Reader Poll: What Was Your Favorite Clean Beauty Discovery of 2015?


We’re just about a month into 2016, and my head is already spinning with excitement over the new product releases we’re expecting (and already seeing) this year from some of the most innovative brands in clean beauty. Last January we did a little check in with this fun reader poll and got a huge response, so tell us…

What did you discover in 2015 that changed your routine or lifestyle for the better? If not a favorite product, how about a favorite DIY, resource or beauty tool you ran across?

At the time of our last poll, we predicted 2015 would be the biggest year yet for clean beauty, and indeed we saw some serious growth in terms of consumer choice and awareness about the importance of ingredient safety and the beauty of using pure botanicals in skincare. Pivotal changes took place in the retail landscape: clean beauty brands were picked up by corporate giants like Target and Barney’s, lifestyle brands like GOOP and Anthropologie stocked more natural products than ever and clean beauty boutiques sprouted up online and IRL, too. The last mainstream magazine I flipped through highlighted beauty editor favorites from brands like One Love Organics and W3LL PEOPLE, to name a few, and the surge in green beauty bloggers alone (have you noticed?) marks an increased interest in our favorite topic. The number of people paying attention to this discussion is growing quickly, and 2016 feels full of momentum. So before we get too deep into the new year, let’s reminisce about the what we learned and loved in 2015.

Tell us your favorite clean beauty discoveries of 2015 in the comments!

32 Responses to “Reader Poll: What Was Your Favorite Clean Beauty Discovery of 2015?”
  1. I’ll go first! In 2015 I fell in love with…

    – Josh Rosebrook Lift Hair Texture & Volume because WHOA it does give the best body and volume.
    – de Mamiel Altitude Oil for total mood changing and anti-nausea abilities.
    – La Bella Figura Crema Supernova Vitamin C Day Cream because it feels/smells gorgeous and vitamin C does wonders for my skin.
    – MUN No. 11 Anarose Toner because the ingredients are impeccable and include rosewater, hyaluronic acid and extracts from prickly pear and goji berries.
    – W3LL PEOPLE Bio Extreme Mascara because it got me off conventional mascara for GOOD.
    – Laurel Sun Body Oil because it provided an insane level of sun protection last summer and feels amazing.

    I could keep going, but these are the highlights for me.

  2. Alicia says:

    My top beauty pick this year is books! I read both Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart and Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore. Both have significantly changed the way I’ve thought about my skin. I still love my skincare and color products, but I’ve come to see my facial skin as an indication of how my whole body is working, not a separate entity to throw products at. The result? Much more self-love and patience, clearer skin, and fewer products.

  3. Michelle says:

    – ditto the W3LL People Bio Extreme Mascara: It lasts, doesn’t clump, gives volume, length and curl for me. Love it!
    – Kjaer Weis foundation: I debated this product for years because of the price tag but finally gave in and I’m so glad I did. It gives the best, natural coverage without settling into my pores. The product is great and the packaging is so luxurious, it feels so special every time I use it.
    – One Love Organics Calming Chia Oil: I’ve never really noticed a difference in facial oils until this one. It has helped my skin stay even and hydrated. Plus the price tag is so reasonable compared to a lot of the facial oils out there. Also I have to say that although I’ve been using the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleanser since pre-2015, it feels like a new discovery now that they’ve gone back to the original formula. I can’t live without it, seriously it’s the best and I’m so thankful they listened to customers and brought it back.

    Can’t wait to hear what others have found! I’m still on the hunt for a shampoo & conditioner combo and a facial toner! I’ll have to check out the MUN No. 11 one, thanks Susannah!

  4. Kerry Eible says:

    I fell in love with the Beauty Counter products so much that I joined as a member. They have banned more than 1,500 ingredients setting a new health and safety standard (the never list posted on their website). They partner with non-profit companies such as ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG), BREAST CANCER FUND and HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD.

