My favourite products of 2017

2017 was a good year on the whole. It’s a cliché, but it truly is amazing how quickly the year has passed. I made a real cutdown on my skincare spending, partly out of necessity, and partly because I felt my habit of just buying whatever I wanted wasn’t a good one to be in. Now I’m buying products less frequently, and making sure to use them all up when I do drop my hard-earned cash on them (unless they truly are the devil in a bottle), I really relish a decent product and have been fortunate enough to fall in love with several different skincare products this year.

It’s hard when you fall in love with a product – at least, if you’re a skincare magpie like me. I want to try all the things, but there isn’t enough time, money, or space in my bathroom cabinet for that. I like to use a product then move onto another one, which is silly, really, because surely if it works for me, I would stick with it? Logical processes aren’t particularly something I subscribe to, clearly. However, this year, I’ve come across certain products that I just know I’m going to repurchase time and time again. In fact, some of them I already have repurchased.

So here’s my rundown of the greats for my skin this year – products I truly couldn’t live without.

1. Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Oil

I’ve actually already sung my praises about this on the blog this year. Hada Labo are one of my favourite brands, consistently producing stellar products which work incredibly well with my skin – and which are totally budget-friendly for those of us who aren’t high-rollers. One of my other favourites from the brand is the Gokujyun Premium Lotion, but I discovered that last year, so it’s not quite fair to include it on this year’s list.

Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyun Oil Cleanser

Why do I love it?

This cleansing oil is light, but boy, it works. It removes make-up – not quite 100% in the case of waterproof eyeliner – like a dream, melting it away and leaving you cleansed and fresh, but without irritating the skin at all. It’s a gentle, easy-to-use product, and the pump bottle is really convenient. It lasts a long time (for me, anyway), and sells on Amazon in the US for $13.99, which is an absolute steal. Read more about this gorgeous oil in my review post from earlier in the year. The wonderful Fiddy Snails has also recently reviewed this product, including it as a decent purchase in her rating of AB Amazon Skincare Buys. If it’s good enough for Fiddy, it’s certainly good enough for me.

Where can I buy it?

In the US, you can buy it on Amazon for about $13.99. For the rest of the world, here are some useful links:

Amazon UK (£12.88 + free UK delivery, delivery costs calculated for rest of EU)

eBay ($11.30 + shipping)

eBeauty and Care (22.30 CHF, Swiss Franc)

Hada Labo can be purchased easily across many countries in East Asia and SE Asia, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. Most Watsons carry Hada Labo staple products.

2. Shangpree Marine Energy Eye Masks

I received the Marine Energy Eye Masks as part of a PR package, and since then I’ve repurchased – these really are the ultimate in hydrogels, if you enjoy using them. To be honest, most hydrogels work for me in the sense that they reduce puffiness in the morning, and calm my undereye area. I don’t look for miracles, but I find that daily use really helps me look like I don’t get by on less than six hours sleep every night. Hydrogels are a staple part of my morning routine.

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Why do I love them?

These work just as well as many other hydrogels I’ve tried, but honestly, what sets these apart is the fit. They adhere to the skin incredibly well, don’t slip at all, and are so thin that you almost can’t feel their presence. They’re a taste of a luxury brand at a more affordable price, too. I’ve always wanted to try their gold eye masks, but they’re slightly above my price range for something which I use every day. If I were to treat myself, I’d go for the gold masks, or the black pearl – but for regular use, the Marine Energy Masks are the way to go. You get 60 in a tub, so that’s about a month’s worth of eye pampering.

The masks won’t get rid of wrinkles – eye care really isn’t about that – but they will hydrate your skin, and help to reduce puffiness. They stay jelly-like and wet for much longer than other eye masks, and they really help to soothe and calm in the mornings.

Where can I buy them?

Peach and Lily ($30)

Sweet Corea (17,700 won + shipping)

Amazon ($32)

3. 3RIFIC Premium Face Oil

This is another one that I’ve already posted about on the blog, and it was another initial PR sample which I’ve repurchased and cannot WAIT to receive in the post. It truly changed my perspective on facial oils and was a total game-changer for my winter skincare routine. Before this oil, everything I had tried managed to break me out, cause pilling, or just didn’t absorb into my skin.

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Why do I love it?

