I’m trying to clear my house of all non-natural chemicals where possible. We’ve mostly succeeded food wise and cleaning wise but I’m lagging behind in the beauty department. My Easy 3 Ingredient Moisturiser is perfect as a body moisturiser but I find it clogs the pores on my face so I need a finer grade face moisturiser, preferably organic. Here are some makers in Ireland offering natural and sometimes organic skincare products;
If you’re not sure what to avoid in skincare the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has some very useful information on what chemicals to avoid in cosmetics and why.
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The health stores are full of skincare products and I’d heard a few mentioned by other ‘Greenies’ on Facebook forums but know little about them. Just how natural are there? 100%? Or just a smidgen? Are they organic? Is there such a thing? All questions that would be best answered with some online research. Here’s what i found out.
Legislation and Certification of Natural and Organic Skincare
According to my research there doesn’t appear to be any specific legislation governing natural or organic skincare products. A draft ISO standard: ‘Guidelines on technical definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients’ and products was published in 2016 but nothing since. What does exist are standards defined by private sector organisations like COSMOS, BDIH, IOFGA and NaTrue. Naturalskincare.ie have a very helpful page giving a bit more detail on the various Natural / Organic cosmetics certificates
Some organisations better know for certifying organic food have became involved in certifying beauty products in recent years including The Soil Association and EcoCert. Since the 1st of January 2017, all newly products certified by these organisations, or another Authorised Certifier will carry the COSMOS logo. It is hoped that this certificate system will become the mainstream global standards for organic health and beauty. According to Voya’s website a product needs be more than 95% organic to use it on the label but having looked at the criteria required to achieve a COSMOS certification it seems to differ from product to product. This means that if a company’s products had enough organic ingredients to achieve certification it could call itself organic, even if some of the ingredients in their products were natural but not organic.
While updating this article I came across a new certification, that of Good Manufacturing Practice , which is run by the European Medicine Agency, decentralised agency of the European Union (EU) responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU.
One thing I noticed during my research was the use of the term ‘organic’ in the original sense of the word, i.e. derived from living matter, rather than meaning something was grown without the use of chemicals. Of course you can use the term organic either way but i wonder do most people expect it to mean the latter in the context of skincare?
Also organic doesn’t mean 100% organic. As stated above products need to contain a certain percentage of organic ingredients – amongst other criteria – to be certified as an organic product. I found that quite a few companies made it sound as if their skincare was 100% organic, when more accurately it was 100% natural with some organic ingredients, and sometimes not many! Additionally it would seem that only a product can be certified as organic. If a company is claiming to be certified as organic it’s a misunderstanding of the facts.
Another interesting detail was the ambiguity in relation to the inclusion of non-natural ingredients by some companies. Some companies don’t make it clear whether they only use natural ingredients. This might be just be down to poor communication and if I get clarifying information on any company I’ll update this article.
There was very little information about packaging on most skincare website, particularly the Irish ones. I have included what I’ve found including the almost ubiquitous statements about using recyclable plastic packaging. Having wrestled with the contents of my Green bin for years now I’m have to take this with a pinch of salt and will be checking individual products before i purchase. For your information it’s only recyclable if its plastic type 1, 2, or 5.
I would like to add in that I completely understand why a small maker might not go to the expense and trouble of getting their products certified but for the life of me if can’t understand why a substantial company wouldn’t. I’ve decided that I will only buy uncertified skincare products if i know the maker personally and trust them.
Natural and Organic Skincare Companies in Ireland
Note: For the purposes of this article I’ve left out companies that include ‘natural’ ingredients, rather than those that ‘appear’ to only use natural ingredients. I say ‘appear’ because it’s not always clear, especially when some companies don’t list all of the ingredients in their products. I’m also excluding soap makers because this article would be a book if I included them!