    Check out their products:

    My favorites are:

    1. Countertime Collection
    2. Lustro Body Oil in Rosemary + Citrus
    3. Hair Care LIne

    I would buy everything if I could :)

  5. Alyse says:

    Oh my, there are so many to choose from that it’s really tough to narrow this down. If I had to pick my top five products that I fell in love with this year it would be:

    – Josh Rosebrook Balance Shampoo. This is my HG shampoo after YEARS of struggle. It’s perfect for my fine curls and is so nourishing I don’t buy conditioner anymore.
    – Yarok Feed Your Curls Defining Creme. Another 2015 discovery that has reached HG status for me. I kept using some “dirty” curl products long after cleaning up the rest of my routine because finding a clean curl product that didn’t leave my hair too crunchy or too greasy seemed impossible. Enter Yarok.
    – Osmia Organics Facial Bar Soaps. If you told me last year that I would be using a bar of soap to wash my face, I would have been horrified. The Black Clay Bar is perfect for those times when my skin needs extra exfoliation and the Luz Enzyme Bar is excellent for gentle daily cleansing.
    – La Bella Figura’s Crema Virtuosa Night Cream. I love everything I’ve ever tried from LBF but this is my most recent romance. The texture is light but nourishing and, like all things LBF, it smells gorgeous. I adore the satin finish it gives my skin and the fact that it includes some of my favorite ingredients like barbary fig seed oil, sacha inchi oil, and blue tansy.
    – W3LL People’s bio bronzer stick and bio brightener stick. This duo is the key to looking polished, pretty, and not too made up. I’m a devotee of some other W3LL People products but these two are my desert island duo from the brand.

  6. Louise says:

    My favourite clean beauty discovery of 2015 was the app Think Dirty that made curating my make-up bag and cosmetics into a fun game. Which products turned out to be the killers or the organic winners? The app gives you a rating of popular beauty products from 0 (best) to 10 (worst) based on the ingredient list. After switching to more clean products with safer and also fewer ingredients, I was surprized to see that my skin cleared up, and feels more soft and moisturized than ever; recently I even got a compliment for having glowing skin! Score!

  7. Emilia says:

    I’ve been dipping my toes in the green beauty world for some time now but 2016 is the year that I pledged to clean up my routine. The Tata Harper serum and Beautycounter Lustro oil #3 are two skincare products that have really made a positive impact on my skin. Also One Love Organics balm cleanser and Weleda wild rose body oil.
    Currently searching for a foundation that will perform as well as a conventional one without being too thick. I have my eye on the Juice Beauty Phyto pigments serum foundation but have not tried it yet.

  8. therese says:

    ANFGB 2014 opened my eyes to so many new companies but it took me until 2015 to try Valerie’s lovely Odacite serums an day cream. Amazing and life changing is all I can say. Plus it smells so beautiful.

    I’m also loving Anne Marie skincare’s repair serum. Love the way it makes my puffy eyes look.
    I am so grateful to this site for introducing me to so many wonderful products.

    I have Josh Rosebrook’s hair care line and W3LL People Bio Extreme Mascara are up next on my list of things to try.

  9. Alix Omori says:

    This product was technically launched in 2015, but I only tried it this week… Has anyone else used New Wash shampoo? It’s the new formulation of Purely Perfect cleansing creme from the creator of Bumble & Bumble (a decidedly not green brand). However, New Wash is super transparent with their ingredients and nothing is rated over a “3” on EWG! I just started using it and was SO surprised to find a cleansing conditioner that works on my superfine hair. I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried it.

  10. Rebecca says:

    My biggest discovery of 2015 was that I have quite sensitive skin, and that using too many products and washing too much was the cause of my oily skin and breakouts. As mentioned in a post above, I too I read “Skin Cleanse” by Adina Grigore, went on a ‘cleanse’ and my skin improved almost instantly. Now I only use products as needed.

