Free From Skincare Awards 2019 Winners

If you’ve been following the MI Free Blog for some years, you may know that I, Alex, the editor of the site, also founded and co-ordinate a skincare award in the UK called the Free From Skincare Awards, for cosmetic products which are ‘free from’ some of the ingredients consumers want to avoid or need to avoid — for whatever reason that may be. 

We exclude some ingredients from the Awards — including triclosan, PPD / PTD, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives … and of course methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone.

We do accept products with natural fragrance and essential oils, which we know many consumers (including those with skin allergies) react to, but we encourage fragrance free entries as much as possible, and always like to see them. Around half of the Gold winners this year were fragrance-free.

For your interest, given that all products in the awards are MI-free, pasted below are the Gold winners in each of the various product categories, including the Overall Champion, Weleda’s Skin Food Body Butter. Please bear in mind that all are UK, Irish and European brands, and so may not be easily available internationally. 

If you’d also like to see Silver and Bronze winners, click through to the Free From Skincare Awards site, where you’ll find out much more about the Awards, and recommended products from years past too.


Free From Skincare Awards 2019 — Gold Winners

Family Skincare — Bloom and Blossom, Anti Stretch Mark Cream

Men’s Grooming — Beauty Kubes, Shampoo & Body Wash For Men

Hair Care — The Handmade Soap Company, Lemongrass & Cedarwood Shampoo

Body Care (Leave On) — Weleda, Skin Food Body Butter (Overall Champion)

Body Care (Take Off) — Odylique, Coconut Candy Scrub

Oils and Oil-based Serums — Fiini Naturally, Oat seabuckthorne oil serum

Eye Care — Kinvara Skincare, Eye WOW! Eye Serum

Hands Nails and Feet Care — NATHEO Natural Skincare, Overnight Treat for Hands & Feet

Hard Soaps — Lucy Bee, Fragrance Free Natural Soap

Lip Care — #LipGlam, The Multipurpose Beauty Balm

Face Care (Leave On) — Kinvara Skincare, Active Rosehip Day Cream AND Laponie of Scandinavia, Face Cream

Face Care (Take Off) — Casa Mencarelli, Crema di Pomodoro – Nourishing Tomato Night Cream & Cleanser

Fresh & Fragrant — Casa Mencarelli, Acqua di Miele – Honey & Orange Toner

Problem Skin — Fiini Naturally, Oat shea butter


  1. Jilly

    Hi Alex, great email, as always. Just want to ask about the ingredients in the Weleda skin palm – states fragrance(parfum) that it’s derived from natural essential oils.
    I’m a bit confused about this as I thought, as MI allergy sufferers, we had to avoid anything containing the dreaded word ‘parfum’ as it was likely to contain MI/MCI without necessarily companies being aware of this. Or am I mistaken? Thanks.

    1. MI Free (Post author)

      Hi Jilly. Thanks! Natural pure essential oils don’t require preservation, so are MI-free. The fear regarding ‘parfum’ is that it’s a vague term, and some perfume components (there are thousands) may need preservation, hence why theoretically MI can ‘hide’ in parfum. But so long as the manufacturer makes clear it is natural oils only, then it should be fine. I actually think this fear is slightly overplayed. Even if fragrance components are preserved with MI, when blended, that would dilute a lot, and then when added to a cosmetic, there would be further dilution. I really think the risk is very small, but that’s just my view. Fragrance components are highly allergenic to some in their own right, so that could be the source of many reactions mistaken for ‘hidden’ MI. If you want to play safe, avoid uncertain parfum in leave-on products (ie creams) but I genuinely don’t believe there is a risk in rinse-off products (shampoo, shower gel). Others disagree though … PS. We insist on natural fragrance in the Awards. All the best, Alex

      1. Jilly

        That’s great Alex, very reassuring, many thanks.
        As to dilution, it would be interesting to find out the levels, for example, my tests showed that I react to 2 parts per million.

        1. MI Free (Post author)

          I have to try to look into this properly at some point, but it would involve consulting with ingredients suppliers, and may differ between UK and US and elsewhere. But – sorry to question you – are you sure about that 2ppm? That seems very low? Patch tests are much higher than that, so how did you obtain the figure, and from whom?

          1. Jilly

            Ah my mistake, just looked up consultant’s letter – it is 0.002% which is 20 ppm? Tested in UK

          2. MI Free (Post author)

            Ah that makes more sense. So 15ppm is the maximum allowed now in the UK in rinse-off products, and your 20ppm is via a patch test hence ‘leave-on’ … I honestly think (assuming you have no other allergies) there is no risk in rinse-off products (shower gel, shampoo) but if you want to be absolutely sure, avoid any unidentifiable ‘parfum’ in a leave-on cream or make-up. All the best, Alex.

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