3 Jan 2018

Carolyn's Best of Beauty Award: 2017 Best and Worst Skincare Products Part 2

I talked about the best and worst skincare items in 2017 in my part 1 review here. As promised, below are my part 2 reviews of beauty products I finished or started using in 2017. Enjoy~
  • Cream / Heavy Moisturizer
  • Gel Cream / Light Moisturizer
  • Facial Oil
  • Sleeping Mask
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm / Lip Mask
  • Facial Scrub
  • Chemical Exfoliation / Peeling Pads
  • Clay Mask / Wash-off Pack
  • Facial Cotton
  • Hair Shampoo
  • Scalp Treatment
  • Hair Treatment / Hair Serum / Hair Conditioner

Cream / Heavy Moisturizer

Banila Co Mr. Honey Cream ★★★☆
Belif Peat Miracle Revital Cream ★★★★
Belif The True Cream - Moisturizing Bomb ★★★☆
Belif The True White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Cream ★★
Blithe Pressed Serum Velvet Yam ★★★★
Dear by Enprani Bounce Cheese Cream ★★★☆
Goodal Moisture Barrier Cream ★★★☆
Guerisson 9 Complex Cream #Light ★★★☆
Guerisson 9 Complex Cream ★★★
Half Moon Eyes Milky Jelly Moisture Cream ★★☆
Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream ★★★
Huxley Secret Of Sahara Anti-Gravity Cream ★★★★
Innisfree Black Green Tea Cream ★★
Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Cream ★★★★
Iope Super Vital Cream Bio Intensive ★★★☆
J.One Hana Cream ★★★★☆
Laneige White Dew Tone-Up Cream ★★★★
LJH Vita Propolis Cream ★★☆
Primera Alpine Berry Watery Cream #Intensive ★★★☆
Sk-II RNA Power Radical New Age ★★★★★
Sulwhasoo Ginseng Renewing Cream ★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Ginseng Renewing Cream EX ★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Ginseng Renewing Cream Ex Light ★★★★
Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Cream ★★★★
The History of Whoo Bichup Jayoon Cream ★★★★★
Whamisa Organic Flowers Water Cream ☆

I used a lot of creams this year, but they can be mainly divided into two major categories, namely the heavier moisturizing cream with more occlusive and nourishing ingredients, and the lightweight gel cream that uses mainly emollient and humectant. Normally anything with a score of ★★★☆ and above are good creams that many people will like, but not impressive. A heavy cream must be nourishing and moisturizing enough without leaving any greasy or oil finish on the skin. Absorbency is the key here. Having said that, my favourite (heavy) cream in 2017 is The History of Whoo Bichup Jayoon Cream, Sk-II RNA Power Radical New Age and Huxley Secret Of Sahara Anti-Gravity Cream. Whoo is loaded with oriental herbal ingredients that proven to be beneficial for your body and skin. It is so nourishing that it leaves both my mom and I looking glossy and glowing in the mirror without any uncomfortable stickiness or tackiness. SK-II contains more emollient and feels a little bit “greasy” when applied. But you will always wake up with a baby soft and polished skin the next morning after using this. My favourite go-to night cream! And finally Huxley Anti-Gravity Cream if you have budget concern. This is the cheapest among the three, is super nourishing and moisturizing without being too greasy. It smells great too!

The worst heavy cream award goes to Whamisa Organic Flowers Water Cream. This stuff, despite its pretty packaging, fancy ingredients and amazing scent, irritates and itches my skin out so badly that it hurts! Not only me, but two other colleagues of mine who are brave enough to be my lab rats! It also makes my skin oilier, instead of plump and supple, after using. Really disappointed!

