By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
It’s pretty scary how many synthetic ingredients permeate our skin thanks to cosmetics and skincare products, and some of the top cult beauty brands are actually pretty damn toxic – think Creme de la Mer, just about anything by M.A.C., and even vegan brand Kat Von D.
Fortunately, many new clean beauty brands are embracing clean beauty, ensuring that every element that goes into their products is vegan friendly and non-toxic. In fact, there are so many such brands, it’s hard to tell which ones really work – and which don’t!
We found 10 cruelty free beauty brands that all natural cult beauty brands and their stories along with their most celebrated products:
Why it’s cult: This was already one of the pioneering all natural probiotic brands on the market, famed for clearing up acne and other skin issues due to the fact that the good bacteria in their skincare lines helps restore the natural environment of your skin. But after Vogue’s Beauty Director, Sarah Brown, declared Aurelia Probiotic’s products “feel and smell amazing,” well demand surged even further.
About their Hero product: Their Revitalise Night Moisturiser receives consistently rave reviews thanks to its Omega-rich antioxidant botanicals as well as probiotics and peptides, which are both proven to protect against skin ageing, regenerate cell metabolism and counteract UV damage.
Why it’s cult: RMS Beauty is best known for its collection of non-toxic products that heal and nourish skin. Founder Rose Marie Swift (RMS) has been a makeup artist for over 35 years, so she’s well aware of all the hideous chemicals used in the industry that go on people’s faces and was adamant about creating a line of clean cosmetics.
About their Hero product: The RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek has a rich concentration of mineral pigments, therefore you don’t need much product to get an outstanding effect. Furthermore, this is what you can call a smart product, thanks to its multi-tasking qualities: you can use it as a lipstick or as a blusher. It’s good for your skin, since it contains organic virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil and argan oil that hydrate, protect and nourish while enhancing your complexion.
Why it’s cult: This brand creates the world’s finest organic oils, blended with Ayurvedic traditions and derived from their own hundred-acre meadow. This is the key to the luxuriousness of the brand founded by Shrankhla Holecek: craftsmanship and attention to detail provide true, simple, and effective beauty products.
Hero product: Uma’s Brightening Rose Powder Cleanser gently exfoliates, penetrating deep into the skin for a thorough cleanse that brightens dullness with every use, via its exotic blend of nutmeg, orange peel and peppermint. The secret lies in the healing powers of the rose, that’s antibacterial, toning, anti-inflammatory, moisturising, antioxidant, and aromatherapeutic.
Why it’s cult: At the heart of the products by RMS is the health of the skin: if the epidermis is unhealthy, our entire body can become vulnerable. On a daily basis, our skin absorbs chemicals through shampoo, conditioners, body wash, moisturisers and make-up, which is why RMS made it a mission to avoid synthetic ingredients in their natural cosmetics.
Hero product: The Champagne Rosé Luminizer is made with the finest organic oils and mineral pigments to enlighten all complexions with a multi-dimensional blend of pearlescent blush. This is ideal for those who are fond of a subtle dewy glow on the cheekbones and around the eyes.
Why it’s cult: If you’re looking for an ethical clean beauty brand this summer, California’s Coola provides a fusion of organic wellness for all outdoor activities. Innovative, scientifically advanced ingredients are used in their Face, Hair, Lip and Sunscreen products. Their eco-conscious formulas are sourced organically, incorporating plant-based ingredients and avoiding all horrid parabens, GMOs and oxybenzone.
Coola is also committed to giving back, supporting local and diverse communities and spreading global awareness about skin cancer and treatment.
About their Hero product: The Eco-Lux SPF 50 Sunscreen is efficacious and fun to use. This hassle-free mist provides long-wear, non-greasy broad spectrum sun protection, creating an invisible high factor shield between skin and the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays. Highly recommended for those who have fair skin and enjoy swimming: it remains water-resistant for up to 80 minutes!
Why it’s cult: The brand’s motto says it al: “de Mamiel is about more than just skincare – it is about our life’s energy.” Indeed it is, and once you try any of their products on your body you’ll feel fully revitalised, thanks to the restorative formulas that are an outcome of ancient principles of Chinese medicine along with modern scientific research. All items are handcrafted and contain the nourishing properties of plants.
About their Hero product: This Restorative Cleansing Balm is made out of pure flower essences such as honey myrtle, chamomile and rose geranium. This nature-inspired product restores your complexion to its clear, supple and luminous best. More organic ingredients enhance this process: nourishing Kukui, Calendula and Moringa oils combine to replenish precious moisture and enhance skin’s strength, elasticity and resilience. The consistency is remarkable; it removes all grime and make-up, and the smell is divine!
