What's better than a product that does what it promises? A product that does that on the cheap. We love telling you about these goodies almost as much as we enjoy using them. A while back we were rightfully called out by a reader on our often-times elitist attitude to skincare.

Not everyone can afford a boutique routine, no matter how much they want to support local, and/or double-down on cruelty-free. Well, turns out you can do both without eating into your rent money! Cool, huh? All of these products have been tried-and-tested by us in our super profesh lab (which is actually just our Ed's bathroom, but whatevs).  Take a scroll on down and meet your new beauty BFFs.


1. THE BUY / African Extracts Spot Treatment THE PRICE / R60  LE GOOD STUFF /  This pimple-blasting powerhouse works, like, too well all thanks to its actives - including salicyclic acid and Vitamin B3. Salicyclic acid is what's known as a betahydroxy acid, and it acts like a mild, effective chemical peel by breaking up skin cells and allowing blackheads and pimples to unclog. Hello, clear pores! Vitamin B3, also called 'niacinamide', is an INCREDIBLE ingredient that evens skintone among a bunch of other groovy things.

Basically, it kicks redness in the butt, and we can't get enough of it. We make the most of this spot treatment by squeezing a small amount onto our palm, then applying a thin layer gently over blemishes. Make sure your hands are clean before use, though, or risk adding bacteria to where you really don't need more of it. Also good to know? African Extracts products are made in South Africa, and are endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty. Whoop, Whoop! GRAB IT AT / Clicks and Dischem's your best bet.

2. THE BUY / African Extracts 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub, Mask THE PRICE / R60 LE GOOD STUFF / Can we get a big 'hurrayyy!' for minimalist beauty? One bottle and all those benefits for that price! That saves us time, money, and shelf space. Yes, please! It's also a quick-application mask that won't have you sitting with clay on your face for the better part of twenty minutes. All you need is three! Vegan babes who aren't up for bee products will have to give this one a skip though - one of its featured ingredients is beeswax. GRAB IT AT / Clicks and Dischem, babe!

3. THE BUY / African Extracts Soothing Cleansing Lotion THE PRICE / R60 LE GOOD STUFF / We tested this calming milk cleanser on our Ed. who has ridiculously-sensitive skin, and after she tried it, she bought three more bottles in case she wouldn't find them in London.  A creamy, luxe skin aid that truly feels more like a lotion than a wash, but cleanses just as well as a gel. GRAB IT AT / Clicks and Dischem stores all over.

4. THE BUY / African Extracts Even Tone Moisturiser THE PRICE / R60 LE GOOD STUFF / This is hands-down the best thing in our beauty cupboard, right now. Packed with Vitamin B3, this is a great nighttime moisturiser for giving your skin an even tone, and reducing the, well, darkness of dark spots. We put this HERO on in the evening and wake up to skin that's the same colour everywhere! No redness - none. Just, wow! GRAB IT AT / Dischem stores nationwide. 

5. THE BUY / Himalayan Herbals Natural Glow Fairness Cream THE PRICE / R22 LE GOOD STUFF / Another good source of our star ingredient, Vitamin B3, this hella-affordable cream also contains calcium and saffron - which are reported to have a positive effect on pigmentation. It's also pretty awesome that HH has a transparent policy on animal testing and fair trade, but they haven't been approved by a third party like Beauty Without Cruelty. Something to keep in mind. GRAB IT AT / Dischem, boo. 

6. THE BUY / The Victorian Garden Lavender and Chamomile Toning Refresher THE PRICE / R79 LE GOOD STUFF / The perfect makeup setter for sensitive skin, this little bottle of lush is made locally, with no animal ingredients. You can also use it to add moisture after cleansing, but be sure to follow it up with an actual moisturiser or it might actually dry your skin - not what we want. 


It's been bought to our attention by a reader (thanks, Robyn!) that we were not clear enough about the potentially-harmful ingredients in the products we showed you here. There are some ingredients in these products that are not suitable for those who don't want to risk irritation (like parfum). 

Because transaprency and research-based posts are our favourite things, we've decided to accompany every beauty article from here on out with a list of the ingredients that have reputable claims against their safety in cosmetic use, where these ingredients are listed on a product that's mentioned in the article. We've also updated our mission statement to better-reflect our stance on natural versus synthetic debate. Please take a look and let us know what you think in the comments!

If you liked the post, be sure to let us know on social, or pop us a comment below. You can also comment with your best beauty buys - we are always keen for thrifty tips.