Some things never change…and some things do. After I complied this Best Of 2019 natural beauty list, I looked back at 2018 and saw a couple repeats! Now if that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.
Welcome to Suzi and I’s third annual Best of Natural Beauty List! Be sure to peek at Best of 2017 and Best of 2018 too. These continue to stand the test of time.
So here’s the deal. Every year, Suzi and I put our heads together and come up with a combined Best Of Top 10 List. This year? We are changing it up a bit. First, we each came up with our own personal Top 10 list AND to make it even better, we invited my friend Sarah, lifestyle and natural beauty connoisseur and the author of the blog Whoorl to share her Top 10 list as well.
Now, if this is your first time here, I have some all-time, ride or die natural beauty favorites that would hog this list every year so in the effort of not creating the exact same list year in and year out, let me refresh your memory here:
- Josh Rosebrooks Hair Spray (the only natural hairspray that actually works).
- May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver mask because it does just that.
- True Botanicals Hydrating Shampoo – It’s clean, smells amazing, leaves my hair light and bouncy and WORKS!
- Leahlani’s Mermaid Mask – for detox, moisture and a stunning glow. The Mermaid Mask is a forever fave.
- MŪN’s Aknai Youth Brightening Serum to even skin tone, brighten and plump. Plus it’s great alone or layered.
I love this time of year when we can celebrate some tried and trues that really live up to the hype. And now ladies and gents, the main event. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win all 10 of these products!
BEST NATURAL BEAUTY OF 2019
#1 Wildling’s Empress Gua Sha Stone
This year I fell in love with The Empress Stone. Gua sha is hitting the beauty scene hard in 2019 and if you haven’t tried it yet, you must! Follow along with Wildling co-founder Britta @britta_beauty or check out Wildling for some how-to tutorials (free and paid).
What is gua sha?
It’s a face massage using a specific stone with an emphasis on lymphatic drainage. Britta says it offers an intensified re-patterning of habits in muscles and tissue, helping to remove metabolic waste, environmental pollution, and chemicals that may have entered into the body through conventional beauty products, tap water, or an overuse of plastic.
The results ARE INSTANT and it’s pretty much a holistic version of Botox which Harpers covers in this 8 page spread. Britta Plug launched Wildling Beauty with plant alchemist Jill Munson and acupuncturist and herbalist Gianna De La Torre with the intent to help women access the benefits of gua sha at home.
Not all gua shas are created equal…
Now there are several gua sha stones on the market. But not all are created equal. The better ones are made of precious stones like rose quartz or jade while some of the cheaper versions can be made of colored glass. Most have several different shaped sides intended for different parts of the face. But Wildling is the only tool (besides Cecily Braden’s $130 Nephrite Jade Gua Sha Stone which I’ve used too and the Lanshin $120) that I’ve seen with a comb edge. This edge is effective at lifting, draining and at lightening hyperpigmentation and reducing fine lines!
And The Empress Stone is actually custom crafted out of Bian Stone which contains over 40 trace minerals that contribute to optimal heath. I love gua sha because you can actually SEE the results. A truly natural way lift, brighten and care for your skin. One try and you will be convinced!
#2 BLÜH ALCHEMY’S Multi C Serum
When I think of BLÜH ALCHEMY I think; handcrafted in small batches, clean, organic, wild harvested, natural, bioactive, nutrient dense, cruelty free, responsible, sustainable…I mean, the list goes on and on.
But what actually sets BLÜH apart? Well for one thing, BLÜH ALCHEMY is bringing cellular extraction to the market. A cutting edge extraction process that works to harness a plant’s complete phyto-active profile resulting in pure, STABLE, unadulterated plant actives as they exist in nature.
This is especially exciting in their Multi C Serum formulated with the world’s first stable vitamin C.
I’ve flown through two bottles of this serum. It’s exceptional because it delivers vitamin C from multiple plant sources. One being Kakadu plum cellular extract – the highest known source of vitamin C in nature. (A lot of the vitamin c formulas use l-ascorbic acid which is produced in a lab.)
Wear this serum under you moisturizer daily (and night too) to firm and brighten skin tone. I always say everyone needs a good vitamin c treatment in their skincare routine and this one is KILLER!
