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!


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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!

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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)

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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!

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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!

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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.

July 2018 Roundup

Usually I like doing both video and blog posts on my monthly roundup, but I’ve been rushing to get a bit of content up (eg. Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine video is published, not post) so for this post I’m sacrificing words that I am pretty much saying in my video. Enjoy!

Favourites

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Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel REVIEW: [JOLSE] secretKey Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel 120ml (New Package) *

Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Purifying Mist

Divine Essence Wild Cornflower Floral Water *

Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream SPF 40

It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation SPF 50


Empties

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Cerave PM Moisturizing Facial Lotion
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

Banish Acne Scars Pumpkin Enzyme Masque
REVIEW: Banish Acne Scars Banish Starter Kit

Le Correcteur de Chanel Longwear Concealer (20)


Very short post, but I still hope you enjoyed it!

xo, M


This post contains affiliate links.
DISCLAIMER, PR, AFFILIATES

REVIEW: [JOLSE] secretKey Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel 120ml (New Package)

Jolse, another online Asian Beauty Retailer that offers worldwide shipping on Asian skincare, makeup, and other cosmetic products! They sent me the Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel * to review and I’m ready to share my thoughts with you all!

I’ve been using the product for about 3 weeks now, about 3-4 times a week.

I’ll say it right now, I loved it after the first time I’ve used it.


ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

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Features (as listed on Jolse)

  • Lemon water, lemon extract, and carbonated water eliminates skin wastes.
  • The mild peeling gel tends the skin with a moist and fresh finish.
  • Natural ingredients provide moisture and soothes the stimulated skin.

Price: $9.65 USD
Amount: 120ml
Texture: Thick gel

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Highlighted Ingredients:
Citrus Lemon Fruit Water
(90ppm = 0.009%) and Extract (10ppm = 0.001%) – Contains a high amount of vitamin C, but there are only extracts so we don’t know if it’s even a decent amount of vitamin C to have a long term effect, but it can impart a brightening effect.
Carbonated Water (47ppm = 0.0047) – The idea behind this is that it washes your face better than plain water. The bubbles deliver oxygen to your skin, helping to wash away dirt and dead skin buildup. Also claimed to help with puffiness, as well as firming and plumping the skin and controlling oils. Washing your face with carbonated water is a technique originally hyped up and popularized by Japanese women.

Other Notable Ingredients (listed by basic functions (some are repeated)):
Skin-Conditioning:
 Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract (also could be sensitizing), Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Hydrolized Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oryza Sativa Rice Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract
Skin-Soothing: Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadenis Leaf Extract, Hamamelis, Veirginania (Witch-Hazel) Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract
Antioxidant: Camellia Sinsesis Leaf Water (47ppm = 0.0047%): Antioxidant, Witch Hazel Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Algae Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract
Exfoliant: Carica Papaya Fruit Extract (possible exfoliant properties)

Very awesome that the ingredients list are mostly that of skin-soothing and skin-conditioning! (I found the basic functions from various websites like EWG, Paula’s Choice, Special Chem. Feel free to correct anything if the basic function is not accurate).

The main advertising points on Jolse.com are in Korean, so I don’t know what all the claims are and how hyped up other ingredients may be.


MY EXPERIENCE

Scent: Fragrance is listed in the product. It smells like a dish detergent, but not in an overly chemical way. It’s very light, so it doesn’t bother me much. I was expecting a strong, artificial, citrusy sweet type of scent. I’m pleasantly surprised how gentle and natural it actually is!

Application: Spreads well without pilling immediately. Pilling is not as chunky, it looks thinner. You can lightly massage your face for a decent amount of time without feeling the product dry up too much.

Instant Benefits: Face does not feel dry or like it was even compromised negatively from any product. Skin feels very soft and smooth, looks even tone and slightly brighter.

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Shizzle from my face. I used to get more when I started using peeling gels!

Long Term Benefits: Helps prevent skin congestion and gets rid of any rough feeling on my face. I use it in the morning and it has never sensitized my face. The feel of my skin is well maintained when I use it consistently.


FINAL THOUGHTS

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The Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel has become an instant favourite. I was expecting a cheap, conventional peel that would just do the basics of exfoliating with no additional skin benefit. This peeling gel does what it says and I am surprised at the quality. There is a lot of product that contains a bunch of skin-soothing and conditioning ingredients, making it gentle on the skin and leaving baby soft results. Because of this, I don’t know if we could say the lemon-derived ingredients or carbonated water are the true keys to making this product so good. Either way, my skin has only been benefiting!

I saw it being sold on Amazon.ca for $20, whereas on Jolse.com it’s $9.65 USD (right now $7.24 USD because of a sale)! To find a skincare product that works well, is affordable, and has good ingredients is a rarity, so I’m glad I got a chance to try it. On that note, I’ve barely been touching my current peeling gel, Dr. G. Brightening Peeling Gel (but I will definitely finish it up).

You can buy Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel at Jolse.com

Hope this review helped you out! Is washing your face with carbonated water really that awesome? Also, did you like how I listed the ingredients by their basic function? Let me know your thoughts, that way I can tweak upcoming reviews to your preference as well.

xo, M


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