Naomi Watts’ skincare boutique: ‘1300 ingredients have been banned in Europe’

As I covered last week, Naomi Watts is covering Shape Magazine, where she’s promoting her shows and her skincare boutique, Onda Beauty, which she started with two friends. She describes her products and skincare routine in Shape, which you can read there. At first I was confused by that, because she mentions so many different products which aren’t from a single line. Onda doesn’t have their own line though, they just sell very high end, expensive and natural/clean type products. In their mission statement they include this, about the differences in skincare between the US and Europe. They open by saying that many people try to eat clean and organic food and use green cleaning products, and that we should be aware of what we’re putting on our skin too:

Currently over 1300 ingredients have been banned for use in beauty products in Europe, while the USA has only partially banned 11 ingredients​.

​ONDA is co-founded by Larissa Thomson, Sarah Bryden-Brown and Naomi Watts.

Long-time friends, we believe in the power of the clean beauty movement and hope to convert as many people as possible to switch to clean personal and beauty products for the benefit of themselves, the environment, and the passionate founders who create the transformational products that make our world a better place.

[From Onda Beauty]

This is true and I’ve actually had conversations about this. It’s prohibitively hard to ban chemicals in personal care products in the US and the opposite is true in the EU, companies have to get approval for all new chemicals. There are only 11 chemicals banned in the US for personal care products. The EPA is in cahoots with the chemical industry in the US, and it’s particularly bad now that the Trump administration has declared war on basic human rights in favor of corporate profits. They’re trying to move the USDA to Kansas City so they can gut it! You may have heard about how they’re refusing to ban or even put warnings on the weed killer Roundup, which has been banned in Germany and 13 other countries.

Regardless the products on the Onda Beauty site are super expensive! The cheapest item on their homepage is a day oil by Marie Veronique for $65. I’m not their target market at all. I don’t think Watts is being a Goop-level shill, she’s just recommending what she uses and likes and it’s naturally more expensive because she can afford it. Plus they want to make money, I don’t blame them.

I used to live in Germany. My favorite drugstore, DM, has store brand face serum for under three euro! (If you go to Germany stock up on Balea skincare from DM.) My daily face wash costs less than a euro and it’s as good as $12 face wash in the US. The markup on drugstore products in the US is insane.

You don’t have to get German products to get high quality and inexpensive skincare, even serums. You can get natural and pure ingredients from more affordable product lines like Eve Hansen, Cosmedica, Tree of Life, Eva Naturals and more. So while I love skincare and probably would splurge on myself if I could afford it, I think that the more accessible lines are likely just as good.

They have a new treatment room in their NY Tribeca location. They’re also in Sag Harbor.

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40 Responses to “Naomi Watts’ skincare boutique: ‘1300 ingredients have been banned in Europe’”

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  1. crogirl says:

    I love almost everything I tried from Balea

  2. jennifer says:

    I’m very careful about what I put on my face, body and what I eat. People assume that the crap that goes into make-up and skincare products is safe. There will always be high end and drugstore skincare. Whole Foods sells good products–Acure Organics is one of the best lines that is less expensive and good. I also like Mad Hippie.

    • Sofia says:

      I love Acure, so gentle and affordable. I tried it last summer and pretty much stuck with the line. I definitely feel like my skin is better for it.

    • IMUCU says:

      I like Acure too, except some items are scented, which limits which ones I can put on my face without irritation. They have great hair care products too. I like to use Desert Essence products also, since they work well for me and a lot of it is biodegradable. I often use the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetic Database when looking up cosmetics to determine what has fewer chemicals and fits with what I need — I definitely recommend using it to find better (“clean”) cosmetic products.

  3. morningjacket says:

    Follain is a great website, a “clean beauty Sephora,” to locate new clean beauty products at many price points.

  4. Amy says:

    Moved to Germany literally three weeks ago so would welcome any and all Balea-/DM-related skincare recommendations!

    • Bgirl says:

      Hi Amy, I strongly recommend the hyaluron serum by dms Balea, it‘s 2.99€, also the sunscreen products are great, I also use. their Home Brand hair care. If you like tea, they also sell their home brand tea, try Coco Shape. And: Welcome to Germany!

      • Amy says:

        Dankeschön, super happy to be here! 🙂 I’ve written all these down, especially the sunscreen comment as my supply is running low, so thanks for your help and for helping my DM shopping trip this weekend, haha.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        Another hello from germany. Can confirm, Balea rules. My father is addicted to it because he’s been having chronic skin issues for decades, partially because he used to use Nivea a lot (doctor’s theory, she said that there’s a lot of crap in Nivea) and now Balea creme is the only thing that will keep his skin from literally falling apart. I personally like it aswell. When my dear sweet father visited me the other day he stayed overnight but forgot his Balea stuff so he made me drive him to the other end of the city to the next DM. More than an hour in traffic but it made him happy 😀

    • Celebitchy says:

      I use the Waschgel and the Tages Cream. The Waschcreme is good for dry skin and there’s a day cream for dry skin too, that’s pink. The anti-aging (anti-falten) tagescream/day cream and night cream in the jars are both good but they are lightly scented and you may not like it. Vital+ intensiv serum has the same scent but I am used it. It’s not my favorite but the products are great. I’m asking for the serum I linked here next.

