Best in Beauty 2018: skincare

I've already done my yearly favourites posts for haircare and body care (see here and here respectively), and I'm back today to write my favourites for facial skincare. After that I'll do my 2018 makeup picks and then we're done!

This skincare post is the most difficult for me, I must say. Skincare remains my biggest love and I also try a lot more skincare each year than I do anything else for the simple reason that I get through more and I like to keep trying new things, unlike eg haircare where I tend to stick with what works. 

Do note that after looking at last year's list (see here), I've decided to stray from old favourites and instead (mostly) post on things that I've discovered this year. But if you're interested in last year's list, those items still hold and I still love them all.

So without further ado...

Best Makeup Remover: Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Balm

Full review here. This is one of those rare cult products that actually lives up to its hype, and it's the best makeup remover I tried this year.

It's a solid balm that melts into an oil when applied, and it does a great job of removing makeup and grime - plus a little goes a long way so even this sample tub lasted me a good while. It's also fragrance-free so it should suit those with sensitive skin.

The only thing I'll say about this is that it's better to use a cloth when you remove it, and it does leave a slight residue on my skin - which doesn't bother me because I double-cleanse anyway - but it's worth mentioning all the same.

A cult favourite for good reason.

Best Cleanser: Andalou Meyer Lemon + C Creamy Cleanser

This is a lovely cleanser and I really enjoyed using it this year, so much so that I gave it an HG tag. I've reviewed it here.

What I like about this is that it's gentle enough for everyday use but it's still effective so I can rely on it to clean my skin well. Yes this will remove makeup but I prefer to use it as my second cleanse so it can get in there and work on my skin.

What it does is brighten my skin while cleansing it, and my face always looks more awake after use. It also feels softer, smoother and more balanced.

Indeed, this is one of the best budget cleansers I've tried and I would absolutely grab it during one of Priceline's next big sales - you'll only be spending $10, so it won't break the bank.

Best Exfoliant: Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant

Full review here. As you may know, I haven't had a lot of luck with Dermalogica as a brand - but this particular product is great and I'm glad I found it because it works beautifully for my skin.

It's a powder exfoliant and you add water before buffing it across your face, and it manages to resurface my skin very gently while still being super effective: my face always looks brighter and feels smoother after use.

The other bonus with a powder product like this is that they last forever, so I can see this full-size lasting me a couple of years (and thankfully it has a 24 month shelf-life) - which means it's not a bad investment, all things considered. Definitely worth trying.

Best Serum: Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate

I love this stuff. My skin hasn't looked this good for ages, and I know this product is responsible because it's the only thing I've changed and I can see its effects as soon as I apply it. Indeed, the difference is so marked that others have commented on my skin. That's saying something! I've reviewed it here.

It's a fluid serum that comes in a beautiful, weighty bottle: the product just feels special, but better still, the results it offers are special too. Not only does it spread and absorb well, but it also has a brightening effect so it boosts radiance. On top of that, it plumps fine lines and wrinkles so it makes my skin look smoother, and it has an effect on how firm and toned my face feels too. 

This is one of the few serums I've given an HG tag. Unbeatable.

Best Eye Product: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

This is a great little product and I'm so glad I've tried it - I would absolutely buy it again, especially because it's so reasonably priced. I've reviewed it here.

I use mine in the morning because it has a brightening, firming effect so it's a good product to apply beneath my makeup. It also tightens my eye-skin a little and plumps up lines, so again, it's a good product to use before you apply your makeup.

I also like that it's hydrating enough to use alone (even on my dry skin), and although I prefer a richer cream for night, this is the perfect product to apply in the morning. Worth trying.

Best Night Cream: Korres Black Pine 3D Sculpting, Firming & Lifting Night Cream

This came as a sample in a Mecca Beauty Loop box and I was pleased to try it because I really enjoyed it and it's on my list of potential purchases. I've reviewed it here.

I liked that it was lightweight and it did have a firming effect because it made my skin feel a bit tighter. It was also hydrating enough for my dry skin and a little went a long way so even this 15ml sample lasted me a good while.

Funnily enough, I liked this so much that I gave it an HG tag - which I wouldn't normally do with a sample, but the tube did last me long enough to make that call so I decided I had to make it because I liked it that much. Definitely worth testing.

Best Treatment: The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%

Full review here. I've used quite a few products from The Ordinary now and this is probably my favourite, although I do also like the oils and the glycolic acid toner.

It's an intense treatment that you apply every few days and I wouldn't use it any more than that or you'll risk irritating your skin. Indeed, I can't use it after any other treatment because it's too strong and it feels like it's burning, so I make sure that I give my skin at least a day's rest after using eg one of my chemical peels.

What it does is resurface and brighten the skin, and it really kills that top layer of dead skin so that my face feels beautifully smooth on the morning after I've used it, plus it looks younger and fresher. It faded my age spots a bit too. A great little product and also a cheap one.

Best Face Mist: Alpha-H Daily Essential Vitamin Mist

I've been through a lot of hydrating face sprays in my time because I have dry skin, but there aren't many that work as well for me as this one did. I've reviewed it here.

It was beautifully hydrating and my skin absolutely loved it, so if you have dry skin and struggle to find face mists that are nourishing enough, I'd put this on your list of potentials.

My only issue with it is that it's very expensive and I get through face mists too quickly to warrant the outlay, but I'll certainly treat myself to it now and then in winter when my face is in need of some TLC. It's just lovely.

In sum

That's all from me!

I hope you enjoyed this little post and that you have plenty of your own favourites for the year.

Note that some items are missing from this list - eg I didn't have a favourite toner or face mask for 2018 - but I didn't want to include anything for the sake of it, so I left those categories out.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

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