2016 Natural Beauty Awards

When it comes to natural beauty products, 
it can be tough to tell the green from the green-washed. 
So, we researched hundreds of ingredients and worked with our expert advisory board to find the truly fabulous. 
We slathered, spritzed, and sprayed our way through 134 “clean” nominees to come up with this year’s crop of 
beauty breakthroughs: high-performance skin- and hair-care offerings with no harsh chemicals. Here’s your guide to 
the 27 products that both met our tough standards 
and exceeded our performance expectations.

  • Eye Cream

    Eye Cream

    Solavedi Organics Eye Balm

    $14, solavedi.com

    This Ayurveda-inspired eye balm treats dark circles with a trifecta of botanicals: coffee, tea, and apple pectin.

    “This balm goes on super-smoothly—no tugging or pulling at the delicate skin under your eyes ever again.” —Jody Villecco, YJ advisor

    See also 5 Refreshing Ayurvedic Beauty Products

  • Night Cream

    Night Cream

    Yurrku Utopia Night Cream

    $16, yurrku.com

    Part of a gorgeously packaged Australian skin-care line inspired by blends long used in Aboriginal culture, this night cream is replete with hand-harvested nectars like banksia, jacaranda, and wild rosella.

    “The next morning, my skin was soft, smooth, and thoroughly nourished. 
I love the interesting and innovative 
botanicals in this product.” —JV

    See also 2015 Natural Beauty Awards

  • Sponge


    Andalou Naturals Konjac Facial Sponge Duo

    $8, andalou.com

    First popular in Japan, these soft, squishy sponges are loaded with ceramides—lipids made by our skin that keep it well moisturized—and effortlessly remove dead-skin cells that can dull your complexion.

    “I love that this sponge contains ceramides, which really help to improve the moisture 
barrier in skin. It’s great 
for dry or sensitive skin.” —Valori Treloar, MD, YJ advisor

    See also 5 Therapeutic Beauty Products To Relieve Sore Spots

  • Scrub


    Avalon Organics Brilliant Balance Enzyme Scrub

    $17, iherb.com

    Walnut shells are a main ingredient 
in this scrub that buffs away dead 
skin while still being gentle.

    “I can use this every day without my skin getting excessively dry or oily, plus, it has a great texture—not too slimy or thin—and an amazing lavender scent.” Tasha Eichenseher, 
YJ senior editor

    See also Melody Moore: Self-Love + Embracing Your Inner Beauty

  • Mask


    Andalou Naturals Instant Brightening Face Mask

    $4, andalou.com

    Want radiant skin without getting a spendy facial? This mask delivers, using organic pumpkin-derived enzymes, manuka honey, and 
citrus glycolic AHA.

    “It feels cool and refreshing while it’s on and smells amazing.” —Abigail Biegert, YJ associate art director

    See also 5 Products to Green Your Beauty Routine

  • Cleanser


    Jāsön Gentle Basics Facial Cleanser

    $12, amazon.com

    A minimal number of ingredients made this cleanser a clear favorite, especially among our testers with 
sensitive skin.

    “This cleanser is a green alternative to Cetaphil, the classic super-gentle cleanser recommend by dermatologists, because this one has fewer ingredients and no parabens.” —VT

    See also Breast Cancer Awareness: 5 Beauty Products to Spread the Word

  • Moisturizer with SPF

    Moisturizer with SPF

    Badger Damascus Rose Zinc Oxide Face Sunscreen
 SPF 25

    $20, badgerbalm.com

    Too often, natural sunscreens leave streaks on skin. This one provides broad-spectrum protection and blends easily.

    “This sunscreen is surprisingly hydrating, and it 
doesn’t leave a greasy shine behind.” 
—Meghan Rabbitt, YJ senior editor

    See also Natural Beauty Awards 2014

  • Moisturizer


    Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care Balancing Moisture Cream

    $37, lilyfarmfreshskincare.com

    This minimalist formula includes shea butter and almond oil in the first three ingredients, yet it’s so lightweight and absorbs so quickly that it soon became our testers’ favorite all-around moisturizer.

    “I can apply this incredibly hydrating moisturizer 
and put makeup on right afterward—it absorbs 
that quickly.” —MR

    See also Beauty Tip: Relax and Rejuvenate With a Nourishing Oil Massage

  • Oil


    Desert Essence Restorative Face Oil

    $18, desertessence.com

    Argan, marula, and jojoba oils make up some of the fab ingredients in this oil that our high-altitude testers raved about.

