Natural Woman
Credit: Courtesy Olivia Wilde

Ten years ago shopping for skin care at Whole Foods might have seemed inconceivable unless you were a true bohemian type. Today it’s not only mainstream, it’s chic. Large national chains like Target have been clearing more space on their shelves for a growing number of natural brands, while websites such as Credo Beauty have made a thriving business out of stocking clean products.

“I do think there is a movement happening,” says actress and activist Olivia Wilde. Why now? Perhaps, as Wilde points out, it’s because we’ve witnessed the rise of organics in the food industry. As a public forum, social media has certainly played a role in encouraging full transparency when it comes to ingredients. Whatever the cause, “this is a moment when people are embracing the idea of organic beauty and wellness,” says Wilde.

“We were always the family with the lavender shampoo,” she says about her upbringing. “My mom was ahead of the game.” As a teen, Wilde was less concerned about chemicals and more excited to experiment with her look: “I wasn’t thinking about whether my Manic Panic hair dye was organic.” When she got older, she became more mindful of her carbon footprint, and in 2010 she and her best friend, Barbara Burchfield, launched Conscious Commerce, which partners with businesses to raise awareness about eco-minded practices and messaging.

Wilde’s first pregnancy (in 2014) caused her to reexamine her beauty products. “I realized I didn’t want my infant to not be able to kiss my cheeks because I had some sort of toxic acid on my face that a dermatologist promised would make me look youthful.” The more she researched, the more she believed that there was a lack of government regulation concerning controversial chemicals and that words like “natural” on a product label could be a marketing ploy. “I got really upset,” she says. “That lit a fire and made me want to be a part of the change that was going to revolutionize the beauty industry.”

In 2017 Wilde became chief brand activist of True Botanicals, a clean, plant-fueled skin-care line. Part of her role is to help popularize effective options, “and a lot of them come from nature,” she says. “There’s this weird compromise that we make in the name of beauty,” Wilde continues. “But when you look deeper, you realize that health is the key to beauty. It’s not constant problem-solving through harsh ingredients.”

True Botanicals Moisture Lock Overnight Mask
Credit: Courtesy

True Botanicals Moisture Lock Overnight Mask, $60;

True Botanicals Muscle Release Aromatherapy
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True Botanicals Muscle Release Aromatherapy, $38;

Wilde isn’t the only celebrity working to give us greener options. Actress Alicia Silverstone, an animal lover and vegan for more than 20 years, had collaborated with beauty brands on eco-friendly hairbrushes and clean makeup collections throughout her career. But being a full-time businesswoman was the last thing on her mind until her pregnancy in 2010 prompted a hard look at the prenatal-vitamin market. She quickly grew frustrated with the additives and nonorganic offerings.

Natural Woman
Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

“My goal is to be on a beach most of the time,” she says. “I would never have gone into this business had I not thought there was a problem.” So she sought to create vitamins “that someone I love could take.” Last year, in partnership with Garden of Life, Silverstone launched a new collection of Herbals with Mykind Organics, to join their selection of supplements which include vitamins like B12 and D3, and gummy multivitamins (in recycled bottles printed with soy ink, of course). Silverstone says she is particularly proud of the gummies, which are vegan chewables made without sugar or gelatin. “Hopefully, people can trust that I’m cuckoo — well, not cuckoo but obsessed enough with this information to find the absolute best. I’ve done all the legwork.”

Mykind Organics Elderberry Gummy
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Mykind Organics Elderberry Gummy, $28;

Mykind Organics Tumeric Boost Powder
Credit: Courtesy

Mykind Organics Tumeric Boost Powder, $24;

In 2011 Silverstone released the book The Kind Diet to share her insights into a holistic lifestyle. She credits her diet with clearing her skin and boosting her self-worth. Today, with her Mykind Organics collection, she works on everything from packaging and formulations to public relations. And while pursuing organic, vegan, and non-GMO verifications isn’t easy, she says, “being mindful of every step of the way and making sure what we’re producing is conscious and responsible is crucial to me.”

Motherhood also motivated Czech model Karolína Kurková to get into the wellness business, though she grew up acutely aware of the positive impact natural foods and remedies can have. This was in part due to her grandmother’s influence. “If you had a sore throat, she’d make a tea out of a plant,” Kurková says. As a model in her 20s dealing with long hours and jet lag, “I couldn’t be having sugar and processed food all day.” She researched herbs, became a raw foodie for a few years, and remained intrigued by healthy lifestyles.

Natural Woman
Credit: Morel Malcolm

But after she gave birth to her boys, now 9 and 3, Kurková got inspired, connecting with pediatricians and professionals practicing Eastern medicine. Last year she co-founded Gryph & IvyRose, a personal-care line with kid-friendly herbal elixirs and natural supplements, to “educate and empower parents and children about health.” The bath and body products “have herbal formulations to boost the immune system and protect the natural skin biome.” When she or her kids need a pick-me-up, Kurková has a jar of the brand’s organic probiotic chocolate hearts on hand. “They’re so popular, we’re coming out with a stronger version for adults,” she says.

Gryph & IvyRose Immune Support Bundle
Credit: Courtesy

Gryph & IvyRose Immune Support Bundle, $45;

Leave it to determined moms to lead the charge providing earthy remedies and healthier options for everyone. The response has been encouraging, though Kurková is bemused that previously fringe ingredients like chia have now reached critical mass. “I kind of laugh about it because I started it such a long time ago,” she says. “But it is nice to see people asking more questions and being in control of their choices and bodies.”