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5 best non toxic foundations – You can have it all!

Foundation is a very personal and sometimes problematic thing….if you get the shade, texture, finish or application wrong it can be a disaster…

We’ve all been there – a lovely department store assistant insists that it is the perfect type of foundation for your skin and this is definitely your shade but you get it home and try it on your whole face….and it just doesn’t work…too dry, too pale….

Or perhaps you have found your perfect match – you love it but it is full of nasty chemicals. You may not know what’s in it…online it is quite difficult to get the full ingredient list from mainstream brands & if you have thrown out the outer packaging then you will have to do some serious digging to find out what is in it.

What are the barriers that people often mention when it comes to changing to a non-toxic foundation:

1. It won’t work as well as my current one

2. I can’t try it easily to see if it is right for my skin tone

3. I don’t know where to start there are so many brands that I have never heard of!

To help alleviate these concerns I am going to share 5 of the best non-toxic foundations – they are suited to different skin types, preferences and needs. They are every bit as good as the mainstream foundations without the nasty chemicals. Honestly have a read and give one or two of them a go – let me know how you get along.

The most common harmful chemicals in your foundation

Before we go into the foundation reviews let me give you a bit more incentive as to why you should switch your mainstream foundation quickly!

These are just some of the common nasty chemicals found in big brand foundations:

Vitamin A Palmitate

What is it used for: It is known as Retinol. It normalizes skin’s texture and smoothes out fine lines. It is found in a lot of anti aging products so any of those anti aging foundations. Eg: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

Why don’t you want it on your skin: is rated 9/10 on EWG. It has been linked to speed of development of skin tumors and birth defects in babies.

Oxybenzone

What is it used for: It is primarily a sunscreen ingredient but will often be added to foundations, BB & CC creams with SPF protection

Why don’t you want it on your skin: It is rated 8 on EWG. It is highly absorbent into the skin. Is an endocrine disruptor and some studies have shown links to developmental effects.

Parabens/Benzoyl Peroxide
What is it used for: They are common preservatives used to stop bacteria growing.

Why don’t you want it on your skin: These vary from serious endocrine disruptors to skin irritants. Some studies have shown them to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

Fragrance

What is it used for: To make it smell nice:)

Why don’t you want it on your skin: you just don’t know what is in it. Fragrance is a generic term which includes a lot of different chemicals and companies are not required to divulge the formulation.

Nano-particles – Some powder foundations use nano-particles, they can be inhaled and embedded in the lungs. These tiny particles may also penetrate the skin and enter the circulatory system. They are not always listed on the ingredient list…best to stick to natural brands you trust like the ones below.
In addition to these there are other chemicals you should always try to avoid – Check out my easy guide on what to avoid.

Check the ingredients of your foundations….!

Find a non-toxic foundation that suits you

My perspective is that the performance of your foundation is very important as you use it to help cover up your imperfections (well what you think are imperfections!)…the last thing you want is a product that doesn’t do this well. But if you could find a non-toxic foundation that worked as well as or better than your regular foundation – then why wouldn’t you switch?

So I am going to help you find that perfect foundation that doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals – best of both worlds.

What are the key areas that you need to look at when finding a perfect foundation:

1. Skin type – Oily, combination, dry

2. Format and application – liquid, compact, powder, stick

3. Finish – Matt, semi matte, luminous

4. Shade – undertones – pink, yellow or combination

Getting the right shade is very difficult especially if you can’t try on the counter – so check out Lisa Eldridge’s step by step video to do your homework before you buy any new foundation:

Below when I introduce the 5 natural foundations I will go each of the about 4 criteria so you can easily see which one suits you best.

Is there anything else you look for when buying a foundation? Let me know in the comments & I will try to answer for you.

The 5 best non-toxic foundations – pick the right one for you

1. Kjaer Weis Cream foundation is a luxurious yet Eco friendly choice. Check out my brand review here.

foundation-kjaer-weis

Skin type – This is an oil based cream foundation so suitable for normal/combination to dry skin types. If you have very oily skin then you are best going for a powder foundation.

Format and application – this is a compact foundation that can be taken with you, it can be applied using beauty blender, brush or my preferred method…fingers! It is a buildable foundation so you can create different finishes depending on what you are going for.

