Niki Newd - the Pioneers in Fresh Skincare (Review)

There are many green and eco friendly Finnish skincare brands, but nothing quite like Niki Newd. They are a new artisanal skincare brand based in Helsinki that makes 12 batches of fresh skincare products in a year. Today I’m chatting about their philosophy of “gourmet nutrition” and reviewing a couple of products I was kindly gifted to try. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk(*) are kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts are honest & my own.

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Niki Newd

The inspiration for the brand came when the co-founder Kirsi’s shared her family’s skincare recipe with her biochemist friend. This facial recipe was passed down from mother to daughter where food grade, quality ingredients were used for a fresh skincare facial. Fast forward and the brand Niki Newd was born, with similar core principles: everything is hand-made, top quality with full traceability, purest, freshest, organic ingredients.

Many eco skincare brands use luxury ingredients, but not food grade. Even organic cosmetic grade ingredients are not meant to be edible. Niki Newd wanted to create a “gourmet” luxury brand where every ingredient is food grade, naturally sourced and inspired by the Nordic superfoods. Niki Newd uses zero fillers, no alcohol, preservatives - on the contrary the products are made in small batches with a limited (‘fresh’) shelf-life of marked on the packaging. Read more about their philosophy. The product line now includes masks, soap, cream (must be refrigerated), facial oils and balms.

Fresh Batch of Skincare

Niki Newd doesn’t joke when they say everything is made in small batches: they are made to order. In May you may order products for June and forward, delivered globally. I chatted with the founders of Niki Newd and learned that some customers choose to place an order every month, some every other. If you’re stingy with a product it may last you longer than ~1 month, but everything is best when it’s fresh. The maximum shelf-life/“use within” of certain products is 3 months. All products (except soap and mask powders) are packed in the highest grade of violet glass.

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Niki Newd Oatmeal Soap

I was very excited to try this soap, I liked the idea of a solid cleanser and heard it would also remove light makeup. I also love anything oats and oatmeal. Unfortunately I felt this soap is way too drying for my face. While I liked the texture and cleansing properties of this soap, I feel the lather dried out my skin every time. I don’t like the “squeaky clean” feel it leaves. I was talking with the other founder of Niki Newd and she mentioned it make take a while for skin to get used to the difference, if the skin is used to cleansing milks. I tested this soap with a friend who has more combination skin on her T-zone and she loved the results.

Since it’d be a waste to not enjoy the high quality, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich ingredients of this soap, I think I will use it for my body. After all, these products were meant to use head to toe. Someone with much more combo or oily skin might enjoy this soap, but for now it’s not my first recommendation. €45 for 2x20g soaps and linen washcloth.

Oatmeal Soap INCI: Sodium Rapeseedate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Avena Sativa Bran, Linseed Acid, Faex

Niki Newd Yogurt Face Mask

The idea of this mask is lovely: you get a sachet of the mask and a small bottle of Spring Water from Lapland. You mix them in a lovely dish and apply to your skin, wait until the mask starts to dry and crackle - then wash off. For extra effectiveness you can wear the mask in sauna. I think this also wasn’t my thing. I loved the ritual of mixing the mask - even my cat wanted a bite (he likes oatmeal), I have a whole post about using powder masks right here.

I was having a stressful moment when applying the mask and didn’t feel much difference when I washed it off. I smelled like oatmeal cookies, but that’s about all. Beta glucan has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties, but I think this mask would probably better suit for sensitive skin to tone redness. For me €35 is also too pricey for a single-use mask. I want to mask as much as possible!

Yogurt Face Mask Powder INCI: Oatmeal, yogurt powder, potato starch, yeast
Water INCI: Aqua

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Niki Newd Velvet Skin Oil and Skin Butter

The Skin Velvet is a “heavier” type of facial oil – again, can be used head to toe, even on the eye area. I could tell it’s high quality even by the feel alone: its golden color and non-artificial scent that’s like a hint of berries mixed with camelina oil. Only a few drops is enough, but I’ve slathered this on generously. It sinks in, pampers, moisturizes intensively, but doesn’t feel greasy or leave a residue. It’s truly luxurious and lovely, I’m happy to find a facial oil that utilizes whats local and natural for me and my family: Nordic berries.

The Skin Velvet consists of cold pressed avocado and camelina oils mixed with Nordic berry oils: sea buckthorn oil, strawberry seed, oil, lingonberry seed oil and blackcurrant seed oil. The oils are naturally high in omega -3, -6, -7 and -9 fatty acids that topically applied soothe, reinforce, treat and protect dry skin. It’s also packed with antioxidants, carotenoids, Vitamin E and CoQ10, all which help with signs of ageing.

To my nose the Skin Velvet has a leafy scent, reminds me of blackberry leaf juice my Grandma makes. I never liked the juice, but the memory brings me back to our summer cottage, next to lake and birch trees.

Skin Velvet Oil INCI: Persea Gratissima Oil, Camelina Sativa Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Fragaria Ananassa Seed Oil, Vaccinium Vitisideae Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract

The Skin Butter is a soft, creamy skin balm with a yellow hue. In room temperature it’s soft enough to be picked with a finger (or a spatula) and spread on the face. You can also warm the balm between your fingers and then massage. This is the most refined balm on the lips as well. Your skin is left feeling soft and moisturized, if you layer or mix this with the Skin Velvet it’ll take a moment until everything sinks in.

The scent of the Skin Butter is more buttery, soft and creamy. I’ve used coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil in multiple products but they never smell this concentrated and “real”. Not to be confused with coconut or shea perfumed things, this is the real stuff.

