so here is part 2 of my 2013 favourites, skincare. i'm going to list them in order of my daily routine with some extras at the end, though my routine is missing a few steps because as i said in my beauty favourites post i'm only going to list products i really love. i know not everyone is interested in skincare but since i've started exploring it this year i've found that it's had a really positive influence on my life, and i'm not just talking about the condition of my skin. without going too left of field, it's taught me to listen to the subtle things my body is trying to tell me about what works and what doesn't, and it's taught me how important it is to take care of myself and how much better i feel (physically and emotionally) when i do.
CLEANSER: there are two balm cleansers i've loved this year, the one pictured above is the elemental herbology purify & soothe facial cleansing balm and the other is of course the emma hardie moringa cleansing balm. i alternate between the two each night but i'm putting this one a fraction ahead only because it comes in a squeezy tube which i prefer over a pot, and also it's a lot easier for travelling. but honestly they both do an amazing job at removing all my makeup when paired with a flannel and warm water at night.
EXFOLIATING TONER: mario badescu glycolic acid toner this is the first exfoliating toner i tried and since i've used it for most of the year it's got to be the favourite. i use it morning and night and it makes my skin so smooth and soft. even if it's not this one, i'd definitely recommend adding an exfoliating toner into your routine because they make a world of difference. another fantastic thing about this product that puts it ahead of other toners is the amount you get for the price. there are other toners on the market at a similar price point but they come in 100ml or 150ml bottles, but the mario badescu offering is a massive 236ml so it'll last you a lot longer.
HYDRATING TONER: jurlique rosewater balancing mist i have quite a few options for my hydrating toner step but this one has to be the favourite. rose scented products can sometimes smell quite sharp but the jurlique rose scent is so rich and soft and warm, you really need to smell it to know what i'm talking about. there are a lots of inexpensive hydrating toners out there but this is my favourite luxury option for slightly more special days.
SERUM: indeed laboratories hydraluron while i do have other serums with different purposes, i generally use them at night and switch between a few of them, but hydraluron i use morning and night in conjunction with the other serums. if you haven't heard about hydraluron basically it's the last step before your moisturiser and it helps your skin absorb the moisturiser more effectively, which also means you use less product. it sounds like marketing hype but it really does work and you can see the difference in your skin when you don't use it. if you have dehydrated skin at all, this is the product for you, and even if you don't have particularly dehydrated skin (i don't) it just plumps it up and helps it look fresh and hydrated and smooth and all the things you want it to be.
MOISTURISER: grown alchemist camellia and geranium blossom facial moisturiser i love grown as a brand, i've mentioned them before on this blog, they have a really similar ethos and aesthetic to brands like antipodes and aesop and they package their products in aluminium tubes and amber glass bottles so the light and air don't break down the active ingredients. this moisturiser is one of my favourites from the line, it's so creamy and nourishing and it's light enough to wear during the day if you'd like, but i usually use it at night for a bit of extra hydration.
TREATMENT: alpha-h liquid gold i did rave about this not long ago but i think this is really my favourite skincare discovery of the whole year (and i discovered just about everything this year). if you want to read all the reasons why i love it you can see this post, but to sum it up it gently exfoliates dead skin cells away overnight, brightens your complextion, helps fade acne scarring and pigmentation and it's most effective when you just put it on cleansed skin and go to sleep so it's perfect for late nights or when you're feeling lazy. it's like a supercharged exfoliating toner so you're only meant to use it every other night but i will definitely be using this for years and years to come.
MASK: origins clear improvements active charcoal mask this has to be my favourite deep cleansing mask, when my skin is feeling clogged up or just not as good as it could be, and especially when blemishes are rearing their ugly heads this is the mask i reach for. i find it really smooths my complexion and helps heal blemishes quicker and calms down the redness. about once a week i'll try and have a three mask session (cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating, like a hardcore version of the crucial steps of my daily routhine) and this or the aesop parsley seed cleansing mask are the ones i'll reach for in the cleansing step. i also sometimes just use it as a spot treatment on a blemish i can feel coming on that i want to try and stop in its tracks.
HAND CREAM: burt's bees almond milk beeswax hand creme if you're looking for a light hand cream that absorbs instantly so you can get on with your day, this is not the product for you. this is the thickest, most intense hand cream i've ever used, but i keep it by my bed and use it before i go to sleep and it hydrates your hands like nothing else. i can get little dry spots on my fingers even in summer so this has been a great for getting rid of them in a night or two.
LIP BALM: nuxe reve de mie lip balm i own so many lip products it's not even funny so when i read the hype around this lip balm it was a while before i caved because it's not cheap and i probably have enough lip balm to last me for the rest of my life already. but i bought it and i'm so glad i did because this is a game changing lip balm (yes that's a thing). it's so thick it can be a little difficult to use in winter but it really does eliminate dry skin on the lips, especially when used overnight. it's so nourishing and it's a matte formula which is really different for a lip balm but it means you can use it under matte lipsticks without changing the finish. and possibly my favourite part is that "reve de miel" translates to dream of honey - perfect.