Looking at this year’s Soil Association beauty market report, sustainable beauty and wellbeing has now well and truly moved into the mainstream. For the 9th consecutive year, sales of certified organic and natural beauty products have grown, last year by 23% which equates to over £100m sales in the UK. Natural skincare can now be found in the majority of mainstream beauty outlets, from drugstore giant Boots stocking the likes of Burt’s Bees and Garnier’s Soil Association-certified organic range, to online mecca feelunique which has a dedicated natural beauty category featuring Neal’s Yard Remedies and The Organic Pharmacy. But for a wider choice and the chance to discover indie brands, it’s still best to head to natural beauty specialists. Here are my top 6 natural beauty destinations.
Best for: convenience
This is probably my most frequented natural retailer due to its proximity to my home. It may be a supermarket (fully certified organic) but the beauty section feels so welcoming and well laid out that I always end up spending a good 15 minutes just browsing the shelves to see what new launches they have. This is where I discovered Evolve Organic Beauty, a natural and organic apothecary-style skin and hair care brand which gave me my second favourite face mask (after Pai’s unbeatable Rosehip Rapid Radiance Mask), the blueberry and cocoa powder enriched Radiant Glow Mask.
Best for: choice
This online beauty destination was one of the first natural and organic specialists I discovered 10 years ago when I was launching the first certified natural mass cosmetics brand in the UK. Stocking over 200 brands, from market leaders such as REN to certified vegan and cruelty-free British brand PHB Ethical Beauty and certified organic Australian brand Zuii Organic (both of whose mascaras I reviewed in my Clean Beauty Awards 2019 post), you’ll uncover loads of niche certified organic brands such as Botanicals. This British certified organic skincare brand proposes products such as the fragrant Hydrating Mist and rich Anti-Ageing Serum which I’ve previously reviewed, and I’m currently treating my hands to their Nourishing hand wash and hand lotion duo. Covering all beauty categories from skincare to makeup, hair and body care, this award-winning online retailer offers cruelty-free products with clean formulations. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
Best for: beyond beauty
Naturisimo promotes itself as ‘the leading organic beauty store’, going well beyond beauty to also include fashion, home fragrance and health supplements. Having been around for over 10 years – before natural beauty became mainstream – the retailer has built a strong reputation as the go to destination for those of us looking to lead a clean and ethical lifestyle. They stock a great range of well known and emerging natural beauty brands from all over the world, from established French pharmacy brand Caudalie (I’m loving their new Vinosculpt Lift & Firm Body Cream) to up and coming ethically sourced British Aurelia Probiotic Skincare.
Best for: boutique vibes
Dubbed as ‘London’s best natural beauty and sustainable fashion destination’, I discovered this store located in London’s Marylebone area by reading the shop founder’s book The Nature of Beauty (you can read my review here). Before then I’d never heard of it but natural beauty expert Imelda Burke’s store was a pioneer in terms of offering some of the biggest natural beauty brands from around the world. You’ll find close to 200 beauty brands on its website, including the likes of vegan and organic haircare Tabitha James Kraan (her clean shampoo has eradicated the itchiness in my scalp) and niche vegan skincare range S5. And if you fancy a trip to the store you can book an organic facial or makeover there.
Best for: reinvention
We all know trusty Holland and Barrett with their natural health supplements and famous penny sale. Although they have an increasingly appealing range of skincare products it’s just not an environment I find very enticing. It’s just a little too… earthy and functional. Well this is all about to change with their new beauty concept store that looks a whole lot fresher and more modern. The first trial store launched a few weeks ago in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre, offering ‘clean and conscious’ product ranges in partnership with 50 beauty brands, ranging from vegan to waterless, produced with zero waste to boasting sustainable packaging. I’m excited to see botanical skincare Natura Siberica and new shampoo bar brand Earth Kind as part of the line up.
Best for: curated collection
This store is so beautifully curated it’s practically too cool for me. With a collection of indie beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands from all over the world, you’ll score individuality points for shopping their selection of brands. The clean and cruelty-free beauty products are artfully displayed on their in-store shelves. I’ve discovered some new brands thanks to Wolf and Badger as well as spotting some familiar faces such as Himalayan water-infused Herbal Essentials and sensitive and dry skin specialist Alexa Sky Botanicals, which I’m rediscovering after a little break through its handmade One Balm containing 15 all natural ingredients such as antioxidant kiwi oil and cleansing hemp oil.
What are you favourite natural beauty haunts? Please leave a comment below to let me know, I’m always on the lookout for new natural beauty destinations!
Featured gifted products.