Is Saie Truly Clean and Sustainable? We Investigate
Launched in 2019, Saie is an emerging makeup brand with a strong stance on clean ingredients and sustainability. Founder Laney Crowell claims to be “on a mission to make beauty better with clean, award-winning products that are sustainable and conscious of the planet we share.”
Does Saie live up to their claims? We took a deep dive into the brand, its ingredients and ethical practices to determine if its a brand you should support.
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: Good)
Saie mainly makes modern makeup products in cream or liquid form. Their best-sellers include a moisturizer, liquid highlighters and blushes, and a mascara. Their collection also includes makeup brushes.
Saie touts itself as being “as clean as it gets” on its website. They claim they’re fragrance-free, organic, and dermatologist-tested, among many others. They also claim to be free from neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens.
Overall, we’ve rated their ingredients as “good.” This brand has carefully selected its ingredients and meets our clean standard.
Claim #1: Fragrance-Free
We found no fragrance in any of their products. Since Saie only makes makeup products, not skincare, fragrance is not particularly needed. However, most makeup brands still use fragrance in their products, and you know our stance on fragrance.
Claim #2: Organic
On their front page, Saie claims to be “organic.” Even though some of their ingredients are organic, such as their beeswax, we found this claim to be misleading since they don’t label which ingredients are organic. Most likely, only a small minority of their ingredients are actually organic.
Claim #3: Dermatologist-Tested, Hypoallergenic
Although these buzzwords are used as marketing claims, Saie does make an effort to create safer products for sensitive skin, for instance, by omitting fragrance and using safe synthetics. We didn’t find any common irritants such as parabens or dyes in their products, however if you have specific allergies, you need to read the label carefully.
For example, an ingredient of concern can be found in their SunVisor sunscreen: Licorice Root Extract, used as a brightening and anti-inflammatory agent in skincare, can irritate some skin types.
Claim #4: Paraben-Free
A common claim from clean brands. Saie does not use parabens to preserve their products. Upon closer inspection, only their mascaras contain preservatives, more specifically potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, which have a “good” rating. This means that their other products should be used quickly after opening.
Claim #5: Free from neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, environmental stressors, and carcinogens.
While examining Saie’s ingredients, we found that most of them are classified as “good” and fit the criteria above. Saie does not use any iffy preservatives and their sunscreens are fully mineral, using zinc oxide. A minority of ingredients can be potentially irritating, such as the aforementioned Licorice Root Extract.
Sustainability (Rating: Good)
Saie’s packaging is made from either glass, biodegradable materials, post-consumer recycled materials, or recyclable plastic, which can be “recycled appropriately through the proper channels.”
On their sustainability page, they claim to be on a mission to be plastic-free by 2021 with their packaging. Unfortunately, since it’s now 2022 and Saie is still using plastic packaging, this mission has proven difficult for the company.
Regardless, Saie is making a real effort towards sustainability and circularity in their packaging and is one of the beauty brands to be taking these issues seriously in the industry. For instance, their Liquid Lip Balm uses 100% post-consumer resin for its packaging. Saie also cares about the details: their pumps are free from the traditional plastic tube component to minimize plastic in their packaging.
They also take several additional initiatives towards eco-friendliness, for example, by producing their cartons in a solar-powered facility and minimizing their carbon footprint. The brand is certified Carbon Neutral, which means they offset their carbon emissions, and Plastic Negative, which contributes towards removing plastic waste.
Animal Welfare (Rating: Good)
Saie is verified cruelty-free and can be found on Cruelty-Free Kitty’s list of cruelty-free brands. They’re also Leaping Bunny certified. However, not all of their products are vegan since some contain beeswax. They claim that their beeswax is ethically and sustainably-sourced.
Saie also makes makeup brushes that are made from synthetic hair, with no animals harmed in the process.
Final Brand Ratings
Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Bad” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated Saie as follows.
|Good – Saie uses a relatively safe list of ingredients.
|Good – While the brand uses plastic packaging, they are striving to become a 100% plastic-free brand and support several eco-friendly initiatives.
|Good – The brand is 100% cruelty-free, but is not a vegan brand.
Overall Rating: Good
Saie is a good brand when it comes to sustainability and animal welfare. While they have some plastic packaging which goes against their mission to be plastic-free by 2021, they make up for it with their many other sustainable initiatives.
Their ingredients are mostly “good” and they don’t use any iffy preservatives. Additionally, they’re cruelty-free and some of their products are vegan. Overall, Saie is a relatively ethical brand, and we give them a rating of Good.