Each of Farmaesthetics’ products has a certified extended shelf-life of two years without refrigeration, yet no petroleum products or artificial preservative systems are used. You also won’t get any of the nasty dyes, fillers, parabens, or other synthetic ingredients you’ll usually find in conventional skincare products. My go-to skincare-assessment resource, EWG’s Skin Deep, has reviewed only two Farmaesthetics products so far, but they both received ultralow hazard scores of 0.1 and 0.5, respectively.

Environment-wise, Farmaesthetics only uses recyclable, minimal packaging, along with recycled boxes for shipping and cornstarch-based packing materials. The company has even incorporated passive solar heating and natural lighting in its warehouse and office facility.

You can purchase Farmaesthetics products on its website, at various spas and retailers, as well as at any Origins store.


derma e

Products to fade dark spots and even out skin discolorations, or to lighten and brighten skin are popular, yet the category seems to be one with more than its fair share of dubious formulations.

Hydraquinone and BHA seem to be the problematic ingredients in some skin lighteners because of their links to cancer, endocrine and developmental disruption, as well as what the Environmental Working Group labels “organ toxicity.”

Frequently, formulations that don’t score well at the EWG Skin Deep database also contain not one but many different forms of parabens.

There are products to even and lighten skin that do not contain any of these, and Derma E is one company offering a new, complete line of skin care that aims to work on dark spots and discoloration using madonna lily, bearberry, vitamin C, and niacinamide.

My Mama’s Love

What if, instead of fighting wrinkles, you want to fight instead the type of acne that can plague adults as well as teens?

Leslie McCann, who founded skincare company My Mama’s Love, says that the first step is to forget the myth that oil on troubled skin exacerbates acne.

McCann believes that petroleum-based mineral oils are bad for skin, but that oils derived from plants are beneficial to the skin and have healing effects.

The Anti-Acne kit from My Mama’s Love includes an olive-oil soap with organic licorice, myrrh, and chlorella; the salves has most of the same ingredients in a glycerin base; and a soothing spray has distilled vinegar and organic herbs.

Paraben and preservative-free, the Anti-Acne kits is also considered soothing for eczema and psoriasis.

Just the Goods

Vegan and without artificial flavors or fragrances, Just the Goods also tries to balance the benefits of the oils and ingredients used with an eye to affordability.

So Just the Goods combines avocado oil and apricot kernel oil in a base of aloe vera. It’s also a good formula for skin that might be sensitive or allergic to botanical ingredients.

Created in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Just the Goods products are in simple HDPE bottles, with a glass option available.

Karen’s Botanicals

Tiny Karen’s Botanicals is one of the few skin care companies around that doesn’t want to get bigger. Karen Palcho created the line as an outgrowth of her love of creating herbal concoctions — she quickly realized that the need for the ‘gentlest, safest’ products possible was great, and her customer base has grown these past seven years.

Gentle Cleansing Lotion is one of the company’s best-sellers, as it is completely soap free, using a base of witch hazel, vegetable glycerin and coconut oil.

While Karen’s Botanicals has had offers to feature their products in drug stores, the company decided it did not want to change its formulas to include the preservatives that would be necessary for widespread distribution and mass marketing.

Thus Gentle Cleansing Lotion has soothing balm of Gilead buds, burdock, and sage, but no preservatives, and can be used for makeup removal.