I Tried Amazon’s Own-Brand Skincare Range – Here’s My Verdict

Photographed by Anna Jay.
From Plenaire to Tandem, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to new skincare brands. But lately, nothing has piqued the interest of beauty obsessives more than Amazon's very own line, Belei.
Seeing as most of us shop numerous daily must-haves on the site already, from coffee pods to home furnishings, it makes sense to stock up on skincare in the process, which is why the online reviews are already in on Belei. Everything in the collection has been available to shoppers in the US for a while now, with the addition of products containing acne-busting ingredient 5.5% benzoyl peroxide (unfortunately only sold on prescription here). But 19 products very recently launched on the UK website and they have been received just as positively.
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While the packaging is minimal, the collection consists of a host of essentials we rely on daily, including cleansers and serums, and with dermatologist-approved kaolin clay and salicylic acid making up the ingredients lists, it's actually pretty promising.
Intrigued, I ditched my current skincare routine, which is tailored to breakouts, pigmentation and dry patches, and swapped in various buys from the Belei range. Here's what's really worth your money.
Belei Dark Circle Softening Eye Cream, £18, available at Amazon.
While I don't believe any eye cream can get rid of dark circles or 'bags', they do work on fine lines, wrinkles and dry patches of skin. This is actually one of the most nourishing eye creams I've tried. Unlike other intensely moisturising formulas, it doesn't clog pores or leave behind a greasy residue, and so provides the perfect base for concealer. A little goes a long way.
Belei Fresh Complexion Face Peel, £12, available at Amazon.
This is much gentler than other face peels I tend to use, such as The Ordinary's AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30, and Goop's Exfoliating Instant Facial, £38, but it does a good job at brightening and smoothing bumpy skin with regular use. Give it a little massage to feel the full effects of the exfoliating particles.
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Belei Ultra Sensitive Purifying Face Wash, £8, available at Amazon.
While gel cleanser doesn't lather or foam, it cuts through oil as well as makeup, grime and dead skin cells. It makes skin feel squeaky clean minus the uncomfortably taut after-effects.
Belei Gentle Cleansing Milk, £8, available at Amazon.
This reminds me of both the gentle and effective Simple Purifying Cleansing Lotion, £3.79, and Nivea's Sensitive Cleansing Milk, £4.29. The formula is lightweight, not clogging, and removes even heavy makeup without stripping skin. Follow with a proper water-based cleanse to get rid of every single scrap of foundation and mascara.
Belei Deep Cleansing Charcoal Mask, £12, available at Amazon.
Charcoal masks often suck the life out of skin, leaving it dry and flaky, but this one is much kinder. The addition of zinc and kaolin clay clings to oil and dirt on the skin so that it doesn't block pores and result in breakouts.
Belei Detox Day Moisturiser with SPF 15, £16, available at Amazon.
While I'm wary of the word 'detox' when it comes to skincare (you can't really 'detox' your skin) this is packed with emollients, making it a great moisturiser for skin prone to dryness and flaking, whether winter weather or retinol-induced. My only gripe is that the sunscreen factor should be higher, so I used a separate SPF. Try Rituals SPF Drops SPF 50, £29.90, or Ultrasun Face Lotion SPF 30, £22.
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The verdict
While various products in the collection include a handful of expert-approved ingredients, I was surprised to discover that the UK line was limited compared to the US and void of popular additions like retinol and vitamin C. I contacted the brand to find out if there would be an expansion soon.
The price point for each product is higher than own-brand lines available at Boots, Superdrug and Aldi, for example, but with masks and cleansers coming in at £8-12, products are still relatively affordable. You also get a good amount of product for your money, which is a bonus.
Overall, there are a handful of products I'd continue to use. My skin can be prone to acne, so changing a lot of things at once isn't always the best idea. The eye cream is now a staple in my routine, as is the peel (which I'll do once or twice a week) and the cleansing milk – a product I use to take off my makeup while using retinol, as it's much more soothing and moisturising than other makeup removers.
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