Most of the makers here don’t provide evidence of independent certification on their website / etsy page. I’m not saying that this means they’re not using authentically organic or ethically sourced ingredients. It’s just that they aren’t showing any evidence of this. Where someone has mentioned independant accreditation of either ingredients or final product I have included this information in the description.
Sans Naturals provides balm, bath salts, body butter, body scrubs, facial wash, facial toner, face serum and teeth whitener made from 100% natural ingredients. Packaging appears to be plastic with metal lids. No independent certification was mentioned on their Etsy page.
Available in stores throughout the country Nia Natural combine 100% natural ingredients, organic when economically possible, into moisturisers, facial scrubs, masks and serums. You can also buy their products from their website and some of them come in aluminium tins. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website.
Csilla make deodorant, moisturisers, oils and gels from natural ingredients – some of which are organic – in small batches, in aluminium tins. You can buy directly from their website. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website.
I’m excluding soap makers in this list but Cork based Dr K Soap Company warrants a mention because their range of natural skincare includes beard oil, beard wax and aftershave balm. Products appear to come in aluminium tins and plastic bottles. No independent certification was mentioned on their Etsy page.
Human & Kind provides cruelty-free natural skincare that is available widely in pharmacies around Ireland. Their products are based on natural ingredient ‘platforms’ are free of parabens, SLS, petrochemicals and cruelty. The company state that they are committed to giving back to the community and environment. Their product range includes shower moose, cleansers, face scrubs, hand creams, lip balms, body wash, body oil, face cream, body scrub, and body souffle. No independent certification was visible on their website.
Little Red is a Cork company making natural skincare with seaweed as a key ingredient. Their products are cruelty free and do not contain steroids, parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, synthetic colours, or synthetic fragrances. The company lists the ingredients it uses on its website, some of which are organic. It offers lip balms, bath salts, hand cream, facial oil, cleaner, body butter, aftershave and face cream. There is no evidence of external certification on their website.
With a primary focus on Seaweed Ocean Bloom products are organic and free from silicone, sulphates, SLS, parabens, DEA, petroleum, mineral oils, gluten and cruelty. The company, located in West Cork, makes facial washes, balms, oils, scrubs, moisturisers, creams and perfume. You can buy directly from their website or in stores and pharmacies around Cork. Their products are also available in two Lloyds pharmacies in Dublin. No independent certification was visible on their website.
Pixy offer bath bombs, bath salts, massage and body oils, body butter, shower moose, scrubs, cleansers, lip balms, recuse gel, foot and hand creams that are free from parabens, SLS, SLES and cruelty. The company says it tries to keep packaging to a minimum and some of their products are available in aluminium tins, but they retail cellophane wrapped basks which isn’t very zero waste. The company states that natural ingredients are used in its products, and it lists them on its website, but it doesn’t clarify if only natural ingredients are used. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website.
Warrior Botanical’s herb and botanical craft studio, making small-batch skincare and herbal potions by hand. The herbs, flowers, oils, butters, extracts and essences that they use are organic where possible, and as local as they can be sourced. Their beeswax and raw honey comes from a local homestead, their oils from small suppliers and their non wild herbs from trusted growers. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Blumáin Organic Skincare make skincare products using only organic vegetable oils, butters, floral waters, botanical extracts and essential oils, and no fillers and thickeners! Each product is scented with nothing but pure, organic essential oils to heal the body, mind and soul. There is no evidence of external certification on their website.
Olis in County Down make moisturisers and lip balms from natural ingredients, which you can buy from their website. There is no evidence of external certification on their website.
HET Freedom make vegan artisan cosmetics from natural, organic, cruelty-free ingredients that are free of palm-oil, paraben, aluminium and preservatives, and package in recyclable aluminium containers or compostable card. There is no evidence of external certification on their website.
