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’?

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products

Have you paid attention if your household supplies are good for your skin or eco safe? I talk a lot about skincare on my blog and today I’d like to expand the chat to products that also affect our skin wellbeing. When I lived in Japan I didn’t only suffer from adult acne, but I got a nasty skin reaction probably related to my laundry routine. Since then I’ve tried to be conscious about my household cleaners and laundry detergents, creating an eco friendly home at the same time. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk (*) have been gifted for consideration.
This post contains affiliate links to support the blog.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My Background and Itchy Skin

About 5 years ago when I lived in Japan I didn’t have my own washing machine. I used a local coin laundry (very common in Japan) to wash my clothes, sheets and towels. The washing machines were set to wash everything in 40° and they did gather dust which nobody else seemed wipe off. I used local, pretty general laundry detergents and after a while I started to get very itchy skin. I doubt this was a reaction to water or any personal cosmetic product (such as body lotion) that I used. There was no visible reactions such as rash, but I felt very uncomfortable. After returning to Finland my skin calmed, but I wanted to avoid getting the same odd reaction. I was already a vegetarian and wanted to live an environment friendly life, so started to investigate eco detergents and soaps.

While “normal” laundry detergents are effective, they are often heavy on fragrance, cleaning agents and chemicals that prevent dirt from settling back or work well in harder water. I’m not going to list any “harmful” ingredients here as I couldn’t find too many reliable sources and this article is not about green washing. I want to share some options you can try, if you wish.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Soap Nuts | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skin Safe & Eco Friendly Way to Wash Clothes: Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are my favorite way to wash laundry, I’ve used them for about 5 years now. This may sound “too hippie” to some of you, but hear me out! Soap nuts are very simple, easy and wallet-friendly way to wash clothes efficiently. You take about 4 soap nut halves for one medium amount of laundry (check the instructions from your packaging), place them in a sock or a small cotton/muslin bag, close it, crush the soap nuts (I step on them) and put the soap nut bag with the laundry. You’re done. You may even reuse the nuts if your laundry isn’t very dirty.

Soap nuts contain an ingredient called saponin which is a powerful natural surfactant with foaming and cleaning properties. This works very well for clothes that are washed between 40°-60° celsius, removing dirt, oil and stains. Once the soap nuts soften or you’ve washed a couple of laundries with them you can compost the nuts! I know it’s possible to even make your own liquid soaps from soap nuts by cooking them, but I personally I’m lazy and reach for readily available products.

Mummi ja Minä | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Liquid Laundry Detergent and Laundry Vinegar

Since soap nuts work best in warm to hot water, I do have a regular laundry detergent for silk/wool. Lately I’ve washed sensitive materials such as linen and underwear with an eco safe laundry detergent called Mummi ja Minä*. These detergents are made in Finland and have a light fragrance, which has proven to be useful when washing workout clothes. They are rather expensive (~€12 for 500ml), one bottle equals about 16 washes. I only do laundry for 1 person, so these have lasted me a while – especially when I reserve the liquid for workout clothes and hand washes. My favorite is the laundry vinegar that makes my sheets soft and smell pleasant. I’m using it in the place of fabric softner.

The ingredients of the Peppermint Detergent* are only: Plant oil compound (Anionic surfactants) 5–10 %, alcohol <5 %, sea salt <5 %, peppermint essential oil 5 %. pH ~6. If you’re very sensitive to essential oils I might do a test wash first, but I don’t find the fragrance any way overpowering. The Laundy Vinegar (Peppermint)* has: vinegar >5%, essential oil < 5%, Natrium Benzoate (preservative), < 5% with pH ~3.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Other Cleaning Supplies

I do like to use Mummi ja Minä dishwashing liquid* as well thanks to the lovely bottle and nice, natural scent, but when I have very dirty dishes or perhaps grimy coffee pots I do reach for “regular” dishwashing liquid as it cuts oil better. With other eco cleaners I haven’t noticed much difference in efficacy vs regular ones.

I’ve purchased some eco conscious home cleaners by brands Lilly’s, Method and Ecover. Especially the Ecover Toilet Cleaner is very efficient and available at my super market. Otherwise I think I’ll dilute liquid home soaps myself in the future with Dr. Bronner’s.

Dr. Bronner's castile soaps* are very versatile and rather affordable, they can be diluted as hand soap, cleansing liquid, mopping, dishes, toilet cleaner, plant spray for bugs, even shampoo and brushing your teeth! Yup, lovely Mia told me she has tried.. and it tastes like soap. Dr. Bronner’s products are also biodegradable. The unscented castile soap* is one of the best for washing beauty sponges and puffs as it’s gentler than rubbing your sponges against a soap bar.

Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap* is nice for mopping when diluted in water, I got stains off my floors very efficiently. My new kitty, Haku, likes to carry his food around.. so it can get pretty messy, you know. The tea tree scent is fairly prominent while mopping, but does fade pretty quickly. I think I’ll purchase the eucalyptus scent for creating my own hand soap and kitchen spray.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What are the ways you’ve made your home more eco conscious and skin friendly? Have you heard about soap nuts before or gotten a skin reaction to a cleansing product? Let me know! x

Mega Empties Post (Spring 2019): Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance

I’ve been accumulating empties in my closet since last Fall I think.. Sorting and photographing them seemed such a drag and I kept putting off the tedious peace of work - which I found quite fun in the end! Cara was helping me out, curating and sniffing the piles. I decided to do these empties in more discussing style vs listing products and their good/bad points. I hope you like this format, feel free to leave any product specific questions in the comments!

Gifted items are marked with *.
Contains affiliate links.

 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Skincare EmptieS: Products I Enjoyed

By the way, I tried to affiliate link most of the products - if you decide to click and purchase, thank you for your support! I love Ben&Anna Deodorant Sticks*. I have one in my bathroom, in my partner’s closet, travel pouch.. Still loving the product and how you can recycle the cardboard packaging. I run out of these too quickly though, so I might purchase a similar deodorant in a jar form next.

My other favorites are pretty clear: anything from January Labs, Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care sunscreen and Mádara’s SPF30 for face and body*. Innisfree and Mádara I’ve already repurchased because I run out of sunscreen so quickly and I always need a couple of them on hand. The January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic and Revitalizing Day Cream I’m going to repurchase asap, but in the meantime I’m testing a couple of other toners and creams for review. January Labs creams, toner and cleanser are still my die-hard, holy grail, best of the best favorites. The Restorative Tonic Mist* was an older one, I have a small backup and I hope the mister is better. I could live without this, but if you’re a mist fanatic I recommend keeping and eye on the mist.

I also loved the THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil, my beloved Kypris Antioxidant Dew and Esse R6 serum*. The Esse R6 is one of the very few serums I’ve enjoyed as much as I’ve liked Kypris - except the price per/ml is pretty high with Esse. Nuxe Rêve de miel lip balm is something I always have on hand. I’m already 2/3 done with my next pot. The de Mamiel lip balm was also lovely, but it started to smell odd before I had finished it. The texture is more oily than balmy and for my chapped lips I think I prefer the cheaper Nuxe Rêve de miel.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Cure Natural Aqua Gel is a classic and I’ve gone through several bottles. I’m now testing the V10+ version of this peeling gel and it’s just as nice, more pricey but in a convenient small tube. NUORI mist went off too soon, but otherwise I’d love to get another one. May Lindstrom the Honey Mud, Exuviance Eye Cream, ATOCLASSIC Real Tonic Essence* I might get another one if I’m in the mood. BYBI’s Supercharge Serum* is a product I still recommend (full review here), but personally I prefer more luxury, complex facial oils. CCS Foot cream hasn’t heard of any luxury, but is excellent for chapped feet. I’ve seen my Mother using this for years and my foot therapist has recommended me to use a foot cream regularly, so this has been my go-to. Lush Fairly Traded Honey shampoo smells awful to my nose, but I’ve noticed it makes my hair silky soft, so.. might repurchase for travel or my bf’s apartment.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Skincare And Hair The “Mehh” Pile

These products were not bad, but disappointing in a way that I wouldn’t run/jog/walk to repurchase. I had especially high hopes for the African Botanics Cell Recovery serum, but despite using the whole bottle I found little to no effect on my skin. The ingredients list is very lovely and some of my Instagram friends swear by African Botanics, but if the bottle is £132 for 30ml (I did get it cheaper by subscribing to the Boxwalla) I expect more results or even something.

I do think most of you who don’t need a heavy moisturizer might enjoy the Whamisa Organic Flowers Nourishing Cream* (review here) - I did too, but in the end I just wanted to use it up. The same happened with the NUORI oil*, but overall I enjoy the brand. Patyka* or Clarins didn’t do anything to me and as per usual I couldn’t stand the smell of the Aurelia cream. Bravura London is a brand that offers simple skincare solutions and affordable chemical exfoliants. I felt this toner was going bad, I never touched it since discovering the Biologique Recherche P50 toner.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Finally, the Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream which was the biggest disappointment for me.. I love Josh’s skincare philosophy and his line, Vital Balm Cream sounds divine but in the end it was a more solid cream with an odd smell. I find that his oilier Advanced Hydration Mask works better for me as an overnight treatment - and is cheaper too!

