It has been a jolly good year, especially for my skin! To be honest, 2018 marks the year my skin got so much better. My skin became brighter, more even toned, smoother and more hydrated. I’ve just watched some of my favourites skincare bloggers share their fav products and I thought, why not! At first, I thought to share my top 5 but there are quite a number of products that I love so I ended up choosing my best in each category. So, in the spirit of everyone sharing their favourite products this year, here’s my best of skincare 2018!
I tried a whole lot of oil and water-based cleansers this year. The concept of double cleansing and why it is important was something I also learnt this year. I tried 4 oil-based cleansers and the Heimish All Clean Balm stood out for me. It’s the softest, most gentle and most therapeutic balm I’ve used. It also really gets off all the oil, sunscreen and makeup off and rinses clean. It was so good I wrote a full review here.
For water-based cleansers, I usually have 2 categories of cleansers per time. One targeted towards treating acne and the other more hydration & cleansing focused. For my acne-based cleanser, the Clinique Anti-blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam is the best I’ve used so far. I didn’t just discover it this year. I had been using it since 2017 and since then, I’ve gone through about 5+ bottles in total. It was so effective at treating my acne and yet so gentle it didn’t strip my skin of moisture. The best part for me was I didn’t experience irritations while using this cleanser! The only reason I looked for an alternative was that it was quite pricey and only lasts me a month.
For my hydration & cleansing focused cleanser, I really enjoyed using the Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Stick. This cleansing stick soothed my skin while brightening and keeping it supple and plump. It has real green tea leaves and if you know, green tea is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant making this stick ideal for acne prone skin. I loved it so much I put my brother on to it and he just purchased a second stick!
The Ordinary 30% AHA + BHA 2% Peeling Solution was it for me this year. It really helped to fade a lot of Hyperpigmentation I had and smooth out my textured skin. I had been looking for a solution to my textured skin and this exfoliant came through! Also, my pitted scars became more shallow and dark spots became less visible. However, I experienced really bad irritations with this solution and this is making me consider trying more gentler acids and exfoliators but still this product really helped my skin immensely. If this product didn’t cause me as much irritation as it did, i definitely would have kept it in my stash. still my skincare loving ass is looking for a way to incorporate this back into my routine! Blame how good it is!
I also grouped this category into an acne-focused toner and hydration focused one because toners function as different things. If you’re acne prone you may need this two categories in your stash. At least I know I do.
My favourite hydrating toner for this year is the Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner. If you’re looking for a lightweight toner that isn’t greasy or heavy on the skin but delivers the much-needed hydration, then it’s this. It’s perfect for daytime use without making the skin feel heavy. Acne prone skin will also benefit immensely from this toner because of the Centella Asiatica in it, a herb that promotes rapid wound healing. I noticed my chin acne healing super fast thanks to this toner. It was worthy of a full review so I write one here
Also, Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner was the most effective acne toner I used. The witch hazel in it helps reduce inflammation, loosen up clogged pores and get pus to come to a head and drain fast. It’s that basic kind of toner that’s really effective at clearing breakouts. This toner is definitely a recommendation for me for acneic skin.
Where do I start? *Rubs palm* Just as I was about to explore using Vitamin A for my skin, The Beautyfrenzy Shop sent me The Ordinary Retinol 1% in squalane* to try out. This serum was nothing short of amazing! I incorporated this serum into my routine and my skin saw a huge difference! It controlled my breakouts, smoothened my skin and evened out my skin tone. A lot of people complain about the squalane oil in it but I honestly enjoyed it more because of the oil. This serum made me enjoy using retinol and I will definitely repurchase once I’m done with my granactive retinoid from the ordinary as well.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% is one I chose as a favourite product in the serum category because this serum did so many amazing things for my skin. From sebum control, to blemish control to fading hyperpigmentation. Although it peels and can get foamy quickly, I’m willing to buy over and over again.
The Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid was a discovery this year after my friend on Instagram who is also a blogger gave it to me because it didn’t work for her. I tried it and loved it. This treatment toner helps my skin control breakouts, brightens, hydrates and reduces large pores. I didn’t even notice my pores until I ran out of my first bottle and was trying to purchase the second. Oh and yes it did work for a few blackheads I had! This product is really true to its name.
My favourite oil this year was the one from Organic Life plus Coffee oil* and I’ll tell you why. This oil has a very lightweight texture, that sinks into the skin nicely. It also has this warm, soothing sensation that hits your skin when you rub it in. I think the best part of using this oil is really that it soothes and depuffs my skin, softens it and reduces inflammation. This oil is a good one for acne prone skin because it will most likely not break you out. If anything will help to reduce those breakouts. Then again the smell of coffee makes me want to slather it every single day. I mostly use this oil at night and goodness, I love it!
My absolute favourite daytime moisturizer is the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel. This moisturizer contains 2 super ingredients – Aloe which soothes and calms inflamed skin and Propolis, known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. I find it really effective at calming inflamed pimples. To claim that it actually treats pimples may be a bit reaching but I find it really aids in their disappearance. I also find this moisturizer really lightweight. It’s so lightweight that it literally melts fast out of the tube. In my opinion, it’s the ideal daytime moisturizer for oily, acne prone & sensitive skin in hot climate.
My skin is prone to irritation and I always seek out soothing skin care products for my skin. The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming cream is an allrounder for me. Whenever I use it at night, I wake with softer, brighter, well-hydrated skin. Its soothing ability is literally out of this world. It soothes my skin’s irritations in seconds. Now, the texture of this cream is so buttery and smooth, it’s simply amazing! I went through so may sample sachets of this product, the only reason I haven’t committed to the full-size pot is that it is quite pricey. Nonetheless, this is my ideal type of night-time moisturizer
Is it weird that I completely forgot I used 4 sunscreens this year? Anyway, The Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence, albeit the last one I tried is the best so far! I really love that this sunscreen is an Essence. It has a non-greasy formula that is non-irritation and doesn’t leave a white cast. It also hydrates the skin beautifully so I mostly skipped moisturizer while using this sunscreen. What makes this sunscreen more dear to my heart is that I noticed my skin tone evening out due to the niacinamide in it. It was actually a pleasant surprise as honestly, I didn’t expect the niacinamide in it to do anything at all for me.
And that’s it, guys! My top products for 2018. What products wowed you this year? I’d love to try some of your recommendations!!!