Here are my 10 favorite skincare products that I’ve tried and fell in love with, in a list to share with you all. I have purchased the full size of some items in the list and wish that I could buy some other items from the list 🙂 This is a list of the the very best of 2018 skincare items from IcanGWP! Enjoy!

1. BARBARA STURM Face Cream Review

Full size $215 for regular and $230 for rich

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

IcanGWP Review: If you haven’t heard of Dr. Barbara Sturm, you’ve probably heard about her signature – the Vampire Facial. I hate to say it, because of the whopping price tag, that I love it! Check out full line from Dr Barbara Sturm at Bluemercury (20% off $150 purchase code SAVE20 and free 18pc gift bag with $150 purchase). This brand is also available at  Nordstrom x Dr Barbara Sturm.

The orthopedics is specialized in a procedure that involves using the patient’s own blood cells to produce proteins that help reduce inflammation and stimulate the healing process. She believes that less is more, say no to – acids, alcohol, retinoids, fragrances or mineral oils. She has mentioned that there are 1,500 ingredients that are allowed for use in the US but not Europe. Her products target  the inner level of skin with the finest ingredients that are scientific proven to function. If you admire her motto, you’d admire her cream.

I like that it’s odorless, with a light dreamy texture. It goes on like silk and it absorbs right away. Something I want to reapply just to see how much it can melt and disappear into my skin. This product is really good for pre-makeup application! I don’t know the long term results yet but it’s pleasing to use this $215 cream sample.

There are three products from this brand that receive five-star average reviews from Space NK USA, Face Cream Rich, Mask and Glow Drops.

2. Bifesta Cleansing Lotion Review

from post: My Japan Beauty Haul 2018

japan beauty haul trip review by icangwp beauty blog

IcanGWP review: I have combination skin and like several famous products that are only available in Asia including this cult favorite item. It’s so light and natural – no oil, heavy chemicals or fragrances. It cleans well including most waterproof products – spotless. Their eye makeup remover is also a star item.

3. REN Vita Mineral™ Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream Review

Full size $40

REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream review by icangpw blog

IcanGWP Review: I am falling for its intoxicating rose aroma, so light and so pure. The glossy cream is rich and buttery smooth. I’m impressed with the matte finish that is great for the work day and wears so well under makeup. It helps tremendously to hydrate and plump the skin. I can see the difference of my T-zone where I used a light lotion compared to the rest where I applied this magic cream. My T-zone looks so dry and shows no more signs of aging when I smile! This is going to be a very nice addition to anyone’s winter skincare regimen.

4. Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair review

Full size $180

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Nonirritating; Phthalate-free; paraben-free; petrolatum-free; sulfate-free; colorant-free; mineral oil-free

IcanGWP Review: Erno Laszlo makes nice gentle but effective products. You might have heard about their Phormula line started in the 1920s in Hungary (started from 3-1). Their products have won over many celebrities including Hungary’s princess Stephanie or Marilyn Monroes (Google Marilyn Monroes Cream!). People have used the infamous Phormula 3-9 repair cream ($275) in so many ways, not only for extreme dry skin, but also to treat after Retin-A, burn, or rash. The Phormula 3-9 eye repair is less well-known. The silky texture soothes and calms. There’s an interesting blend of decent oils in the formula. I wouldn’t expect a lot in terms of hydration or moisturization but it’s a perfect product to complement our regular routine– a few days per week, just to get the anti-ageing performance. One warning – it rolled up.

If you are interested, Nordstrom has ERNO LASZLO Beautiful Faces The Iconics Travel Set $96 ($196 value)

5. 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2 Review

Full size $190

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IcanGWP Review: If you are looking for a new eye gel for mature skin with photodamage and anti-aging problems, look no further! This modern product from 111SKIN has a cool gel texture. It absorbs amazingly well. It’s great for those who don’t like silicone in most new creams. The formula is silicone free, mica free and paraben free too. It leaves the overall eye area hydrated and awakened!

The key is their NAC Y2 formula = ARGIRELINE, NIACINAMIDE and CAFFEINE. Vitamins are the first ingredient and not water like most products. Plus, extra Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (also known as “Botox in a jar”), Acetylcysteine, Phytonutrients, Vitamin E, B are also present. It’s so beautiful and targets the problems due to aging and photodamage.

space nk summer sale 2018 haul by icangwp blog.JPG-resized

What I can notice most – it’s treating the skin gently and visibly combats drooping eyelids. The caffeine help tightens skin, peptides and the antioxidant rich blend helps increase collagen and make your lids firmer. It makes my eyes look more open and refreshed by firming up sagging eyelid skin.