I discovered Multi C Serum through Beauty Heroes this past year and haven’t looked back.
Try Multi C Serum here! Use code TNK15 to save 15%.
#3 EVOLVh’s Shampoo (+ Conditioner)
Now let’s just start with this. When I actually find a clean shampoo that actually works for me I’m like MARK THE DAY! So far I have two: True Botanicals and as of this year, EVOLVh! And believe me. I’ve tried a lot.
EVOLVh went through a major reformulation over the past year and came back better than ever with a refined scent and the removal of non-biodegradable ingredients. The results? EARTH SHATTERING.
I have thick, wavy hair. Thick in diameter and also thick as in a lot of strands and I really struggle with shampoos. This one works and they have several options.
- Ultra Shine Moisture Shampoo
- Smart Curl Hydrating Wash
- Smart Color Protecting Shampoo
I tried both the UltraShine and the SmartCurl and they both worked with my typical two rounds of washing. I liked the UltraShine better because I’m partial to the scent. The SmartCurl has a subtle geranium, floral scent and if I remember correctly, the UltraShine is more citrusy.
Code NEWKNEW15 will save you 15% at EVOLVh on your first order!
Their conditioners are a little too light for me but I wanted to include one here so the winner could try and decide for themselves. I also really love their SuperFinish Polishing Balm – a very light heat protectant. But that’s a conversation for another day. Vegan + gluten-free.
#4 Maya Chia’s The Optimist
Haven’t stopped using The Optimist since the day it arrived and currently on my third bottle. The first thing that stood out to me was the misting device. It’s unlike any other I’ve tried. It delivers a super fine and even mist – and to be quite frank – it’s just perfect. I asked founder Susanne about this and she said she had to circumvent US manufacturers and bring in a misting pump from Europe to get exactly what she wanted. I just love that Susanne doesn’t take no for an answer because she is a boss at delivering perfection.
The Optimist provides a powerful, yet weightless, boost of hydration for the appearance of plumper, deeply moisturized, more luminous skin. Not to mention it smells amazing. But don’t let all this fool you. The Optimist is exactly that – it’s more than a mist. It’s the OPTIMAL MIST. Yes it’s a mist in form but it acts more like a serum.
It’s stacked with a proprietary blend of antioxidants, amino acids, polysaccharides, phytonutrients, and fatty acids, such as Sake, White Tea, Chia Seed, Astaxanthin, and Licorice Extracts. The result? Radiant, nourished, glowing skin.
Read my full review on The Optimist and other Maya Chia products here.
#5 All the OLIO E OSSO Crema Lipsticks
When I think of the perfect lipstick, I think matte yet moisturizing. Enhancing but not in-your-face. Striking in a way that turns heads and make you think to yourself, Where has this been my whole life?! Well friends, here it is. OLIO E OSSO’s latest release: Crema Lipsticks.
OBSESSED. These are high coverage, high pigment, natural finish balms. They can take a bit of elbow grease to warm up and transfer but when they do it’s like, I do my hair toss, check my nails, baby how you feelin’? Feelin’ good as h*ll! (Lizzo, anyone?) Anyways, these wear more matte/natural and are super pigmented. Pretty much the opposite of their high gloss/sheer Balms. These come in three shades; Rubino, Marrone and I personally can’t get away from the shade IBISCO (shown above). Color of the year right here! Love these on both my cheeks and my lips.
The Crema Lipsticks are long wearing with a hint of citrus-mint (love). They wear super light and are surprisingly moisturizing. These call on the power of olive oil as a natural humectant, shea nut to moisturize/nourish and beeswax to protect and seal in all the goodness.
Also super buildable so you can wear these as a wash of color or build it up for a bold, opaque look.
#6 Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator
Mic drop. I mean if you try one new product this year, make it Josh Rosebrook’s Active Enzyme Exfoliator.
Josh’s Active Enzyme Exfoliator is exceptional because it exfoliates in TWO ways: mechanical exfoliation and enzyme exfoliation. Josh uses fruit and herbal enzymes to gently slough off dead skin cells while adding in finely ground walnut shells to mechanically reveal new skin.
