The 2019 Free From Skincare Awards Shortlist is Announced

The 2019 Free From Skincare Awards Shortlist is Announced
This year judging for the Free From Skincare Awards was an interesting challenge for those of us around the table. In the mix of our usual considerations was the new EU Commission guidelines surrounding free from claims. According to Commission Regulation (EU) No 655/2013 claims on cosmetic products should conform to the following common criteria: 1. Legal compliance 2. Truthfulness 3. Evidential support 4. Honesty 5. Fairness 6. Informed decision-making.

It's a very tricky subject for me. When I started to turn my back on mainstream skincare it was due to problems with eczema but also concerns that certain ingredients felt unnecessary and a possible health risk. I'm a consumer with several allergies who finds free from labelling useful in assisting with daily decision making. I still need to assess the INCI labelling but brands who mark their products up front as "free from" certainly help point me in the right direction to begin with. Surely that's informed decision making? The new regulations also highlight that a statement such as "free from parabens" can come under scrutiny for implying a denigrating message. You see certain parabens are considered safe when used in accordance to regulations. 

There is one example of a claim that would no longer be allowed which I can totally get behind - "free from allergenic/sensitising substances is not allowed, as a complete absence of the risk of an allergic reaction cannot be guaranteed (honesty)". Will we finally see the end to hypoallergenic claims on packaging? I've always seen it as total BS. 

I will continue to support the Free From Skincare Awards. Why? well I think Alex sums it up for me -

"...first and foremost, we are a consumer award. We do what we do primarily for the free from consumer, who is looking for skincare products free from ingredients they need or wish to avoid, for whatever reason they wish to avoid them. They are the people we have in mind. They are the ones for whom ‘free from labelling’ is really useful — irrespective of how much they are disliked by cosmetic chemists and regulatory fundamentalists, who never seem to consider the free from consumer.

Yes, the awards go to the brands making these products, but in so doing we highlight products which may be suitable for those free from consumers, and reward and encourage the brands who produce cosmetics suitable for them, further helping the consumer." (FFSA19: the testing, the judging, the shortlist)

So lets get back to the awards shortlist because it needs celebrating. Over 200 products from 130 brands have made the shortlist of the eighth annual Free From Skincare Awards – dedicated to cosmetics ‘free from’ many of the ingredients which some consumers need to or want to avoid.

Leading the way with an unprecedented ten shortlisted products is Somerset-based Lyonsleaf, who grow their own herbal ingredients on a farm in the Mendip Hills, and are multiple previous winners of various Free From Skincare Awards.

Following closely behind Lyonsleaf are Tropic with seven shortlisted products, The Handmade Soap Company with six, and Ayumi with five. All four brands are also shortlisted in the Best Brand category.

The shortlist follows an intensive period month-long testing of entries by a 100-strong team of dedicated testers, each with sensitive or problem skin, or with a keen passion for natural or ‘free from’ skincare.

"Judges were impressed with the diversity of products this year," says Alex Gazzola, Awards Co-ordinator. "Among them were a rinse-off body moisturiser, a dry shampoo powder, an overnight foot treatment, a cleansing stick, and an organic tanning water." He adds: "This year the products’ performances excelled, which is terrific news for allergic or vegan consumers, those with problem skin conditions, and those looking to make more ethical choices, all of whom depend on free from skincare products."

Gold, silver and bronze winners in all 14 categories – plus additional awards for Best Free From Skincare Brand, Best Free From Achievement, and of course Best Overall Free From Skincare Product – will be announced online at the end of July.

The Shortlist can be viewed at the Free From Skincare Awards site. 

Sarah x