If you’re here, it means you love your skin so much that you don’t want to compromise it with conventional products. Because organic skincare has much more to offer, from their rich properties that literally love your skin, the thought that you’re applying clean stuff on your skin, and you care for the environment. If you turn to organic skincare, it’s like you have the best of both worlds! Now, the only concern is how organic your organic skin allies are. With all the vague regulations about what organic or natural means in skincare products, it’s easy to get deceived by false claims. This is where we come to help you — making the A-list of organic skincare brands that you can trust in 2021. But before we get started, let’s take a step back to understand organic skincare’s background and what it truly means.
Does organic label apply only to 100% natural products?
Not really. Products can be labeled as organic even though they contain synthetic ingredients. That’s happening because the current regulations for cosmetics and skincare products are vague. For instance, The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have any regulation for ‘organic’ in skincare. On the other side, USDA is the one that may provide certifications for ingredients used in skincare products formulations, including labeling standards based on the percentage of organic ingredients in a product:
- 100% organic – meaning a product contains 100% organic-derived ingredients, most raw, unprocessed, or minimally processed.
- Organic – any product with a minimum of 95% organic ingredients, while the rest of 5% may be non-organic.
- Made with organic ingredients – any product with at least 70% organically produced elements
- Less than 70% – products with less than 70% organic ingredients can’t be labeled as “organic.”
In other words, a natural skincare product can include some natural-derived ingredients, but if they’re highly processed, it’s far from being “natural.” For this reason, organic/ natural can be terms without any dose of meaning. I mean, manufacturers can have a huge label on which is written “natural,” even if it’s loaded with harsh chemicals. If those natural elements are listed by the end of the label, and in the beginning, you see those ingredients hard to read, don’t consider that product natural because it is not. And nobody takes these brands to task.
How is the term “organic” regulated?
The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the National Organic Program (NOP). The NOP regulations include a definition of “organic” and provide for certification that agricultural ingredients have been produced under conditions that would meet the definition. They also include labeling standards based on the percentage of organic ingredients in a product. For more information on “organic” labeling for cosmetics, see the NOP publication, “Cosmetics, Body Care Products, and Personal Care Products.”
Difference between natural and organic?
If a product is labeled as organic, it doesn’t mean it is organic. ‘Organic’ in skincare applies to ingredients that are made/ grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, parabens, or antibiotics. So that a product falls into the ‘organic’ category, it must contain between 70-95% organic ingredients. The key to transparency is to read the ingredients labels. FYI, ingredients are listed from the highest percentage to the lowest. However, there are brands recognized as transparent when it comes to organic formulations, and they’re all listed here: Thus, if a product claims to be organic, for your peace of mind, check the ingredients label or look for its certifications.
How to make sure you are getting an organic product?
That’s actually simple. Choose a product with a certification seal-like ECOCERT/COSMOS. This provides third-party assurance that products are of the highest quality, certified organic, and environmentally friendly. Luckily for you, we already did this work and found the most trusted natural skincare brands that are actually organic.
The journey began when Max Huber, an aerospace physicist, suffered a horrific accident, when a routine experiment exploded in his face, resulting in severe chemical burns. At that time, medical science did not offer sufficient promise of help, so Dr. Huber decided to help himself. For Dr. Huber, it wasn’t the ingredients but the way they were distilled and fermented. He eventually created his own method of unlocking potent activity from such pure ingredients, using the power of fermentation. Living by the sea, Max Huber was constantly inspired by marine life, especially the extraordinary, self-regenerating properties of giant sea kelp, known to have benefits for the skin. After his death in 1991, Estée Lauder purchased the brand from Huber’s daughter and turned it into the blockbuster luxury skin-care company we know today. La Mer’s transformative blend of bio-fermented sea kelp is now found across the brand’s entire range, from anti-aging skincare to foundation formulas.
Back in 1997, Sylvie Chantecaille made her name in the beauty industry with a simple French fragrance house called by her last name. Sylvie’s desire to make products that not only made women feel confident but were also healthy for them, driven her to create this iconic brand known as one of the industry’s foremost innovators, which now formulates both organic makeup and skincare products. They even created a philanthropy platform that shines a spotlight on global environmental issues! Since 2006 Chantecaille has launched 29 limited edition Philanthropy Collections to protect the ocean, environment, and endangered animal and plant species. Each year they donate a part of their profit directly to charitable organizations that support these causes. So sweet!
