Wow, this is hilariously late… One of my goals for 2018 is to direct more focus back into my blog and to begin to produce more content(instead of noodling around on my Instagram @justonlyskin). I decided to just remove my original intro and get right into the list because this post is long enough as it is. Hopefully, you enjoy it!
So the following list is my favorite product/skincare finds from 2017! Some have stood the test of time but most are newer discoveries as I have been progressively trying more products! I am going to break this down by class however if I didn’t have a particular favorite for a category, I instead shared products that have become my most used products of the year.
Favorite Cleansing oil
Givenchy Clean It Silky cleansing oil: The name of this cleanser is spot on in that it definitely is one of the silkiest cleansing oils I have tried thus far. Some cleansing oils actually tend to be stripping as they remove a little too much oil and grime of the day. Obviously, the dryness is not as drastic as the effect a high pH foam, but I have felt dryness from some cleansing oils. This does contain mineral oil for those of you who are sensitive or try to avoid it, but hear me out! My skin actually tolerates mineral oil perfectly and I find mineral oil emulsifies beautifully. While I can not attest to its ability to remove point/long wear makeup; it does remove any sunscreen, foundation, and oil on my face. This cleansing oil also smells great but not overpowering, and it never irritates my eyes either. Overall, while Ingredient wise this is very simplistic, it still is a luxury to use and I have enjoyed it.
Honourable mention: Shu Uemura ultim8 cleansing oil would be my other favorite. Since this one already gets a lot of love, I decided to go with the Givenchy one ^^.
Favorite Second Cleanser
Honestly, as long as it’s a cleansing milk I’m likely to be down with it. I have definitely found some duds but I can’t pinpoint one holy grail cleansing milk so here are some I reached for the most in 2017.
Babor Gentle cleansing milk: This was a later discovery of the year, but without thinking I will pump this into my hand as my morning cleanser/second cleanse. This has the most lightweight texture I’ve experienced in a milk thus far. I like that it feels much lighter than creamier milks and spreads well too. This is fragrance-free so it has a slight chemical scent but I can get past that as it the best for when my skin is sensitive. If you like La Roche Posay’s Toleriane cleanser you will like this too!
Biotherm Cleansing Milk: This has already been a repurchase! I first bought this a couple years ago when It was reformulated and repacked in a pump (YES to the pump) and have been thoroughly enjoying it since. It’s a solid cleansing milk with the right texture and is perfect as a morning or second cleanser. The scent is very aquatic and clean and just elevates the whole experience.
Hera Purifying Cleansing Milk: This one has been unfortunately discontinued. While nothing remarkable it was a solid milk that emulsified which the other ones do not do. For some reason, I reached for this a lot and hesitate to use it now as I can no longer it get but hopefully, Hera comes out with something similar again!
Iope Bio Essence: No surprise here! I’ve gone through two bottles of this, but since mid-December, I’ve gone through Iope withdrawal! This was the first Korean essence I’ve tried and I love it so much that I must do a thorough review on it one day! For me, it gave me the coveted glow and helped restore a lot of moisture in my skin. Overall, I find the essence step essential to any routine as they provide anti-aging, brightening and hydrating benefits! While I will try more essences, the Iope one will always be my first love! This is also fragrance free.
Chanel Hydra Beauty lotion Moist: This is once again another repurchase! This was my first purchase from the brand and I treasured it a lot! This is formulated more like an essence opposed to a typical western toner which can be chock full of surfactants which aid more in cleansing then hydrating. While I have now been able to find more affordable hydrating lotions, I think I will always love this Chanel one and likely continue to repurchase it! Overall, from packaging, performance, and scent (IMO I love the way all Chanel products smell! Le blanc is my favorite though 😊) This toner will always hold a special place on my shelf!
Ohui Miracle Moisture Emulsion: Is anyone surprised? This has been consistently featured in a lot of my weekly posts on Instagram and as you can tell from the above picture it is near being empty. I have always been a lover of the emulsion step. Before Kbeauty I used Cerave Lotion (which is a great drugstore dupe btw) but this Ohui emulsion is just on another level. The texture is perfectly silky and lightweight and when using this my skin has always looks calmer compared to without it. Overall, the whole miracle moisture line is quite phenomenal at what it claims to do which is no frills moisturization, and the emulsion is a reflection of those claims.
