It’s easy to overlook the essentials. Whether it be creams, cleansers or candles, it’s crucial to get back to basics once in a while. Give your skin a fresh start by honing in on some of the best products on the market: think wholesome ingredients and simple formulas stripped of synthetics and harsh additives, all while looking and smelling as beautiful as ever.
By Emily Matson
DR. BRONNER'S PURE CASTILE SOAP
This all-in-one formula is over a century old, and it doesn’t surprise us that it’s still as useful and versatile as ever. The no-frills brand boasts 100% vegan, biodegradable, fair trade and non-GMO verified ingredients made in the USA (a tough act to follow!). Equally hard to beat is the multi-functional nature of the soaps: available in a variety of simple scents in both bar and liquid format (try eucalyptus to channel spa day vibes or opt for rose for a floral fragrance), it’s evident that Dr. Bronner’s timeless necessity is much more than your run-of-the-mill cleanser.
WELEDA SKIN FOOD
Weleda’s products achieve a masterful balance of luxurious skincare and coveted nutrition. All-natural, fair trade and sustainable ingredients yield a rich, therapeutic-scented, cure-all cream with a fitting name: food for your skin. And it does exactly that, as it nourishes the skin with an ultra-rich formula brimming with plant oils, chamomile and calendula extracts. Try the formula as a quick fix for dry hands and cracked elbows, or slather some on post-shower alongside your body oil of choice (coconut oil works like a dream, or try Nuxe as a scented alternative) and your skin will be asking for seconds.
WELEDA SEA SALT TOOTHPASTE
Weleda’s sea salt toothpaste is proof that the brand goes beyond the boundaries of the beauty shelf. This unorthodox take on a hygiene staple will spruce up your brushing routine with the help of baking soda and a pinch of sea salt. Added myrrh extract and organic ratanhia ensure that your gums stay in top form and your pearly whites retain their shine the best way possible—sans chemicals and dyes.
JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS ROSE & APRICOT HAIR MILK
The entire line is a hit among beauty junkies and health nuts alike: John Masters offers hair care that doubly cares for our planet, making it a priority to adhere to a strict code that ensures the quality of ingredients—absolutely no GMOs, animal testing, parabens, artificial colors, fragrances or fillers. The hair milk in particular is a bestseller, and with good reason: the cruelty-free (and gluten-free!) “milk” is jam-packed with oils (rose flower, apricot and borage, among others) and extracts that harmonize to treat dryness and soothe the scalp, all while keeping frizz to a minimum. Just apply to damp hair, soak in the sweet scent and reap the benefits.
WARY MEYERS SOAPS AND CANDLES
Handmade in the founders’ home studio in Cumberland, Maine, these fun- and fresh-colored vegetable-based soaps are a pseudo-pop art take on a bathroom staple. Not only are the products works of art in their own right, but their ingredients (all soaps are paraben-free, detergent-free, alcohol-free and cruelty-free) prove to be more than just a sink-side accessory. Dazzling color combinations make for a foolproof gift, particularly the Beachy Coconut bar that is summer incarnate. Also sure to be a hit: lusciously-scented candles composed of soy wax, phthalates-free fragrances, essential oils and recycled glass containers to boot. Try Coco Nuit to carry the scent of sweet summer days into the night.