It’s crazy how quickly these annual favourites posts are over. This is my third and final favourites post, and it’s always the most read of the three! My Best of Skincare 2019 was genuinely hard to narrow down, as I’ve used and loved so many products over the last year. Ultimately you’ll see I was brutal and settled on one product for some categories, and others I couldn’t narrow it down – I did, however try and keep these as different KINDS of products in that category.
If you haven’t already, check out my other posts in this series: –
As with both of the other posts, I also included a little note if the product has been a favourite more than once annually over the last few years!
1.Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin (R71,95 at Clicks stores and online) – Holy grail makeup remover and gentle first cleanse. I’ve mentioned this so many times it’s actually crazy, and the cost for the quality is just insane. This is oil free, so I can use it on my lash extensions, and it removes every stitch of makeup on my face. In fact this has been my top makeup remover 3 years running at least! ♥MULTIPLE REPEAT WINNER♥
2.Nikel Cleansing Milk with Immortelle (R480 but currently R192 on The Beautiful Store) – While I know that I was gifted a LOT of gorgeous goodies from Nikel last year, I have genuinely continued to use many of them out of sheer love for the products and the brand. This has been my steadfast though – the product I’ve actually gone and repurchased myself! It’s probably the best cleansing milk I will ever use, with it’s delicate sweet orange scent because it is so gentle and yet so effective. It is so good that my mom is now addicted and buys 2 bottles at a time! ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
3.Gatineau Transforming Cleanser (R595* but currently R476 on Absolute Skin) – I am a milk and cream cleanser fanatic, so was very excited to test this cleanser out. It goes on as a cream, but thins out as you massage it in, and when you add a little water to it, it emulsifies into a light oil. It dissolves makeup and oils from your skin, and leaves it soft and clean. I’ve really been enjoying it so so much!
4.Optiphi Refine-Foliant (R770* from Just Skin Clinic online) – Guys, I have found my holy grail chemical exfoliant! This is legit the best I have EVER used. So good that after one use you can already feel a difference in the texture of your skin! The more uses, the better your skin looks and feels. Absolutely obsessed! It’s since been repackaged into a pump bottle, but I had a box of these little blue glass bottles, and am planning a repurchase in the next few months. You can hear more about this product in my July Favourites HERE.
5.Esse Cocoa Exfoliator (R360 from Faithful To Nature) – This is SUCH a beautiful face scrub. It smells like chocolate covered Turkish delight, and is gentle, yet super effective. You’re left with baby soft skin that smells good enough to eat! I think I’m currently on my third jar! ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
6.L’Oreal Smooth Sugars (R159,95* from Clicks) – I was kindly gifted all three of the scrubs in this line, but the Glow scrub was by far my favourite. It really does buff the skin beautifully, leaving it soft and smooth. It doesn’t irritate my skin whatsoever, and the grapeseed oil leaves it moisturised and glowing.
7.Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater (R275* from Mario Badescu SA online) – I have been through a number of bottles of this gorgeous facial spray, and trust me I will be going through many more. It smells absolutely beautiful, the misting is nice and fine and it gives the skin a beautiful burst of hydration. I love all 3 variants, but this original one is by far my favourite.
8.La Roche-Posay Serozinc (R160 from Dermastore) – This zinc-based mist is designed for those of us with oily skin, sensitive skin and those prone to rosacea. It helps to soothe and reduce redness and irritation, as well as heal up breakouts and mattify the skin. I had one can that lasted me for a good number of months, and while I haven’t replaced it as of yet, I totally plan on doing so – I actually NEED to! I noticed a significant change in my oil levels when using this, and it calmed and healed breakouts so much faster.
1.The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum (R300 from Muse Beauty online) – I actually don’t know how many of these bottles I’ve used now, but I have to be honest, it’s one of the best hydrating/hyaluronic acid serums I have tried. It hydrates my skin like no other, and it’s super affordable too. You can find The Ordinary products at a number of local resellers now (my favourite legit places to shop it are Muse Beauty and Fashion Police), and you can also find it on Bay One. Otherwise, Cult Beauty does deliver to South Africa, and often has free international shipping on different brands, including The Ordinary! ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
2.Optiphi Complexion Control (R1310* from Just Skin Clinic online) – I really must do a full review on this product. I took some before pictures, I just need to finish the bottle and take some after ones! Trust me – you’ll see the difference. My skin looks clearer and any marks from post inflammatory pigmentation (marks left behind from blemishes) have either faded drastically or disappeared altogether. The hormonal pigmentation has also definitely faded, just not as fast (hence me not having done a full review yet). However, this retinol serum is so gentle (no irritation, redness or flaking) and feels amazing on the skin. The results are so good for how long I’ve been using it!
