13 August 2019

Winners announced in Free From Skincare Awards 2019
Weleda’s Skin Food Body Butter has triumphed in the eighth annual Free From Skincare Awards, winning the Overall Award for Best Free From Skincare Product. “Fulfils its promise to banish dehydrated skin with ease,” enthused one tester. “My body is now a dry-free zone of silky moisturised skin. A beautiful formula and a pleasure to use.”

First-time participants from Finland, Laponie of Scandinavia, took the prestigious Best Free From Brand Award, while their Face Cream, jointly with Lyonsleaf’s Calendula and Marshmallow Cream, bagged the all-important Free From Achievement Award.

Free from synthetic ingredients, food allergens, and animal ingredients, Weleda’s Skin Food Body Butter beat stiff competition from 14 other category winners, including products by debutants Casa Mencarelli, NATHEO, and Bloom & Blossom, who were runners-up. 

“This year we opened up the Awards to all European brands, and the standard of entries from countries such as Spain, Greece, Finland, Bulgaria and Germany was impressive,” said Awards Co-ordinator, Alex Gazzola. “Judges and testers were excited to discover products that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to try. Hopefully some of these brands can soon secure wider distribution across the UK.”

As you may or not know I had the pleasure of judging for my 7th year. I'm always amazed by the number of entrants and the quality of products. Aside from the task of judging I'm also keep my eye out for products that are of personal interest. Listed below, I've selected from the winners & medallists products that do not contain essential oil allergens.

Apothaka® Comforting oil booster
Fiini Naturally Oat shea butter
Fiini Naturally Oat Seabuckthorne oil serum
Honey Bee Beautiful, Sensitive Bee Face Cream
Joanna Naturals Harmony Facial Oil
Just Be Natural Be Natural Intensive Lip Balm
Laponie of Scandinavia Face Oil
Laponie of Scandinavia All-Around Balm
Laponie of Scandinavia Face Cream
Lyonsleaf Zinc and Calendula Cream
Lyonsleaf Calendula and Marshmallow Balm
Lucy Bee Fragrance Free Natural Soap
Odylique Coconut Candy Scrub
PHB Ethical Beauty Hand & Body Moisturiser with Mango & Shea Butter Scent Free
Tildas Tribe Honey & Oatmeal Goats Milk Soap

If you would like to view ALL Gold, Silver and Bronze winners then visit www.freefromskincareawards.co.uk

Sarah x

5 July 2014

Winners List for Free From Skincare Awards 2014
The wait is finally over the winners were announced yesterday (Friday). It is really lovely to see brands that I have introduced on my blog win awards. For those who are not aware, The Free From Skincare Awards were founded in 2012 to encourage and reward manufacturers of skincare products ‘free from’ many of the allergens, chemicals, additives and fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, allergies, ethical and health concerns. They are run by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson editor of the FreeFromMatters.com websites and director of the hugely successful FreeFrom Food Awards (now in their seventh year) and Alex Gazzola, deputy editor of 
Skinsmatter.com and a health writer specialising in allergies.

To read about my experience as a Stage 2 Judge for these awards click here

Here's the complete list of 2014 WINNERS

Best ‘Free From’ Product
OVERALL WINNER - Tropic Skin Care, Smoothing Cleanser with Organic Bamboo Cloth
RUNNERS-UP - Blend Collective Unwinding Soap Bar, Elixirs of Life Gardeners Life Hand Cream, Green People Cell Enrich Facial Oil, Herbfarmacy Mallow Beauty Balm, Lavera Men Sensitive Moisturising Face Cream

Best ‘Free From’ Brand
GOLD - Botanicals
SILVER - Green People
BRONZE - Aurelia, Tropic Skin Care

Category Winners and Medallists:

Family Skincare – sponsored by NATorigin
GOLD - Nom Nom Skincare, Organic Pregnancy Stretch Butter Camillia and Vanilla
SILVER - Kosmea Skin Clinic Rescue Balm, Moa The Green Balm, Nom Nom Skincare Organic Baby Butter Calendula and Evening Primrose
BRONZE - Spiezia Organics Calendula Ointment

Men’s Grooming
GOLD - Lavera Men Sensitive Moisturising Face Cream
SILVER - Adam and Eve Skincare Refreshing Face Wash
BRONZE - Green People Itch Away Shampoo

Hair Care
GOLD - Faith in Nature Coconut Shampoo
SILVER - PurelyPuti Products StarShine Luxury Hair Serum
BRONZE - Weleda Millet Nourishing Shampoo

