Best skincare brands UK 2021: ethical, organic skincare from great brands, including Neal’s Yard, Pai, Akt
Ethically produced, organically grown, and effective skin care products
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Recently, we’ve seen more and more beauty brands shouting about their organic skincare products, but this is not always as clear cut as it may seem. While in the food industry, the term organic has a clear definition, it’s a little murkier when it comes to beauty.
What are organic skincare products?
Organic means products which are grown without the use of chemical fertilisers, GM ingredients and additives such as preservatives and colourings. However, while many skincare brands now eschew chemical additives, many use water as a core ingredient. Water is not farmed, so it can’t be claimed as 100% organic, meaning there are tricky hoops to jump through to get that all-important organic accolade.
Who can I trust?
But don’t despair! There are still many amazing skincare brands that are prioritising organic, natural ingredients, alongside considering how to be more sustainable. And there are some brands who have managed to get the Soil Association or COSMOS certification, which lets you know they are fully organic.
The below are our top picks of brands we feel are flying the flag in creating cleaner, natural, more sustainable skincare with no compromises on leaving your skin feeling and looking fantastic.
Neal’s Yard have been doing organic long before it became a trendy buzzword; they’ve been organically certified by the Soil Association for nearly thirty years.
Their mission is to always use the highest possible percentage of organic ingredients in their products, letting the power of nature do its thing. Neal’s Yard use some of nature’s most effective ingredients from across the world, hailing from Mexico to Oman, and all are ethically sourced too.
Five Dot Botanics
Five Dot Botanics is the result of founder Zaffrin O’Sullivan’s frustration at not being able to find skincare which wasn’t chocked full of mystery ingredients, which have little impact on the effectiveness of the product, but can be irritating to skin.
Thus, she created Five Dot Botanics, a skincare brand where each product is made up of solely five ingredients, all of which are plant-based and happen to be incredible at transforming your skin! Their manifesto states that they prioritise organic ingredients where possible and use fully recyclable and biodegradable materials in their packaging.
Whether it’s those pesky aerosols or the plethora of plastic packaging, deodorants are often number one on hit lists for those wanting to make their skincare regime more sustainable. Enter AKT, a premium natural deodorant brand who take a strong stance when it comes to their environmental impact, shown by their 100% plastic-free packaging. Tested on hard-working West End performers, these naturals deodorants are super effective in absorbing sweat before you even know you’ve broken one. AKT’s expert complex is derived from natural plant and mineral powders, so no harsh chemicals to upset your delicate underarms.
Pai’s mission is to become the leading brand in organic skincare, and with all their products gaining COSMOS Organic certification, they are well on their way. Pai was founded in 2007, when founder Sarah Brown wanted to create a range that suited her sensitive skin.
Pai recently rebranded, and as a result, updated their packaging to be much more sustainably focused, with 50% of their product packaging consisting of glass over plastic, and their outer packaging being 100% recyclable.
With their Return-Refill-Repeat initiative Beauty Kitchen is one of the most sustainable skincare brands on the market.
This programme allows for you to send back product bottles once finished with, which then are washed and refilled for future batches; even better than recycling.
They also have a range of plastic-free kits to help minimise the amount of plastic in your bathroom. The vast majority of their products are plant based (with a few containing sustainably sourced beeswax), but all of them smell sensational.
Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm
The Wild Rose Beauty Balm is a one-stop-pot for all your organic skincare needs. Whether using the balm as a gentle exfoliating cleanser, leaving it on overnight for an indulgent moisturising treatment, or taming flyaway eyebrow hairs, this balm is super nourishing to skin, leaving it plump with hydration.
The organic rosehip oil smells delicious and is rich in antioxidants, helping create healthier, happier skin.
Five Dot Botanics Deep Feed
With accolades such as Beauty Editor’s Choice at the Beauty Shortlist Awards, it’s unsurprising that this ultra-nourishing facial serum is Five Dot Botanics’ bestseller.
Infused with green coffee beans and cacay, this serum adds a boost of radiance to your skin, whilst smoothing out any lumps and bumps, resulting in a flawless finish.
If you are prone to irritated skin or suffer from skin sensitivity, the limited ingredient list of this serum means it will fast become your new best friend.
AKT The Deodorant Balm in Orange Grove
A winning combination of coconut oil and shea butter, both naturally nourished with vitamins A, E and F, this Orange Grove deodorant balm leaves your skin soft and hydrated.
We love the fragrance of this product; it smells like a hot summer’s day in an orangery, but don’t worry, AKT only use essential oils and natural floral extracts to create this tantalising scent.
Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
This honey-like elixir is enriched with high concentrations of Omega 3,6,7 & 9, which regenerate skin cells, leaving your complexion renewed and radiant.
It rebalances skin, while injecting a healthy dose of hydration, for an enviable glow. It is also great at tackling scar tissue, blemishes and wrinkles; a little bit of a wonder product. We loved how this oil left our skin looking brighter, perfect for banishing dull winter skin.
Beauty Kitchen The Sustainables Fragrance Free Organic Vegan Body Cream
This body cream was awarded Gold at the Pure Beauty Awards 2020, and with its deeply moisturising formula, it’s clear to see why.
Organic aloe vera and shea butter combine to leave your skin utterly soft and smooth, and with four different fragrances to choose from, whether that’s energetic citrus or soothing eucalyptus, you can have one for every mood!