What are the Free From Skincare Awards?

The awards were launched in 2012 to celebrate, encourage and reward the manufacture of skincare products that are ‘free from’ many of the allergens, ingredients and fragrances sometimes associated with skin sensitivities and other health concerns or personal sensibilities, and which may therefore be useful to several groups of people — those seeking more natural cosmetics, those looking to avoid certain ingredients due to ethical, environmental or religious reasons, those who have sensitive or dry skin, or those with allergic or problem skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.


How do I enter the Awards?

See How to enter the awards.


What does entry to the Awards cost?

£150 + VAT per product
£95 + VAT per product, for companies with fewer than three people working in the business in total, including owner(s)
Discount for early entry — by February 25th 2018 — is 10%


What are the key dates of the Awards?

  • 1st February 2018 — Entry opens
  • 25th February 2018 — ‘Early’ / discounted entry closes
  • 18th March 2018 — Entry closes
  • 28th March 2018 — Deadline for submission of six product samples
  • February-May 2018 — Skincare testing period
  • Early June 2018 — Week-long expert panel judging
  • Early June 2018 — Shortlist published
  • 5th July 2018 — Winners announced / Presentation at The Pillar Room, Kensington Olympia.


What will testers and judges be looking for?

They will be looking for a number of different qualities.

Our testers will be assessing products for one month, mainly for performance, effectiveness and benefits.

For products then shortlisted, our judges will be looking for innovation, quality of formulation, skin-healthy ingredients, and for products which denote an awareness of consumers with skin problems or allergies, especially with regards to their labelling.

Judges are particularly keen on products which meet one or more ‘free from’ needs (eg vegan, allergen-free, halal, eco / green).

Products will receive credit for transparent ingredient information, especially in conveying ‘free from’ attributes (including allergens), as well as declaring the derivation of ingredients. Ingredients lists and labelling which are clearly legible and easily visible, with good text size, colour contrast and font choice, optimised to help legibility, will also be credited.

Further credit will be given to products with zero or minimal petrochemical input (ie as reagents or preservatives only).

Other issues will also be taken into account, and these include value for money, packaging / presentation, use of sustainable / environmentally friendly, minimally processed or organic ingredients, use of natural preservatives, and modest fragrance allergen / food allergen content.


How many products can I enter and in how many categories?

Entrants can enter as many products as they wish in as many categories.

Entrants entering three or more different products overall automatically qualify for consideration in the Best Free From Brand category.

An individual product may be entered into more than one category, if relevant, but the appropriate entry fees and sample requirements apply. For example, a hand & body cream entered into the Men’s Grooming, Face Care and Problem Skin categories will require three entry fees and 18 product samples.

Sponsors cannot enter their respective category.

Entries entered in previous years — whether winning or not — may be entered again.


What benefits are there in entering the awards?

Here are just some:

  • Your brand will be welcomed on our popular social media pages — Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — which have many thousand followers, boosting your media profile.
  • Your entries will be sent to four experienced testers for month-long assessment, and the feedback we receive from them will be available to you once the Awards are over.
  • We’ll give you award logos at various stages which you are free to use in your marketing and communications to share your participation in the Awards.
  • Shortlisted products will be presented to a distinguished panel of beauty / skincare experts, writers and influencers, who relish the opportunity to discover new brands at our judging sessions (See our judging panel here).
  • Testers and judges regularly become new customers of products they test and judge.
  • You may be featured in ongoing press coverage related to our Awards.
  • Entrants receive one invite to our presentation and networking event, attended by beauty buyers, influencers, stockists, writers, bloggers and fellow brands — an excellent networking opportunity.
  • And, of course, you have the chance to win a Gold, Silver or Bronze ‘medal’ in any one of 14 product categories — as well as the prestigious Overall Winner of Best Free From Skincare Product 2018 … !


Who runs the awards?

Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, Free From Awards Director
Michelle is editor of the FoodsMatter.com websites and founder-organiser of the hugely successful Free From Food Awards, now in their twelfth year, and the Free From Eating Out Awards, now in their fourth.

Alex Gazzola, Awards Co-ordinator
Alex is a writer specialising in allergies, food intolerances and sensitivities. He is the editor of Allergy Insight and MI Free.

Kirsty Mawhinney, Awards Administrator
Kirsty is the director of her own skincare brand agency, Skin Insight.


Who should I contact with an enquiry about the Awards?

See our Contact page.