When it comes to considering beauty products, it is much more than being skin deep — here we recommend our favourite planet-protecting skincare pioneers.
In 2015, Barack Obama signed a bill banning microbeads from personal care products in the US. In 2016, the UK followed suit. Out of our hands and into the habitats of already endangered animals, the critical threat that these man-made polymers posed to marine life became a concern when Fendall and Sewell realised they slip through water filtering plants undetected, infecting almost as many fish as plastic bags and eventually ending up in our stomachs, too, when we eat them; did you know that the majority of babies are born ‘pre-polluted’? Since 2015, sustainable skincare has seen double-digit growth, and ethical, honest products pioneering the power of provenance and responsible production are now easily accessible, genuinely effective and beautifully packaged in recyclable vessels. Having been almost entirely disregarded in favour of brands promising miracle skin solutions, sustainable natural skincare now accounts for 13 per cent of the global beauty market.
MOA | Independent, eco skincare experts MOA (Magic Organic Apothecary) has won numerous awards for their multi-purpose heavenly-scented products. Crammed with organic and natural goodness, they suit every skin type and smell invigorating. We love: The Green Balm, MOA's original product, is an organic healing balm, capable of solving every skin complaint under the sun. Ideal for sensitive skin, The Fortifying Green Bath Potion transforms any tub into your own transformational spa experience.
They say: 'Our hero herb yarrow (Achillea Millefolium), is shrouded by tales of folklore and can be found beside hedgerows all across the UK. The miraculous powers of this humble herb have been used for centuries to heal and repair. Named after Greek hero Achilles, who legend has it, used it to heal his soldiers’ wounds after battle.'
FARMACY | This American beauty brand's eco credentials stretch much further than the supercharged ingredients they use. Product information is printed with soy ink on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, bottles are made with recycled and recyclable glass, not to mention the origami cardboard boxes they are sold in are printed on the inside with the brand's story. We love the Honey Potion. Bursting with antioxidants, this warming treatment mask transforms from syrup to cream when massaged into skin — stimulating blood flow and revitalising tired complexions with its radical-fighting Echinacea GreenEnvy, antibacterial propolis and healing honey.
They say: 'We use cutting-edge science to harness the healing powers of ingredients found in nature. The result is farm-to-face skincare that lives up to its full potency and potential through clean, thoughtful formulas. We work with local farmers to ensure that our key ingredients remain potent and are cultivated in a way that’s good for the planet. Currently, we partner with Willow Wisp Organic Farm in Pennsylvania and Patent Wall Organic Farm in the Catskills to cultivate our Echinacea GreenEnvy. The honey in our honey collection is cultivated by our happy, healthy VIBs (very important bees) that pollinate the Echinacea GreenEnvy flowers, which infuses the honey with powerful antioxidants. Inspired by the bounty of nature, we’re always on the lookout for new super-natural ingredients. '
Bee Potion | From the hives of Hastings in Kent, Bee Potion combines their love of nature and the honey bee with skin enriching, anti-ageing oils to produce ethical, natural skincare. With the sales of their products, Katherine and husband Lee directly support vulnerable children by offering educational workshops. They also help protect both the environment and local and fair-trade hives.
They say: 'Bee Potion is a local and ethical business based in Hastings; set up by Katharine Slater who keeps her bees close, with two hives in the garden next to her studio & several more on Hastings Firehillls (an area of outstanding natural beauty). The woodland apiary on the Firehills is also managed by Leigh Dyer, a local metalwork artist.'
Tata Haper | For an authentically-artisanal experience try Tata Haper’s eponymous skincare brand. Focussing on sustainable production and the elimination of harsh synthetics the company’s EcoCert-certified products are formulated, batched, filled and shipped out of her Vermont farm. Not to mention they smell delicious and leave skin feeling squeaky clean. We love Tata's Clarifying Mask. Packed with plant-based, pollution-fighting ingredients this high-performance, this complexion clearing treatment is the ultimate weapon against imperfections and impurities, soothing and exfoliating all at once.
They say: ‘A pioneer in natural luxury skincare, Tata couldn't find 100% natural products that were up to her impeccable standards of efficacy, quality, and purity. So she started Tata Harper Skincare to make them - for herself, and for women like her who refuse to risk their health for beauty. If she doesn’t feel that a product is perfect, we won’t launch it.’
