Organic foods, natural fibers, environmentally friendly detergent – these are only a few of the things many of us are paying attention to in a bid to live a more chemical-free life. For many, the same holds true with what they schmear on their faces day and night.
Natural beauty brands are on the rise, with more and more people ditching products with incomprehensible ingredient lists in favor of brands that are more legible, natural and healthy-sounding. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a country and people so rooted in nature, Israel too has jumped on the all-natural wagon, producing top-quality beauty products of all kinds and sources. Here are our top picks.
One of Israel’s best-known natural beauty brands (check out Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendation on Goop Lavido has an extensive collection of face- and body-care products.
Lavido was founded in the north of Israel in 2003 by Ido Magal, an herbalist with fond childhood memories of tending his grandmother’s organic garden. His Alert Eye Cream is now an international bestseller. His other products cater to all tastes and concerns – vegan and gluten-free included.
Find Lavido products here.
Moraz is probably familiar to anyone who’s ever strolled through an Israeli drugstore, where its products are firm favorites. The company uses 15 plants native to Israel, particularly the Polygonum plant grown in the Galilee and Jezreel Valley, which it says helps solve numerous skin problems and offers nourishment and protection.
Moraz offers baby and pregnancy lines, a cosmetic line and a paramedical line, as well as sunscreens and hair products. All these come in unfussy, unassuming packaging, making them a great option for those not wanting their bathrooms to look like kitschy spas.
Find Moraz products here.
Gamila Secret is the handiwork of Druze grandma Gamila Hiar from the north of Israel, who is just as famous across the country for being an advocate for Druze women’s rights and for coexistence as she is for her all-natural beauty line.
The first female Druze entrepreneur to turn her small business into a worldwide phenomenon, Gamila sells boutique olive-oil and herb-based products lovingly made by local women. The soap bars, face oils and creams come in enticing scents such as lavender, geranium and spearmint, and promise to gently sooth and nourish skin.
Find Gamila Secret products here.
4. Faran Cosmetic
Also located in the Israeli desert, Faran Cosmetic is a natural and organic beauty brand producing mineral makeup, a bath-and-body line and baby products. There’s also organic deodorant and endearingly named “Sports Buddy” and “Hard Jobs Butter” specialized care creams.
The company offers tours of its Mitzpeh Ramon factory for small groups, so next time you’re in the area consider combining some serious beauty time with the far less glamourous hiking you’re bound to be doing.
Find Faran Cosmetic products here.
5. Olea Essence
Olea Essence from the Sea of Galilee started out selling olive oil, not cosmetics. But one day owner Avner Talmon slipped in a pile of olive residue, leaving him wondering what could be done with it. The answer: a natural olive skin-care line.
Olive oil naturally contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and is mixed by the company with other essential oils and plant extracts to create preservative- and chemical-free body, bath and hair products (as well as their actual olive oil). Talk about getting all your shopping done in one healthy go!
If you’re in Israel, check out Olea Essence’s visitor center in the northern city of Katzrin. Visitors learn about harvesting, pressing and using the olives to create the beauty products.
Find Olea Essence products here.
Ananda (“bliss” in Sanskrit) is a cosmetics company based on the principles of ancient medical philosophy Ayurveda and takes a natural approach to beauty, promising that all the ingredients are organically grown.
A key ingredient used by the company is the French Grenoble nut, which according to Ananda has far-reaching anti-aging properties. All of the company’s products are paraben- and metal-free and are based on natural raw materials.
Ananda offers face masks, face and body creams and hair treatments, available at health stores throughout Israel and online.
Find Ananda products here.
7. The Organic Hemp Line
You may be familiar with hemp from all the hemp clothes and accessories favored by your eco-conscious friends and family back in the day, but did you know you could also use it on your face? Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, and can be used in skin care as well as a dietary supplement. And no, it doesn’t give you a high.
Tel-Aviv-based The Organic Hemp Line harnesses all the goodness of hemp oil to create certified natural and organic products such as face and eye creams and body lotion. These all come in super-cute and eco-friendly handmade bamboo packaging, meaning they’re natural both inside and out. Now that’s dope.
Find Organic Hemp Line products here.