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The Skincare Class of 2016

2 January 2017

2016 was most certainly a year of new skincare discoveries for me. In previous years, I had been accustomed to using a mix of mid-range and pharmacy-stocked brands, but 2016 saw me spend just as much, if not more, on skincare than on makeup. My bank account doesn't love me for it, but what can I say? It's taken one (or two, or perhaps eighteen) for the team.

I don't necessarily think skincare has to be expensive in order to be effective, but I have realised that sometimes sourcing and bottling active ingredients costs money, and it's money that someone with my troublesome skin is willing to spend. I mean, I'm pretty realistic so it's not like I expect miracles to happen overnight or anything*.

Old faithfuls

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
My cleansing staple. I use it as my morning cleanser and as my second cleanse at night. It removes any surface oil and residue without stripping my skin. I know some people prefer a creamy or milky consistency, but I really enjoy using a cleanser that lathers because my skin doesn't feel clean otherwise. It doesn't contain any SLS though so it's still gentle and won't irritate the eyes. I've almost finished my second tube of this.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lotion
Another staple from First Aid Beauty, this fragrance-free body lotion hydrates but absorbs in no time at all. I do like body butters sometimes but they're often scented and take some time to work into the skin. For everyday, this lotion is a dream, and I've since repurchased it.

NUXE Reve de Miel
This lip balm is a cult favourite for good reason. It's thick and nourishing and works great as an overnight balm. This is my second pot of this, which is rare for someone who chops and changes products so frequently. 

Daily workhorses

Ciate Makeup Melter
My favourite cleansing balm to date. It removes makeup with ease, is fragrance-free, doesn't leave behind a greasy residue, and doesn't irritate my eyes. I've almost finished my first pot but I'll most likely repurchase after I use up the rest of my cleansing balms and oils.

Swisse Micellar Makeup Remover
A cheap and cheerful natural-based micellar water. It feels quite gentle on the skin but removes a surprising amount of makeup. I use this after taking off my makeup and before giving my skin a second cleanse. I've gone through two bottles and have since moved on to another micellar water, but the Swisse one will always be a favourite of mine.

Caudalie Grape Water
If you're after a refreshing, hydrating mist, the Caudalie Grape Water is a fabulous option. I have a few facial mists but there's just something about this one that makes me keep going back for more. I like that the scent isn't overpowering (it's literally just grape water), and it gives my skin moisture but isn't sticky. I bought a backup can of it yesterday.

Kypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic
I moved around with my sunscreens a bit in 2016 but this is the one I ended up settling down with. We've made a deposit on a flat and are expecting a baby soon. No, but in all seriousness, this stuff is amazing. It's thick so it feels like you're protected, but it's not got that typical sunscreen greasiness. It's surprisingly lightweight for how it looks in the pot. It's a bit pricey but I think for a sunscreen that makes you actually want to apply it, it's worth it.

American powerhouses

Kypris Antioxidant Dew
If you have dull skin, this will give you glow. I've been using this daily, day and night, and my skin just seems less lacklustre. Kypris Beauty is, by far, one of my favourite brand discoveries of 2016. I'll most likely repurchase this milky serum when I run out.

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
This AHA serum gives me instant results. Whenever I use it, my skin looks resurfaced, brighter, smoother, and more even. It totally dissolves all my dry, flakey bits of skin. I was worried at first because I've heard that it's too strong for some people, but my sensitive, redness-prone skin apparently loves glycolic and other acids. Amazing. Ask for a sample of this stuff if you can. It'll change your skincare game.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
I own my fair share of face oils but this is the one I've used the most. I love that it nourishes my skin but isn't so greasy that I can't use it during the daytime. For me, the Drunk Elephant line was the most anticipated MECCA release of 2016, and I have to say, it lives up to the hype. I own half the range and all the products have been wonderful for my skin. If you have sensitive or temperamental skin, I'd recommend at least trying the range. Everything is formulated without fragrance.

A skin transformer

SK-II LXP Ultimate Perfecting Serum
This is tear-jerkingly expensive but I notice a difference when I use it. It gets rid of my stubborn eczema patches and calms down my redness. It makes my face feel more plump and perfected, like the name suggests. If you have a whole host of problems, this serum might do wonders for your skin, too. It does everything I want it to do (other than wash the dishes), and I feel super fancy when I use it. Amongst the chaos that was 2016, I think feeling fancy was not too bad a thing. Not bad at all.

*A lie — I totally do.

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