The Year in Review: 2018 Skincare trends that killed and resurrected my soul
2018 was the year of skin geeking out. Just when I thought I’d reached the ceiling of all there is to know about skincare, cosmetic scientists like Lab Muffin and Stephen Ko become mainstream (to me, at least) and educated the consuming public about skincare myths, bs and tips to a whole new level.
As I look more closely at skincare ingredients and learn more deeply about my skin condition, here’s a look-back at skincare 2018’s best and worst:
Best Learning: Preserving the Acid Mantle
Looking back on the year’s Skincare Snippets and various skincare reviews, the post that is still relevant or the ‘one that keeps giving’ is my IHE Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser review. Nothing has changed my skin quite like low pH cleansers. They’ve addressed my dullness, made my skin more stable and helped me feel like my skincare steps are being absorbed way better. I feel like I’ve become more intimate with my skin condition, and I am better able to address whatever issues crop up.
Mini battle: I have tried IHE Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser, Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel with glycolic acid, and Human Heart Nature Nourishing (Tomato) Facial Wash. My winner: IHE. The PTR acid sometimes feels harsh on my hands, and the HHN lacks a bit of lather, though they are both still worlds apart from my usual foaming cleanser.
Trend That Killed My Soul: Aztec Healing Clay
My eyes roll to the back of my skull and my soul reaches another plane of existence when people defend the Aztec clay to me. ‘Your Mileage Vary/YMMV’ is an actual thing we say in the skincare community and it is an actual truth that different formulations affect different individuals to varying degrees. But I cannot process how Aztec clay ‘may be bad in theory, but it works for me.’ There is just no way. Bentonite clay is used to create casts and molds and I know that it is a fallacious argument but you are basically putting cement to dry on your face!!!!!
This is an instance where ‘skin care’ is ‘skin kill’ and I do not know of any medical condition where you would need to dry your face up to this degree. Clays are generally highly alkaline - that’s why you’re asked to mix the clay with Apple Cider Vinegar, an acid. To tone it down a bit. Because it’s too strong. And in conjunction with 2018’s biggest learning of preserving your acid mantle, I think this is one of the worst things you can do to your skin.
Diss-honorable Mentions: Perla as facial soap, Miniso Skincare, St Ives Apricot Scrub
Perla - you are not a piece of clothing. No, Perla is not mild. If it’s tough enough to remove stains on woven fiber, it’s too tough for the delicate surface of your facial skin.
Miniso Skincare - their gadgets fall apart after 5 uses. Do you really trust their skincare and cosmetics to be decently formulated? A 21-gun salute to all who tried Miniso skincare because of the cute packaging. Hopefully, you’ve dropped the bad habit now.
St Ives Apricot Scrub - exfoliation of this degree is just bonkers. You cannot scrub your pimples and blackheads out in the hope of revealing baby fresh skin. You need to address the issues at the root, not at the surface hoping to get to the root. Using St Ives is like taking a plow on your whole garden to dig up one stray weed.
Hype That Lived Up: Exfoliation
On that note, appropriate exfoliation can do wonders for your skin. I now have various acids, peel pads and gommages in my stock. Proper exfoliation is key to bright and happy skin, especially for dull and crusty-ass bitches like me. Acids were a particularly scary field to venture into, but I think the delicateness of the situation and the preparation you needed to get into it helped elevate my skincare knowledge and observations.
Worst Letdown: Bye Bye Hyaluronic
Hada Labo has been a long time fave, and I’d still readily suggest the Hada Labo Gokujyun Milk for dry-skinned people, and the Hada Labo Gokujyun Clear Lotion for oily-skinned people – review of a full Hada Labo routine here. I had worshipped it the moment I tried it. But after some time, realizing that I had both dry and dehydrated skin, and that hyaluronic preparations focus on water-based moisture, I had to accept that this isn’t the compound for me. Hyaluronic acid may feel divine, but the focus on water means that my oil levels are neglected. And as much as I love massaging Hada Labo products onto my parched skin, I need both oil and water supplementation. Me going on a hyaluronic-based skincare is just like a dog going on a vegan diet.
They may not be the best for my personal maintenance skincare, but working around this, I still think hyaluronic compounds are great pre-makeup skincare. Oils, creams, and lotions don’t layer well with all foundation types, but water-based skincare, used properly, ALWAYS works with all types of makeup.
And that’s the 2018 skincare trends hit list! It’s interesting how both good and bad trends furthered my skincare education. I do feel like the tangential things I’m doing are planting seeds and levelling up my makeup game as a whole. Next post is going to be about my 2018 skincare hits based on my skincare routine (best cleanser, best cream, etc etc.)