Gel Cream / Light Moisturizer

Beauty Of Joseon Dynasty Cream ★★
Belif The True - Whitening Cream ★★★★★
Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb ★★★★★
Belif The True Cream - Water Bomb ★★★★
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel Cream ★
Earth's Recipe Moisture Brightening Cream ★★★☆
Earth's Recipe Moisture Light Cream ★★
Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel ★★★★
Huxley Secret Of Sahara Cream #Fresh And More ★★★★
Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream ★★★☆
Kiehl's Oil-Free Gel Cream ★★★★☆
Kose Sekkisei Herbal Gel ★★★★
Lirikos Marine Triple Concentrate ★★★★☆
Ljh Tea Tree 80 Cream ★★★☆
L'occitane Reine Blanche Whitening Cream ★★★★
Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Light Cream ★★★☆
Mamonde Pure White Ultra Active Cream ★★★☆
Mizon Vita Lemon Calming Cream ★★★☆
Primary Raw Doyou Original Soy Milk Facial Cream ★★★★
Primary Raw Soy Milk Azulene Gel Cream ★★★★★
Primera Alpine Berry Water Cream ★★★★☆
Primera Watery Oil-Free Gel Cream ★★★
Sum37 Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Glow Cream ★★★★☆
Tomaru Soulful Morning Drop ★★★★

I have many favourite creams for 2017! You guys know I love Belif Aqua Bomb, and have found myself two cheaper alternatives: Tomaru Soulful Morning Drop and Mizon Vita Lemon Calming Cream! Belif The True Whitening Cream remains my indisputable number one in my heart. I love it a lot, and is quite sad that it has been discontinued!

Next, for more gel-like cream, I love Kiehl’s Oil Free Gel Cream, Lirikos Marine Triple Concentrate and Primary Raw Azulene Gel Cream. Each have their strengths. Kiehl’s feels really cooling and refreshing, perfect for oily and combination skin, especially in the summer. Lirikos is super lightweight yet moisturizing enough with its rich nutrition contents. And of course Primary Raw that looks like gel but is as nourishing as emollient cream!

Worst gel cream award this year goes to Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel Cream. I know this is many people’s holy-grail. But unfortunately for me, it is nothing more than a gel cream that feels super greasy on the skin without being hydrating or moisturizing. It doesn’t do a thing for my skin except for that greasy finish it left on the skin. Very much like the lighter version of Whamisa Organic Flowers Water Cream!

Facial Oil

3rific Premium Face Oil ★☆
Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Essence Oil ★★★☆
Belif Rose Gemma Concentrate Oil ★★★★☆
Belif The Balm Almighty ★★★
Goodal Waterest Lasting Water Oil ★★★☆
Huxley Secret Of Sahara Oil ★★★★★
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate ★★★☆
Olivarrier Fluid Oil ★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil ★★★☆

My favourite facial oil for 2017 is Huxley Secret of Sahara Oil. By far the most nourishing oil that I’ve used. Instant absorption into the skin. Doesn’t feel heavy or suffocating at all. I like this even better than Belif Rose Gemma Concentrate Oil! My least favourite facial oil would be 3rific Premium Face Oil, which is quite heavy and smell a little funky. I tried to apply this using many methods but find it relatively greasy and hard to absorb.

Sleeping Mask

Biotherm Life Plankton Mask ★★
Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight SPA Mask ★★☆
Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Bright ★★
Goodal Waterest Vital Sleeping Pack ★★★☆
Innisfree Capsule Recipe Pack #Aronia ★★★
Innisfree Capsule Recipe Pack #Rice ★★★☆
Laneige Firming Sleeping Ball ★★
Laneige Time Freeze Firming Sleeping Mask ★★★★☆
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask ★★★★☆
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask #Lavender ★★★☆
Laneige Whitening Sleeping Ball ★★★★
LJH Probiotics Sleeping Cream ★★★☆
Make P:rem Radiance Peeling Sleeping Pack ★★★★
Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask ★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask ★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Radiance Energy Mask ★★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Trufresh Soothing Mask ★★★★☆
Yuripibu Lotus Water Mask ★★★

My favourite sleeping mask in 2017 is Sulwhasoo Trufresh Soothing Mask and Radiance Energy Mask. They are true gem for the year. I used the trufresh mask whenever my skin feels dehydrated, oily and sensitive. The Radiance Energy Mask, on the other hand, works best when my skin feels dry, dull and has dryness-related itchiness. Sleeping mask is tantamount to your second moisturizer so it is very important that they are pillow-proof yet moisturizing enough to keep your skin protected thorough the night. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is lightweight enough but I always wake up without feeling much. It doesn’t really keep my skin hydrated thorough the skin which is why I opt for the Sulwhasoo Trufresh Soothing Mask.

