The Littles of Drunk Elephant Products
Brand Reviews

Drunk Elephant Creates the “Clean Clinical” Category and is Sephora’s Fastest Selling Line Ever

Drunk Elephant Brand Review Table of Contents

Drunk Elephant Brand Review Quick Facts | Company commitment to ingredients, the environment, ethics, and its Good Guide and EWG standing.

A Difficult Brand Philosophy | Drunk Elephants focus on safe and effective ingredients is “Clean-Clinical”

A Stay At Home Mom Picks Up A Chemical Habit | Ingredient research helps Tiffany Masterson identify problem chemicals

This Brand is not Afraid to Use Strong Levels of Everything and Has Some Really Interesting Formulations | Interesting Ingredients and High Formulations make this brand a customer and editor favorite

Best of Drunk Elephant | Products and Reviews

Drunk Elephant Brand Review Quick Facts

Ingredients | Silicones, Frangrances either synthetic or natural; Chemical screens; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; Drying Alcohols; Dyes; Animal Fats/Oils/Musks, Benzalkonium Chloride, Benzophenone, Bisphenol A (BPA), Butoxyethanol, BHA, BHT, Chemical Sunscreens, Coal Tar Dyes, -Cones, Detergent, Essential Oils, Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA), Formaldehyde, Fragrance, Hydroquinone, Liquid Petrolatum, Methyl Cellosolve, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mercury, Mercury Compounds, Mineral Oil, Oxybenzone, Parabens, Paraffin Oil, Phthalates, Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs), Resorcinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Siloxanes, Sulfates, Thimerosal, Toluene, Triclosan, Triclocarban

Eco-Friendly | Recyclable and Non-BPA

Ethical | Supports the International Elephant Foundation; Cruelty Free

The Good Guide | Not Rated

EWG | 1-3

A Difficult Brand Philosophy

Elephant on a white background.
The Drunk Elephant name came from poll of friends and family.

I was intrigued by Drunk Elephant, which is not something that usually happens in the course of a brand review.

First, their packaging is neon. It sticks out and makes an immediate impression (I know it did for me; I couldn’t figure out what to make of it).

Second, their name is completely out there. Founder Tiffany took a poll of friends and family who said, “Cute, go for it,” or “Cute, but no way.” She figured that since they all said cute though, she was going to go for it. It’s barely linked to skincare, as it references the legend that elephants who eat too much Marula fruit get tispy-happy-drunk. (Perhaps because Drunk Elephant loves Marula, we’re all going to have a little too much? I’m not sure, I’m reaching here…)

Third and most problematic, Drunk Elephant occupies a unique niche which takes a bit of explaining.

It is not organic. It does not have fragrance from any sources, either from essential oils or from synthetics.

Instead, it focuses on something its dubbed “clean-clinical”, which is what they call a product that avoids suspicious ingredients and focuses on proven scientific actives.

This is a breath of fresh air.

I was immediately interested, since when I first started in this space I was looking for safer personal care for my family.

I had mistakenly linked that to natural and organic but soon found that sometimes brands didn’t live up to their promises. Also, I realized that natural didn’t really have a regulated definition and that it was not always non-irritating or effective.

I had a lot of hope for Drunk Elephant, and what I found was that this “clean-clinical” thing was totally surprising, and amazingly good.

A Stay At Home Mom Picks Up A Chemical Habit

Microscope over a specimen.
Tiffany took a close look at ingredients.

Tiffany Masterson never thought about becoming an entrepreneur.

She always wanted to be a stay at home mom. She had four kids and a loving husband, but she also had a hobby.

Any guesses?

Yup, you’ve got it.

This was one momma addicted to skin care, mainly because she problem skin. Oily patches, T-zone issues and some rosacea had her brand hopping, hoping to find a cure.

Not only was she a brand addict, she was also a science geek. Frustration led her to ingredient research, where she investigated those she believed were the root of her skin problems. Eventually, she narrowed it down to what she calls the “Suspicious Six”.

…remember that your routine is only as good as its worst product, and a product is only as good as its worst ingredient.