Why it’s cult: This Los Angeles-based skin care cosmetic company was founded by Craig and Julia Noik in 2012, with the goal of creating products that are natural and non-toxic. The brand is basically a tribute to South Africa’s pristine nature, and is inspired by ancient African phytochemistry and rich botanical pharmacology, which both help protect skin from environmental stresses and inhibit the negative effects of ageing, restructuring cells assisting with the production of high-quality collagen and elastin.
About their Hero product: The gold shimmer illuminates and complements every complexion, while moisturising and firming the skin thanks to its restorative oil formula. Marula Oil is well known for its anti-ageing benefits and rich Vitamin C content. It’s easy to apply: shake it and pour a few drops onto your fingers, then gently massage it into your skin with circular movements to allow the product to get fully absorbed. This will stimulate circulation and boost collagen on face, body and hair!
Why it’s cult: Josh, the founder of this eponymous beauty brand, is a bit of a prodigy: he opened his first salon in Portland at the age of 10, after he found an antique barber’s chair in his basement and decided to style the hair of his peers! Through the years he acquired the know-how and skills to develop his own label coalescing plants and herbs, true health and beauty. Josh has developed his own cruelty-free botanical formulations that have become cult favourites.
About their Hero product: This LIFT Hair Texture & Volume is not like any conventional volumizing spray. It is impressively lightweight, and instantly enhances your natural style, imparting texture and volume, thickening matte finish.
The herbal synergy of horsetail, lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary and peppermint stimulate the scalp, increasing circulation to make each strand stronger and thicker in the long-term as well as the short. Moreover, organic yucca plant soothes and protects the scalp, creating pliability and making your mane more manageable.
Why it’s cult: This pencil’s shape and formula helps you get your best brows ever. The firm texture allows for maximum control, creating a universally flattering look every time. The harder the pressure the darker the brow. For extra polish, brush your Unibrow through with the custom-made tip. All products by the brand are cruelty free, paraben free and gluten free.
Hero product: This pencil’s sleek design is loved by makeup artists and beautyistas alike. The effect you’ll see is natural yet dramatic, and the product can be easily removed with warm water or make-up remover.
Why it’s cult: Wander beauty is a vegan clean beauty label born from girl power! Divya Gugnani, an entrepreneur and mother of two, and the jet-setting supermodel Lindsay Ellingson joined forces to create a travel-inspired, cosmetics experience. Their deluxe products are made of high performance and cruelty free formulas and remove the clutter of makeup accessories.
About their hero product: Wander Beauty’s Mocha liquid eye shadow adds a touch of ‘diva’ to any complexion. Its shimmery dark-brown hue glamorises the eyes and it’s also packed with Green Tea, Aloe Extracts, and Vitamins C and E to nourish the delicate skin on your lids. The easy-to-apply formula can be used as a liner or eyeshadow that doesn’t fade or collect in your creases.
Why it’s cult: For several decades, this family-owned business has been a favourite with families around the world for their use of absolutely pure ingredients, and ethical manufacturing processes. Their soaps are labelled as 18-in-one due to the fact that they’re highly multi-functional, due to their gentle, yet effective, ingredients.
About their Hero product: This gentle soap began to be used as a shampoo, and users were astounded to discover that it helped hair growth, most likely due to the high concentration of peppermint oil, which serves as a mild stimulant to tingle the scalp and stimulate hair growth. In addition to a shampoo, it can be used as a body and face wash, baby shampoo, and even a pest spray and laundry wash!
Why it’s cult: Mythologie uses pure, botanical ingredients that bring the healing power of nature to your skin and into your life. The brand uses some of the most precious and sought-after oils in the world, loaded with vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids, (omega 3. 5, 6, 7 and 9), and yet – they’re incredibly affordable, with prices starting at just $17! All of their oils absorb easily and deeply into your skin, allowing for cellular regeneration, hydration, toning and clarifying.
About their Hero product: Their Silk Oil is intensely nourishing due to its synergy of organic and wildcrafted virgin cold pressed active botanical oils, including pomegranate oil, with its exceptional omega 5 for increasing elasticity, to precious Bulgarian rose oil for its ability to deeply moisturise and promote peace-of-mind. This luxurious treatment oil truly embodies the healing power of nature.
Main image: Wander Beauty
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