Mrs R’ganic handmakes small batches of cruelty-free products from natural,GMO-free organic ingredients. They’re also free from parabens, preservatives, sulphates, phthalates, synthetic colour & fragrance/parfum. All of their packaging is recyclable or biodegradable. They make balms, mists, creams, rubs, scrubs, oils, melts and serums
Bryt Skincare, based in North Dublin, state that they only those ingredients that are vegan, kind to the planet, ethically sourced from Fairtrade partners and sustainable projects, organic where relevant and cruelty free. The also state that their packaging is fully recyclable and that they use biodegradable card from sustainable forests. They say that their products are free of SLS, palm oil, parabens, sulphates and preservatives. Their product range includes cleansers, serums and moisturisers. They do a men’s range too, which includes shaving oil and SLS-free hair and body wash. You can buy their products from their website or a range of stores nationwide. No evidence of independent certification was visible on their website.
Also located in North Dublin Berry Beauty make cruetly-free skincare from 100% natural ingredients free from parabans, packaged in glass or aluminium tins. They source as much as possible from Irish suppliers, from ingredients to packaging. There was no evidence of independent certification on the company’s website.
Literary Lipbalms is a Dublin based brand offer lip balms inspired by literature and made from natural ingredients. Balms appear to come in aluminium tins. No independent certification was mentioned on their Etsy page.
Peachy offers skincare made from organic natural butters including organic shea nut butter, organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, natural oils and therapeutic grade essential oils. Their website states that their products are handmade and free from chemicals, synthetic preservatives, SLS, parabens, phthalates and alcohol. Their range includes body butters, lip balms, serums, body and foot scrubs, and body moisturisers. They also make skincare for babies and retail the Jo Browne range of alcohol-free solid natural perfume sticks, which come in bamboo tubes. Products can be bought from their website and as many of their products as they can come in biodegradable packaging. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Oxmantown Skincare only use high quality natural, organic & cold pressed oils to make their products, which they sent with pure essential oils. Their products are free from parabens, SLS, Parafum. They state that all their ingredients are sourced ethically and are sustainable. They use recyclable bottles for their products. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Glow Circle isn’t 100% natural but they list all of the ingredients on their website and give detailed info on their efforts to package sustainably on their website, which is good to see. They also see they’re free of animal-products and plant a tree for every order.
Bodhi Blends makes plant-based products from organic and ethical sourced ingredients, including cold-pressed oils, butters and waxes. Their products are free of synthetic fragrances and come in glass jars or cardboard tubes. You’ll find a list of their ingredients on their website. I adore their Cocoa Dream Cream and use it as my moisturiser (This is not a paid promotion) You can get refills of some of their products from Pax Wholefoods and Minimal Waste Grocery
Keegan & Co Botanicals use only plant based ingredients and natural oils, waxes, butters, hydrosols and glycerite, to make their cruelty-free skincare range. If preservatives are needed they use a natural one and avoid all fillers, and bulking. They aim to minimise packaging and mostly use aluminium, glass and paper.
Handmade by Sinead is a producer of natural body scrubs, baths soaks and lip balms. No independent certification was mentioned on their Etsy page.
Healing Herbs of Ireland offers natural face and body balms, lip balm and joint rub. No independent certification was mentioned on their Etsy page.
Kinvara Skincare make cruelty-free cleansers, exfoliators, serums, oils, face cream and hand cream using plant-based formulas and certified organic plant oils. They state that they don’t use SLS, parabens, mineral oils or alcohol. Their products can be bought from their website and from health stores and pharmacies throughout the country. It wasn’t clear if this company only use natural ingredients and no evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Rí na Mara, use certified organic ingredients in the making of their seaweed infused skincare products, which are free from mineral oils, parabens, GMO indredients and SLS. Although the company don’t state that their products are vegan, their website states that they are free from animal derivatives. It is not clear if the company only uses natural ingredients in their face masks, serums, face oils, face creams, cleansers, eye creams, body lotion, body oils, bath soaks, bubble bath and shower gels. The company states that their products are packaged using recyclable or biodegradable materials, that they are constantly looking for ways to make our packaging greener, that they use recyclable paper for their brochures and that all their waste is composted on site. Additionally RÍ na Mara employ sustainable seaweed harvesting techniques and are involved with a number of organisations and companies to ensure the ongoing preservation of the seabed, marine life and coastline. The company state that they are heavily involved in the community and support a number of charities including a women’s cancer charity, Look Good Feel Better. Their website also speaks of the companies efforts to reduce water, energy, waste, material consumption and says that transport, storage and distribution are carefully planned for maximum efficiency. There is no evidence of external certification on their website.