Tiffany Masterson

The Suspicious Six are a group of chemicals that may surprise you.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), chemical screens, and artificial fragrances and dyes are present and are par for course. Where it gets interesting is that she also bans Silicones, Drying Alcohols, and even essential oils.

Through her research, she believed that these ingredients are irritating to the skin. Banning them led to the founding Drunk Elephant, because there were no brands that didn’t exclude all of them.

And despite its different take on ingredients and its difficult to explain niche, it clearly resonates with customers, editors and experts.

People love it and consistently give positive feedback. Allure, Instyle, Into the Gloss have awarded it and beauty editors rave about it.

And Sephora just can’t keep it on their shelves.

Sephora storefront
Drunk Elephant is Sephora’s fastest selling line.

When the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial was introduced in Sephora, it became their number one skin care product in a week. In fact, the Drunk Elephant line is Sephora’s fastest selling line ever.

This Brand is not Afraid to Use Strong Levels of Everything and Has Some Really Interesting Formulations

When I review a new brand, I’ve learned to first look at products before getting into the brand story.

Drunk Elephant was already interesting to me because of all the hype around it but the formulations kind of pulled me in.

While I saw some familiar faces, these were mostly ingredients that I’d checked the safety profile of. There were also some very interesting unique additons. Still, what kind of knocked me down was how bold some of these formulations were.

The T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum has 12% AHA and the C-Firma Day Serum has 15% of difficult to stabilize Vitamin C. And the Sukari Babyfacial has 25% AHA and 2% BHA.

Chemicals in glass laboratory beakers
Drunk Elephant has very concentrated levels of actives.

That’s pretty strong.

As you know, a strong chemical peel can go awfully wrong. Red, splotchy faces and incorrectly formulated lotions can bring permanent discoloration (Yes, I have them too).

However, I checked and people love it.

This is surprising, but the treatment does include anti-inflammatory and wound healing ingredients such as prickly pear, green tea and licorice. These help remove the redness and soothe away inflammation. And surprisingly, many said that they didn’t have the usual after peel problems.

I am impressed. (But do stick to use instructions and test skin first to be sure).

The formulations of the sun product and the hydrating gel are no less interesting.

Marula Fuit on the ground.
Drunk Elephant’s star ingredient is Marula Oil.

Usually, moisturizers come in cream or lotion forms. This moisturizer is a gel. It has a surprisingly lovely texture and is light on the skin despite being silicone-free. And there are a mix of lovely hydrating ingredients added in.

Likewise, the sun protect lotion is a good non-chemical screen with strong performance. Although zinc oxide seems to be par for course for non-chemical sunscreens these days, I liked that it was not fragranced. I like that it was packed with antioxidants, and I can live with the slight white cast it gives my skin.

In general, Drunk Elephant products are interestingly formulated and well-conceived. Products really do deserve that in-depth look, and I’d happily spend hours just looking at them.

Best of Drunk Elephant | Products and Reviews

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Tata Harper products grouped together.
Brand Reviews

Tata Harper Makes Us Believe Living On a Farm Is Amazing and Doesn’t Include Any Dirt

Tata Harper Brand Review Table of Contents

Tata Harper Brand Review Quick Facts | Company commitment to ingredients, the environment, ethics, and its Good Guide and EWG standing.

Tata Harper Makes Me Want to Move to a Farm | How Tata Harper makes healthy farm living look effortless

One at a time, Tata Changes Her Products and Ends up Changing her Life |How Tata started making personal care products

Tata’s Vermont farm Julius Kingdom is her Personal Kingdom | How the company does it all from a 1,200 hectare farm

The Bottle is Green and Everything Else is Too | Certified organic ingredients and eco-friendly packaging

Marketing Can Get a Little Out of Hand | How I take some marketing claims with a grain of salt

Best of Tata Harper | Products and Reviews

Tata Harper Brand Review Quick Facts

Ingredients | Certified by Ecocert, GMO Free, Artificial Color Free, Artificial Fragrances Free, Synthetic Chemicals

Eco-Friendly | Glass bottles, and plastic resin from corn, 100% post-consumer materials, soy-ink for printing, some labeled with boxes labeled with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Ethical | Cruelty Free

The Good Guide | 3.8 on 24 products

EWG | 1-4 Only Available Information is on Old Formulations

 

Tata Harper Makes Me Want to Move to a Farm

Tata Harper dressed in white beside a rustic wooden farm structure.
Tata Harper still looks good even on a farm.

