2021 has surely gone by like a blur and I’ve had my fair share of trial and error with different skincare products. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a skincare junkie!
For reference, I am an oily skinned gal, with lots of texture, pores, and the occasional breakout. I was also on Accutane for about 8 months which helped, but now that I’m off it, the oiliness has come back in full force, so none of the products I’ll be talking about will be for dry skin.
Enough rambling, let’s chat products!
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One of the most important parts of my skincare routine as a regular makeup-wearer is cleansing oil. You need to get a good cleansing oil that suits your skin type to get all the day’s gunk off your face.
Manyo’s Pure Cleansing Oil is a new addition to my routine and I love it! It is rich in amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. There isn’t much of a fragrance to it, it smells very subtly like lavender which is one of my favourite scents. It isn’t the most lightweight, nor is it extremely greasy, which I like for the end of the day. You don’t want to be using a cleansing oil that’s too drying even if you have oily skin.
I also love the packaging and label design – plus points for that! I can’t wait to explore more of what Manyo has to offer as this is the first product of theirs that I’ve ever tried and it has already been promising.
If you’ve followed me on any other social media account, you’ll know how much I rave about this serum. Snail serum? Wtf is that?!
This repairing and lightweight Snail Truecica Serum has to be my favourite find of the year. I absolutely love it and I’ve repurchased it 3 times, and I’ve also recommended it to a bunch of my friends and colleagues.
This serum contains naturally derived ingredients such as sage extract, willow bark extract, allantoin and snail secretion filtrate. If you’re concerned about how ‘cruelty free’ this item is (as I was when I first looked into it), we’ve been told that in order to get the best quality snail mucin, the snails must be left alone, be healthily fed and with a calm composure, which sounds to me like there is 0 cruelty to the snails involved. And we love snails here!
I mostly use this serum at night as I refrain from extra products on my face during the day because I am a human oil slick, and this fits right in before my moisturiser and I swear it makes my skin glow and look healthier the next morning. The consistency isn’t extremely oily, but it is most like a thick liquid (almost gel-like), and smells great too. It is extremely soothing and supposedly has anti-wrinkle properties too!
Another snail serum – what?!
COSRX is a staple brand in my skincare routine for good reason, they have such a wide variety of affordable products as well as products for every skin type and problem.
This Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is an amazing night serum that I use all the time. I even bought one bottle for my boyfriend because it is that good. Containing as much as 96% snail mucin, this product’s consistency is extremely snail-like (lol!) and by that I mean it has a stringy, slippery, slimy consistency that I can deal with. It just assures me that this product is chock-full of snail-y goodness.
This serum also include sodium hyaluronate, allantoin, panthenol and arginine, which provide additional hydrating and elasticity-enhancing effects – amazing for skin regeneration!
I have to admit TikTok has played a huge role in a lot of skincare products for me this year and this is definitely one of them! COSRX is a brand that’s been very popular in Singapore for awhile now, and I’m glad I finally tried their Aloe Soothing Cream with SPF50 after TikTok convinced me to.
It is lightweight and seems to be great for all skin types. Smells amazing too – I can’t pinpoint exactly what the smell is but it’s great as I’ve had some sunscreens that have simply smelled awful. The scent doesn’t linger, so if you are sensitive to fragrances, I wouldn’t be too scared of trying this out. “Fragrance” is listed as the 2nd last ingredient in its contents, so the overall % isn’t very high.
Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties and that is the main ingredient in this product which I love! My face has quite a bit of redness in certain areas so anything that can help soothe it is a plus!
Salicylic acid has been a staple in my skincare routine for as long as I’ve started taking care of my skin. When I first discovered Sephora’s new Good Skincare collection that promised “clean” ingredients as well as eco-friendly packaging, I was sold! I’m a sucker for that stuff.
The Sephora Good Skincare’s Salicylic Acid serum is a really affordable and effective serum for people who suffer with oily skin and acne. I personally sometimes use it on the back of my arms too for the texture that’s caused by ingrown hairs.
It is super lightweight, lightweight enough for me to even use during the day, and doesn’t leave a tacky feel on the skin which is awesome for the humid Singapore weather. One small 30ml bottle has actually lasted me over 8 months now, and it was very affordable to purchase. I’m definitely looking to try out more from the Good Skincare collection so that I can review them as it has all been very promising.
I’ve also talked about this great little product before and it is none other than The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask.
This is one of my favourite wash-off masks of all time and that’s saying a lot because I think I’ve tried more than 40 face masks in my time. It is a clay mask with bits of green tea leaves in it for gentle exfoliation. It also has tea tree oil in it which is a staple ingredient for oily, acne-prone skin!
The charcoal bamboo also helps suck out impurities in the pores and the fact that it tingles when its on the skin gives me the illusion that it really works – but will you ever know if the impurities are physically sucked out? You tell me! I love it either way, as it leaves my skin feeling extremely clean after. I use this about once a week.
My only problem with his product is that the green tea leaves can sometimes clog the sink, and because the mask has such a high clay percentage, it can dry out pretty quickly. Other than that, it is the perfect cleansing mask in my opinion.
AXIS-Y is a new brand I discovered late into 2021, thanks to the wonderful app that is TikTok.
I love pore clarifying masks and this Mugwort Pore Clarifying Wash Off Pack works the charm! It has little aduki beans in it for that soft exfoliation effect.
This great little mask pack is cruelty free and vegan friendly, free from artificial colours, mineral oil, fragrances and parabens, I would be confident to label it as a ‘clean’ beauty item, and it contains one of my favourite skincare ingredients – hyaluronic acid! Hyaluronic acid can speed wound healing and promote healthier, glowy skin.
TikTok convinced me to buy this facial cleanser for the second time! I actually had it before, and I got bored of it, but then I realised that simple was better!
Cerave’s Foaming Facial Cleanser is a dermatologist-tested facial cleanser that is extremely gentle and great for protective the skin’s natural barrier. I guess I got bored of it because it was that gentle that I didn’t see any extreme changes in my skin, but why was that a bad thing to me? I should’ve focused on the fact that it didn’t actually break me out, like a lot of skincare products do.
This cleanser features ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide – all ingredients that are great for me and my skin in particular! One 355ml bottle will also last you MONTHS!
Why did I ever doubt you, Cerave?!
Like always, I will be continuing to try, test and review more skincare products in the next year and forever (more?) as it is and will always be an obsession of mine to find better, affordable skincare.
Which of these products intrigue you? Have I made you want to try any of them? I also want to know what your favourite skincare products of the year have been, whether it is K-Beauty or not! Let me know in the comments.