Active Enzyme Exfoliator is a professional resurfacing treatment that works to clear, soften and renew skin. You apply it as a mask and you can leave it on anywhere between 10 minutes to 1 hour. It’s formulated with honey to restore moisture, antioxidants to regenerate, anti-inflammatories to calm and nutrient dense plant oils to feed. I mean, this is just a jar of straight up goodness!
Exfoliating 1-2x a week can legit transform your skin. It removes dead cells leaving skin glowing and ready to receive hydration + nutrients from your face cream or oils. This formula is a must-have and leaves my skin glowing and radiant.
Try Josh’s Active Enzyme Exfoliator here!
#7 African Botanics Fleur D’Afrique
African Botanics was founded by the husband & wife duo of Julia & Craig Noik in 2012. The creation of African Botanics was inspired by Julia & Craig’s experience with indigenous South African ingredients that have been used for centuries in South Africa, to protect the skin against harsh weather conditions.
They choose extraordinarily ingredients, sustainably sourced from places where they grow wild in unpolluted environments, untouched by any farming method or human interference. These wild harvested ingredients are then married to cutting edge technology to achieve a skincare experience that feels both luxuriously wholesome & truly cutting edge & revolutionary.
I tried Fleur D’Afrique for the first time though the Boxwalla subscription last fall and saw a difference in my skin in just three days.
Why? It’s packed with phyto-elixirs which aid in cell turnover, it refines and protects the skin with restorative soothing plant extracts, plus it delivers free radical-quenching CoQ10 and a distinct African Oil Complex which forms a powerful essential fatty acid matrix of high levels of Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9. And…retinol. Retinol has so many skin benefits including the improvement of fine wrinkles, stimulation of collagen and it’s effective in the treatment of aging and photoaging.
I chatted with Boxwalla about this specific formula and this is what they had to say:
“This is a super clean formula. This specific retinol is derived from a vegetable-base which doesn’t make it natural but it’s just like how vitamin C isn’t 100% natural, it’s been processed. In addition, most retinols are preserved with BHT but this one is not. This one is a liposomal retinol that is preserved with rosemary extract. And it’s used here in a very low percentage.“
Let’s talk application. So, when I had a bottle, I applied this at night only because with the addition of retinol, it can make skin more photosensitive. So at night, I cleanse, tone, apply a water-based serum like this one and then Fleur D’Afrique and finally seal it all in with a nice face cream. This was the night time routine of all night time routines. SO GOOD!
So if you are on the hunt for something to lighten your hyperpigmentation and even your skin tone this is it!
#8 Leahlani’s Pamplemousse
If this is your first time meeting Leahlani, you are in for a treat. Leahlani is a Hawaii-based artisanal skincare line made from fresh Hawaiian nectars, potent and vibrant botanical actives, and luxurious tropical beauty oils. Their products are made fresh weekly in small batches in their private studio on the lush North Shore of Kauai Island.
Leahlani is a pioneer in clean beauty and one of the first luxury brands to hit the market offering zero compromises when it comes to clean skincare. When I think of Leahlani, I think of decadent aromas, rich, potent formulas, beautiful colors, chic packaging, and the lushness of Hawaii.
Pamplemousse is a standout among cleansers for several reasons. First, it smells incredible. Pamplemousse if you didn’t know, means grapefruit in French. Second, add a little water to your fingertips and watch this oil become a milky emulsion that rinses clean with water! So easy and effective to use; takes off makeup, smells incredible, nourishes…and THIRD, with the addition of pineapple and papaya enzymes, it even exfoliates a tad too! Say hello to your new fave right here!
#9 True Botanicals Moisture Mask
Say hello to True Botanical’s Overnight Moisture Lock Mask. What does it do? First and foremost, this mask has been PROVEN to increase skin’s hydration by +25.2% in just 24 hours. And +37.7% after a week of consistent use. PROVEN. What more does a girl need!?
The first thing that surprised me upon opening OMLM was that it actually looks more like a cream than a mask. And then after applying, it actually behaves more like a cream than a mask. So once I started thinking about it like a treatment cream rather than a mask, I felt like I could wrap my head around what it has to offer.