Finish – This foundation has a smooth, velvety finish that holds up well in the humidity. It won’t leave you with an unwanted shine, the best way to describe it is dewy matte. It is medium to heavy coverage depending on how much you build it up.

Shade – They have 14 shades. Content beauty have a good description of each shade here. The most popular Caucasian shade is Paper thin which is my shade. I have pink undertones but living in Hong Kong I have a bit of a tan most of the time.

Where to buy:

Hong Kong: Net a porter but their shade range is limited.

UK: Content Beauty full shade range available on their site
Continental Europe: Amazingy

USA: Many options like Eco Diva

Australia: Beautiful because – they stock 10/14 shades

2. Gressa corrective serum foundation, this formula is unusual, it is positioned as a corrective serum foundation. Using broccoli seed oil to calm, protect and improve your skin’s natural glow. This fluid-to-velvet formula delivers weightless coverage. It is a great foundation, only downside is the application process takes a little bit of getting used to.

gressa-corrective-foundation

Skin type: This is suited to oily, combination to normal skin types. It personally wouldn’t be my choice if I had dry skin but I have read reviews to the contrary. It is a very unusual formula so you need to try it and decide for yourself.

Format & application: This is a liquid foundation in an unusual drip bottle, the consistency is very watery. It is good because you won’t waste it. You really don’t need much when you apply about 3-4 drops for the whole face.

Finish: When you apply this it goes from a liquid to a powdery finish instantly which is quite amazing and is completely weightless, you will forget you have it on. But surprisingly from the texture it gives a strong medium, even coverage

Shade: Available in 11 shades. Succinct guide to the shades. I use 1.5.

Where to buy:

Hong Kong: Beautysaur

UK: Alyaka

Continental Europe: Amazingy

USA: Many options like Credo Beauty

Australia: Beautiful Because

3. Au Naturale zero gravity c2p foundation, this is a great stick foundation from a clean beauty pioneer.

au-naturale-cosmetics-foundation-Stick-Porcelain

Skin type: Typically stick foundations are good for normal to dry skin because of the creamy texture. This does get some rave reviews from oily skin types as well though.

Format & application: This is a foundation stick, so it is super easy to apply and fantastic for when you are on the go.

Finish: This is a medium coverage foundation, not super heavy like a lot of stick foundations. I feel this hides my blemishes and redness – with layering it can actually work well as concealer as well. I really liked that it was covering but still gave me a natural not made up look. I recommend setting it with a powder like the RMS unpowder or w3ll people’s realist invisible setting powder which is also fantastic.

Shade: Available in 15 shades. With this foundation people are generally able to find a really good shade match…strange as it doesn’t have an unusually huge range but that is consistent feedback I have heard.

Where to buy:

Hong Kong: Beautysaur

USA: Many options like Au Naturale Cosmetics own website

Australia: Beautiful because

4. Inika Certified organic liquid mineral foundation with hyaluronic acid – this has a lovely light but even coverage which gives me a healthy glow even when I am exhausted from a baby waking me several times a night!

inika-certified-organic-liquid-mineral-foundation

Skin type: As a liquid foundation with light coverage this works on any skin type. Except if you are super oily I would stick to powder.

Format & application: It is a classic liquid foundation, perhaps slightly thicker than some but it goes on well and you don’t need to use much.

Finish: Light coverage with a healthy dewy finish, you can of course minimise this with a powder to set it. Definitely need a good concealer underneath if you have blemishes that need covering completely.

Shade: Available in 8 shades. I got some feedback that this doesn’t work well for super pale tones. I use cream and it works well on my pale but slightly tanned with pink undertone skin.

Where to buy:

Hong Kong: There are no stockists in Hong Kong but you can get it delivered here on lookfantastic.

UK: Feelunique

Continental Europe: Feelunique also ships in Europe

Australia: Beautiful Because

5. RMS tinted unpowder – a good loose powder foundation for serious oil control!

tinted-un-powder-rms-beauty

Skin type: As a powder foundation it is good for oily to normal skin types. Not recommended on dry skin as it will emphasize dry patches. This is the case with most powders unless you are using them on top of your liquid foundation.

Format & application: It is a loose powder that comes with a puff. I personally find this a bit of a faff and prefer liquid, stick or compact foundations but that is completely personal preference.