White Witch is based in Connemara and makes cleanser, scrubs and moisturisers from natural, vegan ingredients including locally-grown wild flowers, plants, oats and seaweed. Their website states that their packaging is completely plastic-free packaging and can be composted and up-cycled. The strapline on their website is ‘Organic Ethical Skincare’ but i wonder if they’re using the term organic to mean derived from living matter, rather than to mean grown without chemicals, as they don’t mention in on their page listing ingredients. Products can be bought from their website. No evidence of independent certification was visible on their website.
Mervue Natural Skincare make plant-based organic skincare in their Cosmos approved facility. Their products are cetified by Cosmos, The Soil Association, the Leaping Bunny (cruelty-free) and the Vegan Society. Their products contain plant botanicals and fruit extracts that are grown, harvested and processed sustainably and ethically without chemicals, synthetic pesticides or herbicides. The company is working towards having their containers reusable in the future. For now their glass containers are recyclable. Their product range includes serums, balms, moisturisers, lotions, washes, mists, creams and cleansers.
Flourish Organics is an skincare company based in Co Kerry offering, IOFGA certified organic cleansers, toners, face creams, face masks, face oils, eye cream, lip balms, hand and body lotions. All of the oils, waxes and butter they use are organically grown and locally sourced where possible and they don’t use petrochemicals or artificial fragrances. They’re also cruelty-free and vegan and offer glass containers where possible. Products can be bought from their website.
Kenmare Soap & Beauty Products handmake small quantities of bath and beauty products from natural ingredients. You can buy from their shop in Kenmare or online. They say that they keep their packaging to a minimum to keep costs down. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
In addition to soap and shampoo bars Airmid offers lip balms, body oils, lotion bars and bath melts made from 100% natural cruelty-free ingredients. The company states it is committed to using locally sourced ingredients where possible and lists its local suppliers on their website. The company says its products are certified but no evidence of certification was visible on their website. Packaging is not mentioned on the website but having bought some of their products i know that their soaps come in compostable packaging and their lip balms come in aluminium tins.
Harebell Herbs handmakes natural skincare free from parabens and chemicals using locally sourced flowers and herbs and only organic ingredients
Roza Natural Cosmetics offers handmade skincare made from natural ingredients. Their product range includes body moose, face serums, face mists, bath salts, hand cream, face masks and body oil. Their products are available in glass bottles and can be bought from their website or at So Collective, Kildare Village. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website
Bare Essentials create a range of soaps, and now oils and serums, from cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and RSPO certified palm oil and a range of essential oils. They state that their ingredients are 100% natural, naturally derived or nature identical and that the companies they buy from have sustainability commitments in line with theirs. They use 100% renewable energy in their workshop, only recycled and recyclable materials in our packaging, produce only cruelty-free and GMO-free biodegradable products. No evidence of independent certification was on their website.
My Skinoffer a range of all natural cruelty-free skincare products. They state that all of their raw materials are ethically sourced, and organic wherever possible. Their range includes body butter, body balms, handcreams, soaps, facial toners, facial balms. Their website states that their shampoo is certified organic by the Soil Association & Ecocert, that the base for all their soaps is certified organic by the Soil Association and that the ingredients in their body butters and balms are sourced from Fairtrade suppliers.
Naturally the Wrens Nest comes highly recommended in the Zero Waste Facebook Group, which is why I’m including them here. Other than saying that they’re committed to be green there is very little information on where they source their ingredients and packaging on their website.
