Today we're sending out lots of virtual hugs and heart-eyed emojis to five skin-care companies doing really big things. From Norabloom—an all organic brand that's recently opened up a social-selling platform—to Maya Chia—a brand that owns the rights to a patented supercritical process of extracting chia seed oil—we're here to give you the scoop in the event you're in the market for a new product. And really, when aren't we?
1. PLANT Apothecary
Based in Williamsburg-Brooklyn and founded by husband-wife super duo Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager, PLANT Apothecary is a small skin-care brand that's hyper-focused on utilizing environmentally sustainable ingredients and packaging. They also pride themselves on being socially responsible, working with the nonprofit BKLYN UNLTD to provide working opportunities to mentally and physically disabled adults.
"We like to think we're making an impact not only by way of our social and environmental responsibility missions, but also by way of our packaging," says Holly. "It's intentionally very direct and simple. It tells you exactly what the product will do for you, with no effort to seduce people by way of frills or flowery botanical imagery."
She says that while that kind of packaging is fine for products that feature them, PLANT strives to be a brand that's "all about the actual product and its very real benefits." The packaging also helps drive home the point that their products are for everyone—all races, all sexes.
2. True Botanicals
As a survivor of thyroid cancer and melanoma, it's no wonder that True Botanicals' founder, Hillary Peterson, places so much importance on safety regulations. In fact, the brand is the first skin-care company to be MADE SAFE certified. MADE SAFE requires a team of scientists to exhaustively analyze each product to ensure it doesn't contain ingredients known—or suspected—by the global scientific community to cause harm to humans.
"Given the misinformation and hype in the beauty business, meeting their rigorous standards means a lot to us," Peterson explains. "When people say that MADE SAFE is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive product safety evaluation available today, it's for good reason. Their work is as thorough as it gets."
Peterson says that True Botanicals also aims to educate consumers about the importance of safe, high quality ingredients.
3. Osmia Organics
The word "osmia" was chosen by the brand's founder and CEO Sarah Villafranco, who defines the word as "sense of smell." It shouldn't surprise you, then, to learn that everything the brand creates is made with scent and aromatherapy in mind. It also aims to remind users to "sense" their lives.
"Our intention is to make beautiful, effective skin care with the healthiest, highest quality ingredients available from nature, and to make those products a treasured part of your daily routine," says Villafranco, "We want to change the course of evolution for people, animals, and the planet we share, and we'd love to bring more awareness to the effects certain chemicals and choices are having on us all."
Interestingly, Villafranco worked as an ER doctor for 10 years, and in that time was able to observe the ways in which people work toward (or against) their health and happiness.
"I combined that perspective with my scientific background to create a line that I hope will inspire people to make healthy, wonderful choices," she says. "I work with a killer team of strong women who share my passion. We are trying to elucidate the real power of choosing natural skin-care, and how it can truly impact your health and that of the planet."
4. Norabloom Botanicals
Holly Green is a modern day renaissance woman: She's an entrepreneur, an esthetician with 18 years of experience, a makeup artist, a baker, a homemaker, and the founder of Norabloom Botanicals. On top of that, she's giving others the opportunity to start their own small business through hers via a social-selling platform. Only instead of big-name brands, we're talking smaller scale, and with a specific emphasis on holistic, chemical-free products.
Green says the social-selling opportunity is perfect for "women who want to connect to their entrepreneurial spirit and expand their knowledge of holistic beauty," and that her and the Norabloom team work closely with spokeswomen to help them succeed.
The Norabloom line, which is thoughtfully packaged but not over the top, includes 16 unique products composed of botanicals and organic ingredients. The products were inspired by Green's own experience working with clients as an esthetician.
5. Maya Chia
Like many of the small skin-care businesses featured in this list, Maya Chia also places an emphasis on high quality ingredients and real results. What sets the brand apart, though, is that they own the rights to a patented supercritical process to extract chia seed oil.
"In certain cases, as is the case with chia seeds, the way you extract the oil from the plant makes all the difference for the longevity and efficacy of the oil," explains founder Susanne Norwitz, who says the brand worked with leading scientists to develop and patent the process. "Supercritical extraction is a gentle, oxygen-free, solvent-free process, which results in oil with a total absence of chemical residues and impurities, and one that most closely mirrors the chemical profile of the plant."
This process also provides up to a two-year shelf life, which is a big deal for natural products.
Chia is the primary ingredient across the entire line. It's been proven to increase skin hydration, reduce water loss, and increase the skin's barrier function.
Pretty awesome, right? Now, it's time to test 'em out!