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We all have skin. And, while several factors may make our skin different, gender identity isn’t one of them.
People of all genders need moisturizing, and there are people of all genders who enjoy wearing makeup. So why segregate skin care and beauty products by gender?
These 11 companies say no to perpetuating gender barriers in the skin care space, so you can shop their collections without feeling put in a box.
We looked for high user ratings and gender-neutral marketing as two main factors in compiling these 11 brands.
Many brands on this list are also:
- donating proceeds to nonprofits
Each of these brands has a range of products. We took the average price of the products offered (excluding packaged bundles or promotions) to come up with this key.
- $ = under $25
- $$ = $25–$45
- $$$ = over $45
- Price: $–$$
- What to try: The Hydrating Face Mist checks all my boxes for a great face mist — it’s lightweight, hydrating, vegan, and comes in a fully recyclable, eco-friendly aluminum bottle (though the spray top is plastic).
With a focus on providing the best skin care and wellness products for “active bodies and mindful spirits,” all Eir NYC products are made with natural ingredients and are never tested on animals.
The packaging is neutral and sleek — and some of it is even plastic-free (a major win in my book).
You’ll find more than just your basic cleansers and serums in the Eir NYC product line. The brand also sells products like reef-safe sunscreen, natural insect repellent, and even a vegan balm designed for tattoo aftercare.
- Price: $$–$$$
- What to try: Everyone’s lips can use some TLC, but drugstore lip balm doesn’t always cut it. Try the Rosehip Seed Lip Cream to soften and hydrate lips without a greasy finish.
Aesop’s website allows you to shop by skin type (dry, oily, combination), skin concern (like blemishes or sensitivity), or formulation (like gels or lotions) — not by gender.
With a wide range of high-end vegan products, like masks, shaving serums, sun care, and toners, you’re likely to find exactly what you’re looking for. The brand even sells fragrances designed for all genders.
Added bonuses: Aesop is a Certified B Corporation and Leaping Bunny certified.
Alder New York
- Price: $–$$
- What to try: A Healthline editor recommends layering the Everyday Face Serum under moisturizer. It’s gentle, hydrating, and pairs well with the Everyday Face Cleanser and Everyday Face Moisturizer. You can get all three bundled in the Everyday Skincare Mini Set.
“We are always trying to create the best possible, most effective product, and that has nothing to do with someone’s gender identity,” Alder New York co-founder Nina Zilka said in a 2020 interview.
The vegan brand understands skin care to be genderless, so you can shop by skin concern (like hyperpigmentation or acne) instead of gender. You’ll find everything you need, from soaps and cleansers to serums and mists.
- Price: $–$$
- What to try: The Mind and Body Wash is a certified organic all-purpose soap with an earthy scent reminiscent of California redwoods. The glass rainbow bottle is refillable to reduce waste, and the formula of aloe vera, shea butter, and moisturizing oils is concentrated, so you only need a little each time you wash up.
Bathing Culture celebrates the art of bathing and the peaceful and transformative time it can be. Instead of stripping skin of natural moisture, their products are hydrating and aim to bring scents and ingredients of nature into the process.
Enjoy a mineral bath soak with salts from around the world, or lock in moisture and heal from the sun with the Outer Being Face & Body Oil.
Bathing Culture also has cool initiatives worth mentioning. The company plants one native plant or tree for every 5 gallons of soap made. Additionally, Bathing Culture donates part of sales from the Love Is Rad pin to support the Transgender Employment Program through the SF LGBT Center.
- Price: $
- What to try: The Browzey Brow Gel is a clear brow gel for defining and shaping your eyebrows. Infused with argan oil and aloe vera, the gel also conditions the brows. Like all of Fluide’s products, the gel is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.
Fluide is a go-to name in the gender-expansive beauty space.
In the company’s own words, Fluide believes “that makeup is joyful and fun — as well as powerful and transformative — and nobody should be left out. Through providing a platform and amplifying the voices of queer and gender expansive identities and through showcasing queer beauty, we hope to inspire others to create their identities on their own terms, opening up possibilities for everyone’s self-expression.”
Browsing the website of smiling queer models is a joyful experience, so have fun shopping the makeup, like mascara, lipstick, and eyeliner — plus nail polish and body glitter.
Formula Z Cosmetics
- Price: $
- What to try: Made with avocado oil, jojoba, vitamin E, and aloe, Plumpaholic is a vegan and cruelty-free clear lip plumper that’s gentle but still provides a tingling feeling and temporarily makes lips look fuller.
Zach Dishinger launched Formula Z Cosmetics at just 15 years old after making cosmetics in his kitchen. He felt empowered by makeup, even when others judged him.
