Walk down the aisle of your favorite food or beauty store and chances are you’ll encounter the word “natural” several times. In skin care, although it has no official definition, most natural and organic beauty companies use it to refer to ingredients that occur in nature and are not synthetically derived. It could also mean that the product is free of potentially harmful chemicals like artificial dyes and fragrances. And it’s not always about products. In some instances, natural skin care refers to an entire lifestyle, one that involves the general wellness of the mind and body. But are natural products really that much safer than their synthetic counterparts? Is there any science behind holistic beauty practices or is it just a passing fad?
“Natural and organic products are a great way of avoiding the content of toxic pesticides and preservatives and a variety of chemicals that we may or may not understand,” says Alan M. Dattner, M.D., founder of HolisticDermatology.com and author of the book Radiant Skin from the Inside Out. “Plus, organic products are generally higher quality and produced by smaller houses with a little bit more personal care.”
“I can assure you that going natural is not just a trend; it’s here to stay,” adds Ashley Vandyke, Dermstore’s beauty buyer for Natural and Spa categories. “People are beginning to understand the negative short- and long-term effects harsh, synthetic chemicals have on their bodies. Those who have already made the switch to natural skin care and beauty products are loving the results!”
Ready to take the plunge into natural and organic beauty? Let us help! There are plenty of choices out there to replace your current skin and makeup products with safer, more effective and healthier skin care alternatives. Here, Ashley listed out her favorite beauty brands that use either all-organic ingredients or a mix of natural and organic ingredients.
Why it’s great: The brainchild of founders Julia Wills and Alex Kummerow, Herbivore Botanicals came into existence in the duo’s humble Seattle kitchen.
Ashley says: “I immediately fell in love with the overall Herbivore experience. What makes them different are the ingredients they selected to use together and the results they deliver. I am using After Sun Skin Soothing Aloe Mist and Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask right now and highly recommend them both! Everyone should also try Lapis Facial Oil (oily and acne-prone skin types) and Phoenix Facial Oil (dry and sensitive skin).”
Why it’s great: This Works is a skin care line that champions and places good, quality sleep as a primary step in any skin care routine. It features a range of fast-acting natural remedies—all proven to help overcome temporary periods of sleeplessness and re-instate a healthy sleep pattern.
Ashley says: “This Works stood out to me because it offers sleep remedies, morning energizers, stress relief solutions and face and body solutions made with natural ingredients. It was the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray that I fell in love with first; after which I discovered some of my new favorites right now: Perfect Cleavage Firming Lotion, Perfect Heels Rescue Balm and Perfect Legs Skin Miracle—their names say it all.”
Why it’s great: Youth to the People is an anti-aging power house (hence the clever name) delivered in three simple steps. Each product is made from 100% vegan ingredients with no added fragrances.
Ashley says: “There are so many reasons I love Youth to the People. They have excellent formulations featuring antioxidant and age-defying miracle workers like kale, spinach, vitamin c, peptides and hyaluronic acid. Everything is made in California and the extracts are sourced from the U.S! The line has beautiful glass primary packaging and outer packaging that is biodegradable and is made from recycled materials.”
Why it’s great: One Love Organics is made in Georgia in their Ecocert-approved manufacturing facility. Founded in France, Ecocert is one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world (note: there are only 10 Ecocert-approved manufacturing facilities in the United States).
Ashley says: “Most of you probably know One Love Organics (OLO) because of its bestselling dry shampoo (my favorite, too!). Another awesome product you have to try is the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover, which does exactly what it is named after with the perfect blend of plant extracts and botanical oils. I also love their hydrating Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum! It is a mist, which makes it easy for me to quickly apply before rushing out the door.”
Why it’s great: Juice Beauty is one of the very few organic brands that meet the 70% or greater “made with certified organic ingredients” government regulations. Instead of fillers or added water, its products contain a proprietary blend of organic botanical juice base.
Ashley says: “I have always been a fan of its skin care products (made with organic juices), but they just launched a makeup line that is incredible (under Gwyneth Paltrow’s creative direction)! They have beautifully pigmented lip crayons, awesome eye liners, a makeup primer that is to die for and a ton of other makeup necessities—all of them only include natural and organic ingredients!”
Why it’s great: All John Masters Organics products are free of potentially harmful chemicals—SLS, parabens, DEAs, MEAs, TEAs, GMOs, petro-chemicals and artificial colors, fragrances or fillers—plus, all essential oils used are either steam-distilled or cold-pressed. Minimal ink is used on packaging and is recyclable. Even better, the entire John Masters Organics line is cruelty-free.
Ashley says: “All John Master’s Organics products are cruelty-free and free of the chemicals you do not want in your products. The line offers great skin care and body products but my favorite is its Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner. It is truly one of a kind and leaves my hair feeling super hydrated and nourished.”
Why it’s great: 100% Pure features skin care products that are not only all-natural but are also cruelty-free and environmentally friendly, with post-recycled packaging and biodegradable formulas.
Ashley says: I love 100% Pure primarily because of its wide array of products, from body washes and face creams (you have to try their Coffee Bean Eye Cream), to shampoos and conditioners to lipsticks and mascara (my favorite is their Fruit-Pigmented Ultra Lengthening). What’s more, all of their products are biodegradable, packaging is made from recycled materials and labels are printed with soy ink.
Why it’s great: Aside from using 100% organically grown, hand-picked fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables and pure spring water in its formulas, Eminence’s ingredient farm in Hungary uses geothermal heating and is powered by solar and wind energy. They use only natural compost and natural plant preservation, plus all planting and harvesting are done manually to reduce carbon dioxide production.
Ashley says: “I have too many Eminence favorites to count, but If I had to choose one it would definitely be Bamboo Firming Fluid. It smells so good and really reduces the appearance of my fine lines. I also love Targeted Skin Wrinkle Treatment, their Stone Crop Gel Wash, and all of their masques! Eminence has a specific product for every skin care concern, and even better: it has clinical results to prove it!”
Why it’s great: Thanks to expert advances in green chemistry and formulation, each of this brand’s products features advanced natural active ingredients, has no filler ingredients added, and is 98 to 100% natural and 51 to 83% organic.
Ashley says: “Ursa Major is a natural skin care line with an invigorating sensorial experience that attracts just as many men as women. Their facial wipes are a must for everyone’s gym bag and suitcase—they take off all my makeup and leave my face feeling refreshed and clean. I also am a huge fan of their deodorant, shave cream and face wash!”