 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Empty Makeup and Fragrance: What I loved

I’m partly proud and partly sad I finished my Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia perfume. Proud: a perfume takes some time to finish (and it was on the older side), yet sad: it’s a gorgeous scent, especially for Summer and the last days I wore it I kept getting compliments. Sigh, might need to repurchase.

ADDICTION Tinted Moisturizer and Skin Care Foundation - I did a full review about the renewed version of the foundation, which I sadly disliked. While I loved the original Tinted Moisturizer I think ADDICTION has also repackaged and possibly re-formulated this as well, so not repurchasing for now. My THREE Shimmering Glow Duo was going strong but searching my archives I found out it was 3 years old. That’s too long for a cream product - I decluttered this and purchased a new one. The Shimmering Glow Duo is still my favorite cream highlighter (talk about dedication!).

SUQQU Brow Mascara in Khaki I already repurchased, the Clinique brow pencil* lacked a spoolie but I will restock on this as well as the Lily Lolo Mascara*. Love, love love. As well as the Rouge Bunny Rouge Genesis Original Skin primer (great if you struggle with pores) and Rouge Bunny Rouge Pristine Light Light Corrective Eye Primer (tacky, heavy, but very good). I’m waiting for my bank account to allow me and restock on some Rouge Bunny Rouge items (this primer, eye primer, Diaphanous powder)… I know I have a lot of makeup to use up, but these items are irreplaceable!

Also: this Maybelline nailpolish remover (Acetone Free formula) is the bomb. Cheap, easily available in Finland, takes what it says on the tin: takes off nail polish gently and quickly. Doesn’t damage my nails. Will repurchase again and again.

 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Empties: Mascaras

I think with mascaras were going the old fashioned way and giving them some number ratings, which I’ve checked from my spread sheets. Left to right:

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Mascara – Worth all the hype, very nicely separating and curl keeping mascara that doesn’t smudge on me. Easy to remove with hot water. 4.5/5

Heroine Make Volume and Curl mascara – My cheap and chic Japanese version for MAC Extended Play, except that Heroine Make’s non-waterproof formula is still more waterproof than many Western competitors. The wand is my liking, easy to apply, but not much volume. 5/5

dejavu Lash Knockout Mascara – This brush was humongous which made mascara hard to apply. No much volume, an okay “no makeup” makeup style mascara. 3/5

Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme mascara – I purchased this mascara after enjoying the Multi Effects by EL, but again the large wand was not for my liking. The formula was also very wet, which made the mascara smudge easily. 3.5/5

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effects mascara* – Excellent mascara for building up some volume or length depending which side of the wand are you use. Lasts well, but easy to take off. 4/5

Lily Lolo Mascara* – My surprise love from the green beauty scene! Nice wand, formula medium dryness, good for building up some volume. Will get a new one. 4.5/5

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Makeup Empties. The ‘Mehh’ Pile and Dislikes

A couple of these items were a purge. That Lancome Juicy Shaker was simply old, grimy and I think the Gressa lip balm had expired as I purchased it from a sale (this shop no longer carried the brand). Too bad, Lavish was a beautiful metallic pink and I would’ve loved to wear it more. The RMS Buriti Bronzer was also getting funky - I rarely wear a shimmery bronzer so this didn’t get the love it deserved.

Then a couple of concealers: YSL Touche Éclat.. yeah I dunno, I guess the shade 2 was too dark for me highlighting. Rouge Bunny Rouge Luminous Skin Wand was a good, light and hydrating under eye concealer, but the clicker kept dispensing too much. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2 never really worked for me, I kept mixing the two colors without ever getting the shades just right. I love the concept, but not a product for me as I can pinpoint conceal quicker with other products.

And finally the setting spray and makeup mist I both disliked. Urban Decay All Nighter did nothing for me and the MAC Fix+ bottle leaked on me again and again. Wouldn’t repurchase these two, I far prefer my KICKS Matte Setting Spray* and Beauty Blender Makeup Mist*.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Final Word and What Would I Repurchase First

What I would repurchase right away would be the Kypris Antioxidant Dew (again), January Labs Toner and Cream, Esse Serum R6, Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Primer, Lily Lolo Mascara, CCS Foot Cream and Jo Malone Perfume. Other must-haves such as NUXE Rêve de Miel, THREE highlighter duo and THREE Cleansing Oil plus both sunscreens (Innisfree and Mádara) I already have repurchased and in my stash. Oh, and same with Ben&Anna deodorants!

Total count of used up products: 50. Fifty! And as I’m typing this I’ve already added 5 new products to my empties paper bag… more about those next time! What have you last used up?