Beauty + Skincare,  Product Reviews

Natural Skincare Essentials from Low to No Budget

From the Penny Pinchers to the Ohh la las, here are some great vegan, natural and organic skincare essentials to include in your regime for nourished, glowing skin and squeaky clean pores. 

Makeup Remover
Low Budget

Coconut oil or other plant-based oils are an easy choice for makeup removers, as they’re relatively inexpensive nowadays.  Just be sure to purchase extra virgin and unrefined as commercially processed oils may be filled with some nasty undesirables.  I’ve used coconut oil in the past to remove waterproof mascara and eyeliners, and they wiped right off, with ease.  It’s still a go-to when I’m out of my other essentials.

No Budget

For a bit more money, ($26.00) extra nourishment and supporting your local YYC, I really loved using the Simply Polished Make-Up Remover.  It had a light application and feel compared to plant-based oils which can be pretty heavy on the skin, and the waterproof makeup came off with relative ease.  They use very calming and soothing ingredients like chamomile, witch hazel, aloe, vitamin E and local YYC sourced honey.

Low Budget

When I first started buying natural skincare products, my all time favorite and budget-conscious cleanser and make-up remover was the Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk. It runs about $15.00 and felt so incredible on my skin.  YYC is very dry, and my skin is dry-combination, so I needed something that was creamy, rather than foamy or gel based.  It took my waterproof makeup off in a snap and left my face feeling very soft and supple. Even when scrubbing my mascara off, there was no eye irritation – I don’t know about you, but I like to get right in there and scrub-a-dub-dub. A bottle would last me about 4-5 months or so.

Now fully into my 30’s, and suffering the consequences of my not-so-healthy 20’s, I needed a more robust skincare regime that was for more ‘anti-aging’ results.  I wasn’t quite ready to jump into the crazy expensive skincare lines quite yet, but I heard about a company called Decium – The Abnormal Company.  Their products are Canadian, vegan and were all the rage a couple of years ago with their cost effective, build your own skincare lines. It’s not the most ‘natural,’ and you do feel like you need a molecular science background when navigating through their products.  With help from their customer services rep, I tried their High-Efficiency Facial Cleanser which ran about $21.00.  It was a bit different getting used to, being super liquidy it was hard to figure out how much I really needed and I definitely had to use a make-up remover first.  All in all, it was good to try, but not something I would recommend for dry skin.

After 4 and a half months of using Decium, I was ready to bite the bullet and go bigger.  I was extremely happy that I did – finding three great products from the same line.

No Budget

Eminence is a high-end, natural, organic skincare line from Hungary that is eco-friendly, sustainable and biodynamic.  If you’re serious about your anti-aging, organic skincare regime, this is a line I highly recommend.  I had a bit left over of the Decium cleanser, so I picked up a couple of samples of the cleaners to try. Depending on what you like for smell and your sensitivity to exfoliants I found these three out of the four I tried to be my top favorites; Coconut Milk Cleanser, Sweet Red Rose Cleanser, and the Blueberry Soy Probiotic Exfoliating Cleanser.  A bonus was that I didn’t have to use a makeup remover as they did the job incredibly well and I’ve found my skin feels super fresh, clean and hydrated.  A little went a LONG way with these babys, so even though they’re a bit pricier – they will last a long time.



Low Budget

Thayer’s Alcohol-free Witch Hazel or Rose Water Toner are two awesome, gentle choices for toners.  I’ve also heard of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, but I honestly haven’t tried it myself. Witch Hazel and Rose Water act as gentle astringents, tightening pores and sealing in moisture while removing excess oil and dirt from your skin.  It’s important to get alcohol-free as you don’t want to dry out the skin or disrupt the pH too much.  Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) is incredibly calming and soothing on the skin and helps with inflammation and tightening. Hamamelis is the main ingredient in hemorrhoid creams (anyone else heard of people putting preparation H on their face for reducing puffiness?)   Rose Water is great for sensitive skin and has a light and feminine fragrance.



No Budget

Eminence Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist Is a lovely choice for a high-end mature skin toner.  Neroli oil is from the bitter orange tree and is wonderful for helping reduce scars and wrinkles.  It has retinol-alternative ingredients as well so it doubles as an anti-aging toner.  The bottle should last you about 6 -8 months or longer as you spray it on your face, instead of using a make-up pad which can soak up a lot of the product.

Low Budget

Decium – The Abnormal Company had two great serums from their line The Ordinary that I would buy again; ultra pure, vegan Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and The Buffet.  Hyaluronic Acid soaks up moisture and locks it into your skin, keeping it plump and hydrated.  It will run you about $15.00.  Yea… you read that right $15.00!  The Buffet is a combination of peptides that help to repair and rejuvenate your skin and will set you back a whopping $22.00. The bottles lasted about three months with continued use.  FYI, it is a good idea to wait for about 10-minutes after applying these and allow the products to soak in before moving on to your eye cream or moisturizer, or you might get minor pilling or balling up of the product.

No Budget

Eminence Marine Flower Peptide Serum is a hefty $93, an extreme jump from The Ordinary Line, but if you want a luxurious facial serum, this baby made me want to start pronouncing my name Shj-ahnna. Again, a few drops can go very far, so the bottle should last you about 6-8 months or longer.  It’s a 2018 award-winning serum that helps to build and repair collagen and is easily absorbed into the skin.

Low Budget

Kalaya Naturals Omega 3 Lotion is the bomb-diggity.  I absolutely love this product for many reasons, but for the face, it’s so incredibly moisturizing and skin-softening.  For about $10, this all-around face and body moisturizer has been a staple in my household for years.  While I have graduated to a more specified anti-aging skincare regime now, whenever I run out of my face moisturizer, this is my back-up.  The combination of emu and plant-based oils help to drive moisture into the skin without leaving an oily residue.  There is hardly any wait time before applying makeup.  Depending on if you use it strictly for face or both face and body, it can last a very long time!

Related Blog Post: Review – Kalaya Naturals Omega 3 Lotion

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors HA will give your skin a boost of hyaluronic acid as well as other amino acids and compounds naturally found in the skin.  It hydrates very well and goes a long way; I was able to get about three months out of the small tube.  If I was not considering more anti-aging ingredients and organic products, I probably would have stuck with this moisturizer for the added hyaluronic acid benefit.

No Budget

Eminence Jasmine Tangerine Night Cream is my day and night cream master moisturizer.  I combine it with my organic sunscreen in the AM and apply as-is for the night.  It is so incredibly hydrating and works wonders for my dry skin, especially heading into the winter season.  It contains boosters of anti-oxidants, Co-Q10 and ALA to help further reduce the signs of aging, helping with wrinkles and fine lines.

Your Skin – Your Way

These are just a few of my favorite tried and tested products for dry-combination skin with anti-aging goals. Everyone’s skin is different and depending on what stage in life you’re at or your budget for skincare some may not be the best fit for you, but there are options available.  What are your favorite brands for your skin type?


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