We are the opposite of crunchy granola; we are about showing naturals in their total high-quality splendor, the ultimate luxury.

When I look at Tata Harper’s fabulously shot photos of sun-kissed fields, wind-blown hair, small children and cast of animals cute enough to be supporting characters in Babe, I want to move to Vermont.

That could be me.

No dirt will stick to my clothes, a white wooden house will be my home, and – oh yes, my skin will be perfect as I single-handedly run a skin care empire from my backyard.

Tata Harper on her farm with her kids.
Farm living looks effortless and amazing when Tata does it.

Tata Harper makes the simple life look good.

Tata is the face and brains behind the eponymous skin care brand, and green living seems effortless and beautiful in her hands (or at least her very well-edited photo ops).

Still, all this was a conscious decision.

As her stepfather battled cancer, Tata was often with him during consultations. She was shocked when his doctors started asking questions about his personal care routine.

The doctors were like, ‘We want you to use as many organic and natural products as possible. Don’t use this deodorant, try to use that natural deodorant,’ and I just sat back and was like, I can’t believe this. [My stepfather’s grooming] routine is so simplistic; imagine if the doctors had seen mine!”

She started to realize how daily decisions could have far-reaching consequences, and she began to evaluate her own daily choices.

One at a time, Tata Changes Her Products and Ends up Changing her Life

Tata Harper creates products that are exactly what she was looking for – naturally derived and high performance.

First, the diet was up for a revamp. Then, household cleaning products were replaced. Lastly, Tata tried to retool her extensive personal care regimen – and that was when she hit a brick wall.

I was really disappointed in what I was buying … It was either you bought raw coconut oil and jojoba oil — very basic — or when it had a little bit more going on, then it was full of all the same synthetics that I wanted to avoid in the first place.

Realizing that the products she wanted didn’t exist, she decided to create them herself. She envisioned a line made with cutting edge technology and packed with active ingredients, and all without a single synthetic.

As you can imagine, this took a bit of doing.

There were five years of development before products launched and in the meantime, she and her family moved to Vermont.

Tata’s Vermont farm Julius Kingdom is her Personal Kingdom

Have you been to Vermont?

If ever there were a place that was a poster child for all-natural, healthy living, it would be Vermont. Beautifully forested and sparsely populated, there are hiking and cross-country trails everywhere.

You’d absolutely want to be here if you were an all-natural skincare line, and that’s exactly where Tata HQ is.

Tata launched her brand from renovated, gutted barns after scouting manufacturing locations in Vermont’s Champlain valley and coming up empty. She already knew that they were going to produce the product themselves with their own employees. Bringing production on-site just made sense.

She worked on formulations with a few biologists and incorporated Ayurvedic, Chinese and homeopathic medicine in her products. She also consulted with herbalists to see what would rapidly grow on Vermont soil as she wanted to include them in the line.

Today, everything produced in the line is formulated, mixed, packaged and shipped from Julius Kingdom. Forty herbs are grown on site and used in the line, and Tata oversees it all from within a white 1820’s vintage farmhouse set amidst rolling hills.

The Bottle is Green and Everything Else is Too

Tata Harper Green Box with Yellow Ribbon.
Tata Harper’s Boxes are from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

The bottles lovingly enveloping Tata’s products are green and her accent color is yellow. Still, the fresh, natural colors are more than decoration.

You’ll find a lot of eco cred here.

Bottles are glass to be recyclable. Boxes are approved by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or are 100% recycled paper. Soy ink is used for printing.

It’s three times as expensive but I just feel better about it.

Tata Harper how her decision to use recycled paper for packaging makes sense.

You’ll find that being green also extends to what’s inside.

The company avoids GMOs, artificial colors and fragrances, and synthetics. In addition, they are certified organic by French-based Ecocert, who evaluates total company processes for sustainability.