    I did find a few HG products too, however:
    – Pai Skincare – I love everything they make, but most especially the Cream Cleanser and Rosehip oil
    -Josh Rosebrook shampoos – a unique texture and very gentle. I can wash my scalp and leave my ends alone. really brings out my curls too.
    -Nudus Lipsticks – I nearly have them all. They are pricey, but considering the quality and lack of bad chemicals, I reason they are cheaper and vastly better than those high end lipsticks that still tempt me
    -Beauty heroes subscription box – When I found out they ship to my country I subscribed straight away. I love the products they send and the fact that they are always worth more than the amount you pay, plus access to things I won’t be able to buy otherwise.
    -Yuli Skincare – the Halcyon Cleanser is the gentlest gel type cleanser that cleans really well without stripping. Also the Liquid Courage serum is the lightest oil serum I ever tried and is perfect for daytime

  11. Amy says:

    In 2015, there are lots of things that make me happy regarding beauty, i tried lots of cosmetics and natural skin care products, eventually i realize that the green beauty products are the best for all. i was so happy when i used this green products… my skin so soft and moisturized…. it takes time for the same…

  12. Stephanie says:

    I feel like 2015 was the year I discovered my HG products, and really found a routine I love! Here are my picks:

    -True Nature Botanicals shampoo & conditioner: Shampoo has been the one clean product I’ve struggled with. I hadn’t found one that I loved (or even really liked) until I tried this combo. It’s perfect for my fine hair, lathers like crazy, and smells fantastic. I wouldn’t spend this kind of money on a “just ok” shampoo. It’s the best.

    – Kari Gran lip whip: I have it in three colors and almost never reach for anything else

    -Red Apple Lipstick mascara: Love this! It doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes (no redness, no clumping, no flaking)

    -Yoshimomo Quench moisturizer: this is the only moisturizer that has worked on my super-dry skin. I love it!

    I found a lot of these products through articles and comments here, so thank you!

  13. Jill says:

    My favorite discoveries of 2015 are Earthwise Beauty (pretty much everything!) but the marigold fields moisturizer and anbrosia del cerrado liquid moisturizer and toner are stand outs for me. I’ve also rediscovered shea terra organics. Their kigelia firming gel is amazing and really does firm and I never want to be without it. Pure Anada mascara is great, doesn’t smudge or flake and is affordable.

  14. Ali P. says:

    My favorite discovery in 2015 was MOSS skincare and Stark’s EV – both have done wonders for my skin. That and patience to trust that my skin will improve faster if I don’t pick at it. Still working on the second point as it is always a struggle but I am getting better!

    Specific favorites from MOSS – Zen Physic, Miel Noir, Beurre Celeste, Harvest Illumine, Vert Pur and Healing Dew.

  15. Hélène says:

    I learned to treat my skin not as a skin type but as MY skin. I discovered many products and routines but I fell in love with Yoshimomo Botanique Quench and DIY ubtan cleansers. These two products have truly made a difference for my congested skin that needs the oh-so-difficult-to-find combination of exfoliation and hydration.

    I’d love to try other ubtan cleansers but Pratima Skincare doesn’t ship internationally and Zria from Skin Apotheke is on vacation : any suggestion?

  16. Amber says:

    I’d already found most of my HG products and gotten my routine down pat before 2015, but there were a couple of new discoveries for me this past year.

    Alaffia Beautiful Curls Babies and Sensitive Curl Cream was a HUGE discovery for me this year! I’ve always had to layer products to get fizz-free curls that don’t droop by midday. No more! This is the only styler I need now and it doesn’t leave me feeling too producty. And it’s one of the few products in their line that doesn’t have ylang ylang in it. (Ylang ylang and I don’t get along.)

    The other big one for me was 100% Pure Mascara. It lengthens, separates and give volume. I’m on my second tube and will continue to repurchase. The W3LL did all the same things for me, except it also gave me raccoon eyes within an hour. 100% Pure doesn’t budge till I take it off. I’m sold! My thanks go out to NMDL commenters who turned me on to this brand.

