Have you ever come across Ingli Pai, Green Nature, Moshi, Jovely, Sohvy, PanicaOrganica, Luminordic, Vestige Verdant or Ontic Minerals? They are all organic beauty brands from the Northern European country of Estonia. These labels have a very selective distribution even in their own country. And none, at the time of writing, are available outside of Estonia. Unless you count online stores. Talk about niche retail!
I am currently researching an article on the Baltic cosmetics markets and have been buried in Internet research for the past couple of weeks (thank you Google Translate!). And one thing that I quickly noticed was how big organic brands have become in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
If you are even remotely interested in organic cosmetics you’ll know that organic brands from the Baltic countries are very popular in Europe at the moment, as witness the international success story of Mádara from Latvia – founded in 2006, retailed across 30 countries worldwide and they are now the third-biggest cosmetics manufacturer in Latvia after Dzintars and Stenders.
By the way, I read that Mádara will soon launch a new mass market skin care range called Mossa which will be retailed in Drogas drugstores nationwide.
Besides the organic beauty giant Mádara you have Kivvi Cosmetics, also from Latvia, and Joik from Estonia – these two brands also have a pretty wide international distribution although they tend to be mostly available online. These were also the three Baltic brands that I’m most familiar with.
And I was surprised by the sheer number of Estonian organic brands I discovered during a cursory Google search (type in “eesti kosmeetika” and you’ll see). Practically all of these brands are very small. The majority were established in the last five years. Very few carry an organic certification. And most have a strong regional background in terms of ingredients and manufacturing. Considering how small the Estonian market is (the population is around 1.3 million), the presence of so many new local organic brands is remarkable.
None of the brands seem to be available in stores outside of Estonia although I found at least three Estonian online retailers that specialize in organic beauty, offering both local and international brands. These three stores (if you’re interested: Roheline Riuul, Eesti Kosmeetika and Loodus Kosmeetika) seem to cater primarily to Estonian customers – Eesti Kosmetika and Loodus Kosmeetika only have an Estonian-language version which indicates that their customer demographic is, well, Estonian. Again, bearing in mind how small the local market is the presence of so many specialist retailers is significant.
Without further ado: introducing some very cool organic brands! (Disclaimer: since I don’t read Estonian, the info comes from the companies’ individual websites in combination with Google Translate!)
Ingli Pai: the company was founded twelve years ago which means that they are one of Estonian’s first organic beauty brands. Ingli Pai seems to be pretty well-known within Estonia, products are retailed in supermarket chains Selver and Rimi, beauty salon chain Rosalind and they seem to have a comparatively wide distribution in Estonian pharmacies and spas. Ingli Pai’s product line-up include face and body oils, facial skin care creams and mud masks, body care and shower products, hair oils, baby products and bath and massage oils. The products are packaged in dark glass containers, elegant and simple. Prices are 8-9 Euro for face creams, 6-20 Euro for face oils and around 12 Euro for the eye cream.
Green Nature was established in 2009 and focuses on pure body oils and body creams. The Green Nature oil range includes wheat germ oil, ricinus oil, jojoba oil, carrot oil, coconut oil, hemp oil and argan oil and there are body creams to match. The brand is sold in Selver and Prisma supermarkets, some pharmacies and organic stores in Estonia. Price range: from 6 Euro for 50ml coconut oil to 19 Euro for 50ml argan oil and body creams are priced at around 11 Euro for 120ml.
Jovely: their line-up includes face oils for different skin types, lip balms and a clay mask, pure base oils that can be use for body or hair care, body creams and scrubs and bar soaps. Simple and stylish packaging. Prices are around 6 to 7 Euro for facial oils, 8.50 to 16.90 Euro for body oils and at around 4 Euro for lip balms.
Sohvy manufactures face and body creams which are priced at around 10 Euro. This brand seems to be primarily available in pharmacies and online.
Moshi: founded in 2010; check out the products on their website! Very nice packaging indeed! The range includes face and body oils, candles and hair oils. Prices are at around 10 Euro for 100ml base oils.
PanicaOrganica (www.panicaorganica.ee; this is a dead link, unfortunately): the products of this Estonian brand all carry a little sticker: “Don’t Panic, It’s Organic”. Very cute. The packaging is very stylish indeed (check it out on the PanicaOrganica’s Facebook page. The company was founded in 2011 and they make facial skin care products and bar soaps.
Lumi: the Lumi products are formulated with locally grown hemp oil. There are two product ranges, Lumi for normal skin and Lumiderm for sensitive skin. The line-up includes facial skin care (day cream, night cream, serum and so on) and body creams and oils. Products are priced at around 20 Euro and they are retailed in some pharmacies, a couple of health stores and at two outlets of the Kaumbamaja department store chain.
Vestige Verdant was established in late 2013 and they make just one product: a black deep-cleansing face mask, priced at 39 Euro! Yet again a brand with very stylish packaging.
Ontic Minerals is a rather interesting-looking mineral makeup range. The brand was founded in early 2013 and the line-up includes mineral foundations, powders and blushers and an eye shadow range with – if I counted correctly! – over 30 shades. A seriously impressive colour choice!
PS: Here are two rather cool Lithuanuan niche brands which also caught my eye!
Uoga Uoga: playful packaging and a price range of around 7 to 8 Euro. Face care for different skin types, body creams and scrubs, shampoos and hair oils. They even have a 4-sku men’s care range!
Žiedé: as far as I could make out this is a brand that is only retailed in the two pharmacy chains Gintariné and N-Vaistiné. Or perhaps they are one retail chain, Google really wasn’t much help here. Anyway, the packaging of Žiedé bowled me over and the ingredients seem equally impressive. Face creams, toners and essential oils. Prices range from 7 to 13 Euro for a face cream, a toner costs at around 10 Euro and a small bottle of essential oil is priced at around 7 Euro.