Body Care (Leave On) – sponsored by Spiezia Organics
GOLD - Toulou Organics Nourishing-Vanilla Pod, Aloe Vera & Baobab Body Creme
SILVER - Eve of St Agnes Hydrating Body Cream
BRONZE - Pure Lakes Skincare Gardener's Skin Repair Bar

Body Care (Take Off)
GOLD - Odylique Coconut Candy Scrub
SILVER - Botanicals Revitalising Body Polish
BRONZE - Beatitude Joy Bath Oil

Oils and Oil-based Serums
GOLD - Green People Cell Enrich Facial Oil
SILVER - Barefoot SOS Intensive Treatment Oil, The Rose Tree Radiance Facial Essence with Rose & Marula
BRONZE - Dash Skincare Rebalancing Facial Oil, Mel Millis Rosehip & Pomegranate Repair Serum, Tropic Skin Care Organic Elixir Oil

GOLD - Jane Iredale Eye Pencil
SILVER - NATorigin Compact Face Powder
BRONZE - Neal's Yard Remedies Lengthening Mascara

Hand, Nail and Foot Care
GOLD - Elixirs of Life Gardeners Life Hand Cream
SILVER - Botanicals Foot Softening Balm, MuLondon Organic White Chocolate Elbow, Knee & Heel Cream
BRONZE - Bakewell Soap Foot Soother

Hard Soaps
GOLD - Blend Collective Unwinding Soap Bar
SILVER - All Natural Soap Co Coco Castile Soap Bar, Bentley Organic Calming & Moisturising Bar Soap, Ruth Romano Handcrafted Natural Lavender Soap Bar
BRONZE - All Natural Soap Co Oatmeal Soother Bar Soap, Madara Birch and Algae Balancing Face Soap, Spiezia Organics Lemongrass and Marigold Soap

Face Care (Leave On)
GOLD - Herbfarmacy Mallow Beauty Balm
SILVER - Aurelia Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser, Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm, Purely SKINful Anti Ageing Night Cream with Celligent
BRONZE - Suti Honour, Coconut & Roses Face Cream

Face Care (Take Off)
GOLD - Tropic Skin Care Smoothing Cleanser with Organic Bamboo Cloth
SILVER - Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, Botanicals, Gentle Cleansing Melt Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser
BRONZE - Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser, Kinvara Skincare Absolute Cleansing Oil, UrbanVeda Purifying Exfoliating Facial Polish

Problem Skin
GOLD - Lyonsleaf Healing Calendula Balm
SILVER - Apicare Manuka Therapy 30% Honey Cream, Bloom Remedies Daily Detox Moisturiser with Palmarosa & Tea Tree, Green People Daily Solution - Anti Blemish, PHB Ethical Beauty Skin Repair Gel with Aloe and Lavender
BRONZE - Chuckling Goat Pro-Biotic Skin Food for Troubled Skin, Kris d'Amour Soothing Body Treatment Butter, MuLondon Organic Marigold, Frankincense & Myrrh Moisturiser, Weleda Aknedoron Purifying Lotion

6 April 2014

Judging for the Free From Skincare Awards 2014
Free From Skincare Awards are run by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of the FoodsMatter.com websites and founder of the hugely successful Free From Food Awards, now in their seventh year, and Alex Gazzola, deputy editor of SkinsMatter.com and a writer specialising in allergies and sensitivities. When I was asked to help judge, my holiday form was immediately submitted and then I counted down the days like Christmas. If you regularly read my blog you will know that I assisted with Stage 2 judging last year as well.

This year I got my hands on the entrants for the categories Face Scrubs/Washes/Cleansers, Oils & Serums and Family. When I see the products lined up on the table, I’m pretty shocked at how many brands I know; I’m definitely a natural skincare addict. I am not paid to judge, I do it for my love of the awards and to feed my skincare addiction. I wear my judging hat with pride and you know what, it’s blooming hard work. I don’t think people appreciate how much goes on behind the scenes. I was only involved in stage two and in total there are four stages building up to selecting winners.

During this stage of judging, myself and fellow judges are asked to assess products on originality, ease-of-use, pleasantness, aesthetic appeal, functionality, value for money, packaging and the product's ingredient labelling for clarity and transparency. By the end of the day, we will have a list of shortlisted and commended products. The next stage for Shortlisted products, involves a panel of experienced Beauty Bible testers who put products through their paces and see how they perform over the course of a month.

