the best skincare products of 2018

And the award for Best Skincare Products of 2018 goes to…

Boy, was it a difficult choice to make! This year, I’ve tried so many skincare products that have become staples in my stash. How do you pick 3 or 4 or 5?

I picked 13. It was the best I could do. Plus, 13 is a lucky number in Italy so it seemed fitting. These babies did make my skin very lucky this year and deserve all the recognition they can get.

Without further ado, here are the best skincare products of 2018 for me:

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00/£67.00)

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum is one of my fave dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. The serum has the same combination of antioxidants that put Skinceuticals on the map: 15% Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C), 1% vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid. This powerful trio fights free radicals, boosts collagen and boosts the photoprotection of your sunscreen. But while Skinceuticals stops here, Drunk Elephant goes the extra mile. This serum has a few more antioxidants in the mix, hydrates skin and provides a very gentle exfoliating action. All this for half the price of Skinceuticals. Now, that’s what I call a good deal!

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK

Related: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Full Review

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster ($42.00/£40.00)

If there’s a product I can’t live without, it’s Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster. I use it literally for everything. It hydrates and strengthens my protective barrier so my skin doesn’t dry out in this freezing cold weather. It shrinks the large pores around my nose so they look almost invisible to the naked eye. It soothes irritations and reduces any sallowness in my skintone. If you’ve got dark spots or acne, niacinamide can deal with those too. The best part? It has a lightweight, watery texture you can easily mix into your fave serums or moisturisers or use alone. Your choice.

Available at: Dermstore, Nordstrom, Paula’s Choice and Selfridges

Related: Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster Full Review

Blissoma Photonic Facial Sunscreen + Daily Moisturizer SPF 25 ($39.00)

Blissoma Photonic Facial Sunscreen + Daily Moisturizer SPF 25 isn’t that moisturising… but I totally forgive it for that because the sunscreen part rocks. It uses zinc oxide to provide sun protection, but you’d never guess that. There’s absolutely zero white cast or greasy feel. The texture is lightweight, applies like a dream and has a tinted hue that neutralises any white cast (but is too sheer to provide any real coverage). But what earned it a place in my fave beauty products of the year is the addition of antioxidants, like green tea and centella asiatica, that help boost photoprotection and soothe irritation. The bottle’s not too big so it won’t last you too long but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

Available at: Blissoma

Related: Blissoma Photonic Facial Sunscreen + Daily Moisturizer SPF 25 Full Review

Mad Hippie Hydrating Nutrient Mist ($19.99)

I don’t usually use a mist – I’m  a skincare minimalist and cut out of my routine everything that’s not 100% essential – but Mad Hippie Hydrating Nutrient Mist has quickly become a staple in my stash. What sets it apart from the rest? Well, while most mists only focus on the hydration part, Mad Hippie Hydration Mist is loaded to the brim with antioxidants that fight free radicals, soothe inflammation and boost photo protection. Now, that’s what I call essential!

Available: iHerb, Ulta and Walmart

Related: Mad Hippie Hydrating Nutrient Mist Full Review

Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (£25.00)

Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex is the most hydrating Hyaluronic Acid serum I’ve tried – bar none. This baby features 1% direct Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate and 13 more forms of Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid precursors! Basically, Niod took every single form of Hyaluronic Acid out there and dropped them all in this serum to make sure that every single layer of your skin has all the hydration it needs. It’s a must for me at this time of the year. The extra moisture boost keeps my skin soft and hydrated in the winter cold, plumps up my fine lines so they look smaller and gives my complexion a youthful glow.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic

Related: Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex Full Review

Mad Hippie Cleansing Oil ($17.99)

I’m a huge fan of oil cleansers to remove your makeup. They melt away even the most stubborn of makeup (yes, even waterproof mascaras!) in less than a minute and moisturise your skin to boot. No more tugging for 20 minutes trying to get every last trace of makeup off. No tight, drying feeling after cleansing. Instead, Mad Hippie Cleansing Oil just feels a little greasy. That’s why it’s best to use it with a warm washcloth to cleanse it – and your makeup – away. Oh, it smells heavenly too.

