This was long overdue. People often request me for good skincare products which are worth it, and I end up suggesting those same products over and over. I wanted to do a post with my favorites so next time someone asks me, I can just redirect them to this post. 😊
This year, because of traveling, change of water and food, plus disease, my skin changed its mind like a toddler with picky eating habits. My skin was dry to normal most of my life. It turned into an oily combination, and acne-prone when I moved to Kolkata a few years back. This year it majorly stayed normal combination. In the last few months, it also felt dry and normally most of the time. Maybe because of my use of oils, my oil producing glands are not as active as it used to be. #FingersCrossed Also, I lived most of the year in non-humid weather.
My skin is not highly sensitive, but it is sensitive as I get rashes if I try harsh products. That is one reason I stay away from parlor facials and products high on chemicals.
So, let's dig into my favorites
Face Wash: My current favorite is Sensatia Botanicals Tamarind and Green Tea. But, it is not available in India. Next is La Roche Posay Effaclar which is great for acne prone skin. It does help me a lot. But, if you are looking for a budget option which is sulfate free then try Just Herbs Silkplash or the easily available and budget-friendly Clean and Clear.
Face Pack: Without a doubt The Body Shop Tea Tree 3 in 1. It is probably the best launch by The Shop this year. If you suffer from intense acne issues, then try Vedantika Anti-Acne Face Pack.
Face Scrub: Same as the face pack. Simple Deep Cleansing Face Mask also deserves mention.
Moisturizer: I do not use anything in a cream formula. I do not use day creams or night creams and depend on face oils.
Face Oil (Day): LifeFlo Rosehip (availability in India is an issue), Innisfree Green Tea Seed Oil (price is high but totally worth it), Sensatia Botanicals Facial Hydrate (not available in India)
Face Oil (Night): Khandige Kumkumadi (Santa, Sundar, Tikau). If your skin requires intense love and care then try Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Thailam or Bipha Ayurveda Kumkumadi Thailam.
Toner: Again, without a doubt La Roche Posay. You can also try Innisfree Bija. If you can get it then, a gentler option is Simple Skincare.
Face Mist: Good Earth Rose Water
Makeup Remover: Use almond oil. Nothing can beat it but it, takes some time to get the hang of it as oils can irritate the eye. If you travel a lot then use The Body Shop Cleansing Butter - it a gem! A budget option in oil cleansers is FabIndia Panchpushp. I used to like Forest Essentials Floral Cleanser until I found a major issue with it.
Kajal: Lakme Absolute Kohl Kajal. Unfortunately, I lost it in a cab one day. I have to repurchase it. For a budget-friendly option, my pick is Lotus Color Kick - super smooth and extra black.
Eyeliner: Sugar Eye Told You So is the one that traveled with me the most. I also did a comparison post which you may check to explore other brands and formula for your choice of black eyeliner.
Mascara: Sugar Lash Mob Limitless Mascara.
Mascara: Sugar Lash Mob Limitless Mascara.
Lip Balm: Himalaya Herbals Lip Care. They launched these lip balms in five variants which are free from mineral oil, petroleum jelly, preservatives, and silicones. Plus, pocket-friendly.
Lipstick: Two new players absolutely amazed me with their formula. Sugar Matte as Hell for their powdery formula and eye-catching shades. Nykaa So Matte for their modern matte formula and exciting nude lip color options. I used them extensively.
Liquid Foundation: The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation. They have many shades to choose from.
Eyebrow Pencil: Colorbar I never travel without it.
Bath and Body
Body Lotion: Don't use.
Body Oil: Pure Almond Oil (Hamdard Roghan Badam Shirin). For perfumed, The Body Shop Polynesian Monoi. It can be used for hair as well.
Body Scrub: Junaili Apricot Kernel Scrub
Shower Gel: I always have a soft corner for the ones from The Body Shop. Satsuma and Moringa top my list.
Shampoo: The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture. I have been using it for years. Another favorite is Bali Balance Rosemary Coconut Shampoo (not available in India) During summer, I tried various shampoos, and because of that and bad health, I suffered major hair loss. It breaks my heart to see that good sulfate free shampoos costs a bomb and are not even easily available. The only shampoo that I can pick from the stores is the Himalaya Damage Repair Protein Shampoo. It is free of SLS/SLES but contains ALS.
Conditioner: Apple cider vinegar as a rinse.
Hair Tonic: Japakusum. I might use for the rest of my life. I hope you have seen the before and after use pictures in the review post. If not, see it. You will also be convinced to use it.
Hair Oil: I guess I will stick with Coconut Oil. I also tried Just Herb Javakusum which was a nice break from Coconut Oil.
Let me know if I missed any category...