What are the Free From Gift Awards?
The Free From Gift Awards is an auxiliary award scheme to our main annual award, the Free From Skincare Awards.
While the Free From Skincare Awards are reserved for entries of individual cosmetics only, and run during the first half of the year, the new Free From Gift Awards run during autumn, in the run-up to the main gifting season of Christmas.
They aim to reward and celebrate the most appealing skincare sets, beauty collections and gift boxes which include skincare products that are free from some of the many ingredients consumers need to or wish to avoid, such as mineral oils, or certain allergenic preservatives, food allergens or fragrances, or non-vegan ingredients.
They run every two years, on even years.
The results of the inaugural Free From Gift Awards 2020 were announced on 24th November 2020. Find the full results here.
Results of the Free From Gift Awards 2022 were announced on November 9th via our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Find the full results here.
The third Free From Gift Awards will run in autumn 2024.
What are the key dates of the Free From Gift Awards 2024?
Entry opens — Monday 16th September 2024
Entry closes — Sunday 13th October 2024
Deadline for product samples — Friday 18th October 2024
Judging week — w/c Monday 21st October 2024
Results announced — Wednesday 6th November 2024
What does entry to the Free From Gift Awards cost?
The fee per entry is £95 when submitted into one category. To submit the same entry into two categories it is £140, and for three categories, £175.
There is no limit to the number of different entries brands may submit, although each one may only be submitted into a maximum of three categories.
A 10% discount is offered to brands with fewer than three working members of staff (including brand owners).
VAT is not charged.
There are no additional costs at any stage of the awards.
One sample of each entry will be required by organisers upon acceptance, irrespective of the number of categories in which it is entered.
What can and cannot be entered?
All entries must consist of a set collection of at least two items, presented in a box, bag, basket or other container or wrapping, and available for sale in the UK or Ireland markets.
Entries must contain at least one cosmetic — that is, “a preparation applied to the skin, hair or body for the purposes of cleaning or fragrancing, or to improve its health, condition or appearance”. All cosmetics must meet the criteria which apply to our main annual Free From Skincare Awards. Click here to read them.
At least half of the items in the set or collection must be skincare-related. As well as cosmetics themselves, acceptable additional skincare items might include cosmetic tools and accessories, such as tweezers, make-up brushes, face cloths or soap dishes.
Acceptable additional other components include ambient products such as candles and aromatherapy products, and other items for personal care or wellbeing, such as teas or tonics.
‘Pick’n’mix’ or customisable sets or boxes, which do not have pre-defined contents, are not eligible, and neither are beauty subscription boxes.
Only sets available in UK and Ireland from UK and Ireland-based outlets are eligible to participate.
What are the categories?
There are eleven categories — five main categories mostly arranged by product type, and six special themed categories:
1/ Family & Men’s Skincare
2/ Bath, Body & Hair Care
3/ Soap Bars
4/ Face Care
5/ Assorted Skincare
A/ Vegan — for gifts free of any animal-sourced ingredients
B/ Eco & Green — for gifts showing an awareness of the environment, both in contents and packaging
C/ Sensitive Skin — for gifts suitable for those with delicate skin or allergies
D/ Sleep & Serenity — for gifts to help you relax, unwind, or drift off ….
E/ Luxury & Pampering — for gifts which are indulgent or a little bit special …
F/ Stocking Fillers — for either small-sized gifts or gifts under £20
Entries must be submitted into one main (numbered) category; with optional additional entry into up to two themed (lettered) categories.
The organisers reserve the right to split, add or subtract categories should the level of entries demand — refunds will be given in the event of a cancelled category, and no additional costs applied for new categories.
Entrants wishing to suggest a new category may do so, and it will be added in the event of sufficient interest. Contact Alex.
How will entries be judged?
There will be a greater focus on the gifting element in the Free From Gift Awards: Is it a great product to both give — and to receive?
Given this, and the time constraints in the run-up to Christmas, entries will not go through our usual month-long testing regimen, and instead will be presented to round-table judging panels consisting mainly of some of our regular Free From Skincare Awards judges.
Judges will be looking for various qualities — such as attractiveness, pleasure factor, originality, innovation, clear labelling, ‘giftability’, presentation, thoughtfulness, attention-to-detail and more.
Once judges have examined and tried and discussed the various entries, decisions will be made to award one Gold in each category, plus one or more Silvers and Bronzes too, with an overall champion to be later chosen from all the Gold winners.
What benefits are there in entering the Free From Gift Awards?
Here are just some:
- Your brand will be welcomed and featured on our popular social media pages — Twitter and Instagram — which have many thousands of followers, boosting your media profile.
- We’ll give you award logos (‘Entrant’, and if applicable later, various ‘Medal’ logos) which you are free to use in your marketing and communications to share your participation in the Awards.
- All gift sets will be presented to a distinguished gathering of beauty / skincare experts, writers and influencers, who relish the opportunity to discover new products at our judging sessions.
- Feedback given by judges will be available to you once the Awards are over in November.
- You may be featured in press coverage related to the Awards.
- And, of course, you have the chance to win a Gold, Silver or Bronze ‘medal’ in any one of various categories — as well as the Overall Champion of Best Free From Skincare Gift 2022 — and capitalise on all the potential benefits that come with such success and recognition, in the run up to the main ‘Gifting’ season of Christmas, including coverage in health and beauty media, and being showcased on our own social media channels.
How do I enter the Free From Gift Awards?
Once you have decided what to enter, and checked that your entries meet our criteria, visit our Online Entry Form and Payment Store (link will be live on 16th September 2024) to complete the forms — but please continue to read the points below to understand the full Awards process.
What happens after you enter?
1/ Entries will be checked for any discrepancies or possible issues: such as products entered into inappropriate categories, or ingredients excluded under our criteria. While we endeavour to resolve any issues and make entrants aware of problems before we accept them, we remind entrants it is their responsibility to ensure submissions are accurate and to check whether there are problems that may disqualify them for any reason.
2/ We aim to confirm acceptance of entry within 72 hours. If you don’t hear from us within a week of having submitted your entry forms, contact us.
3/ When we confirm acceptance, we will email you instructions for sending us samples — one sample of each product entered will be required, irrespective of how many categories the product is entered into. These must arrive within 7 days of being requested. Samples must be precisely as specified on the entry form, and be products as they are sold to the purchasing consumer in the UK / Ireland. Pre-trade / tester / trial / mock-up samples cannot be accepted. Entrants are responsible for postage and delivery fees to our UK address.
4/ We will email you a Free From Gift Awards Entrant Logo which you are free to use on social media to denote your participation in the Awards. Our hashtag throughout the Awards period is #FFGA24.
1/ Once your entries are received at our offices, we will confirm receipt.
2/ We will welcome your brand on our social media channels in the coming days or weeks.
3/ Entered products will be presented to independent gatherings of judges consisting of, for example, cosmetic formulators, beauty writers, skincare experts, allergy bloggers, ‘free from’ experts and selected brand owners, for assessment during a dedicated judging week w/c 24th October.
4/ Decisions are then made, with a Gold winner decided in each category, plus one or more additional Silver and Bronze medals being awarded too.
5/ Winners will be announced online through our Twitter and Instagram accounts on 6th November, and showcased widely on our websites and social media channels.
And after the announcements?
1/ Immediately after the announcements, we will send Winners Logos to all winning brands.
2/ We will issue press releases about the Awards and the Winners, and encourage all winners to participate in publicity regarding their win, which we will aim to support in any way we can.
3/ Some feedback from judges on products will be available on request in the weeks after the awards to all participants.
Have a question?