Tried & True Favourite Skincare Products - Part 1 Cleansers, Toners & Mists
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
It's fair to say over the last 7 years I have tested a lot of skincare products for the face and body. Many I enjoy once but soon forget about, but there are some I enjoy so much that even after I stray away to test something new, I always come back! So here is a list of skincare empties I love and always seem to repurchase. As I have so many I decided to split this post into 3 parts. One with all my Cleansers, Toners, Mists & Essences; The next with Serums, Eye Products, Face Cream and Face Oils; and the 3rd part with Body Products, Perfumes and Haircare. So let's get started..
Cleansers are by far one of my favourite beauty products to test out. However, not all cleansers are created equal, but every now and again a special cleanser makes it into my holy grail of favourites that just works for my skin and gets repurchased over and over. My longest loved cleanser is the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel! The texture is delightful, it smells heavenly and it removes eye makeup without irritating my eyes. Something that's hard to find in an oil cleanser for me. It also emulsifies like a dream and leaves the skin super clean and nourished with no residue left behind. The Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil is another makeup removing oil my skin just loves. The texture is extremely lightweight and thin, and just like the Oskia it doesn't leave my eyes cloudy or irritated. I find this almost identical to the DHC Deep Cleansing oil (which I also love and repurchase and originally discovered through an old blogger friend Andy Millward who's now an Aesthetician). Both emulsify beautifully and rinse easily without the need for a wash cloth. Origianlly I purchased the Klairs oil because it was a more affordable alternative for the DHC, however now they are around the same price.
Another beautiful oil is the Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser. The formula is beautiful! It removes all traces of makeup and sunscreen but it also nourishes the skin. I love this during the winter months and have gone through 2 and a half bottles. I do cringe at the price as it's quite expensive for a product I'm just washing down the drain. However it is nice if you are looking for a luxurious oil to treat yourself, and its beautiful for facial massage. The Klairs and DHC do the same job for half the price. Another luxury cleanser is the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. The rich buttery texture is not for everyone, but I do enjoy using it in the winter months. The scent is heavenly and unlike any other cleanser I've tried! I find using this over my eyes can be a little irritating (probably due to the fragrance) so I use this more as my 2nd cleanse after removing makeup, when I want a nice relaxing facial massage and uplifting experience on the nights cleansing feels like a chore during the miserable British winter. Another delightful cleansing balm for aromatherapy and facial massage is the Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser. I have gotten through 2 of these now and I'm sure I will get through many more over the years. The texture is decadently rich and the scent is intoxicating! I feel instantly relaxed the moment I open the jar. Every single one of Jane's oils smells divine and feel luxurious to use! I use this for both makeup removal and 2nd cleanse. I will also note that her face cloths are the best!!!!
The Sarah Chapman Skinesis Rapid Radiance Cleanse is one of the few clay-based cleansers I can actually use that doesn't feel like it strips my skin! In my opinion, its the best clay cleanser I have ever tried (far better than Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip and Pixi's Glow Mud Cleanser) it's most definitely underrated. It's especially great when your skin leans a little oilier or congested. Every summer I repurchase, and every year my skin still loves it. A cleanser I also enjoy for gently clarifying the skin is the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. I just finished up my 2nd bottle (which I forgot to put in the photo). I find it works beautifully at really cleaning my skin but without drying it out, something I find very difficult with gel/water-based cleansers. I also love that the PH is low, there's good reason it's a Cult Beauty product and it's become my favourite morning cleanser. Lastly, we have the SkinFood Strawberry Black Sugar Wash off Mask. Which mostly gets used up by my daughters. We use this more like a refreshing morning cleanser/gentle exfoliator. The strawberry scent is refreshing, and skin is always left smooth and fresh without feeling stripped after use. Plus its super affordable.
Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel £33 for 100ml - Link
Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil £21 for 150ml - Link
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil £24 for 200ml - Link
Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser £71 for 125ml - Link
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm £47 for 100g - Link
Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser £46 for 100ml - Link
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Rapid Radiance Cleanse £36 for 100ml - Link
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser £32 for 125ml - Link
SkinFood Strawberry Black Sugar Wash of Mask £11for 100ml - Link
Toners are somewhat of a boring product. I'm always testing new toners but always seem to purchase a new one to try, and half way through I get bored and give it away to friends or family, or I use it up and forget all about it. So when I repurchase a toner, I know it's good. I have become a huge fan of exfoliating toners and nourishing essences. My longest used toner is the Grown Alchemist Balancing Toner. It's just a simple PH balancing toner that preps the skin for oncoming products and lightly hydrates and soothes, lush ingredients include Rose Otto, Ginseng and Chamomile. Another simple toner I love is the January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist. It just makes my skin feel refreshed and calm every time. Plus I love that it's fragrance-free and easy to apply in mist/spray form. Sometimes its the most simplistic toners that just work! I just hate that every time I start to run out of this, its out of stock on Cult Beauty.
