editorial. You are most likely to find her hunting down new eats on Instagram (halal please!) and lusting after Korean skincare drops.
Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.