BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Skincare

I feel like with every passing year, I always learn a different aspect of skincare. I found this year I focused a LOT on scientifically proven ingredients, as well as new, popular ingredients that are commonly talked about in the beautysphere. This was also the year I showed more interest in drugstore products! Out of everything I tried and used up this year, here are the skincare products that really stood out to me this year and deserve some praises.

Before we get into the individual products, I want to give a shout out to a few brands that have impressed me with almost every product I’ve tried from the line. If I didn’t, I feel like the list would be a lot longer! I also have product shoutouts along the list as well. They may not be my top pick for the year of 2018, but again, they deserve a mention since I did enjoy using them.


BRAND Shoutouts

DRUGSTORE: Cerave – If you need affordable, effective skincare with a simple ingredients list, this is the brand to turn to. Almost any skin type can turn to this brand! I’m looking forward to trying more from the brand and provide you all affordable alternatives in skincare.

MID-RANGE: Krave Beauty – I actually would have featured everything in this post, but since I only started using them near the end of the year a handful of times, I’ll leave the praises for a future post *hint hint*. A new skincare line created by acne-prone, sensitive-skinned beauty Youtuber Liah Yoo. The brand is all about respecting the skin’s natural function and makes sure to promote its helf rather than further sensitizing it.

HIGH-END: Dermalogica – She may be pricey, but she works, and a little goes a long way with every product I have tried! I love the combo of science-backed ingredients mixed with botanicals and essential oils in their formulas. This is one of the few skincare brands I’m willing to splurge money on because I’ve reaped nothing but benefits!


skincare-faves-18-1

Makeup Remover

Marcelle Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes – Favourited by a handful of Canadian Beauty Bloggers, and I can see why. It is simple, it is gentle, it works really well at removing waterproof makeup, all the while never irritating my eyes or drying out my eye area!

Cleanser

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser – Jesus where was this when I had worse skin problems? Cerave has impressed me this year as a drugstore brand and this is one of their standout products to me. Preferably used for my morning cleanse, I find it softens my skin when massaging for a minute or so and does a decent job at removing overnight fluffs. If you need a very gentle cleanser, I don’t think you’d be disappointed with this one!

Shoutout:
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – She’s expensive, but she also has a lovely texture, amazing second cleanse, and a little goes such a long way it took me forever to finish it!

IMG_20180707_183504.jpg

Hydrator

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence – I seriously miss this from my routine! I’m currently using Secret Key FTE which is nice, but COSRX is pretty much the same but with my preferred consistency! It wasn’t until I started using this that the plateau I was experiencing in my skincare ended. Face felt more hydrated, looked even tone, and I actually started noticing improvements in my hyperpigmentation.

Shoutouts:
Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner *
Some By Mi AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner *

I already threw out the COSRX Essence so I couldn’t take a new solo photo :3)

skincare-faves-18-4

Moisturizer

Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel – I pine for this. Has the different HA molecules, Urea, Ceramide, and Squalane! A seriously lovely humectant moisturizer that I’m highly considering repurchasing.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Surprise surprise! But seriously, I really am surprised that I liked a drugstore moisturizer so much. It worked with my dry skin and I see the workings of the 4% Niacinamide.

Klairs Vitamin E Mask * – Love it as my night time moisturizer in the colder months, and it’s also just a joy to use because of the texture and the instant brightening effects. The bonus is that it is a heavier mask that doesn’t aggravate my acne or enlarge my pores!

skincare-faves-18-3

Actives / Treatments

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – I cringe that this is a favourite because of the price point, but it’s SO GOOD! It does everything you could want in a vitamin C serum – hydrate, brighten, create an even tone, lighten pigmentation. I felt like it just simplified my morning routine when I used it.

Differin OTC 0.1% Adapalene – My gateway drug into retinoids (lol). After years of experimenting with skincare outside of prescription, and learning so much this year about its benefits, I decided to go back to Vitamin A. It was definitely a turn for the better, because I’ve only noticed my skin improving since incorporating it into my routine. I now use prescription Differin with a higher percentage, but Americans are very lucky to have easy access to this in your local drugstores!

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – Simplest, gentlest BP product I have ever tried. It was very affordable, I was surprisesd at how long it lasted, and yes, I found it very effective at killing any spots within a few days. I never thought I’d like a BP product as much as this!

Exfoliator

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – Gentle and easy to use, and I like that I can use it on wet skin!

Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel * – Must be used on dry skin, but love how my skin is noticeably softer after using this. This one is particularly good for not just it’s quality but the low cost!

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – Out of all the products I’m mentioning, this one is probably the gentlest. I always anticipate a stinging sensation when using this, but it’s always soothing and moisturizing! Like I’ve said before, it’s like an acid essence. My skin always looks bright and even, and pores look smaller.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA * – This year’s AHA favourite. Love that it’s gentle, especially now that I am using a retinoid, and still effective as an exfoliant for my skin. I especially like how both this and the PC product can be used under my eyes!

skincare-faves-18-6

Sunscreen

Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen – We hear time and time again from skin professionals, experts and enthusiasts how important sunscreen application is, and this is the one I used that really made me enjoy applying sunscreen. I also consider this a gateway drug into trying out many other sunscreens!

