april 30, 2019
As useful as a cruelty-free beauty brand directory is, tried and tested personal recommendations are even better. We all know how useful it is when a friend recommends a product they've tried, loved, and repurchased. I'm fortunate that I am regularly sent products to try so that I can share my honest reviews of them; it means you don't have to risk wasting your money to find out if you too will like them. It allows me to really test out the range of cruelty-free skincare products available and share with you the ones I would repurchase with my own money–and I do! In this post I'm sharing the brands I personally recommend when it comes to choosing cruelty-free and vegan-friendly skincare products along with the products I consider to be the best of the best.
If you love the 'princess packaging' and kawaii cuteness of Korean skincare, Corpore Sanctum is the cruelty-free and vegan-friendly alternative. The brand is all about sustainable, green beauty with a range of products that are as fun to use as they are effective. Products are designed in Korea using simple, organic, and natural ingredients and much of the range come in eco-friendly glass packaging that can be reused or recycled. Part of the revenue generated through sales is donated to eco-friendly and animal charities, which change on a monthly basis.
The Rebalance Me collection is designed specifically to correct your pH balance leaving a clear, balanced complexion. Each product contains a blend of aloe vera and natural oils to help combat a range of skin issues including dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis.
The gentle formula of the Rebalance Me Aloe Vera Foaming Wash makes it suitable for removing eye makeup without irritation. Two or three pumps is enough to melt away makeup with a lather that's gentle and not drying. I find it's more than capable of removing heavy makeup without being harsh on the skin; stubborn eyeliner and waterproof mascara are easily washed away with this cleanser.
The Rebalance Me Aloe Vera Moisturising Ampoule with a mix of natural oils, including olive, carrot, raspberry, and apricot, along with aloe vera and essential oils creates a soothing and hydrating formula that's a pleasure enough to use day and night. It's designed to be mixed in with your usual moisturiser to boost hydration and smooth the complexion. The formula is lightweight making it quick to absorb. I add this to a facial oil every other day for an effective treatment.
For extra hydration, the Rebalance Me Aloe Vera Sleeping Mask is a thick gel that should be applied before sleeping and left overnight to work is magic. Containing green tea and hyaluronic acid to deeply nourish your skin, its purpose is to soothe the skin and boost collagen synthesis. I apply the sleeping mask once a week and find it helps keep my skin plump and refreshed.
If you want to add some cuteness to your skincare routine, the Tonify Me Bunny will look adorable on your bathroom shelf. It contains a mix of orange and chamomile flower water, vitamin C, and orange essential oil to create a priming mist that can be applied under or over skincare and makeup. I've been spritzing my face after cleansing and before applying makeup; I wear very little makeup and find this priming mist helps keep what I do wear on my face for longer.
Curious about the brand? Get a free sample and try it for yourself.
When we think of skincare we often focus on treatments for our face but it's important to take care of the rest of our body too! Nathalie Bond has a range of certified organic, paraben-free, and sustainable skin care products for bath and bodyincluding bath salts, body oils, and soaps. Their gentle range is ideal for sensitive skin types and their bloom range, containing rose geranium oil, pink clay, and rose water, is perfect for rose-lovers like me.
The Bloom Body Oil is my favourite, I massage it into my skin after showering or bathing. The blend of rose geranium and patchouli with jojoba oil works at hydrating sensitive skin leaving it feeling silky smooth. The smell is absolutely divine and lingers for hours so if you love the scent of roses like I do, you'll love this range of products.
The Bloom Bath Salts is a generous pot of himalayan pink salts mixed with rose geranium and patchouli essential oils. The mineral rich formula helps relax body and mind, releasing tension and nourishing the skin. A handful of salts sprinkled into warm water is all you need for a luxurious bath, light a candle and you're good to go.
I'm a big advocate for switching bottle body wash for traditional bar soap; it lasts longer and saves money. The Bloom Soap Block contains French pink clay know for drawing our impurities within the skin without drying it out. You can use this on your hands, face, and body even if you have sensitive skin
Green People create effective organic skin care products without the use of harsh ingredients or synthetic chemicals including sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, alcohol (ethanol), or synthetic fragrances or colourants; they're cruelty-free and have an extensive range of vegan-friendly skincare products.
