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Delicious Living’s 2012 Beauty & Body Awards: What makes a winner

Leadership, research and advocacy by natural beauty companies made this year's beauty & body awards the most inspiring to date. From ingredients to certifications, why did these products and companies stand out?

Academy, Golden Globe, Delicious Living's Beauty & Body…  awards are fun! But they’re also a ton of work, and choosing the winners for our third annual beauty awards proved even more daunting, as hundreds of natural beauty companies have truly raised the bar with ingredients, responsible business practices, innovation and more.

Maybe that’s why Delicious Living’s 2012 Beauty & Body Awards also were the most inspiring to date, and why I am absolutely delighted to announce these exemplary products and companies in 18 categories. They really do speak for themselves. If you skip right to the winners, I won’t take offense. But if I were giving my acceptance speech, here’s who and what I’d like to thank.

About the 2012 Beauty & Body Awards

This year, we decided to broaden our categories to take a snapshot of the bigger picture: What’s really happening in the natural personal care industry? Rather than focusing solely on trends or which products perform best in various product-type categories (to be considered, a product must be pure and it must be efficacious), we wanted the awards to reflect the sustainable practices, ethos and innovation that give the natural beauty industry staying power. We included categories such as Best Classic Product, Industry Influencer and Breakthrough Company. In doing so, we highlighted how new and old brands are influencing the industry.

And what better time? Last year, the manufacturers of natural beauty products, the retailers stocking their stores and the customers making the purchases joined together with a common goal: to increase availability and awareness of high-performance natural beauty products. The result was a year filled with triumphs, from major mass-market companies reformulating their products to cutting-edge natural ingredients hitting shelves. Ultimately, the natural and organic personal care market experienced strong growth over 2010 and 2011.

Our gold standard

This wouldn’t be the case without the hard work of all of our winners. So what made these products and companies stand out?

  • Ingredients determine the efficacy of a product. If a product doesn’t work, we’re not going to buy it, natural or not. And in some ways, naturals still have a lot to prove in order to steer consumers away from the conventional products they’ve used for years. Our winning companies like Derma e, MyChelle, Aubrey, and VitaCare are using plant stem cells, superfruits, hyaluronic acid, probiotics and quinoa protein. They’re innovative and efficacious without sacrificing purity.
     
  • Certifications can provide customers with clarity and transparency. Yes, there are a lot of labels out there, and yes it can be confusing. But more than anything, it’s impressive how many companies are going the extra mile to get NPA Natural, NSF/ANSI 305 and USDA Organic certifications. Take our winner for Best Kids Body Care Company: New company Dolphin Organics earned NSF/ANSI 305 organic certification and implemented an original way to present ingredients to help parents make informed decisions.
     
  • Advocacy not only influences consumer and retailer awareness, but also affects the entire supply chain. Companies are demanding pure ingredients, including colorants and fragrances, from their suppliers; becoming active in legislation; and raising the standards both inside and outside of the natural products industry.

Congratulations to the winners!

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