The worst sleeping mask in 2017 is Biotherm Life Plankton Mask. Instead of protecting and nourishing your skin thorough the skin, it actually drives my skin into greater dehydration. My skin always feels dehydrated and greasy a few hours after applying this, much at my dismay. I think something inside just doesn’t seem to work well with my skin. I also dislike Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Bright which never seems to get absorb by my skin. Instead of calling itself sleeping mask, I think it works best as a wash-off mask.


AMPM RX 10 Peptide Total-Defense Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++ ★★
A'pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ ★★☆
Belif UV Protector Fresh Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++ ★★
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Rose SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★★
Biore Uv Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++ ★★★★☆
Biotherm UV Supreme SPF50+ PA+++ ☆
Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
Hera Sun Mate Essence Gel ★★★
Huxley Sun Cream Stay Sun Safe SPF35+ PA++ ★★★☆
Innisfree Eco Safety Daily Sunblock SPF35 PA++ ★★★☆
Innisfree Extreme Safety 60 Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★★
Kose Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel N SPF50+/PA++++ ★★★★★
Laneige Marshmallow Sun Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★
Laneige Sun Screen Aqua SPF35+ PA++★★★★
L'Oreal Paris UV Perfect Super Aqua Essence SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★★
Loveisderma UV Clear SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
Loveisderma UV Shield SPF50+ PA+++ ★★☆
Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★
Make P:rem UV Defense Me Capsule Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★☆
Missha Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★★
Neogen Day-Light Protection Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
Nature Republic Provence Calendula Fresh Sun Gel SPF30+ PA++ ★★★★
Primera Skin Relief UV Protector SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★
Senka Mineral Essence UV SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★
Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence N SPF50+ PA++++ ★★★

I used a lot of sunscreen this year when I write my mega sunscreen review. Among which, I love Biore, Kiehl’s, Kose Sekkisei, L’Oreal Paris, Make P:rem and Missha the most. I love their texture a lot. They are easy to get absorbed by the skin and has high SPF coverage. Recently, I am more devoted towards Make P:rem sunscreens. They come in pump-top hence is very user-friendly and easy to measure the amount you need for maximum coverage. I like to use the orange cap at all occasion especially in the morning when I am heading to the office. It is super lightweight and quick absorbing hence very time-saving. The blue cap works great for outdoor activities and afternoon sunscreen touch-up since it can filter infrared ray.

Any sunscreen with a score of ★★★ and below are not user-friendly. In other words, they are either too greasy or rich. Among them, Biotherm UV Supreme SPF50+ PA+++ is the worst sunscreen that I have used in 2017. It smells funny, feels itchy on my skin and is expensive too. I also don’t like A’pieu Sun Gel, AMPM SPF 50 and Loveisderma UV Clear which feel very silicony and hard to get absorbed by the skin.

Lip Balm / Lip Mask

Huxley Secret of Sahara Lip Balm Moisture Wear ★★★★
Petitfee Oil Blossom Lip Mask ★★
Primera Natural Berry Lip Mask ★★★

My favourite lip mask or lip balm in 2017 is Huxley Secret of Sahara Lip Balm Moisture Wear. It melts when it touches your finger and lips and feels really moisturizing on the skin. But if I were to compare, I still prefer my old Hada Labo Lip Balm. Among these three, my least favourite would be Petitfee Oil Blossom Lip Mask which feels quite “silicony” and cheap. Not something I would consider putting on my lips as it might get eaten.

Facial Scrub

Belif Mild And Effective Facial Scrub ★★★
Innisfree Capsule Recipe #Red Kiwi ★★★
Innisfree Oat Mild Moisture Peeling Gel ★★
Kiehl's Skin Brightening Exfoliator ★★★★
Kiehl's Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Masque ★★★★
Primera Facial Mild Peeling Gel ★★★★☆
Primera Facial Intensive Peeling★★★★☆
Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask ★★★☆
The Plant Base White Truffle Turn Over Peeling ★★★☆

My favourite facial scrub in 2017 is Primera Facial Intensive Peeling. I also like the Mild Peeling Gel a lot but it was too gentle to bring a real difference to my skin. It also requires a lot of product each time hence I still prefer the Intensive Peeling which is more refined but effective.

