Fresh, clear, glowy skin is the ultimate beauty goal…right? Well, at least for me it is. You can own the best makeup, the most expensive makeup application tools but if your skin looks like poo, well then we have a problem. See your skin as the blank canvas you are about to create a work of art on (it’s a bit of a stretch, I know, but hear me out) – if the canvas is covered in dust, sand and scratches (wrinkles) then there’s a good chance your makeup will look like a dog’s breakfast. It’s in our best interest to take care of our skin, whether you like wearing makeup or not. Ok, I’ll step off my soapbox now…
2015 was definitely a year of testing new skincare products for me, and I’ve been dabbling in all kinds of skincare categories ranging from high-end, to drugstore, to serums, to spot treatments…you name it, I’ve tested it! Except for a chemical peel, I haven’t done one of those…yet. I’m all for trying out new things, so perhaps I’ll go for a peel soon.
If you’re interested, check out my ‘Best Of Beauty 2014 – Skincare’ blog post, numbers 3 and 6 mentioned in the blog post have found a permanent place in my current skincare routine.
Before we get started, let me just explain what skin type I have: My skin type remains the same for most of the year – I have dehydrated combination skin. Confused? Ok, I have an oily T-zone with the rest of my face ranging from being normal to slightly dehydrated at times. I’ve always struggled with dehydration (which is not the same as having dry skin). Dehydration means there is a shortage of water, and dry means there is a shortage of oil in the skin. Sometimes my skin is more parched during Winter, and a bit more oily during Summer. I also struggle with dry areas on my forehead (flaky skin) even though my T-zone tends to get oily – weird, right? Basically I have temperamental skin. When things get really stressful, I tend to get the odd breakout / blemish but those are few and far between. Thank goodness, because I REALLY struggled with acne-prone skin when I was in my late twenties. I did a Roaccutane stint for 6 months, and it was a nightmare! Don’t get me wrong, it was worth the torture and pain, but I doubt I would ever do it again.
My skincare journey started at the beginning of 2015 when my goal was to test out as many products as I could, to find what works best for me. It’s important for me to take really good care of my skin, because let’s be real…this girl is getting older. Ack! I’m turning 33 in 5 days.
Enough with the yapping, let’s take a look at all the skincare goodies that served me so well during 2015:
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water ♥ R79,95
This is probably my favourite drugstore discovery of the year! I reviewed both the Sensitive and the Pure Active variants in this blog post last year, and I ended up loving the one in the pink packaging. If you are not sure what a micellar water is or how to use it, take a look at this blog post (I explain everything, plus give you a nifty little tip). It leaves my skin feeling super clean without stripping moisture or leaving any residue behind. The pink bottle is suitable for sensitive skin, it’s budget-friendly, effective, and ensures skin is cleansed and refreshed. What’s not to love?
You will find the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Waters at Clicks and Dis-Chem stores nationwide.
Filorga Perfect+ Perfect Skin Serum ♥ R910,00
A whole lot of science went into creating this serum, but all you really need to know is that with regular use your skin will feel hydrated and look smoother and positively radiant. Perfect+ Perfect Skin Serum contains a combination of natural exfoliators (orange, lemon and sugarcane) to speed up your skin’s cellular renewal process. After using this for about a week I noticed there were less dry, flaky patches on my forehead and my skin definitely looked brighter. It also contains Neurobiox, which promises to plump up the skin, making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. Filorga also included a natural astringent with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will temporarily tighten your pores, plus mattifying PMMA spheres that will perfect the skin over a period of time. I’ve been using this for a couple of months now, and I can definitely see (and feel) and improvement in the texture of my skin. My skin looks more glowy (radiant, not dewy) and feels velvety soft (especially after I’ve applied the serum). I really, REALLY like this serum and I’ll even make a rather bold statement and say it is the best serum I have ever used.
Filorga products are available at selected Edgars and Red Square stores nationwide.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ♥ R355,00
This is one of their most popular products, and with good reason! I featured it in this blog post, so you can go take a look at that for a full, detailed review. But basically this moisturiser is going to hydrate your skin constantly over the course of 24 hours, it leaves your skin feeling nourished, hydrated and soft. There’s nothing better than applying a moisturiser to your skin and you can instantly feel your skin calming down and feel comfortable. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream feels super light on the skin, is free of fragrances (so it’s suitable for sensitive skin) and creates a smooth canvas for your makeup. It contains ingredients that protect the skin against environmental factors, draw moisture out of the air, and help the skin to retain water for longer. I like to use this moisturiser day and night, but keep in mind this does not contain an SPF so you would need to add a sunscreen to your skincare routine. This cream is very lightweight and doesn’t leave any type of greasy residue on the skin (which is a bonus for my combo skin). If you crave hydration that won’t leave skin feeling greasy, then this tried-and-true formula moisturises even the driest skin without breaking you out. My little jar is almost empty, and I’m starting to get nervous…
An honorary mention goes out to the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – I have also adored the facial oil this past year, but I have already mentioned it on the blog so many times (probably like 8 or 10 times) I thought it was best to give the Ultra Facial Cream the award.