Looking at labelling is a very important part of the day, as you would suspect some companies are really good at it and others are falling behind. It’s not just about product formulations, it does include checking for correct INCI formats and the declaring of essential oil allergens, all of which is a legal requirement. My advice to companies is you need to sort this out, labels and packaging can be just as important as the product inside. Food allergens crop up, especially nut oils and sesame (this year I spotted milk) and we need to give consideration to the impact on customers with allergies. 

Hardest part for me is always fragrances, good grief some products pack a punch in the essential oil department. People need to work on their blends and I’d personally say it could be toned down. This year a product which I thought smelt amazing the rest of the panel was not too keen on. I mention this because we have to take a side step from personal tastes and remember that the diversity among judges is reflective of consumers. Best part of the day, aside from Michelle’s lovely lunch buffet, was discovering a few new to me brands. I have a shopping list of products and websites I want to explore. At some point, I will get around to blogging about them but in the meantime I will keep them under my hat until the shortlist is announced on the 15th April. 

It is a long day, but I do come home with baby soft skin from applying all the creams and balms so it not all bad work. I honestly love judging because it allows me to put my wealth of knowledge to good use. I am up for the judging challenge whenever Free From Skincare Awards needs me :-)

Sarah x

13 March 2013

Free From Skincare Awards 2013 - Judge Sugarpuffish
You may have seen me blog about The Allergy & Free From Show as I find it a very useful and exciting event. Last year saw the introduction of The Free From Skincare Awards which I think is a brilliant idea. The aim of the awards is to encourage and reward manufacturers with free from awareness. I am sure you can imagine my happy smiley face when I was invited to take part in the judging process for the awards. This had been in the pipeline for a couple of months so I'm going to give myself a high five for not spilling the beans sooner.

Last week, I made my way to London and spent the entire day surrounded by skincare. That to me is pretty much my idea of heaven. These awards are taken very seriously and there are four stages before winners are announced. I took part in the second stage where the aim was to shortlist and commend products. The shortlisted products then go through testing for a month by a panel of experienced Beauty Bible testers. 

To enter the awards products must exclude three or more major food allergens (wheat, gluten, dairy, sesame, tree nuts, soya and egg). They must also not include any Aluminium, Artificial fragrance, Diethanolamine (DEA), Formaldehyde, Imazolidinyl Urea, Monoethanolamne (MEA), Parabens (butyl-, ethyl- or methylparaben), Petroleum (petrolatum) or mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), Petroleum derived products (e.g. propylene glycol*), Silicones and derivatives (e.g. dimethicone*), Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Talc unless pressed, Triethanolamine (TEA), Non-organic lanolin, Peanut based products e.g. peanut oil (arachis hypogaea oil) * May be plant-derived, and therefore admissible.

There are 10 award categories and judging took place over two days. The day I attended involved looking at the entrants for Oils/Serums, Make-up & Nail care, Face On and Problem Skin. I was judging products alongside Alex Gazzola (SkinsMatter), Michelle Berriedale-Johnson (Skinsmatter), Abi Weeds (Odylique) and Ruth Holroyd (whatallergy). We scrutinised ingredients, labelling and smothered ourselves in lotions. It was nice to see so many companies with an interest in producing free from skincare and the volume of entrants shows how much the market is expanding. The shortlisted and commended products have now been announced. Head over to skinsmatter.com to find out more, click here for shortlisted & commended products. 

On a personal note a huge thank you to Alex for asking me to take part in judging. 

Sarah x

8 February 2018

‘New Look’ 2018 Free From Skincare Awards open 1st February
It's that time again, the seventh annual Free From Skincare Awards are open for entries (closes on 18 March) and did you notice the snazzy new logo? There are also plans for a new standalone networking event in July with aim to bring together entrants, beauty writers, cosmetics buyers, awards sponsors and other industry figures for networking and to hear the announcements of winners!

The Awards celebrate products ‘free from’ some of the allergens and other ingredients many consumers now avoid. There are fourteen categories, including Family Skincare (sponsored by longstanding supporters NATorigin), Hair Care (sponsored by Awards partners Formula Botanica) and Hard Soaps (sponsored by Bare & Beyond).

I support the awards because I have allergies and concerns about some ingredients. These awards are not based on silly popularity contests, you're not asked to gain votes from followers so smaller brands have a chance to win against bigger names. Entries are rigorously tested for one month by four independent testers, after which their detailed feedback is used to draw up a Shortlist (announced in May). Judging sessions are held in June with expert panels to decide winners and I've participated with these over the last few years.