    “I found this oil to be super-hydrating and easily absorbed, but without making my skin greasy or triggering breakouts.” —Carin Gorrell, 
YJ editor in chief

    See also Natural Beauty Awards Guidelines

  • Wipes


    Acure Coconut + Argan Cleansing 

    $7, acureorganics.com

    Great for traveling or stashing in your yoga bag, these biodegradable cleansing wipes nicely cleaned our testers’ skin and caused zero irritation.

    “These towelettes remove makeup and grime and make my skin feel clean, not sticky.” —Amanda Tust, YJ senior editor

    See also 4 Ayurvedic Self-Care Rituals for Natural Beauty

  • Toner


    Jane Iredale BeautyPrep Face Toner

    $33, janeiredale.com

    This gentle toner is infused with fruit and vegetable extracts that hydrate skin instead of drying it out.

    “I love how fresh it makes my skin feel.” —Elizabeth Marglin, YJ associate editor

    See also How to Identify Organic Beauty Products

  • Shampoo


    EveryDay Coconut Shampoo & Body Wash

    $10, alaffia.com

    This multitasking shampoo doubles as a body wash and is gentle enough for babies as well as sensitive-skinned adults. Bonus: This company helps provide health care to more than 1,000 women in Togo each year.

    “I love having a shampoo that the whole family can use. My daughter has 
sensitive skin, and this worked great for her.” —AT

    See also The Essential Guide to Essential Oils

  • Dry Shampoo

    Dry Shampoo

    Pure Glam Performance Dry Shampoo

    $32, organicbeautynow.com

    This dry shampoo—loaded with arrowroot, clay, and rice powder—offers a quick fix for those days when you want to skip a wash or extend a blowout.

    “This dry shampoo has an unbeatable scent, and it really saved me during the months after my daughter was born, when showers were 
a few-and-far-between luxury.” —CG

    See also 6 Nourishing Winter Lip Balms

  • Conditioner


    Mineral Fusion Strengthening Conditioner


    With keratin to build elasticity and marula oil to boost luster, this conditioner wowed our testers.

    “The lovely, luscious smell had me from the get-go, and that was only reinforced by its standout performance: It made my hair smooth, silky, shiny, and buoyant.” —Janet Nudelman

    See also The Best Essential Oil Products for Every Occasion

  • Hair Oil

    Hair Oil

    Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Scent & Shine Coconut Oil

    $26, sephora.com

    You won’t find conventional silicones in this frizz-taming hair oil.

    “The applicator (a dropper) is perfect, helping me get just a tiny bit, which is all you need. Plus, unlike many other oils I’ve tried, this one didn’t make my fine hair greasy.” —TE

    See also 6 Natural, Chemical-Free Deodorants

  • Oil


    Osmia Organics Night Body Oil


    The unique combo of lavender, chamomile, and Atlas cedarwood—an ingredient thought to stimulate the brain’s pineal gland to release sleep-inducing melatonin—set our testers up for a profound unwinding of the senses.

    “This is such a great mix of nourishing oils, and the fact that most are certified organic is a big bonus.” —MR

    See also The Best Natural Face-Care Products of 2015

  • Moisturizer


    Intelligent Nutrients Algae Bioactive Science OneBody Moisturizer

    $42, intelligentnutrients.com

    Infused with marine bioactives, 
pink peppercorn-seed extract, and coffee oil to improve skin elasticity, this crowd-pleasing moisturizer works well on all skin types.

    “It hydrates without leaving a greasy or overly heavy residue, and it has a spicy, light scent that’s neutral enough to work on men and women.” —Kristen Arnett

    See also The Best Natural Makeup Products of 2015

  • Hand Cream

    Hand Cream

    John Masters Organics Orange & Rose Hand Cream

    $14, johnmasters.com

    Nine certified organic ingredients, including antibacterial clove oil, give this hydrating hand cream a health boost.

    “Unlike most other hand creams, this one absorbs easily. I can even use my iPhone touch screen directly after applying!” —JV

    See also The Best Natural Body-Care Products of 2015

  • Sunscreen


    Babo Botanicals Super Shield Sport Stick Sunscreen SPF 50

    $16, babobotanicals.com

    This easy-to-apply zinc oxide stick goes on surprisingly sheer and kept our fair-skinned senior editor sunburn free in the high Himalayas on a recent trip to India.