It goes on light, sheer and almost weightless. It sinks right in and creates a thin, protective veil for the face. I use this as a last step in my skincare routine BOTH DAY AND NIGHT. One word: GAME CHANGER!
Code TNK10 will save you 10% off your order.
Try Overnight Moisture Lock Mask here!
#10 Laurel’s Sun Serum
People ask me all the time, “What can I use that will fade my hyper-pigmentation?” I’m like *neon arrows* THIS! And it’s not just me – I have had several readers reach out and confirm, they are seeing a difference in their skin. This serum delivers a firmer, more supple appearance, a brighter, more even skin tone and a visible reduction in redness and irritation. How? Studies show that nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, ferulic acid, beta carotene, and many different polyphenols can lessen damage brought on by both UVA and UVB rays. And it’s all here ladies and gents. Love this oil for both day and night.
Sun Serum was just recently reformulated in 2019 and it’s back and even better than ever!
JudeeJanuary 13, 2020
Heather KealamakiaJanuary 13, 2020
Lisa, you are the best! So grateful for all your helpful insights into clean/green beauty products, particularly for ladies of a ‘certain’ age. 😉 I love that you are always willing to respond questions too!! This year’s ‘best of list’ looks SO fantastic!!! Fingers crossed that I win.
LisaJanuary 15, 2020
Thanks for reading Heather! I’m so glad you are here! And yes, us ladies over 40 need some extra special love! xo
jenJanuary 14, 2020
My favorite blog. Always informative , and links always work.
LisaJanuary 15, 2020
Thank you! I know, it’s a full time job just keeping up with links! Thanks so much for reading! xo
NinaJanuary 14, 2020
I also tried many natural shampoos. So far my fav are goop (Suzi’s recommnedation) and Ive recently discoved https://hellohibar.com (volume gave me volume but was a bit drying, moisturizing is nice healed my husband’s flaky scalp , I still want try maintain next.
LisaJanuary 15, 2020
Interesting! Thanks so much for this!
DonnaJanuary 15, 2020
Im excited 😊 Thank you
LisaJanuary 15, 2020
Totally! This is so exciting!!!
Shay MarciaJanuary 18, 2020
Clean beauty products definitely make a difference. I enjoy this list and I often shop based on what is in a product and how their brand treats the environment. Sometimes I DIY my products. I use to use a witch hazel toner as well but I recently replaced toners with hydrosols and it’s made a load of a difference.
If you’re interested in hydrosols they’re really cool, do check out this article here. And thanks for sharing those brands, many were not on my radar.
LisaJanuary 20, 2020
Thanks for sharing! xo
FrannyJanuary 21, 2020
Such a great list of products!!! I switched to green beauty when I got pregnant with my 1st baby 5 years ago and love that there are so many options out there now. Thanks!!
LisaJanuary 24, 2020
JuliaMay 5, 2020
Love your blog! Super helpful!
I noticed May Lindstrom products contain fragrance such as: Limonene, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, and Benzyl Cinnamate. What are your thoughts on their safety? EWG has them in the orange category… Thanks!!
LisaMay 5, 2020
Hi Julia! That’s a great question. Those ingredients can actually mean two different things. They are either naturally occurring in essential oils in that formula OR they are isolates being added in to the formula. Most likely those are naturally occurring essential oil components. Like how vitamin c is to an orange. I write more about this here: https://thenewknew.com/hidden-ingredients-skincare-makeup/
ClaudiaJuly 19, 2020
I was reading a lot about May s products and they do sound amazing. However, 2 of her products contain colloidal silver – there is a lot of controversy around this ingredient and debate on whether it is safe to use or not (in skincare and beyond).
What is your opinion on this?
Thank you so much for your reply and the great content <3
LisaJuly 24, 2020
I have seen it in a lot of skincare. I’m going to ask Kate, our chemist!
MargaretJune 21, 2022
Hi! Between the Lanshin and Empress Stone, which would you recommend for face? I’m deciding between the two!
Lisa FennessyJuly 5, 2022
Hi Margaret! I never ended up trying the Lanshin so hard for me to give you a definite recommendation. I do enjoy the Empress however ; ) xo, Lisa