Previous winners of the Best Overall FreeFrom Skincare Product were:

* Benecos’s Lip Balm (2017)
* Kinvara Skincare’s Absolute Cleansing Oil (2016)
* Bloom Remedies’ Men’s Daily Moisture Care (2015)
* Tropic Skincare’s Smoothing Cleanser (2014)
* Barefoot Botanicals’ Face and Body Rescue Cream (2013)
* Qsilica’s Remove Make-up and Grime Cleansing Gel (2012)

For news updates, follow the Awards’ just-launched Instagram page, and its Twitter stream too. For entry forms, to discuss sponsorship opportunities, or to chat about the Awards, contact the team on awards@skinsmatter.com. For more details, see www.freefromskincareawards.co.uk.

23 July 2022

Winners announced in 2022 Free From Skincare Awards

Last month I had the pleasure judging for the Free From Skincare Awards. This has now been a yearly invite since 2013. You might not realised but my day job isn't connected to blogging so I thoroughly look forward to a day off work for talking about skincare. This year I judged in the categories Face Care (Rinse Off), Body Care (Leave On), Men’s Grooming and Toners & Waters.

Aside from all the amazing brands I encountered it's interesting to have discussions about ingredients, labelling and allergies. You may know that I experience both cosmetic and food allergies. One of the hot topics coming out of the judging sessions is concerns about food allergens in cosmetics and how to promote good labelling practice, better understanding and transparency.

The British spa skincare brand SenSpa has been crowned overall champion and Best Free From Skincare Product 2022 for their Relaxing Talc Free Body Powder. Free from artificial fragrances, colours, animal-sourced ingredients and food allergens, SenSpa’s winning product beat stiff competition from other category winners, including products by first-time participants LUMI (from Estonia), MERME Berlin (Germany) and White Moon Skincare (Jersey).

The Best Free From Brand Award went to North Wales’s Rhug Wild Beauty, which won two golds and three silvers in the individual product categories.

Odylique picked up Gold in the Best Labelling category. You'll know they are my favourite brand so I fully support the win. Odylique provide 'plain English' alternatives alongside INCI ingredients with 'free from' labelling which includes food allergens. Consumers are given lots of helpful information which is a step above other brands and can be vitally important to those who are managing allergies and skin conditions.

Gold winners in the categories I was involved in (with exception of SenSpa) were all new to me. They included Merme Berlin Facial Powder Cleanser with Purple Carrot, White Moon Skincare Pink Clay Detox Mask, Lumi Men Aftershave Toner and Ani Skincare Hydrating Facial Toner.

If you would like to view a full list of winners and medallists then you'll need to visit www.freefromskincareawards.co.uk/winners-2022

Sarah x

30 January 2016

2016 Free From Skincare Awards to open 1st February

It's that time of year again and the
 fifth annual Free From Skincare Awards open on 1st February. Run by the team behind skincare site Skins Matter, the Awards celebrate the best skincare products that are ‘free from’ allergens and other ingredients which many consumers now avoid.

This year there are thirteen categories, including Family Skincare (sponsored by long standing supporters NATorigin), Make Up (sponsored by Benecos), and a special ‘Free From Achievement’ award (sponsored by Organii). Other categories include Men’s Grooming, Problem Skin, Hard Soaps and Hair Care.

The Awards seek out products with strong natural qualities, formulated for skin health, or which are suitable for people with skin or other sensitivities and allergies. They reward beneficial ingredients, the absence of undesirable ingredients, and clear, accurate labelling – as well as strong performance.

The Awards will be run in association with partners, The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible and The Love Natural Love Organic Show. Joining them this year is Formula Botanica, a renowned organic cosmetic science school.

Joining the Awards team as Co-ordinator this year is Nicola Nolan, who has over 8 years’ experience in health and beauty, and is a well-known figure in the organic industry, working with the Soil Association, and many organic brands.

Details of categories, rules, entry criteria, sponsorship, publicity and previous years’ winners are at www.freefromskincareawards.co.uk.

To be added to the mailing list for entry forms, or to discuss sponsorship opportunities, contact the team on awards@skinsmatter.com

27 May 2015

Free From Skincare Awards 2015 Judging and Shortlist
One of the awesome events I get involved with through my blog is the Free From Skincare Awards. It was really lovely to be asked back for my third year of judging. There was a switch around in the system this year, the Beauty Bible testers got their hands on products first. Usually, I have been involved in shortlisting ahead of testing. It was really interesting to work with tester feedback when judging products. Last week I helped select Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in four categories. Oh my goodness knowing the secrets I do it is so exciting and I can't wait until July when the announcements are made at the Love Natural Love Organic show on 3rd July 2015 at Olympia.

