The Best Beauty Products of 2017: Skincare & Haircare
Taking proper care of my skin is something I've always been mindful of, but this year, I feel like I took on a more active role by researching skincare ingredients, learning the best way to apply them and understanding the science behind it all. It's really fascinating stuff and the more I learn, the more in tune I become with my skincare needs. I'm dreadfully leaving behind my twenties and turning the big 3-0 next year, so in 2017, I started taking more precautions to prevent anti-ageing while I'm still wrinkle free. In my quest to remain as youthful as possible, I introduced new skincare ingredients and discovered some standout products that have given me incredible results, and across haircare, I developed a really good routine to better suit my dry and frizz-prone needs. It's been another great year in beauty for me and in my final instalment of the Best of 2017 posts, here are the top skincare and haircare discoveries the last 365 days have had to offer.
I didn't try any new cleansers in 2017, though I did welcome three new toners and I really loved them all. The first toner I tried this year was the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist, which my lovely friend Jess picked up for me from the US. You can get Pixi in Sephora here in Australia, but while I was living in Melbourne (there are no Sephora stores in Perth), it was never in stock and online is even worse. A beauty blogger favourite, this mist is lightweight, feels super refreshing once it hits the skin and contains a host of wonderful ingredients including hyaluronic acid, provitamin A (an antioxidant, not a retinoid derived from vitamin A) and linoleic acid (reduces redness and soothes irritation). Once I've finished this bottle up, I'm keen to give the Saturday Skin Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist a go, but it's definitely a contender for a repurchase one day.
I didn't get the chance to talk about these next two toners this year, but I've got a post dedicated to toner coming in the near future, so rest assured, I'll delve into further detail there. For now, I hope my quick-fire reviews will suffice!
As you're probably well aware by now, my skin is on the dehydrated side and this past winter, I decided to try the By Terry Cellularose Hydra Toner. It had been on my wishlist for a fair few months and though it was definitely a bit of a splurge purchase, it was just one of those products I had to try at least once! Smelling like the most beautiful bouquet of fresh roses (it's quite strong and I imagine this would put some people off, but I love rose scents), it feels cooling and soothing, and my complexion appears more awake and glowy. For a toner, I'm really impressed by the hydration boost this gives and it's one I love using both day and night.
With my love of all things French, I had been wanting to try the cult classic Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 for years and 2017 was when that finally happened. An exfoliating toner made up of AHAs, BHAs and even PHAs, this stuff is heaven in a bottle. After going off the pill in the middle of year, I suffered from some really horrible breakouts, which Lotion P50 would shrink overnight and with newer ones, even stop from surfacing all together! I had some odd texture on my right cheek and forehead that this completely got rid of too, and now I don't want to use another exfoliating toner ever again! The scent is odd (it smells like pickled onions to me) and it does sting a little on active breakouts, but it's nothing unpleasant or that you won't get used to. As it's quite potent, I add a drop of water onto my cotton pad along with the toner, so a little goes a long way and considering how wonderfully this works, you definitely get your money's worth.
There were quite a few serums and treatments I introduced into my skincare routine this year, but the majority of them were quite mediocre, if I'm being completely honest. It's actually inspired me to do a post on the disappointing products of 2017, so look out for that in the New Year. The two standout serums, however, were Glossier Super Pure and the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. Earlier in the year, I purchased all three Glossier serums in The Super Pack and Super Pure was the one that gave me the most visible results. Its two key ingredients are niacinamide and zinc, which sooth redness and help clear out impurities and excess sebum that can cause breakouts. On spotty days when I don't want to over-exfoliate my skin with Lotion P50, I'll use Super Pure and soon enough, my breakouts are well on their way to healing. In saying that, it does come with a couple of downsides. First of all, the bottle is tiny, so you go through it very quickly and secondly, if you're outside of the US, the UK and Canada like I am, it's inaccessible unless you want to pay the price for a mail forwarding service. For those reasons, I'll be replacing it with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% once this is done, but I might come back to it in the future.
