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If you’re anything like me, skincare probably doesn’t strike you as the sexiest of subjects. At least, not in comparison to the more transformative effects of fashion and makeup.

In the past, I know I have been guilty of yo-yoing. Getting stuck in with a new 20-step skincare routine that promises to be the answer to all my problems, whilst generally finding myself desperately purchasing a pack of the cheapest makeup wipes on offer and telling myself I’ll get back on the wagon again… soon.

The benefits of a consistent, minimal natural skin care routine can’t be overstated (and will mean that you’re able to go minimal on the makeup front, too!). But once you know exactly what products you’ll need and you’ve got your skincare regime on autopilot, what about the products you’re actually using on your face every day?

Perhaps it‚Äôs something you‚Äôve¬†never really¬†stopped to think about ‚Äď after all, it‚Äôs so easy to be swayed by¬†pretty packaging and marketing hype. However, if you want to¬†consume more consciously¬†‚Äď reducing your daily exposure to harmful chemicals, as well as considering your impact on animals and the environment ‚Äď then you‚Äôll want to¬†check out my favourite natural and organic skincare brands¬†listed below!

My Top Picks

Facetheory

Tropic Skincare

Evolve Organic Beauty

Review Summary

Here are the best UK natural skincare brands you need to know about

I go into more depth on what constitutes ethical and sustainable skincare later on, so¬†skip ahead¬†if you‚Äôre interested. But without any further ado, let‚Äôs take a look at some of¬†my favourite non-toxic skincare brands (UK).¬†These courageous and innovative brands are not afraid to question the status quo, make waves, and generally be forces for good in the world ‚Ästso it‚Äôs time to start supporting them!

1. Facetheory

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, lip care, masks, sets
  • My Pick:¬†Try out Facetheory‚Äôs¬†Hot Cloth Cleanser Set for the perfect night time routine – you can buy a couple of extra face cloths to have on the go, too
  • Price: ¬£¬£

This is a brand for those in the know when it comes to ethical and high-performance skincare! B-Corp certified Facetheory offer a huge range of luxury yet affordable products. They even have an impressive 365-day money-back guarantee (that’s how confident they are that you’ll love their formulations!). Vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and made in the UK, I highly recommend this lovely Sheffield-based company for all your skin’s needs. Find out how I got on in my Facetheory review.

Packaging:¬†Facetheory are¬†in the process of phasing out single-use plastic,¬†with the vast majority of their product range now housed in smart glass jars or aluminium tubes ‚Äď nice and easy to recycle. All of the packaging used to deliver your order is biodegradable.

2. Tropic Skincare

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, lip care, masks
  • My Pick: I‚Äôm not one for overdoing it on the fake tan, but I like a natural sunkissed look in the summer, so I was excited to find a clean gradual tanner with Tropic‚Äôs Gradual Tanning Lotion
  • Price: ¬£¬£

I‚Äôm so pleased that I found¬†Tropic Skincare¬†‚Äď a fabulous UK brand to be proud of! Their tagline is¬†to help create a healthier, greener, more empowered world‚Ķ¬†and they back up this statement in every way! Sustainably sourcing the most nutritious ingredients from tropical climates, Tropic is COSMOS-certified organic and contains no toxic chemicals or preservatives. They are also certified carbon neutral, use¬†Provenance Proof Points¬†for transparency, and donate¬†a huge 10%¬†of their profits to charitable causes.

Packaging: All products are recyclable, refillable or returnable. To refill products, you’ll just need to keep your empty container and order a biodegradable refill pouch. For products that aren’t yet refillable and are difficult to recycle at home, send them back with a free returns label and receive a voucher for the full value of a brand-new product!

3. Evolve Organic Beauty

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, lip care, masks, gradual tan, beauty tools
  • My Pick:¬†Try Evolve‚Äôs¬†Deep Clean Micellar Water for a gentle yet effective makeup remover – it contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump up fine lines
  • Price: ¬£¬£

Evolve is another fantastic conscious skincare brand. Many of their products are COSMOS-certified organic or natural, which is not only better for the soil without the use of harmful pesticides, but is also healthier for your skin (certified organic ingredients are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). Whether you have sensitive skin, are oily and blemish prone, or are looking for age-defying properties, Evolve has the skincare solution for you!

Packaging:¬†As a certified B-corp, Evolve have undergone rigorous assessment when it comes to their product, social and environmental performance. They have also partnered with Earthly to offset¬†their carbon emissions, and manufacture in small batches from their eco-studio in Hertfordshire. Currently, all of their plastic bottles are¬†100% PCR plastic¬†and they offer plastic-free refills on all 100ml bottles ‚Äď their aim is to reduce their waste to zero.

4. The Body Shop

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, lip care, masks, beauty tools
  • My Pick: If you‚Äôre suffering from dull skin that is in need of a pick-me-up, try The Body Shop‚Äôs bestselling Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser for radiant natural beauty
  • Price: ¬£¬£

Founded in Brighton, The Body Shop has been campaigning and making waves in the beauty industry since 1976. I love their empowering values that centre around fighting for a fairer, more beautiful world. They’re so confident in their plant-powered products that they even have a 45-day money-back guarantee (yep, even for ones you may have opened!). Whilst their products aren’t strictly palm-oil free, they are RSPO-certified. You’ll also need to filter for vegan products.