To give you a bit of background, the awards were founded in 2012 to encourage and reward manufacturers of skincare products that are ‘free from’ many of the allergens, ingredients, additives and artificial fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, health concerns, as well as ethical, personal and environmental issues. Over 150 products from more than 100 skincare brands have made the shortlist of the fourth annual Free From Skincare Awards. To view the Shortlist visit
www.skinsmatter.comNeal’s Yard Remedies lead the way with five shortlisted products, followed by four brands with four shortlisted products – Ayumi, Botanicals, JustBe Botanicals and Zk’in. 

Sarah x

1 December 2020

Winners announced in inaugural Free From Gift Awards
(products received for judging purposes) 

I sat down one weekend during lockdown to participate in a judging session for The Free From Gift Awards. This award was launched from the team behind the Free From Skincare Awards. It's always a pleasure to discover 'new to me' skincare brands and what better to way than with a gift set. The aim was to celebrate the best beauty gift sets, skincare trial packs and cosmetic stocking fillers from brands who manufacture products that are ‘free from’ some of the allergens, chemicals, additives and fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, allergies, and ethical, environmental and health concerns.

In our launch year we had no idea what to expect from our entrants, but the variety of gifts and sets was extraordinary,” said Awards director, Alex Gazzola. “Choosing a winner from all the entries — from pretty soap sets and magical oil duos, to eco-friendly pampering gifts and vegan make-up collections — was tough, but for the effect it had on our tester, as well as the admiration it inspired in our judges, No Secrets deserved the overall top prize!

No Secrets won Best Overall Free From Skincare Gift for their Home Spa, which contains a large jar of body jelly, two mini bath jellies, a soy wax votive candle, with matches, plus extra samples — all lovingly packaged in a classic white box and peach ribbon.

Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in all categories can be viewed at freefromskincareawards.co.uk. You'll probably spot some familiar names - Lyonsleaf, Kiss the Moon, Conscious Skincare, Jane Iredale and Lucky Cloud Skincare. I've also discovered The English Mineral Make Up Company, Seilich, Moksa, Londe Botanics, Millie's Organics and Opala Botanicals.

If you are stuck for Christmas Gift ideas then definitely check out the winners as I'm sure you will find inspiration for a range of budgets.

Sarah x

7 July 2015

Sugarpuffish Free From Blogger Visiting The Allergy & Free From Show, London 2015
I guess this is Part two to my weekend, with the Free From Skincare Awards winners announcement being the first installment. Every year the Allergy & Free From Show is top of my agenda. I pretty much empty out my bank account and hit up my favourite brands for show bargains and hopefully discover a few new ones along the way. 

Lets start with old favourites. I stocked up on Pudology's dairy free puds and coconut yoghurt, Nakd Bakewell Tart bars and Ms Cupcakes. Said hello to Cocoa Libre, Amy's Kitchen, Fry's Food, Everything But The Cow, Rebel Kitchen, Smooze, Violife and I caught up with skincare brands Bloom Remedies, Bathing Beauty, Mount Purious, Nom Nom, Saaf, Soothe-Me, Greenfrog, Speiza, Bria and Itha.

I did discover some new to me free from foods which is always exciting and what I enjoy most from the show. I finally managed to get my hands on the legendary Vegan Marshmallows & Round Ups (Wagon Wheels) from Ananda. I enjoyed sampling chocolate Nana Nice Cream, a dairy free frozen desert made from banana, avocados and dates (plus a few other healthy ingredients). Sensitive Souls has an impressive free from list (gluten, nut, dairy, egg, wheat, soya, sulphite & vegan) and when someone can sell me a tasty egg free brownie and vegan rocky road they have a customer for life. I also stocked up on Moral Fibre snack pots which are gluten and dairy free and more importantly delicious. A thank you to Marie of Bloom Remedies for recommending I sample Dee's Wholefoods Vegan sausages, yummy, I need to locate a stockist for those. Coconut chips seem to be the new trend in snacking and I am loving the ones from Inspiral and Coconut Merchant.

Now I am always positive about the show but I do feel there are areas which could be improved upon. Even though you can fill your belly on free samples it is nice to sit down and have a sandwich or meal. Sadly, the cafes at the venue seem to lack the ability to provide a decent feed which is ironic given that this is the Allergy Show. In the end Vegan Sweet Tooth London came to my rescue with a big slice of pizza bread. Browsing through the show booklet I now see "Free From Cafe" on the map.....um! Why did I not know this? Why is that not promoted better? Could it have made a difference in my experience? I shall know for next year.

