From lotion to lipstick, the amount of chemicals we put on our bodies can be significant. Luckily, beauty brands are catching on to the consumer-preferred toxin-free life. The best clean beauty products, arguably, are the ones handcrafted in our very own backyard in Massachusetts. Check out these local labels—from startup sized to globally recognized—and you’ll be good to glow.
First Aid Beauty
Lilli Gordon of Newton launched First Aid Beauty in 2009 for sensitive and aging skin. Made with natural ingredients, the line of hydrating creams, primers, clays, peels, and cleansers are free of over 1,300 chemicals on the “no-no list,” such as parabens, fragrances, alcohols, and sulfates. One of its best sellers, the Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer is formulated with coconut water, quinoa protein, and mineral micro pearls. This multitasking product brightens, hydrates, and prepares the skin for makeup
Mother of two and founder of Made Organics Bernette Dawson created her line of clean, homemade beauty products to provide her family with the least irritating and most soothing butters and oils possible. In fact, the “Made” in the name stands for “Mother Approved Daily Essentials.” Many of the brand’s offerings, such as the Lavender Whipped Butter, work as multitasking products for the hair, body, face, and feet.
Handcrafted in Somerville, 365 Lacquer offers vegan nail polish for the perfect natural manicure. The company does not use animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin or guanine, and its 5-free promise means products are free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalates, toluene, camphor, or formaldehyde resins. Co-founders Megan Gutman and Victor Zeng proudly tout that their nail polishes (in 30 original colors) have a 60-second dry time. Can’t beat that!
Some people may not know that cult-favorite brand Fresh started in Boston in 1991 when founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg opened an apothecary store selling natural beauty products from around the world. The launch of their natural Brown Sugar Body Polish in 1998 was the first time a sugar exfoliant hit the market, paving the way for other brands to use the sweet stuff in their products. Today, the body polish is still an all-time favorite, as are the uber-popular Sugar Lip Treatments. However, Fresh’s award-winning face masks, like the Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask, are equally deserving of recognition.
Aisling Organic Cosmetics
Wary of the link between the chemicals in beauty products and breast cancer and infertility, CEO Krysta Lewis created Aisling Organic Cosmetics. The makeup products, which include cheek tints, concealers, eye shadows, mascaras, and lipsticks, are vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based, and free of chemicals such as formaldehyde, parabens, and fragrances. Fan-favorite Eco-Luxe Liquid Foundation is made with aloe vera to calm the skin, chamomile and lavender to decrease redness, and rosemary, thyme, and oregano to keep bacteria at bay and help with acne.
Natick-based Shamanuti, founded by Beth Hopkins, uses naturally pollinated ingredient crops and a cold-press process to create its products. Such plant-based ingredients include seaweed, chamomile, cucumber, lemon, and rosemary used in toners, cleansers, serums, and face masks. The organic, maple extract-infused Activated Charcoal Cleanser is a popular product, as it neutralizes the skin’s pH levels, absorbs impurities, and gently exfoliates. Bonus: The cleanser can also be used as a body wash and shaving cream.