Marketing Can Get a Little Out of Hand

The look, smell and skin feel of Tata Harper products are perfect.

You’ll want to smear them on your face, rub them on your body and eat them if you could. The smell does something to your brain and light pink colors speak to the little girl grown up who still secretly loves things pink, pastel, and shiny.

Tata Harper's beautiful products with a flower and shadows.
Tata Harper has products with an incredible look, smell and skin feel.

Still, I’ve looked at a lot of products. And what I’ve found is that while a product may look good, it may not exactly live up to the marketing.

For instance, naturally derived ingredients.

If you think about it, everything is all-natural since everything comes from nature. It can essentially be meaningless as manufacturing processes can contaminate or can completely change the ingredient. Naturally derived doesn’t necessarily mean good.

Claims of results are also often overblown. There are some proven results from some very specific ingredients, but the rest are usually promising fields without real proof.

So, I feel that sometimes marketing for Tata Harper products do sometimes get out of hand, because no, I really don’t know what she means when she says:

As for anti-aging results, our products have some really advanced technology, including muscle relaxing extracts … that topically deliver the effect of an injectable, to minimize and prevent wrinkles…

Nutrition Stripped

I take this with a grain of salt.

Tata Harper products have excellent skin feel and appearance, and I do find some ingredients interesting. Despite the fact that I occasionally think there is too much fragrance and that the term “from natural origin” is misleading, the company is incredible at what they do.

You’ll really want to try to live differently. You’ll be convinced that small changes can impact you and your health in the long term, and you’ll start to scrutinize products to see if they are the safest choices for yourself.

In this, the company is stellar. So, while the value of labels such as “naturally derived” may differ from person to person, the fact that cosmetic ingredient safety and efficacy is now a topic of conversation is a step in the right direction.

Best of Tata Harper | Products and Reviews

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Note: Pictures care of official brand site and instagram.

A collage of Acure's products displayed at the local Wholefoods.
Brand Reviews

Acure wants to put Curoxidants, Plant Stem Cells and Chorella Growth Factor in Everything

Acure Table of Contents

Acure Brand Review Quick Facts | Company commitment to ingredients, the environment, ethics, and its EWG and Good Guide Standing

Let’s Begin with a Mystery | How the company started

Yes, You Can Afford Them | Amazingly affordable price points

Cornerstone Ingredients are Everywhere | Miracle ingredients Acure wants you to have

Curoxidant | Acure’s proprietary blend of 5 super antioxidant fighting ingredients

Plant Stem Cells | Why Acure believes that Plant Stem Cells can save your skin and the world

Chorella Growth Factor | Why Chorella Growth Factor is in so many of the company’s products

What’s my Verdict? | My personal take on Acure

Best of Acure | Products and Reviews

Acure Brand Review Quick Facts

Ingredients | Vegan, Sulfate Free, Paraben Free, Phthalate Free, Mineral Oil Free, DEA Free, Formaldehyde Free, Petrolatum Free, Paraffin Free

Eco-friendly | Carbon neutral through using renewable energy and planting 20,000 trees; Products are 100% biodegradable; cardboard cartons are Rainforest Alliance Certified; and bottles are recycled HDPE, PET or glass; 70% post-consumer recycled materials

Ethical | Cruelty Free, Profits from lip balm are donated to breast cancer research, Trees for the Future plants one tree for each body lotion sold, and Water.org receives 10 cents for every hair care sale.

Good Guide | 6.9 on 44 products

EWG | 1-3 rating

 

Let’s Begin with a Mystery

A nutcracker with several walnuts, symbolizing how difficult it is to information on how Acure started and its founders unless you dig really deep.
Acure’s a tough nut to crack

Let me be honest – Acure is a tough nut to crack.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find information on the beginnings of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida based company. In addition, there is very little information on the founders themselves.

What I have managed to find out is that Kristy and Jon Guerra are a husband and wife team who founded Acure together, after Kristy’s grandmother had a protracted 10-year bout with cancer.

It seems their backgrounds are perfect for it.

