In honor of Women’s Day on March 8th, we’re celebrating some of our favorite beauty brands run by inspirational women. From the US to Australia and everywhere in-between, we scoured the globe to track down the amazing femmes making waves in the clean beauty sphere. Their diverse stories are sure to inspire and the products they create are sure to change your skin for the better.
1. LXMI, founded by Leila Janah in San Francisco, CA, 2015
Leila is the founder of Samasource, one of the biggest AI companies in Africa. After discovering Nilotica, a powerful natural ingredient able to rejuvenate even the driest, most lackluster skin, she was inspired to start LXMI. By using Nilotica in her products, Leila is able to help marginalized East African women by employing them to harvest, produce, and export Nilotica butter. She works closely with non-profit organizations to ensure every person in her supply chain is paid a living wage and creates luxurious natural products that are free of toxins and safe enough to eat.
2. Esker Beauty, founded by Shannon Davenport in Los Angeles, CA, 2018
After falling in love with natural beauty, Shannon set out to create body oils using unique botanicals that benefit the skin while imparting beautiful scents. Esker was born with three pioneering products; Firming Oil, Restorative Oil, and Clarifying Oil, each with their own aroma profiles and offering different benefits to the health of your skin. Now, the Esker range has grown to include body washes, dry brushes, and gift sets.
3. Ranavat Botanics, founded by Michelle Ranavat in Los Angeles, CA, 2017
Michelle started out her career as an investment banking analyst before starting her venture in beauty. After becoming a mother, she turned to her daily beauty routine to find luxury and personal escape. Michelle was inspired by the beauty rituals of Indian Royalty, paying homage to her Indian heritage and embracing her culture as well as the luxuriousness of amazing skincare. Ranavat is best known for their Turmeric and Green Tea Dry Masks, as well as their Hydrosol Mists. They’ve also recently added a Radiant Rani Illuminating Serum, with pure saffron and vitamins A, C, & E, which is sure to indulge your skin.
4. Odacité, founded by Valerie Grandury in Los Angeles, CA, 2009
Odacité is known for their French girl meets Topanga Canyon, CA aesthetic, centered around highly concentrated oils. By marrying luxurious French skincare with green California living, Valerie created a brand that is now touted for its purity and efficacy. She was inspired after a breast cancer diagnosis, which pushed her to quit her job, study to become a health & wellness coach and remove all toxins from her life. With a wide range of products that treat everything from dull and dry skin to hyperpigmentation and acne, Valerie is of the firm belief that skincare is not one-size fits all.
5. Girl Undiscovered, founded by Charlotte Devereaux, Sara Orme, and Philly Gebbie in New Zealand, 2015
Girl Undiscovered employs an all-female team and works with NGOs and local embassies to ensure every ingredient is sourced in the most ethical way from small family-owned farms and cooperatives in places like Myanmar, Vietnam, Samoa, and Bali. They recently launched a platform called Real Girl, aimed at empowering women by sharing the stories of real women and what beauty means to them.
6.Tenoverten, founded by Nadine Abramcyk, Adair Ilyinsky, and Jaclyn Ferber in New York City, NY, 2011
After noticing there was a gap in the nail salon market, with nothing in between high-priced spas and mom-and-pop corner shops, Nadine and Adair came up with Tenoverten. Building their brand around nail health and toxic-free formulas, Nadine, Adair, and Jaclyn launched their own collection of 8-free nail polishes to promote strong, healthy nails with long-lasting color.
7. True Botanicals, founded by Hillary Peterson in Mill Valley, CA, 2014
After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Hillary became very aware of the ingredients in her products, catapulting her into starting True Botanicals with a mission to promote wellness and eliminate toxins in beauty products. Her entire line is made with certified non-toxic ingredients and is cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny-certified, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan.
8. Tata Harper, founded by Tata Harper in Champlain Valley, VT, 2010
Tata started her namesake brand after being disappointed by the natural skincare product offerings, which didn’t meet her standards for efficacy, quality, and purity. Living on a 1200 acre organic farm with her husband, she was inspired to create her own line of products that are 100% natural, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly.
9. ARgENTUM Apothecary, founded by Joy Isaacs in London, 2010
Joy currently lives in London but was born and raised in South Africa, where her mother used colloidal silver spray to treat everything from scratches and burns to acne. After seeing the miraculous healing power of silver-infused bandages following a surgery she underwent, Joy was inspired to create ARgENTUM. Working alongside a dermo-cosmetics scientist, she developed a range of all-natural luxury skincare products implementing colloidal silver’s healing prowess.
10. Cecilia Wong Skincare, founded by Cecilia Wong in New York City, NY, 2009
Drawing from her Chinese heritage, Cecilia uses traditional Chinese medicinal philosophy to treat skin care problems from the root cause. She’s an authority on luxury natural beauty and has developed a wide range of products that are safe, non-toxic, and effective at leaving skin clear, bright, and radiant.
11. Medicine Mama’s Apothecary, founded by Donna Steinmann in Ojai, CA, 2010
After struggling to find a single product that was pure, natural, and effective for herself and her family, Donna set out to create her own. She spent four years experimenting with ancient forest honey and propolis to create her Sweet Bee Magic, a powerful pre-biotic, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory skin cream. She originally only developed it for herself and her family, before sharing the formula with her friends and family. Soon, it grew into a beloved cult consumer product and today, Medicine Mama’s Apothecary is a nationally successful skincare brand.
12. Alima Pure, founded by Kate O’Brien in Portland, OR, 2004
Shortly after losing her mother to breast cancer, Kate was introducing her own daughter to the world of makeup and noticed that there weren’t many options in terms of natural cosmetics beyond various shades of brown. She identified a need for a line of natural products with beautiful, elegant colors that would appeal to a broad range of women. Alima Pure uses only the purest natural ingredients to create luxurious, high-performance products that are long-lasting and available in a wide range of colors.
13. Lather, founded by Emilie Davidson Hoyt in Pasadena, CA, 1999
Emilie Davidson long suffered from migraines, eventually leading her to a natural lifestyle after discovering that many of her headaches were caused by synthetic fragrances. Her desire to explore natural ingredients and help others using her experience inspired her to develop her own line of skincare products using 100% natural ingredients and only the purest essential oils.
14. Botnia by Justine Khan in San Francisco, CA 2010
After opening her luxury spa Skin Remedy Justine Khan found that conventional skincare and facials were broken and not effective at treating her clients'skin. She went on to realize that green beauty needed not only to be healthy but also to work effectively. Through this experience, she was motivated to figure out what ingredients were most effective. Justine worked side by side with a Stanford-trained scientist to create the product line Botnia, a complete line of science-based, truly organic skincare that is both for professional services and to treat a range of skin issues without compromise.
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