Among these, my least favourite would be Innisfree Oat Mild Moisture Peeling Gel. It is supposed to be a dupe for the Primera Mild Peeling Gel but turns out to be a failed dupe. It is hard to apply evenly as the gel will clump together. It also doesn’t do much to do my skin. I think Skinfood scrub at much cheaper price works better than this for skin exfoliating purpose.

Chemical Exfoliation / Peeling Pads

Belif First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask ☆
Blithe Patting Splash Mask Soothing and Healing Green Tea ★★★★☆
Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid ★★★☆
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid ★★★★
Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad ★★★★
Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear Pad ★★★★
Dr. Wu Intensive Renewal Serum With Mandelic Acid 18% ★★★★★
Make P:rem Radiance Peeling Serum ★★★☆
Mediheal Peelosoft XP Cotton Swab Clear Shot 9% ★★★
Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling #Wine ★★★
Nightingale Toning Eraser Level 2 ★★★
The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% ★★★★★
The Saem Express Beauty Aqua Peel Cotton Swab ★★★★

My favourite chemical exfoliator in 2017 is Dr. Wu Intensive Renewal Serum With Mandelic Acid 18%. Mandelic acid is an AHA serum with oil-soluble properties so it is suitable for all skin types including combination and oily skin. My skin looks a lot smoother, my blackheads reduced and most bumpy texture is gone after incorporating this into my skincare routine. I also love The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% which gives me the same result as the Dr. Wu Mandelic Acid Serum.

The worst chemical exfoliator in 2017 that I have used is Belif First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask. This stuff doesn’t do much to my skin. Each jar is only good for 10-15 uses as you will need a lot of product each time. My skin does appear clearer and brighter but I can achieve that with Blithe Splash Mask at much shorter time. Seriously one of the worst Belif products I have used.

Clay Mask / Wash-off Pack

Belif The White Decoction - Ultimate Brightening Bubble Mask ★★★★
Bonanza Olibanum Repairing Gel Mask ★★★☆
Huxley Secret Of Sahara Keep Calm Healing Mask ★★★★
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Melting Clay Mask ★★★☆
Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Extract Masque ★★
Lirikos Angelic Therapy ★★★
Loveisderma B12+ Mandelic Acid Gelly Masque ★★★☆
Make P:rem Clean Me Radiance Cleansing Pack ★★★★☆
Make P:rem In Shower Mask Pack ★★★★
Yuripibu Black Tea Firming Mask ★★★☆

The best wash-off mask in 2017 is Make P:rem Clean Me Radiance Cleansing Pack. This is a very convenient clay-to-foam mask that can also double up as foaming cleanser. I love to use this every week to give myself some deep cleanse. It takes only 3-5 minutes, which is much shorter than many clay mask out there.

My least favourite wash-off mask in 2017 is Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Masque. This is a tissue-off mask that can repair damages caused by pollution and external aggressors. I has mint extract in it so it feels really cooling on the skin. However, I don’t like the stickiness it leaves on my skin. I can never really wear this thorough the night or as a moisturizer even after tissuing off some of it. Not my cup of tea.

