We get to try a lot of amazing beauty products, and you can rest assured that one of the first things we do is read all the ingredients to see just how safe they are for our skin and yours. But of course, natural doesn’t always mean better (and to be fair, in some cases, better results doesn’t mean 100% natural). In honor of Earth Day, here are some of our favorite natural skin care brands from some of the smaller companies you may not know. They all maximize results and pampering while minimizing, well, pretty much everything yucky.
I have tried every one of them–or our editors and contributors have. So we can totally stand behind these picks, beauty product junkies that we are.
Don’t let the product names or mom imagery on some of the labels fool you. This luxurious line of fine herbal skin care is great for new moms–and old moms and not-moms and anyone with chapped hands. The stand-out product for me is the Solar Salt Mineral Bath, but I used up every bit of every sample and still miss the way their lavender fragrance somehow reminds me more of my summer in Toulouse than anyone else’s lavender. There are oodles of pretty gift sets (also shown at very top) just waiting to make you feel and look amazing– Midnight Honey Body Buzz, I’m looking at you.
Summer Sky Organics
I had a hard time selecting just one product to focus on when I reviewed Summer Sky Organics, but I still inhale my arms every time I rub in the Mandarin Vanilla Momma Belly Oil. If you’re putting together a gift for an expecting mom, a growing baby, or a grown-up who needs organic skin care in his or her life, you can’t go wrong with this collection of nourishing balms, creams, and oils from organic face care to yummy soaps. The Rosehip and Argan Facial Oil is especially nice when soaking in a hot bath. Do you see a pattern here? Women need pampering!
You’ll find a great range of natural skin care products on the Zoe Organics site, from belly butter to a super rich body cream, even natural insect repellent, all made with 100% organic ingredients. As for the Baby Bath Tea so what if it’s officially for babies? When I look back on all the natural skin care products I’ve tried over the years, I still remember how sad I was when I used the last sachet of this amazing bath treat. The ingredients include calming herbs, oatmeal, and cocoa butter and rate a big fat 0 on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Mom or not, you can’t go wrong with this line.
Christina swears by this premium line of natural, luxury skin care products that one tends to find in fancy spas like Canyon Ranch. The standout in the line may be the beautifully scented Replenishing Nutrient Complex, which goes on like oil, and absorbs completely within seconds without feeling heavy or greasy. And it’s reassuring to know that most of the ingredients comes from plants that creator Tata Harper herself grows on her big Vermont Farm. You can try one of the Tata Harper gift sets in order to sample lots of different products; and there’s also a special Better Beauty Project Earth Day Collection right now with travel sizes of four of their best-sellers. (We’re sorry, but this item is no longer available.) Plus 100% of the profits from it support the nonprofit Nest to help bring their edible garden/slow food initiative to India. It’s a very cool story from a very cool brand.
I don’t want to sound like the kind of ad you never believe, but as soon as I started using the natural Facial Cleansing Bars from Blissoma, the constant acne I’d fought my entire adult life… disappeared. Ever since trying my first Blissoma sample, I’ve been going back to that well for new bars of this gentle, rich facial cleanser so I never run out. I also use their Awake Facial Moisturizer and Bright Eye Serum daily. When someone who reviews beauty products for a living goes back to buy a brand with their own money–repeatedly–you know it’s kind of a big deal.
I try to live with no regrets, but I definitely regret not taking better care of my belly skin when I was pregnant. My stretch marks look nothing like the tiger stripes I was promised. If only I’d known about Basq , whose all-natural belly oils and body butters are safe for alls stages of pregnancy and new motherhood.(The Pear Lavender Body Oil was my favorite of the scents, just FYI.) But Basq has also moved beyond prenatal skin care, with a Cucumber Tea Eye Gel, an energizing body butter, and more.
Earth Mamas, go forth and be supple!
Yes to Carrots, Yes to Blueberries, Yes to Pretty Much Every Vegetable
So this technically isn’t a small brand anymore since they can now be found at local drugstores, but since they don’t have the advertising budget of say, The Body Shop, I’m going to count them. (So there.) I love the Yes to Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum and have recently started to use their facial wipes for when I’m too exhausted to wash my face with that lovely Blissoma soap. Melissa digs the Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum and raved about it as a great under-$20 product. Liz is a fan of the Yes to Cucumber Facial Wipes for travel. So basically, we’re sold. And if I forget to order one of my go-to products online or forget something on vacation, I know that I can always find something great in the Yes To lines at a chain store.
For more natural beauty products including skin care and beyond, visit our archives. There are lots!