Nobody blinks an eye when a skincare brand advertises itself as “clean,” “all-natural” or “plant based.” While we all take those concepts for granted right now in this wellness focused time, it wasn’t always the case. One of the pioneers of natural based cosmetics is Origins, which was launched by William Lauder in 1990. Origins continues to trail blaze with green ideas, such as reducing its environmental impact and committing to plant trees. Here’s a look at the Origins brand, what products it sells, and is it right for you?
What Is Origins?
William Lauder (grandson of cosmetics icon Estée Lauder) launched Origins In 1990. As the company explained, “There was growing awareness of the need to take responsibility for one’s own personal health – and health of our planet.” The brand did this by incorporating natural ingredients in its skincare and cosmetics, and as well as reducing packaging waste. Origins also helps plant trees around the world.
One of the first Origins products was the Clear Improvement Active charcoal mask to help unclog pores. The company says its still one of the best-selling masks in America. Some of the brand’s other key milestones include the debut of Night-A-Mins, a mineral-enriched moisturizer, the GinZing line and a Ginger Body Scrub made from Dead Sea Salts and essential oils. Origins was also a pioneer in integrating a wellness component into the products, and has a partnership with Dr. Andrew Weil, who advocates for integrative medicine.
What Is the Concept Behind Origins?
Origins’s slogan is “Powered by Nature. Proven by Science.” The brand’s philosophy is to incorporate natural ingredients into its skincare line. This means a mix of exotic ingredients sourced from around the world as well as more common plant and oil based products, such as charcoal, ginseng and caffeine – all created in an environmentally conscious way. As Origins explains, the company is committed to “high performance beauty” that is “mindfully formulated”- “because it’s our nature to do good.”
What Does Origins Sell?
Origins sells a wide variety of skincare and makeup as well as bath and body products. There are 11 collections, including Plantscription, GinZing, A Perfect World, Original Skin, Clear Improvement and Zero Oil.
Here’s a breakdown.
GinZing Ultra Hydrating, Energy-Boosting Cream – Origins says this rich moisturizer delivers 72 hours of hydration, and can be used day and night.
High Potency Night-A-Mins Resurfacing Cream With Fruit-Derived AHAs – This 2-1 cream moisturizers skin overnight but also doubles as a fruit acid peel to help smooth and refine skin texture.
Origins Eye Creams
GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream To Brighten And Depuff – This rosy hued eye cream is formulated with panax ginseng and caffeine to help brighten dark circles and depuff eyes.
A Perfect World Age-Defense Eye Cream With SPF 20 – Silver tip white tea is the star ingredient in this day time eye cream, which hydrates and brightens the eye area.
Origins Face Masks
Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay –Powered by willowherb, this mask can be used once or twice a week to help draw out impurities from the skin, and it also helps minimize the look of pores.
Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Spot Correcting Night Mask – A cocktail of skin-brightening ingredients including rosa roxburghii (chestnut rose), molasses and vitamin C work to brighten dark spots while chestnut seed extract helps smooth skin.
Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer With Alpine Flower – This night cream is designed to help tackle the signs of aging thanks to retinol, Swiss alpine flower and anogeissus (a flowering shrub).
A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion With White Tea – After cleansing, pat a few drops of this lotion on the face to help hydrate the face with white tea and trehalose, a type of sugar.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Powder To Clear Pores – Just add water to this powder to create a creamy cleanser which helps clean pores.
Origins Modern Friction Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion – This exfoliator is powered by rice starch and also includes a kick of lemon oil to help brighten skin.
Origins Bath & Body
Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit Body-Buffing Cleanser – Formulated with grapefruit, tangerine and orange oil, this cleanser works into a lather while exfoliating the body.
Origins Ginger Body Scrub Smoothing Body Buffer – One of the brand’s best known products, this body scrub contains Dead Sea salts and ginger zest along with nut oils to smooth rough, dry skin.
Warm Down Warming Lava Scrub To Detox And Smooth – Working this volcanic ash-based scrub into your palms helps heat it up, leaving the body smooth and soft.
How Much Do Origins Products Cost?
Origins products are sold at a midrange prestige price point, in line with department store brands. The Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer With Alpine Flower retails for $64, the Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is $24, and the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask With Avocado & Glacier Water is $26. The United State Balancing Toner is $24, and the Blooming Sheer Lip Balm is $20.
Is Origins Cruelty Free?
On its website, Origins states “We don’t believe in testing on animals” and “We use volunteers to test out our products.” Origins also notes that “some countries where Origins is sold require animal testing on all imported cosmetics as part of their regulator safety process.”
What Ingredients Are in Origins Products?
Origins skincare and makeup products are formulated with plant and herb based ingredients. The Drink Up Intense Overnight Hydrating Mask With Avocado & Glacier Water is packed with oils from avocado, bitter orange leaf and castor seeds. Reishi mushroom is the key ingredient in the Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion, while willowherb and Persian silk tree are the radiance boosting ingredients in the Original Skin Essence Lotion With Dual Ferment Complex.
Where Can I Buy Origins Products?
Origins products are sold in its standalone stores around the world, department stores such as Macy’s, Norstrom and Dillard’s, as well as Sephora and Ulta.
Do Origins Products Work?
A little trial and error is always needed to find the right products for your skin. What works for one person may do nothing for you, so it’s always helpful to look at customer reviews. And no product ever gets 100% positive feedback – most products get a mix of opinions and reviews.
Origins has received plenty of editorial write ups and press awards. Some of the more recent ones include the Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion, which scooped up a Self Healthy Beauty award in 2018. The GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream To Brighten And Depuff is an Allure 2018 Readers Choice Awards Winner. Women’s Health magazine has given Editor’s Choice Awards to Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask To Purify & Nourish and Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser With Saw Palmetto & Mint.
Sephora offers plenty of customer reviews. One of the most reviewed Origins products is the GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff, which has more than 4,000 reviews and 100,000 loves. Overall it gets a 4 out of 5 star rating, with positive feedback stating “Not quite a miracle but almost!!” and “AMAZING. Just amazing! I use this in the morning and it keeps my eyes looking fresh all day.” Those who gave it lower ratings said “doesn’t work at all” and “No results after over a month of use.”
Another Sephora favorite is the Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, which has 4.3 stars from almost 3,000 reviews. One fan calls it the “Perfect Face Wash. I have been using this face wash for two years and my skin has never been so clear.” Those who gave it negative feedback said that the cleanser caused breakouts or was too drying.
Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, based on 121 reviews. Fans call it the “Holy Grail” and “The Best Of The Best!!!” Customers who didn’t love it said it made their skin worse — “My skin reacted immediately turning blotchy and redder than it was to begin with” or that it did nothing for their skin. “I’ve been using this product for roughly 10 months or so and it hasn’t made a dramatical [sic] difference in my skin.
What Are Some Alternatives to Origins?
Origins may not be for everyone, either because they don’t deliver the desired results or perhaps because of the price point. There are a few other brands to consider.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup. The comprehensive line of products addresses everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin.
Hydrated skin looks healthy and dewy. If you like the feel of a lightweight moisturizer, try Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid helps keep skin plumped, hydrated and dewy looking. This oil free formula is packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.
Who doesn’t want smoother looking skin? Everyone does, but it can be easy to overdo it with harsh scrubbing which can leave skin irritated or inflamed rather than glowing. Skip the grainy exfoliators and choose a gentle but effective alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which works to dissolve dead skin cells. Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum contains plant based acids to gently slough off old skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin. The serum also works to tackle unevenness and blotchiness.