This is another category where I have no set favorites as I am strong believer in using specified serums for different purposes. so, the following ones happen to be my favorites from 2017.
Biotherm Liquid White Spot Focus: I tend to use to a lot of niacinamide based skincare so the allure of introducing this serum into my routine is because it contains 3-0-ethyl-ascorbic acid(unknown concentration, unfortunately) which is a stable vitamin c derivative. Now I know the debate is out on whether these vitamin c derivatives are effective or even have the same benefits as ascorbic acid, however, I did see some results. I have a tiny dark spot on my cheek and I noticed with consistent usage the spot did lighten a bit. Unless I’m crazy It definitely did something. Thus, this product made me interested in trying more vitamin c products as it has the potential to diminish existing spots along with being a powerhouse antioxidant. This also has BHA and Palmaria palmata extract to aid in the battle against melanocytes! Texturally it is very watery and has a bit of strong scent for sensitive noses but my biggest qualm is the packaging. I hate droppers and I’m sadly unable to get the last 5%-10% out. Disregarding the packaging and scent, this is a good option for those looking into vitamin c derivatives, particularly ethyl-ascorbic acid which is harder to find.
Chanel Le Weekend: This is my holy grail chemical exfoliator. I mentioned this before, but I heard from an SA that this has 6% glycolic acid. I am not sure how reliable that information is, but 6% is a good amount for my skin when using all over the face. This really helps clarify the skin and indeed is able to ‘reset’ it in marketing lingo. While overpriced you do get 50 ml and it is Chanel so of course the texture and scent are on point. Formula wise it does contain alcohol but I do not find it drying and this serum is rather moisturizing for an acid based one, though I highly recommend you layer something hydrating over this. If you have any PIE or closed comedones or just want to improve skin’s radiance you will like this!
Ohui Miracle Moisture essence: I won’t ramble too long on this one, however for me, this serum greatly helped reduce the occurrence of dry patches. I live where it can go down to -30 degrees Celsius so sometimes I get dry patches around my mouth. By using this essence, any dryness or flaking have always healed within 3 days! I owe that in part to this serums ceramide content and luscious texture. Because of that it is a cold winter essential and made my favorites of 2017!
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo: This is by far the best over the counter acne treatment I have tried thus far. Not only does this help reduce emerging pimples but it is also really effective at reducing shaving bumps, rough texture, and blackheads. The texture is like that of a light cream and it had a mild scent which is unnecessary IMO for being a more dermatological influenced product. Overall, this is an outstanding nondrying acne treatment and I will continue to repurchase!
Ohui Miracle Moisture Cream: OKAY OKAY I hear you! You get it I like Ohui, and no I am not affiliated. This brand was a huge discovery for me in 2017! I am a total cream snob and no other cream has come close to stealing this one’s title as my favorite. I can’t be the only one as when you go on the Ohui website it is clearly marked as a top 3 best seller, so others must understand! This has the most beautiful texture which is lightweight yet highly effective a providing a barrier over the skin and giving it a lovely sheen. This one absorbs yet still leaves the right amount left on the surface of the skin to protect it from the elements. The best part about this cream would be its versatility as it has worked for me in all seasons.
Shu Uemura Sakura Mask: This is a solid hydrating mask with flower particles. I find that this does plump up the skin with use. While the effects aren’t crazy, I use this mask every time before I go into the shower to protect my face from the steam. This mask excels at leaving a sticky barrier on top of the skin to prevent water loss. If you don’t stickier textures I suggest you avoid this one, which would be a shame as it is great. This has a beautiful sakura rose scent that is just so uplifting, however it is very mild so it disappears instantly. It is likely the only time I’ll say I wished the scent was stronger haha.
Rodial super acids X-Treme rush peel: The name says it all! I have never had a chemical peel and have no good reason to get such an invasive treatment at my age but this mask (in my mind) provides at-home results! Before a big event, I would say this mask is a must! With some consistent use, this legitimately reduced acne marks, gives the skin a glow and just brings ‘vitality’ back to my face. I remember gushing over this on Instagram and for good reason. This is an indulgement (read $$) and a very ‘active’ mask so try a patch test before using or try to get a sample as my skin does tingle with it but it does not irritate my skin.