A trio of products that I find work exceptionally well when used together are the Gentle Cleanse and Make-up Remover, Fruit Scrub Exfoliator, and Vita Min Fix 24-Hour Cream. Formulated to cleanse, brighten, hydrate, and nourish; these products are packed with organic, natural ingredients including vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
The Gentle Cleanse and Make-up Remover uses squalane combined with jojoba oil to promote elasticity and restore skin vibrancy. It melts away makeup leaving the skin soft, plump, and hydrated. For someone with sensitive skin, I find this product lives up to its name for being gentle and kind especially around the delicate eye area.
Acid-based exfoliating products are often too harsh and unkind on my sensitive skin. I find manual exfoliators to be much more effective at lifting dirt, and tackling congestion, and cleansing the skin. The Fruit Scrub Exfoliator is microbead-free, containing ultra-fine bamboo particles to buff away dead skin cells leaving a more vibrant complexion while the shea butter ensures this scrub doesn't leave skin feeling sore.
Finally, the Vita Min Fix 24-Hour Cream. This moisturiser is rich without being heavy; formulated using shea butter, primrose oil, and baicalin, it aids skin elasticity and hydration. It feels buttery soft on the skin and soothes the complexion helping it to look more youthful and vibrant. I use this morning and night, and find it absorbs quickly without any tackiness or oily residue.
The Blemish Banish Concealer is a product I've been particularly impressed by. We all know how terrible makeup can be for spots but sometimes we want to cover them up. The formula is designed to disguise blemishes while treating them. The green tea, rosehip, and Vitamin E works to tackle blocked pores and infection; targeting spots and reducing irritation without drying out the skin. I have very fair skin and although the Blemish Banish Concealer only comes in one colour, I find it can be buffed into my skin effectively to hide discolouration.
I rave about the Super Green Nutrient Boost Oil; it's a must-have product as far as I'm concerned. It's formulated to restore your complexion, reducing redness and calming irritation, making it look healthier and more vibrant. I apply this before bed and let it work its magic overnight. It contains tamanu oil, which accelerates cellular repair, and green coffee to brighten your complexion. I've always found it gives my skin a healthy glow. For spot prevention, the Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum uses bioflavonoids and prebiotics to ward off spot-causing bacteria.
To tackle congestion skin or breakouts I reach for the Clear Skin Blemish Fighting Mask containing ginger, cinnamon and salicylic acids to naturally fight bacteria. The bamboo charcoal reduces redness and calms skin while the spirulina blended with green clay helps to draw out toxins and impurities. I follow it up with the Deep Hydration Soothing Cooling Mask to ensure my sensitive skin doesn't get stressed out. If you prefer acid exfoliators to clear your skin, the Fruit Peel Resurfacing Serum might be for you. I find it a little too abrasive for my sensitive complexion, however, I've had great feedback from friends who love it.
Skin care should be an important part of everyone's skincare routine. This Sun Care Kit contains everything you need to cover your sun protection requirements including two bottles of sunscreen (SPF 50 and SPF 30), sun balm for areas that need extra protection, and a soothing cream for sun burnt skin. It's travel-sized making it convenient to pack for weekends away.
I'm clumsy and often find myself in need of a balm to soothe minor cuts, bruises, and burns. The Tamanu Healing Balm is packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients to help repair damaged skin from bug bites to stretch marks. It soothes and heals stressed skin with natural ingredients. I consider it to be an essential part of my first aid kit.
One of the best zero waste swaps I made was switching disposable cotton balls for reusable cotton cloths. Not only do they save you money and reduce waste, they're also kinder on your skin. These Organic Cotton Face Wipes made by Vesta Living using 100% soft organic cotton flannel can be used to apply skincare products and remove makeup. They're super soft and gentle on the skin even after they've been washed countless times. If you find the squares a little too small, try the baby wipes which double up as fantastic face cloths.
Honorable mentions: Dr. Jackson and Evolve Beauty. Both offer cruelty-free vegan-friendly skincare in eco-friendly packaging. My favourite products include the Dr. Jackson's Night Cream and the Evolve Beauty Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum.