“Natural beauty has become a circus!” exclaimed a colleague of mine, as I put the finishing touches on this year’s Beauty 100. A small business owner in the industry, she was referring to the deluge of new products flooding the marketplace. As I reflected on nearly three decades of covering beauty and spa in the media, the sheer volume of new stuff gave me pause. It’s wild, but it’s actually a much better show.
Ten years ago, when I cofounded a magazine dedicated to the burgeoning field of green spas and beauty, it seemed like a whole new world. Anything went. And green-washing, along with confusion, ran rampant. Today, the industry has become much more transparent. Products that are successful in the natural and organic markets are using proven ingredients for increasingly sophisticated consumers. More people than ever read their product labels and know what to avoid. The lists of potentially hazardous ingredients are increasingly serious, and as a result many brands have cleaned up their acts.
In this second annual Beauty 100, we’ve chosen the best of the clean green brands in a number of categories, ranging from face and body cleansers and moisturizers to personal-care to sleep-enhancing products. (The latter category is a personal favorite in today’s increasingly sleepless world.) If you want to go a step further and really learn about what goes into your products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database where you’ll find more than 60,000 products reviewed for safety (ewg.org). And if you discover a product that checks out with EWG and works for you, let us know about it.
—Mary Bemis, Editor, The Beauty 100