Best skincare products in November: Aesop, Thann, Bybi Beauty, and more
November has drawn to a close, and with it, another eventful month within the beauty sphere. We've divulged the drama, tracked the trends, and discussed exciting makeup launches. This leaves us with just one last thing to cross off our agenda: the best skincare releases in the month. From highly-anticipated launches that lived up to their hype to classics reformulated with a twist, these got our stamp of approval.
Bybi Beauty Crystal Clear Gel Cleanser
To say that the eco-conscious label's first foray into cleansers is an unmitigated slam dunk would be an understatement. Think a whipped, light-as-air foam that leaves skin feeling baby-soft and smooth, clarifying and balancing even the most troubled of complexions with ease. Yup, even the cluster of angry, inflamed zits that manifested — thanks to one-too-many holiday feasts — upon our visage was no match for this bad boy, with it dissipating within days of use.
By Ecom Heartleaf Poreless Water
K-Beauty insider and shopping portal, KSisters, first clued us in on this natural, cruelty-free, and science-driven brand. Its comprehensive range has already garnered high praise amongst skincare savants, but it is the Heartleaf Poreless Water that impressed us most, as it reduces the appearance of pores while leaving skin feeling prepped and ready for the rest of our skincare routine. Add this to your list of K-Beauty brands to watch, stat.
Aesop The Orator Set
While the brand's much-adored Parsley range is no new kid on the block, its trio skincare set is. This one comprises the Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner, and Anti-Oxidant Serum — all of which, when put to the test, proved to be exceptionally gentle and clarifying on troubled, reactive skin. Expect a soothed, calmed complexion with sustained use.
Thann Eastern Orchard Intensive Hydrating Facial Mask
A trusty face mask is essential during the hectic holiday season. For those in need of spa-like results in a jiffy, we recommend Thann's bio-cellulose brightening offering. Its potent combination of Vitamin C, AHA, and organic green tea extract provides a rejuvenating, restorative boost for tired skin, working in conjunction with the scent of yuzu and neroli essential oils to quieten and calm busy minds.
The Body Shop Rich Plum Body Butter
The fan-favourite formulation has been reinvented with an all-new scent this Christmas, but it retains its intensely-moisturising and smoothing properties, thanks to the inclusion of Community Trade organic babassu oil from Brazil, which saved our dry, flaking skin caused by cabin air, fluctuating temperatures, and just about everything that comes with frequent travel.
Best skincare products from October 2019
Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream
Magic cream sure is an apt name for it. Its thick, whipped texture might appear daunting at first sight, but all doubts were immediately eased upon application. Not only did it settle into our visage instantaneously to grant a subtle, luminous sheen, it also smoothed out dry, rough patches on our elbows like, well, magic. Its frangipani fragrance — while sweet — is not cloying nor lingering, thus cementing its place as one of our skincare favourites in October and the long-run.
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Primer
This fan-favourite formulation is no newcomer to the skincare scene, though it comes in all-new packaging this month. Expect a soft, mousse-like consistency that skims and blurs all imperfections for a brighter, more even-toned complexion. Our only gripe is that it can feel a little heavy on skin — hyaluronic-rich blends tend to have that effect. Still, we'd say it's a worthwhile trade-off for well-moisturised skin and makeup that adheres for hours on end.
Chantecaille Stress Repair Concentrate+
A good eye cream can be a real lifesaver in busy months. In October, we relied on Chantecaille's reformulated Stress Repair Concentrate+ to salvage our dark eye circles and puffy eye bags. A quick swipe is all you need to erase the damage incurred from (several) sleepless nights. With sustained use, it promises brighter, more lifted-looking skin — all thanks to its potent blend of active botanicals comprising wild indigo, hawthorne, and Arabian Jasmine. Is it too soon to call it the next fountain of youth?
Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Liquid Soap
We are deeply sceptical of trying anything that claims to have 18 different functions, but Dr. Bronner's iconic liquid soap has proven us wrong. Picture a gentle, deeply-moisturising dream that lathers like a dream to scent our skin in glorious smells that stay throughout the day. Our personal favourite? Peppermint, which provided a nice, cooling jolt in the sweltering heat.
