Organic Skincare Explained: With Nicola Connolly of Nunaïa

A Q&A With Nicola Connolly of Nunaïa


There can be a lot of confusion around what organic skincare and beauty actually means – can you break it down for us?

Definitely. It probably helps to start by explaining that natural skincare products use ingredients that are found in nature like plant oils and butters and animal by-products like beeswax and lanolin. Organic skincare products are made with these same natural ingredients but they go a step further, as these ingredients are also organically farmed ingredients. This means they are ingredients that are sourced and farmed without genetically modified ingredients, herbicides or pesticides, synthetic chemicals, dyes, fragrances or animal testing.

There is also a difference between a brand claiming to use ‘organic ingredients’ and a ‘certified organic product’. In Europe there is no regulation of the use of the term organic or natural in a product, so a brand can use the word ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on its products even if they have just one ingredient at a very small concentration in their product.

Organic certified skincare goes through a stringent certification process that guarantees products have certified organic ingredients.


Why did you decide that Nunaïa was going to be certified organic?

I spent over a decade working with traditional communities in some of the most pristine areas of the world including the Galapagos Islands, Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains in Peru and Ecuador.

The amazing growers and farmers I worked with put so much energy, care and attention into looking after their environment and resources and this had a profound effect on the way I live my own life. We are all more and more aware of how important it is to look after our planet and limited resources and after living this first-hand for years it was a no brainer to have all our Nunaïa products certified as organic. Not only does this allow us to support these incredible communities, because thanks to them we can bring you our beautiful, high-performance products, but it’s also a way of preserving our resources for future generations and making it easier for our customers to trust our products and what we do at a glance.


Nunaïa’s Nourishing Radiance Serum has one of the highest organic certifications in Europe – how did you manage this and is it difficult to get?

We’re really proud of our 99.5% organic and 100% natural certification for our Nourishing Radiance Serum. We spent three years on the formulation of this gorgeous product because we wanted to create an amazing product that was as close to 100% certified organic as possible.

We had to be very innovative when developing the formulation as we wanted to create a silky, light-weight texture that was also extremely concentrated and rich and used the latest green beauty technology to achieve this. We then went through a stringent certification audit process with Ecocert COSMOS (which we go through every 6 months!) and thankfully are now one of the highest certified organic products on the market. We’ve also won three of the top beauty awards for ‘Best Facial Oil 2019’ – so we must be doing something right!


What would be your top tips to share on how to tell if a product is genuinely organic?

1. Look for organic certifications. 
At a glance this is the easiest way to tell if a product is certified organic. Look for certification logos like Ecocert COSMOS, Natrue and Soil Association COSMOS. If a product has these certifications it means they have gone through a stringent certification process and genuinely are organic.
2. Read the label.
This mightn’t be the most exciting of tasks but trust me it’s probably the most important if you want to become a savvy skincare shopper! If clean, organic beauty is important to you this is definitely a good place to start. All skincare products have to list their ingredients in their ‘INCI list’ and here you can see if ingredients are organic or natural.
3. Research your products.
Genuine organic brands are usually very transparent in the information they provide both on their products and their websites. Also, choose reputable retailers like the Clean Beauty Edit who curate a selection of gorgeous ‘clean’ beauty products. What I love about your site is that you do the hard work and research for the rest of us so we can trust at a glance that all the products you stock are genuine clean beauty products.
4. Check the concentrations.
Any product that is certified organic has to list the % of ingredients that are organic. Why is this important? Well, any brand can use the word ‘organic’ on its products even if they have just one ingredient at a tiny concentration in their product. A certified organic product has to list the % of organic ingredients on the back and this can vary from very low right up to 99.5% (like our Nourishing Radiance Serum!) and is a good way to tell how organic a product truly is.


Nicola Connolly is the Founder of Nunaïa, a brand that creates moments of connection through their clean beauty rituals that restore skin health, bring greater calm and fit seamlessly into your beauty routine. 

Nunaïa’s award-winning, high-performance Nourishing Radiance Serum is the perfect radiance-boosting oil serum that nourishes and fortifies. It delivers all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients that the skin needs, naturally. Made with 99.5% certified organic and vegan, high-performance plant botanicals including cutting edge bio-actives sacha inchi, maracuja and chia. Dry skin drinks it in. Dull, tired skin finds its glow again.

Ingredients are sustainably sourced, directly from growers with the utmost integrity and a percentage of every product sold goes into the Nunaïa Community Fund which supports educational programs for girls and women in the communities where the ingredients are grown in the Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains of Peru.

You can shop Nunaïa Beauty online at The Clean Beauty Edit here.