Packaging: The Body Shop have recently developed new sustainable packaging by using Community Trade recycled plastic from India in their haircare bottles. They aim for a minimum of 75% PCR plastic across all product lines (a big leap from the previous 10%).

5. Pai

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, masks
  • My Pick:¬†I am a teensy bit obsessed with¬†The Impossible Glow Bronze ‚Äď it works like a highlighter to give you the most gorgeous, dewy skin
  • Price: ¬£¬£

Pai are officially certified clean. This is a London brand that is backed up by some seriously impressive credentials. B-Corp certified? Tick. Organic accreditation from The Soil Association? Tick! Vegan and cruelty-free? Double tick! You can even book an online consultation with a skin coach to tailor your purchases to your specific skincare needs. Products are also extensively patch-tested to ensure they’re safe for eczema and sensitive skin.

Packaging: Pai have introduced recyclable material into over 80% of their retail tubes whilst also investing in bioplastic from sugarcane. The majority of packaging can simply be recycled at home, but they have also recently introduced a recycling scheme for those components that require specialist disposal.

6. Neal's Yard Remedies

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, lip care, masks
  • My Pick:¬†You don‚Äôt need to splash out on oils or serums, but for a little bit of indulgence now and then, I recommend this divine Organic Rosehip Oil for dry, sensitive skin
  • Price: ¬£¬£

Neal‚Äôs Yard¬†is a brand you‚Äôve probably heard of ‚Äď they are a presence on many high streets across the UK and a global leader in natural and organic skincare. Their core belief is one that I‚Äôm sure we can all get behind ‚Äď that¬†outer beauty and inner health should be in perfect harmony¬†(amen!). Certified by the Soil Association, they use a high percentage of organic ingredients, as well as ethically sourced herbs, botanicals and essential oils. Just make sure to filter for vegan products.

Packaging: Blue glass bottles are a distinctive feature of Neal’s Yard products, which are beautiful and can be endlessly repurposed around the house. They are also in the process of switching out their plastic bottles for PCR plastic alternatives. Carbon neutral since before it was cool (way back in 2008), Neal’s Yard are the first UK high street retailer to be awarded this accreditation.

7. Green People

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, gradual tan
  • My Pick:¬†For a fresh, ultra-gentle cleanser, look no further than Green People‚Äôs Scent Free Cleanser with organic shea butter (it’s in their vegan skincare section)
  • Price: ¬£¬£

If you suffer with sensitive skin, then¬†Green People¬†is the brand for you! Created when her young daughter was suffering with allergies and eczema, V√łhtz is an ethical pioneer when it comes to natural skincare and beauty. Not only are Green People Soil Association certified ‚Äď they actually helped to¬†design the first standards for organic skincare products.¬†They may not always be the cheapest, but their formations are highly concentrated ‚Äď rest assured that¬†a little goes a long way!

Packaging: Over the past few years, Green People have introduced eco-friendly sugar cane packaging for some of their products, as well as more glass options. They do still use plastic but continue to look into greener alternatives.

8. BYBI

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, eye care, lip care, masks
  • My Pick:¬†BYBI‚Äôs Day Defence SPF30 is my go-to sunscreen – it‚Äôs great for sensitive skin, feels deliciously moisturising, and doesn‚Äôt leave a white-cast ‚Äď the perfect base for makeup
  • Price: ¬£

Specialising in plant-powered skincare, BYBI offer a range of natural beauty products that are infused with superfood ingredients, as well as being 100% vegan and cruelty-free. They have even developed their own internal auditing system called The Susty Score to grade different ingredients, ensuring they’re clean for nature as well as your skin. Pretty cool, no? For a natural alternative to retinol, try their Bakuchiol product line.

Packaging:¬†Vibrant and colourful, these are gorgeous products that I love to have on display in my home. And what‚Äôs even better?¬†BYBI‚Äôs tubes are made from sugarcane ‚Äď an innovative upcycled bioplastic that is a byproduct of the sugar industry. They do use glass for some of their products, which you can recycle in the¬†ReBYBI scheme. Their lab in London is powered entirely by green energy, and your order will arrive in a recyclable grasspaper box.

9. REN

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, exfoliators, eye care, masks, primers, minis
  • My Pick:¬†If you have blemish-prone skin, it can be helpful to keep a dedicated product on hand to help soothe any inflamed areas ‚Äď try REN‚Äôs¬†Clearcalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment
  • Price: ¬£¬£

Developed with sensitive skin in mind, REN uses bioactive ingredients that limit irritation and respect the skin barrier. Their natural skincare products are inclusive, with development and testing on many different skin types and tones. They also have an ingredient glossary which shows where in the world their cruelty-free and sustainably-sourced ingredients come from. Not all of their products are vegan-friendly, so remember to pop your vegan filter on when browsing!