Lush Galaxy Lip Scrub
Houston, we have lift-off — and a winner on our hands. Raspberry seed oil, buchu oil, and lemon myrtle come together to form this cosmic lip scrub that rids your pout of flakiness and dryness. A pea-sized amount is all that is needed for soft, kissable puckers. Plus, its gorgeous blue hue makes for an excellent addition to any bathroom shelf.
Best skincare products from September 2019
Sephora Collection Good Skincare Ultra Glow Serum
It seems the beauty emporium's recent — and risky (bearing in mind the saturated skincare field) — expansion into moisturisers, cleansers, and scrubs have paid off judging by the wave of rave reviews rolling in. Here's one more on the Ultra Glow Serum — it’s a light-as-air, instantaneously-absorbed formulation that promotes a brighter, even complexion while also serving as a makeup base. Made from 97% ingredients of natural origin, it proved suitable for our fickle, reactive skin and gave us firmer, smoother skin within days of use.
Aesop Seeking Silence Facial Hydrator
This mild, soothing moisturiser proves ideal for those with irritated, sensitised skin thanks to a potent combination of ingredients that work to a) calm the skin; b) reduce redness; and c) support barrier function to reduce the likelihood of skin reactivity. Users can expect well-hydrated and smoother skin with sustained use, while the calming scent of lavender serves as the cherry on top.
Sigi Skin Dew Potion
We're not exaggerating when we say that this antioxidant-packed essence mist rescued our (slowly) suffocating complexion time and time again this September. Its tiny, compact size fits snugly into our purse, making it all the more convenient for us to whip it out for a jolt of hydration whenever skin was feeling dry and tight. Not forgetting its unique blend of chamomile flower, maqui berry, and glycerin that shields skin from pesky free radicals and many an environmental aggressor, making it the perfect companion in this hazy weather.
Origins Dr. Weil Mega-Mushroom Treatment Lotion
This cult-favourite might not be a new release, but it does come in an all-new, limited-edition packaging to complement its winning formula. Infused with reishi, fermented chaga, and sea buckthorn, it leaves skin feeling softer and suppler than before, prepping and providing the perfect canvas for accelerated serum and moisturiser absorption after. A new (and perhaps, permanent) addition to our skincare routine? Bet on it.
I Woke Up Like This Purifying Centella Soothing Mask
Tired, lifeless complexions could stand to benefit from this mask. Think a thin, gauze-like sheet that adheres to the contours of our face perfectly all while its essence calm, moisturise, and soothe the skin in a matter of minutes thanks to the inclusion of centella asiatica (astringent), spiraea ulmaria extract (sebum control), and hyaluronic acid (humectant).
Best skincare products from August 2019
Intrinsic Foam Cleanser
Double-cleansing is, dare we say it, dead in the water since we discovered the Intrisinc Foam Cleanser. This is a gentle cleanser with a light-as-air, whipped texture that cuts through all manner of dirt, grease, and waterproof makeup. All that's left? Baby-soft skin that had us patting our cheeks to verify its unbelievably bouncy texture. Suitable for all skin types, it is also dermatologically-tested and recommended for those prone to eczema and active acne. Is it too soon for us to start buying 'em in bulk, or...?
IDS Skincare Recovery Serum
While not technically released in August, the IDS Recovery Serum has earned a spot in our hall of fame for its tremendous skin-soothing and strengthening abilities. Hyaluronic acid calms red, irritated skin while undaria pinnatifida extracts work to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Fashion and beauty editor, Jolene Khor, credits it for saving her itchy, inflamed skin after a facial gone wrong.
Whal Myung Skin Elixir Mask
Whal Myung's cult-favourite Skin Elixir now comes in a mask variation for those seeking a quick fix of dry, dull skin. Crafted using high-quality material from Asahi Kasei, each sheet is designed to hold large amounts of serum — which is evidenced by the soaked sheets you'll see upon busting open a packet. Expect brighter, more radiant skin than before with just 15 minutes of wear. The lightweight texture sinks into the skin instantaneously to ensure no sticky, tacky residue.
