Posted in Beauty/skincare

My Favourite UK Vegan Beauty Basics

My Favourite UK Vegan Beauty Basics Posted on 16/04/201610 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

Edit, February 2017: Mitchum isn’t cruelty free 🙁

Ok, first of all can we think of a better word or term than ‘beauty’ products to describe this stuff? I mean, we are all beautiful humans, unless we are ugly on the inside and then it tends to show through sometimes, but really, who cares what you do or don’t slap on your hair/face so long as you feel lovely and fabulous. Eff anyone who tells you otherwise! So can we agree on…..I dunno……BATHROOM PRODUCTS? Skin and hair products? Oh, I don’t care really, but please feel free to make suggestions!

As some of you might know it was my 2016 resolution to investigate a bigger variety of make-up, toiletries, etc., and not rely quite so heavily on Superdrug own brand stuff. I still use a lot of Superdrug products for convenience but I’m trying to branch out a little, and I thought I’d share my current favourites, and a few ‘not sure about yet'(s).

Current UK vegan beauty basics, from left to right….

  1. My beloved Vitamin E All Over Body Cream. Only £2.99 for a honking big tub that’s likely to last you for ages. My number one favourite body moisturiser, hands down. I love the smell, I love the lightness, I just love it in every way. This might not be the best option for those of you with super dry skin (try the ‘Intensive’ version instead, maybe, for £3.49) but this is perfect for me and I go back to it every time.
  2. Vitamin E Night Cream. I have uber oily skin on my face, and since I’ve had the dreaded implant fitted it’s not exactly improved the situation. However, I still forge on and cleanse, tone and moisturise thoroughly every night before bed and it seems to keep on top of the issue. I’ve seen and heard that even if you have oily skin you should still moisturise at night, so I carry on regardless. This tub is £2.99 which isn’t bad for a decent moisturiser (and Superdrug often run 3 for 2 deals on their own brand products, too).
  3. Mitchum Stick Deodorant. My super pal Emil was the one who told me that Mitchum was accidentally vegan. I flipping hate rolls-ons, and spray deodorants do almost nothing for me, so I’ve always searched in vain for an effective vegan stick deodorant. Behold! I checked the stick’s ingredients on the Skin Deep database and JOY AND HAPPINESS, it is free of animal products. Be aware that Revlon are a parent company, though.
  4. Vitamin E Toning Mist. Ok so this is a little faddy, but I like it. This toner has no alcohol and it’s a super product that really works for me. £2.99 for a bottle, it’s lasted me a couple of months at least so far and I’m maybe 2/3 through. I use it at night, after washing my face and cleansing, and in the morning after a face wash, just to wake me up a bit! Some people think toning is an unnecessary step but, I dunno, my Mum always told me to cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day and her skin is super duper. I like this last step and I stick to it.
  5. Hair Therapy Oil with Coconut. These ‘therapy oils’ are pretty new to Superdrug. My hair is naturally a bit frizzanté, and has a slight wave – not enough to look good mind, just enough to make it look silly and unkempt if it dries naturally. Therefore, when I’m feeling uber lazy and letting my locks dry on their own, I usually smooth a few pumps of this stuff throughout my hair so that it doesn’t get too heinously frizzy. It generally does a pretty good job and I have SUPER unruly hair. Srsly, it’s a flipping nightmare, nothing really tames it completely but this stuff does a good job. Smells lovely too. These l’il oils are £3.99 each and there are argan oil and macadamia ‘flavours’ too.
  6. Simply Pure Calming Cleanser. I’ve never really tried any fancy cleansers, I have to say. I wash my makeup off with a face wash and so I don’t rely on my cleanser to remove all my makeup – just whatever gets left behind after washing. So at £2.69 this really does the trick for me. No frills!
  7. Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm. This stuff is a bit pricey at £5.99 (when full price) but I have to say it’s lasted longer than I expected so far. I tend to use it on days where I feel I need a little more……radiance, I guess. I use it as a moisturiser after toning and before makeup. I’m not sure it makes me tremendously radiant but it’s a nice enough product! I think I’d probably stick to buying this when it’s on offer because £5.99 seems a wee bit pricey to me.
  8. Soap & Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash. Gawd I love this, I really do. It doesn’t have that usual ‘Soap & Glory’ smell, which I am fond of, but it smells really very CLEAN. The microbeads (environmentally friendly as far as I know) don’t really do much for me in the way of exfoliating but I use this wash at night to take off my makeup, and in the morning with a small exfoliating pad to wake my face up. I’m really fond of this, even at a full price of £8.00, because the bottle is huge and it lasts FOREVER.

My ‘I’m Not Quite Sure Yet’ selection….

