Sunday, 23 February 2014

Cruelty free, animal product free skincare products I'm loving (and that won't break the bank)


Veganism and an ahimsa (cruelty-free) lifestyle goes beyond diet; what we put on the outside of our bodies in terms of clothes, toiletries and makeup is an important consideration too- and, like the vegan diet, it is generally better for your health as vegan-friendly products tend to be more natural and less chemical. With all those botanicals, they also tend to smell divine! Here are three skincare products I'm currently using:

Ayumi  Ayurvedic Turmeric and Bergamot Facewash (left)
Ayumi Turmeric and Bergamot Ayurvedic Facewash: I have always been a great advocate of water being the best skincare regime, both inside and out, and I still think cold, pure water is the best skin tonic ever, but even at my age (waaay past adolescence...) I do get the odd blemish on my face and I do like that squeaky-clean feeling you only get from a facewash like this one. This product is parabens (a harmful preservative) free, though it does contain SLS. (Sodium lauryl/ laureth sulphate- a chemical foaming agent common in soaps and shampoos). It is not tested on animals and is free from animal-derived ingredients. I think here the labelling could be better, as I had to Google to check that the glycerin was derived from plant sources. When I got to the product website it helpfully informed me that there are no animal ingredients in Ayumi products. Perhaps they could go for Vegan Society approval mark? It would take the hassle out of researching and buying. From the moment you open the tube, the wonderful smell, perfectly balanced between turmeric and bergamot oil, gives you a feeling of luxury. Bergamot oil has long been used for clearing up spots (as well as for flavouring Earl Grey tea) and turmeric, of course, is a wonderful anti-microbial and anti inflammatory agent that is used to heal all kinds of infections both internally and externally in Ayurveda. You only need a small amount and (no doubt because of the SLS) it lathers beautifully. If I have any criticism at all of this product, it is that it takes quite a bit of rinsing off; maybe the glycerin content? But perhaps I am just too impatient- the result really is worthwhile; this facewash leaves my skin feeling soft and clean but not tight, with that lovely, bergamot-y, zingy, citrus-y freshness. I honestly don't know how much was paid for my tube of facewash (it was a birthday gift) but on the website it sells at a fairly modest £4.95- well competitive with mainstream brands of face wash.

Moisturisers in the Dr Organic Dead Sea Minerals and Rose Otto ranges 
Dr Organic Moisturisers: How lucky am I? I have a husband to whom I can say "I'm out of moisturiser, can you get me one please?" and he actually goes out and gets not one, but two really good products. These were bought from Holland and Barrett, and retail there for just under £9 each, the Rose Otto being slightly more expensive. You can, if you like, buy matching skincare products from a choice of Dr Organic ranges, but I like to mix and match. This is a great price for a quality product that is made from organic ingredients, contains no animal products and is not tested on animals. (Eat your hearts out Bodyshop and even Lush!) There is even a helpful "Suitable for vegans and vegetarians" not on the box. These moisturisers are also SLS and parabens free. I can truthfully say that even after only a few days of using the Rose Otto Day Cream as my moisturiser in the morning and the Dead Sea Minerals Night Cream at bedtime the skin around my eyes and on my neck looks a just a little bit younger and feels softer. I have been lucky so far as I don't really have many wrinkles (yet), as my skin is naturally oily. This leads me to another important point: I have shunned heavy moisturisers for years because they make my skin look greasy, but these nourish my skin without leaving it too oily. I really love the way they smell, too. The Dead Sea Minerals cream does not smell like the sea at all; rather a cucumber-like, aloe vera type of fresh herbal smell and of course Rose Otto smells like a midsummer garden. I don't think I've ever had a moisturiser that has been such great value for money.



Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement; and I was not approached by either of the companies mentioned here to promote their products- the idea was all mine because I think they're great! And if you are reading this and you have a suitable product you'd like reviewed, please get in touch via the comments (we won't publish your message) or our fb page.

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