2020 is coming to an end! I feel like this year has passed so quickly yet so much has happened! What a year!
Thanks to COVID, my skin has never been so good. I haven’t been breaking out much at all, maybe 1 or 2 pimples here and there, which I could quickly put to rest. I believe this is mainly due to two things. One, I haven’t been using makeup for most of the year, which means my pores are less likely to be clogged. Two, I haven’t been overly stressed. Due to COVID, I was able to balance my work and life better, and had more time to myself to relax and chill, and focus on my inner health.
This year has probably been a different one for many people, I hope whatever you’re up to, remember to reflect upon the good things that have happened and continue with the good habits that have formed. There are many things that we cannot control, but also a handful of things that we can control. Make the most out of what you were given.
As usual, I have picked my favourite Korean skincare products of the year. See if any of these are your staples too?
OIL BASED CLEANSER / MAKEUP REMOVER
Real Barrier Cleansing Oil Balm
I haven’t been trying many makeup removers in 2020, but this one from Real Barrier has been my favourite since the end of 2019. I love how it comes in a tube, so convenient and hygienic to use. The consistency is slightly softer than a cleansing balm that comes in a tub, melts easily on the skin. It also has a natural citrus scent from Bergamot, which is soothing and refreshing. Free from mineral oils, silicone and nano-plastic. Gentle on the skin and safe for everyday use.
WATER BASED CLEANSER
Etude House Soon Jung 5.5 Foam Cleanser
This is not a surprise, I’ve been raving about this cleanser throughout the year. Put it this way, if I have to choose only one cleaser to use for the rest of my life, this would be it. This cleanser has a short ingredients list with only the essential stuff, one single gentle surfactant and fragrance free. It lathers very well, easy to use and wash off, no slippery residue afterwards. Leaving the skin soft and hydrated. Cleanses well, non-stripping and balances the water-oil content on the skin. Most of all, cheaper than most cleansers in the market.
How does it compare with my 2019 favourite of Real Barrier Cream Cleansing Foam? They are both great cleansers that I wholeheartedly recommend, but Etude House wins on the price. That said, if I get bored with Etude House, I’ll go back to Real Barrier.
Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel
I can’t believe Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel hasn’t been mentioned in my favourites post before! It’s one of those products that I took its goodness for granted – like oxygen, well maybe praising it too much. But it is a product that feels quite ordinary and…boring. It only has 9 ingredients, likely to be the most simple peeling gel you can find in the market. It doesn’t have any marketing fluff, like brightening or anti-aging or AHA, BHA or Centella Asiatica, etc. It’s a simple exfoliator that keeps your skin clear. Cheap, effective and simple. I wish there are more products like this one in the market.
2-toner & serum
Nacific Jeju Artemesia Essence
This is the product that I use right after cleansing. Sometimes I use a toner and sometimes an essence. This year, I have been loving this essence from Nacific. Artemesia (also called Mugwort in some brands) is probably the hottest ingredient in 2020 and I love it. I knew about Artemesia as a Chinese Traditional Medicine previously and was extremely excited to see it being incorporated into skincare. This essence is very lightweight, feels like water, absorbs quickly into the skin, hydrates and softens. It has made my skin stable and resillent. I rarely developed any pimples when using this essence. Highly recommend for acne-prone skins.
Ample:N Ceramide Shot Ampoule
For past few years, I haven’t recommended a hydrating serum at all, because I feel there are so many steps in the routine that you can use a hydrating product, serum has to offer more important functions, such as brightening or anti-aging. But this serum has changed my view. It has reinforced the importance of hydration and long lasting hydration in skincare, which is the fundamental of good skin. This serum offers long lasting hydration, brightening and anti-aging benefits. Like Director Pi said, it’s an all-rounder and can be used alone. This serum has again made my skin stable and resillient, and comfortable – in its best ever state.
Urang Brightening Blue Oil Serum
This is an oil serum, but I use it as a moisturiser. For oily/combination skins, I recommend using only 1 or 2 drops each time, to prevent over-greasing the skin and get pimples. This is a product that I’ve noticed its benefits after I stopped using it. My skin was losing its bouncy-ness and life-ness after I stopped using it and when I started using it again, it has regained its life and youth. If you’re looking for an anti-aging product, look no further. This serum is virtually pure green tea seed oil, which is full of antioxidants, better than any diluted “anti-aging” serums that you can get in the market right now.
Some By Mi Yuja Niacin Blemish Care Serum Mask
I have been gravitating towards this sheet mask throughout 2020. It’s fragrance free, PEG-free, phenoxyethanol-free. It has a very clean feel to it. The essence is not gloopy or sticky, absorbs well into the skin and doesn’t block the skin. My skin felt breathable and refreshed after using it. And of course, the usual benefits of hydrating and brightening effects of a sheet mask. Highly recommend to all sheet mask regulars.
This is the wrap for 2020, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Spend some time with your loved ones and yourself. Wherever you are, please take care of yourself and those around you. I’ll talk to you again in 2021.