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Whenever you take my recommendations for cheap vegan skincare right to heart (and the shops), I first need to tell you a little bit about my skin.
Pale. Thin. Red.
Apart from that, it’s not really…anything. It’s actually kind of well behaved.
It’s not oily (although it’s sometimes sweaty), it’s not combination, it’s only dry on one specific part of my face (a spot between my brows, about the size of a 5p). Sometimes it’s dehydrated.
So that’s the kind of skin I buy my skincare for. Obviously.
In terms of specific products, I’ll only suggest a few, because it’s pointless me recommending something that won’t suit your skin. Caroline Hirons is the go-to for ace skincare, and she v kindly says if a product is cruelty-free and vegan in her reviews. Ta Caroline.
That being said, here are a couple of things I’ve recommended time and again to people (who’ve loved them), or I give as gifts:
This Body Shop cleansing butter.
This Soap and Glory hot cloth cleanser
The Soap and Glory one is fairly thin, the Body shop one is medium (great description, Caroline, top class), but if you need something really thick, then Ultrabland by Lush is great.
My favourite cheap vegan skincare brands
Please be aware that whilst these brands have extensive vegan ranges, not every product is vegan. I’ll try to link that info if I can find it.
The Body shop
These are the vegan products – shout out to The Body Shop for giving them their own section.
I also highly recommend the Skin Defence SPF (it smells divine) – it’s really light and doesn’t leave you looking like you’re rubbed chalk on your face.
Soap and glory
It doesn’t list the Ultimelt as a vegan product BUT it does say the Fab Pore hot cloth cleanser is, so I think they’ve made a typo. From the list of ingredients, it seems to be vegan. I mean, why bother using synthetic beeswax if you’d use other animal products in the ingredients?
I always use the shower gels because they last yonks and they’re always on 3 for 2.
The skincare, in general, is nice, but I personally don’t think it’s worth the price unless you get it on offer.
Buy it in Boots.
Superdrug own ranges
All of the products I’ve encountered are vegan, but plz check the labels.
I use both the B. and the Naturally Radiant brands. Both are pretty basic but nice. I like the Naturally Radiant hot cloth cleanser (I love me a hot cloth cleanser!) and I use the exfoliating tonic too – it’s similar to Pixi’s Glow Tonic, but not as potent.
I use the serums and moisturisers from the B. range, and I’ve never met one I didn’t like. It’s best to avoid day creams with SPF because they can sit funny on the face and leave a white cast (and can cause flashback in photos). I’d definitely recommend getting a separaSPFspf, such as the Boy Shop one.
Ooo and there’s a serum from Superdrug that’s in white and blue packaging for about £3.99 which is SERIOUSLY good. Though almost always sold out. Keep an eye out for it though! Here’s a review, though they’ve shockingly enough hiked up the price.
A shop rather than a brand, but I’ve found some great bargains, such as Super Facialist, Sukin, and Pai. Unfortunately, you’ll need to keep your phone handy to check whether products are cruelty-free and vegan. The discounts make it worth it though, so that’s ok.
I don’t think it’ll be too long before all products are clearly marked as vegan andcruelty-freee. Viva la Revolucion!
Cheap as chips, vegan and cruelty free. YES! I’ve only tried the hyaluronic acid and the serum foundation, but considering they were 6 quid each, their performance was astounding. I’m going to try the squalane (ugh, what a word though), the lactic acid and the moisturiser next.
Hylamide, The Ordinary’s big, more expensive, sister, does really nice serums, but they’re more around the £30 mark and whilst they’re nice, I wouldn’t say they were £24s worth of nicer. If you get me.
Cheap (though not, I must say, nearly as cheap as they were a year or two ago), always on offer and almost all vegan. Only the Rosehip Hydrating Day Cream ruins things by containing beeswax. I’m starting to feel like a stuck record, but, er, the cleansing balm is really nice.
If you’re wondering why I wang on about hot cloth cleansers and cleansing balms so much it’s because the only real issue I have with my skin (apart from needing SPF 50 all the time and chronic tomato-ness) is the opposite problem that most people have.
Makeup will not come off my face.
So I spend my days trying to find a balm that can remove my makeup, cleanse my skin and not leave my skin irritated. All the ones I mentioned can do a triple cleanse without leaving my face itchy and red(der).
If you’d like to spend a little bit more on skincare without breaking the bank, I’d recommend Lush, Mario Badesco (you can get it on Beauty Bay), Pacifica, First Aid Beauty, Sukin and Neal’s Yard.
Oh, and Pixi. Whom I love. Just watch out for beeswax.
A little note on sustainability…
In the future, I’d love to experiment with making my own skincare (how hard can it really be?? :/) so leave me recipes in the comments, please! I’ve been meaning to make my own…wait for it…cleansing balm for YEARS now and never quite got around to it.
I love the idea of using essential oils to really personalise it, but every time I’m inspired, something crops up and I end up forgetting. I’m also conscious of the amount of plastic that comes with skincare, so homemade would be a great way of reducing that.
Other ways to reduce your plastic use are to buy bigger packages – things like shower gel and shampoo can often be found in jumbo sizes – and definitely cut out makeup wipes.
I must confess that I’m quite far behind on this journey, but I’m on the hunt for some reuseable cotton rounds. I actually don’t use much cotton wool (because I obvs always use a flannel to remove makeup), just a bit to fix mistakes when I’m, e.g. doing my eyeliner. And everyone reading this that uses cotton buds (q-tips, American friends), plz swith to paper ones. They’re widely available (I get mine from Sainsbury’s), as cheap as plastic ones, and compostable.
AND WE’RE DONE.
Thanks for sticking it out to the end if you did. If you didn’t, you can bog off.