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Beautiful Skin, Affordable Products

Katja Kokko | 16.4.2015

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This post is a collaboration with Bidoelly.fi

Let’s continue our series on perfect and affordable cosmetics with face, body, and hair products. To revisit the perfect and affordable makeup look we created in February, please go here.

Finding and thoroughly testing affordable and truly effective products has been one of the most interesting things I’ve done in all my years as a blogger. And as always, I ended up discovering some true gems, some of which were even included in my March favorites.

I have chosen the products to suit my own skin type: easily clogged, prone to stress-breakouts, but otherwise normal and ageing. I wanted highly moisturizing, brightening and regenerating products which would leave my skin with a nice glow, without clogging the pores.

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Here is what I found:

Face

Cleanser

Skin Blossom Gentle Cleansing Milk: certified by the Soil Association, Skin Blossom is the absolute winner where affordable cleansers are concerned. The Soil Association is known for its high standards regarding organically grown ingredients, and that’s where I began when I started looking for products for this article – with the ingredients. Effectiveness and a relative lack of fillers were my priority. Practical effectiveness is vital as well, of course, but it was difficult to tell in the picking-stage how the products would work when put to use. I hit bulls eye with the cleansing milk, it turns out, and would heartily recommend it, and a muslin cloth, for all skin types. The cloth is essential, and helps to remove both makeup and the cleanser itself. If you want to save on cosmetics, Skin Blossom is your best bet for cleanser.

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Toner

Cattier Paris Soothing Beauty Lotion: Cattier’s soothing beauty lotion meets my expectations for a good toner on more than one level. First of all, it’s a mist, which is becoming more of a rule than an exception for me. The ingredients are also great: soothing rose and chamomile water spiked with marigold extract and oat protein. The lotion is super hydrating and has a soft minty scent, making it another great product for all skin types. It also comes in a generously sized package of 200 ml (6.8 fl oz).

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Eye cream

Skin Blossom Reviving Eye Cream: I chose Skin Blossom’s eye cream purely on the basis of its ingredients. Despite its affordable price, the cream contains great antioxidant-rich ingredients that help to neutralize the effects of free-radicals on the skin. The consistency is light and silky, and doesn’t “pill” or roll on the skin.

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Serum

Lavera Firming Serum: Lavera’s serum was another pleasant surprise. This is a brilliant product, providing plenty of hydration and glow, and leaving the skin smooth and even. I also loved the consistency. The serum is packed with hyaluronic acid, which helps to bind moisture to the skin, as well as regenerating karanja oil; it also contains white tea, chicory, bearberry, apricot, and mango extracts, as well as coenzyme Q10. This is a wonderful cocktail of antioxidants, perfect for skin in need of brightening and vitality.

Oil

Ekovista Carrot Oil: carrot oil is one of my favorite skin oils! Actually, this isn’t carrot oil, but sunflower seed oil with carrot extract. The reason I call it a favorite is because carrot extract is rich in beta-carotene, which gives the skin an instant, lightly tanned look – a bit like a tinted moisturizer would. Besides the beta-carotene which also improves and speeds up tanning, the oil also contains the fab five six of the anti-ageing vitamin alphabet – A, B, C, D, E and F – and is therefore a must-have for the spring.

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Moisturizer

Skin Blossom Nourishing Face Moisturiser: I wanted a moisturizer that was as affordable as possible, but still good quality. Skin Blossom’s moisturizer contains the usual oils – jojoba and shea butter – as well as vitamin E, aloe vera, geranium, and ylang-ylang. The moisturizer is very mild and guaranteed to work for even sensitive skin. It doesn’t contain any special ingredients, but in fact, when putting together an affordable yet effective skin care package, I find that the toner, serum, and oil are more important than the moisturizer.

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Exfoliation

Cattier Paris Clay Scrub: this peel never fails to make me nostalgic; I bought my first tube from an organic shop called Naturalia, on my first ever trip to Paris. I then made sure to stock up on the stuff on each subsequent trip, as the brand was still unavailable in Finland at the time. The peel is very gentle, and I personally see it more as supplementing my cleanser, rather than an actual exfoliate. Rubbing the stuff into my skin always makes me happy, and to share the wealth I thought I’d recommend this budget-friendly mint scrub to you, as well!

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Mask

Khadi Orange Mask: you might have read about my crush on the Ayurvedic natural cosmetic range Kahdi in my March favorites. Kahdi’s products are affordable and have an Indian look to them, and their contents are absolutely fascinating. The mask is a powder that is mixed with rose water or orange blossom water – or, as is the Ayurvedic custom, with milk. The mask can also be mixed with honey, and used to treat cellulite on the body.

Applied to the face, the mask helps to balance tricky combination skin, providing moisture while also regulating sebum production, and brightening the complexion. Orange sweetens the otherwise tangy and herbal scent of the mask. The ingredients list is quite lovely: fuller’s earth, calamine, orange peel powder, zinc oxide, camphor, neem, tree turmeric, and two funny-sounding Indian herbs: lodhra and bawachi, the latter of which is used in Ayurveda to treat discoloration. I’m starting to find myself in need of a lesson in Ayurvedic herbs – the Indian names often conceal perfectly familiar plants, after all.

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Body

Shower Gel

Cattier Paris Milky Shower Gel Mango Butter & Argan Oil: this was also in my March favorites, but I might as well say it again. This is the best shower product in ages, the milky consistency allowing one to shave one’s legs without drying out the skin. A far more descriptive term for this product, than shower oil, is in fact milk. Or maybe cream. Mango-scented shower cream.

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Body Lotion

Lavera Coconut Body Lotion: Lavera’s body lotions are to body products as Cattier’s mint peel is to nostalgic exfoliates – number one. Are you all familiar with this deliciously scented range of lotions? In my yearning for more tropical climes, I chose the coconut scent, but they are all wonderful, with a lovely consistency to boot – a perfect balance of hydration and oils. Pure bliss with every drop.

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Hair

Shampoo

Khadi Hibiscus Shampoo: I went a bit crazy with Khadi’s shampoos, and am currently testing not only the Hibiscus one, but also the Rose and Neem shampoos. While I have yet to try the Rose shampoo, I have all but run out of Hibiscus, and am indeed very happy with the product. It has good washing power without being too washing, and gives good volume to the hair. The Neem shampoo I have used as a weekly deep-cleanser, and I am likewise pleased with the product. Kahdi’s hair-growth stimulating vitalizing hair oil, is one of the brand’s bestsellers and nearly always sold out. I have tried it once but am still a bit wary of oils, as they tend not to mix well with my impossible mane. Still, I’ll continue experimenting, and will give you a more in-depth review at a later date.

Conditioner

Madara Gloss & Vibrancy Conditioner: choosing an affordable conditioner proved to be almost impossible; I ended up bending the rules a bit by choosing this product from Madara. This conditioner contains a small amount of a natural hair-smoothing agent, Distearylethyl Dimonium Chloride, and (unlike most of Madara’s products) has no natural cosmetics certification. Personally, I think the ingredient is easily replaceable, and find most natural cosmetic conditioners better than synthetic ones – but they also come with a bigger price tag. So if made to compromise, I would choose Madara.

Did you find any of your favorites on this list? How many of you are thrifty with your cosmetics? Which products do you like to save on, and which are the ones you invest in? What do you consider to be an expensive or an affordable product?

Quick tip: All of Madara’s products are 15% off at Biodelly until April 28th! DSC_0213

Products provided by Biodelly and importers

Photos Katja Kokko

Translation Katja Nikula

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