Available at: Urban Outfitters

Related: Mad Hippie Cleansing Oil Full Review

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel ($14.99/£14.95)

I’m sure you know this but I’m NOT a fan of using a glycolic acid exfoliant + a salicylic acid exfoliant in the same routine. If you’re not careful, you can easily end up overexfoliating skin and irritating it real bad. If you must use both, make sure they’re in the same product. That way, you’ll know they’ve been formulated to play well together and give you smoother, brighter skin minus the irritation. I’m getting my fix of both acids from Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel. It exfoliates skin, smoothes out my skintone and gets rid of my blackheads. You have to be careful what you use it because the gel texture can cause pilling. But hey, you can’t beat the price. 🙂

Available at: Feel Unique and Ulta

Related: Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel Full Review

Niod Modulating Glucosides (£21.00)

If you’ve got any redness in your skin, you’re prone to irritations or have chronic inflammation going on in the deeper layers of your skin (and who hasn’t these days?), grab yourself a bottle of Niod Modulating Glucosides now. This serum is loaded with antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and other skin-soothers like bisabobol (the stuff that gives chamomile its anti-irritant properties) to calm down irritations and reduce redness. Plus, it has amino acids and Squalane to strengthen your skin’s protective barrier and make your skin more resistant to irritants in the first place.

Available at: HQ Hair

Related: Niod Modulating Glucosides Full Review

Niod Survival 30 (£25.00)

Niod Survival 30 is a sunscreen is on steroids. Like Blissoma Photonic, it’s loaded with antioxidants to fight wrinkles and boost the photoprotection of the UV filters. Like Blissoma Photonic, it uses mineral UV filters (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) that don’t give away the secret. Its lightweight texture spreads like a dream and the tinted hue counteracts the white cast so you don’t end up looking like a ghost. Unlike Blossom Photonic, you have silicones to thank for its lightweight, easy-to-spread texture. I don’t mind silicones when they have a good reason to be there and this one is. If you feel the same, grab a bottle. If you like your skincare silicone-free, opt for Blissoma.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique

Related: Niod Survival 30 Full Review

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum ($65.00/£62.50)

Warning: Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum isn’t for retinol newbies. The serum contains a whooping 1.5% of retinol – one of the highest concentrations you’ll find it skincare products. Sure, it’s microencapsulated to make it gentler (it’s released over a period of several hours instead than hitting your skin all at once) but that doesn’t mean you can go all in. Start small and work your way up to this. It’s worth it. The serum smoothes out your skin tone, shrinks pores, slowly reduces wrinkles and makes your complexion glow.

Available at: Beauty BayCult Beauty and Sephora

Full Review: Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($14.99/£9.00)

Cleansing is the most underrated step in your skincare routine. Get it wrong and there’ll be hell to pay. If it’s too harsh, it’ll dry out your skin. If the pH is too high, it’ll disrupt your skin’s protective barrier and make your skin more prone to irritations. If it’s gentle, it does nothing. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser hits the perfect spot: it’s pH balanced, strong enough to remove every last trace of dirt and grime and moisturizing enough to leave skin soft and smooth. The best bit? It’s suitable for sensitive skin too.

Available at: Dermstore, Feel Unique, Ulta and Walmart

Related: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

A’Kin Rosehip Oil With Vitamin C (£24.00)

If I were in a desert island and could only bring 3 products with me, rosehip oil would top the list. This multitasking oil is moisturising, soothes inflammation, fights wrinkles and even helps reduce mini pimples. Any cold-pressed rosehip oil is good but I have a soft spot for A’Kin Rosehip Oil With Vitamin C. It also has vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant that fights wrinkles and brightens the complexion. Plus, a few drops of macadamia oil for an extra moisturizing boost. But its addition means this oil is more suitable for dry than oily skin.

Available at: Feel Unique and Look Fantastic

Related: A’Kin Rosehip Oil With Vitamin C Full Review

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Levres Barrier Repairing Balm

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Levres Barrier Repairing Balm is the best lip balm for chapped lips I’ve ever tried. At the beginning of the year, I had a bad case of chapped lips (thanks, London!) that none of my fave lip balms could fix. A few days with Cicaplast Levres and ta-da! Everything healed quickly. The thick texture takes a while to sink in but – trust me on this – the little wait is more than worth it.

Available at: Feel Unique

Related: La Roche Posay Cicaplast Levres Barrier Repairing Balm Full Review

What are the best skincare products of 2018 for you? Share your picks in the comments below.