Since 1995, Naturopathica has sustained the beauty world with cutting-edge products that embrace the healing power of nature. We should be thankful to Barbara Close, the founder of Naturopathica, for educating people on the benefits of holistic health and its connection to beauty. She’s an inspirational person who always believed beauty comes from within, and the skin should never be compromised. That’s why she created Naturopathica – to offer people a natural alternative that replaces chemicals while providing high skincare standards. Everything about Naturopathica is organic, and they’ve got the whole arsenal of skincare you could dream of. They are certified by Ecocert, and their products are never tested on animals.
Founded by Julia Wills and Alexander Kummerow in 2011 in their Seattle kitchen, Herbivore is now one of the most praised organic skincare brands. From face to body, moisturizers, lotions, and serums, the brand covers everything for a completely natural skincare routine. Natural elements, plant-based food-grade-pressed oils, essential vitamins, minerals, steam distilled therapeutic-grade essential oils, recyclable and reusable packaging, and many certified organic ingredients create legit skincare products that literally everybody loves.
It all began in ’95 with one successful mineral foundation, as clean as you can sleep in it, is now one of the biggest organic skincare and makeup brands worldwide. Today, they check all categories for beauty and care, with millions of fans. FYI, bareMinerals supports The Power of Good Fund, donating 1% of sales from online and boutiques with the mission to empower and elevate girls and women by supporting gender equality in literacy and learning *applause*!
What started as a passion for having a holistic lifestyle and using clean skincare ingredients turned into a successful business in just five years. Priscilla Tsai, the founder of Cocokind, started around values like simple, quality ingredients, consciously and sustainably created, and also affordable. Now, it’s making organic skincare products that address all skin types and concerns, plus a few organic makeup products (for now at least). Allure tells her entire journey here.
Intending to create a skincare brand that targets people with sensitive and problematic skin 13 years ago, now Pai is a popular pick among everyone! Sarah Brown had the desire to create effective organic skincare that people could trust and help them get back control over their skin concerns, and she managed it big! Pai offers a vast range of face and body organic skincare products, they’re COSMOS certified, Cruelty-Free International, and The Vegan Society.
Since its beginning in 1958, Eminence uses sustainable farming and green practices to create natural, organic, and biodynamic products. All their products are handmade without any severe heating or hydrogenating processes that can affect the nutritional content and potency of natural ingredients. Using hand-picked fresh ingredients, they create products that contain potent healing and active properties. Continually looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, the brand uses wind energy and solar power energy in the making of the products. Love-proof: they plant a tree for every product sold, which tells more than enough about their devotion towards an organic approach.
After holding key senior leadership product development positions at many leading companies in the skincare industry, including Estée Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, and Origins, Maya Ivanjesku decided to establish La Flore, a skincare brand that focuses on organic products. Now, it define clean, luxurious products that focus on using organic botanicals and touch-activated probiotic flora targeting all skin concerns. It may not have a broad range of products yet, but the brand is still growing, and we wish it the best of luck! Each product is thoroughly tested for safety and approved by third-party dermatologists before undergoing the last step in the process – testing it on themselves. At the moment, La Flore released two collections for skincare, both containing probiotics, The Collection and The Discovery Set.
Healthy living bloggers Annmarie and Kevin Gianni powered up by embarking on a journey across North and South America to track down the best natural-care products and protocols to share with viewers of their popular YouTube videocast. While Annmarie and Kevin were posting interviews with healthcare experts, manufacturers, growers, and healers, their viewers were posting a question of their own: “Annmarie, what products do you use for your skin?” They began examining labels and were horrified to discover that nothing Annmarie was using met their high standards. So shortly after their trip started, they set out to find a product line they could recommend. One day, Annmarie walked into a small spa in Patagonia, Arizona, where she was introduced to a line of skincare, unlike anything Annmarie had ever known, with products that felt so alive, with a palpable energetic vibration. In 2009, Annmarie Skin Care was launched. All ingredients are hand-selected, infused in base oils and plant juice, and then crafted using additional herb extracts and ingredients to make them as effective as possible.