2017 Favourites: Skincare

My passion for skincare flourished this year. Growing up, I had always hated washing my face. It was messy and water got everywhere and it took too long and I didn’t know what I was doing. As a teenager, I primarily used a makeup remover from Clinique’s Take the Day Off line and a moisturizer from the Moisture Surge Line, plus a facial sunscreen in the summer. I became interested in skincare when I discovered /r/AsianBeauty in early 2015, but that was more because I was going through a lot in my personal life it was an excuse to purchase products. I developed a good routine, but I wasn’t ever passionate about skincare beyond making my skin look nicer.

In 2017, I discovered a lot of great skincare Instagram accounts that were fun to follow and didn’t take their “routine” too seriously, and I’ve become much more enthusiastic about skincare throughout the year. This year, I started following people who focused mainly on skincare, like melubbeautythewayofthesnail, lathertolashes, goalstogetglowing, and lazyglow. Skincare has become a really fun hobby and I like that I can draw on my knowledge from my undergrad courses in orgo and biochem.


In this post, I’m going to talk about my favourite skincare discoveries of 2017. I won’t talk about my all-time favourites – like Cosrx’s snail essence, honey overnight mask, and pimple patches – that I discovered prior to this year. For reference, I have combination/oily skin with large pores and some texture. I get hormonal cystic acne along my jawline. I tend to have product reactions in the form of immediate flushing/burning, whitehead breakouts, or cystic acne depending on the ingredient that triggers the reaction. My skin is easily irritated by certain ingredients, but I’m usually okay with ingredients like alcohol and fragrance as long as it doesn’t give me a headache. My skin is usually hydrated.

Of all the new products I’ve tried over the past year, these are the ones that have made the biggest difference in my skin. I have repurchased or plan on repurchasing all five of these. 

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I can see (and feel) why the @paparecipe Bombée Honey Mask has gotten such rave reviews. It was very hydrating and soothing, and my skin was brighter and more moisturized the next day. The honey smell is fairly strong, but it's not overpowering. It fit nicely and clung to my skin. I wore it for about forty minutes, and then patted the extra essence on my face and décolletage. Why do you do skincare routines? I know that many of you have already answered this on your own accounts, but I'm still curious! I've never had the best skin, yet I was really resistant to skincare in my teens for a myriad of reasons. I got into makeup during my undergrad (kind of as a coping mechanism), and I eventually got into skincare via #rasianbeauty about three years ago. It's really rewarding to see progress in my skin's condition, but that's never been my main motivation. I find skincare routines very therapeutic, and I tend to turn to them as a distraction or comforting ritual.

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5. Papa Recipe Bombée Honey Mask – You can read my initial review here. The hype surrounding this mask may have let some people down, but I was definitely impressed. This is one of those masks that makes my skin feel and look like a supermodel (or as close as it gets for me).

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It was love at first cleanse. I’ve been using the @healavie__official Cleansing Oil Gel almost exclusively since I got it at the beginning of the month. I uncharacteristically purchased a backup after using it for a few days. I typically use it as a first cleanser. It melts off makeup efficiently and it leaves my skin feeling clean and hydrated. (Note: I always use a separate eye makeup remover.) Unlike most oil cleansers, it doesn’t leave a film or residue on my skin, so I don’t feel the need to use a second cleanser on no-makeup days. I like using it in the mornings as well because the yellow packaging and lemon scent brighten my mood. It starts off as a gel and it melts into and oil as you massage it into your skin. It washes off easily. I’ve found that it actually pulls sebum from my pores, too. You won’t like this if you dislike lemon scents. It’s more of a sweet, herbal lemon scent than a cleaning product, but the scent is still noticeable. It’s also a bit expensive for a cleanser (for me anyway) at ~$35 CAD, but I think it’s worth it. I’ll post a full review of this cleanser once I finish the bottle. I think I’m a bit infatuated with it right now. Let me know if you’ve tried it or are thinking of trying it! I received this complimentary at @skinvestmentofficial’s #beautydatemtl. I purchased my backup from @_daint with my own money. #healavieofficial #healaviecleanser #daint

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4. Healavie Cleansing Oil Gel – I still love this cleanser and I agree with what I noted in my initial impressions. This is the nicest cleanser that I’ve ever used.

farmacy beauty honey potion mask

3. Farmacy Honey Potion – Whenever I’m having an adverse skin reaction, I use this wash-off mask and notice immediate effects. It makes my skin feel better and it looks smoother and more even. I usually avoid masks that have a warming sensation, but this one is fairly mild. I won this in a giveaway from @allanaramaa.


2. Stratia Skin Soft Touch AHA – This is 10% mandelic acid. This is my go-to exfoliator whenever my skin is sensitive or irritated.  After using this, I notice a decrease redness and an improvement in skin texture the next day. If you’re just starting to use AHAs or if you’re looking for something more gentle, mandelic acid is a great choice because of it’s molecular structure.

1. Pixi Glow Tonic – I’ve been using this 5% glycolic acid toner since April, and I’ve never been happier with my skin. It’s one of the few products that actually gives me overnight results! This is more effective than Stratia for me. I was avoiding AHAs for awhile, but this acid made me want to try allll the AHAs. (Note: The rosewater in glycolic acid from The Ordinary caused my skin to flush, so I cannot really compare the two. I’ve tried lactic acid products from The Ordinary, Sunday Riley, and REN, but I wasn’t impressed. I’ll probably write a post comparing AHAs eventually.)

What are your favourite skincare discoveries of 2017? Feel free to link your blog or Instagram posts in the comments!

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading 🙂

6 thoughts on “2017 Favourites: Skincare

  1. I’ve been meaning to try the Pixi Glow Tonic, especially because it is more affordable/easier to get than some of the other AHA products. Now I am going to need to try out the Stratia stuff, too!

    I think my favorite discovery has been double cleansing in general. I avoided trying it for awhile because I thought it was just another trend, but turns out it is one of the most powerful changes to my skincare routine that I have ever made! I suppose trends sometimes do turn out to be worth their salt :]

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  2. I really enjoyed this post! Recently I started using a Clarisonic cleansing brush, and I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve fallen out of love with most of the masks I currently have so I haven’t been masking as much as I used to. The products you mentioned sound so darn amazing, I might have to pick some up!

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  3. Ooooh, those Stratia and Pixi acids. My low-buy doesn’t apply to skincare (within reason), so I may pick up one of these once I finish something else. I’ve been hearing about the Pixi toner forever, but just have never taken the plunge. I think I know that if I walk into a Target where it’s sold, I’ll come out with $200 worth of sweaters and home goods, as is the Target Curse. 🙂

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