FreeFrom Skin Care Awards 2017

Criteria of entry

Products entered for the FreeFrom Skincare Awards must meet the following criteria:


Products must meet our definition of skincare / cosmetic product, namely that of a preparation applied to the skin, hair or body for the purposes of cleaning or fragrancing, or to improve its health, condition or appearance.

More precisely, according to Article 2.1 (a) of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, a cosmetic product is "... any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours."

For further details on eligible and ineligible products, and what judges will be looking for, see FAQ.

Food allergens

Only products that exclude three or more of the following major food allergens will be eligible - gluten-containing grains, dairy, sesame, tree nuts, soya and egg. Products containing peanut derivatives are not eligible.

Excluded ingredients

Products that include any of the following ingredients are not eligible:

Artificial fragrance
Ethanolamine compounds and salts (eg MEA, TEA, DEA and derivatives)
Formaldehyde and its releasers (eg imazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15)
Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)
Microbeads / microspheres (plastic)
Palm oil from non-certified sources
Parabens (butyl-, ethyl- or methylparaben)
Para-phenylenediamine (PPD)
Peanut / peanut-derived ingredients
Petroleum (petrolatum) or mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum)
Petroleum-derived non-preservative ingredients, other than those given in 'Other Ingredients' below
Phthalates (eg diethyl phthalate)
Sodium lauryl / laureth sulphate (SLS/SLES)
Synthetic silicones and derivatives
Talc, unless pressed
Toluene / toluene-2,5-diamine (TD)

Other Ingredients

The following ingredients are permitted, but credit will be given to brands / products which avoid them:

Ethoxylated ingredients (eg PEGs, ammonium laureth sulphate)
PEGs / glycols (eg butylene glycol)
Palm oil from certified sources
Synthetic colours


We appreciate that preservation is a complex and often controversial area of cosmetic science. Although, with the exception of parabens, triclosan and the isothiazolinones, we allow synthetically derived preservatives (which may or may not be derived from petrochemicals, such as phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin and dehydroacetic acid), products will receive credit for using COSMOS-approved preservation systems (namely benzoic, dehydroacetic, sorbic, salicylic acids and their salts, and benzyl alcohol) and additional credit for using wholly natural preservation systems (eg plant enzymes/acids, essential oils).


Cosmetics containing nanoparticles must adhere to EU rules on usage and labelling. Find guidance here and here.


  • Products must be available for sale in the UK or Ireland (in retail outlets or by mail order from a UK- or Ireland-based store, including online) by the entry closing date of this year's awards, 17th March 2017.

  • There is no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted across categories, although category sponsors cannot enter their respective category.

  • Any product for which the entry fee has not been received by the publication of the shortlist, will forfeit its entry into the awards.

  • Samples submitted must be production products on sale to the public, in the packaging in which they are sold, and in the elected size specified on the Product Entry Form. Pre-production samples or 'tester' samples are NOT acceptable.

  • Entrants must submit 6 samples of each product to FreeFrom Skincare Awards, 5 Lawn Road, London NW3 2XS within 10 days of receiving confirmation that their entry has been accepted. The last date that samples will be accepted is Monday 27th March 2017.

  • All samples must be received by the deadlines specified or the product will forfeit its entry into the Awards and its entry fee.

  • The organisers reserve the right to change the categories and organisational details without prior notice.

  • The organisers reserve the right to accept or reject entries.

  • The decision of the judging panel is final and Skins Matter will not enter into any correspondence about the judges’ decisions.

  • Products must comply with EU Cosmetic Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009.

  • It is a condition of entry that all entrants will be bound by these rules.


For further information or an entry form please email the FreeFrom Skin Care Awards.


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