The Year in Review: 2018 Skincare MVPs
With the end of the year, I thought it’d be nice to do a little look-back on all the skincare I’ve tried and pick out 2018’s Holy Grails. These are definitely not my lifetime holy grails… they are more like, preliminary winners for the year in a neverending elimination round for my holy grails. Do note that I’m only working off of stuff I’ve personally tried in the past year, so these may be: a) irrelevant to different skin types and concerns; and b) disappointing to people who wanted to try certain trends that I didn’t.
MVPs per category, based on my own standard routine:
First Cleanse: Garnier Micellar Water
My favorite, Sikmulnara Perfect Rice Bran Cleansing Water, is a 2017 discovery and as much as I want to gush about its cleansing AND conditioning powers, I want to keep to my timeframe. 2018 was a battle between cleansing balms and micelle water, with me buying Heimish and getting sent the sting-free, reformulated Banila Co balms. I have a special appreciation for cleansing balms, but I will always pick up the micelle water first. And in 2018, Garnier Micellar Water (for sensitive skin) is my winner. I had it in my kit, and it was generally not irritating to a pretty large population of models. It also worked well enough and is damn easy to find. At PHP 89 / 125ml or PHP 249 / 400ml, it was pretty tough to beat.
I have tried Simple and Bioderma Sensibio and found them both irritating. Creer Cleansing Water was not the variant for me. Maybe Water in Oil, which I didn’t try, would have been better for my makeup removal needs.
A very close runner up is the Nuxe Comforting Cleansing Milk. I love the ‘softness’ of cream cleansers on my dry skin, but they usually tend to sting especially when massaged in thoroughly. Nuxe feels like none of that, but way more nourishing! I started using it only a few weeks ago though, so I’m not confident awarding it anything yet.
Eye Makeup Remover: Pond’s Lip and Eye Makeup Remover
I do not get cold cream users. I would very much prefer not to rip my skin off to simply remove eye makeup. Biphase removers are the sole way, the truth and the light. This 2018, I either used a cleansing balm (above) or biphase makeup removers ONLY on my eyes. L’Oreal Gentle Makeup Remover for Eyes and Lips, Simple Eye Makeup Remover and Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover were fine, but not as effective for the very waterproof eyeliners I rely on. Of note, I was surprised that the Simple Eye Makeup Remover seemed overall way better quality than their micelle water.
Moisturizing Toner/Lotion: Makanai Gentle Moisturizing Skin Lotion
There were a lot of good ones, but I’d have to say the most ‘skincare magnetizing’ toner I’ve tried this year is the Makanai Gentle Moisturizing Skin Lotion. It’s part of a tiny travel set I picked up to try, and am pretty shocked with the quality of the skincare inside!
Moisturizer: NO WINNER
I didn’t get to try many proper moisturizers this year, and whatever I did happen to try, wasn’t remarkable enough. Thank u, next.
Cream: Embryolisse Lait Cream
This is so good, I stole it back from my pro kit for personal use. It has a good balance of oil and water in the emulsion, and always feels so nourishing when I apply it on my skin. For all its power, it doesn’t really tend to feel thick, heavy, sticky nor film-like.
Sunscreen: NO WINNER
I thought it’d be the five-or-so bukols worth ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen and Primer. With 2 silicones at the top of the ingredient list, this sunscreen greatly diffused my flakes and pores, which is why I fell in love with it in the first place. But it also left my base slippery after a few hours. I later realized that my skin can’t handle too much silicone, whether from sunscreen or primers. The way it oils up and melts is just too messy. It’s great for no-foundation days, when the blurring action would be all I’d need, but not when I’m going to need to address more than medium-grade discoloration.
Sheet Mask: Dr Morita Triple Hyaluronic Acid Essence Mask
Mediheal NMF has been a longtime Holy Grail and Dr Morita levels with it. Dr Morita though, has the advantage of being cheaper (PHP 75 vs Mediheal’s PHP 149.) I find the sheets equally comfortable and the essences, equally nourishing.
Best Line: I took a break from trying out solid lines such as I did in the Skincare Snippets run circa 2014-2015. I’m pretty dubious I’m gonna have a favorite line because now I know how to look at ingredients and I’m picking MVPs per brand, as opposed to blindly following a brand’s skincare philosophy in the past.
I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole: Miniso Skincare
That’s my 2018 skincare MVP list! Next would be my personal makeup, and then pro kit faves!