I've Tried So Many Natural Beauty Brands, and This One Might Be the Best

Victoria Hoff
PHOTO:

Isabella Behravan

It's pretty remarkable to reflect on how much the natural beauty market has transformed over the past five years—namely that five years ago, the market was a fraction of what it is today. I was in college at the time, freshly vegan and just starting to explore how I might extend the philosophy behind my new diet into my beauty regimen. Frankly, I didn't know where to begin. Short of a handful of luxury brands like Tata Harper—which, while aspirational, fell decidedly above my meager student budget—any research on a more "natural" approach to beauty veered sharply on the side of granola. So I stocked my pantry with DIY essentials like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar and wistfully looked forward to a time when I could not only afford the beauty products that worked with my conscientious lifestyle but would have plenty of options to consider.

I didn't have to wait long. Within the next couple of years, a boon of new brands with eco-friendly philosophies emerged onto the scene. Not only were these options just as (if not more) effective than other options on the market, but many of them were gorgeous—smartly packaged, chic, and downright covetable. Suddenly, it was actually cool to shop green beauty. Fast-forward to today, and I can walk into any Sephora, Target, or even CVS and have my pick of plant-based products. Because my own beauty regimen has evolved with this shift in the market, it's something I feel passionate about, and could talk about endlessly.

This is all to say: Over the past five years, I've tried a lot of natural beauty products. A lot, a lot. Especially given what I do for a living.

And while I've liked many things I've tried—and loved several more—it's easy to know what my true hero products are. They're the ones that have stayed on my vanity over the years, even as countless others around them have been rotated in and out again. Only a select few have earned that permanent real estate, and it's more remarkable still when several products from the same label have earned that coveted status. Grown Alchemist, an Australian brand that peddles gorgeously packaged (and unisex) natural beauty formulas, is one of those consistent winners for me—and crazier still, I'm in love with both its skincare and its haircare lines.

While I'm admittedly a sucker for curb appeal, Grown Alchemist's ultra-clean formulas don't just look (and smell) great. By marrying quality-sourced, highly potent plant-based ingredients and hard science, co-founders (and brothers) Keston and Jeremy Muijs have made it their M.O. to prove that natural products actually work better than synthetic-laden formulas—because more often than not, said chemicals actually negate what those formulas are trying to accomplish. The pair came to this epiphany while developing products for other companies. "While conducting research on a project, we were awakened to the aging effects and potentially health-harming effects of carcinogenic chemicals found in traditional skincare formulations," explains Keston, who also serves as creative director. "Our bodies naturally fight anything they regard as foreign or toxic, and this reaction creates free radicals, which we know greatly contribute to the aging process."

In developing Grown Alchemist, the duo took this natural approach a step further by choosing plant-based ingredients that specifically worked with the human body. "Because natural ingredients like Neuro-Peptides, Tetra-Peptides, and advanced hydrating actives are compatible with human biology, they have the ability to regenerate beauty with superior results," Keston says. And that's the overarching philosophy behind the brand; the thread that sets it apart from the rest of the quickly crowding segment of the market: It's not just a natural brand, but a results-oriented brand.

And I can definitely vouch for those results several times over. (How's that for an Earth Day–centric brand recommendation?) Keep scrolling to get a closer look at some of my favorite Grown Alchemist products.

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