Happy New Year! 2019 has passed in a blink, I wish you all a beautiful 2020 ahead!
In this post, I’d like to show you the products that made it into my “Best of 2019” list. These are products that I’ve used for an extensive period and would always come back to if I’m not testing new products.
For information, I have sensitive acne-prone skin, oily on the surface and dry from wihin, with fine-lines and hyperpigmentations.
This year, I’ve been trying a lot of skin brightening products, but haven’t really achieved what I’d like to. This reinforces how difficult it is to lighten hyper-pigmentations and how important it is preventing them from appearing. This year’s best find is the brand “Real Barrier“. Their products are truely wonderful, I hope you would give it a go next time when you’re looking for basic skincare.
Oil-Based Cleanser/Makeup Remover
Beauty of Joseon Radiance Cleansing Balm
Oil/balm type makeup remover is always my go-to. These are most gentle and effective. This year, I’ve been using the Beauty of Joseon Radiance Cleansing Balm. It’s an ordinary cleansing balm, that melts into an oil at body temperature and removes makeup gently and effectively. It’s not too different from other cleansing balms, but does have a cleaner ingredients list, without polyethelene and palm oil derived esthers. The fragrance is a little heavy at the start but I got used to it. It does a great job at removing makeup and sunscreen.
Real Barrier Cream Cleansing Foam
I’ve finally found a low pH foaming cleanser that’s non-drying and non-stripping for my skin. This Real Barrier Cream Cleansing Foam is a perfect everyday water-based cleanser to gently remove grease and dirt. The creamy texture is not too thick and easy to lather. The non-drying formula is a rare find and the key to a healthy skin barrier and balanced skin. I highly recommend this cleanser for acne-prone/sensitive skins, especially those have issues with water-oil balance.
By Ecom Heartleaf Purifying Mask
This is not technically an exfoliator, but it’s been my favourite for de-greasing and unclogging pores. It has green tea leaf bits infused throughout the clay, however, the bits are soaked green tea, which is soft and floppy. The physical exfoliating effect is quite minor. The best thing I love about this mask is how gentle it is on the skin. It’s super creamy and soft, dries slowly to a soft clay. Thanks to the heartleaf, this clay mask is extremely soothing and helps restore the skin barrier. Every time I use this mask, my skin always feel so much cleaner, brighter and soothed.
Toner / Essence
Abib Rebalancing Toner Skin Booster
This is a difficult decision, because there are so many great toners in Korean skincare. In fact, toner is the basis of Korean skincare system if you haven’t noticed. I picked the Abib Rebalancing Toner Skin Booster in the end, because of its effectiveness. It’s more than a water-like product that hydrates and prepares the skin for the next skincare step. It’s effective at balancing the skin and as a result, I didn’t experience much breakouts when using this toner. This toner also worked for brightening my overall complexion.
Hello Skin Jumiso All Day Vitamin Brightening & Balancing Facial Serum
This Jumiso Vitamin Tree Serum is an easy to use brightening serum. It’s not overly hydrating or suffocating, nutrient rich but not heavy, absorbs well into the skin, hydrates and brightens in one. It’s not a serum that gives epic results, but with long-term use, the skin is stablised and strenghtened to a good condition. This is becoming the trend of Korean skincare, ie delivering steady long-term improvements with easy to use and irritation-free products, rather than products with more visible results but damages the skin in some way in the long term.
Blithe Pressed Serum Tundra Chaga
Love every aspect of this moisturiser. Love the nutrition factors of the Tundra Chaga mushroom and the “pressed serum” method of maximising the effectivenss of the ingredient. I use it as a lightweight moisturiser in summer and a serum in winter with another moisturiser on top. Recommend for those who have concerns for anti-aging.
Heimish Bulgarian Rose Hydrogel Eye Patch
I love the large size of this eye patch and its softness. It adheres very well to my under eye and cheek area, instantly relieving any dryness and tightness. This eye patch has a gel-like serum, which means it lasted longer before drying out – though I never left it long enough to see it get dry on my face. I find myself reaching for this eye patch more than others – not to mention, the translucent pink with sparkles is just too pretty.
Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
This calming cream is most effective for those large, angry, blind pimples that hides deep in the skin layer. The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream soothes the pain and helped to reduce the size of the inflamation. I’ve had occasions when I applied this cream before bed and the next day, the pimple has come up to a small white dot – much easier to deal with. It’s a thick cream, therefore stays put if you apply a thick layer. You can also use it as an all-over-face cream, though can feel a little occlusive at times. (Side note: For all-over-face application, I prefer the Neogen Sur. Medic+ Azulene Soothing Cream).
A’pieu Madecassoside Sun Cream SPF 39 PA++
You might have realised by now, this year, a lot of my top picks are sensitive skin related. Relieving the sensitivity in my skin has definitely been a challenge for the past year. The A’pieu Madecassoside Sun Cream is one of the most easy-to-apply physical sunscreen I’ve ever used. It leaves very minimal white-cast, only a slight natural brightening of my complexion which I love. It’s not greasy or suffocating. And of course, being a physical sunscreen, I love how it doesn’t make my skin red or heated. For sensitive skins, I highly recommend changing your everyday sunscreen to a physical one to minimise irritation to your skin.
Wellage Real Cica Clear One Day Kit
The Wellage One Day Kit has been my go-to whenever I find my skin to be a little dry, tired or lack of energy, or simply when I want to give my skin a treatment. It fixes the most fundamental skin problem, which is dehydration. The highly concentrated hyaluronic acid in the freshest freeze-dried form, is the most effective hydrating treatment. I’ve picked the Cica version, but all of them are very similar and give similar results. The cica version has less concentration of Hyaluronic Acid, which I feel is just right for my slightly oily skin. Maybe in winter I’ll prefer the blue version more.