3.Mario Badescu Peptide Renewal Serum (R799* from Mario Badescu SA online) – I used this on and off and really did enjoy it as a night time serum, however it was only after my facial at M.E.G. Skin & Body Experts with the lovely Shana in July that I fully embraced it. I know that when I use it consistently every other night, the smile lines around my mouth and the lines on my forehead were softened dramatically. I still try to use it at least once a week, but I became a bit lazy over the holidays, and am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things properly this year.
4.Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (R890 for 30ml/R1225 for 50ml on Superbalist) – This serum is supposedly the original hyaluronic acid serum, and has such a cult following. I’ve been using it on nights where I don’t slam my skin with retinol or peptides, just as a hydrating and repairing night serum, and my skin soaks it up beautifully. I only need about 4 drops for my whole face and neck, and I wake up with glowing, hydrated skin.
5.Filorga NCEF Reverse Eyes Supreme Multi-Correction Eye Cream (R925 from Just Skin Clinic) – Filorga really know their eye creams hey! I have used this product every single night since I received it in PR and it’s still going strong. It has a light gel-cream texture, yet it’s richer than others so I use it at night (although it’s suitable for use day and night, and I have used it during the day before). It definitely helps my fine lines and dark circles, as well as being very hydrating. You’ll easily get 3-4 months or more from a jar too, just ensure your hands are exceptionally clean when you dip in, or use a little cosmetic spatula.
6.Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse Boost Multi Correction Eye Balm Gel (R425* from Woolworths stores or Absolute Skin online) – This eye product has been my go to for day time for many months now. It’s light and yet hydrating enough for my under eye area, and makeup wears beautifully on it with no creasing! I feel like I’m not even halfway through the tube and it’s going strong too. Plus it has a little pump on it, which makes dispensing the correct amount so easy.
7.Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Awakening Gel-Cream (R129,95 from Clicks) – I finished this tube up and the ONLY reason I haven’t replaced it as of yet due to having a handful of other eye creams to get through. It is super hydrating, yet very light due to the gel-cream texture. It really does leave my eyes looking more refreshed and awake, and I plan on repurchasing it as soon as my current daily eye cream is finished! ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
8.Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator (R315 for 30ml/R545 for 50ml/R750 for 75ml on Superbalist) – I mention this product every single year, and with good reason! It’s very light due to it’s gel-cream texture, yet it packs the most intense hydrating punch I’ve found. Your skin actually looks juicy and feels comfortable and hydrated. This is another product that I finished before the end of the year, and the only reason I haven’t repurchased it yet, is due to me trying to work through products I already have before purchasing new ones. I’ve felt it’s absence though, and plan on getting my hands on some more ASAP.
9.La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo SPF 30 (R265 from Dermastore) – I bought this after seeing a number of my blogging friends raving about it, and trust me – all their hype was well deserved. This helps to unclog pores, control oil, control breakouts, PLUS it still seems super hydrating and doesn’t leave my skin feeling thirsty like so many spot-focused products do. The added SPF is a bonus! I’d actually like to purchase it without the SPF now, as it is so effective at unclogging your pores and keeping the skin clear, I’d like to be able to use it daily and on nights when my skin is suffering a bit.