Jon has 17 years of experience in product development and in formulation. Kristy, on the other hand, has worked in digital marketing, graphic design and brand strategy for a leading marketing firm in New York.

These backgrounds made the transition from observer to participant possible. While watching her grandmother struggle, Kristy wondered why products couldn’t be formulated that were effective, safe and good for you and the planet.

She founded Acure shortly after.

They started with skin care and planned to launch a hair care line at the same time. However, hair care is a bit more difficult to formulate and it took them a year after their skin care line launch to finally feel comfortable enough to introduce hair care products to the market.

I’d have to say they succeeded – several of their hair care products are now their best-sellers.

Yes, You Can Afford Them

A group of Acure's products with their abstract geometric logo in different colors on the bottles.
A group of Acure’s products with their abstract geometric logo in different colors on the bottles.

Unlike a lot of natural cosmetics and toiletries products out there in the market, you can actually afford Acure.

Acure’s best-selling Ultra Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner set is $16.99. Their wildly popular Acure Day is $10.43 and Night Cream is $13.99.

I’m honestly mystified as to how they are able to do this, especially with their $9.99 Acure Argan oil. The company says that it is cold-pressed and the product is USDA certified. The only ingredient as Argan kernel oil so it is pure – and still, it is such as steal at $9.99. Apparently, this commitment to affordability is part of the company’s mission.

We are committed to the creation of formulas that are as healthy and natural as possible without sacrificing efficacy, but also staying affordable so that everyone can have access to healthy, effective personal care, not just someone who can afford an $80 moisturiser.

Amy Halman, President and Formulator

These are also chock full of antioxidant ingredients to help repair and protect skin. Additionally, many products are packaged in plastic tubes to reduce contamination and preserve potency.

And I’m still getting over my sticker shock – in a good way.

Cornerstone Ingredients Are Everywhere

 

Cosmetic ingredients from plants such as Plant Stem Cells, Chorella and anti-oxidants with Curoxidant.
Acure prides itself on adding Plant Stem Cells, Chorella and anti-oxidants through their Curoxidant blend.

Do you know what plant stem cells are? Or the Chorella Growth Factor or Curoxidants?

I don’t either, but Acure quickly introduces you to them. I’ve got to admit – I think some of their bigger claims are marketing.

I know of a few good things that work.

Retinols are extremely effective anti-aging drugs that come with their own downsides. Niacinamide is a good option although slower in action. Additionally, there are many essential oils and herbs that are very potent. However, getting all these ingredients to the right level for actual skin benefit and understanding their interactions can be a little bit complicated.

While the company doesn’t add these ingredients, what they do use are ingredients that they claim are effective. Curoxidant, Plant Stem Cells and Chorella Growth Factor are all supposed to have wonder benefits for the skin.

The company seems to be on the right track in terms of what they add to products. Thousands of people talk about Acure as effective and I’ve tried some of their stuff – they didn’t cause me any problems at all.

Curoxidant

Baskets full of antioxidant Acai berries.
Baskets full of antioxidant Acai berries.

You don’t know what a curoxident is.

I didn’t either, but that’s because it’s a proprietary blend developed by Acure of 5 organic super fruits and herbs. There are some familiar and famous names here.

Acai, blackberry, Rosehips, Pomegranate and Rooibos are high in various vitamins and are really good anti-oxidants.

You know Acai for its traditional medicinal use and ability to fight infections but it’s also a great source of omega fatty acids. Blackberry and Rosehips are high in Vitamin C while Pomegranate and Rooibos have really good anti-inflammatory properties.

Acure’s added tons of anti-oxidants to their line and I love that. We all know their essential in fighting off those pesky free radicals, and I personally err on the more the better.

Plant Stem Cells

Close up of a Plant's Leaf
Plant Stem Cells are a cornerstone ingredient

As closely as I can figure it, Plant Stems cells seem to be similar to human stem cells as they contain all the possibilities of the plant.

Plant Stem Cells are “universal cells” that contain all of the beneficial markers that a specific plant carries. That basically means it is a single cell that contains the power of the whole body of the plant, not just the flower, the root, the leaf or the bulb, for 1000 times the potency of a common plant extract!

