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If you’re an eco-conscious shopper, you know how hard it can be to find skin care products that are truly organic. There are dozens of organizations in the world, both independent and governmental, that hand out organic certifications, and then there’s the added fact that the term ‘organic’ isn’t even regulated in the cosmetics industry. So when you’re shopping for the best organic facial masks — or any of the best organic skin care products, really — you’ve got two options: a product that boasts an organic certification from a governmental or third-party organization, e.g. the USDA, the Soil Association, ECOCERT, or NATRUE — or, a product that’s made either mostly or entirely with naturally derived ingredients. Other things to consider in terms of a product’s eco-friendliness are the type of packaging, whether or not a company is certified cruelty-free, and the company’s manufacturing and production processes.
Or, instead of getting into the nitty gritty of cosmetic formulas, business practices, and certifications, you can simply choose from any of the face masks featured here. You can rest assured that they’re all made by companies you can feel good about supporting, and even if they don’t boast organic certifications, they’re still made with ingredients that come from nature — not that there’s anything wrong with synthetic ingredients, to be clear. Still, buying organic is a personal choice, and if that’s a priority to you, this article is here to help. So scroll on to find the perfect treat for your skin, whether you’re looking for an exfoliating peel, a clarifying mask, a nourishing overnight treatment, or something else entirely.
1. Best Clay For DIY Masking
Even though this Sky Organics bentonite clay isn’t certified organic, it’s about as close to “natural” as you could possibly get. It contains just one ingredient — 100% pure bentonite clay — and nothing else: no additives, fillers, preservatives, fragrance... and even without preservatives, this clay will last you years without expiring. You can mix it with water, apple cider vinegar, or rosewater to create a purifying concoction for your skin, which can be applied to your face or body, or used to spot-treat blemishes. (You can also pour some of this clay into your bath, for another clever use.) Though gentle enough for any skin type, bentonite clay is particularly beneficial for oily, acne-prone, or congested skin because of its deep-cleaning benefits. For another fun DIY mask recipe, the brand recommends adding a bit of honey to your clay mask/ACV (or water) mix.
Pro tip: If you’re into concocting your own face masks, it’s worth investing in a mixing bowl and brush set, which’ll set you back about $5 more. Worth it.
2. Best Revitalizing Mask
Dr. Hauschka is one of the most trusted brands in Europe when it comes to sustainable, naturally derived beauty. They source only the highest quality botanicals from either their own garden and farm, the Black Forest, or the Swabian Jura Mountains, where the company is based, and if not, they get their ingredients from sustainable and organic partners from around the world. What’s more, Dr. Hauschka is a NATRUE-certified and cruelty-free brand. Though the brand makes several nice masks, their revitalizing mask is a great option for every skin type. It helps promote a refreshed, radiant, even-looking complexion while also offering soothing and healing benefits for skin that’s dealing with breakouts, redness, sunburn, or other forms of irritation. A lovely way to pamper your skin across the board.
3. Best Clarifying Mask
Tata Harper is another amazing, eco-friendly brand that creates products using entirely plant-derived ingredients, many of which are grown on the brand’s organic farm in Vermont (they also package the majority of their products in recyclable glass). Like Dr. Hauschka, Tata Harper makes quite a few face masks, but this clarifying mask is a personal favorite. It’s formulated with 17 naturally derived ingredients, including kaolin clay, AHAs, and BHAS to quell and prevent breakouts, while a whopping 19 botanical sources help soothe redness. This decadent mask has a raw honey base, so it’s quite nourishing — the honey prevents your skin from feeling dried out — while micro quartz crystals offer a physical exfoliating kick, as well. To reap said quartz crystal benefits, massage this mask into your skin with a bit of warm water before rinsing it off entirely (once it’s sat on your face for 15 to 20 minutes).
4. Best Soothing Mask
As you’ve probably gathered by now, organic skin care products tend to be expensive. But if your budget allows, indulge in VOYA Maskerade, which is certified organic by The Soil Assocation and made of 87% organic ingredients. Rich in nourishing, plant-based oils, good-for-skin antioxidants, and hydrating seaweed from Ireland, this mask helps heal and moisturize skin that’s dry, irritated, or even wounded. It’s a nice mask to have on hand, since most of us tend to experience various forms of skin damage throughout the year, whether from a sunburn, small cut, chemical peel, or picking at our blemishes. This 10-minute treatment (though you could leave it on for much longer, if you’d like) is also nice to apply after doing a clay mask or other exfoliating mask, since those types of products can leave your skin feeling dry.
5. Best Overnight Mask
Masks that you can wear overnight are nice because they’re so low maintenance — just slather some on, go to bed, wake up, rinse, et voila: refreshed, radiant skin. That’s exactly how this mask from trilogy works, which is loaded with brightening antioxidants that promote a clearer, more even complexion, as well as hyaluronic acid and several plant-derived oils for moisture and hydration. Trilogy is a cruelty-free, New Zealand-based band, and many of their products — including this mask — are certified natural by NATRUE.
6. Best Peel
This decadent peel from Naturopathica looks and sounds good enough to eat (key ingredients include pumpkin, cinnamon, honeysuckle, and clove oil, to name just a few). Pumpkin puree, which comprises the base of this mask, is rich in skin-resurfacing enzymes, while lactic acid gently exfoliates, and three key herbs — cinnamon, oregano, and rosemary — offer antiseptic benefits. You leave it on for just three to five minutes, and the result is smooth, glowing skin (hot tip from the brand: Apply it in the shower, as the steam from the hot water will help amplify the benefits of the pumpkin enzymes).
Naturopathica is a cruelty-free and ECOCERT certified brand, and in addition to using sustainable, plant-derived ingredients in their formulas, they also house all of their products in recyclable and biodegradable packaging.
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7. This Hydrating Aloe Vera Gel
One of the best things you can put on your skin is aloe vera, especially it’s dry or irritated (or sunburned). So if you’re on a budget, skip the pricy masks and pick up this affordable bottle of aloe vera gel instead. It’s NSF certified and made with 96% certified organic ingredients, though the formula comprises almost entirely aloe vera juice — it contains just a few other, naturally derived ingredients to keep the product fresh. You can use this on both your face and body in lieu of a face mask or night cream to help relieve redness, dryness, and other forms of irritation from burns, bites, or wounds. In the summer, store it in the fridge for a cooling, anytime treat.
8. This Antibacterial Manuka Honey
One of the other best (and most “natural”) things you could put on your skin is pure Manuka honey from New Zealand, which has nourishing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Though pricey, manuka honey should be pricey — otherwise you’re probably not getting the real deal. Manuka honey is rated in terms of UMF, which denotes the potency and antibacterial activity of the honey (the higher the rating, the better — UMF ratings cap out at 25+ and begin at 5+). Naturally, then, this honey is amazing for your skin, whether it’s super dry, irritated from a rash, or breaking out. A lot of people swear by Manuka honey as a natural treatment for various skin conditions, as well: My mother, for one, uses it for psoriasis, while Amazon reviewers have used it to heal everything from shingles to wounds to eczema. I use it as both a face mask and face wash on occasion, and afterwards, my skin always feels impossibly nourished and soft.