From mascara to sunscreen, Thrive Causemetics is a clean cosmetics brand that has taken the industry by storm. Should you try it?.
Founded in 2015 by Karissa Bodnar, Thrive Causemetics is a cosmetics company that is committed to empowering women through beauty products that not only make them look good but also make them feel good about themselves and the planet they all share.
With its focus on clean beauty and sustainability, Thrive Causemetics has quickly become one of the most popular cosmetics brands in an industry poised for significant growth. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global clean beauty market size was valued at $11.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.3 percent through to 2027.
Thrive Causemetics’ clean ingredients
Bodnar was inspired to start the cosmetics brand after losing her close friend Kristy LeMond to cancer at age 24 — and only a year after she was diagnosed. LeMond was a makeup artist who had always been passionate about creating beauty products that not only made women look good but also made them feel good about themselves. After her death, Bodnar decided to continue her legacy by creating a beauty brand that would not only make women feel beautiful but also contribute to a good cause.
“Even though she was only on this earth for 24 years, she packed so much thriving into her life and so much purpose,” Bodnar told Forbes. “I remember sitting at her funeral, being so confused and mad, thinking her life meant something. There was this piece of me that was missing and it was philanthropy, and that was where the idea for Thrive Causemetics came. Her family is still really involved with the company.”
Thrive Causemetics was born. The brand, which first launched in 2013, quickly gained a following due to its commitment to clean ingredients and sustainability practices.
Thrive says it uses clean, non-toxic, and vegan ingredients in its products. “When I started Thrive, I saw a need for clean beauty that didn’t compromise on performance. Women deserve makeup that is both safe and effective,” Bodnar told Refinery29. “Our products are formulated with clean, high-quality ingredients that not only enhance your natural beauty but also nourish your skin.”
Bodnar grew up creating cosmetics in her own kitchen using items from her family farm including sunflower seeds and flower petals. “My parents fostered that creativity in me, which is such a privilege,” she said. From there she studies chemistry, and worked with beauty brands including Sephora and Clarisonic, which helped to lay the foundation for stepping out on her own.
Clean, sustainable ingredients
One of the main reasons why Thrive Causemetics has become so popular is its commitment to clean ingredients — a buzzy category that’s gained momentum as a result of efforts like Sephora’s Clean at Sephora standards and marketplaces such as Credo Beauty. According to Bodnar, “We have a strict list of over 2,000 harmful chemicals we will never use in our formulations, including parabens, sulfates, and phthalates,” she told Forbes.
Thrive Causemetics also uses a variety of natural and organic ingredients in its products. For example, the Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara is made with orchid stem cell complex, which helps to promote healthy lashes, and the Buildable Blur CC Cream is made with hyaluronic acid, which helps to hydrate and plump the skin.
Thrive Causemetics is also committed to sustainable practices. The company uses eco-friendly packaging and ships its products in 100 percent recyclable materials. According to an interview with Refinery29, Bodnar said the company is constantly looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and increase its sustainability efforts. “We recently launched our new recyclable aluminum packaging for our eye and lip products, which is a huge step forward for us,” she said.
In addition to its sustainable packaging, Thrive is also committed to giving back to the community; the company donates a portion of its profits to various organizations that support women’s causes, such as domestic violence prevention, women’s health, and education.
“We believe that makeup should be about enhancing your natural beauty, not covering it up, and we also believe that beauty products can be a force for good in the world,” Bodnar told Forbes.
Thrive’s mission lives up to its intentionally misspelled brand name. It, quite literally, puts the cause in causemetics, with efforts to support a number of causes including RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), LGBTQIA rights, racial justice, military families, and has saved 4.2 million trees. Last year Thrive made a cash donation of more than $100k to the Breonna Taylor Endowed Nursing Scholarship at University of Louisville and sent student Kaelyn Goatley to nursing school.
Last year, the company launched its first sunscreen, Sunproof 3-in-1 Invisible Priming Sunscreen SPF 37. According to Thrive, the sunscreen was inspired by the Los Angeles nonprofit, Beauty 2 The Streetz founder, Shirley Raines. It provides a range of necessities to unhoused people in the city including body-and hair-care products. Sunscreen is an often-overlooked necessity for people living on the streets.
“They are out in the elements 24 hours a day; there’s no protection for their skin,” Raines said at the time of the launch. “Imagine people having no escape from the sun whatsoever. Their whole lives are outside in the sun and the cold. Sunscreen is really important, because we know that the sun can cause cancer. I’m really fascinated with the 3-in-1 because with the homeless, they don’t have access to a place to keep things, so a 3-in-1 product is better than having three bottles,” Raines said.
“Our cause has grown bigger than I ever thought it could,” Bodnar told Forbes. “It’s really community-driven. Something that’s really important to me is that there is no charity too small or too large for Thrive Causemetics to work with. In fact, it was the small charities that have helped our cause really accelerate at the local level, so some of our best giving partners are the ones where it’s a couple of volunteers that are doing this in addition to their full-time job because they’re led by their purpose. We meet our best giving partners through the Thrive Causemetics community.”
Related on Ethos: