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Keep your skin feeling soft and oil-free all day with these nine winning natural face-care products from YJ’s annual Natural Beauty Awards.
Kensington Apothecary Rose Water Exfoliating Tonic, $28, kensingtonapothecary.com
Star ingredients: Rose, bilberry, honeysuckle, fig, and citrus combine to exfoliate, soothe, and hydrate.
Tester feedback: “It was nondrying, which is a big plus, as many tonics can strip the skin.” —Niyati Shah, senior international manager, Washington, DC
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, $43, dr.hauschka.com
Star ingredients: This classic product has been reformulated with even more rose-flower and rose-hip extract to minimize redness and irritation.
Tester feedback: “Dr. Hauschka always has impeccable ingredients, and that is very important to me.” —Amy Ippoliti, yoga teacher, Boulder, Colorado
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Refining Sugar Cleanser, $25, mychelle.com
Star ingredients: Sugar crystals work as an exfoliant, while antiaging peptides and crocus chrysanthus extract help boost collagen and elastin.
Tester feedback: “After a couple days, I noticed a considerable difference in the radiance of my skin.” —Jennifer Kuz, office manager, Traverse City, Michigan
Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil, $20, badgerbalm.com
Star ingredients: Jojoba oil balances your skin’s oil production, nourishing it with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, while argan oil protects with fatty acids and antioxidants.
Tester feedback: “I usually don’t like products with argan, but this one smelled lovely.” —Gina Kelley, Alexander Technique and yoga teacher, Charlottesville, Virginia
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, $10, acureorganics.com
Star ingredients: Organic lemon peel buffs, while argan stem cells and chlorella growth factor repair your skin.
Tester feedback: “It makes my skin feel incredibly fresh and clean, with no irritation.” —Shelley Plett, columnist and graphic designer, Hillsboro, Kansas
Night Cream/ Serum
EO Products Transformative Night Serum, $40, eoproducts.com
Star ingredient: Tsubaki oil, from the Japanese camellia, is credited for geishas’ smooth complexions.
Tester feedback: “I like that it’s made without synthetic fragrance by a certified B corporation [socially and environmentally responsible].” —Amanda Tust, associate editor (Yoga Journal), Longmont, Colorado
Balanced Guru Organic Farmaceuticals Nourish Me Frowns-to-Smiles Facial Serum, $23, balancedguru.com
Star ingredients: Primrose, jojoba, argan, and rosehip oils lightly moisturizing all skin types, while antioxidant-rich shitake mushroom, goji berry, and acai extracts help slow the appearance of aging.
Tester feedback: “It helped my skin feel smooth, and I bet it will help diminish wrinkles as I keep using it.” —Wendy Lubell, personal trainer, Washington, DC
Éminence Organic Skin Care Balancing Masque Duo, $54, eminenceorganics.com
Star ingredients: Buchu leaf extract minimizes T-zone oil, while pomelo juice protects skin with antioxidants.
Tester feedback: “Earthy and invigorating. I’m not really a mask user, but this has made me one.” —Rebecca Morton, yoga instructor, Rockwall, Texas
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Nightly Brightening Pads, $45, juicebeauty.com
Star ingredient: Organic apple juice, rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K, help rejuvenate skin and minimize the appearance of dark spots.
Tester feedback: “I love that the pads were made out of bamboo!” —Megan Francis, project management coordinator, Tustin, California
What’s Inside Your Face-Care Products?
Ingredients to avoid:
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) this antioxidant is used as a preservative to prevent rancidity in cosmetics, including moisturizers. The National Toxicology Program lists it as a likely human carcinogen, while the European Union (EU), with a stricter regulatory system for personal-care products than the United States, identifies BHA as an endocrine disruptor, or a chemical that can create hormonal interference affecting reproductive health. Jody Villecco, global quality standards coordinator at Whole Foods Market, suggests seeking safer replacements, such as tocopherol, as well as antioxidant oils that extend shelf life, such as rosemary and rose hip.
Ingredients to adore:
Snow algae typically listed on ingredient labels as “Chlamydocapsa sp.,” snow algae is a promising new addition to antiaging formulas. It’s referred to as an extremophile, because it’s a survivalist species able to thrive in brutal environmental conditions—on alpine snowfields and glaciers. Several scientists hypothesize that extremophiles like snow algae produce metabolites that boost skin’s cellular defenses, oxidative-stress resistance, cell detoxification, and repair.