Stella McCartney has made a name for herself designing chic clothes with a conscience, so it’s a natural step for the British designer to bring that eco-heightened sense and sensibility to Care by Stella McCartney, her organic skin-car line. She has been working on the project for three years, but it took on added relevance when her son was born in February 2005. “I didn’t want to put any products on his skin,” she told a group of beauty editors. “I just wanted to put olive oil on him because I felt like everything else was going to be absorbed — and I really wanted to protect this little human being. Why is it that as you get older, you stop caring about what you put on your own skin?”

Her eight-piece collection — which is suitable for all skin types — contains only 100-percent certified-organic ingredients. Here’s what you won’t find: petrochemicals, silicones and chemical preservatives, including parabens. The active ingredients, which have been reviewed by Ecocert (an international organic-certification program), contain greater amounts of essential nutrients than non-organic ones, explains Joëlle Guesnet, research and development director for Care by Stella McCartney at YSL Beauté. “That’s the case for vitamins, antioxidants and trace elements, as well as essential amino acids and fatty acids that help our cells function properly,” she says.

Aside from Care by Stella McCartney’s organic credentials, its philosophy is different from conventional beauty lines, says Guesnet. Instead of identifying a skin problem and developing a product to address the issue, the goal was to create a line that would promote healthy skin. McCartney says it’s a more honest approach to aging, with an emphasis on prevention rather than on instant miracles. Benefits aside, choosing an organic line doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on luxury. “I want to have products that can stand side by side with a beautiful bottle of perfume,” she says.