Amy Halman, President and Co-formulator

You’ll find that they put this everywhere, as they do with Chorella Growth Factor.

Chorella Growth Factor

A spoon full of Chlorella over a filled bowl.
A spoon full of Chlorella by Philipp Alexander August 29, 2015 CC BY2.0

Chorella Growth Factor (CGF) has made its way into a lot of products but I’ve never read up on it. It’s pretty interesting.

CGF halts elastin fibers from breakdown and protects collagen. Acure also reports that it encourages cellular growth and repair and has anti-aging benefits.

Co-founder Jon Guerra studied it in wound site healing in Amsterdam with several scientists. He came away so impressed that he started incorporating it into a lot of their lines.

You’ll find it in their CGF Oil Free Serum their Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% Chlorella Day Cream. You’ll also find it in their Brightening Facial Scrub Sea Kelp + Chlorella Growth Factor and a ton of other stuff in their line.

What’s my Verdict?

A girl thinking about what decision to make.
Whats my verdict on Acure products?

You’ve got to admit these prices are ridiculously good.

This is an affordable line that is really packs it in in terms of good anti-oxidant fighting additives. In addition, their packaging is stellar – it keeps their formulas at maximum potency and preserves against spoilage.

I would still like to see the scientific studies that prove the effectivity of the ingredients they have chosen. I am not familiar with them but iff they do half of what they are supposed to, that’s amazing.

Thousands of people love Acure. It’s affordable enough for most and its focus in the hot natural space ensures interest, if not commitment. Also, I’d have to say I do admire their mission statement:

ACURE is founded on sustainable principles and economical price points to steer people away from toxic chemicals, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice your health for beautiful skin and hair.

Amy Halman, President and Co-formulator.

So, I’m tentatively optimistic. I’ll keep buying their products and testing them. I’m honestly curious to see what else these guys come up with.

Best of Acure | Products and Reviews

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Brand Reviews

Green People is a Solid Everyday Brand and That’s Exactly How Charlotte Voetz Wants It

Green People Quick Facts

Ingredients | Certified by France’s Ecocert and UK’s Soil Association;  90% active natural and organic ingredients

Eco-friendly | Rent supports the Knepp Castle Wildland Project; Office and Warehouse are powered by clean, sustainable energy from Ecotricity; recyclable packaging such as compostable chips instead of polystyrene.

Ethical | Cruelty Free; 10% of net profit is donated to charities such as Marine Conservation Society, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, and Chestnut Tree House

Good Guide | Not Rated

EWG | Not Rated

The Mom Who Started It All

Green People founder Charlotte Voetz with Green People Scientists
Green People founder Charlotte Voetz with Green People Scientists

You’ve all heard the story before – a mom has child with outrageous allergies, can’t find any product that works, and decides in desperation to make what is needed.

This is the story that predates a lot of those stories.

Back in 1994, Charlotte Voetz found nothing gentle enough for her daughter’s skin on high street shelves. Everything was inorganic or only had a very small percent of organic ingredients.

I’m sure you know what happens.

Baby holding Green People's Organic Babies line
Baby holding Green People’s Organic Babies line

Charlottes took matters into her own hands and created and eventually sold gently formulated, organic only products.

Why is this story different?

There are thousands of stories like this, but this story happened before organic was hip or all-natural was mainstream.

Charlotte was a pioneer in a great position to lead. Early on, she helped UK’s Soil Association set up the governing standards for personal care products after years of telling them that the then-current standard wouldn’t cut it.

She also has a background tailored perfectly for it. Trained as a nurse and knowledgeable in herbal medicine, she spent 11 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

These are pretty impressive and entirely unique credentials, which no other brand I am aware of has and which gives them a ton of credibility.

 

Solid everyday care for you and me

Okay, I love Tata Harper but let’s get real.

With prices in the stratosphere (but products that are absolutely to die for), it’s not something I can use every day.

Green People has safe effective products and is something I can afford for all of my daily needs.

The range is beautifully complete.

