Twenty years ago, if a woman wanted to “go natural” with her beauty routine, she had just a few choices: Hitting the local health food store and scavenging through a meager offering of products, making lotions herself, or doing without. The times have changed, and what was a fledgling market has turned into a thriving $800 million industry.
Natural Solutions magazine felt that nowadays so many companies are making good, clean beauty products that it was time for an official shout-out, and they have created an annual Beauty With a Conscience Awards–debuting now. (They also have a nifty contest for readers who submit their favorite natural beauty picks.)
But finding truly pure skincare proved no easy task. Unfortunately, even products marketed as “natural” can come packed with hormone disrupters, carcinogens, toxic by-products, and heavy metals. In fact, the average woman applies more than 150 chemicals through her skincare daily. Knowing the link between this unnecessary toxin exposure and serious health concerns, they made the decision to honor companies that use only the cleanest, healthiest ingredients available.
But how did they decide what to allow and what needed the boot? Some ingredients, like parabens, were no-brainers to banish, but other ingredients were hard to even just pronounce. Fortunately they discovered Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care standard, which deems over 250 toxins unacceptable in personal care products. They used their research as a basis for the award criteria. And the winners of the Beauty With a Conscience Awards for Face are:
1. Best Cleanser, Dry to Normal Skin: Talulah Vanilla Bean Cleanser.
We’re hooked on this exotic cleanser with vanilla bean, jasmine rice, rose hips, hempseed, and nettles. ($22, 4 oz; talulahskincare.com)
2. Best Cleanser, Oily to Normal Skin: Amala Purify Gel Cleanser.
Amala means “most pure” in Sanskrit, a fitting description of this luxurious white clay, blue lotus, and green tea cleanser. ($21, 1.7 oz; amalabeauty.com)
3. Best Toner: Terressentials Exfoliating Facial Toner.
This bouquet of flower extracts brightened and de-blotched our office-drained skin. ($17, 4 oz; terressentials.com)
4. Best Moisturizer: Kimberly Sayer Daily Moisturizing Cream.
Not too thick or greasy, this antioxidant-packed moisturizer with SPF 25 left us feeling protected and ready for anything. ($32, 2 oz; kimberlysayer.com)
5. Best Serum: Aqua Dessa Super Potent Antioxidant Serum.
Our skin drank in the Napa Valley-grown grape seed oil and the gamma-linoleic acid in the black currant oil. ($50, 1.65 oz; aquadessa.com)
6. Best Mask: Nude Miracle Mask.
Enriched with probiotics, this clear mask left our skin completely refreshed–perfect to use before a Saturday night out. ($70, 1.4 oz; nudeskincare.com)
7. Best Night Cream: Jurlique Biodynamic Beauty Night Lotion.
Made from biodynamic herbs grown on Jurlique’s Australian farm, this lotion got our faces through the night becalmed and rejuvenated. ($55, 1.3 oz; jurlique.com)
8. Best Eye Cream: Talulah Luna Undereye Cream.
Drenched fine lines with hydrating macadamia nut and avocado oils, then nourished our over-40 under-eye area with botanical infusions of chrysanthemum, borage, and green tea. ($29, 0.5 oz; talulahskincare.com)
9. Best Exfoliant: Simply Divine Botanicals Skin Polish.
Honey, raspberries, and apple pectin make for a jammy texture that eats away dead skin cells. ($30, 4 oz; simplydivinebotanicals.com)
10. Best Lip Balm: Better Botanicals Ayurvedic Lip Balm.
We’re addicted to these ayurvedic balms that come in invigorating cardamom and ginger and also sweet-smelling nectarine, mango, rose-mint, and passionfruit. They even helped us stave off cold sores with the amino acid L-lysine. ($5, 0.15 oz; betterbotanicals.com)
Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.