Sásta Health care isn’t natural or organic but I’m including anyway, because being formulated to work with the skin’s natural biome I don’t see how it could be harmful to our environment or us. Developed by skin specialist Michelle McDonald and chemist Dr Brian O’Rourke, the product is made in Co Laois and is free from paraben, mineral oils silicone, sulphates and fragrances. They list all of the ingredients in their products on their website and their packaging is glass and card.
The Sunvale Soap Company makes natural skincare with essential oils and botanical oils made from native species grown in their own gardens. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website.
Simpli botanicals make water-free skincare products that contain no artificial ingredients. They say that most skincare products are up to 70% water and so by removing it you get more potent products that are better for your skin. They say they use vegan, organic and fairtrade ingredients but don’t state if they’re certified. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Biofresh offer cruelty and paraben-free skincare from certified natural and organic ingredients. Their range includes creams, serums, masks, cleansers, toners, scrubs, perfume, shampoos, body lotions, shower gels and hand creams. The company is also an agent for Bellapierre cosmetics which they sell, along with their other products, via their website and in their salons in Drogheda, Co Louth and Swords, Co Dublin. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website.
Herbal Earth in Mayo offer 100% natural skincare products made with natural extracts and herbs that are completely irritant free. They reuse packaging when posting to customers and offer a refill service for their products. They list all of the ingredients they use on their website. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Hawthorn Handmade Skincare make products from 100% natural ingredients, which they package in recyclable glass jars with plastic lids / caps or aluminium tins. The use beeswax in their lip balm but say that their other products are vegan friendly. You can buy their products from their website or through a range of stockists nationwide. You can also book treatments with their products in Ború Health and Beauty in Killaloe. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Bridgets Mantle makes organic creams, serums and spritzers that are free from cruelty, petrochemicals, parabens, SLS and perfume. They state that they only use high quality pure essential oils and that their face creams spritzes and serums come in recyclable cobalt-blue glass packaging. Their products can be bought from their website, on which there is no evidence of independent certification.
Josie’s Botanicals uses 100% natural ingredients, sometimes organic, to make her products, which are free from synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, artificial colours, fillers, toxins and parabens. Their products can be bought from their website, on which there is no evidence of independent certification.
The Handmade Soap Company make cruelty-free skincare products with coconut derivatives, vegetable emulsifiers, scented with essential oils. Their range includes body moisturisers, hand moisturisers, shower gels, hand wash, body wash, bath salts, shampoo and conditioner and are widely available in Ireland. Their products contain no SLSs, parabens or petrochemicals. They say that 99.7% of their products are natural, with the other .3% being binding agent and preservative. Their 300ml amber bottles are made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic and their cardboard packaging is FSC certified. They are independent certified by the Cosmos Ecocert.
Whipped 2 Glow make cruelty-free, vegan friendly, body butters from 100% natural oils, which they say comes in recycled glass containers.
One of the best know skincare brands in Ireland, Voya, specialise in seaweed-based products and spa treatments. The company states that they only use natural and non-toxic ingredients including wild organic seaweeds, harvested by hand to protect the coastal environment, and that their products contain as much organic ingredients as possible. Helpfully each product page states what percentage of the ingredients are organic (grown without chemicals). The company go on to state that they voluntarily submit their products to be certified by both the Soil Association COMOS and the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA). Voya products are said to be free from cruelty and mineral oils, GM ingredients, synthetic colours, fragrances or preservatives. Their product range includes body moisturiser, body wash, body oil, shampoo, condition, body scrub, hand wash, hand lotion, face serums & oil, cleansers, toners, face exfoliates, toners, masks and lip balms. The company states that their products are packaged using recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials and that their packaging board is a special blend of FSC certified pulps using their own harvested seaweed. Also the packing chips they use are 100% bio-degradable and dissolve in water. They are also a member of ECOPACT, an initiative designed to ensure the widespread introduction of environmentally responsible and sustainable development of seaweed resources and any emissions generated during the manufacturing process are offset with carbon credits acquired by the company.