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+ PA++++ * – How can I not include this? Seriously one of the best Klairs releases. Chemical sunscreen with photostable UV filters, doesn’t sting my eyes, is slightly moisturizing, doesn’t have a cast, and comes in a great size for a great price.


And there you have it! I’m impressed that I managed to keep the list * rather * short this time around. Hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to check out the related content below!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup
BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: SKINCARE
The Best of Beauty 2016
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


This post contains affiliate links.

August 2018 Roundup

Basic BG Statement: I CAN’T believe we’re near the end of summer! Seriously, as you get older, time passes so quickly. Anyone else feeling the same way? Anywho, here is August’s roundup!


FAVOURITES

IMG_20180909_123751.jpg

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – I totally get the hype. I like how gentle it is that I can bring it up to my eye area without worry. I’ve repeated this a couple of times to friends, but my face looks very poreless, smooth and “juicy” when I use this product. I want to say the texture is borderline toner to essence. Like an acid essence. It doesn’t dry out my skin at all, and I can wait a few minutes before adding other products.

Riversol SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen – This has been a very pleasant sunscreen to use. Despite the mica in it to create a natural shimmer, I find it doesn’t blend too shiny or white on my skin. Having said that, I don’t think the tint will 100% adapt to your skin type. Definitely a sunscreen meant for drier skin types, because I do notice it adds an extra layer of moisture on my skin. Until the weather becomes colder and I become a little more lighter, I like using this under my powder foundation.

La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50 – It’s a bit pricey for the size, but I love how easy it is to apply without worrying about an obvious cast. This is the the sunscreen I reach for if I don’t want to wear any makeup, but I want some miniscule amount of evenness in my skin. It’s also great to wear at the gym!

I did a Sunscreen Week on my blog back in July, where I go more in depth about these sunscreens!
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #6]: Riversol SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN WEEK [DAY #7]: La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50

Featured CBB Blog of the Month – I am part of a group called the Canadian Beauty Bloggers Network, and I was featured as August’s Blog of the Month! Around this time I’ve been blogging for just about 3 years, and have 100+ blog posts. I love being part of this community of bloggers who are so supportive, helpful and encouraging!
My featured blog post – August 2018 Blog of the Month: MICHXMASH


EMPTIES

IMG_20180909_123758.jpg

SKINCARE

Consonant DHE Mask – This mask was REALLY good at cutting down the size and pain of very active zits! I mostly used this as a spot treatment, but occassionally all over the face. My skin didn’t feel dry from the clay, and it was fairly soft after washing the mask off. If you want a mask that doubles as a spot treatment, this is your go-to!
REVIEW: Consonant “One For All” Kit

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power (Tone Balancing) Essence – I noticed such a difference in my skin the moment I incorporated this product into my routine! I stopped complaining about tightness in my skin, and my face felt smoother in texture. I was skeptical about essences, let alone Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, but this essence performed really well. I bought the Secret Key essence instead of repurchasing this one however because I *did* give in to the nice packaging of it! Out of the two however, I prefer the texture of the COSRX one!
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

Too Cool For School Xakziuza Cleansing Water – Better than their Eye & Makeup Remover Counterpart. My face didn’t tingle, which normally happens when I use a product with micelles in it. I won’t repurchase because this also has a strong scent and I’m trying out Riversol’s Micellar Water at the moment.

Make P:rem UV Defense ME Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++ – Not completely empty, but I can’t get the rest of the product out! Argh! >_< Either way, this is a great chemical sunscreen. My face always looked even, also during days if I was outside in the sun all day. I also did a dedicated review on this sunscreen if you want more details!
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #1]: Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++

Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturizer – This was okay. When I first started using this, I felt like it was actually DRYING out my skin, and made the center of my face very discoloured. Now that the weather is a bit better and I have a different approach to my skincare routine, it’s doesn’t seem to do that anymore. I’m not saying this moisturizer is bad, I just think I’ve tried better moisturizers.
REVIEW: Paula’s Choice Moisturizers for Dry Skin

HAIR

Aveda Clove Color Conditioner – Already bought another one! Aveda has been my go-to since I discovered it for treating my coloured hair, and I can’t find anything else that’s easier and effective to use. Clove is what I use to keep the darkness of the ash brown in my hair. It’s been almost a month since I ran out of it, and I can tell my hair’s been getting lighter faster.
MICHXMASH & Vera Rapunzel’s Haircare Faves 2017

North American Hemp Co. Area 369 Hair Serum – I finally ran out of this guy! I really enjoyed this hair serum and my hair felt soft and detangled almost instantly. I would still have to apply this on a daily basis to make sure my ends were not feeling frayed. I just hate the packaging, What’s the point of it having a cap like this if the bottle doesn’t even let you squeeze!?

SAMPLES

Paula’s Choice Gentle Cleansing Cloths – Impressed how nicely saturated it was and GENTLE around my eyes! I’m not a makeup remover wipe kinda gal, but I definitely see the appeal of this one and would consider adding it into my cart the next time I buy PC products. I usually use wipes when I swatched a lot on my hands for a post/video!

Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – I can’t even recall anything special about this other than the texture was cool. Sure, it has a nice list of ingredients, but I already use a vitamin C serum, and I like my Cerave PM Moisturizing Facial Lotion for my ceramides.


And that’s that for last month’s roundup!

Hope you enjoyed the read.

xo,

M