Potent ingredients, non-toxic and cruelty-free, affordable prices and sleek, minimalistic design. What’s not to love in The Ordinary, Canadian beauty company Deciem‘s most popular brand? The Ordinary changed the beauty world almost overnight and since its launch in August 2016 it has inspired other brands to adopt a similar approach.
I’m a devoted The Ordinary fan (you should see my bathroom vanity, it’s almost embarrassing) but I’m always curious to try new brands that match my criteria for skincare worth buying: I want to know exactly what I’m paying for. Every ingredient explained and justified, ethical production and employment policies, and absolutely no need for celebrity-starred ad campaigns.
These six brands on the shortlist tick all the boxes for me. The one thing they all have in common is that they aim to demystify skincare. Making it more natural with fewer, clean ingredients, caring about the planet and committing to transparency.
Launched in February 2019 by Ning Li, the man behind MADE.com, Typology. uses natural, often edible igredients to create simple and effective formulas. Like The Ordinary, Typology aims to pair back the extra faff and go back to basics. Their key to a low price point is that they operate 100% online. They also use recyclable materials and sustainable transport and boast a B Corp certification as evidence for socially and environmentally responsible practices.
Another UK-based brand, Facetheory combines nature and science in their wide range of cruelty-free, nono-toxic and affordable products. Everything is unscented as standard to suit sensitive skin (and noses) but some products have scented alternatives. Facetheory uses sustainable packaging and offer a whopping 365-day return policy if you’re not happy with your purchase or don’t notice any visible improvement in your skin.
Vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and handmade in Hertfordshire, England. Founded by Laura Rudoe in 2009, when natural beauty wasn’t all the rage it is now, Evolve Organic Beauty is not a new kid on the block. It’s a brand for those who want it all. From masks to moisturizers and serums, and from hair care to body lotions and even hand sanitizer, you can embellish your bathroom vanity with Evolve’s sophisticated, minimalistic bottles and jars with good conscience. All their packaging is made using recycled and recyclable materials.
Thinking about how much coffee grounds go to waste in London coffee shops made Anna and William Brightman found UpCircle Beauty in 2015. The brand gives used coffee grounds, brewed chai tea spices and discarded fruit stones a new life in effective, affordably priced skincare. UpCircle products are handmade, cruelty-free, organic, palm oil-free and ocean friendy. The company uses 99% plastic-free and 100% recyclable packaging.
Q + A
Produced in Norfolk, UK, Q + A – as the name suggests – wants to answer your questions about skincare, not generate new ones. The cruelty-free, clean and natural products have clear instructions on how and when to use them printed on the side of the recyclable packaging. Priced between 7,41€ – 13,68€, Q+A requires the smallest investment on this shortlist.
The Inkey List
“Founded by Colette Laxton and Mark Curry in 2018, The INKEY List was born from a belief that better knowledge powers better decisions.” This is how The Inkey List‘s introduction begins and educating their audience is indeed something the brand is very serious about. They offer skincare advice on their website and social media, using hashtag #askINKEY as they want you to help understand your skin better, in order to make smarter skincare decisions and purchases. All The Inkey List products are cruelty-free and they aim to have 100% recyclable packgaging by the end of 2020.
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