Queen Bee Naturals, sell their own skincare products made with natural ingredients along with a carefully selected range of natural skincare products from other makers. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Trish’s Honey Products sell all natural and certified organic face balms, hand and body butter and lip balms made with honey and beeswax from their own hives and from those of other Irish beekeepers.
Copper Coast Natural Skincare make products from butters and oils that are free from SLS/SLES and parabens Free, artificial fragrances and colours. Their skincare range is certified by an independent Cosmetic Chemist and registered under EU regulations. They state that all of their packaging is reusable or recyclable. There is no evidence of independent certification on their website.
Yeates Natural Products make natural products from pure oils that are free from cruelty, parabens and synthetic ingredients. They state that they are ‘Vegan Friendly’, although i’m not sure what that means, and use 100% recyclable packaging. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Holos Skincare hand makes ethical, vegan, natural, holistic skincare. Their website very helpfully lists the ingredients used in each product, some of which are organic. The brand offers cleansers, moisturisers, serums, toners, oils and scrubs. Products can be bought from their website or stores around the country. No independent certification was visible on their website.
Willow Cottage use ethically sourced, cruelty-free, natural, vegan ingredients bought in bulk to reduce waste. The company also says that it works with pure divine solar and lunar energy along and the purest earth essences to create therapeutic hand and body moisturisers, bath soaks, body scrubs, massage oil, lip balm, aftershave balm and shampoo bars. Products can be bought from their website and some come in aluminium tins. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Sugarloaf Botanics make a range of skincare using natural ingredients, which are local and/or organic where possible, packaged in recyclable / compostable materials. You can buy directly from their website or in the eco store Annie Pooh in Greystones. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
Meadows is a farm-based skincare range making 100% natural skincare free of parabens and sulphates. They aim to source local ingredients as close to Ireland from ethical sustainable sources. They confirm that they don’t have organic status but use organic ingredients wherever possible. They aren’t vegan but use animal derived ingredients (beeswax) in two products. No evidence of independent certification was available on their website.
- Evergreen stocks products from following brands; Dr Hauschka, Trilogy, Kinvara Skincare, Nia Skincare, Faith in Nature, Weleda, Jason, Burt’s Bees, Bull Dog, Allergenics, Anneco, Phyto Haircare and Lavera.
- The Little Green Shop offers a select range of natural face and body products from various makers including Earth Conscious and Bia Beauty.
- Nourish sell skincare products from the following online and in store; Pai, Triology, Kinvara, Dr Hauschka, Lavera, Green People, Weleda, Konjac, Burts Bees, Jason, Shea Life, Moogoo, Absolute Aromas, Aloe Pura, Antipodes and Dead Sea.
- Natural Skincare is the online version of the natural beauty emporium Alchemist Earth in Limerick. They sell products from the following brands Dr Hauschka, Urban Veda, Aloree, Antipodes, Atlantic Aromatics, Avalon, Benecos, Burts Bees, Argetel, John Masters, Caudelie, Carabay, Aloe Pura, Jason and Cowshed.
- Vegan beauty salon Skinfull Affairs offers a range of organic body products in their Dublin store and on their website. Brands include the Organic Store, Dr Knopka, and Badeanstalten. Some of the products appear to be packaged in glass.
- Brown Cow in Dublin 18 sells Voya and Jo Brown, along with many other brands
- UK Green People offer a wide range of natural and organic cosmetics that are free from cruelty, SLS, parabens, lanolin, perfumes, propylene glycol, artificial synthetic fragrances, Colourants, petrochemicals, PABA-sunscreen, Urea, PEG’s, DEA and TEA. They say their products are suitable for all skin types, particularly sensitive skin and possibly those prone to eczema and psoriasis. Their product range includes facial oil, cleansers, hand and body lotion, body butter, eye gel, face creams, face scrubs, toners, masks, serums, shampoo, conditions, shower wash, bubble bath, deodorant and sun protection. Their product pages are very informative and list each of the certifications that apply to them. These certificates include ones from the Organic Soil Association, the Organic Food Federation, the Vegan Society, the Good Shopping Guide and EcoCert. The company also donates 10% of their net profit to ‘green’ health and environmental charities. Their website doesn’t mention anything about their packaging.