Neal's Yard | Thirty years in the industry and accolades galore, Neal’s Yard Remedies became the first carbon-neutral high street retailer in 2008. Committed to protecting the environment, they support organic farming, sustainable wild-harvesting and fair trade programmes around the world. We love the best-selling, luxuriously rich Wild Rose Beauty Elixir. Packed with antioxidant-rich, organic wild rosehip oil, ultra-moisturising hyaluronic acid, skin brightening turmeric this serum boosts skin’s radiance and leaves it feeling silky smooth.
They say: ‘Our passionate belief that beauty should be natural, not synthetic, has been at the heart of our business since we started, over 30 years ago. We believe in nature, honesty and transparency, and your right to know what goes into the products you buy.’
Evolve Organic Beauty | Handcrafted in Hertfordshire in the UK, Evolve Organic Beauty's products are bursting with natural and organic oils. Small batches ensure freshness and all of their packaging is made from 75 per cent post-consumer-recycled bottles.
They say: ‘Society is coming full circle and realising that choosing natural ingredients is better for us and our world. I know that when formulated well, natural and organic skincare is just as effective as synthetic alternatives.’
Kypris | Beauty with soul, supported by science: holistic brand Kypris promises high-performance, sustainable skin care. All products are free from animal testing, parabens and artificial colouring, and most are grown in remote places and help developing economies. Not to mention, their packaging is beautiful. We love the Beauty Elixir I : 1000 Roses. The heady rose scent is genuinely transportive and the nourishing, nutrient-rich oils, distilled from more than 1000 Bulgarian petals, strengthen and soften all skin types.
They say: ‘Science continues to prove what the wise women and shamans have known for generations: protection and care for the environment is protection and care for us. As we forage near and far for the best botanicals, we find a multidimensional approach to sustainability is vital to our collective well-being. This is what we call our 'Beauty from Beauty' initiative. We believe that Beauty can only be created from Beauty itself. To us, that means honouring the Earth, the souls that care for the land, the people whose gifted hands kindly and carefully collect these botanical treasures, and how all of these ingredients come together to help you most benefit from and pleasure in your self-care.’
The Soap Co | Products at The Soap Co. are lovingly handcrafted by blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged individuals. Ingredients are raw and sourced locally, and beautifully-crafted, refillable bottles help to minimise waste packaging. We love the best-selling Black Poppy & Wild Fig set. Naturally rich and moisturising, use this and you’ll never have dry hands again.
They say: ‘We take pride in paying attention where it matters, from our award-winning minimalist design to locally sourced bottles and compostable soap wrappers.’
Nourish Skin | Reconciling technology and ecology, this vegan skincare brand created by Dr Pauline Hili leaves a light footprint on the planet while producing ethical, effective biodegradable products in London. Their advanced scientific bio-actives have achieved award-winning results and have been accredited by the UK’s leading organic certification body, the Social Association and also an endorsement from Cruelty Free International. As avid travellers, we love their Essential Renew Collection collection which comes in a brushed-cotton make-up bag and features three of their best-selling argan products: the cleanser, the peptide serum and anti-ageing skin rescue — all perfect for dry or irritated skin, which is ideal for time on long-haul flights.
They say: 'We have a genuine desire to live and work in a way that respects the people we connect with and the world around us.'
Dr Jackson's | Their beautiful distinct brown-glass bottles house sustainably sourced, phenomenally effective science-developed products from Dr Simon Jackson — a pioneering specialist in the field of pharmacognosy, which is where medicinal drugs are generated from plants and entirely natural sources. These low-key luxe products combine clinically-proven botanical actives and centuries-old wisdom, to 100% natural skincare that fortify skin and reverse existing damage. Their dream product to pop in those overnight cases? Dr Jackson No 5 Face and Eye Essence: a calming nourishing balms ideal for those times of jet lag, thanks to aloe leaf juice, kigelia fruit extract, baobab seed oil and Roman chamomile flower, damask rose water and Vitamin C. A list of ingredients which sounds good enough to eat is always a good indicator…
They say: ‘All of our ingredients are rigorously and ethically tested to ensure the utmost purity. We formulate products that care for the skin in the most natural and effective way possible.'