  17. Donna says:

    Avocado oil > coconut oil
    Josh rosebrook nutrient day cream SPF 30
    Skin Cleanse book (I rec it to all my friends and every stranger i meet on beauty forums)
    DIY masks

  18. Nicole says:

    @Helene, have you called Pratima? I have had them ship to Canada for me, but it’s not an option on their website. I remember it being quite expensive, but it might be worth a call if you’re desperate for it. Good luck.

  19. Nicole says:

    Vintner’s Daughter for me, as well as cleansing with raw honey from my Africa travels.

  20. Julie says:

    My favorite discovery in 2015 is the Kari Gran Lip Whip! It is the only lipstick/gloss that moistures and stays on for hours. All the tinted lip whips are beautiful but Jolene is just a gorgeous color.

  21. Hélène says:

    Thank you Nicole! I will probably give up if it’s way too expensive, but it is definitely worth a try. I had no idea I could ask them, thanks again!

  22. Hilary says:

    I fell in love with Neal’s Yard Remedies of London! They have a direct channel to receive product in the USA, too.

    Absolutely the widest range of organic products in lovely blue bottles to protect from UV light. Probably my favs include (it’s hard to choose):

    Frankincense Refining Cleanser – can use without water, rich and hydrating
    White Tea Facial Mist – refreshing any time of day, light, fresh, invigorating and hydrating to the skin
    Rose Facial Polish – a must have, use to gentle scrub for brightening skin – I use weekly!
    Frankincene Facial Oil – how can I describe? It’s luscious, moisture from frankincense that deeply hydrates winter skin
    Frankincense Intense – I promise this is divine!! So light, yet so effective. I can’t live without it, now.

  23. Nicolle says:

    There are so many to choose from!

    -Josh Rosebrook LIFT – It is the singular best hair product I’ve ever used.
    -True Nature Botanicals Shampoo-Conditioner Due – My hair grows faster and with less damage with this team!
    -ARCONA Magic White Ice – It’s super hard to find moisturizers without oils and my skin is super picky. This one does the trick!
    -MAHALO Vacation Glow Body Oil – I love love love the scent and it leaves a beautiful gold glow on skin.
    -Zabana Essential Blemish Treatment – An overnight green clay treatment to banish blemishes like whoa.

  24. Gloria says:

    I love seeing all these wonderful clean products. My new discoveries below:

    *Gressa Lip Boosts – Bare, Regal and Aux Rouge are my favorites. These go on a little thicker and more matte than my beloved Kari Gran lip whips and work better for me at work. They still hydrate and leave a nice stain on the lips.

    *Rosehip Oil – I have Evan Healy’s and this has been a game changer for my skin, My teenage daughter who struggles with breakouts has been using it too and her skin is clearer than ever. My next step is to get her to oil cleanse…

    *Araza Natural Beauty – I LOVE the 7 in 1 Coconut Cream Foundation. Stays put all day (set with Kari Grans Setting Powder) and gives a beautiful glow. The concealer and shadows are great too.

  25. Emily says:

    I very happily discovered the whole clean world in 2015, and could not be thrilled about it! While I’m still in the process of cultivating my new beauty routine, my favorite products so far are 100% Pure mascara (I love how it layers and hardly clumps, and the smell is a nice bonus), and Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Courage (a bang of color without the guilt!). I also have started experimenting with making my own products, and so far my deodorant and body lotion are wonderful additions to my routine, as is lathering Sweet Almond Oil all over my body after a shower. Next up – the oil cleansing method!

  26. Lauren says:

    -Acure everything!! Discovered the brand through the app. I’ve tried several of their face washes, their exfoliate, a couple of their moisturizers and night cream, shampoos, conditioners, body wash…Love it all!

    -Shea Moisture shaving cream

  27. Anna Szoke says:

    I have to highlight three items, because I can’t decide which one I love the most.

