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Natural beauty alert: what the Best of Natural Awards judges are using

PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HEALTHPOST

What the Best of Natural Awards judges are using right now.

For the Best of Natural Awards 2020 Good partnered with HealthPost for their industry expertise and strict ingredient, ethical and environmental standards. And that included our selection of judges – Lucy Butler (executive director of HealthPost), Liz McNamara (natural health expert for HealthPost) and Belinda Nash (award-winning health and wellbeing writer).

As we look to wrap up 2020 we thought we’d ask them what they are using right now and why ‘natural’ counts.

What is your daily skin and beauty routine?

Lucy: I’m mixing it up at the moment, in part because I’ve had my eyes opened to a bunch of new categories in skincare that I hadn’t explored. I’m enjoying substituting my regular cream cleanser for an oil cleanse every second day, which feels appropriate for colder weather. The Lemon and Beaker Rose Toner has revived my enthusiasm for toning, it smells so good.  I’ve always been a fan of facial oils in winter, so I’ll use an oil or a serum depending on what I feel my skin needs. I love how clean and potent face oils are: no fillers or preservatives required. Followed by the Antipodes Baptiste H20 gel at night or one of my Weleda favourites. For my body, I use an aromatherapy oil at night to help me unwind (the Black Chicken body oil or the Evolu), and during the day I use Weleda Skin Food Body Butter. This is the perfect winter moisturiser, rich but absorbs instantly: Weleda have nailed it again, no surprises there. 

Belinda: I have been using natural skincare products since the late 1990s, and moved into natural make-up in the past five years.

Today, I started my shower with the Good Cube 5in1 Multitasker Bar containing native leaf extracts kawakawa and kumarahou, and its Exfoliator Bar Saver hemp knitted pouch that doubles as a body exfoliator. I used the Linden Leaves Skin Refining Cream Cleanser and finished with the Corbin Rd. Vieve Silk Exfoliating cloth on my face to polish and get the blood flowing. Believe it or not, I easily manage an under four-minute shower!

I then spritzed my face with the refreshing Lemon & Beaker Hydrating Toner with Rose Essential Oil followed quickly by the Antipodes H20 Ultra-Hydrating Water Gel, which is a facial in a jar, and True Botanix Sea Buckthorn Day Creme high in hyaluronic acid.

I finished with the Maria Akerberg Salt Deodorant, which is effective to combat bacteria and odour, a quick leg and arm moisturise with The Herb Farm Firming & Toning Body Lotion with circulation promoting ingredients like black pepper, and a small drop of Aleph Serum on my face for a dewy finish.

I added Karen Murrell Poppy Passion lipstick before I walked out the door, sometimes spritzing Artemis ViroGone Spray on my throat whenever I feel my immunity is slumping.

At the end of the day, I cleanse with the Tailor Oil Cleanse with native kanuka oil and most often use the Corbin Rd Sculpta 6000 with its Multivitamin Restorative Face Oil with cannabis sativa oil, or the Emma Lewisham Supernatural Triple Vitamin A+ Face Oil packed with potent, organic active ingredients.

Liz: Well I have some favourites for sure! Clean Skincare is one of my favourite things to do for myself and I don’t believe I’ll ever regret it. These were all entrants to the Best of Natural Awards: 

Cleanser – Linden Leaves Skin Refining Cream Cleanser – smells delicious and feels nourishing over winter when my skin is a little dryer.

Toner – Antipodes Ananda Antioxidant-rich Gentle Toner – such a refreshing spray to deliver nutrient-rich hydration.

Eye cream – Antipodes Kiwi Seed Gold Eye Cream.

Serum – Lemon & Beaker Dual Blend Repairing Serum and Vitamin C Serum.

Moisturiser – Antipodes Baptise or Tailor Moisture.

Scrub – Tailor Polish.

Mask – Indie & Mae Clay Mask.

The Indie & Mae Clay Mask

What was your stand-out Best of Natural Award winner you tested and why?

Lucy: So hard to pick just one! I adore the Evolu Seeds of Love Dry Oil. The scent is so lush and unusual, it’s a luxurious ritual at the end of the day. There are plenty of other products from the Good Awards that have become a regular part of my winter routine, like the Golden Heart Chai, Herb Farm Skin Defend Mist, Awwa period undies, Organic India everything and Go Good Pea Protein. I could go on! 

Belinda: So many incredible products, but I absolutely adored the Indie & Mae Face Clay with brush. It’s made with French pink clay, aloe vera and chamomile, which combine to detoxify and calm skin. The soft brush is effortlessly pampering and makes an ideal weekly treat.

Liz: Oh but how could I possibly choose? I think the winners of the Best of Natural Health and Supplement categories are all very relevant and really usable, so I love those! The KiwiHerb Stress Arrest makes a noticeable difference to the levels of tension being felt. The Artemis ViroGone Spray is great to have on-hand when ills and chills start the rounds. Arepa offer an uplifting and healthy option when the 3pm slump hits. Nordic Natural’s Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil is fresh tasting and provides essential vitamins A & D. Liver Bitters from Wild Dispensary support great digestion and a healthy liver. But I could tell you the great things about the winners in all the categories as well!

The KiwiHerb StressArrest

Why were the 2020 Best of Natural Awards important to you?

Lucy: One of the best things we can do for our industry – and to deliver on our mission to make better choices easier –  is to highlight products and brands who are raising the bar. It’s tough for new brands to get their story across in a crowded market where every second product claims to be ‘natural’. How do they find the people who care about all the things they’re doing better? We jumped at the chance to collaborate with Good Magazine so we could provide another platform for better choices. We quite naturally ended up with a great spread of small and more established brands as our category winners, and we had an amazing showing from Aotearoa. There is so much innovation in the natural products industry, in New Zealand and beyond. Being able to showcase this felt exciting and worthwhile.

Belinda: Celebrating natural products, particularly those of Aotearoa origin, is hugely important to me. It’s something I’ve wanted to see happen here and if I’d had the mettle and money I’d have created them myself! The people behind natural brands have done an immense amount of detailed research and invested their time and money to commit to their vision of creating a cleaner, better world. They value every product’s supply chain and prioritise clean natural and native ingredients, sustainable packaging, liveable wages and workplace welfare, low water use, and low carbon emissions or carbon offsetting.

Natural brands have been so disruptive in fact that behemoth brands are finally following suit thanks to consumers choosing with their wallets and buying products that match their values. Honouring natural brands, even simply by creating a unique competition they can enter, reflects the optimistic world I want to live in.

Liz: The availability of natural products and the variety of natural ingredients has increased hugely in the last few years making it really hard for consumers to discern what a good healthy natural product is. HealthPost is passionate about making better choices available so having the opportunity to work with Good Magazine to share the wonderful world of natural products that we live in every day was really exciting. It was rewarding to discover new brands as part of the awards, and inspiring to hear about all the things that brands are doing to make the world a better place.

The awards attracted over 400 local and international brands, what local winner did you admire?

Lucy: I’m impressed with the wildcrafted herbal products from Dunedin-based Wild Dispensary. Their Liver Bitters is beautiful (tastes better than it sounds!) and the Kids Rest and Calm works a charm on my little ones when they can’t settle. I wouldn’t want to be without that product now. They have some lovely infused cider vinegar products too.

Belinda: I have to give a shoutout to two: I cannot live without Chantal Organics Hemp Hearts, which I enjoy daily on everything (including tipped directly into my mouth!), and the Golden Heart Organic Chai, which got me through two lockdowns!

The Golden Heart Organic Chai

Read about the Best of Natural Awards judges here, and see the full list of 2020 winners here.

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