  1. Naturally Radiant 2-in-1 Moisturiser and Serum. Ok so I’m clearly not very knowledgeable because I’m not even sure of the moisturiser/serum divide. This is £5.99 when full price, and I can only imagine I grabbed it in a 3-for-2 frenzy. I use it every now and then but I can’t say it blows me away. It’s just a sort-of not-too-oily kind of moisturiser I guess?
  2. B. Essence Lotion. I think I must’ve seen this and just done a big OOOOOH because it’s different and shiny and new. I don’t really understand this either. I’ve been using it when I remember, after cleansing/toning and before moisturising, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve been lured into the usual ‘I Need To Buy The New Thing’ trap…….
  3. Faith in Nature Intensive Conditioner. These conditioners are new from Faith in Nature and were on sale for their launch. As mentioned above, my hair is a blimming nightmare so I’m always on the lookout for something to tame it a bit. This was on sale at £3.25, but the full price is a whopping £6.50. I’ve only used this once so far and it conditions reeeeeeally nicely, it really does, and with organic coconut I can see why it’s more expensive than the rest. But I can’t see myself spending £6.50 regularly on a conditioner when Superdrug’s own brand imitation-Pantene/pro Vitamin ones are so much cheaper and still get all the tangles out. It is a lovely product though; I’m just not sure it’s quite in my budget considering how much I slap on in an attempt to gain some control over my highly unruly mop.

So there it is folks. What are your super mega favourite BATHROOM products? Do you have anything to recommend? Should I try a fancier cleanser?

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  1. I’ve been really lost on the toiletries-front since I moved to a country without a Superdrug. Fortunately I can still get the Original Source shower gels here, which I love dearly. But I’m mostly relying on Lush these days – their Angels on Bare Skin cleanser is really good, and I like the Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar (although using a bar instead of liquid still seems weird). They’re probably more expensive than Soap&Glory, but they also last forever. I used to use Superdrug’s own anti-frizz serum (it was in a little turquoise pump bottle), and I thought it had good results, but now I’ve decided to leave my hair to nature and let it run a little frizzy if it so desires.

    There used to be a company called Naked who did amazing shampoo, conditioner and anti-frizz serum, but they seem to have disappeared in the last year or two. I might look into that deodorant you mentioned, I’m desperate for a good vegan one here.

    1. Ah I remember Naked! I had a really great hair conditioning treatment from them. It’s a shame they disappeared :/ I might branch out and try a cleanser from Lush; I’m really not very adventurous when it comes to cleansers and I could be missing out on an AMAZING SKIN EXPERIENCE! 🙂

  2. I miss my Vitamin E night cream! It’s one of the things that didn’t make the liquid bag cut when I started travelling so it’s waiting for me in storage. One thing I brought with me that I love is my little bottle of Giovanni leave in conditioner (my over dyed hair is a nightmare too!), I need more but you can’t ship it to Japan for some reason so my hair’s going to be a disaster soon. Since I’ve been travelling my skin’s been getting super spotty so I picked up the Dark Angels cleaners from LUSH which is working great when I remember to use it every day!

    1. Oh lord I can’t even imagine navigating this stuff while travelling….. Finding food is one thing, but my skin protests if I even travel between hard/soft water areas! I guess that’s why vegan travel agony aunts like you exist 😀

      I’ll definitely check out that cleanser you mentioned because, yes, the implant is definitely having an impact on my skin and I’m not at all used to having breakouts (I’ve always been lucky!)

      Loads of folks I know swear by using pure coconut oil on dried out hair but I’ve not tried it yet.

  3. This is a really great post, I’m gonna have to start moisturising my face in preparation for puberty no.2 so I think I’ll try the Vit E Night cream as my skin will be extra oily.

    That Faith conditioner is suuper expensive! Maybe you can have a bottle for special occasions to use alongside your everyday one? We don’t stock that one at work but I’ll let you know when we get offers as it will probably mean it’s cheaper everywhere else too.

    Ah Mitchum <3 I'm super sad it's owned by Revlon but it's the only vegan deodorant that has worked for me. I keep trying all the natural ones but they only last a few hours.

    1. Oh man, lucky you! :/ The B. skincare range do some ace looking men’s stuff; Chris has a cleansing face wash thing I bought him for Christmas that looks good. Yeh I reckon that pre-empting any hormone related skin problems with a solid skincare routine can only be a good thing though! This flipping implant is wreaking havoc on mine at the moment so I can only hope it evens out at some point…..

      I love Faith in Nature but it is uber pricey, so definitely only for special occasions!

  4. I am so glad to hear that Mitchum is vegan! Horray! I am trying to make all of our toiletries vegan and my husband is impossible. Seriously, nothing is “strong enough” even though I think he over washes and therefore has overactive sweat glands…. but he would never believe me since “I don’t understand.” Needless to say he is very devoted to cheap, harsh stuff, and Mitchum will never leave his life, and luckily I don’t need to try. XD

    Sadly all the other toiletries I’ve never heard of, so I am guessing they are not available in the US. Whomp whomp.

    1. I was super happy to hear about Mitchum because sprays and roll-ons don’t do much for me! I think Soap & Glory is available in the US (?) but Superdrug almost certainly isn’t. We are VERY lucky to have a mainstream high street drugstore with almost 100% vegan own brand options!

  5. Merumaya melting cleansing balm is the product I couldn’t do without, it’s brilliant! I love their facial oil too and lush’s celestial moisturiser.

    1. I REALLY need to get down to Lush and give their cleansers and moisturisers a go! I’ve been using the Don’t Look At Me mask lately while my implant has been wreaking HAVOC on my skin, and it’s great.

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