In-Depth Mad Hippie Skincare Review: Analyzing this Popular Natural Beauty Brand

Mad Hippie burst onto the natural skincare scene in 2013 with a mission to prove that pure, organic ingredients could be just as effective as luxury brands at a fraction of the price. I decided to put their products to the test and see if they live up to the hype.

About the Brand

Mad Hippie was started by husband and wife team Sam and Dana Stewart after years of struggling to find quality natural products that actually worked on Dana’s sensitive skin. Frustrated with harsh chemicals and irritants in mainstream brands, the Oregon-based couple set out to develop their own line using ethically-sourced botanicals and antioxidants.

Today, Mad Hippie has amassed a cult following thanks to their commitment to both people and the planet. Their entire catalog is vegan, cruelty-free and uses recyclable packaging. They also donate $1 from every online order to wildlife conservation.

Mad Hippie‘s Key Values

  • Pure, active ingredients at therapeutic levels
  • No harmful chemicals or additives
  • Vegan & cruelty-free
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Donations to wildlife conservation
  • Affordable for a natural brand

Overview of Best-Selling Products

I tested over a dozen items from cleansers to serums and creams. Here is a brief overview of some of their most popular skincare products before diving into more in-depth reviews:

Vitamin C Serum

  • Potent 30% vitamin C blend
  • Ferulic acid, vitamin E for antioxidant protection
  • Hydrating sodium hyaluronate
  • Soothing aloe, chamomile extracts
  • Brightens, evens tone, builds collagen

Vitamin A Serum

  • Retinol alternative with bakuchiol
  • Plumping sodium hyaluronate
  • Soothing oat beta-glucan
  • Firms skin, reduces wrinkles
  • No irritation common with retinol

Antioxidant Facial Oil

  • Nourishing base of argan, cranberry seed oils
  • Antioxidant-rich superfood extracts
  • Protects against environmental damage
  • Hydrates without clogging pores
  • Calms redness and inflammation

Hydrating Facial Cream

  • Powerhouse moisturizer
  • Peptides help stimulate collagen
  • Antioxidants fight free radicals
  • Hydrating without heaviness
  • Suitable for all skin types

In-Depth Product Reviews

I put some of Mad Hippie‘s best-selling products to the test on my combination skin. Here‘s my unbiased take:

Vitamin C Serum

The Vitamin C Serum aims to brighten, firm and protect skin with its high 30% concentration of stable vitamin C. I‘ve used various vitamin C serums over the years with mixed results in terms of effectiveness and irritation levels.

My Experience

I was impressed by how quickly this serum absorbed without any sticky residue. The lightweight citrus scent is pleasant without being overpowering. I used it both morning and night after cleansing and noticed brighter skin and diminished dark spots after 2 weeks of continued use. It also layers nicely under moisturizers and makeup without pilling.

For a $34 price tag, I‘m thrilled with the results. Vitamin C serums from luxury brands like Skinceuticals and Drunk Elephant can run over $100 for the same 1 oz size. This is a much more budget-friendly option ideal for someone new to vitamin C.

The Good

  • Potent 30% vitamin C blend
  • Absorbs quickly without stickiness
  • Visible results in 2 weeks
  • Affordable compared to competitors

The Bad

  • Citrus scent could irritate sensitive skin (I had no issues)

Who Should Buy

This brightening serum is ideal for those with normal, oily or combination skin looking to even their complexion, build collagen and prevent UV damage without irritation often caused by low-quality vitamin C.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Vitamin A Serum

This serum contains 0.15% bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative that aims to reduce wrinkles without the drying effects of prescription retinoids. I was skeptical that it could match the impressive results I‘ve achieved in the past with both OTC and prescription retinol, but wanted to give this natural option a fair shot, especially because retinol sensitizes my skin over time.

My Experience

This serum feels more like a lightweight moisturizer than a treatment product. It absorbs quickly without any greasy film or pilling under other products. I used it nightly before bed for 12 weeks and noticed a definite improvement in fine lines on my forehead and crows feet area without any irritation or peeling.

While the results took longer than a traditional retinol, I‘m thrilled to get smoother, firmer skin without any redness or dry flakes. And at $33 for 1 oz, this plant-based serum costs nearly half as much as comparable options from Biossance, Paula‘s Choice and other natural brands.

The Good

  • Herbal retinol alternative
  • Firms and smooths without irritation
  • Hydrating formula
  • More affordable than competitors

The Bad

  • Takes up to 12 weeks for full results

Who Should Buy

This serum is perfect for those seeking anti-aging results from retinol without risk of dryness or peeling. It‘s gentle enough for all skin types.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Antioxidant Facial Oil

This nourishing dry oil contains a blend of antioxidant-rich plant oils and superfood extracts to hydrate, soothe and protect skin from environmental damage. My skin tends to get dull in the colder months, so I was excited to give this a try as an extra dose of nourishment.

