- Follain is a curated one-stop shop for the best in clean beauty. The company tests thousands of non-toxic products and only the ones they love (about 10% of what they test) gets stocked.
- Follain’s personalized Skin Quiz matches you with clean beauty products that specifically cater to your skin type, concerns, and budget.
- Follain gave me the chance to try the clean beauty products the quiz recommended for me and, surprisingly, I really liked them all.
- You can take the Skin Quiz here for your own customized results, and if you don’t love any of the products, Follain will refund you or initiate a return.
Clean beauty, while increasingly mainstream, is still tough to demystify. We like the idea of non-toxic products, but far fewer of us are willing to spend the money and time figuring out which clean products work just as well or better than the imperfect products we already know work for us.
While a few companies like Beautycounter have demonstrated that clean beauty can come without performance compromises, there’s still a need for a central place to discover and shop non-toxic skin care, body care, makeup, and other products.
Enter Follain, a startup founded by Tara Foley in 2013 to address the "blind spot" of leading a healthy life by eating and exercising well, without taking a closer look at the ingredients in her skin and body products.
Follain tests thousands of non-toxic beauty products to curate a store full of great options. You can shop it on your own like any other online marketplace, or with a little extra direction from the experts. The aim is to make clean beauty more accessible and easy to navigate, so it developed a personalized recommendation system where you fill out a quiz about your complexion, and Follain recommends products specifically for your skin. Follain also instituted a perfect match guarantee so you can return or be refunded for any product that missed the mark. And, most importantly, the company only stocks products it has actually vetted. Only about 10% make it into the store.
You can find everything from makeup to hair products, but Follain’s Skin Quiz is especially helpful in narrowing clean beauty down to a few hero products. It asks about things like your skin concerns, how much you typically spend on skin-care products, what kinds of products you generally like, and other preferences (no scent? vegan? need SPF?). Then, Follain emails you a copy of your results and send you to a page where you can shop the best products for your skin specifically.
The company’s approval process includes researching products from new and legacy brands, a safety review (check out its restricted ingredients list) and a performance review in which a panel of real women test the products for four to six weeks. From there, Follain’s founder and CEO, Tara Foley, tries it and gives the final executive decision.
I tried the Skin Quiz to see if the recommendations felt truly customized and, most importantly, if the non-toxic products I was told to buy were actually as good — if not better than — the products I’d filled my cabinet with without ever checking the ingredients label.
Keep reading for my experience with the products I tried after the Follain Skin Quiz recommended them to me:
Osea Ocean Cleanser
I don’t like the way this facial cleanser smells (to me, like an orangesicle) and think $48 is too much to spend on one, but that’s where my complaints end. While the price is a lot to ask, I will say the bottle is pretty big and a little goes a long way — five ounces should last me six months, easily.
Thanks to algae extract and jojoba seed oil, it’s a smooth, lush cleanser that doesn’t strip my skin. Algae’s antioxidants help fight free radicals and shield the skin’s collagen from damage, and the Jojoba Seed oil is non-comedogenic and packed with vitamins and antioxidants as well. I’ll probably go back to my all-time favorite gel cleanser after this bottle runs out since it’s cheaper, uses hydroxy acids for a more exfoliating effect, and is also plant-based, but I do love and look forward to using this one now.
Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm
This Face Balm is a cooling jar of magic that makes my skin feel calm, soft, and hydrated. My one complaint is that it tends to ball up — though that could be from me simply applying too much of it.
The major players are witch hazel, sunflower seed oil, and myrtle oil in this formula. Witch hazel, with its natural ability to purify the skin and tighten pores, is probably a household name for anyone who has dealt with acne. Sunflower seed oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E that hydrates and prevents moisture loss, and myrtle oil acts as an astringent and antiseptic — another combatant against excess oil and acne.
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
This is quite simply a vial of squalane oil. Squalane oil, if you haven’t already been introduced to skin care’s new "it" ingredient, is a byproduct of squalene — something the body produces naturally. It’s an emollient, so it’ll lock moisture into your skin and work to reduce fine lines and pigmentation.
The vial I got is small — 0.34 fluid ounces — but a little goes a long way, as with most oils. It’s lightweight, deeply hydrating, and I don’t wake up with a grimy residue. My skin drinks this up — and it’s more evenly balanced (not super oily, nor dry halfway through the day) when I use it consistently.
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