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Today we're going to cover off my favourite skincare products of the year; they're not necessarily new launches, but I like to keep it to new discoveries and rediscoveries specific to this year, unless it's undeniable that an old and consistent favourite is still the best product of 2023 in its category! Let's get into the products and why I chose them...
First Cleanse - Deviant Cleansing Concentrate with Blue Tansy* | £53
I'd tried the original Deviant Cleansing Concentrate and really liked it, but honestly: the addition of blue tansy takes things to the next level! This is a wonderful balm cleanser that makes quick work of even dark, waterproof eye makeup when massaged onto dry skin. You can then emulsify it all with water and remove it effortlessly with a damp cloth. It leaves my skin soft and moisturised after use and the blue tansy makes the sensory experience so enjoyable, plus this ingredient has soothing benefits.
This is one of those products I tried for the first time a couple of years ago and, honestly, it's not been out of my rotation since, but given I've emptied it twice this year; it would've felt wrong to name any other product my top second or morning cleanse of the year! I took this travelling with me for a month around Southeast Asia, because it's just perfectly balanced for all situations and it's a great all-rounder. It's a milky gel that's non-foaming but mostly water-based and it cleanses the skin gently but effectively. It contains gentle surfactants that don't strip away moisture and skin-balancing ingredients like aloe, prebiotics and hemp seed oil.
I love a true creamy cleanser and this is the quintessential cream cleanser! It has a kind of texture that's substantially creamy but not so robust that it's difficult to spread; as you apply it to your skin, it becomes a little more lotion-y, which makes it quick and easy to use. It's great in the morning, it's great as a one-step when I've not been wearing makeup, it even works on light everyday makeup (when used alongside a damp cloth). It never fails to leave my skin soft and perfectly moisturised after use with ingredients like glycerin, jojoba and squalane!
This serum really hasn't left my rotation since I got it! It's just a great all-rounder that's hydrating and packed full of peptides that are beneficial for well-ageing. They're hydrating, skin-plumping and can even help boost collagen production. This leaves my skin bouncy, juicy, healthy, glowing and hydrating. It's crazy that this supplanted my traditional antioxidant AM step, but it has!
Vitamin C, Antioxidant or Day Serum Honourable Mention: Niod Survival 0 Antioxidant Serum | £22 | full review
The antioxidant I did actually reach for quite a lot this year is Niod's Survival 0; this serum is formulated with powerful next-generation antioxidants like superoxide dismutase and pycnogenol, to protect the skin from free radical damage. It comes in a hydrating base, and honestly, it's like a good skin day bottled that also helps with long-term skin health.
This formula brings my favourite form of retinoid (retinaldehyde) to you in a formula with added extras to keep the skin hydrated and all at an affordable price. This gives me the smoother, clearer, plumper skin that I expect from a retinoid without any of the drawbacks (like dryness and irritation). This is a great gentle formula that delivers on results; it's not a beginner retinoid, but if your skin gets on with retinol, this is a great way to step up the benefits.
I have a drier skin type, but I also break out sometimes, and a lot of salicylic acid formulas are just quite stripping for my skin. So, it's a product category I'm pretty fussy about! This formula ticks all the boxes I want ticking for an anti-blemish exfoliant; it's non-drying, it's simple, it's gentle and it works. I decongests my skin of little under-the-skin bumps and helps rush active breakouts out of the door! It's also pretty affordable, which is the cherry on top.
Multi-Active Treatment: Cipher Ctrl Z Multi-Corrective Overnight Treatment* | $158 | full review
Cipher is not a cheap brand, but in a world where people are buying La Mer and the likes, this is skincare that doesn't just 'feel nice'; every product is a multi-active geared towards a specific concern, carefully formulated to be gentle on the skin. A product I've reached for a lot this year is their Ctrl Z overnight treatment, which is formulated with mandelic and lactic acids, PHAs, a little salicylic, pineapple enzymes and a yeast oligopeptide as your non-acid, non-enzyme exfoliant. This is what I use once a week as part of my standard skincare routine and I love that it gives me even, baby-soft skin without irritating my skin at all. It's also formulated with hydrating and soothing ingredients like madecassoside, glycerin and panthenol, to keep the skin in balance through the exfoliating process. It's just great; the exfoliants used are some of my favourites and the fact it's so gentle but yields visible results from the morning after first sue are really what makes it special to me!