Green People's products laid out on a marble table
Green People has an extensive product range

Green people has everything for everyone. It has a men’s line and a line for older people. It produces an Organic Babies line and a line specifically for adolescents and children. There is lotion, shampoo, lipstick and sun protection.

And yes, there is deodorant. 😊

Now, Green People could have focused on playing in the luxury organic space, but I suspect this practicality of purpose and price is integral to Green People founder Charlotte.

Green People founder Charlotte Voetz has a mission
Green People founder Charlotte Voetz has a mission

Her first objective was to help her daughter Sandra and closely following that was the desire to help others.

My mission was to help Sandra first. She was two years old with eczema and I tried to search for natural and organic personal care products, but there were none available. So I thought I could do something for Sandra and help others.

In 1997, this was not an easy task. Organic ingredients were not as easy to come by then as they are now and they were expensive. She could have raised prices but instead tried to keep prices down.

I always wanted to make organic beauty affordable for everyone …

It’s a very practical statement and perhaps kind of plain Jane, but the early days were tough.

She did everything for two years. Her only help was a part time student and production was in a stable warehouse.

It took 3 years to be profitable, and that is a long time.

Most people would have given up, but I think that because she really believed in what she did she stuck with it.

I always felt it was a mission and not a job so I am thrilled that we have been able to make a difference to so many people’s lives.

This is passion with a purpose and those plain, almost utilitarian bottles that you use all of a sudden become everyday poetry.

 

I will buy these products (and you will too)

Green People has over 150 awards
Green People has over 150 awards

I’ve occasionally bought myself some outrageously expensive organic luxury (I’m not telling, it was embarrassingly good but my husband still doesn’t know).

But I will hands-down, in a heartbeat buy Green People everyday without shame.

I don’t know how they do it, but they’ve managed to put together a personal care line made only of very gentle ingredients.

You want to know how it performs?

People with allergies – which is almost everyone these days – do say that it is far gentler than other brands. Skin problems are reduced or completely eliminated.

Allergies are increasing. They affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.
AAFA

Not only that, but a broad cross-section of the population loves these guys.

They have over 150 awards. Natural Health Beauty Awards from the UK loves their whole line and named it the Best Organic line while TIPS awarded their Baby Balms and Toothpaste. The Green Beauty Bible, Janey Loves and Practical Parenting have awarded Green People as well.

They aren’t a flashy brand.

They are a well-researched everyday brand that believes in trying to provide the gentlest possible ingredients to the most number of people, and while that isn’t the most earth-shattering mission statement in the world, it is one of the best.

Best of Green People | Products and Reviews

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Aesop's organized and beautiful product display
Brand Reviews

Aesop’s Meticulously Made Products

Aesop Beauty Quick Facts

Ingredients | No colourants, mineral oils, silicones, parabens or pearlising agents; No Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Parabens; No animal derived ingredients

Eco-Friendly | None specified

Ethical | Cruelty Free

Good Guide | Not Rated

EWG | Not Rated

Aesop is like finding buried treasure

Aesop is a brand that is often introduced through a personal recommendation.

I found out about it through my brother who instantly exclaimed, “I love Aesop!” He in turn found out about it from a friend while countless others discovered it from a mother, brother, sister, acquaintance.

Why?

Well, Aesop doesn’t advertise.

Yes, it’s true. A beauty brand actually exists that doesn’t use celebrity endorsers, self-promote in magazines or any of the traditional forms of advertising.

Instead, how people discover Aesop is akin to stumbling upon buried treasure: there it is, perfect and amazing, a discovery all your own.

At least, that’s how I felt when I walked into their Houston branch in the wake of my brother, spellbound and mesmerized and half in love already.

Aesop’s meticulously made products marry the best of science and nature

For you to understand why Aesop inspires such a feeling among their clients, you’ve got to understand the absolute meticulousness of their product development and design.

There’s such precision.

Products are conceived for a need, and not to keep up with a trend, a launch schedule or competitors. There’s a lot of research and testing. There’s a lot of prototyping and reformulating. It sometimes comes to the point where, “…I’m sure we’re charged with the accusation of being obsessive about it,” says employee number one and general manager Suzanne Santos wryly.