    “I love that this is water resistant, which makes it great for swimming and activities where I know I’m going to sweat. Plus, the stick form is so easy to reapply.” —MR

    See also 6 Skin + Hair Sun Protectors

  • Scrub


    Tata Harper
 Smoothing Body Scrub

    $70, tataharperskincare.com

    Simulate the spa experience at home with this decadent micro-polishing scrub that’s made with five biodegradable exfoliants.

    “This body scrub made my skin so smooth, I didn’t even have to moisturize after my shower.” 
—Samantha Trueheart, 
YJ online editor

    See also 5 Products to Green Your Beauty Routine

  • Body Wash/Cleanser

    Body Wash/Cleanser

    Sibu Cleansing Face & Body Bar

    $8, sibu.com

    Naturally astringent sea buckthorn leaves are the key ingredient that makes this cleanser both hydrating and effective.

    “I quickly became hooked on this cleanser’s refreshing foaming action, with the perfect amount of lather.”

    See also 7 Essential Oils Every Yogi Needs

  • Lip Balm

    Lip Balm

    Pure + Simple

    $4, pure

    This balm has a soft, smooth, buttery feel and 
a nontoxic formulation.

    “It gives me just the right amount of nourishment without leaving my lips too glossy. Plus, the flavors are unique and even have aromatherapy benefits.” —KA

    See also 5 Ultra-Hydrating Shea Butter Products

  • Lip Balm SPF

    Lip Balm SPF

    BurnOut Zinc Oxide Lip Balm

    $4, burnoutsun.com

    This balm has a velvety feel and provides chemical-free sun protection that goes on clear.

    “It’s easy to forget to protect your lips, but this hydrating stick makes it a cinch.” —Rachel Aiweda, YJ editorial intern

    See also Avoid these Ingredients When Buying Body and Hair Products

  • Lipstick


    Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick

    $13, honey

    This lipstick glides on smooth thanks to coconut and sesame oil, and it can stay on for hours. Plus, it comes in an impressive 
20 shades.

    “By far the best natural lipstick I’ve ever used: It goes on smooth and hydrates, and the color really lasts.” —AB

    See also The Best Natural Hair Products of 2014

  • Mascara 


    Rejuva Minerals Water Resistant Mega Lash

    $22, rejuvaminerals.com

    This mascara lengthens and separates lashes with the best of them, but without nasty chemicals—all in a recyclable, BPA-free tube.

    “This mascara extended my lashes without clumping, and it didn’t streak or run during yoga.” —AT

    See also An Ayurvedic Recipe for Happy, Beautiful Eyes

  • Makeup Remover

    Makeup Remover

    Goddess Garden Organics Erase the Day Mineral Removing Cleanser

    $17, goddessgarden.com

    Mineral-rich French clay draws out makeup and dirt particles like a magnet, getting rid of all traces of even the toughest-to-remove waterproof makeup.

    “I’m really impressed by how well this works and by how clean the ingredients are.” —JV

    See also Avoid these Ingredients When Buying Facial Products

  • Nail Care

    Nail Care

    Weleda Cuticle Softener Pen

    $17, usa.weleda.com

    No time for a manicure? 
No problem. Give your nails and cuticles some love with this sunflower-seed oil and pomegranate-seed oil pen.

    “This product has done wonders for keeping my cuticles neat, clean, and soft. I keep one stashed in my purse to use when I’m waiting someplace.” ­—JV

    See also Avoid These Ingredients When Buying Makeup

Meet Our Advisory Board

To help us choose our winners, we asked these experts 
to share their extensive ingredient knowledge—and to try all 130-plus products that were submitted for consideration.

Kristen Arnett, an international natural makeup artist, beauty educator, and brand consultant, as well as editor in chief of greenbeautyteam.com.

Danielle Messina, a clean-beauty advocate and author of The Glamorganic Goddess blog. Messina became a natural-beauty convert after being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31. Her mission: to find healthy beauty products that work without carcinogens.

Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy at 
the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition whose goal is eliminating dangerous chemicals from personal-care products.
Valori Treloar, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, certified nutrition specialist, and co-author of The Clear Skin Diet.

Jody Villecco, global quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market, including its Premium Body Care standards, a pioneer retail standard developed for natural personal care in the United States.