10.Vichy UV Protect SPF 50 PA ++++ Anti Shine Cream (R265 from Clicks) – I finished up my second tube of this gem of a sunscreen this year, and as seems to be a trend with me (a good one though), the only reason I haven’t repurchased it is due to the fact I had 3 other sunscreens I needed to finish up first. I just can’t justify buying something when I have multiple other products that do the same job, it’s so wasteful! I am trialing one I do quite like at the moment, but nothing so far has matched up to this. Don’t be fooled by the ‘anti-shine’ claim – while it definitely doesn’t make oily skin oilier over the course of the day, it doesn’t feel drying whatsoever. It has a lovely light, yet hydrating texture to it, and it contains thermal spring water. ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
11.Filorga Time Filler Night Multi-Correction Wrinkles Night Cream (R920* but currently R850 on Absolute Skin) – This night cream targets multiple types of wrinkles. I didn’t believe it would really be able to make a difference, and yet truly does – I finished mine up and after a couple of days without it, I truly saw just what it had been doing for my skin. The lines that I’m starting to see more on my forehead and around my mouth DEFINITELY lessened. My skin looked fuller, plumper and fresher when I woke. Plus it helps work against sleep wrinkles and puffiness from sleep – something I actually battle with, and have noticed return slowly after I’ve stopped using the product. While my lines are definitely still softened, they’re not AS minimised as while I was using this moisturiser, so I really want to repurchase.
1.Optiphi Hydraderm HA Masque (R740* from Just Skin Clinic) – This is such a beautiful hydrating cream mask that I can’t imagine anyone not loving. You can use it as a mask for 15-20 minutes, you can use it as an overnight mask, and you can even pop it on under foundation (in place of your day cream) if you’re suffering with dry or dehydrated skin. The tube lasts an age too! You can read more about it in my June Favourites HERE or my post on the brand HERE.
2.MudMask Sample Kit (R250* on the MudMask site but currently on sale for R180) – I love this set! I enjoy mixing up my own masks to suit my skincare needs, and the sample kit comes with a facial soap and a facial oil as well, which I like. It’s super easy, not as messy as you’d expect, and it’s gentle and effective. I’ve been loving mine and definitely recommend it. You can read more about it in my full review HERE.
3.L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask (R159,95 from Clicks) – If mixing your own masks isn’t for you, then the L’oreal range of Pure Clay masks is wonderful. This is my favourite though, and the one I’ve repurchased many times. It truly does help clean your pores out! I actually have a full review HERE. ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
4.Garnier Moisture Bomb Revitalising Tissue Mask (R39,95 currently on 20% off at Clicks) – I am OBSESSED with sheet masks. It’s a problem. I have used so many brands and varieties from those brands. However, the one I find to be the most effective and enjoyable to use is this Garnier one. I love all 3 of the varients (there’s a more purifying one for problem skin and a soothing one which is ideal when my skin reacts to something), but the original revitalising one is my best. They’re saturated in serum, and there is enough serum left in the sachet for 2 uses on your face after the mask! I see instant hydration and glow when I use these. Amazingly enough they’re very often on 3 for 2 promotions or on 20% off at either Dischem or Clicks.
5.Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (R850 from Edgars online or Kiehl’s stores) – I think this is my third bottle? I got it for my birthday in July (it was actually on my birthday wishlist) and have been using it on and off since then. It’s crazy how such a little goes a long way, as I’ve barely made a dent in my bottle! The lavender scent is amazing for that last step in my skincare, and it is light and absorbs fast, yet makes a difference to both the look and comfort of my skin.
6.Nuxe Rêve de Miel Honey lip balm (R220 from Woolworths stores or Absolute Skin online) – I have owned 2 pots of this precious balm, and plan on owning a new one as soon as I’ve narrowed down my lip balm collection (I’m something of a junkie). This is legit the best lip balm for winter, as it stops my lips from chapping each time the colder, drier weather rolls around. It is thick and rich, but melts into your lips as it warms up – plus it smells absolutely delicious thanks to honey being a key ingredient. My last pot actually broke (it comes in a luxe-feeling glass jar), and while I did only have a small amount left I was DEVASTATED! ♥REPEAT WINNER♥
7.Kiki Beauty Makeup Ready Rose Wax Lip Balm (R180* from Kiki Beauty online) – This is such a luscious lip balm. It’s actually so thick and glossy that I keep it in my handbag to use as a gloss instead of actual lip gloss! I bought my first tube and played with it so much that it burst at the end, but I squeezed all of the product out into a travel tub and finished it all up. My latest tube was a PR gift, and to be really honest I could totally have put it aside and saved it or regifted it, but instead I squealed and immediately (and greedily) opened it up and swiped some on, despite having about 5 other lip balms on the go. It’s just too good!
If you’ve tried any of these, tell me which ones in the comments below!