This oil is packed with antioxidants and is a blend of no less than 11 oils derived from different plants – jojoba, baobab, sweet almond, rice bran, soybean, evening primrose, and squalene to name but a few. These oils blend together fabulously to seal in the work I’ve done in my regular routine, and help my skin to look youthful, bouncy, and rejuvenated. I’ve hardly had any breakouts since I started this oil, and my skin in really does look happy and healthy – I almost never get make-up free compliments (Spain is a country of brutal honesty), and I’ve been told a couple of times how good my skin is looking these days. I’m impressed with this oil, its ingredients list, and how quickly it managed to clear up my winter dry patches. I won’t be using it in summer, but in winter I’m sure this is the oil I’ll be reaching for again and again.

3RIFIC Premium Face Oil

The bottle is also incredibly aesthetically pleasing, and the dropper is simple to use, meaning you can dispense exactly the amount you want. It also blends really well with emulsions and creams, which I enjoy doing in the morning to give myself some lasting but light hydration.

Where can I buy it?

3RIFIC website ($99 SGD, free shipping across 32 countries)

AHA Life ($142 USD, also includes the Radiance Revitalising Cream which is fantastic)

Fleurs du Japon (€60)

4. Swanicoco Skin Expert One Step Plant Stem Original Pure Ampoule

Whilst it’s a mouthful to say and an absolute nightmare for me to remember the full name of this product, I can’t get enough of the ginseng goodness this ampoule provides. I picked this out from W2Beauty (now Beauty Tap) as part of their official Swanicoco launch on the site, and I couldn’t be more happy that this was once of my picks. I long lusted after this ampoule while I was still living in Korea, and had the chance to go visit Swanicoco and paw over their products with lust and desire in my eyes. However, I didn’t buy it at the time – now I wish I had hauled back bottle upon bottle of the stuff.

Swanicoco Plant Stem Original Ampoule

Why do I love it?

One word, really – ginseng. This little ampoule only has five ingredients, the pure thought of which means I was chomping at the bit to get this on my face. Tissue cultured wild ginseng extract, tocopheryl acetate, carbomer, arginine, and allantoin make up the ingredients list, and 99% of the formula is ginseng. 99. Bloody. Percent. I can hear you heavy breathing from here.

Ginseng is one of my favourite ingredients for the role it plays in strengthening the skin’s natural barrier, thus making it a fabulous product for those of us who experience redness – it calms and soothes the skin and puts life back into it. After a few weeks of use, you should have seen my cheeks and forehead. I normally wake up to red, dehydrated and sad-looking skin, but this ginseng ampoule really worked wonders. My skin looked clear, healthy, and was supple to the touch. Of course, no product is a miracle-worker alone, and this was combined with everything else in my routine, but I did certainly notice the difference it made to my skin. Plus, with 99% wild ginseng, the smell is absolutely intoxicating.

It’s currently sold out at W2Beauty, but I have my eye on it and am very much thinking about repurchasing – it was a sad day when no more was left.

Where can I buy it?

W2Beauty ($53.00)

Other sites seem to show me the ‘Gold’ version of this, which I haven’t tried, so I’ll try do some more research about where else this can be purchased – it isn’t as easy as I had hoped!

5. Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Cream

You may be confused, as in my ‘favourites’ photo you can see that the Whamisa Organic Flowers Foaming Gel appears – I also really enjoy this product, but I threw away my empty of the Cleansing Cream, and had to substitute for illustrative purposes. Both products are great, but the Cleansing Cream takes the edge for me.

Why do I love it?

The Organic Flowers Cleansing Cream is a low pH cleanser which gently cleanses the skin, doesn’t cause me any irritation, and works wonderfully as part of my daily cleansing routine both morning and night. I like to just use foam cleanser in the morning, to help me feel fresh after a good night’s sleep, but in the evening it helps to get rid of makeup residue, general daily dirt, and leave my skin cleansed but not tight and irritated – as so many cleansers manage to do. I am all about the low pH life, and this has to be one of the best low pH cleansers I’ve ever used. It foams up wonderfully, and you only need a very small amount. You get a beautiful lather, and the smell is fantastic too. Very fresh, flowery, with a touch of the almost spicy in scent. It’s not amazingly cheap, but seeing as it lasted me months and months, it was worth every penny. I would happily use this as my second cleanser for the rest of my life – it is absolutely gorgeous and really leaves me with cleansed, healthy skin.

Where can I buy it?

Beauty and Seoul (£25.50)

Whamisa (£25.50)

Beauteastsphere (£25.50)

nourish the skin

Categories: 3RIFIC, Ampoule, Cleansing, Facial oil, Hada Labo, Japanese Beauty, Kbeauty, Shangpree, Swanicoco

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