I guess the other disappoint is seeing brands, which in my opinion are "greenwashed", sneak into the Love Natural Love Organic show. I guess organisers are looking to sell stands so they probably are not as fussy as I am. I do find it frustrating to see Arbonne and Forever Living alongside amazing natural brands that enter the Free From Skincare Awards.

The show is also a great opportunity to catch up with people I've come to know on Twitter or through my blog. I spent my day with Jen (Jen's Green Skincare), Rachael (Myroo) and Hephzibah (Good For Me, Good For You). Thank you to everyone who said hello to me. A big shout out to the amazing Hailey of Allergy Adventures who gives the best free from hugs and high five for her amazing work helping children understand allergies. 

Did you attend the show this year? Did you have fun and find some new brands?

Sarah x

4 July 2015

Winners announced in fourth FreeFrom Skincare Awards
As you all know, I was privileged to put on my judges hat once again and take part in the annual Free From Skincare Awards. This year I decided to book leave from work and attend the awards ceremony at the Love Natural Love Organic Show/Allergy & Free From Show. In past years I've followed announcements on Twitter from my desk so it was lovely to be part of the live action. 

Many of my favourite brands have scooped Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. I was honored that four brands asked me to represent them at the awards because they sadly were unable to attend. My duty was to collect certificates for them should they win Gold. Lyonsleaf scooped joint winner in the Body Care Leave On category and now there is a picture of me with a goofy grin standing with Janey Lee Grace floating around the internet. I was happy that the other three brands, Gerlinde NaturalsLJ's Natural Solutions and Beeutiful were runners up in their categories and picked up Bronze awards. They all should be very proud of their achievements.

I was delighted that Bloom Remedies’ Men’s Daily Moisture Care has taken top honours by winning the Overall Award for Best Free From Skincare Product. It's wonderful to see Marie's products recognized in this way. 

I'd also like to mention how happy I was to see Pai enter the awards this year. I have never understood why they haven't done this sooner, after all they are a brand specifically formulated for sensitive skins and that is what these awards are all about. It was disappointing to see no winner in the Hair Care category. I know many bloggers and readers struggle to find their Holy Grails for natural and organic shampoos. Perhaps next year you can encourage your favourites to enter?

Let me stop rambling on and list the Gold winners below. For Silver and Bronze winners visit www.skinsmatter.com


Best FreeFrom Skincare Product 2015 - Bloom Remedies, Men's Daily Moisture Care

FreeFrom Achievement Award - All Natural Soap Co, Castile Olive Oil Soap

FreeFrom Brand (Gold Award) - Neal's Yard Remedies


1. Family Skincare – Sponsored by NATorigin
Gold Award - Neal's Yard Remedies, Bee Lovely Bath & Shower Gel

2. Men's Grooming
Gold Award - Bloom Remedies, Men's Daily Moisture Care

3. Hair Care
Gold - Not awarded

4. Body Care ('Leave On')
Gold Award - Lyonsleaf, Body Butter & SenSpa, Relaxing Body Butter

5. Body Care ('Take Off')
Gold Award - Seascape Island Apothecary, Uplift Salt Scrub

6. Oils and Oil-based Serums
Gold Award - Neom Organics, Great Day Body Oil

7. Make Up 
Gold Award - Jane Iredale, Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara

8. Hand, Nail and Footcare
Gold Award - Saaf, Foot Softening Balm

9. Hard Soaps
Gold Award - All Natural Soap Co, Gentle Goat's Milk Soap

10. Face Care ('Leave On') – sponsored by Barefoot SOS
Gold Award - Pai Skincare, Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream

11. Face Care ('Take Off')
Gold Award - Skin Revivals, Organic Facial Cleansing Oil

12. Problem Skin
Gold Award - Gem's Natural Skin Care, Gem's Dry Skin Balm & Syrinx Za, Deep Cleanser, Detoxifying Therapy Bar

13. ‘Fresh and Fragrant’
Gold Award - Bentley Organic, Gentle Feminine Wash

4 June 2016

Free From Skincare Awards Announce 2016 Winners Shortlist

Blimey! has it really been 12 months since I last published a Free From Skincare Award shortlist? It goes so quickly and once again I was honored to be asked back for judging. I spent last Friday with Abi (@Odylique) Ruth (@whatallergy),  Sue (@gfbeerexpert), Nicola (@sparklenolan) and Alex (@healthjourno) casting our eye over skincare products, scrutinizing labels and slathering ourselves in creams. The latter is a perk since products have already been put through their paces by Beauty Bible testers before we get our hands on them.