I've spent the last month trying out my travel size bottle of Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum and in 2018, I'm hoping to purchase the full size! An L-Ascorbic Acid vitamin C based serum, if you suffer from dullness or uneven skin tone, C-Firma perks up the complexion and makes you glow like no other. The consistency is like a lightweight oil, which is ideal for my dry skin, and it sinks in quickly so it works well underneath makeup, while also aiding your SPF in sun protection. My hyperpigmentation is quite stubborn, so I haven't noticed much of a difference in that area just yet, but I absolutely love what it's done for my skin so far. Unfortunately, I don't see myself spending $100+ on the full size any time soon, so I may buy another travel one to tied me over.
In the last year, the Glossier Balm Dotcoms have become one my favourite lip balms; mostly for the cute packaging, but also because they work. A petroleum-based skin salve, the formula is nothing groundbreaking, but there's often a misconception that petroleum simply sits on top of the skin and does nothing when in actual fact, it does sink in (to a degree) and helps create a barrier. Already owning the Original and Coconut Balm Dotcoms, I bought Rose this year, which has a subtle pink tint, though I wouldn't say it's detectable at all. Rose is my favourite scent in beauty products, so it was a given I would eventually buy this flavour and now I really want Cherry too! The Glossier Balm Dotcoms truly are the Lip Smacker for the millennial.
After using up my Mecca Cosmetica Kissable Lips Smoothing Lip Exfoliant that came in tube form, I decided to try the pot version and I have to say, I like it a lot more. Not only is it super cute and luxurious with its pink lid and glass exterior (in comparison, the tube is cream and black in colour, as well as being plastic), but I find the actual product more balmy and less oily, making it much more pleasant to apply. The sugar granules are finely milled, which means it's not at all scratchy on the lips and it's much easier to scrub off that gross dead skin. For an in-house brand, Mecca Cosmetica's skincare is some of the best and although slightly cheaper than the rest of the brands Mecca carry, you never have to sacrifice on quality.
I don't use foot cream everyday like I do body moisturiser, but it's nevertheless a good idea to have one around as more than often, we forget about our feet and don't realise that they need taking care of too. After using up my Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream earlier in the year, I decided to replace it with the This Works Perfect Heels Rescue Balm and this stuff really is a treat for the feet. With a luxuriously thick, balmy consistency, I apply it just after I get out of the shower when my skin is still slightly damp and my feet are soon looking baby smooth, while the tough skin feels soft.
In terms of body moisturisers, I finally tried the cult classic Kiehl's Crème de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter this year and although quite pricey, it's so decadently thick that a little goes a long way. Since I began using it six months ago, I've barely made a dent in my tub despite using it almost every day, and with its dreamy air-whipped texture and creamy honey scent, it both feels and smells like heaven on the skin.
The Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Body Oil was something I actually purchased last year, but somehow this got tucked away and I forgot all about it! I've since been getting good use of it this year and because it's quite lavish, it's one I reserve for nights out and special occasions. I absolutely adore the entire Nirvana range and Nirvana White is an uplifting floral fragrance, while the tender musk makes it a little more deep and sophisticated. The scent doesn't linger the way a perfume does, but I never really expect that from my body products and it's still something that feels really silky and luxurious.
I've only just recently talked about my haircare favourites in my Improving My Haircare Routine post, so I won't go on too much about these next three products. After using up my previous shampoo and conditioner, I welcomed new hair-washing products into my routine this year; the R+Co Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as the Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo with Jujube Bark. All SLS free, the Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner work to tame curls and reduce frizz, while the Purifying Shampoo has helped diminish the itchiness and flakiness my scalp is prone to. The shampoos lathers up quite nicely despite being sulphate free and if you have a dry, thick and frizz-prone hair type like I do, these haircare treats all come highly recommended from me.
What were your favourite skincare and haircare products of 2017?