The price is steep so we’re gonna have to save up for this! The longer we use, the more improvement we will see. This is the number one eyelid cream in my haul of fame.

This product ranks 4.4 – 5 average review from several sites (Space NK, Nordstrom, Birchbox or Makeupalley). If you are prone to dry skin, skincare with caffeine can sap your lids of moisture and exacerbate sagging, so it’s worth getting a sample. If you are under 25, your eyelid hasn’t become less elastic and slowed down its production of collagen as you age yet, you can wait.

One caveat is that my eyeshadow rolls when I rubbed my eyelids. It may only be me since other reviewers said it’s great under makeup. Fragrance is the last ingredient, should be okay. Have you seen a dramatic improvement like me?

6. Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion Review

Full size $100

Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion Review by icangwp

IcanGWP Review: The formula is breathtakingly beautiful. I empty the bottle and really like the glowing and healthier skin. It’s a splurge but if you are looking for a great penetrating essence, this is the one. I’d repurchase this goodie.

7. Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment Review

Full size $105

sunday riley good genes review by icangwp beauty blog

IcanGWP Review: Good genes is a surprisingly very strong AHA treatment. As you may know, AHA is excellent on dry skin. It contains a 5% concentration of AHA for brightening and exfoliating purposes. Several sites have tested the pH and it’s very low (2.4 – 2.9). A very serious exfoliation is happening. This product could be stronger than the products that are marked with 15% or 20% AHA because of the pH level combined with products’ concentration. If you are interested, google “free acid value” to find some cosmetic chemist sites.

The light tangy fruity scent is nice compared to most clinical strength AHA products. I use it right after the toner. It contains some skin conditioning, so it was not completely absorbed like regular AHA treatments. The emolient ingredients sit, calm, soothe, moisturize and protect the skin. As a result, we can handle such a crazy level of chemical exfoliation. I can feel the tingling sensation and got so excited about it.

This product actually provides ‘immediate results’. I applied it overnight and woke up with stunning plump, supple, soft and clearer skin. It’s a multi-task product that can deliver ones very best skin — with a few caveats. If you have sensitive skin, you may try it as a rinse-off mask. Don’t try to over scrub before using this product. It may be photosensitized so sunscreen is a must. My favorite part is that it contributes to the long-term progress of the skin by helping clogs at the surface and skin turnover.

Is it for you? Lactic acid is less popular in western skincare, maybe because its molecules are bigger than Glycolic acid so it can’t penetrate as deep as Glycolic acid. As a result, it’s gentler and it’s more hydrating. It’s better in some aspects for oily skin and is more common in Asian skincare. Spring/Summer really is a good time to use this product. It’s addictive. I can’t stop applying it. How’s your experience with the Good Genes?

Sephora has several exclusive Sunday Riley Good Gene sets that starts from $28. Space NK is offering SPACE NK Best Of Space NK Edit (was $99 now $69 Set worth $230) and it includes a $52.50 value Sunday Riley Good Genes!

8. The Ordinary Buffet Review

Full size $18

The Ordinary buffet Review by icangwp blog

IcanGWP Review: This serum from The Ordinary skincare is getting a lot of buzz and I find it’s worth the hype. I like the results as much as the Paula’s Choice booster above. Considering the simple but excellent ingredients, the great well-rounded formula and the price, this is a must-try powerhouse serum for everyone especially for young ages. If you want fancy retinol, acids or fancier, stronger ingredients, you can try switching them around with others.

9. African Botanics Pure Marula Oil Cell Regenerating Face Oil Review

Full size $100

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IcanGWP Review:  If you are familiar with Drunk Elephant Marula Oil, it launched in UK early this month and has gotten over 70 reviews at Space NK UK already.

These African Botanics that include Marula Oil get really high ratings but then some people mention it broke them out so terribly. And you are right, Marula Oil is one of the most comedogenic oils and has a really high amount of omega-9 fatty acid that is perfect for dry skin and is a bad dream for oily or acne-prone skin. It’s less comedogenic only after coconut oil, flax seed oil or soy bean oil that we use to cook or butter like cocoa butter or coconut butter. Dry skin readers should especially look for oil that is rich in omega-9 fatty acid (among so many omega-x varieties in the market) because it’s so very hydrating. It can help dry and sensitive skin to reduce inflammation in various layers of the skin. It’s a lightweight oil which is a nonoily oil– quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving you greasy. Marula oil also contains so many beneficial ingredients that New York Times called it Liquid Gold. Pure Marula oil is quite expensive but worth it for DRY SKIN.