Non-Exfoliating Toner, Essence or Mist: Laneige Cream Skin Cerapeptide Toner & Moisturiser* | £29.50 | full review
This has been one of my favourite skincare products for many years; it's just a wonderful added layer of hydration and skin-softening goodness. This year it was reformulated with ceramides and peptides to boost the skin barrier, aid in skin repair and just overall contribute towards happier, healthier skin. I still love this formula and I use it at least once a day, so the new formula has a place in my favourites for 2023!
Non-Exfoliating Toner, Essence or Mist Honourable Mention: Dr Jart Ceramidin Skin Barrier Serum Toner* | £35 | full review
This is actually another reformulation; I've been a big fan of the moisturiser from this range for many years and when I've not been using the Laneige, I've been using this! It's a weighty formula that is indeed somewhere in-between a toner and a serum texture. This is really hydrating and you can feel the glycerin as you apply it to your skin, plus it's formulated with the titular ceramides to help keep your skin barrier functioning nicely. I honestly like it for much the same reason as I do the Laneige; it's just that extra lovely layer of hydration my skin craves.
Moisturiser: Ole Henriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturiser* | £42 | full review
This is just a brilliant all-rounder; for day, for night, for summer, for winter... it just always seems to work, which is why it's my top moisturiser pick for 2023. This is buttery-feeling but absorbs really readily without feeling heavy or greasy and it's packed full of all of my favourite ingredients; peptides, niacinamide, ceramides and plenty of fatty extracts. All of which is in a base of plant butters, hyaluronic acid and glycerin, to keep my skin soft, moisturised and hydrated. If you're looking for a one-step moisturiser: this is perfect.
I'm pretty sure this was my honourable mention last year too! I think the main reason it's not claimed the top spot yet is really because it's something I only use in the summer, whereas the Ole Henriksen works all year round. This is a wonderful melting cream that feels light and provides lasting hydration to my skin, as well as making it look and feel fresh, glowing and bouncy. It comes packed with hyaluronic acid, skin-softening plant oil, antioxidant extracts and hyaluronic acid.
I know not everyone is a 'facial oil person' but I am! There's just something about going to bed with a glossy face and waking up with that extra, super soft skin feeling, especially during the winter months. This product gives me my mix at a purse-friendly price-point, and it has a light, non-greasy feel on the skin. It's formulated with non-fragrant, antioxidant-rich plant oils to nourish and protect the skin like sea buckthorn and rosehip and my skin loves this stuff.
Everyday Sunscreen: Beauty of Joseon Sun Relief Rice + Probiotics SPF 50+ PA++++* | £17 (15% off with code JASMINETALKSBEAUTY (affiliate)) | full review
Many of my favourite daily sunscreens are made by Korean brands, because they combine cosmetic elegance with a high level of protection. I tried out this much-hyped formula during 2023 and fell for it immediately! Honestly, it feels more like a nice, non-greasy moisturiser than a sunscreen, and that's why it's great; it makes daily sunscreen so easy. This isn't irritating, it melts in effortlessly without leaving any kind of cast and it comes with wonderful added extras like fermented extracts, antioxidants and niacinamide. It's a wonderful formula at a wonderful price!
Everyday Sunscreen Honourable Mention: Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Invisible Face Serum SPF 50+ | £14 | full review
This is my accessible drugstore pick that's still a wonderful all-rounder, and the compact size and shape has made it my 'hand luggage only' companion. This is a lightweight serum-lotion formula with added extras like ceramides and elegant modern sunscreen filters to give a high level of broad spectrum protection. It vanishes without any kind of cast, it doesn't irritate my eyes and it works under makeup. It's lightly moisturising but doesn't leave my skin shiny. All in all, this is a great do-it-all sunscreen for everyday use.
Summer-Proof Sunscreen: Ultra Violette Fave Fluid Lightweight Skinscreen SPF 50+* | £37 | full review
This was the sunscreen for me throughout summer; it's water-light and virtually traceless on the skin, so it can be effortlessly applied and reapplied. There's not only no cast, but it takes seconds to be invisible on the skin. I don't believe it's marketed as water-resistant (as an Australian brand, there are really high standards to meet to make these claims) but I've sweated in it and it doesn't run or get in my eyes. The protection is excellent, it's free from fragrances and irritating filters, so it's a great option for just about anyone!
Have you tried any of my 2023 favourites? What were your top skincare products of the year?
Read more posts from this series here!