Best of 2017: Skincare

Best of 2017: Skincare

2017 was possibly a slightly more restrained skincare year for me than 2016, but only just. I still tried a lot and experimented with things, spending a considerable amount of money in the process. I suspect 2018 will be quieter: my routine is settling down and I’ve found some firm favourites that are unlikely to be bested any time soon. Anyway, we’ll see by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, here are my 2017 favourites:

1. Everything de Mamiel. If you like green luxury beauty, I highly recommend de Mamiel: it is considerably cheaper than May Lindstrom (still not cheap, of course) and at least comparable in quality. I especially like the cleansing oil and the serum, but everything I’ve tried has been beautiful.

2. Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil. My favourite cleansing oil in 2017 together with de Mamiel – I’ve clearly been gravitating towards “natural”-smelling oils. Votary is more earthy and herby than de Mamiel and probably not for everyone, but I grew to love it (both for first and second cleanse).

3. Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. This is exactly what I want from my morning cleanser – jelly texture, refreshing feel, a slightly brightening effect. I wasn’t sure about the strawberry shampoo scent at first, now I like it.

4. Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 PIGM 400. This toner is the only significant addition to my acid stash (or was The Ordinary 7% glycolic also 2017?). It’s the strongest one in my current rotation and I don’t use it every day. Will never be without something from the P50 family, though.

5. Whamisa Deep Rich Organic Flowers Toner. One of my absolute favourite discoveries of 2017 (thanks to Gothamista), this is a beautiful, very hydrating toner. If you suffer from constant dehydration, try doing the Korean seven skin method with it – it worked very well for me. This toner feels more like an essence or even serum, as it’s quite thick. If you prefer runnier consistency, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is wonderful as well.

6. Drunk Elephant B-Hydra and C-Firma. I had tried a couple of Drunk Elephant products before and wasn’t entirely convinced. Then I bought these two serums and I’m a convert. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel is a fantastic hydrating product. Yes, you could say that you can get a hyaluronic acid serum for much less money than this, but B-Hydra is just… better. It’s effective, the texture is wonderful, the packaging is great, the finish is beautiful (if you want to use it as a last step in your routine) and there is more going on than just hyaluronic acid. I haven’t used C-Firma Day Serum long enough to vouch for its efficacy (with hydrating products, you can tell pretty much instantly), but it has become one of my favourite morning serums, so I’m including it anyway. Most of my vitamin C serums are too strong for day, this one seems exactly right. I can imagine that it would be even better for dry skin, as it’s quite oily. (PS Drunk Elephant will become available in Europe this year, via Space NK!)

7. DCL Skincare C Scape High Potency Night Booster. If you need a hard-core vitamin C product, this is it. It’s the strongest and the most effective one I’ve ever used and as soon as I’m back from Australia, I will start treating my pigmentation issues with it. If you are sensitive, stay clear, this is potent stuff.

8. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane. I maintain that The Ordinary is the best place to go for cheap retinol. Very often, I prefer their products over much, MUCH more expensive retinoids. They released a bunch of new options in 2017 and I bought the 5% version. I love it. It is the strongest they do, but I’ve felt no irritation and no need to buy any other retinol products for a while.

9. Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream. Still my favourite moisturiser of 2017, I’m currently saving up for my second jar. Despite its sumptuousness, it’s in fact very light and watery. Sometimes I make it richer by adding Vintner’s Daughter face oil, which makes it the most ridiculously expensive combo ever. But so good. (I also still think the L’Oreal is good, but B-Hydra does the same thing and is even better).

10. Chanel Le Lift Eye Cream. One of the very few mainstream products on this list, it’s just a very good old school eye cream. It’s luxurious and super hydrating and considering what many niche brands charge these days, not as expensive as one might expect.

11. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. If you have a chance, buy this. It’s the best lip product I know.

I still love and use my 2016 favourites as well, so it’s worth taking a look if you need more skinspiration. What did you enjoy using in 2017?

PS As I’m on holiday, could only photograph a couple of my favourites.


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  1. 1

    Oh, I didn’t know DE was coming to Europe! Their new moisturizer sounds like it might be worth trying… And maybe the jelly cleanser if I ever manage to use up my previous ones.
    The de Mamiel line sounds… indulgent. Must put it on my wishlist 🙂

    • 2

      Caroline Hirons says in her beginning-of-2018 post that they are coming – Kate Somerville and Herbivore as well! And yes, “indulgent” is a good word for de Mamiel, but have you seen May Lindstrom and African Botanics prices? Insane.

  2. 3

    Happy New Year!! 🙂 I would like to ask you which of these products would you recommend for normal / combined mature skin? Thank you!! Pavlina

    • 4

      My skin is normal/combination and somewhat mature (37), but regardless of that, everything here should be suitable and beneficial for that type of skin. In particular, everything that includes retinol is very effective when it comes to looking fresher.

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