Facial Cotton

2358! Makeup Cotton ★★
Etude House My Beauty Tool Embossed Cotton Pad ★★★★
Missha Soft 5 Layer Cotton Sheet ★★★★
Nature Republic 5 Layer Cotton Pads ★★★★★
Shiseido Cotton Pad 165s ★★★★☆
Silcot Uru-Uru Sponge ★★★★☆
Suz Attirer Cotton Pad 240s ★★★★
The Face Shop Silky Soft Cotton Pads 80s ★★★
Watson's Air Laid Facial Cotton ★★★★☆
Watsons Premium Non-Woven Facial Puffs ★
Watsons Round Facial Puffs ★
Ximivogue Cosmetic Cotton ★★

My favourite facial cotton in 2017 is Nature Republic 5 Layer Cotton Pads. I have raved about this in my previous review. It is a soft multipurpose cotton pads that come in 5 layers of thin sheets. It doesn’t take a lot of product each time too. I like this better than Silcot Uru-Uru Sponge. My least favourite facial cotton would be Watson’s Premium Non-Woven Facial Puff which is too thin for any toner or essence. You can’t use this on things other than nail polish removing. Not helpful at all and pretty expensive too!

Hair Shampoo

Aromatica Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo ★★★
Beyond Nature Defense Shampoo ★★★
Innisfree 0% Zero Shampoo For Dry Scalp ★★★★☆
Lador Triple X 3 Natural Shampoo ★★★★
L'Oreal Sensi Balance Shampoo ★★★★
Mentholatum Selsun Blue Dandruff Treatment Shampoo ★★★☆
Primera Marula Shampoo ★★☆

The best hair shampoo in 2017 is Innisfree 0% Zero Shampoo For Dry Scalp. This is an effective, gentle and mildly foaming hair shampoo for dry scalp. My itchy scalp problem is much mitigated after using this. I am currently Lador currently and I still want to see if it works better than Innisfree for my scalp.

The worst hair shampoo that I have used in 2017 is Primera Malura Shampoo. It is meant for dry hair and scalp. I think they add a lot of nourishing ingredients inside so it is kinda hard to rinse properly. Your scalp will get irritated from the leftover chemicals. Not recommended.

Scalp Treatment

Hello Everybody Verbena Scalp Scaling Mask ★★
Innisfree Green Tea Mint Fresh Scalp Tonic Essence ★★★☆
Lador Scalp Scaling SPA ★★★☆
Lador Tea Tree Scalp Clinic Hair Pack ★★★★★
Ryoe Jayangjunmo Scalp Deep Cleanser ★★★☆
Vmaz Scalp Sensi Balance Scalp Spa Treatment ★★★★☆

The best scalp treatment for 2017 is Lador Tea Tree Scalp Clinic Hair Pack. I have finished at least 5 tubes of it this year. It is a scalp cooling, de-stressing, hydrating, repairing and calming 3-minutes treatment pack. My scalp always feels so much less irritated and hydrated after using this. Definitely my all-time holy grail! The worst scalp treatment I used in 2017 is Hello Everybody Verbena Scalp Scaling Mask. This is nothing more than a creamy paste stuffed with mint extract. The mint they use is so strong that it actually irritates my scalp out more, not the opposite. I am so disappointed with it and will not repurchase.

Hair Treatment / Hair Serum / Hair Conditioner

Lador Hydro LPP Treatment ★★★★
Lador Perfect Fill-Up Water ★★★★☆
Mise En Scene Perfect Base Up Essence ★★★★☆
Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Hair Serum ★★★★★
Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Light Serum ★★★★
Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum #Rose Edition ★★★★★
Nature Republic Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack ★★★★★
Primera Marula Daily Treatment ★★★
Ryoe Camellia Seed Oil Treatment ★★★
Yungo Ampoule Drop Essence ★★★

The best hair treatment, hair serum and hair conditioner I have used in 2017 is Nature Republic Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack and Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum #Rose Edition. Nature Republic is a very rich but easy to rinse hair conditioner and treatment pack that will leave your hair soft and smooth. It also works well for my split ends and fizziness. Mise en Scene came out with its rose edition Perfect Repair Serum that smells wonderful and is as effective at nourishing the hair as the original edition. I love both of them but I think I enjoy the rose edition a little bit better this year!

The worst hair treatment, hair serum and hair conditioner in 2017 is Primera Marula Daily Treatment that is so hard to rinse. It is quite moisturizing due to heavy use of nourishing oils inside. My skin is left smooth and soft after using but the feeling is only temporary. I also don’t like how it takes a long time to get the product thoroughly rinsed. Definitely not a repurchase.

[Disclaimer] Product is purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

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