Darphin Intral Spf 50 (unknown pa rating 🙁 ): This is by far my current favorite mineral sunscreen. Before I liked the kiehl’s mineral sunscreen (15% TiO2) but I find this one blends better, is less oily and likely provides better protection due to having 4% zinc oxide alongside 6.3% titanium dioxide. I’m not sure how this would fair on dark skins as mineral sunscreen technology just isn’t there yet. For anyone with a medium up skin tone who prefers a mineral sunscreen then look no further! However, I will not likely repurchase as I found dupe by clinique ;). Estee Lauder (owns Darphin and Clinique among many other brands) must have realized the formula is so good that for new mineral sunscreen launches they’ll just use this stock formula. Thankfully, this works in our favor as the Clinique one is half the price and has an identical formula! (The Clinique one is in a yellow bottle NOT white and called Clinique Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50) I will write a post on this in the future but I felt it’s only fair I tell you now as the Darphin was my favorite until I found this one.
Ohui perfect sun pro red pa++++: When it comes to sun protection I avoided chemical sunscreens like the plague due to bad reactions to oxybenzone, octocrylene and potentially avobenzone and homosalate. Yeah, I know. I do not think my skin is particularity sensitive because heck I try a lot of skincare, but when it comes to acids and sunscreens now that’s a whole other beast. Thankfully this Ohui sunscreen is free from all of above agents and happens to not irritate my skin while providing the highest possible level of sun protection known to humanity! Pa quadruple plus is still relatively new and I’m all here for it as more is more when it comes to sun protection. This does leave a slight white cast but I am very fair so I just blend it down my neck and go on with life because I rather be a mime than a sunburned mess. Texturally this is no Biore as it is thick like a cream and I don’t think oily skins would get on with it very well but my dry skin has worked well with it. Overall, this was my first venture back to chemical sunscreens and because of its benign nature and high protection I can’t help but rate it highly. Formula wise it also alcohol-free for those wondering! Beware, overly applying can cause this to become chalky (and mean like an obscene amount of sunscreen application tho).
Active sunscreen agents in Ohui = Octinoxate, zinc oxide, octisalate and Diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate aka Uvinul A Plus (unknown concentrations)
Ok we’re almost there! Here are my favorite base products for faking good skin until the skincare comes through!
Shu Uemura lightbulb foundation in medium light amber 364: Shu loves to boost that this is a ‘revolutionary foundation’ combining glow with coverage. While they were likely not the first, it is very difficult to find a foundation that is glowy, higher coverage, long lasting all while looking like genuine skin! Because I live in a dry climate this is the best foundation for me as it provides the skin with a great glow and does last in part due to lack of humidity. I do think this would be too much for someone living somewhere with heat and humidity but, for me, it is perfect all year. The shade range offers nothing for dark shades with is problematic but being a Japanese brand it does offer a good selection for different skin tones in the light range. I found a perfect match and only wish Shu Uemura would expand their range if they intend on selling in the North American market.
Burberry Cashmere Concealer in porcelain: This is my holy grail concealer. It is easy to use, provides the right amount of coverage and doesn’t give me those horrible inverse panda eyes. I know a lot of people like a brightening concealer but most brightening concealers just look odd to me as no one’s under eyes are noticeably lighter and IRL its quite the opposite. This does crease on me but all concealers I have tried do so I can look past that! The shade range again is limited but if you find a shade go for it! It is a vast improvement from Maybelline’s age rewind concealer and one tube lasted me over 8 months but I am a minimalist and do alternate sometimes.
Hera UV Mist Cushion Cover version in C21: This is the best cushion foundation I have tried period. Like the Shu foundation, it offers coverage but is still skin like and dewy! Hera Cushions are harder to get than Sulwhasoo or Laneige one’s but If you can try this one and find a shade I highly recommend it. They also have a nude version and matte version so plenty of options formula wise. My only word of caution is the scent is very strong! It will linger for hours and since it is so dewy this cushion also transfers(but don’t all cushions?) so keep that in mind!
If you got all the way to bottom, then you deserve a cookie because I am as wordy as they come! This post was definitely a long one to execute but the end of the year favorites only occur annually so I think it’s only right I strive to say more than “my skin likey XD”. Hopefully, this was helpful and let me know via my Instagram or comments whether you share similar faves or share your personal favorite skincare!