      • Amy says:

        That waschcreme tip is SO timely as I’m about to run out of my usual one and was looking for something a bit cheaper now I’m here, so this will be great for my prone-to-bouts-of-dryness skin. I’m also perfectly fine with scented creams so they’ve been added to my DM shopping list too – thanks so much!

    • mint says:

      Hey Amy, I work at dm. Whats your skin type and skin care issues (if you have any)?

      • Amy says:

        Hey there! I have normal to dry skin and am mainly concerned with anti-aging at this point (I’m 33). Any great insider tips would be super appreciated – thanks in advance!

      • mint says:

        For taking of make up I would recommend the Balea Reinigungsöl (its a cleansing oil) 100 ml for 2,45€. Its super mild but really effective.
        For face wash I would either recommend the sanfte Waschcreme or the Balea Med ultra sensitive Waschgel. Very mild, so it does not stress your dry skin.
        As a hydrating Serum I would recommend Aqua Feuchtigkeitsserum. And for Anti Aging the Q10 Anti Falten Serum.
        As a mosturizer I would go for Reichaltige Tagescreme.
        Sundance is another brand by dm- its their sunscreen line. The Sonnenfluid LSF50 is very good for the face.

    • Resi says:

      Not a store brand, but try out the CD cleansing foam.

      • Mama says:

        I love DM! I travel from Switzerland to Konstanz in Germany to get stuff from DM. I swear, walking around that shop actually makes me feel calm! 😉

    • Dita says:

      Just everything. I moved to the States three years ago, every time someone comes over, they have to bring every single thing 🙂

  5. duchess of hazard says:

    I loved DM and Rossman own brand products when I hung around in germany for a time. The only thing I couldn’t get on with was deodorants, I think.

  6. lana86 says:

    Does Naomi have sort of mild rosacea?…

    • Kitten says:

      I believe this photo was taken post-facial so probably just the typical light inflammation associated with that.

  7. crogirl says:

    Balea footcream with 10% urea has been really great for me

  8. Nina says:

    I love when you mention your ties to Germany @celebitchy! I’m from Berlin and have been reading your site for a long time 🙂

    • 50centish says:

      Hello fellow berliner! I always recommend celebitchy to everyone as one of the sane places online 🙂

  9. Algernon says:

    I DIY a lot of my beauty products these days. It’s surprisingly cheap, very effective, and I worry less about the chemical content of products coming into daily contact with my skin.

  10. Summer says:

    I live in Calgary Canada and have found wonderful products in the local health food stores ; Community Natural Foods and Planet
    Everything from toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, face oils, moisturizers, deodorants, shampoos, make up…
    They work well for me.

  11. Phonycat says:

    I use Dr Haushka products which are not too expensive and Balea moisturizers. Love priducts from Germany!

  12. Penguen says:

    I’m a fan of Mad Hippie; in particular their vitamin C serum and face wash.

  13. Allie says:

    I live in the Munich area. dm is really a great drugstore. Most things from balea are good, especially the face creams, hand creams, make-up removers, shampoos and shower gels. They also offer an organic range which is called “alverde”. Not store brand and little more expensive: “neutrogena” and “treacle moon”. You are welcome. haha!

    Apart from that, Roundup (or Glyphosate) is NOT banned in Germany as our agriculture minister is a lobby ho with no backbone. Normal people are not able to buy it anymore (if I remember correctly stores took it off the shelves voluntarily) but it is still used is conventional agriculture.

    And apart from that, I am surprised there are no warnings on US packaging since there is are warning about basically anything that only would require common sense in the US.

  14. phlyfiremama says:

    If you haven’t tried Source Vital products, just do yourself a favor and GET THEM. Such incredible quality, and such delicious smells!! They are amazing~I recommend the Maximum Protection Skin Cream and anything with the Fresh essential oil combination. Simply divine!!

  15. L says:

    I would totally recommend any products from The Ordinary, vegan/organic not tested on animals and ridiculously affordable!

  16. Dali says:

    German here too 🙂 i love dm and Rossmann too and i spend way too much money there haha
    but in skincare im now totally in love with „The Ordinary“ from Deciem. Changed everything with their products and man did my skin changed incredibly, its so good !!

    Viele Grüße aus Frankfurt !!!!

    • Nina says:

      Same here! Took a bit for my skin to get used to ‘the ordinary’ and now I just love it

  17. tcbc says:

    Her skin isn’t good enough to be the “face” of this kind of business.

  18. Sandy says:

    Complete side note but I’m in love with her floral jumper! Does anyone know the brand?

  19. Karin says:

    Another person from Frankfurt here! *waves*

    I’m trying to get into The Ordinary, but the different serums confuse me! Do you (or anybody else) have a good reference/website with pointers for beginners?

    • Kath says:

      Hi Karin,

      You can’t go wrong with “Buffet” (peptides), the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (zero irritation retinoid) and Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (zero irritation Vitamin C). You should alternate the latter, so retinoid at night and vit C during the day. I also really like their rosehip oil and their “B” oil.


  20. Nadja Natascha says:

    Will the use of skin bleaching chemicals be forbidden? What does the black community think about that?

    And how many company pr people do currently do advertising their products in the comments here?

  21. Soup2nuts says:

    I use Environ, which is made in South Africa and adheres to EU product regs because they don’t manufacture products specifically for the US market, but it’s DUMB expensive. I can only afford it because I used to work for the US distribution company and I still get my employee discount. I love it, it’s all vitamin A based, but definitely not priced accessibly.