I wanted to post this up before the year ended, but got too busy packing for my Japan trip. This is a round up of my top 10 skincare products for 2016 – most of which are my Holy Grail items that I use every day. Check out my top 10 makeup products for 2016 here.
From left to right: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, LJH LeeJiHam Tea Tree 90 Essence, Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid, Holy Snails’ Shark Sauce, Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream, Sisley Siselya Eye and Lip Contour Cream, HABA Squalane Oil, Leaders Insolution Coconut Bio Mask, and Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash.
TOP 10 SKINCARE PRODUCTS FOR 2016
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
OCM – Oil Cleansing Method – changed my life and made my skin so much healthier. And of all the different oil/balm cleansers I’ve tried, the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is THE BEST and easiest to work with. I have gone through Banila Co, THREE, and Shu Uemura cleansing oils and pure natural oils like jojoba and coconut, but nothing works like DHC. Made up of olive oil, this badass cleanser emulsifies quickly to take off all traces of heavy makeup without leaving an oily film or any residue behind. It is so good that sometimes I don’t even need to follow up with a double cleanse, and I use it because it was recommended for me by the expert dermatologist Dr. Jason Mussman.
CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
One of the mega trends in asian beauty over the past two years is probably chemical exfoliation. Yes, it sounds super harsh but here’s the shocker: it’s wayyyy gentler than your micro-bead scrub AND Clarisonic. I used to use my Mia 2 with the softest cashmere brush or something on a weekly basis but still kept getting sensitivity issues. Then I discovered the magic of acids – non-physical exfoliation that really works to suck/shake gunk loose from your pores or melt away dead skin cells for healthier skin. Exfoliation truly is the secret to good skin (provided that it is done properly.)
CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is one of the most talked about BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) products because it’s easily available, affordable, and simply WORKS AMAZINGLY. Dr Diane Walder, a cosmetic dermatology specialist in Miami also swears by this product, although she still recommends you seek professional advice first before putting anything on your skin. Granted, my skin took a while to get used to this, but getting to see grits (the yellow head bit of blocked pores) just roll out while cleansing your face with little to no pressure is the best thing ever. Also shortens lifespans of big, painful zits.
Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream
BEST. MOISTURIZER. EVER. Here’s why.
LJH LeeJiHam Tea Tree 90 Essence
Basically magic in a bottle, because how else could 90% tea tree oil be so soothing? This reduces redness and calms stressed skin really quickly in a lightweight formula that sinks in quickly. I find that using this on the onset of a breakout – you know it, red bumps under the skin that are sore to the touch – helps alleviate the tenderness and speeds up recovery time. However, unlike many of the other products on this list, the essence is not the easiest to get, and are frequently marked up on non-Korean sites. At 50ml, I find that I go through it really quickly. Am probably on my 6th bottle or something – and here’s where I usually get it.
Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid
I’ve raved about this magical serum so much not just online but to everyone I know, and it’s the one item that really sold me on the brand. Dr Jart’s sheet masks are not mind-blowingly awesome, but this nourishing and repairing goodness is just the best. It plumps parched skin up with lots of moisture, sinks in reasonably fast for supple, healthy skin. The first time I used this, my skin felt so smooth overnight. As the name suggests, ceramides are the key ingredients – which is great for sensitive, eczema-prone skin looking to boost their natural barrier. Also, at 150ml, this is one giant-ass bottle of serum. Each lasts me about 3-4 months and I’m currently on my 3rd bottle.
Holy Snails Shark Sauce
No, it’s not actually made of shark and yes, it’s fucking awesome. I don’t usually believe in brightening or scar-reducing products but this changed my mind. Shark Sauce is a relatively scentless serum with a jelly texture that melts onto skin. I didn’t really expect anything, but in a matter of weeks, my brown spots and hyperpigmentation from old breakouts have evened out. This is the ONE and ONLY product I’ve ever used in my entire life that I swear, made me comfortable enough to go out without any makeup on and still felt beautiful.
Sisley Sisleya Eye and Lip Contour Cream
Expensive shit, but also one of the few eye creams that moisturized my undereye area without leaving milia seeds. I wear a lot of eye makeup and all that removal tugging (no matter how gently) along with of course, the passage of time, has caused fine lines to appear. I live in fear of that worsening, but I’m also very prone to milia seeds so I’m even more selective about what I put on my eye area than my face. Some eye creams also don’t play well with makeup, causing powder to cake or settle and making fine lines even more apparent. This doesn’t.
HABA Squalane Oil
Squalene is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in our skin’s oils. As we age, the levels of squalane in our skin decreases as well. I first found out about squalane as a great treatment for face eczema, and yes, it worked very well for dry patches that would otherwise be there for eons. Squalane also penetrates the skin rapidly, delivering benefits like antioxidant activity and cell damage prevention effectively. Derived from shark liver oil, HABA Squalane Oil is 100% squalane and very rich so I only use it as a spot treatment to quickly heal troubled areas overnight.
Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash
I’ve recommended this to so many people, and ALL of them are now converts. I haven’t heard a single negative comment about this and rightly so – this super affordable foam cleanser has the most optimum pH level of 5.5 that doesn’t irritate your skin nor disrupt your natural barrier, but also leaves your skin super smooth and soft without any residual slip. And get this – a bottle that lasts about 1-2 months cost only USD9. The grain is a little coarse and won’t give you a super fluffy lather but I’m really more about the effects than the sensory experience.
Leaders Insolution Coconut Bio Masks
I LOVE Leaders mask, always have for years, but this range of coconut gel masks blows all of their paper/sheet versions out of the water. I literally cart boxes of this whenever I see it in stock. Fits like a glove, lasts for more than 20 minutes and slids off to reveal MUCH brighter and seriously hydrated skin. If they discontinue this I honestly don’t know what I’ll do.
Using these awesome skincare products together really keeps my skin healthy and happy, and now the only time I experience poor skin conditions is when le hormones decide to wreak havoc. What are your top 10 skincare products for 2016?