Peeling Back The Petals: Is Flower Beauty Clean?

6 min reading time

The beauty industry is no stranger to celebrity-endorsed brands, which often inspire consumer trust. Among them, Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty has made a name for itself since its inception in 2012.

Flower Beauty, known for its affordable, high-quality beauty products, is readily available at well-known retailers including CVS, Ulta, Walmart, and Amazon. The brand exudes a lively and playful aesthetic, with bright colors and a straightforward logo that echoes Barrymore’s vision of simple and fun beauty.

Beyond the surface, Barrymore aims for Flower Beauty to stand out by challenging the sometimes harsh expectations of the beauty industry. The brand’s tagline, “Because beauty is for everyone,” reinforces this mission.

But does Flower Beauty live up to its natural-sounding name? We conducted an in-depth analysis to discover the truth. Join us as we explore Flower Beauty’s ingredients, sustainability practices, and animal welfare policies. 

Our Methodology

At Better Goods, we rank brands on our three pillars: ingredients, sustainability, and animal welfare.

Brands are rated on the three pillars as follows:


This ranking is for the best of the best. Only exemplary brands will receive a ranking of best for any category.


This ranking is for brands that are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.


This ranking is for when we find something we find iffy. Not a good sign.


This ranking is reserved for the worst of the worst.

Ingredients (Rating: Avoid)

Flower Beauty has a full ingredient list for each product. Barrymore offers advice for how to use each product, so consumers can make the most of their purchases.  

Products seem to be sold out online. The website directs consumers to buy items directly from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, CVS, and Ulta. The items are still in stock and being sold at those retailers. Items have a “Notify Me When Back” button, which shows the company plans to bring the products back.  

The company’s website is still up-and-running and its social media accounts continue to be updated, which shows the brand is still active. Barrymore made a statement on Flower Beauty’s website that the company is transforming into a lifestyle brand. 

While reviewing Flower Beauty’s products, we found many hazardous ingredients. 

  • Fragrance is present in many of Flower Beauty’s products. We do not suggest using products with fragrances
  • Flavor (aroma) is an ingredient in some products. This means substances are added to create or nullify a scent in a product. 
  • PEGs (Polyethylene Glycols) are petroleum-based ingredients used in cosmetics for thickening and stabilizing formulas. PEGs also help products keep moisture. However, they are usually laced with carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide. 
  • Talc appeared in a few products. This powdery substance has been linked to cancer, respiratory issues, and toxic contamination.
  • Parabens are preservatives. They have the potential to affect fertility, disrupt hormones, and increase the risk of developing cancer.  
  • Synthetic dyes are ingredients in some products. Some synthetic dyes have been linked to cancer and toxic contamination. 
  • Tetrafluoropropene is a PFAS. PFAS have been connected to serious health issues. They don’t break down easily and can accumulate in the body.  
  • Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that can be safe to use in small concentrations. However, it is linked to allergies and respiratory concerns. 
  • Petrolatum is an ingredient that comes from petroleum. It can be contaminated with PAHs, which have been linked to cancer. 
  • Aluminum powder is a colorant in cosmetics. It can be contaminated with heavy metals. It has been linked to respiratory problems. 
  • Sulfates are present in some products. They can cause irritation and have been linked to cancer.
  • The preservative butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is present in some products. BHT can disrupt hormones. A 2001 study showed BHT negatively affected the lungs of mice. 
  • Chromium oxide green is a deep green colorant. It can be toxic for humans and the environment.  
  • Octinoxate can be used as a sunscreen ingredient. However, it can disrupt hormones. This ingredient was recently banned in Hawaii and Key West because it was harmful to oceans.
  • Ammonium hydroxide can balance a product’s pH level. However, it has the potential to cause organ system toxicity. It can also accumulate in the environment. 
  • Alumina is a mineral that can help cosmetics absorb or thicken. It has been linked to allergies and organ toxicity.
  • Limonene is a scent derived from citrus rind. It can cause skin and respiration sensitivities, especially when exposed to sun and air.  
  • Lecithin is used as a humectant and emollient in cosmetics. It can also cause allergies. We recommend particular caution for those who have soy and egg allergies, because lecithin can derive from these ingredients. 
  • Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicon-based ingredient that may be toxic for the environment. 
  • Mica is a mineral dust used in cosmetics. A 2018 report shed light on child labor and illegal mica mining practices in India and Madagascar. Flower Beauty’s stance about mica mining is unclear. 

Sustainability (Rating: Avoid)

Flower Beauty does not make any sustainability claims. Its website does not detail any recycling or environmental practices. The brand manufactures products in the United States, Canada, and China, which shows a large carbon footprint. 

Animal Welfare (Rating: Good)

On Flower Beauty’s website, the company claims to be cruelty-free.


Cruelty-Free Kitty assessed Flower Beauty’s animal welfare claims and determined it was truly a cruelty-free brand. The company and its affiliates do not test ingredients or products on animals at any stage of the development process.


While Flower Beauty is cruelty-free, it is not 100% vegan. There are some vegan options labeled on the website. We found some non-vegan ingredients in a few items, including carmine, squalane, and beeswax.

Final Brand Ratings

Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Avoid” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated Flower Beauty as follows.

IngredientsAvoidFlower Beauty is open about its formulations and provides a full list of ingredients for each product. However, we found many harmful substances in current products, which are still sold at retailers across the United States. Some products had undisclosed fragrances and flavors. We also found other ingredients linked to cancer like PEGs, talc, parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, and synthetic dyes. BHT can disrupt hormones. PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, can harm the environment. These are only a few of the potentially risky ingredients we found. The company has not been transparent about the sourcing of its mica.
SustainabilityAvoidFlower Beauty has made no claims about its sustainability stances or practices. There are no recycling initiatives listed on its website.
Animal WelfareGoodFlower Beauty is cruelty-free, but not 100% vegan, reports Cruelty-Free Kitty. The website shows customers which products have vegan ingredients.

Overall Rating: Avoid

Flower Beauty is a cosmetics brand established by Drew Barrymore. Barrymore wanted her makeup company to stand out as easy to use, high-quality, and affordable.  

Many products contain questionable ingredients. The brand does not have clear sustainability initiatives in place. Flower Beauty is cruelty-free. It is not a vegan brand, but allows customers to filter vegan options.

Despite their accessible price point, it would be best to avoid these products at local retailers. Products are still in stock at many stores. If Flower Beauty is going to rebrand soon, hopefully it will reformulate products as well. Fans of the products have been speculating about a possible rebrand.

For now, Flower Beauty receives a rating of Avoid

Download our free swap guide.
A cheatsheet of 50+ clean alternatives for your whole house. 
Thank you for subscribing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *