Last week I was invited, for the second year, to judge on the FreeFrom Skincare Awards, an annual event in its fourth year, celebrating skincare brands with natural, organic and free-from qualities. It’s a fabulously fun day testing old favourites and new, and up and coming brands who are doing great things. Read on and check out who made it to the shortlist…
The judging panel included myself, Sarah Stacey journalist and co-founder of The Beauty Bible, the lovely Abi Weeds, creator of Odylique (which does a brilliant SLS-free shampoo by the way) skincare blogger Sarah Coleman aka Sugarpuffish, and several others. The categories I judged on were: Bodycare, Family Skincare, Haircare, Hands-Nails-Feet, and Soaps.
Over 100 brands and 150 products (without allergens, artificial fragrances, additives and other allergy- and sensitivity-prone ingredients) were put to the test by 100 testers over two months. These guys test purely on use: Does it work? Is it nice to use? Does it feel good? Then only the products that perform well make it onto the shortlist for us, the judges, to scrutinise.
We assessed the shortlist to award winners and considered: Is there clarity in labelling (important if you do have a sensitivity and need to easily check if a product is suitable for you), are there good quality ingredients and a clean formula? What’s the brand’s commitment to ethical and environmental issues? From this, as well as usability and efficacy, we award bronze, silver and gold!
It was great to see trusted favourites Neal’s Yard Remedies with five products that made it through as well as other great brands Green People, Pai Skincare Saaf recognised for more than a few. Smaller brands which I hadn’t tried before, but really stood out for me included Bathing Beauty Pop Effervescent and All Natural Soap Company so do check them out if you get the chance.
Thank you to FreeFrom team, Alex Gazzola, who organises the nuts and bolts of this and the Free From Food Awards, and Michelle Berriedale-Johnson who founded both awards. Both such a pleasure to be around and work tirelessly to produce these awards.
Congrats to all who entered and have been shortlisted! You can check out the shortlist here. Winners will be announced at Love Natural, Love Organic Show at Olympia on 3rd July, presented by Janey Lee Grace, and I’ll be back after that to update. See you soon!