My Experience

With key ingredients like arctic cloudberry extract and broccoli seed oil, I expected an earthy or bitter scent but was pleased by the light citrus aroma. This oil smooths nicely over moisturizer or even alone on bare skin, absorbing within minutes without heaviness or greasiness.

I add 2-3 drops to my night cream and wake up with soft, pillowy skin. And unlike many facial oils I‘ve tried that tend to clog my pores, this hasn‘t led to any new breakouts with consistent use. It also plays nicely under makeup without pilling.

At $25 for one ounce, this oil is very competitively priced compared to similar antioxidant oils from luxury natural brands like Ursa Major and Vintner‘s Daughter which can run $60-$80 for the same size.

The Good

  • Lightweight dry oil texture
  • Bright citrus scent
  • Superfood antioxidant extracts
  • Doesn‘t clog pores
  • Affordable for an oil

The Bad

  • Dropper bottle makes application messy

Who Should Buy

This nourishing dry facial oil is ideal for those looking to hydrate dull, dry skin and protect against oxidative damage. It works for all skin types without clogging.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Additional Top Products

Some other top performers from my Mad Hippie testing include the Cream Cleanser, Eye Cream and Facial SPF 30.

The gentle, creamy cleanser removes makeup and impurities without drying. The peptide eye cream treatment combats fine lines and dark circles while the mineral facial sunscreen hydrates with hyaluronic acid and provides non-nano Zinc Oxide protection.

Overall, Mad Hippie‘s products really impressed me with their clean ingredients, affordability and effectiveness. They lived up to their mission of offering botanical skincare that actually works and suits even sensitive complexions.

How Mad Hippie Compares

Mad Hippie holds its own against luxury natural competitors like Biossance, Tata Harper, One Love Organics and more. While brands like Tata Harper do offer a more indulgent, sensory experience with ingredients like caviar lime and champagne grapes, Mad Hippie gets the job done at a quarter of the price point.

Most of their serums and moisturizers cost between $25-$40 while Tata averages $65-$150 for the same size. And they use many of the same hero ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells but with more approachable botanical extracts versus exotic elements that drive up the cost.

In terms of safety and ethical standards, Mad Hippie is comparable to giants in green beauty like Biossance and Herbivore. All three brands are vegan, cruelty-free, use recyclable packaging and give back to causes like wildlife conservation.

The main advantage of Biossance is their use of biotechnology and science-backed formulas while Herbivore offers trendier ingredients like CBD and crystals. But for budget-friendly skincare that works, Mad Hippie tops my list for affordable natural products with integrity.

Tips for Using Mad Hippie

Based on my experience testing this brand for 8 weeks, here are my top tips for integrating their products into your routine based on your skin type and concerns:

For Dry Skin

Focus on creamy cleansers, vitamin C and deeply hydrating creams and facial oils. Avoid toners or exfoliating acids that could strip the skin.

For Oily/Acne-Prone Skin

Use oil-free, lightweight water-based products. Avoid coconut oil and shea butter. Use clarifying cleansers and exfoliating serums sparingly to prevent over-drying.

For Anti-Aging

Serums with peptides, retinol alternatives and antioxidants will rejuvenate mature skin. Follow with a rich cream. Always use SPF during the day.

For Sensitive Skin

Stick to gentle formulations free of fragrance and botanical extracts that could trigger reactions. Do a patch test when introducing new products.

While Mad Hippie is considered one the most gentle natural brands, those with very reactive skin should still take care when incorporating actives like vitamin C and acids. Start slowly and monitor closely for irritation.

The Verdict: Who is Mad Hippie Best For?

Mad Hippie delivers highly effective botanical skincare at very reasonable prices compared to other natural brands on the market. Their assortment of serums, moisturizers and cleansers are packed with proven ingredients suitable for all skin types when used properly.

While those with extremely sensitive skin still need to exercise some caution with potent actives, Mad Hippie offers much gentler formulations than conventional products. Their affordable price points also make high-quality ingredients accessible to younger demographics on a budget.

Compared to luxe clean brands, Mad Hippie preserves the integrity in their formulations using many of the same antioxidants, vitamins and extracts for a quarter of the cost. They may not use ultra-unique ingredients like Tata Harper‘s champagne grapes or Herbivore‘s crystals, but their botanicals get the job done.

If you‘re seeking green beauty products that really work thanks to high concentrations of active ingredients, Mad Hippie should rank at the top of your list along with Herbivore and Biossance. But if sensory indulgence from exotic elements is key, brands like One Love Organics and Tata Harper may better suit your preferences albeit at 4X the price.

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