Skin Favorites of 2018

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I have a messy relationship with my skin. When I was in high school, I had one zit. ONE. In college, my skin was clear despite nights of hard partying and sleeping in my makeup.

And all that came to bite me in the butt when I turned 23.

Oily skin. Breakouts. Fine lines. Ugh. Fighting breakouts made the oil worse, or fighting the oil would mean not getting to pay attention to the signs of aging. Trying to take care of all of that on a budget? Girl. Please.

But… things got better. I learned what worked, and honestly, I still am. It’s a constant test-run, but these products are here for the long haul. In no particular order:

  1. Roc Retinol Correction Eye Cream (Amazon). It’s affordable and it’s considered to be one of the best on the market. It’s lightweight enough that it sinks into your skin, but it’s heavy enough to let you know that it’s there. You won’t see it working immediately, but just you wait, Mr. Higgins, you will. While it’s not the same as Botox or plastic surgery, it is effective. You should see some results in 10-12 weeks.

  2. Milky Piggy Hylaluronic Acid, 97% (Amazon). Have you ever bought a product, used it for a while but didn’t realize it was working until much later? This is that product for me. To be quite honest, I haven’t had the most luck with Milky Piggy products, but this one certainly works. I recommend this for any skin type, because it’s job (which it does very well) maintaining moisture. Even if you’re an oil slick like myself, you need to retain moisture in your skin. If you aren’t putting moisture into oily skin, it makes moisture for itself; get it? A few drops of this gently rubbed into your face and neck, morning and night. I don’t miss this step, ever.

  3. Pixi SkinTreats Overnight Glow Serum (Target). Praise the Lord, I saw the light. I had been avoiding this product for so long, and I know why: I couldn’t justify spending nearly $25 on something so small, but even though it’s small, it packs a punch to fine lines. I put this on in the evening, went to bed, and saw results the very next morning. This has glycolic acid, which is a natural exfoliant, and even though I was exfoliating the first layer of my skin, this did and does the job of exfoliating even deeper, which makes fine lines nearly disappear. This is the closest thing to a miracle in a bottle in terms of anti-aging that I’ve found.

  4. Pixi SkinTreats Retinol Tonic (Target). Okay, I can’t tell you if this is actually making fine lines disappear (that’s one of the benefits of retinol!) or not, but in terms of what it does as a toner, I am very impressed. I use this in the morning after cleansing, and it never makes my skin feel dry. It feels smooth and clean, which is exactly what I want.

  5. Neutragena Oil-Free Moisture, SPF 35 (Amazon). I am a big fan of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, but it doesn’t have SPF, and as someone that fears looking older than I am or even looking my age, I know how badly I need SPF. This has been a great replacement and lasts all day long. You only need two pumps to cover your face and neck. For the love of God, treat your neck like you treat your face!

  6. EcoTools Dry Brush (Amazon). Dry brushing is very trendy right now, and I can always tell that this is working just by how great my skin feels after I use it. It brushes off the day’s dead skin, and lets me start fresh.

  7. Ardell Brow Trimmers (Amazon). The Kardashians shave their faces. The Real Housewives do, too. Let’s bring it to the masses - how about you shave your face, too? Okay, I might hate myself a little bit right now, but when I tell you that shaving off your peach fuzz makes your foundation application infinitely better, I’m not playing around. It really does wonders, and don’t believe the rumors: your peach fuzz will not grow back thicker. It’s not possible.

  8. Clarisonic Mia 2 (Amazon). Blackheads? Nope. Closed comedones? Significantly less? This handy-dandy tool does things that your hands and non-electric brushes can’t. There are many different brush heads to choose from, and I recommend using the one that works best for your skin type. I’m oily, so I use the pore-refining brush. It’s easy to use, and you only need to charge it about once every three months.

  9. Babe Lash Growth Serum (BeautyPlusSalon.com). It works. It works. It works. I saw eyelash growth in TWO WEEKS. TWO! I look more like Bambi now than I ever have, and I am here for it. I have always been very self-conscious about the length of my lashes, and this certainly has changed that - my lashes are now so long that they touch my brows.

  10. Neutragena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (Amazon). I have technically used this before, but this is a product that I revisited in 2018. I bought this again around a month ago, and I can already tell a difference, and I only put it on at night! No more hangnails, and the skin on my hands is overall more supple and silky. The hands we all want, honestly.

  11. Aquaphor Lip Repair (Amazon). Do you have dry lips that peel? I do. I avoid petroleum-based lip balms/treatments because they don’t moisturize. They just provide a barrier, but do nothing to help the health of your lips. I put this on every night and there’s still some on my lips in the morning, but not in globs. It’s comfortable.

  12. Nivea Skin Firming Hydration Lotion (Amazon). I only bought this because I read that it’s what Meghan Markle uses, and if Meghan uses it, it must be good, right? While I don’t know if I can say that I’ve seen any firming action, I can say that my skin is nicely moisturized but the scent isn’t overpowering, and it stays that way throughout the day. As I dry-skinned girl (with an oily face), I can’t ask for more.

  13. Nivea Creme (Amazon). Your grandmother used it. Her mom probably used it. Your mom avoided it because it seemed “old”. Hey, it might seem old, but this stuff is great on a face! I use this as my nighttime moisturizer, and I am NOT disappointed. It might seem weird to use something so heavy on oily skin, but it doesn’t make me produce more oil, and this is a nighttime cream, not something to wear through the day. You need moisture at night, because your skin is doing a lot of work repairing and readying itself for the next day.

  14. Pond’s Cleansing Balm (Target). This is THE product of the year, in my opinion. It gets rid of all of your makeup… even waterproof mascara! Of course, you should cleanse after the balm, but it leaves your skin feeling silky smooth, like you did something good for yourself, if you use this you really are making an investment in your skin.

Those are my favorite skincare products of 2018. What were yours?

Ali