As we've often reiterated here on Byrdie, there's no official definition of "natural" makeup because there's no official standard for what makes a product natural. What we do know, however, are which ingredients are not found in nature and could possibly do harm in the form of skin irritation, breakouts, and things we might not even know of, since the FDA doesn't require cosmetics companies to test their products for safety. Such ingredients include artificial fragrance, lead, parabens, and phthalates—many of which are common in foundation formulas.
This is a problem for some consumers, who don't want potentially harmful ingredients so close to their skin every day and would prefer a natural, nontoxic formula. But again, because brands are essentially allowed to throw around the word "natural" whenever they want, not all foundations can be trusted. So we turned to you, our savvy Byrdie readers, to find out which foundations are actually nontoxic and worth buying. Keep scrolling to find the 11 best natural foundations, according to our readers.
One reader, a beauty guru from the UK named Ellie, swears by this certified organic pick, which is made with ingredients like sweet almond seed oil, coconut oil, and jojoba seed oil. "If you prefer a foundation with slightly more coverage I would recommend [it]," she says. "Although the coverage is a little heavier, it still looks lovely and natural."
"I love Lily Lolo foundation," says a reader named Dorota of this British cosmetics company. The silky mineral formula has SPF 15, is noncomedogenic, and contains light-reflecting mica to mask imperfections and give the skin an airbrushed effect.
Multiple Byrdie readers are fans of this ultra-lightweight Ilia pick that contains hydrating ingredients like aloe and jojoba oil. "[It has a] mousse-y texture that actually feels refreshing rather than heavy when applied," says one named Michelle. "Not the fullest coverage, but good for a light and natural look."
Vapour's organic liquid foundations was one of the first natural formulations to earn a cult following. Byrdie readers love it for its 19-shade range and satiny medium coverage.
This unique serum formula (which combines makeup pigment with skincare) has captured the hearts of many in-the-know natural beauty fans, including a Byrdie reader named Lauren, who swears you get full coverage with just a drop and a half of product. "Beautiful satin matte," she describes. "Makes [your] skin even better while wearing it."
"Aveda's Dual foundation pressed powder is my favorite," says a reader named Paige. "It's light, medium coverage, smells good, and my sensitive skin doesn't freak out when I wear it." The product can be used wet or dry, and comes in 100% post-consumer recycled packaging.
Folks prone to breakouts will love this pick, which is made with aloe and jojoba oil, but no coconut oil, which can be pore-clogging. "Beautiful and lightweight with light/medium buildable [coverage]," says our reader Lauren, who named this product as one of her two favorite natural foundations.
This beloved product can be used as a concealer or foundation and both Byrdie readers and editors are obsessed with it. A delightfully simple, hydrating formula (consisting of ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, and rosemary extract), make it one of the market's best-selling natural makeup products.
A makeup artist favorite, Dr. Hauschka's makeup is not only certified organic but super-high-quality formulas. Their light- to medium-coverage foundation is made with hydrating pomegranate, macadamia nut oil, and coconut oil, and according to users, it blends beautifully.
Faerie Organics is a little-known line that makes a five-ingredient powder foundation that one reader named Rochelle loves. "Doesn't get more clean and simple than that! And it's actually really good makeup," she says. "I'll never use anything else. … You can email them your current brand and color, and they will color match you. Mine was perfect first time around!"
What makes 14e's creamy, medium-coverage foundation unique on this list is that its number one ingredient is aloe, so you know it's super hydrating. Plant glycerin, argan oil, and jojoba oil are a few other ingredients on the products short 100% natural list. ■
Do you have a natural foundation recommendation we missed? DM it to us on Instagram at @byrdiebeauty!