Finish: For oily skin it does a really great job of keeping a matte finish all day. As with a lot of powders when you are having photos taken at night you can get a bit of a white cast with this but certainly not visible during the day.

Shade: Only available in 3 shades

Where to buy:
Hong Kong: Beyorg Organic

UK: Content Beauty

Continental Europe: Amazingy

USA: Many options including RMS site

Australia: Mecca

Want to get the most out of your foundation – use these 3 tips

1. Prepare your skin with a good moisturiser and ideally a primer, it can make a huge different to how the foundation sits and lasts

2. Experiment with your perfect applicator – brush, beauty blender, sponge, fingers….

3.Use concealer on your blemishes and dark circles after you put your foundation on

Healthy, high performing foundation – you can have it all!

There is a lot of choice when it comes to finding the best non-toxic foundation. You do not have to settle for poor performance or something that doesn’t suit your skin type or your application preference.

There are some seriously innovative formulations like Gressa serum foundation or a much more classic liquid foundation option like Inika.

All the foundations I have introduced here I love and think they work for different skin types and desired looks.

Do let me know if you have tried any of these foundations and what you think? If you have what did you use before you switched, how does the clean version compare?

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12 Comments

  • Louise

    April 17, 2018

    I really enjoyed this article. I’m slowly beginning to try and phase out toxic beauty products but have to admit, my foundation hasn’t been one of them – as yet!

    You’ve given me a great insight into some of the brands available – and I’m pleased to see most are available in the UK 🙂

    I also never knew you are supposed to put concealer on before applying foundation….I always put it on afterwards 😉

    Reply
    • Allie

      April 18, 2018

      So glad you liked the article. Yes it takes a bit of digging to find these brands outside of the US. Do let me know once you have tried one.

      Reply
  • Nichola

    April 19, 2018

    Really good article, I will be looking far more closely at what I use on my face from here on in ! Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Allie

      April 19, 2018

      So glad you found it useful! Let me know which one you decide to go with xx

      Reply
  • Anna

    April 23, 2018

    Loving your work Allie so much. Thank you for bringing such great products to the fore! I’m keen to try many of these and start using non toxic. Xo

    Reply
    • Allie

      April 23, 2018

      Aw thanks Anna. Definitely ask if you have any specific questions x

      Reply
  • Cassie

    April 25, 2018

    Ugh! I hate trying different foundations! I have been using the same mineral powder for a long time now, and it’s so hard to try a different kind when I never know what I’m going to get color, coverage, and quality wise. Thank you for your recommendations. Natural is always better and I am interested in trying these products. I think I’ll start with the Inika. Would you recommend that for medium to full coverage?

    Reply
    • Allie

      April 26, 2018

      Hi Cassie, I know what you mean – it is so easy to get it wrong. It can be an expensive mistake! Inika is lovely and easy to apply – it gives a medium coverage. If you want a full coverage I would add a finishing power on top of this like the w3ll people or RMS. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any  more questions.

      Reply
  • Nastasia

    September 1, 2018

    Allie, I went to Beautysaur for cleanser… I bought the amazing Gressa foundation!! It’s amazing! To be honest I didn’t expect it would cover so well and it leaves your skin feeling so soft. I am a bit worried about gaining more milia as when I have tried oil based cleansers in the past I noticed an increase. Thanks for the recommendation, the customer service there was top notch too.

    Reply
    • Allie

      September 1, 2018

      Oh great! Glad you got to Beautysaur. I love those guys – so passionate about what they are doing. Yep I love the greassa foundation.
      Agree the oil based cleansers can be tricky.

      Reply
  • Hannah

    July 2, 2019

    Hi Allie,
    I live in Virginia, USA. I have been using NARS foundation for the past 2 years. I want to start taking better care of my skin by using makeup products that contain natural ingredients. I have dry and sensitive skin. What foundation would you recommend for me?

    Reply
    • Allie

      July 3, 2019

      Hi Hannah, Thanks for coming to my blog. I have recently been trying Crunchi foundation – it is quite liquid and had good coverage. As I don’t have dry or sensitive skin I can’t be sure but they do free colour swatches so I recommend getting one and seeing. Another option that I like and is creamy so good for dry skin and formulated with sensitive in mind is Kjaer Weis but it is quite pricey – maybe see if there is somewhere you can go to try it first? Hope that helps! Thanks, Allie

      Reply

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