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Psychologies Real Natural Beauty & Wellbeing Awards 2018

Natural. Naturally Derived. Of Natural Origin. Organic. Non Toxic. Clean. Conscious. Eco. Green. What do these words MEAN when it comes to the products you are investing your hard-earned money, and trust, in?

by Eminé Rushton

When you walk into a store, or browse online, we hope to find something that will repay  our investment – offering a wholly transparent, pleasurable and efficacious experience, to boot. But, the beauty world has always been notoriously wooly – there is nothing stopping anyone from inventing their own terminology, and when it comes to things such as perfume, it is perfectly legal to sell bottles of the stuff with not the first idea about what is in them (protected as they are, by intellectual property laws, which enable the juice’s ingredients to be kept a ‘trade secret’). 

Anyone can call their products ‘natural’ too – it is a wholly unregulated term, sadly – and really does mean that you could be buying something that is full of cheap, questionable and synthetic chemicals, but that simply has a diminutive dash of natural essential oil thrown in, for tokenistic measure. Thankfully, the rising tide of interest in ethical living has led to more and more consumers questioning what actually goes into their products. Change never begins at the top though – it takes a huge consumer movement to apply enough pressure to get biggest corporations to wake up and become accountable (and they tend to do so, only when they know that there is money to be made from change). 

This is happening, right now, with consumer appetite for not just ‘real natural’ products growing exponentially (69% of 35-44 year old women now say that buying all-natural beauty products is important to them; source: Green Beauty Barometer 2017), but also our awareness of whether or not these products are vegan, sustainably packaged, biodegradable, refillable or recyclable, and ethical throughout their production line too. 

For the first time in our modern social history, almost all of the big beauty giants are paying attention, and almost all have implemented sustainability charters and more transparent communications for their own products. For you and me, though – and those of us who simply want to buy beautiful products that are a real pleasure to use, safe in the knowledge that they are free of harmful ingredients – we must continue to do a lot of our own legwork. Hence, why the Real Natural Awards matter so acutely. Not only are we incredibly stringent in our selection processes, but we also open these Awards up to all brands, free of charge. You do not need to pay us or advertise with us to ‘win’ something. You simply need to be really natural, transparent and totally brilliant – and it’s always clear which products are, because the same products crop up over and over when we sit to review the voting forms that pour in over the summer. 

Here, then, we feel incredibly proud to celebrate brands across the board, from tiny one-woman/man operations to largest companies blazing their sustainable trails – as tested and selected by our industry expert panelists. We call it ‘Real Natural’ because there is no greenwashing here. Almost all of our selections are 100% natural. This is different from naturally derived, which means that though the original source of the product may be natural e.g. coconut, the ingredient then goes through any number of chemical processes to make it into another ingredient. It’s a sketchy term – imagine taking an organic apple and using a chemical solvent to extract part of it, then a synthetic preservative to extend its shelf-life it, then additional synthetic chemicals to get it to behave as you want it to, before presenting it to someone as a ‘naturally derived apple.’ We have, therefore, avoided ‘naturally derived’ aside from those products that are almost entirely natural already, but may use one or two safe ‘naturally derived’ preservatives, which are deemed safe and of the lowest possible risk by EWG.org, and two other very helpful consumer beauty apps, Think Dirty and Skin Ninja (I highly recommend you download them to your phone – the barcode scanners which cross-check the product’s ingredients are just brilliant). 

There are also certifying bodies, such as NATRUE, COSMOS and The Soil Association, who operate widely within the EU. The US have their own regulatory bodies, overseen by the FDA, which is nowhere near as stringent as ours: 1,328 chemicals are banned from cosmetic usage or sale in the EU, while only 11 are off limits in the US (source: safecosmetics.org). These official ‘stamps’ and labels really can count for a lot – not least of all because companies have to heavily invest in going through the certification procedure, which is costly and lengthy. But, they are not the whole story. Many little guys simply cannot afford certification – but this does not mean that their products are less pure, natural or safe. And, by that same token, simply because a product is natural, does not mean that it is immediately elevated to the holy grail of cosmetics. Some naturals do not perform well at all – they are poorly formulated, might be inexpertly preserved (thereby oxidising, which if applied to skin, can be both irritating and prematurely ageing), or are simply not suited to your own skin (some essential oils can be extremely irritating to some, while others might flourish when using them).

Everything is subtlety and individuality – one size can never fit all. What we can trust, however, is that by making a conscious decision to avoid products that contain questionable ingredients, from non-biodegrading sulphates, to endocrine-disrupting phthalates, we are choosing to support brands who care about these things too. We are also raising awareness of the murkier sides of the cosmetics industry, and entirely boycotting those ingredients that come from the notoriously polluting petrochemical industry (petroleum jelly, petrolatum, mineral oil), and saying, collectively, that we will have no part in that, thank you very much. Here, instead, we understand that we are the product of our choices. And we want those choices to be kind, ethical and safe. In that we really can trust – and with that, I am so immensely proud to present this year’s Real Natural Awards. 

