Eco-friendly beauty on a budget

Eco-Friendly Beauty

I won’t lie – I’m a low budget kind of girl when it comes to beauty and personal care. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to look and feel nice; I just don’t have a fortune to spend. However, I am also becoming more aware of all the chemicals we put into and on our bodies. How do they affect our health and are there any negative impacts on the environment around us? It isn’t purely money that affects my choice of products nowadays, and I am on the look out for eco-friendly beauty products. They need to be full of natural loveliness, not tested on animals, not over-packaged and easy on my purse!

I put out a plea to some PR companies for some natural products to review, so some of the below are gifted. Some are products that I already use and purchase regularly. I hope they will give you some ideas of how you can increase the number of eco-friendly, more natural items in your bathroom.

Shampoo bars

Eco-Friendly Beauty

I have been using these on and off for years. My favourite so far is the Godiva bar from Lush. Lush says, ‘It’s stuffed with butters and oils to condition, moisturise and soften the hair: cocoa butter, cupuaçu butter, shea butter, camellia oil, organic macadamia nut oil and extra virgin coconut oil.’ It certainly smells nice and doesn’t make my hair feel greasy and full of products after a day, as many cheap shampoos do. However, it does still contain sodium laurel sulphate, which I know some people are keen to avoid.

Another advantage of shampoo bars is that you don’t have a plastic bottle to dispose of. I am determined to reduce the amount of plastic that we all bring into the house.

At £7.50 for a 55g bar, you might think this more expensive than other shampoos. However, I have found these bars last for ages. Try not to let them sit in water though. They are good for travelling too – Lush sell a little metal tin for the purpose.

Eco-friendly beauty products for your face

Eco-Friendly Beauty

I was gifted some lovely items from the Ayurvedic brand, Urban Veda, which harnesses ‘the holistic and therapeutic properties of plants’.  All of their packaging is recyclable and their bottles are made out of post-consumer recycled plastic. The brand prides itself on its sourcing provenance and all of their cartons are Forest Sustainability Certified.

I have been using a couple of them most days. I get a lot of dry, flaky skin around my nose, especially when I have hay fever. This is where a good face scrub comes in handy. Urban Veda’s soothing exfoliating facial polish is lovely. Very gentle on the skin whilst doing a good job of getting rid of any dead skin, and you can smell all the plant oils as you use it. Thumbs up for this one. It is currently priced at £10.90 for a 125ml tube on Amazon.

Another Urban Veda product that I love is the Urban Veda Reviving Day Cream. At £18.99 it is loads more than I usually spend. However, it is a quality product and once again smells divine. I am using it sparingly to make it last longer. This is one for the Christmas present list, Mr Shoestring!

A slightly more budget friendly moisturiser that I have used in the past is the Jason Natural Cosmetics Organic Aloe Vera Cream. All of the Jason products I have tried have been very good and they are a great price considering they use a lot of organic ingredients.

Organic cleansing

Whilst doing research for this and my recent post Can you do eco-friendly cleaning on a budget?  I discovered a company called Beauty Naturals. They sell an amazing range of cruelty free, natural skin care at extremely good prices.

One of their own brands is Skin Revivals. I was gifted their organic facial cleansing oil for review. Initially, I was sceptical as I had never used a cleansing oil.  I thought it would leave my skin feeling greasy. However, I was totally wrong and I am a facial oil convert! This cleansing oil contains organically certified ingredients including rosehip and avocado. It is very effective, you only need to use a tiny amount and it leaves your skin feeling very soft. It is usually £12 for 100ml but is currently on offer for £8.

An eco-friendly beauty brand that I find very budget friendly is Lavera. Their 2 in 1 Cleansing Milk contains organic oils and is vegan as well as 100% silicone free, paraffin free and mineral oil free. This cleaning milk is £6.99 for 125ml.

Super frugal from the larder

Eco-Friendly Beauty

In the mornings I don’t bother with a proper cleanser. I usually use cheap as chips rose water on a cotton wool pad. This one came from the Asda food aisle and cost just £1.14. It is a good skin tonic for after your cleanser too. Not much plastic packaging, apart from the lid, as it comes in a glass bottle.

Another food grade product that I use as an all round moisturiser or bath oil if my skin is really dry is almond oil. Again, it comes in a glass bottle and costs just two or three pounds from food stores. This with a few drops of lavender essential oil in the bath feels quite luxurious but costs hardly anything.

Eco-Friendly BeautyI was gifted some Olverum bath oil, Winner of Tater Beauty Awards 2018  Best Bath Oil. Now, this is a beautiful product that really is luxurious.  You can smell the natural essential oils before you even open the bottle (which is glass). My daughter likes a bath rather than a shower and she totally loved this. You only need a few drops to soften the water and make it smell gorgeous.

However, this is not a budget product and most definitely a treat! It is priced at £32.00 for 125mls.

Make up

It is hard to source natural cosmetics in the shops locally, but I have discovered some good ones online. Thank heavens for the internet.

Lavera makeup is 100% gluten free, cruelty free, and all natural. They produce some nice mineral eyeshadow, for example. They also do a 100% natural lipstick range. I am going to be trying some of these. They aren’t expensive at all.

