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2019 was the first time I did a post called “Holy grail skincare – the products I would immediately repurchase if all my skincare disappeared over night” (you can read it here). It is supposed to be a routine made up of only favorites, the basics I wouldn’t want to be without, and each year I come back to it and see if anything has changed through all the new things I tested.
I also add up the prices, to see how much I would have to spend if I purchased everything new. In 2022 that was 615,33 € (including hair care, you can see what I picked here), and with the recent increase in living expenses it will probably be even more…
Not everything in here is high performance skincare, some things are just little treats to myself and picked because I love texture or scent, and of course you don’t need all that to build a good routine. It is just what me and my skin enjoy most.
All products have their dedicated reviews on here, so I will link them instead of telling you hear in depth how they perform.
My favorite cleansers of 2023
The first item I will mention is one I discovered this year, the Geek and Gorgeous Mighty Melt Cleansing Balm (98 ml for 12,80 €, full review here). It is one of the few cleansing balms that rinses absolutely clean without the need for a wash cloth, but at the same time breaks down my makeup with ease. I have taken it with me on several weekend trips this year as it can be used both morning and night.
The second one is one that was already featured here in 2022, the 107 Beauty Chaga Jelly Low pH Cleanser (120 ml for 27 €, full review here). It is a really nice, non-stripping gel cleanser, great for morning use or as a second cleanse, and what makes it stand out for me is that it smells like Earl Grey – my favorite tea.
With these two I would be set for all occasions.
My favorite toners of 2023
Toners are not a necessity, but I like them in my routine, and the first one is one I mention every year. The Caudalie Grape Water (200 ml for 12,50 €, full review here) that I stock up on when in France. It just has the finest mist of all and is a pleasure to use in the summer right out of the fridge.
New additions to this category are the Real Barrier Extreme Essence Toner (200 ml for 19,99 €, full review here) – full disclosure, I did a sponsored video for the brand earlier this year – that is very soothing on my skin and at the same time quite nourishing, so perfect for winter, and the Balea Beauty Expert Hydration Toner (100 ml for 3,95 €, full review here) that is also soothing, but incredibly lightweight and perfect for summer or for layering.
My favorite actives of 2023
I have been on Tretinoin for five or six years now, so I don’t really use too many other actives in my routine, but the one I have been recommending most is the Geek and Gorgeous A Game (30 ml for 18,80 €, full review here) as it is effective, but very well tolerated.
Other than that I only use Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (118 ml for 39 €, full review here) on a regular to keep my pores congestion free.
My favorite serums of 2023
For serums I have one that I always fall back on when my skin is upset and I don’t know what it needs, the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum (30 ml for 57 €, full review here), which is expensive, but always does the trick for me in making my skin look just that little bit better.
The other one I have enjoyed so much that I would immediately repurchase is the innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea (80 ml for 31,95 €, full review here), another great allrounder one that has antioxidant benefits as well as hydration, and lastly my peptide fix with the NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3:1 (30 ml for 87 €, full review here) and of course my all time favorite Vitamin C, the Geek and Gorgeous C-Glow Serum (30 ml for 12,50 €, full review here). If you have seen last weeks “yearly empties” post, you know how much I rely on that one. (If you haven’t you can find it here)
Four serums might feel excessive to some, but they really are the backbone of my routine.
My favorite eye creams of 2023
For the last four years, the eye cream category has stayed unchanged, and that is quite an accomplishment given I test so many products. Still, the ones I would buy over and over again are The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream (15 ml for 10,99 €, full review here) for the mornings and the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum (15 ml for 96 €, full review here) for night time.
My favorite of moisturizer of 2023
Moisturizers is another hard category, as I rarely get attached to any, but as it is something you need, I would probably buy The Inkey List Omega Water Cream (50 ml for 10,99 €, full review here) as that one can double up as hydrating serum on cold days, but is lightweight enough to be used as moisturizer when it is scorching, and the Geek and Gorgeous Happier Barrier (50 ml for 10,80 €, full review here) that is rich enough to buffer my Tretinoin, but not too rich for my skin.
An honorable mention needs to go to La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 (100 ml for 13,95 €, full review here) that I don’t use as a moisturizer, but keep at hand for dry patches, cracked corners of the mouth or just in general to protect my skin when I need to be outdoors in the freezing cold for prolonged periods of time.
My favorite sunscreen of 2023
Sunscreens is an easy one, for outdoor activities and the summer I would still pick La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF 50+ (50 ml for 16,99 €, full review here), which is water resistant and has amazing UVA protection, and for the rest of the year it would either be the Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics (50 ml for 17 €, full review here) or the SKIN1004 Hyalu-Cica Water Fit Sun SPF 50 (50 ml for 8,99 €, full review here, disclosure: I did a sponsored video with them, but purchased it myself afterwards).
My favorite hair care of 2023
With my shampoo I am not too high maintenance, I tend to grab whatever drugstore offer there is. For conditioner I do enjoy the L’Oréal Bond Repair Conditioner (150 ml for 5,99 €, no review yet) and for hair oils I have two, first one for every day from the drugstore, the Garnier Multi Use Wonder Oil (150 ml ml for 5,99 €, no review yet) and second one for after wash/ pre-blow dry, the Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil (30 ml for 19,99 €, full review here).
Instead of a hair mask I use the Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector (100 ml for 23,99 €, full review here) and that combined with the money I spend twice a year for cut and color makes up the bulk of my hair care expenses.
Total cost of my ideal skincare routine
Everything paired together now comes to 564,16 €, 508,20 € if you don’t count the hair care. Comparing it to last year, that is actually a decrease of 50 € despite individual products like the Murad Eye Cream for example increasing in price.
Have you ever counted how much your routine would be? I would love to know!
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