BEAUTY KNOWHOW: Time for a skincare refresh

These brands are rewriting the ingredients rules – and focusing on the really good stuff.

We’re all au fait with the term ‘clean beauty’, aren’t we? The idea that products are free from toxic ingredients – although that’s somewhat misleading as anything can be toxic depending on dosage, even water. But now there’s a new phrase to know, one that sums up a key beauty movement of the moment: considered beauty. 

What does it mean? Well, according to Net-a-Porter’s beauty director Newby Hands, ‘It refers to brands carefully considering what ingredients to use and, more importantly, what ingredients to leave out.’ But it isn’t just about this – it’s also about where and how ingredients are sourced.

considered beauty

So when hotelier Irene Forte started working on her own skincare line, it was essential to her that she gather most of her ingredients from the organic farms around her family’s Sicilian Verdura resort. What she can’t harness there, she finds local to her skincare lab in northern Italy, where she works with a chemist who ‘was the first to extract melatonin from plants and resveratrol from grapes’. And, because Irene still wanted her products to smell luscious, she uses natural fragrances but ‘purifies them in the lab to remove allergens such as linalool and citronella’. Try the Pomegranate Face Mask (£99,

It’s a similar story at Seed to Skin, the Tuscan-based natural skincare line founded by the owners of one of the most luxurious hotels – Borgo San Pietro. They, too, grow their ingredients and have built their own small lab in situ for their chemist – a sort of farm-to-lab-table approach, if you will. Pictured is The Midnight Miracle Cell Recovery Night Oil (£145,

US brand Coola suncare has hit UK shores: it uses as many certified organic and non-GMO ingredients as it can, ‘which reduces the use of pesticides and other chemicals that contaminate our bodies, waterways and the environment’. The company is also now fully oxybenzone-free in the US, which makes it coral-reef friendly, with other markets following suit. Try the Mineral Cucumber Face Sunscreen SPF 30 (£36, 

Not that it all needs to be super fancy – The Body Shop is using wonky fruit and veg, such as carrots and bananas, that would otherwise be destined for rejection from supermarkets for imperfections. Above is the Special Edition Banana Nourishing Body Butter (£15,

Considered beauty is also about the story behind the brands. One Ocean Beauty is a sustainable brand that donates to Oceana – one of the largest charities that protects and restores the oceans. Pictured is the Revitalizing Sea Serum (£78,

Column by Edwina Ings-Chambers. Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson.