While organic food can be a polarizing topic, organic beauty has rather gracefully taken center stage on the cosmetics and skin care scene. Nobody is complaining about having more options when it comes to lipstick, moisturizers, and foundation, especially when those choices are safer for our bodies and easier on the environment. Since trends tend to be cyclical, perhaps the era of Botox and chemical peels has spurred the current wave of natural, plant-derived, non-toxic brands and options.
A celeb-endorsed cause, organic beauty has found favor among a variety of consumers who want dependable products with positive results. If you’re thinking of going green in the makeup department, you now have more choices with better packaging and more advanced formulas than ever before. Organic skin care and cosmetics can be defined in many ways: natural, non-toxic, chemical-free or 100% USDA certified organic. While definitions may vary among brands, retailers and regions, one thing is certain – chemicals, synthetics, parabens and additives are typically not invited to the party.
Organics are notable for what they don’t contain, and their labels are refreshingly clear of those 30-letter words found in more traditional beauty products. The goal of eliminating all these non-essentials is to reduce the risk of skin irritation, while increasing the positive results by delivering a more concentrated product. Businesses may be driven by the moral imperative of safety and health for families, as much as by the desire to produce the strongest competition. For most consumers, what ultimately influences spending is the belief that a product really works. Bonus points if the brand also uses sustainable ingredients, environmentally-friendly packaging, fair trade practices and cruelty-free testing.
Initially, eco-conscious celebrity moms helped get the word out about organic beauty. Indeed, some have even made a career out of it, or at least a career boost. Having your own natural beauty line in 2016 is like having a signature fragrance in the early aughts. Many celeb moms cite motherhood as the catalyst for choosing non-toxic health and beauty products. Natalie Portman started touting organic beauty back in 2011 as a vegetarian and new mom committed to creating the healthiest environment for her child. Taking green from granola to glam, Kourtney Kardashian appeared on the cover of Natural Health magazine in 2014, calling out her favorite organic creams and skin care lines. She proudly spearheaded the “no-no list” for Kardashian Beauty, prohibiting things like sulfates and parabens from the makeup line. Most recently, Jessica Alba made headlines on Forbes and beyond as Founder and CEO of The Honest Company, a lifestyle brand which includes Honest Beauty and has estimated worth of a billion dollars.
With so many reasons to go green, the beauty industry has responded to consumer demands with skin care goods and cosmetics at every price point. If you need an all-natural lip stain while buying light bulbs at the drugstore, odds are you can have your pick. If you’re looking to splurge on a fancy organic moisturizer at an indie boutique, your only problem will likely be narrowing down your choices. Here we’ve selected a few of the greats in lip color, moisturizer and foundation.
When you want to splurge
As you may have guessed, the price on organics can go way up with luxury brands, smaller producers, and indie labels. Since lipstick is eventually eaten during wear, lips may be the most reasonable place to put our organic budget. It’s hard to pick just one brand, but with a reputation for high-quality cosmetics and ethical business practices, Tarte Cosmetics is a natural standout. Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick comes in eight shades with eco-friendly packaging for $17 each. On the moisturizer hunt, Bee Friendly All Natural Organic Night Cream stands out for its rave reviews and natural ingredients like raw honey and Vitamin E, plus its $69 price tag is often discounted. Bee Friendly is a unique brand because its products are handmade in Hawaii with raw honey, so they offer a very potent product that’s gentle on the skin. For a bit of coverage that’s also beneficial to skin, Zuii’s Certified Organic Flora Liquid Foundation offers medium coverage with soothing properties of calendula, aloe, and Vitamins A and C, and it comes in 24 shades! Zuii Organic is an Australian brand that uses Certified Organic flower petals in its products and adheres to strict sustainability guidelines. With so many high quality ingredients, the top shelf organic brands certainly deserve a shot, or at least honorable mentions on your wish list.
What’s good at the drugstore
Large chain pharmacies like CVS and Rite-Aid have been stocking their shelves with natural skin care and cosmetics brands in response to consumer demand. We’ve all seen those Burt’s Bees displays! Famous for their chapstick, Burt’s Bees also has a cult favorite Lip Crayon that comes in six shades and retails for $9. Shea butter is one of the major moisturizers here, and the lip crayon has no added flavor or fragrance. Another drugstore staple is Avalon Organics, and their Intense Defense line uses antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, to battle free radicals and UV rays. Their full line of products includes a great Oil-Free Moisturizer that is lightweight and firming. Physicians Formula is an all-natural cosmetics brand that can be found alongside Revlon and Rimmel, but is cruelty-free, chemical-free, and hypoallergenic. They have lots of options when it comes to powders and foundations, and their Mineral Wear Liquid Foundation offers buildable coverage and comes with an antimicrobial sponge. Check out these natural brands the next time you’re browsing the beauty section of your favorite pharmacy or lounging on the couch adding to your favorite virtual cart.
For your consideration – celeb brands
The beauty industry is rolling out the red carpet for organic beauty brands with celeb founders. This natural beauty squad is made up of entrepreneurs, moms, and starlets with a cause, all of whom have famously perfect skin. For lipstick, Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty has a best-selling Truly Kissable Lip Crayon in six sheer shades. It’s not too steep at $18 and has coconut oil for lip pampering. In addition to being a shop, Honest Beauty is more of a lifestyle brand with tips and videos on health and wellness, plus daily inspiration. In the same way, Gwyneth Paltrow recently introduced skin care to her lifestyle site, and it’s made with USDA certified organic ingredients. Although the reviews are just starting to pour in, one of the scene stealers in the goop by Juice Beauty line is the Enriching Face Oil. At $110, it is pricey even for beauty buffs, but its versatility might make it worth the dollar signs; it can be worn as a single moisturizer, a primer, or a pick-me-up that can even be applied over makeup. After the BB Cream craze, there’s still a demand for lighter alternatives to foundation, especially for day time wear, and Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr has an award-winning tinted moisturizer that fits the bill. For light coverage with major skin care benefits, Kora Tinted Day Cream hydrates and helps even skin tone. These new beauty queens are producing natural products with intense results.
It’s clear why organics are getting so much applause. They are multi-taskers, giving consumers twice the benefit, like natural lipsticks that give a range of color, but also moisturize and treat lips well. The best organic companies also give back to the land and people who produce their ingredients with sustainable business practices, eco-friendly packaging and chemical-free work environments. It’s irresistible to get more for your money, and we can’t say no to skin care and cosmetics that both look good and feel good. ■