Back in June I wrote this post about my favourite cruelty-free makeup brands and since I'm a bit of a skincare hoe now (I know, I'm as shocked as you) I thought it was time to do a skincare version. 

The Ordinary caused a bit of a splash in the beauty industry when they first launched only a year ago and it's easy to see why. They promise high quality, highly effective skincare at a suspiciously low price which sounds too good to be true, but it isn't. I use the Hyaluronic Acid every morning and night before moisturiser for a bit of extra hydration and the Natural Moisturising Factors is my favourite moisturiser to use before makeup because it's super lightweight and sinks in straight away. The Glycolic Acid is an exfoliating toner, similar to the Pixi Glow Tonic, that smooths and brightens skin more gently than a physical exfoliant. The only issue I have with The Ordinary is that there are so many products, all with confusing, sciencey names. If you're feeling overwhelmed I'd recommend this article which breaks down what all the products do and who should be using them. But, the beauty of this brand is that everything is so cheap that it really isn't the end of the world if you have to do a bit of trial and error before finding what works for you.

I hadn't heard of Evolve before I went to a blogger event last Christmas but I fell in love with their stuff instantly (I wrote about my first impressions here if you're interested). This brand is one of the more expensive ones in this post but I think the price is totally worth it. All their products are handmade in small batches using organic and natural ingredients, everything is 100% vegan and lots of their packaging is made from recycled materials so if that's your jam then what are you waiting for? I love the Radiant Glow Mask for anytime my skin is just a little bit shit. It always makes my skin brighter, clearer, softer and just generally better and it smells like chocolate cake. As the weather has got colder, the Gentle Cleansing Melt has quickly become my new favourite cleanser. This is gorgeous for dry or sensitive skin because it properly cleanses skin but leaves it soft, hydrated and soothed. I'm also a big fan of the Hyaluronic Serum (which I do prefer ever so slightly to The Ordinary one but it is more pricey) and the Daily Renew Natural Face Cream which I use as my moisturiser every night.

B is my go-to for makeup removers: they're effective, gentle on the skin and super cheap. I picked up the Micellar Water on a whim when I was looking for a replacement for the Garnier one and it instantly became my new favourite. I use this every night to remove most of my makeup before properly cleansing and it does the job whilst still being gentle on my sensitive skin. If I'm wearing heavy eye makeup I'll go in with the Stubborn Eye Makeup Remover as well. I definitely need to try more from this brand considering they have a pretty extensive range of skincare and it's seriously affordable so I'd definitely recommend checking them out if you're on a budget.

The Body Shop are obviously most know for their body products (I mean, who hasn't owned a Body Shop Body Butter at some point in their life?) but their skincare is also seriously good. The Vitamin E range is great for us dry and sensitive folk - I especially like the Moisture Cream and Gentle Face Wash. I'm also a big fan of their face masks. I use the Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask when my skin is a bit dull and in need of some moisture and the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask is great for making your skin glowy, hydrated and, you guessed it, plump. 

I'm kind of cheating with this last one because I've actually only tried one thing from Mario Badescu but I love the Drying Lotion so much I had to include it. I finally purchased this bad boy thanks to my flatmate Katy because she swears by it and I can see why. I just dab a little bit on any blemishes before I go to sleep and in the morning my spots are smaller, way less red, and they clear up much faster than normal. I don't think I've ever seen a bad review about this brand so I'm 100% going to try some more products: I've got my eye on the Seaweed Night Cream, Healing and Soothing Mask and Botanical Exfoliating Scrub in particular.

Have you got any cruelty-free skincare recommendations?

Thanks for reading, Lucy x

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