Almost 80 products from over 50 skincare manufacturers have made the shortlist of the second annual FreeFrom Skincare Awards, which has been announced today.

skincareawardsFive brands lead the way with three shortlisted products each – Barefoot Botanicals, Botanicals, Green People, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Suti.

With 10 categories, including Problem Skin, Men’s Grooming and Hair Care, as well as last year’s popular Make up, and Face and Body Care categories, entrants flocked to submit their products to the Awards, with entries rocketing by over 30% on last year.

Hand creams and skin cleansers were very much in evidence, hotly pursued by therapeutic oils, and assorted balms and butters. Entries came not only from long established natural skincare brands such as Spiezia and Inlight, but from newer, more niche or one-woman/one-man producers such as Live Native, Bathing Beauty, Aedos and MuLondon. Well represented too were the Antipodeans (QSilica – 2012’s overall winner – Sukin, Antipodes and Australian Bush Flower Essences, for example) and this year’s sponsors, NATorigin.

As in 2012, assessing the range of products entered proved a challenge for judges.

“It’s always difficult, as there are many criteria for our judges to consider,” said Alex Gazzola, awards coordinator and deputy editor of “For instance, their natural and ‘free from’ qualities, the level of beneficial ingredients, their effectiveness, functionality, innovation, ease-of-use, value for money and packaging. We are also always particularly concerned about clarity of ingredient information, especially in conveying the presence or absence of allergens or other additives which many seek to avoid.”

As last year, judges awarded ‘Commended’ honours to products they thought to be well-made and that sat well in the ‘free from’ skincare market, but which, in an exceptionally classy field, they felt were not quite potentially award-winning. Commended products are listed on the FreeFrom Skincare Awards site here.

The ‘Shortlisted’ products will now go forward for in-depth month-long assessment by testers from Award partners, The Beauty Bible, and their detailed feedback will be used to draw up lists of winners and runners-up in all ten categories – plus an additional award for Best FreeFrom Skincare Brand, and of course Best Overall FreeFrom Skincare Product – to be announced at the Allergy and FreeFrom Show at Olympia on 7th June 2013, and presented by Janey Lee Grace.

The full shortlist in the ten entry categories can be round on the awards site here.



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