Skin Essentials – Cruelty free facial care on a budget

Looking and feeling healthy is often in the top ten list of New Year’s resolution, so why not start with your skin. Give your skin regime a boost and try out some new products.

I must admit my I neglect my face, I often sleep in my makeup which is bad for the skin. My skin is not as soft as it once was and its quite dry so I thought I would test out some new products to kick start my new skin regime.

When buying new products I look for ones that are not tested on animals and contain mainly natural ingredients, this can be hard on a budget however all the below products I tested are cruelty free and natural whilst each cost less £10.00.

All the products where purchased from BirchBox with free delivery when you spend over £35.00. Most of these products can be purchased from the high street , the grounded coffee scrub is available in boots and Amie is available in Waitrose.

Detoxify and Exfoliate 

                      Yes to Tomatoes                                    Grounded Face Scrub                      Amie – New Leaf Deep Pore
              Charcoal Paper Mask £3.49                       -Sweet Orange – £4.48                            Exfoliating Polish £5.95




Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Paper Mask £3.49 

Yes to – are a 95% natural ingredient and Paraben free company. They do not test on animals and use recyclable materials.

I was eager to try out this mask, I have only every used mud face masks before which involve a lot of mess.  It was a little tricky to apply to the mask and it felt a little strange at first but that wore off over time.

On the back of the packet it says if it feels like its tingling its working, It didn’t feel like tingling more of a stinging sensation to me but nothing too noticeable or concerning.

I left the mask on for ten minutes and relaxed. Once I removed the mask  my face was a little red, my face gets very red easily though. Within a few minutes the redness had reduced , my face felt very soft and looked healthy . Some face masks can make your face feel very dry afterwards but this mask  was very kind on my skin.

Pros – Relatively quick and easy to apply to the face and its not messy. Kind on skin, natural ingredients, pleasant smell and makes skin feel very soft.

Cons – Stinging sensation and wouldn’t say it gives a deep clean as to the paper design you can not get it around the nose that well.

cutmypic (1)Grounded Face Scrub – Sweet Orange – £4.48 

Grounded Body Scrub’s are made from coffee and non of there products are tested on animals. This facial scrub is made from ground Robusta coffee beans and is packed full of minerals and vitamins. The beauty of these face scrubs is they are better for the environment, they do not contain beads that effect the Eco system.

A coffee face scrub is something very new to me, I find coffee sets off my migraines so I was a little wary of trying this out but It smells amazing like chocolate orange and didn’t give me a headache luckily.

I found using the product was very messy, coffee was all over my sink. I think I might of got out too much to use. Whilst applying the face scrub I found it dragged and scratched at my skin as it contains brown sugar which helps to remove flaky skin.  As advised on the packet I left the product on for 5 minutes and removed it with warm water. My skin felt amazing and glowed, very soft and smooth, the added oils in the product help to moisturise the skin so It doesn’t feel dry.

Pros – Great for the environment, smells divine, natural ingredients, added oils to add softness to skin, makes skin glow and feel very soft. Can be left on for 20 minutes as a face mask.

Con’s – Messy its stated on the packet that is a messy product so it does warn you. Scratches and drags on skin.

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Amie – New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish £5.95

Amie skin care is a natural skincare brand free from Parabens, Mineral oils, Sulphates, and Protochemicals. Amie does not test on animals and is a vegan company.

This is my favourite product that I tested it smells amazing, I find that most skin kind products are usually fragrance free so I was happy that this smelt like mango’s its a really uplifting fragrance. I find that it does not scratch my skin and the texture of the product is not too brittle and hard. Overall it made my skin feel really soft, afterwards my skin didn’t feel too dry.

Pro’s – Natural and free of Parabens and other potentially toxic ingredients , smells amazing but not too strong, very gentle and kind on skin. Makes skin feel very soft, you only need to exfoliate 2 times a week for best results. Doesn’t break the skin out. Budget friendly. Gives a deep clean.

Con’s – Have not found any yet.

Moisturisers and Facial Wipes 

                      Aimee Morning Dew                                   Palmer’s Cocoa Butter                        Yes to Grapefruit
             Matte Finish Moisturiser  £3.49                       Facial Perfecting Oil – £9.99                     Facial Wipes £3.99


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Amie – Morning Dew Matte Finish Moisturiser £4.95

This moisturiser feels very light weight on the skin , its not greasy so It doesn’t feel like its clogging the pores.

It has a matte finish so skin doesn’t look shiny, the matte formula also reduces excess sebum to reduce break outs and reduce oil levels.

This moisturiser is perfect for combination and oily skin for both men and women. I have quite dry skin and found it was too lightweight for me, I find I have to apply 2 to three layers but I like that its got a matte finish and smells pleasant too.

Pro’s – Natural ingredients, kind on skin, matte finish, perfect for both men and women, smells good. Absorbs quick into the skin and controls shine. Not tested on animals. Great for oily to combination skin.

Con’s – Too lightweight for dry skin and this moisturiser no Sun protection.

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Palmers – Cocoa Butter Formula Perfecting Facial oil £9.99 

I love Palmer’s Cocoa butter formula it smells good enough to eat its so yummy. I recently tested Nuxe facial oil through Birchbox and really liked it but unfortunately they sell to mainland China so they are required to test on animals.  So I thought I would try out a cruelty free facial oil which is half the price tag as the Nuxe oil.

If your looking for something a little bit luxurious than a moisturiser that smells amazing and makes skin feel ultra soft I would recommend this product. I have very dry skin this really helps to make my skin feel smooth and glow. It has also helped to reduce my fine lines.

I apply the facial oil before bed and in a morning just before I apply my makeup, it makes my makeup look dewy and very youthful.I would not recommend this product for oily skin, as it makes the skin look very very shiny and greasy.

Pro’s – Smells amazing, lasts a long time, reduces fine line , safe for sensitive skin, makes skin look healthy and glowing. Contains Vitamin C and E and 9 Pure oils. Great for dry skin. 

Con’s – Messy dropper lid, not suitable for oily skin. Contains Retinol that can increase skin’s sensitivity to sun and increase chances of sunburn as advised on the box apply sun protection whilst using this product. 

_DSC9046 r Yes to Grapefruit Correct and Repair Rejuvenating Facial Wipes £3.99 

As mentioned above Yes To are a 95% natural ingredients and cruelty free brand. The Yes To Grapefruit facial wipes smell divine and are just so simple and easy to use.

I am very lazy when it comes to taking off makeup so I go through loads of facial wipes that all promise great skin. These wipes are great for removing makeup and unlike many wipes I have tried make my skin feel really refreshed, the smells is invigorating and helps to wake me up in a morning.

Pro’s –  Like having a mini facial every time you use the wipes, makes skin feel soft and not dry, not too wet, invigorating smell, easy to use package design resealable. Removes makeup. The wipes are made from compostable natural cloth and free from SLS and Petroleum.

Con’s – I felt it was a little expensive for the amount of wipes you normally get.

Final Thoughts 

After a few weeks of testing out these products I must say I have my two favourites which I use everyday now.

My favourites have to be the Amie exfoliating polish as its not messy and makes my skin feel so soft plus it smells so fruity. My second favourite has to be the Palmer’s Perfecting Facial oil, its smells so great and makes my skin feel amazing and a bonus its helped to reduce my frown lines. I also really like the facial wipes but I don’t love them as much as the two other products. 

Have fun discovering new products, leave your suggestions below I would love to hear them.

Sarah xx

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