EHA Suncare Body & Hair Wash SPF 30++
A shower-on sunscreen? We've truly seen it all. This bad boy claims to provide a layer of sun protection on your skin, scalp and hair, shielding us against UVA and UVB lights. To use, apply onto wet skin, lather for one to two minutes, rinse, and pat dry. This is ideal for those who think melanin is all the protection they need. Heh. Its non-greasy formulation is a plus point, too, though we'd prefer if it came in SPF 50.
Shiseido Revitalizing Treatment Softener
Moisturiser or toner? Shiseido's Treatment Softener offering is the best of both. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid to provide a jolt of intense hydration to dry complexions, while Kirishima mineral spring water balances skin pH. Oh, and did we mention that it addresses ageing, too? Talk about a multi-functional powerhouse. Stow it in your suitcase the next time you fly out — this baby got you covered.
Best skincare products from July 2019
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
It seems at-home chemical peels are shaking off their maligned reps and shaping up to be a vital part of many beauty enthusiast's routines. Brightening and exfoliating purposes aside, reputable peels also promote collagen growth, lighten pigmentation, and improve overall skin tone and texture. These daily peels by Dr Dennis Gross are of no exception — as documented by our beauty writer in her bi-monthly column, Like A Virgin — and is suitable for all skin types as well as first-time users. We smell success, ladies.
Foreo Luna 3
To say that this facial cleansing device is the first of its kind is no overstatement. Not only does it utilise T-sonic pulsations to exfoliate, cleanse, and unclog pores, it also addresses specific ageing concerns through massage. To use, simply flip it on its reverse-side to enjoy lower-frequency vibrations that lift, firm, and define facial contours. All functions are best controlled from the Foreo app, so this device isn't only a beauty marvel, but a technological one at that. Our only gripe: the app can be a tad tricky to navigate, especially when, uh, soaking wet and attempting to maintain our hold on our phones and the Luna 3. Maybe it's just us...?
Tata Harper Hyaluronic Gel Mosturiser
This daily hydrator is engineered to drench skin in intense hydration, fight ageing effects of free radicals, as well as even out blotchy complexions. Hmm, big claims — ones that Tata Harper certainly lives up to. Its airy light texture allows for application before or after makeup, while its winning combination of chia seed water and tremella mushroom replenishe and restore moisture levels without leaving any sticky, tacky residue. Beauty editor Jolene Khor swears by it.
AHC Black Pearl Facial Ampoule Mask
Dull, tired skin gets a jolt of clarity with AHC's latest mask offering. Packed with the ultra-hydrating essence of black pearl extract alongside nourishing charcoal and vitamin E, the Black Pearl Facial Ampoule Mask grants a brighter, discernable glow in a matter of minutes. And while its rich, decadent formulation may take a little longer to truly sink into skin (as compared to lightweight gel types, for instance), we'd say the benefits far outweigh the (momentary) discomfort.
Crystal Tomato Beyond Sun Protection
SPF50? Eh. SPF75+ is the future, honey. This highflyer shields skin not just from UV rays, but from blue light and environmental aggressors too, thus reducing the likelihood of premature ageing. The lightweight, non-greasy texture also ensures that skin can 'breathe' even after hours of wear. On top of all that? It's hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic so it won't clog pores or worsen acne. We're kissing the ground in appreciation, but we're still washing it off before bedtime.
Best skincare products from June 2019
Laneige Water Bank Hydro Cream EX
A product to rival the hydrating, skin-soothing abilities of the cult favourite Laneige Water Sleeping Mask? Sounds improbable, but the brand’s latest offering is up to the task. The Water Bank Hydro Cream EX, a moisturising cream that promises dewy, fresh skin, carries an improved formula comprising green mineral water extracted from kale, garden cress, and beetroot. This is Laneige, so it goes without saying that the cream has a lightweight, barely-there texture, making it ideal for oily/combi skin types. Those with severely dry, dehydrated skin aren't left out either — opt for its nourishing cousin, The Water Bank Moisture Use EX, instead.
Clarins V Shaping Facial Lift
While it’s not going to give you defined cheekbones a la Kim Kardashian, Clarins V Shaping Facial Lift does contour, enhance, and lift to create a sharper, slimmer visage when used regularly. Caffeine and organic guarana (a healing Amazonian plant) are the stars of this winning formula, as they act instantly to remedy puffy, post-hangover skin by stimulating microcirculation and reducing the likelihood of water retention. Pro tip: pop it in the fridge for an extra cooling jolt that helps to soothe skin inflammation and redness as well. BRB, we’re adding it to our list of hangover cures as we speak.