Aesop’s carefully formulated products come with a distinct perspective, and it occupies a difficult to explain niche in the industry. It is a brand that believes both in science and nature.

[Aesop] fit[s] into a category that is really comfortable for us and really uncomfortable for other brands. We celebrate science, and understand that you need a blend of well-chosen man-made ingredients with exceptional botanical ingredients to make remarkable products.

Suzanne Santos, Aesop GM

Try having that as a tagline.

Compared to, “Fuller lips in one week!” or “Because you’re worth it,” this is a perspective that requires a few paragraphs to communicate.

And still, despite the difficulties of explanation, Aesop makes it work because wouldn’t you know it – their products are excellent.

I’ve tried their Camellia Nut Facial Cream.

It was amazing.

Light and weightless, it lingered on my skin for a fraction of a second before sinking into my pores like sunlight. My skin was hydrated for hours and oh-my-God, I smelt fabulous.

Is Aesop all-natural or organic?

Let’s get this out the way: Aesop is not all-natural or organic.

Why isn’t Aesop completely organic or all-natural?

They point out that no standards are set for these labels and that these are words that should be used with “great caution”.

They state it well:

We recognize the benefits that organic and biodynamic farming have for the land and for our health, but we are practical about how realistic it would be for us to use only organic ingredients. Sometimes they are not available, sometimes there is not enough of a particular ingredient, sometimes the air miles required to import it would generate an environmental concern of its own.

And yet for a company that doesn’t carry any of the popular labels of the cosmetics world today, they ban a surprising number of ingredients.

They avoid colourants, mineral oils, silicones, parabens, and pearlising agents. They use Sodium Laureth Sulphate instead of the harsher Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and have non-synthetic fragrance compounds in all but three products.

And yes, they avoid animal derived products and are completely cruelty free.

Unusual scents in unique settings

One thing you’ll notice is that Aesop has a variety of unusual scents.

Aesop’s Tacit perfume has a little basil in it and their Herbal Deodorant is woodsy with a hint of coriander. Some people even use it as a fragrance.

Aesop is well known for our use of essential oils whose evocative aromas form the essence of our products. During formulation, essential oils are selected primarily for the benefits they deliver to the skin and hair; their aromas are merely an incidental outcome.

Marsha Meredith, Aesop Head of Creative

And while many of their products do perform absolutely excellently, a lot of what I remember about Aesop are the distinct and rather surprising aromas.

Peppery lotion, and vevetier. Coriander and Hiba. Smoky and musky. About as far away from simple and sweet as it is possible to get, this might not be for everyone.

But for those who seek the unique, it just might fit the bill.

Collaborations with local architects create distinct stores

Aesop’s founder Dennis Paphitis comes across as an obsessive, driven, really focused man.

In a large part, he’s responsible for why the products are so precise, the products so focused and the message so complex. That’s his attention to detail in every bottle, and the stores are no exception.

Pictures explain it better:

Beautiful, yes.

Unique? Absolutely.

They’ve been the topic of many editorials and selfies (yes, I took some of my own) and people often wonder how each store can be so distinct but still so decidedly Aesop.

It’s clear that these stores come from Dennis Paphitis’ desire to unique customer experiences. He says Aesop wants to:

… [avoid] the kind of assault on the streetscape that retailers inflict through the ordinary course of mindless business, the idea that one size would so often be forced to fit all. It wasn’t so hard to respectfully consider each space individually, consider the customer, the context and to bring a little joy into the conversation.

Dennis Paphitis, Aesop founder

Essentially, this is why Aesop is uniquely special among all the brands that I know.

They are about precision, uniqueness and difficult but important perspectives on product and design. There’s rigor and care in their ingredient choices and beautiful and often unique design choices throughout it all.

And yes, their products really are that good.

I come across a lot of brands in my search for the perfect products, but Aesop occupies a particular place in my heart.

They make you feel special and treasured, as though each item is a conversation between you and some treasured confident. They exude luxury and are one of the only brands that I would just totally go broke for.

 

Best of Aesop

I can’t recommend the whole line, but God I’d want to. Below are some of my absolute favorites.

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