Kiehl’s products are available at Kiehl’s counters in selected Edgars stores nationwide. There is also an actual Kiehl’s store in V&A Waterfront.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ♥ R440,00
I know, I know…you’re looking at the tiny bottle and thinking: “R440,00 for THAT!?” Ladies, if you struggle with acne, then this is one bandwagon you need to jump on! It is hands down the best spot treatment I have ever used in my entire life. You apply this with a q-tip to any blemish on the skin, and after 1 or 2 days the blemish is gone, like gone-gone! I don’t know how it works, but it keeps the spot from developing any further and it literally vanishes. It really is magic. The bottle holds a dual-phase liquid that is a mixture of calamine (soothes and calms the spot), camphor (anti-inflammatory), colloidal sulfur (reduces oil gland activity & sebum production) and salicylic acid (an exfoliant that alleviates pore congestion). I featured it in my ‘September 2015 Favourites’ blog post and I explained exactly how to use it (as there is a specific method), so if you’re interested in reading more about this 5-star winner, then head over to that blog post. Remember, ladies, using something like this that keeps the blemish from growing, ensures you won’t have to deal with blemishes that turn flaky and angry later down the line.
Mario Badescu products are available in South Africa – you can purchase them in the Mario Badescu SA online store.
Oh So Heavenly Vanilla Cupcake Bubble Balm ♥ R 27,95
I was so very excited when I first laid eyes on the Oh So Heavenly ball-shaped lip balms. And after using it for a few weeks, I loved it so much that I mentioned it in my ‘September 2015 Favourites’ blog post. As mentioned in that blog post, I love these little sphere lip balms because 1. They’re very affordable; and 2. They are everything I wanted the eos lip balms to be. Plus with the latest controversy surrounding the eos lip balms, I’m extremely happy I tossed them in the bin back in 2013. Turns out a woman is now suing them because her eos lip balm caused some hectic side effects i.e. blisters, rashes, dryness, and even bleeding. Since then a large number of consumers have also come forward saying they have also experienced adverse reactions. Anyway, back to the Oh So Heavenly Bubble Balm… It glides across the lips and leaves them feeling soft, smooth and hydrated. The top 2 ingredients are shea butter and beeswax, both provide superior moisture to treat dry & cracked lips. Beeswax is also great for locking in moisture wherever it is applied. The scent of this lip balm is so delectable, it really does smell like a freshly baked vanilla cupcake. Yum!
Oh So Heavenly products are exclusive to Clicks stores.
Freeman Beauty Acai Purifying Clay Mask ♥ R 69,95
Face masks are a non-negotiable in my skincare routine, I like to indulge in one at least once a week on a Sunday. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extra frisky I double-mask i.e. use a clay mask first, and follow that up with a hydrating / moisturising mask. This pastel blue hued clay mask degunks and deslicks with clay as the main ingredient. It also contains a blend of acai, blueberry, cranberry, goji berries, mango, mangosteen, noni (a tropical fruit), and pomegranate to detoxify the skin and neutralise environmental damage. The mask absorbs oil and draws impurities from the skin, all while cleaning out those clogged pores. It’s suitable for all skin types, and I can vouch for this, because it was the ONLY mask I could stand being on my skin when I had a rather bad skin allergy earlier last year. Leave it on for 20 minutes until it is dry, and then rinse with warm water – I like to remove it with a warm washcloth, because it saves time (and water). I love the refreshing scent of this mask, it smells like a fresh berry smoothie. If you struggle with clogged pores, dull-looking skin, or an oily T-zone, the Freeman Acai Purifying Clay Mask will sort you out in a jiffy.
Top Tip: Use those unused flat, paddle-shaped foundation brushes to apply your face masks. Using a paddle-shaped brush means you’ll have more control over how and where you apply the mask (no need to worry about getting it in your hair). You’ll also find a flat brush applies a mask much more evenly all over the skin.
Freeman Beauty products are exclusive to Dis-Chem stores nationwide.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed taking a look at all the skincare products that rocked my world during 2015. If you would like to take a look at previous ‘Best Of Beauty 2015’ blog posts, click on any of the ones listed below:
Check back in on the blog tomorrow, as I’ll be loading my ‘Products Popping Up – February 2016’ blog post! So many beautiful goodies to show you, you and I better start saving up!