Packaging: In 2018, REN made a pledge to become zero waste by 2020, i.e. only producing packaging designed to be recyclable, contain recycled materials, or be reusable… and they achieved it! They also partner with the Surfrider Foundation to protect our waterways.

10. Upcircle

  • Product Range:¬†Cleansers, serums, moisturisers, SPF, exfoliators, eye care, lip care, masks, beauty tools, bundles
  • My Pick:¬†UpCircle‚Äôs award-winning vegan scrubs are made from coffee grounds for a variety of different skin types – I like the Citrus Blend, formulated specifically for dry skin
  • Price: ¬£¬£
  • Get 10% off with code INTENTIONALVIEW

It’s all in the name. UpCircle¬†hints at ‚Äėupcycle‚Äô, which is exactly what this pioneering brand aims to do in building¬†a more circular beauty model! UpCircle goes a step further than most with their waste-fighting formulations, making it their mission to rescue byproducts from the food and drink industry. They are passionate about creating affordable, body-positive, gender-neutral products for all ages and diversities.

Packaging:¬†99% of their range comes in¬†plastic-free packaging,¬†and ‚ÄėUpCirclers‚Äô are encouraged to help further¬†close the loop on waste¬†by returning their products to be refilled. With refills available on an incredible 98% of their skincare range, Upcircle offer a 20% discount on all refills, as well as a free-post label for fuss-free returns. And the cherry on the cake?¬†They‚Äôre B-Corp certified!

What Is an Ethical Skincare Brand?

In short, an ethical skincare brand cares about the ingredients they’re using in their products, championing all-natural formulations. On top of personal well-being, they also take into account wider factors like animal welfare, sustainable sourcing, environmental impact and thoughtful packaging.

When I first started looking into ethical skincare, it felt like opening a can of worms in all honesty. You may start with the simple aim of using products with fewer, cleaner ingredients to look after your health, but it soon becomes apparent that there are more factors at play when deciding what constitutes an ethical brand.

I’ve found that it’s easiest to break things down into the below criteria:

Uses organic & natural ingredients

Your chosen brand should use natural ingredients, preferably with organic certification from COSMOS Soil Association. They will also steer clear of well-known nasties lurking in many mainstream brands, such as:

  • Mineral oils
  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Petrolatum
  • PEG compounds
  • Parfum

… the list goes on. Whilst these ingredients may have great short-term effects and aren’t dangerous in trace quantities, they can become harmful with daily exposure over a long period of time. Effects range from hormone disruption to reproductive issues and even cancer, which go unseen and may not become apparent until later in life when the damage is already done.

Plant-powered superfood-infused skincare brands UK

Certified vegan & cruelty-free

Confusingly, cruelty-free and vegan mean different things in the cosmetic industry.

Cruelty-free signifies that a brand is against animal testing (look for Leaping Bunny or PETA certification). Vegan, on the other hand, confirms that no animal byproducts were used in the manufacture of a product (look for The Vegan Society certification).

Personally, I like to check for both when purchasing my beauty products. You can do this via a brand checker like Cruelty-Free Kitty if ever you’re unsure from a company’s website.

Whilst all the brands in the above list are cruelty-free, a few are not entirely vegan, so you‚Äôll need to filter for these products if this is important to you. These brands tend to have a ‚ÄėVegan Skincare‚Äô section to make it an easier shopping experience.

Cares about the planet

Last but not least, an ethical brand should care about sourcing sustainably with minimal environmental impact and an awareness of carbon emissions, whilst also being mindful of their packaging.

For example, some ingredients like mineral oil come from heavy industrial processes that take their toll on the planet. Even natural ingredients like palm oil can have devastating consequences on wildlife and are a leading cause of deforestation of the world’s rainforests. So take particular care to check whether brands are RSPO-certified (i.e. source their palm oil responsibly).

Single-used plastic is also a problem when it comes to the tubes used for many cosmetics products. Ethical brands are addressing the plastic problem with recycled packaging and innovative new bioplastics. They are also mindful of how their orders are shipped out to their customers.

Natural organic beauty is healthy from the inside out

Sustainable Skincare Is Beautiful From the Inside Out

It may feel like change needs to start with the beauty industry, but it’s easy to forget that we have so much power as consumers. We can vote for the kind of world we want to live in with our wallets. And this starts with the products we choose to use on a day-to-day basis.

There are hopefully plenty of brands in this list embodying values you can get behind.

Whilst it’s tempting to go out and splurge on a load of new products, you should aim to replace items slowly and thoughtfully. Introducing new plant-based ingredients to your routine gradually gives your skin time to adjust to changes (bombarding it with new products will likely only lead to irritation and breakouts).

Once you’re happy with your skincare regime, check out my minimal makeup routine and ethical makeup brands worth supporting for a complete guide to beautiful, natural skin.

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The best natural and organic skincare brands UK

2 Comments

  • Luke Breen says:

    You should also check out Valley Mist for UK made Natural Skincare. Jo makes all the products in Lancashire, and she was one of the first in the UK to start packaging her Lip Balms in 100% biodegradable tubes. She now makes a full range of beautiful Natural Skincare products. I’m sure you’ll love her ranges! valleymist.co.uk

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