Favorite Beauty Products - 2018
2018 has been a rough year emotionally which has led to my discovery of the importance of self- care. Self-care for me includes taking care of myself not only emotionally but physically and in a way they’re sort of intertwined.
I’ve been blessed with good skin so I’ve never really felt the need to have a crazy skin care routine. Every now and then I’d wash my face in the shower with St. Ives apricot scrub and call it a day never worrying about acne, dry or oily skin. When I’m on my period I occasionally get an isolated pimple here and there. But in the last few years with age and the influx of skin care routine videos on social media I’ve found love in my skincare lineup.
LUSH is one of my favorite beauty brands of all time. Simple, non-toxic ingredients, no animal testing, and the variety is endless. This face mask, the mask of magnaminty, is my favorite of the year. As its name suggests it’s minty which leaves the skin feeling fresh and most of all full of energy. I like to use this mask in the morning to wake my face up before cleansing.
My favorite face wash of 2018 is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost hydrating cleansing gel. You’ll notice that I’m a huge fan of finding clean products (or as clean as possible) for my beauty collection. This product is fresh, foams up really easily, and leaves my face feeling deeply cleansed without the harsh chemicals that other mainstream brands offer. This line of Neutrogena’s touts itself on being lightweight and simple. It has hyaluronic acid (a powerful moisture builder), it's soap-free, paraben-free, oil-free, and hypoallergenic. It wins this round for me and is priced well - on average $8.99.
Now onto moisturizers. I go back and forth between serums and creams depending on how dry my skin is (my forehead is more prone to dryness) and when I notice it’s more on the dry side or if I’ve been using makeup all day I love Mario Badescu’s Protein Night Cream. It’s thick so you don’t need much of it at all - a little goes a long way with this product.
I’ve seen youtubers mention the idea of using both a serum and a cream at the same time but I personally don’t like it at the moment. On days where my skin hasn’t been subject to makeup or when I want a lighter moisturizer I’ll use a serum and my current favorite is the S.W. Basics line of serums, specifically the 4 ingredients Avocado, Geranium, Turmeric and Coffee oil blend. The combination of those 4 ingredients (really, there’s nothing else in the ingredient list) makes for a great moisturizer that I love putting on before bed.
With age and stress another topic has become of importance for me - my hair. I spent years getting keratin straightening done which led to the death of my natural curls as well as some thinning. In the last 6 months, I’ve decided to embrace my natural hair and try to undo whatever damage was done by experimenting with natural products.
The first change I made in my hair care routine in an effort to restore my curls was to replace my shampoo and conditioner with sulfate free, natural products. I’ve been using this lavender conditioner for a few months and love it. Naghab is a Peruvian brand and this particular line of conditioners is for damaged hair.
I will be writing more in-depth in a future blog detailing my new curl styling process where I use a mix of homemade gels and masks as well as store bought natural products but for now I do want to share this product, an almond oil that I put on after I shower. Almond oil serves to hydrate your hair as well as nourish it with vitamins A, B, and E.
A few times a week I incorporate the following product, which is one of my favorites and one that I discovered years ago. It’s a leave-in conditioner that not only smells amazing but has castor oil, shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar. The brand itself has been around since 1991 and was founded by Sofi Tucker in Sierra Leone. The curl specialist I met with here in Lima confirmd that I should be using Shea Moistures Jamaican Castor Oil line but not too much at once. Since I have fine hair I only need a bit and if I overdo it my hair looks greasy beyond repair. This product smells like heaven and nourishes, repairs, and smoothens my hair. If I’m in a hurry I just put this product in and am set for the day.
What are your favorite beauty products of this year? Have you tried any of the brands I mentioned above? I’d love to hear some suggestions.