So Eco are a vegan and sustainable makeup tool brand using 100% ethically sourced materials. I was sent some of their brushes to try, including a stippling brush and a couple of eye brushes. They have wooden handles and natural bristles, which are very soft and good for sensitive skin such as mine. I have been using them for over a month with no signs of wear.

My daughter found the eye brushes a bit too soft for blending, but she is a bit of a cosmetics queen and likes precision. I found that the stippling brush was perfect but used it for powder rather than foundation. I like their ethos and was very pleased to find the packaging 100% recyclable – a rare quality, even for natural beauty brands.

They aren’t particularly expensive and are competitively priced. You can purchase them individually, but Amazon has the So Eco Face Brush Set for £15, which seems reasonable.

In truth, you are always going to have to pay more for eco-friendly beauty products. Organic and sustainably-sourced ingredients cost more money. However, there are some budget friendly options if you do your research.

The curse of the plastic container

One thing I am still dissatisfied about is the amount of plastic packaging being used in most beauty products, even those aiming for natural products made from organic and low chemical ingredients. It seems that at the moment there is an element of compromise to be made. Sure, much of the plastic is recyclable, but many companies seem to be quietly ignoring this part of the issue. I think this is because other biodegradable types of packaging aren’t suitable for liquids. The are some alternatives being developed but they cost more. Glass is heavy so costs more to transport, as well as being easier to break of course. I would love to see some progress on this.

Do you have eco-friendly beauty brands that you prefer to use? Do you make your own? If so, please share your tips in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission in some cases. Thanks.

This week’s beauty bargains

I love a good deal, as you know, and this week I have been fortunate to get hold of some beauty bargains. (You might also like my posts on budget beauty  here and here.)

Freebies from the Savvy Circle

beauty bargainsA while ago I signed up with P&G’s Savvy Circle. The idea is that you can sign up for product testing of new P&G products. You receive freebies to try yourself and share with your friends. The company asks you to feed back via their blog and hopes you will spread the word on social media too.

I applied to try Pantene’s new Micellar hair care range and the products arrived yesterday. I’m always up for a freebie, but I didn’t expect such a generous package. They sent two bottles each of shampoo, conditioner and leave-in foam conditioner! Also in the parcel were some money off vouchers to pass to friends and family and some feedback forms.

I have already tried the shampoo and liquid conditioner and they seem lovely. Conditioners that leave my hair feeling greasy and heavy are a turn off but this one feels very light.  My daughter and my lodger are going to try them out too. I have signed up for two more campaigns for Bold and Olay. There is no guarantee of getting accepted for anything, so I will have to wait and see what happens.

Supermarket beauty bargains

beauty bargainsI popped into Asda after work to get a few bits and discovered a new range of makeup from George. It looks great and the prices are amazing! I needed a new mascara, rouge and concealer and bought all three. The mascara was £3 (on offer, so I bought two), the blusher – a really big pot – was £5, the small solid concealer was just £2 and the liquid concealer was £4.50. I resisted the foundation as I don’t need any, but that was on sale at an introductory price of £4.50.  I regret this now, so might pop in and buy some if I am passing. These are great prices! I haven’t tried anything properly yet so I will report back and perhaps do a review on another post. Also in the range are lipsticks, nail varnish, powder, eye pencils and shadows, etc.

I am pretty pleased with my beauty bargains. I don’t spend a fortune on cosmetics and toiletries as I can’t afford to, so freebies and low prices are the way to go.

Do you belong to any cosmetic testing organisations or any freebie sites? Has anyone else tried the George at Asda makeup range?



Sun protection – it doesn’t cost much to get a tan 


holiday essentialsMy favourite sun protection cream

Regular readers will know that we are on holiday at the moment. There are lots of very sunburnt people here. I don’t understand this. It’s so dangerous and bad for your skin. Too much and you soon look like a piece of old leather! Not attractive! You can get good sun protection very cheaply, so there is no excuse.

I really like this one from Boots as it isn’t greasy or highly perfumed. I am using SP 15 but probably need 20. I am putting lots on frequently.  It cost £4, plus you get the Boots points, of course!

I drink a lot of water and wear a hat as well. I am quite fair and I don’t want to get sunstroke.

Faking it

If you really want a tan, you can always fake it! That’s what I do 😀😀. I have found this one pretty good, Soltan instant gel – Boots again. I use a mitt to apply it and get Mr S to do my back. Boots sun products are three for two at the moment so I got my mitt for free. You still need to use sun protection cream on top, of course.

Mr S doesn’t need to worry about getting burnt and already has a tan. He still uses sun protection though. I think he looks like a handsome Simon Cowell lookalike!

holiday essentialsWe are sitting at the port of Cala D’or having coffee and looking at the yachts. It’s very pretty here. We also had a walk up the coastal path yesterday which gave us absolutely stunning views of the sea.

All in all, it is perfectly chilled. It’s nice not to be rushing around and I am surprisingly good at doing sod all 😀.

Off for another wander. Have a good day.