Compared to other years, in 2016 we discovered many more life changing skincare products. That’s right, life changing! So here is a quick round up.  

This year was a big one for us in terms of skincare. It was a year of many first with us trying oil and butter cleansers for the first time, and dabbling in the world of Korean beauty. It was also a successful year, with us discovering some holy-grail products that are now staples in our daily routine.

Hansaeng Cosmetic’s Rin Bi-gyeol Yun Emulsion* | This anti-wrinkle and whitening cream is one of 2 Korean beauty products to feature in our 2016 favourites. When we first reviewed the emulsion (here), we had not used it long enough to really pass a verdict on whether it lives up to it’s name. Having used it for a few months now, we have to be honest and say we haven’t seen any noticeable differences. With that being said, your’e probably reading this confused then as to why it’s one of our favourite skincare products of the year. Well the emulsion is actually an amazing daily moisturiser! Slightly thinner in consistency than regular moisturisers, this is a great layering product to wear under sunscreen or your makeup during the day. Our skin drinks up the emulsion quickly, leaving our parched skin nice and hydrated for the day. Given the light-weight formula, this is perfect for those who don’t like the stickiness of creams particularly in Summer, as well as combination-oily skin types who tend to feel their faces getting greasier has the the day wears on.


Elements Iceberg Eye Lift Hydrogel* | We are big fans of eye gels versus cream formulas as they are a lot more lightweight and comfortable. The big selling point for us with eye gels is that from experience, they are makeup friendly. What we mean by that is that they absorb relatively quickly into the skin, so they’re ideal to use in the morning under your makeup. What we’ve found with eye creams is they tend to take longer to absorb which means anything we put on top won’t sit properly, increasing the likelihood of our foundation or concealer sliding around. While the hydrogel absorbs quite quickly, it still provides great hydration. The cooling effect of the gel leaves our eyes feeling refreshed, and is great for de-puffing after a long night. Note, we don’t really have a separate eye cream for day and night, but use this guy twice daily.


Kicho Ultra Moisturizing Sun Cream* | This is the ideal daily moisturiser. With an SPF of 50+, it offers the skin amazing protection from the sun, but it’s also super hydrating. For a moisturiser containing SPF, this one is lightweight and surprisingly non-greasy. We wrote up a  full review (here) a while ago, and have still been reaching for this Korean beauty favourite regularly. Korean skincare can often be on the pricey side, but this one from Kicho is actually quite reasonable. Between the two of us, and after almost 6 months, this tube is still going strong, so we definitely recommend this for those on the market for an affordable day cream that both hydrates and contains SPF. This product will no doubt be on the top of our re-purchase list once we get through the tube.


Let the Good Times Roll Facial Cleanser | This one is a no-brainer. If you follow us, you’ll now we’re obsessed with his stuff, so we didn’t even think twice about including it in this year’s favourites. The maize in the cleanser helps to gently exfoliate the skin. Unlike other more abrasive exfoliators, our sensitive and dry skin can tolerate using this more frequently. The scent is also akin to caramel popcorn which is probably another reason why we’ve re-purchased the cleanser so many times.


Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner | When we said life-changing products, we mostly meant this. Gosh. We can’t rave about this toner enough. Having had moderate hyper-pigmentation and some acne scarring, this product has done wonders to lighten the appearance of them.  In particular one half of A Pair of Ones, Katherine, credits this as one of the products that helped to even her skin tone. Glycolic acid works as an exfoliator to remove dry skin cells, but it also helps to lighten pigmentation and scarring. This toner from Mario Badescu is alcohol free which is what we wanted when we were hunting for a toner. If you have sensitive or dry skin, then an alcohol free toner is what you want. It won’t dry out or irritate your skin which alcohol based formulas containing astringent ingredients can often do. So if your’e looking for something to help improve the appearance of pigmentation or scarring, we highly recommend giving this toner a go. It is definitely Katherine’s top skincare pick of 2016. If you want a more thorough review, let us know, we could talk about this toner til the cows come home!

For pigmentation and brightening, an honorable mention also goes to Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar *which we’ve sadly run out of (read our full review here). It’s difficult to separate products when your’e using them as part of a regime and tease out exactly which one changes can be attributed to. But coupled with the glycolic acid toner, Katherine has seen visible improvements to hyper-pigmentation and the evenness of her skin tone.

And that’s a wrap on our favourite skincare products of the year. We look forward to discovering more holy grail products in the New Year!

What are your skincare favourites from this year?

♥ M + K

9 thoughts on “2016 SKINCARE FAVOURITES

  1. I started my korean inspired skincare routine this year and I think my 2016 skincare favourites are Missha First Treatment Essence and it’s Science Activator Ampoule together with some COSRX products. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Realy?! Glad we’re not the only ones late onto the Korean beauty train haha We haven’t heard of those products before, but we need to try them! We know Missha is meant to be an amazing brand though

      M + K


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