When Waitrose first introduced its Pure skincare range a few years ago, I tried some of the products and thought they were so-so. I used most of them up, but I didn’t like them anywhere near enough to buy them again. At the end of last year, I noticed that the range had been relaunched. I thought I’d give it another go, and I’m really glad I did.
I’ve been using several Pure products for the last four months, and I love them. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to your current skincare favourites, I highly recommend giving these a shot. They are:
- brilliant for my sensitive, combination skin
- cruelty-free and vegetarian (most are vegan)
- free from parabens and SLS
- manufactured in the UK
- made from 98% naturally-derived ingredients
- inexpensive and accessible
This post is quite long and detailed, so if you’re planning to read it all, may I suggest you grab a cuppa and settle in.
I’ve been using the following products on a daily basis for around three to four months. I’ll try and tell you what I like about them, how long they last, and what they’re packaged in.
Micellar water with waterlily (£2.50)
I’m a big fan of micellar water, and this is the best I’ve used. It’s gentle and unscented, and removes make-up effectively. It’s probably worth mentioning that I don’t wear waterproof mascara, so don’t know how well it would work on that.
Lots of the micellar waters I’ve used previously have caused irritation and redness around my eyes, which hasn’t been a problem with this one.
One bottle typically lasts me six to eight weeks. Both the bottle and cap are plastic but can be recycled.
Hot cloth cleanser with cotton seed oil (£5)
This is unlike other cleansers I’ve used. It’s very thick and has a slightly rough texture.
I wasn’t sure about it at first, but it’s really grown on me. It gently scrubs the skin, removes makeup, and leaves a layer of moisture behind. I use it after the micellar water to ensure my skin is really clean.
It comes in a box with a muslin cloth. One tube lasts me about eight weeks. It comes packaged in a non-recyclable plastic tube and the cloth is packaged in non-recyclable plastic wrap.
Comforting serum with cotton milk (£5)
This is my favourite product from the range. It’s simple, with no scent and a pretty basic texture, but it works wonders. I use it morning and night, underneath my moisturiser or face oil. Serum is not something I used before buying this, but I now notice a significant difference in the softness of my skin if I skip this step.
I use one and a half pumps, twice a day. One bottle lasts me four to five weeks. Unfortunately the bottle is non-recyclable.
Facial oil with cotton seed oil (£5)
I’ve really struggled with facial oils in the past. Although many of the ones I’ve tried have made my skin smoother and softer, they’ve also caused breakouts on my cheeks. This one is unscented and very gentle, and hasn’t given me any spots or redness. It looks a little too greasy on my skin for daytime use, but I love using it during the night. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and nourished, and seems to reduce redness and patches of uneven skintone.
One bottle lasts for about four months. It comes packaged in a glass bottle with a rubber and glass pipette – all recyclable.
Obviously everyone’s skin is different and a product that works for me might not work for you. Here are a few notes which I hope will add context to this review, and help you decide whether or not you want to try these products.
I have sensitive combination skin that’s leaning towards dry, but also prone to the occasional spot on my forehead and chin (especially around my period). I sometimes get patches of eczema, and I’m plagued by fairly regular (four or five times a year) attacks of hives, which leave my skin lumpy, red and itchy. I don’t wear very much makeup.
Other skincare products I currently use on a daily basis are the Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream, the facial scrub and toner from The Body Shop’s tea tree skincare range, and tea tree oil. I also use a cheap electronic facial brush. I don’t really use masks or other treatments.
There’s some more information about the Pure skincare range in this press release from Waitrose.
Obviously I really like these products overall. They’ve worked well for me and I think they’re just as good, if not better, than products I’ve spent ten times the amount of money on.
Although I’m aware that their food is prohibitively expensive for lots of people, I like Waitrose as a brand and I’m happy to shop there when I can. I support the values they represent as one of the largest mutual businesses in the UK.
My main criticism of the Pure range is about packaging. I don’t live a zero waste lifestyle (yet!) but I am trying to reduce the amount of trash that I create, especially single-use plastics. I’d love to see Waitrose repackage some of these products in glass jars, or even bottles made from recycled plastic – although I’m aware that this would probably have a significant impact on the price.
I’m also slightly wary of some of the ingredients (“naturally-derived” is not the same as natural) and how they’re sourced. I’d definitely like to know more about where the ingredients are from, how they’re collected, and whether or not they’re fair trade. This information is not readily available on Waitrose’s website.