If you’re someone who uses foundation to help your complexion look smoother and more even-toned, you probably care just as much about how your skin looks underneath. That’s why many of us are becoming increasingly ingredient-conscious when it comes to the makeup that sits on our skin all day.
When shopping for skin care, 50% of consumers look for products that are all-natural or free of synthetics, and many have begun to approach their makeup bags with the same preference—for good reason.
“I think in general, there has been more and more research showing less is more. When more preservatives are used, the chance for reactions (irritant or allergic) tends to increase,” explains NYC-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali. “The issue is that ‘natural’ is somewhat poorly defined and doesn’t always guarantee the products are worth using.”
The best way to make the right choice for your skin is to familiarize yourself with what words like “clean,” “natural” and “non-toxic” really mean. The good news? The latest crop of foundations made with plant-based ingredients is designed to perform better—and leave skin more flawless—than ever before.
What Makes a Formula “Natural” or “Clean”?
Surprisingly, when it comes to natural and clean cosmetics, there are currently no regulations set forth by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). “Unfortunately, the FDA does not define or regulate those terms, so anyone can decide what it means to them and label their products as such,” explains clean beauty expert and One Love Organics founder Suzanne LeRoux. This means that each brand can choose to define these terms differently. For example, one brand might choose the term “natural” to mean no synthetic ingredients, while another might use some synthetic ingredients but avoid more controversial ones, such as parabens and phthalates.
When shopping for beauty products, there are also certain certifications you can look out for on a product—but these are somewhat murky, too. As cosmetic chemist Ginger King explains, “USDA Organic is really from the food industry. In cosmetics, there are Ecocert and COSMOS—both are European standards, not from our FDA. But even [products that comply with] Ecocert or COSMOS can still allow 5% synthetic materials.”
At Dermstore, our Natural label indicates that 50% or more of a product’s ingredients are derived from a natural source, excluding water. If you see a product categorized as Clean, this means its formula does not contain any of the ingredients on our Potentially Harmful Ingredient List.
Best Natural Foundations to Try Now
If you’re interested in trying out natural makeup, foundation is the perfect category to start with. Here, we’re outlining five of our favorite natural foundations with clean ingredients, plus highlighting what makes each formula so great.