    1. Konjac Sponge – it just blew my mind, it makes my cleansing routine much easier yet much more effective. I thought its just a well hyped thing but no it’s true, it’s really awesome!

    2. Kjaer Weis Foundation – it was a hard decision because it’s pretty expensive (especially buying it the first time together with the case, that you can refill later on) but it turned out it worths every Euro. Great coverage, amazingly easy to blend, not heavy on skin, not clogging pores, my makeup is now looking much more natural than ever before.

    3. The Ohm Collection Deo – this deois simply the coolest thing ever. I tried a lot of natural deos with little or no succes at all against odour, but this powder knows it all. It’s great to keep my underarms dry, my tshirts stainless and still I smell good at the end of the day. The only bad thing is that it’s a small quite local brand so it’s hard to get.

  28. Ruby says:

    i) Spot treating with concealer
    I used to put on a full face of long-wear (dirty) foundation almost every single day to disguise the rosiness that can sometimes appear with my very fair skin. I had convinced myself that I would be doing this indefinitely and scoffed at articles who suggested using only concealer in areas that necessitated it. During a particularly excellent skin period, I decided to forgo my foundation for one day, two, three … then it became a week. HOW WAS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE. I was near certain that my foundation WAS NOT causing skin eruptions but not only did my very regular bouts of blemishes subside but my flushed cheeks also started to dissipate as well. Now, I can’t stand the feeling of base makeup on my skin, non-toxic or dirty! Give your skin a break, a real break. Even when I experience a hormonal breakout or have more ruddiness than usual, I refuse to do anything other than spot treat.

    ii) Odacite Black Cumin + Cajeput Serum
    Holy Grail product for acne, I have re-purchased this multiple times.

    iii) Crude Everything Oil
    Amazing cleanser containing oils that possess a high lineolic acid content which makes it perfect for sensitive and blemish-prone skin.

    @Nicolle – I’ve heard a lot of good things about LIFT, but I only ever air-dry my naturally wavy hair. Still worth trying it out?

  29. Amy says:

    1. May Lindstrom Problem Solver – godsend!
    2. 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream – smells delicious too!
    3. Au Naturale Concealer – not too creamy/oily, not too dry, perfect texture!
    4. Au Naturale Eyeliner – only natural eyeliner I’ve tried that stays on me!
    5. DIY magic balm recipe: beeswax, shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, rosemary & lavender EO, vitamin e
    6. DIY toner: ACV + water
    7. DIY makeup remover: olive oil + witch hazel
    8. A few drops of oils (eg. RMS Beauty Oil) mixed with facial moisturizer

  30. Joy says:

    I found Credo Beauty, the ultimate place that carries most of the great brands mentioned in all these comments.I read about it here

  31. Shivani says:

    Odacite baboab and sarasparilla eye contour – its a booster that’s supposed to be mixed with your eye cream but I use a drop of it for both my eyes as an eye cream and it has definitely improved the skin around my eyes as well as the tired appearance of my eye area
    Burts bees tinted lip balm in hibiscus moisturizes and colors beautifully. Repurchased multiple times within this year
    John masters lip calm – does exactly that – calms the lips. Repurchased.
    Double cleansing method using jojoba oil and osmia black clay soap- this is really what takes make up and dirt and grime off truly.
    Beauty heroes subscription boxes – Love!
    Yogurt and honey diy mask – Its the bomb. I apply it for about 10-20 min and wash it off. The skin feels really soft and looks visibly younger.

  32. Kerri says:

    This year I subscribed to a few beauty boxes and have since gone on & purchased full sizes of the following:

    1. Jacq’s Organics Green Smoothie & Mud mask. I mix it with aloe.
    2. Pelle Beauty Luxe Beauty Balm – this has saved my skin & use it on my daughter too.
    3. Blissoma’s natural deodorant – It’s the only natural one that doesn’t irritate & cause a rash.
    4. Ursa Major’s Fantastic Face Wash – It cleanses without being harsh.

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