2015 was the year that I really got into skincare. I've learnt a lot of new things about skin types, ingredients and brands. My top brands from the list are Emma Hardie, Nip and Fab, Apha H and Indeed Labs (exclusive to Boots) I'm excited for all the new skincare launches, formula's and innovations in 2016, grab a cup of tea this is going to be a long one.
Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm
This is the most fantastic cleanser in all ways, and it really should be for the price. Its made up of really good quality essential oils that when smoothed over the skin, creates the plumpest, softest canvas you could dream of. I've never had better skin than when I was using this cleanser, I most definitely need to re-stock.
Nip and Fab dragons blood fix cleansing pads
These are great for when you're drunk and need to clean your face but can't be bothered to get to (or can't see) the sink. I have no idea what 'dragons blood' actually is and if its just a gimmick or not, but these pads contain both Salicylic and Hyaluronic acids to fight blemishes, deeply cleanse and soften the skin. If you spray a toner over the top the skin gets even softer. Very affordable and usually found at half price / 3 for 2 at Boots.
Best: Indeed Labs Hydraluron
Nip and Fab's Glycolic fix serum
This is a gentle exfoliate because it contains glycolic acid, I can't say it reduces fine lines as it claims to, but it intensely moisturises and smells like oranges.
Blemish fighting Serum:
Best: La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo
Developed by dermatologists, you know this is going to be effective. Its suitable for acne prone and sensitive skins. This contains Salicylic acid to fight shine, blemishes and unclog pores. I've been using this for years and won't be without it. Available at Boots.
Best day time moisturiser:
Alpha H daily essential moisturiser spf 50+
This is incredible, I've never been a fan of high factor spf's because they are usually very thick creams that leave a white cast on my skin, clog my pores and make me overproduce oil. This is different, it is a thick lotion but it melts into the skin and leaves a soft, yet matte base, perfect primer for make-up. This deeply softens and protects at the same time, ideal for absolutely any skin type from the driest to the oiliest. I can't believe how inexpensive this is for the quality, I've tried other moisturisers that cost double and don't perform anywhere near as well as this.
Emma Hardie amazing face hydrating lighter lotion
When my skin was at its oiliest last year I was searching for a lighter textured day cream, and this is exactly that. Its thinner than a standard body lotion, sinks in right away and leaves a flood of hydration. As this is so pricey I'd only splash out on this if you are extremely oily and want something to give you the moisture you need, without any residue.
Night time moisturiser:
Best: Boots Botanic's radiant youth replenishing night cream
This has olive oil, Shea butter and Hyaluronic acid to help deeply moisturise. In Summer when my skin was producing more oil this became a fantastic alternative to my more heavy duty REN night cream. Its a very light textured cream but it hydrates like a much heavier cream. Ideal for combination to oily skins. I have a feeling I'll be repurchasing this forever, and I'm definitely going to explore more of the Boots Botanic's range. Affordable and very effective.
Second Best: REN V-Cense revitalising night cream
This is a beautiful night cream, it contains wheat germ oil, carrot seed oil, sunflower oil, vitamin C and shea butter to really soften the skin and give long lasting hydration. I've loved this throughout Winter because I put it on and wake up with baby soft skin. Super anti-ageing and brilliant for mature skins as well as the super dry. It is expensive, so I'd say only buy this if you have very dry skin or ageing concerns, no one else really needs this level of replenishment.
Multi-tasking face mask:
Best: Balance me radiance face mask
I've been loving the Balance Me range in general, this mask has ground walnut shells to gently exfoliate, fruit acids help further to encourage cell renewal, it has kaolin clay to draw out impurities, and chamomile oil to soften/calm the skin. The ultimate multi-tasker for when your skin is in serious need of rescue.
Face mask for blemishes:
Best: Aesop chamomile concentrate
This mask has been my most used all year. I don't have acne but I do get a lot of hormonal/stress related spots. Using this mask religiously once a week helps to draw out all the dirt and oils in my pores. Especially helpful if like me, you drunkenly leave your make-up on and need a deep cleanse in the morning. The first time you use it you will most definitely get spots, because this mask is powerful and will suck out all the impurities. With continued use, it won't stop you getting spots (nothing will do that) but it will significantly shorten your spots lifespan.
Mask for hydration:
Best: Origins drink up intensive
This is a godsend for dry skin, I have oily/combination but I still find my skin loves it. Very dry skins can use this as a night cream, everyone else can benefit from just once a week. Every time I use this I wake up with the smoothest skin, and it smells intoxicatingly good. It does contain a lot of 'fragrant' essential oils which can be an acne trigger, if you're very oily and/or acne prone, avoid this. Great for mature skins too.
Best: Goldfaden MD Doctors scrub Ruby crystal Microderm exfoliator
Best: Blistex relief cream
This is a medicated lip cream so if you're pregnant or have allergies, seek medical advice before use. I haven't found any lip product to even come close to the level of softness that this gives. Its better than the Burts Bee's one, better than EOS and a million times better than petroleum jelly. Its like it goes deep into the epidermis and moisturises from within. Its super cheap and I'll be repurchasing it forever more. It does leave a white cast on the lips if you apply too much at once but this disappears after a few minutes once its sunk in.
Best: Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm
This smells absolutely incredible, like an expensive perfume. Its a very light lotion that sinks in insanely fast, leaving no oily residue like a lot of other hand creams. It leaves my hands soft for hours, and the beautiful fragrance lingers too. An absolute luxury but lovely. I'm considering investing in the big 120ml tub they do.
Second best: Grown Alchemist
The only reason this is second best is because I prefer the scent of the Aesop hand cream to this one. The Grown Alchemist Vanilla and Orange peel hand cream does smell lovely though, it softens just as well and absorbs instantly, no oily residue is left behind, and its cheaper than Aesop, but just as high in quality.
Best: Dove Intensive nourishing lotion
Its hard for me to be impressed by a body moisturiser, because as someone with Excema I have severely dry skin. This one by Dove makes my legs feel like silk, I've tried much more obscure, harder to find, and much more expensive body creams than this and nothing has compared. Better than E-45 and half the price.
Best: Lush The Comforter shower cream
I love strongly scented shower gels/creams, and no one does them better than Lush. I've been a long time fan of The Comforter bubble bar they do, and only just found out recently they do the same scent in shower cream form. It smells like vanilla, Ribena and mango's all rolled into one. And like most Lush products, once you're done it makes the whole bathroom smell amazing, and you of course. The scent lingers a while too.
Original Source all in one moisturising shower gels
These smells heavenly, like you're showering in a fruit smoothie, in a good way. They have little micro beads of oil throughout to really soften the skin. Cheaper than Lush and almost as good.