This Brand Is The Gentle, Nontoxic Skin Care Hero You've Never Heard Of

By now, most skin care brands have gotten the memo. Even if they're not marketed as "clean" lines, they've removed parabens and other known toxins from their products. For some reason, though, a truly gentle cleanser for sensitive skin that's nontoxic is remarkably hard to come by.

As someone with sensitive skin, it used to be that the only products I could use contained harmful ingredients like parabens. People like me generally couldn't turn to natural products, because they are typically rife with fragrances, essential oils, and plant actives, which smell divine but can also cause rashes and irritation on sensitive (and even some non-sensitive) skin types.

Enter: Peet Rivko, an under-the-radar, indie skin care brand whose founder, Johanna Peet, has taken measures to ensure all ingredients are nontoxic, essential-oil-free, fragrance-free, and active-free. The edited, minimalist, and gender-neutral collection launched in January 2017 with a 3-piece skin care kit and is releasing a gentle exfoliator today. According to Peet, the best-selling product is her cleanser, which isn't a surprise. "We've experienced month-over-month growth [every month] since launching the brand," Peet said, citing rising demand.

Interestingly, the products are efficacious but not scentless. For example, the moisturizer has a bitter astringent smell. "It's probably the shea butter," Peet said, who reiterated that the ingredients are all plant-based, sustainably sourced, and unrefined. Avocado oil, prickly pear, jojoba, for example, all have distinct scents. In fact, many brands contain additives that render the product scentless because consumers are turned off by the smell of natural ingredients. Noted.

Peet Rivko's Gentle Cleanser has 17 ingredients, all of which are plant-derived. And before you flag it—the palm oil is heavily considered. Peet works closely with Roundtable on Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil (RSPO), a third-party certification body that regulates palm oil exclusively to make sure that it’s 100 percent sustainably sourced. The cleanser is made without known toxins and chemicals that are harmful to the earth, like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, PEGs, silicones, or petroleum, and is made free of fragrance, limonene, essential oils, nut oils, or floral extracts. Without a doubt it's a tricky formula to get right, but the glowing reviews on the website indicate that Peet's on to something.

For more on beauty brands leading the nontoxic movement, read up on the healthy hybrids trend.

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