I thoroughly enjoy a nice decadent face mist to refresh throughout the day. Though I have become quite the mist snob in that the spray has to be a fine mist to disperse product evenly, the scent has to be subtle and not overpowering and the texture has to absorb fully into the skin without leaving any sticky residue behind! The Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist ticks every single box. I have gotten through so many of these over the years, and every year I purchase one in limited edition travel-size packaging to throw in my purse. The QoH mist has a delicate Rose and Neroli scent that's both refreshing and relaxing. The actual quality of the mister is amazing, dispersing the finest mist. It works beautifully as a toner after cleanser to add back in moisture, but also equally beautiful as a midday pick me up. Another luxury face mist I keep repurchasing every year is the Amly Silver Rich Facial Mist in Radiance Boost. As nice as the Beauty Sleep and Digital Detox are, the Radiance boost is the one I always come back to. The scent is refreshing, the texture is cooling and the glow it gives me is stunning. Whenever my skin needs a little pick me up, I can always count on this. The Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater is another mist I have repurchased over and over for years. It's one of those that sets my makeup beautifully, but also smells delightful and is refreshing.
I have been using acid toners for the past 4 years, I started off using the Pixi glow tonic (which is another repurchase) but once I discovered the Bravura Acid toners, I will admit I purchased the Pixi toner less often. The natural scent of both the Bravura Purifying Calendula Toner and Bravura Revitalising Ginseng Toner are heavenly and make my sensory experience oh so much better. Both are gentle acid toners that leave my skin feeling refreshed but not stripped, despite being acids. The Ginseng contains a mild 5% glycolic acid, which is great for beginners or everyday usage and works well for all skin types. The Calendula is my favourite and has a higher AHA percentage of Glycolic at 10% and it also contains 3% lactic acid. Its aimed at more normal to problematic skin. Both are simple, yet deliver results that work, they will always be a repurchase. The Cosrx One Step Original Clear Pad is one of those products I always use that rarely ends up in my Instagram photos. Because it just doesn't look pretty and the packaging is bulky. However, its a product that truly works for my skin and I always come back to them. The One step pads are pre-soaked pads that contain Betaine Salicylate, a natural BHA, that works to gentle chemically exfoliate the skin, wipe away any excess dirt and oil, and gently purifies congested skin. If you have oily, congested or sensitive skin and just want a toner that's simple and won't irritate you, then I highly recommend these. I repurchase these for my daughters also, as they are super gentle yet effective.
I'm currently loving my 2nd bottle of the Su:m37 Secret Essence, which gives my skin a beautiful glow (I buy any Kbeauty items i can't get from British retailers from eBay user IamLove-Shop, i highly recommend!); However before i fell in love with the Su:m37 I was madly in love with Cult Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, which is currently in my routine now, and is much lighter in texture. I always think it's not doing much until I stop using it. I love that Beauty & Seoul Stock it in the UK too, so I no longer have to order from Korea. Another essence I discovered through Buttermilk Skincare (another UK #Kbeauty retailer) that I fell in love with is the the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. At first the texture really took so getting used to, but i soon began to love it. What i love the most about this is how it helps to calm any inflammation or breakouts. It is also incredibly nourishing and another product i repurchase for my young daughters (who are 11 and 14 btw).
Grown Alchemist Balancing Toner £25 for 200ml - Link
January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist £18 for 118ml - Link
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist £55 for 100 ml or £20 for travel size 30ml - Link
Amly Radiance Boost Silver Rich Facial Mist £48 for 100ml - Link
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater £7 for 118ml - Link
Pixi Glow Tonic £18 for 250ml - Link
Bravura Revitalising Ginseng Toner £13 - Link
Bravura Purifying Calendula Toner £13 - Link
Cosrx One Step Original Clear Pad £19 for 70 pads / 135ml - Link
Su:m37 Secret Essence around £55-70 for 100ml - Link
Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence £32 for 150ml - Link
Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence £18 for 100ml - Link
Are any of these your favourites?
You can read my 2nd installment of Empties I always repurchase here...