Follow along with us as we share more about these brilliant brands and our expert panelist’s choices, via our hashtag #REALNATURALAWARDS – on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – and let us know which of these you have tried and loved, or would love to see included next year too!

Keep it Real Natural,

Eminé x 

SKINCARE

Best Cleanser

WINNER

Alexandra Soveral Angel Balm Cleanser

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Harborist Balm-Gel Cleanser

Best Mist

WINNER

BYBI Mega Mist

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Rå Rose Mist

Best Serum 

WINNER

Nourish Radiance Rejuvenating Peptide Serum

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Romilly Wilde Advanced Supercell Serum

Best oil-based Serum

WINNER

Lani Tropical Super Serum

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Vanderohe Serum No 1

Best Face Cream

WINNER

Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream, £30.50

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Therapi Rose Otto and Propolis Ultra Radiance Moisturiser

Best Face Cream with SPF

WINNER

de Mamiel Exhale Hydrating Nectar SPF30

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30

Best Face Mask

WINNER 

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask

HIGHLY COMMENDED

TWELVE Beauty The London Mask

SPECIAL MENTION

Marie Reynolds Dermabiome Mask

Best Face Oil 

WINNER 

MV Rose Plus Booster

HIGHLY COMMENDED

de Mamiel Seasonal Facial Oil

Best Lip Treatment

WINNER

Twelve Beauty Hyaluroil Lip Treatment

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

Best Night Product

WINNER

Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Amly Rejuvenating Sleep Tight Face Mask & Balm

Best Multi Purpose Product 

WINNER

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Balm

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Weleda Skin Food

SPECIAL MENTION

Trilogy Everything Balm

Best Ayurvedic Brand

WINNER

Mauli Rituals

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Samaya

BATH & BODY 

Best Bath Oil

WINNER

Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Therapie Protect Bath & Body Oil

Best Natural Room Spray

Ilapothecary Beat the Blues Room Spray

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Root & Flower Yoga & Meditation Atmosphere Mist

Best Natural Candle

WINNER

Neom Happiness Scented Three Wick Candle

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Seven Seventeen Hello Calm Moroccan Rose Three Wick Candle

Best Bath Salts

WINNER

Therapie Roques ONeil Himalayan Detox Salts

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Westlabs Epsom Bath Salts

Best Body Balm

WINNER

Twelve Beauty Rewarding Body Balm

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Inlight Healing Ointments

Best Body Oil

WINNER

Isla Apothecary Neroli Body Oil

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Oil

Best Body Scrub

WINNER

Weleda Birch Body Scrub

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish

Best Body Wash

WINNER

Plant Apothecary Get Happy Body Wash

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Dr Bronner’s Lavender Pure Castille Liquid Soap

Best Natural Deodorant 

WINNER

The Natural Deodorant Co Lemon and Geranium Balm

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Evolve Cotton Fresh Cream Deodorant

Best Natural Toothpaste

WINNER

Weleda Salt Toothpaste

HIGHLY COMMENDED 

Comvita Natural Propolis Toothpaste

HAIRCARE

Best Shampoo

WINNER

Tropic Clarifying Hair Wash

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Bouclème Hydrating Hair Cleanser

Best Conditioner

WINNER

Tabitha James Kraan 4-in-1 Conditioner

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Tropic Hair Feast Deep-Conditioning Treatment

Best Shampoo Bars

WINNER

Beauty Kubes

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera

Best Styling Product 

WINNER

Flora & Curl Flower Garden Hair Styling Butter

Less is More Lavender Smooth Balm

Best Natural Colourant

WINNER

L’Oréal Botanéa

MAKE-UP

Best Foundation

WINNER

Nude by Nature Radiant Loose Powder Foundation

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Ere Perez Oat Milk Foundation

Best |(Multi-Use) Blush

WINNER

RMS Lip 2 Cheek

Best Eyeliner 

WINNER

Inika Liquid Eyeliner

HIGHLY COMMENDED

ILIA Pure Eyeliner

Best Natural Mascara 

WINNER

Inika Long Lash Vegan Mineral Mascara

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Green People Volumising Mascara

Best Lipstick

WINNER

Absolution Sweet and Safe Organic Lipstick

HIGHLY COMMENDED

ILIA Beauty Organic Lipstick,

WELLBEING

Best Natural Supplements 

WINNER

Wild Nutrition

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Viridian 

Best CBD Product

Wunder Workshop CBD Oil

Best Probiotics

WINNER

Symprove

Best Immunity Booster 

UnBeelievable Health Bee Prepared Max Strength

Best Teas

WINNER

Pukka

Best Natural Remedies

WINNER

WELEDA

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Neal's Yard Remedies

BEST PERIOD PRODUCT

WINNER

Natracare

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Yoni 

SPECIAL MENTION

Thinx Period Underwear

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