The Skin Butter INCI: Cocos nucifera oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Cera flava, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts

The prices are high and amounts are small, true luxury, but Niki Newd believes in a minimal routine with multi-purpose, powerhouse products that you can apply head to toe. The price is similar to other highly luxurious skincare oils like Vintner’s Daughter, for example. Let’s say the Skin Velvet lasted you only a month, the price would be ~2,7 euros/day (two applications). If you can skip daily takeout lattes and want to invest them in skincare, I think it’s doable treat. Expensive, yes, but if I prefer to spend on something in my beauty routine, it’s serums/oils. In my experience Niki Newd Skin Velvet and Skin Butter were the most exquisite: if you want to start from somewhere, I’d pick the oil.

Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll find out! What do you think about ‘fresh skincare’?

Millennial Pink Meets Eco Beauty - Bybi Beauty Supercharge Serum Review

Cute millenial pink packaging, cruelty free, 100% natural and a price point that doesn't make your choose between beauty and your rent. That's BYBI, a British skincare brand launched in 2017. While the range is well-curated and simply adorable on the outside, does the skincare actually perform? Today I'm taking a look at their Supercharge Serum* and sharing you my thoughts! Enjoy!

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BYBI Supercharge Serum

This natural facial serum is designed to be potent, nutrient-dense yet light and fast-absorbing in texture. Unlike many eco facial oils, the Supercharge Serum has almost a transparent color and the blend of natural oils and essential oils are in a squalane base. Suggested use is in the mornings for a fresh, dewy look or as a night treatment before, in place of or added to a normal moisturizer. Packed in a glass bottle with a pipette dropper. 30ml / 1.018 fl.oz. for £32 or 38,90€. In Finland you can find BYBI from Jolie* or TwistBe*.

About BYBI Beauty Brand

BYBI was a completely new brand to me and I had to do some research who/where/what was it all about. The packaging is very cute millenial pink, typography is smart, overall the look is very Instagram friendly (and my graphic designer's heart is very happy). The price point is moderate/affordable if you consider the fact these ingredients promise to be high quality, 100% natural, vegan and cruelty free. The name BYBI stands By Beauty Insiders and the brand is founded by Elsie and Dominika, who are both UK beauty bloggers, consumers and formulators. They wanted to create a transparent brand based on their knowledge and bring something fresh to the market.

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Using the Supercharge Serum

I've used this product as my serum step before a moisturizer (AM routine) or sealed under a nourishing beauty balm (PM routine). Despite testing the product during the heatwave that was scorching Europe, my skin wasn't left looking or feeling like a grease ball. BYBI describes the oil "almost like a dry oil" and I can agree - it sinks in very quickly, leaving the skin looking fresh and moisturized. I have a firm love for heavier, opaque colored eco facial oils, but it was wonderful to reach for something lighter during the hotter months. I take a generous amount (more than 4-5 drops), press my palms together and then press and roll on my face, neck and décolleté. The scent is slightly citrusy, but not overpowering.

I almost always prefer a dark opaque bottle for packaging to protect the product from light, but I guess the oils in BYBI's formula aren't that 'sensitive' type? I'm used to droppers but BYBI's is a tad flimsy as the glass pipette once fell off from the plastic pipette. Nothing was spilt and I pressed the glass part back to it's place, but as a consumer I don't want to think or be careful with the packaging. So that's a minor minus point, but otherwise I would travel with this serum despite the glass bottle as it does work very nicely under makeup.

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Ingredients

Squalane, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Seed Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Papaver Somniferum (Poppy) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Citronellol, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil, Geraniol, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Citral, Linalool, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Oil, Limonene, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Eugenol, Isoeugenol

The base of this serum is squalane derived from olives. SqualAne is a hydrogenated version of squalEne, but not subject to auto-oxidation ie. it has a longer shelf-life. They're both naturally occuring compounds of human sebum and won't irritate or sensitize the skin. Squalane is a popular emollient and moisturizing agent in a lot of skincare as it absorbs quickly, making the skin nice and plump with no greasy residue.

Looks like BYBI has chosen a lot of other very moisturizing, antioxidant rich and stable oils for their formula, such as meadowfoam seed oil and Japanese camellia oil. I could find only little info on the second ingredient, kuikui or candletree oil, but meadowfoam is another fast-absorbing oils that locks in moisture and delivers nutrients into epidermis. There's also Tocopherol (Vitamin E), evening primrose and prickly pear seed oil. Especially prickly pear seed oil has been popular in green beauty as it has high olinoeic acid and antioxidant content.

After a few flower oils there is a surprising amount of fragrant ingredients, most likely naturally derived, but they are possible irritants and allergen (Linalool, Limonene, Eugenol etc.). It's weird because the Supercharge Serum has only a faint citrus smell that doesn't linger. So why the need for fragrance? Luckily I haven't had any issues while using this oil, but if you're very sensitive or have issues with essential oils I'd patch test or give it a sniff first. 

I think Supercharge serum would suit the best for reactive, perhaps acne-prone and oily skins as the comedogenic rating of squalane is very low, but it provides well-needed moisture for the skin. Just be cautious of the fragrance. If you have more mature or very dry skin this serum alone might not be enough for you, except if you enjoy a lighter and fast-absorbing oil under makeup.

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Final thoughts

As I mentioned before, BYBI was a completely new eco brand to me and I had some healthy scepticism that something so cute wouldn't be effective.. silly I know and I'm happy report I was proven wrong! I thought the range would be only aimed towards younger audience judging by the pink packaging and lower price point (with eco oil serums the prices can be in 3 figures), but so far the products I've tried have won me over. I'm glad there's a range with an oil serum that is both aesthetically fresh but also won't break the bank.

*This product was kindly offered for consideration.
My thoughts are unbiased, honest and my own.