- Developed in Germany Dr Hauschka has been making 100% natural cruelty-free skincare since 1967. They state that they almost exclusively obtain their plants, oils and waxes from controlled organic cultivation (biodynamic quality where possible) and under fair trade conditions. Their factory in Germany recycles rain water, composts waste and have been using 100% certified green electricity for many years. They also use heat recovery heating, provide company bicycles, pay their employees’ public transport fares and provide a carpooling platform. They are also are working with the World Hunger Organisation to offer around 700 farmers who now use organic methods an alternative to opium cultivation. The American website displayed the BDIH standard for organic and natural cosmetics, while the German website shows some products as being certified by NaTrue. Each of the product page lists the ingredients contained in the product and also the nasties that it’s missing and whether it’s suitable for vegans.
- Faith in Nature started in Scotland in the 1970s and currently make a wide range of vegan skincare products that are free from cruelty, animal ingredients, GMO ingredients, synthetic colouring, synthetic fragrances, SLES, SLS, parabens, artificial preservatives, BPA plastic, Methylisothiazolinone (MI). The company states that it aims to use Fair Trade or ‘ethically traded’ wherever possible and is certified as top grade by SEDEX, an organisation which has an aim to stamp out exploitation. The company admits that a tiny number of their products currently contain palm oil from un-sustainable sources but they are working hard to either phase out palm based ingredients, or to buy such ingredients from fully sustainable sources. They do not seem to be certified as a natural skincare company, although they are certified as being Vegan and the organic ingredients that they incorporate into their products have been certified separately.
- Founded in 1987 and located in Germany Lavera make 100% certified natural cosmetics with plant ingredients, using organic where possible. Their 280 products are all free from cruelty, parabens, SLS, silicone, paraffin, GMO ingredients, synthetic preservatives, synthetic emulsifiers, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours. Most of their products are gluten-free and vegan. Each product page helpfully lists all the ingredients contained in each product. The company is certified by NaTrue. Interestingly the American version of the Lavera website says it’s an ‘organic’ skincare company, while the German one simply states ‘natural’ skincare using organic ingredients.
- German brand Weleda is one of the oldest skincare companies i found, having begun in 1921. Their products are non-toxic, paraben-free, synthetic fragrance-free, SLS-free and GMO-free and are certified as natural by NaTrue. They state that approximately three-quarters of their plant ingredients come from organic or biodynamic farming and from certified wild collection. They are also engaged in fair trade farming agreements with their suppliers and have a network of them across Europe.
- It was very hard to find out where JASÖN® are based so I took my information from their UK website. JASÖN® have been running since 1959 and offer skincare that is free of cruelty, mineral oils, lanolin, petrolatum and nanoparticles. Where palm oil or palm derived products are used in their products the company states that they are obtained from sources that support organic and/or sustainable palm practices. The FAQ page on the UK website states that their products do not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) but do contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, a large molecule ingredient that they say is mild, gentle, non-irritating and unable to penetrate the skin. Their products do not contain meat or any products obtained from killing animals. They state that their skincare is classed as natural, although some individual products are 100% organic and certified as such by the USDA in the USA. The BUAV bunny is visible on the UK website.
- Burts Bees is an American brand that makes cruelty-free honey/beeswax based skincare. The company states that, on average, all of their products are 99% natural with over half of them being 100% natural. Their products are free from petrochemicals, phthalates, parabens and SLS. No evidence of certification was available on their website.
