Just like diets and Pantone colours (hello Living Coral), certain beauty trends come and go, but a good moisturiser never goes out of fashion. When it comes to iconic skincare products many that are top of mind fall within the moisturiser category, from L’Occitane’s Immortelle Divine Crème to Crème de la Mer’s offering. But what about face creams from the lesser known brands? Are they still worth discovering? The following moisturisers may be niche and not on everyone’s beauty radar, but they can offer an alternative to mainstream options. Iconic beauty products tend to guarantee a reliable performance and have built a solid reputation over the years, but it can be rewarding to discover hidden gems that you feel compelled to share with, well, anyone who’ll listen – or read.
First up is a moisturiser from British organic skincare brand Nourish which I’ve previously reviewed in my Vegan, Organic, Cruelty-free: Nourish Starter Collection post. The pot photographed is part of a lovely 4-piece set which allows you to discover the full Protect range designed for dry skin, however the moisturiser is also available separately as a full size. Certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free, this cream should satisfy even the most dedicated green beauties. Featuring natural – and 91 % organic – ingredients such as soya, sunflower oil, rosehip and lemon (which provides the deliciously fruity scent), the oils keep your skin’s moisture levels up whilst vitamin C helps protect the collagen for a healthy-looking nourished skin. Reasonably priced at £21.00 for 50ml and economical in the sense that a little goes a long way, Nourish’s Protect Hydrating Moisturiser is one that I’ve been recommending quite a bit in the last 12 months, and will continue to do so.
Is it Siberian or Japanese? Well neither really. Developed by a Russian entrepreneur, this mattifying day cream targeting oily and combination skin is actually produced in Estonia. The formula features organic certified herbs typically found in Siberia such as the hydrating Meadowsweet, as well as Sophora Japonica Flower Bud Extract, high in vitamin P which apparently soothes the skin and stimulates its regeneration. Despite what the name suggests, the Sophora Japonica tree is native to China, although it does grow in Japan). Russia, Estonia, Japan, China, phew! After having gone around the world in just one product’s origins and ingredients (check out my post Around the World in 6 Beauty Products too), what does it actually do? My skin feels hydrated yet mattified thanks to extracts of wild harvested Altai Fescue and organic Meadowsweet that hydrate skin and control sebum. This day cream delivers balanced, shine-free skin with added SPF 15 to protect from gentle sun exposure. 50ml RRP £7.95
I love a good cover mount – you know, those free goodies you sometimes get when purchasing a magazine? It can range anywhere from a deluxe sample of hand cream to squishy flip flops, but regardless of the treat I’m always drawn to them. So when I spotted this Spanish face cream free with Elle magazine whilst killing time in Porto Airport last year I couldn’t resist. The bee venom claim brings up images of Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror as Snow White’s step mother submitting herself to painful-looking beauty treatments involving bird poo, bee stings and scorpions. Thankfully no actual stinging is involved here: the venom in the moisturiser tricks the skin into thinking it’s been stung, causing an increase in blood circulation and stimulating production of natural collagen (source: InStyle). Skin looks plumper and fine lines are smoothed, although it’s worth noting that this is a temporary result. Crucially this product is cruelty-free: the bees are not harmed when the venom is harvested. I have vivid childhood memories of bees dying after stinging so was dubious of this claim, but it turns out that a light electrical current in a glass or metal pane can encourage bees to sting the pane, meaning the venom is deposited but importantly the stinger remains intact (source: Express). Babaria’s Face Cream is a light, refreshing moisturiser that hydrates and smooths skin without leaving a greasy feel. 50ml RRP £9.59
Truly a niche skincare brand, Bloom Remedies offers products hand made in West Cornwall and enriched in essential oils. Part of a travel set, this organic moisturiser for sensitive skin features soothing Chamomile and fragrant Rose water in a light lotion just the right amount of hydration. Stocked in independent boutiques, The National Trust shops and Rare Beauty – an online beauty destination for British natural skincare – Bloom Remedies’ Delicate Care Moisturiser is also available in full sizes (50ml and 100ml) at a reasonable £14.50 and £19.50 respectively.
If you’re French or have lived in France chances are you may have come across SensiBiafine before. Although I’d never heard of it until last year and I grew up in France. This Soothing Face Cream may not come from an emerging brand, but regardless I still believe it deserves a place in this post as you’ll struggle to find it in the UK. This country has truly embraced French pharmacy skincare so you can easily pick up the likes of Avène and La Roche-Posay, but I particularly appreciate SensiBiafine’s extra gentle formulation, rich texture and fragrance-free formula. The brand may not be available in the UK for now, but you can find it online at around £11.00 for 50ml. No fuss, just great results at a reasonable price.
Which moisturiser do you recommend most often? Do you have a go to staple that never leaves your beauty routine? Leave a comment below to let me know.
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