favorite skincare products of 2019

I used a hell of a lot of skincare in 2019. But how much of it did I love? Honestly, a very small amount. Think of a bell curve — most products I use fall into the “It’s okay” category, which is flanked by two much smaller sections: “I freaking love it” and “Please keep this away from my face.” I imagine many honest people operate in a similar way.

Thanks, I know it’s a work of art.

Here, I want to focus on the “I freaking love it” segment of the bell curve because not only am I tired of lamenting about how crap 2019 actually was, I also don’t hate a lot of skincare, if you can believe that.

Thus, I present to you My Favorite Skincare Products of 2019. These are items I discovered for the first time in 2019 that I love so much, I’ve either repurchased or have added to my repurchase wish list.

1. Lassie’el Be Shineeeee Tone Up Aura Jewelry Mask

be shineeeee tone up mask selfie

Why I love it

This sheet mask made such an impression on me that I called it God Tier in my original review. That’s a rather heavy title to assign to a product, let alone a sheet mask, but between the perfect fit and the milky essence that gave my face a nice little boost of vibrancy, it’s deserving of the honor.

The premise of this jewel mask is a bit gimmicky. The essence contains crushed jewels — red ruby powder (to calm stressed-out skin), amber powder (for anti-aging), and pearl extract (full of amino acids and peptides) — along with tried-and-true ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide. But gimmick aside, can I argue with these results? Nope, I cannot.

How I found it

I received this sheet mask as part of a giveaway prize and have yet to find it sold anywhere that ships to/within the United States. If anyone can help me track this miraculous sheet mask down, I’d appreciate it very much!

2. I’m From Mugwort Mask

i'm from mugwort mask

Why I love it

This wash-off mask is a god-send for breakouts. Formulated with 2.1% mugwort, this has a bit of a refreshing tingle as it calms and relieves inflammation. I’ve reached for this mask any time I was battling pimples. I’d apply it for up to 10 minutes at night and by the next morning, my skin would be much clearer and softer.

The one downside is the fragrance. It’s quite hanbang-y. I could either take it or leave it.

How I found it

This was another giveaway prize acquisition. (I was quite lucky with winning giveaways in 2019!) Wishtrend carries both the full-size jar and mini-size tube. My plan is to purchase a jar of this by the time summer arrives — it’s quite refreshing to wear when it’s hot outside!

3. The Vegan Glow Mild Foam Cleanser

Why I love it

It took me some time to warm up to this product because of the smell. Yes, my nose could detect the scent of raw ingredients. (There are no synthetic fragrances or essential oils to be found here.) The more I used this cleanser, however, the less I noticed the stench. Instead, I took note of how refreshed my skin felt every time I used it.

This is a low pH (5.5) cleanser that is made of roughly 10 ingredients. It’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and contains none of the “bad stuff” such as sulfates or parabens (if you care about that sort of thing). After being so devoted to my Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Gel Cleanser for so long, I think I’ve finally found a worthy replacement for it. The Vegan Glow cleanser genuinely makes my skin feel good.

How I found it

I received this in a VIP Swag Bag from an event hosted by KOTRA. However, I plan on repurchasing in the future. It can be found at The Vegan Glow direct.

4.  Annie’s Way Charcoal + Vit C Jelly Mask

Why I love it

One evening, my skin was so oily and gross that a regular sheet mask just wouldn’t do. I reached for this Annie’s Way wash-off mask with charcoal (to help sop up the sebum) and vitamin C (to brighten). After 30 minutes, my skin was not only smooth and free of excess oil, it was legitimately glowing.*

This mask would be great to have in an SOS kit for oily skin. It’s not something I would reach for often (mostly because I’m lazy), but I’d love to have it around for when my sebaceous glands are working overtime.

How I found it

Glowieco gifted me a 1-time use packet of this mask. You can find a full-size jar at Glowieco…and don’t forget to use my affiliate code QOWS10 for an extra 10% off!

*Please withhold any crass “glowing” jokes here about Madame Curie, whose likeness graces the front of this packet for some reason.

5. Urang Brightening Blue Oil Serum

urang blue oil serum

Why I love it

I’ve been using this item every night for almost two months and it makes my skin so supple and smooth. Originally, I had planned to apply it before sheet masking, but now I just use it regardless, right before moisturizing if I’m not using a mask. Either way, my skin wins.

It contains alpha-bisabolol (for brightening) plus a blend of camellia sinensis seed oil and chamomile ricutita flower oil (to moisturize). Despite being an oil, it’s the furthest thing from greasy. And during a time when my skin could benefit from as much moisture as possible, this has been a welcome addition to my routine.

How I found it

I received a trial-size bottle in my KOTRA VIP Swag Bag but then received a friendly tip that Costco, of all places, has a full-size dropper for cheap. (That’s where I bought mine.)

6. Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun Cream

PURITO Centella sunscreen

Why I love it

Remember how at the beginning of the year I was singing the praises of the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence? Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. But then everyone and their plumber were raving about Purito’s centella-infused sunscreen. I caved and bought a tube for myself. The hype is real, folks. This Purito sunscreen is now my go-to SPF.

It goes on smoothly, doesn’t leave any funky white cast, and it doesn’t reek! Plus,  I can wear it under makeup without any pilling. The centella is a nice bonus, too — this sunscreen soothes and moisturizes my skin while protecting it from those evil UV rays.

How I found it

Purito’s Amazon storefront has it with free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members. Accessibility is a big reason why I chose Purito over Klairs. I can get the Purito sunscreen for much less money and have it arrive at my doorstep sooner than the Klairs. What can I say? I’m a creature of convenience.

These are a few of my favorite skincare things

If there is one thing that shocks me most about this list, it’s that two wash-off masks made the cut. I am #TeamSheetMask all the way, but I suppose when I like a wash-off mask, I really like it.

Am I looking forward to trying new products in 2020? Yes. But I won’t be going out of my way to do so. I’ve reached a point in my skincare journey where I don’t have to try every latest, greatest thing. Sure, I recently caved and bought this beloved toner (worth it), but it was also out of necessity. I needed a good cold-weather toner to get me through the next few months.

My challenge for 2020 is to be a more mindful consumer. I won’t deprive myself of things I really want to try. But I owe it to myself to be discerning, too. Constantly cycling through unused skincare products is a downer. I want to be able to use what I accumulate and not feel like I am contributing to a trend of wasteful consumerism. It’ll be a process, though.

Now over to you…

What are your favorite skincare products of 2019? And what are your buying goals for 2020? Are you hoping to try even more new things, or are you like me and feeling the need to scale down a bit? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Feature image by NordWood Themes on Unsplash.

I am not a professional. All opinions are my own. 

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