It was a bumper year with over 270 entries from all over the world. I recognised many of the brands but also discovered some new ones. 

“We were overwhelmed with entries this year and saw a 25% increase on 2015,” said Alex Gazzola, Administrator of the Awards. “This reflects the continuing growth of the free from skincare market, as well as the increasing numbers of consumers who have to or want to avoid certain cosmetic ingredients – and need to have these clearly signposted by brands.”

Awards Director, Michelle Berriedale-Johnson adds: "Be it in skincare or in food, FreeFrom is becoming big business these days. So it is encouraging to see small companies as well as big ones entering our various awards, filled with enthusiasm and ideas to help a group of consumers who have been poorly served in the past.’’

With four shortlisted products each, beauty brands Sukin and Living Naturally lead the list of shortlisted nominations, while Pevonia, Kinvara, Saaf and Lyonsleaf are among those with three. The full shortlist can be seen at: www.freefromskincareawards.co.uk

Winners are announced on 8th July at the Love Natural Love You Show Olympia, London. If you follow my link you can get FREE tickets for the show!

Sarah x

10 November 2022

Christmas Gift Ideas inspired by Winners of the Free From Gift Awards 2022
Long time readers will no doubt be familiar with
Free From Skincare Awards but did you know about their 'spin off' The Free From Gift Awards? I'm unlikely to put together a personalised gift guide this year so I'm going to point you in the direction of the winners from these awards.

You may be interested to know that Winners and Medallists in The Free From Gift Awards are brands who manufacture products that are ‘free from’ some of the allergens, chemicals, additives and fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, allergies, and ethical, environmental and health concerns.

Congratulations go to Rhug Wild Beauty who took the Overall Champion prize for their Hand Wash & Hand Lotion Duo in Gift Box.

“A beautifully elegant duo in a chic box,” said the judges. “Gorgeous products, both of which include wild foraged ingredients from the Rhug Estate. A gift set which anyone would enjoy and would feel very spoiled and delighted to receive.”

Many of the medallists are brands I have supported over the years but it's always great to discover new ones. Let me recommend checking out the following -

Blue Labelle, Moroccan Spa Set
Made By Coopers, 'Sleepy Head' Sleep Kit
Silvan Skincare, Hands and Feet Gift Set
BEAM natural body care, Six half sized luxury soap gift set
Eco By Sonya Driver, Hydration Skin System
Green People, Be Kind
Bowe Organics, Get Glowing Face Mask
Sknfed, Rose Trio Gift Set
Lyonsleaf, Natural Skincare Solutions 04 & Hot Cloth Cleansing Revitalising Kit
Obvs Skincare, Well-Being Gift Set

There are more Gold, Silver and Bronze winners (in all categories) to discover so head over to freefromskincareawards.co.uk

Sarah x

23 November 2015

Oscar & Bentleys Winner of Free From Eating Out Awards 2015
Antony Worrall Thompson and Phil Hooper of headline sponsors, Sodexo, presenting the trophy to Sarah Ormond Smith, Katherine Durio and Mark Kennet of Oscar & Bentleys in Canterbury

Eating out when you have allergies is a massive hurdle to overcome. It takes a lot of trust and questions to be able to have the confidence to order at a restaurant or cafe. For this very reason I have followed to Free From Eating Out Awards with great interest. 


Canterbury restaurant triumphs at second national FreeFrom Eating Out Awards

Antony Worrall Thompson presented the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards silver salver of excellence to Sarah Ormond Smith of the Canterbury restaurant, Oscar & Bentleys at a presentation ceremony at Food Matters Live today. The awards are sponsored by Sodexo.

Oscar & Bentleys, second time winner of the Restaurant category at the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards, was praised as ‘faultless’ by the incognito judges who ate there. ‘The restaurant exudes excellence and competence – everything is fully thought through, the staff are friendly and inspire total confidence – and the food is beyond excellent! Nothing is too much trouble and they were not even fazed by the prospect of catering for a guest with nine life threatening allergies!'

Runners up for the accolade were:

2 Oxford Place, Leeds
'From the very first phone call to the friendly farewell from all the staff as we left – this was the ultimate free from experience.' 

Eden Food Service (School caterers)
‘As corporate members of the Anaphylaxis Campaign you would expect Eden to provide a comprehensive service for the 60,000 children that they care for – but they really go over and beyond.' 

The Royal Oak, Marlow
'Oh yes please! There is a world of difference between catering for an allergy with a roast with no gravy, and coming up with a delicious dish that meets multiple needs without compromise on flavour. The Royal Oak hits the nail on the head.’