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African Botanics Pure Marula Oil Cell Regenerating Face Oil is like a silky liquid, so pure and so light. The mild grape, nutty, spring scent is intoxicating. It helps my cheeks stay hydrated for hours. This is a great nutrient-rich oil that is naturally craved for dry skin. I highly recommended my dry skin readers to stock up some Marula Oil for the upcoming winter. You’ll really see the difference, especially after you use strong retinol or acids. Don’t forget to store this antioxidant rich elixir out of the light! Space NK USA offers nine Marular Oil skincare products from African Botanics here.

Now for my oily skin readers, very low comedogenics are from berries line like blackberry seed oil, watermelon seed oil, Goji berry seed oil, blueberry seed oil or argan oil and squalane oil that are more well-known.

10. 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream

111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream review by icangwp beauty blog

This jar is worth $341.38, isn’t it crazy?! It contains a very high dosage of fatty acid, vitamin, emollient, antioxidant and retinol; much more than other creams. The rich and decadent cream contains 26 clinicaly-proven ingredients that will gradually reveal better skin, yet is gentle enough for an everyday regimen. It’s a fine modern cream. Well, it contains fragrance but the amount shouldn’t be an issue. The scent is mild, intoxicating and calming. It reminds me of Estee Lauder Idealist’s or Perfectionist’s scent but gentler.

The rich white cream looks puffy and has no visible glitters, shimmers or diamond powders. This buttery cream melts into the skin and feels very luxurious. What I immediately noticed is the absorbance. Some creams often leave the skin feeling too thick and oily-looking, but this product is just right. It contains several intriguing oils but it’s not too heavy. According to 111SKIN, this top-notch formula should work to brighten hyperpigmentation, boost radiance, smooth wrinkles and most importantly stimulate collagen and elastin production.

My family also tried this sample. My family said it heated up skin a bit (from a highly effective form of vitamin C). Please note that I am using 10%+ vitamin C products regularly, so that I don’t feel any tingling sensation. It doesn’t have any alcohol or exfoliant, it won’t burn. The science is just happening to our skin!

111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream review by icangwp

I have continuously applied day and night for ten days and love the improvement in skin’s appearance. My mom was asking what I did recently, saying “you look prettier”. For the record, I can’t remember last time she said that. My answer was “I’m sick, lost some weight, I guess”. As it turns out, I didn’t shed a pound 😊 just a remarkable glowing skin that really shines. Highly potent ingredients are helping my skin tremendously. It’s healthier, more supple, luminous and firmer. Nothing from mica or silicone nor visually flashy results, it’s from within.

What makes this unique formulation truly remarkable and a worthy obsession is that it’s free of silicone. I’m not against any silicone since it’s a good moisturizing ingredient that is safe and feels fantastic on the skin. But… it’s not that highly effective, modern nor special and it’s cheap. It’s painful how many expensive skincare just use it in the first few ingredients. We don’t want to pay $$$ for a jar of water mixed with silicone.

I would recommend this product as a day time moisturizer for all skin types. Extra dry to dry skin might find it not hydrating enough for night time. Pairing it with a night time oil (like Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Oil, Derm Institute Youth Alchemy Oil or 111SKIN Retinol Oil) would be an easy fix. This deluxe size should be good enough to see the skin’s response and to decide if this is the right cocktail for you. I can tell you a little goes a long way. They claim a full size jar will last you three to four months. It will probably take a while to see a clear long term difference.

A few caveats I should note is that first, it doesn’t work well with some silicone-rich serums. It seems like silicone will block this product from absorbing and I felt that it sits on the skin. Second, a minimal white cast may also form if you use too much or mix it with silicone-y skincare products. This is personal, but it doesn’t contain peptides that I like (the Black Diamond contour gel has it). Lastly, is it possible to be less expensive? A discovery kit would be nice.

I hope you enjoyed the post. Tomorrow, I’ll have my favorite makeup items to share!

These are my favorite skincare items for 2018. What is your favorite item(s)?

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