Frank Body Shimmer Coffee Scrub
Hitting Sephora shelves this month, this caffeine-infused skincare line churned out many hits with pretty much zero misses. One that stood out amongst the rest — the Shimmer Body Scrub. Think of it as a multi-purpose exfoliant-moisturiser hybrid that leaves skin feeling silky smooth rather than stripped, thanks to the gold and silver particles that also add an unreal sheen to complexions. Pretty, and purposeful? There's nothing we like better.
M.A.C. Prep + Prime Fix + Scents
The much-adored hydrating, priming, soothing, and setting mist (oof, that's a mouthful) gets an upgrade both scent- and packaging-wise. We're talking peony, white tea, watermelon, and cucumber fragrances, all of which are now available in travel-friendly sizes that make them more convenient than ever to moisturise on-the-go. Or, spritz it on throughout the day to de-slick and maintain your beat face — because lawd knows our skin and makeup wouldn't have survived the crappy temperatures over the last few weeks otherwise.
The Inkey List Retinol Serum
If you're not quite convinced enough to leap towards facial acids, start small with The Inkey List's milder alternative. Retinol Serum's unique formulation contains only 1% retinol and 0.5% granactive retinoid — just strong enough to smoothen and brighten skin, plus lift and banish built-up layers of dead skin cells without causing redness or reactivity. Emollient squalene is also present, ensuring that your skin is hydrated and soothed, its clarity improved. A little goes a long way.
Best skincare products from May 2019
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask
Claiming to be a next-level sleeping mask, this recently reformulated offering from Fresh certainly does make good on its promises. Begin the two-step mask by slathering your face in a cooling gel essence, letting it sink into skin thoroughly (we estimate around five minutes or so) before locking it in place with the water-cream mask. Its potent combination of rosewater, damask rose extract and hyaluronic acid gave us fresher, brighter skin the next morning that smelt faintly of roses. Our only gripe? The meagre partition between both solutions that sometimes leads to the two separate solutions to, uh, cross-pollinate. Maybe our butter fingers are to be blamed.
Shiseido Waso Reset Cleanser Squad Set
Perfect for travel, this cleanser trio (each privides two to three washes) by Shiseido comes packed with skin-nourishing plant extracts, seaweed, as well as agar jelly scrub that cleanse skin of build-up and debris effectively — without leaving a tight, squeaky clean sensation often associated with harsh cleansers. Choose between Wild Green (okra), Good Vibes (plum and citrus) and Romantic Dream (sour berry); they're similar in formula, different in scent. The juice box packaging also adds a certain element of fun to a mundane task, though it can get messy. Uncap and squeeze gently over the sink, please.
Vichy Normaderm Phytosolution
Pimples, blackheads and dilated pores are improved upon with sustained use of Vichy's latest skin saviour. Deemed ideal for those with oily, acne-prone skin, this treatment solution works as both prevention and cure. Eradication of acne and blackheads aside, its formulation also ensures that sebum and lipid (aka oil substances responsible for aforementioned skin conditions) production is significantly reduced; skin barrier function is further strengthened too. A week or two of use controlled our shine, and we didn't always need to blot after lunch. Praise.
Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss'R Lip-Loving Scrubstick
While not technically intended for skin, we're loving this exfoliating lip scrub provided in a handy twist stick. Not only does it make for easy on-the-go application, it comes formulated with gentle apricot seed scrubbers that don't make a mess err'where whenever we swipe it on. On top of making lipstick application that much easier, it smells divine, too.
Senka A.L.L. Clear Sheet Makeup Remover Wipes
Pigment-packed swatches and full-coverage foundations disappear with just a quick swipe of these makeup remover wipes. Don't expect any greasy, sticky residue after either. Our skin still appeared plump and bright (as opposed to irritated) despite our multiple attempts at scrubbing ourselves with it — oh, the crazy things we do to test a product's efficacy. Available in both full- and travel-size, both sealed with airtight lids.