- Triology is a New Zealand brand making natural and organic skincare. Some of their products are available in glass and their Organic Rosehip Oil, Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ and CoQ10 Booster Oil hold BioGro Organic Certification. They say that they achieved NATRUE Natural Cosmetics Certification in 2012, becoming the first New Zealand skincare brand to do so.
- Set up in 1972 French brand Phyt’s offer 100% natural skincare with organic ingredients online and from the beauty salon Virginia Claire in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6W. They list all of the ingredients on their website and the company are signed up to a quality charter by Cosmebio, a self-regulating Professional Association for Natural, Ecological and Organic cosmetics. Their organic ingredients are also certified by EcoCert and Agriculture Biologic. The range includes cleaners, toners, serums, moisturisers, oils, deodorants, balms and sun creams. You can also avail of treatments with these products at the salon in Dublin.#
- Products from UK based Pai Skincare are certified by the Organic Soil Association, the Vegan Society and BUAV (cruelty-free). They offer scrubs, masks, serums, balms, body washes, moisturisers, cleansers and toners. Their products carrying the Soil Association logo are 100% natural and at least 70% of (non-water) ingredients are organically grown and harvested. They are use paper and card that is FSC certified, phased out laminated boxes in 2015 and use glass wherever possible. Their 200ml cleanser now comes in a 100% biodegradable bioplastic tube produced from sugarcane, something they aim to toll out to all tubes in the Pai range. The company supports local community projects and cancer patients. Their products can be bought online or in Nourish stores.
- Moogoo is a family owned Australian company making skincare from natural ingredients, which they list on each product. They claim to be one of the greenish skincare companies around and have a video showing what they do but to be honest I don’t have time to watch a video! No evidence of certification was available on their website.
- Cowshed use natural botanicals from sustainable resources to make products in England that are free from cruelty, parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, animal ingredients (except for organic beeswax and wildflower honey), artificial fragrance and colours. Their website does not list all of the ingredients in each product and no evidence of certification was available on their website.
- Avalon create vegan (except for their lip balm) products and are certified as being cruelty-free by BUAV. Their website states that ‘all Avalon Organics® products are certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 Standard for Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients or the USDA National Organic Program standard.’ To receive the USDA certification all formulas must contain a minimum of 70% organic content. As far as I can work out, this doesn’t mean that they can’t use synthetic ingredients with the organic ones and the company doesn’t claim to use 100% natural ingredients. Their website states that they use packaging made from high post-consumer material content and sustainably sourced paperboard. The company works with the Empower Her Through Education campaign, a 3-year partnership to help break down the barriers to education for girls in developing countries.
- Urban Veda make cruelty-free skincare from natural ingredients based on a traditional holistic healing system of India. They state that their packaging is recyclable and that their bottles are made out of post-consumer recycled plastic. They do not use animal-derived ingredients, except cruelty-free natural honey or beeswax and their products are certified by the Vegetarian Society. Their products are made in the UK. No evidence of certification was available on their website.
- Another New Zeland brand Antipodes offer 100% natural skincare made substantially with organic ingredients, the percentage of which they display on each product labels. Their products have been certified as being organic by the independent organisation BioGro. Some of their products come in glass bottles.
- UK brand Dr Organics says it uses organic ingredients wherever possible and sustainable natural alternatives where it isn’t. They don’t use parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), perfumes or artificial fragrances. Their products are cruelty free and contain no petro-chemicals (paraffin and petroleum) or GMO ingredients. There is no mention of sustainable packaging on their website, nor is there any mention of independent certification.
- Upcircle is new UK brand making vegan, cruelty-free skincare using food waste as some of the ingredients. Their products are free SLS, SLEs, palm oil, silicones, parabens, mineral oil, parfum and sulfates. All of their packaging is truely recyclable, even the aluminium tubes, which aren’t lined with plastic or stuck with glue. You can buy their products from Irish etailer Green Outlook or Holland and Barrett