This was always going to be the trickiest category for me, as I really am a skincare junkie, and while I have seen some people streamline their routines, that's just not me (and probably never will be!). It might seem like I have a lot of products here (and I do!), however, I could easily have double the amount to be honest! Let's get started....
I tried a good number of cleansers in 2021, but the two standouts for me are Omorovicza Queen Cleanser*, which is a cream cleanser, more suited to morning or second cleanse use. Review here. Save 15% on the brand with the code SIOBHAN. The other cleanser is one that I began using late last year - Paula's Choice Omega Cleansing Balm, which is perfect for dry skin in winter, but I think that most skin types would enjoy it as a makeup remover. It isn't quite as stiff as other balms, which is why it works well in a tube. It has a creamy texture, and is a pleasure to massage into the skin, when it melts makeup easily. When removed, it leaves skin very soft, supple, and deeply cleansed. I also fell in love with cleansing oils again, and Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil*, which dissolves all makeup, even waterproof liquid liner and mascara. It doesn't sting my sensitive eyes, or leave them cloudy.
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 is a liquid exfoliant that really impressed me. I really don't like the smell, but that isn't enough to put me off using it because of the results it gives. This really does keep my jawline free from under the skin bumps, it refines pores, exfoliates and generally, keeps my skin clear. Worth the hype!
I always use a mist and it will come as no surprise that my most used one in 2021 was Omorovicza Queen Of Hungary Mist, as it has been for many years. I just love everything about this mist - it's hydrating, has a very fine mist action, and it's soothing. It's a forever repurchase. Ecooking is a brand that I have found myself loving more and more since I first tried it around 3/4 years ago and last year saw the release of their Essence Lotion*, which really helps to plump, hydrate and protect the skin, but does so without feeling greasy or heavy (review here). Another product, which I would class as an essence is Fenty Skin Fat Pore-Refining Water Serum*, which acts as a humectant for the skin, and perhaps for normal-combination skin, it would serve as both an essence and serum, but given how dry my skin is, I need to use a separate serum (review here).
I know that lots of people have a love/hate relationship with eye creams - I'm firmly in the love camp. I think that because my skin is so dry, my under eye area would look so much worse if I didn't use an eye cream. My two standouts are Omorovicza Illumineye C (review here) and Lancôme Régenerie Multi-Lift Yeux. Both of these eye creams are hydrating, but the bonus is that they help to hide signs of fatigue, which I really relied on last year. I don't think that any eye cream can completely banish dark circles, but any help is welcome!
Now on to serums, and I have a few! The absolute standout is Lancôme Absolu The Serum*, which is very expensive, but totally worth the investment, if you can afford it. It does everything - helps to keep the skin looking fresh, firm, refined, regenerated and even in tone. It contains perpetual rose molecules, which aid cell renewal, and a patented pro-xylene, which helps boost collagen production, which is turn makes the skin look plump and more youthful. It really helped me when I was at my most ill and stressed in the latter half of last year. Sunday Riley Good Genes remains one of my favourite products over five years since first trying it. I find it a gentle, yet effective exfoliator, which doesn't inflame or irritate my skin, helps with the appearance of fine lines and reveals soft, radiant skin (review here). Another two products, which regular readers will have seen on my blog several times previously, are Zelens Power D Treatment Drops (now reformulated), which saves my skin if it's having any kind of hissy-fit, and Omorovicza Daily Vitamin C, which was the first Vitamin C serum that I could use daily (review of both here). Incorporating Vitamin C into my routine has made a huge difference over the last few years, in terms of pigmentation, reduction in uneven skin tone, as well as brightening my skin. A discovery last year was Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen. I take a Collagen supplement daily, but this is my first targeted collagen skincare product, and I love the results. It makes my skin feel stronger, more elasticized and bouncy, but also makes my skin look more youthful, in terms of a visible reduction in fine lines. My one pet hate is the dropper applicator, as it can easily get clogged.
Next up are moisturisers. My favourite moisturiser of the year was Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream*, which I need to repurchase, but want to finish some others first. It took me by surprise, because whilst I loved the texture, how it layered well with other products, and kept my skin feeling soft and comfortable to touch for hours after use, it was towards the end of the pot that I noticed how much firmer my skin was, and how healthy it looked, despite the fact that I was chronically ill - my skin certainly didn't show it. It looked bright, firm and youthful. I will 100% be repurchasing. Other moisturisers that I loved (and am still using) are IT Cosmetics Confidence In A Cream Hydrating Moisturiser* (plus I adore the gel version), and Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream (review here). The It Cosmetics moisturiser is rich, without being greasy, and leaves my skin looking bright and feeling supple. It plumps the skin and reduces redness, making it perfect for irritated skin, and dry skin in winter, when it can sometimes seem impossible to keep skin feeling nourished and comfortable.
Finally, we're on to masks, and it was very difficult to narrow this down, but I was very disciplined and chose only three (well done, me!). The first was a new release last year - Charlotte Tilbury Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial (review here). I used to always rate Charlotte's makeup much more than her skin care products, but all of the new releases from last year have really impressed me. This contains a 15% blend of acids, plus plenty of humectants, in order to balance the exfoliating action. It's a once weekly product that makes skin look bright and refined, and also feel soft, smooth and hydrated.
The next mask will come as no surprise to regular readers, and it's a product that I pray will never be discontinued! It's Omorovicza Midnight Radiance Mask (review here), which leaves skin looking translucent, and it gets rid of any blemishes, or even those hormonal spots that you can feel brewing - they will disappear when you use this. I know that I am guaranteed a good skin day the morning after using this. Review here.
Finally, it wouldn't be a complete skincare favourites without at least one product from Dermalogica! I'm lucky enough to be part of their skinfluencer programme, but I also buy products from the brand myself, and have done for many years. Melting Moisture Masque* has been a favourite from first use (review here). It's the perfect antidote to dry, irritated and dull skin skin. It's perfect for the colder months, or those times when you've overdone the acids, as it repairs and strengthens the skin's barrier, as well as injecting moisture into it. I love to wear it overnight, to wake to soft and nourished skin.
Don't forget that you can save 15% on Omorovicza products with the code SIOBHAN and 20% on most brands on Look Fantastic with the code LYMIN.
I would love to hear what your favourite skincare products of last year were?
Thanks for reading!
All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.