Back to basics with Nekkid Beauty: What to try from this small-batch local beauty brand

What does it mean to “get Nekkid”? For local, small-batch beauty company Nekkid Manila, it means stripping down to the basics by focusing on high-quality, hand-made products. It also means going the cruelty-free, vegan/vegetarian, and all-natural route. But while the latter claims probably belong to a broader discussion on labeling, this review will stick to the experience of trying out eight products from their collection.

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For some instant scent therapy in a bottle, the Rosewater Mist (P640) can be used as a toner, facial mist, and setting spray. I have tried it all three ways, and I really like the refreshing rose-lychee scent. It doesn’t add any tackiness, so I particularly enjoy using it as part of my pre-makeup skincare routine. However, don’t use this as a setting spray if you’re wearing a smudgy, washable mascara.   

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Moving on to cleansing, I have to admit that I felt apprehension about using the Deep Sea Mud Facial Soap (P90) on my face. Historically speaking, bar soaps and my dry skin don’t exactly get along. And with the Nekkid site recommending it for oily and acne-prone skin, I became even more nervous. But lo and behold, this was actually… pleasant. The bar has no strong scent, and it produces a low lather that doesn’t dry out my skin. I only need a slight dab to get enough lather on my face and neck, so a single bar will last a really long time! I suggest cutting up the soap into 3 or 4 smaller pieces to keep it fresh.

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Meanwhile, the Premium Collagen Soap (P90) is made from glycerin and plant collagen. It does lather up nicely without giving me any flakiness, and has a faint grape candy scent. Following up with a lotion or body moisturizer is still advisable. Both these Nekkid soaps are SLES-free.

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I seriously enjoyed the Nekkid Hands Organic Hand Cream (P250)! It has the consistency of body butter, so it richly coats my hands during my pre-bedtime moisturizing ritual. The cream will have been fully absorbed by my hands by the time I wake up the next morning, and my skin feels delightfully hydrated. Pink Grapefruit has a candied citrus aroma mixed in with the freshness and slight bitterness of grapefruit zest.

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A curious concoction, the aloe vera gel-based “Don’t Sweat It, I’ve Got You Covered” Vegan Deodorant (P349) dries completely without any stickiness or residue despite its brown-speckled appearance. For a stay-at-home and chill sort of day, I noticed that my underarm area stayed sufficiently dry and devoid of any odor, but it might not be enough protection for a busy work day. The deodorant itself doesn’t have any notable fragrance. Perhaps it’s more of a mild sweat neutralizer than a deodorizer?

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I was a little confused by the olive-scented Dry Oil Mist (P380). While the bottle indicates use pour les corps (for the body), its consistency reminds me more of a hair serum rather than the traditional body oil. As it is a dry oil, I experienced some drag as massaged over this on my skin, so I ended up pumping more product to coat all areas. But I do appreciate that it leaves a very subtle, glowy sheen on the skin without any greasy residue. I even ended up using it as a hair serum for my dry ends.

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As someone with thick, frizz-prone, chemically-treated hair, the Big Hair Texturizing Hair Spray (P250) didn’t really work any wonders for me in terms of volumizing. But as the product claims, I did notice the change in texture of my hair strands. It feels more grippy to the touch, so I can imagine this helping pins and elastics stay on for those complicated hairdos. Perhaps those with fine and/or naturally straight hair will see more of a difference.

I also have to mention that when I opened the spray bottle to smell the formula, I noticed some brownish sediments inside. I’m not sure if this is merely an ingredient that didn’t mix well but it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the salt spray.

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Finally, there’s the soothing fragrance of Nekkid Eau de Parfum in Serene (PHP 360). It’s a powdery, musky scent that I find very subtle and calming. Dare I say, it reminds me a little bit of Acca Kappa Muschio Bianco. Liz previously tried the Pure Eau de Parfum, and I think it’s safe to say that Nekkid’s got the hang of the clean-smelling scents.

Admittedly, I had a little bit of an issue with the packaging labels as they have the tendency to crumple up and peel when wet. I looked it up on their site, and they clarified that they deliberately opt for non-laminated labels is to keep the sticker paper recyclable.

Have you tried products from local, small-batch beauty companies? What are your favorites?