"Great entries to the awards again this year. As the food service world has started to get its head around food allergy and intolerance, so the number of outlets that can offer really exciting ‘freefrom’ meals has grown. We were literally overwhelmed with fish and chip shops offering excellent gluten-free evenings this year while the range of gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free dishes on offer in cafés and restaurants around the country is positively heart warming!!" - Awards Director, Michelle Berriedale-Johnson

"We are delighted by the ongoing success of these awards. It is so important that food service is able to take on board the new allergen regulations so that they can cater safely for the growing number of people who have to live on restricted diets." - Wan Mak, Head of Nutrition and Dietetics at awards sponsors, Sodexo

The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are run by the same team as run the very successful FreeFrom Food Awards (now in their 9th year) and the FreeFrom Skincare Awards (now in their 5th year). 

Categories for the The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are as follows

  • Cafés, coffee shops, tea rooms
  • Fish & Chip shops
  • Pub Restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Corporate Hospitality and venues
  • B&Bs and guest houses
  • Schools, colleges and universities 
  • Food Manufactured for food service

For the complete list of Winners and Runners Up visit FreeFrom Eating Out Awards 2015

11 February 2014

Free From Food Awards 2014 - Judging
2014 is the seventh annual Free From Food AwardsThe bright yellow award logos are now seen on a range of freefrom products from one man/woman producers of freefrom cupcakes to supermarket own label ranges. Freefrom food is the only food sector to have shown steady 15% year on year growth over the last 5 years. New categories for this year’s awards include ‘Breakfast’ (cereals, baked goods, animal and animal free yogurts and milks), ‘Food to go’, ‘After Dinner Foods’ (desserts, chocolates and petit fours, animal free ‘cheeses’ and cheese biscuits), Pasta and Pizza and Low sulphite wines. ‘Returning’ categories include breads, cakes, store cupboard, ready meals, ‘raw’ foods, children’s food and the ever popular gluten-free beer category.

Taking part in judging is certainly an eye opener and a slightly different experience to the sister awards for skincare. I thought I had a wide knowledge of free from food products on the market but there are many brands that I have yet to discover so I wonder, where are they all hiding?

I took part in two categories, Breakfast and scones, sweet tarts, sweet biscuits and cookies. Obviously, I did not take part in tasting animal milk products but surprisingly I had to skip biscuits/cookies. The latter appears to me to be purely targeted at the gluten free market and barely catering for other allergies. Out of the gluten free products entered into this category (I think it was 17 or 18) only two did not contained milk and/or egg. It frustrates me a great deal. Manufacturers seem to be forgetting that it is quite common to have more than one allergy/intolerance. I know demanding more free from biscuits is controversial given the recent press over sugar but there are occasions where I think most people would like a biscuit to dunk in a cup of tea. If you are making dairy free and egg free biscuits and cakes then a) Why are you not shouting about it? b) Why are you not entering the Free From Awards? People like me need you! We want to celebrate the fact that you recognise multiple allergies. Oh and if someone could make me egg and dairy free, vegetarian rocky road, you would have a customer for life!

Despite this little hiccup, I do not wish to distract attention from the awards because they help raise the profile of free from foods for consumers and the industry. I enjoyed my day of judging and it is really interesting to be in a room full of people who understand free from living. It was also nice to meet people I tweet with - Mel @PiginthekitchenAlexa @foodallergyuk & Julia @AlimentaryBites.

The shortlisted products will be announced on 12th February. Follow @FFFoodAwards on Twitter as I am sure they will be tweeting about it.

Sarah x

Photos courtesy of Pig in the Kitchen

19 April 2014

Free From Skincare Awards 2014 - Shortlisted and Commended
If you follow me on Twitter you will already have been bombarded with my tweets about the announcement of the Shortlist for the Free From Skincare Awards 2014. Obviously, I knew from judging what was selected in some categories but wasn't aware of the rest. 

Here is a selection of brands I would recommend from the Shortlist and you should be familiar with some of them from my reviews. 

Keep it Kind
Shea Mooti
Spiezia Organics
Dash Skincare
Kinvara Skincare
Kris d'Amour

I am so pleased to see my favourite products made it onto the Shortlist. I had no influence over that since they entered in categories I did not judge. Now the announcements have been made, I too have to sit back and wait for the final results in July. It will be a nail biting few months. 

Have any of your favourite products been Shortlisted? Did you spot a product on the Shortlist or Commended list that you would like to try?

Sarah x


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