Formula Z now offers lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow, and even hand sanitizer.
Thirty percent of the sales price from the company’s Mission Z products go directly to The Trevor Project, a non-profit providing suicide prevention service to LGBTQ youth.
KimChi Chic Beauty
- Price: $
- What to try: “Glam Tears is more than just your average liquid highlighter,” KimChi Chic Beauty claims. It’s a shimmer that can be used anywhere on the body, like the collarbone, legs, and face, for a shine in gold, silk, or opal. Use it as a highlighter on cheekbones or mix it into your foundation for an all-over glow.
Kim Chi (her name out of drag is Sang-Young Shin) finished “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 8 as runner-up, but she left with a following of nearly 2 million on Instagram.
“I believe your face is a canvas to create art,” she says on her website. “Whether it’s subtle or out of this world, makeup can elevate the way you feel about yourself.”
Her makeup line aims to do just that with eyeshadows, lip glosses, face powders, concealers, and blushes for a wide range of skin tones and styles.
Two percent of all sales go directly to The Trevor Project.
non gender specific
- Price: $$$
- What to try: The Everything Serum is non gender specific’s most popular product. Filled with natural ingredients, including lemon peel extract, lavender, and mushroom, this smooth serum is made to address multiple skin concerns — like fine lines and hyperpigmentation — in one product.
“I became interested in beauty at a very young age and knew that it was an industry I wanted to be a part of,” founder Andrew Glass said in a 2019 Teen Vogue interview.
“As a gay man, equality has always been important to me. I knew that if I ever started my own brand, equality would play a huge part in that brand’s core values.”
When he did start his own brand, it was important to him to create one that was genderless. Having worked at a major men’s skin care brand before going out on his own, he was acutely aware of how gendered products seem to be.
With non gender specific, you can pare your skin care down to just the essentials. The brand even has a fragrance that can be used by anyone.
- Price: $$
- What to try: NOTO Botanic’s “gender free vegan oil” Agender Oil softens and protects any areas of the body that grow hair. Made of hemp seed oil, vetiver, and lavender, this nutrient-dense oil can be rubbed all over the body for de-frizzing, strengthening, and moisturizing hair you choose to keep.
Founder Gloria Noto started the brand to help bring diversity and inclusion to clean beauty. The result is a line of products that can be used for all genders and skin types.
Sales of some products, like the Agender Oil, are designated as “giveback products,” meaning NOTO Botanics donates some proceeds to causes, like Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter.
- Price: $$–$$$
- What to try: One of Schăf’s unique offerings is the Arctic Mud Treatment mask. This all-in-one face mask will have your face glowing after just one 10 to 15 minute treatment, but it’s recommend that you use it once or twice per week. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, arctic mud and minerals clear pores, and grape seed and sweet almond oil nourish skin in this vegan product for all skin types.
“We believe there are far more differences between our individual skin conditions that are beyond gender,” Schăf’s website says. “So lumping us all into two camps of men or women is just silly.”
Founder Peter Schafrick is all about having his customers buy less of his products, because he believes the less we put on our skin, the better.
You won’t find any irritants or sensitizers in the company’s products, including fragrances, artificial colors, sulfates, animal byproducts, GMOs, gluten, and parabens.
- Price: $
- What to try: One of The Ordinary’s bestsellers is the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, a formula for reducing blemishes. Niacinamide (aka vitamin B-3) and zinc help reduce inflammation and redness. The Ordinary recommends applying it to the entire face every morning and evening before any creams.
The Ordinary is all about pricing integrity, which means the prices are shockingly affordable, with almost everything in the $5 to $20 range.
Shop by concern (like dullness, puffiness, or dryness), active ingredient (like SPF, vitamin C, or antioxidants), product type (like exfoliants, concealers, or primers), product requirement (like vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free), or even by time of use (a.m. or p.m.).
You’ll be able to find a wide range of skin care products, as well as some makeup products.
People of all genders deserve to feel celebrated in the skin they’re in.
Don’t feel pressured to care for or dress up your body in certain ways because of rigid societal roles. These 11 skin care and beauty brands let you shop based on your skin’s need — not the color of the packaging.
Sarah Prager’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, HuffPost, SheKnows, NewNowNext, JSTOR Daily, Bustle, The Advocate, Motherfigure, and many other outlets. She is the author of two books for youth about LGBTQ+ heroes of history, both Junior Library Guild selections published by HarperCollins. “Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World” is for ages 12 and up and “Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History” is for ages 8 and up. Sarah has spoken to over 150 audiences across five countries on LGBTQ+ history at venues from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to Twitter’s headquarters to Harvard Business School. She lives in Massachusetts with her wife and their two children. Learn more about Sarah here: www.sarahprager.com.