'Just a round-up of the very best skincare products I purchased in 2021.'

What a year, right?  

2021 has certainly been interesting. For me, it’s been the year of more lockdowns, working from home, and steering my attention to my skin (and hair) to get me by.  

Don’t get me wrong – there’s been some exciting highs and crazy lows, but focusing on developing and refining my routine has been extremely important to keeping me sane.

Watch: Just a list of all the things we never said in 2021. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Now, over the last 11 months, I’ve discovered some pretty sick new products, repurchased many, and trashed others after a handful of uses. I’m ruthless. We’re not here to f*ck around when it comes to skincare!  

So, to save you time and money, I’ve decided to share some of the best products I discovered, and the ones I will refuse to use again.

Image: Supplied


But before I start, it’s worth knowing that my skin type is more on the dry side, slightly sensitive, and not shy to the odd hormonal breakout. It soaks up moisturising and hydrating products, but really hates when I attempt any form of slugging.  

So, just keep in mind that what works (and doesn't work!) for my skin. It might be different for you.

Let’s begin!  

The best cleansers. 

As a You Beauty Facebook member since day one, I’ve always seen the comments that come with cleanser recommendations

"Don’t waste your money."

"Invest in your serums, instead."

I’m not gonna lie. I don’t really take on that advice because for ME, I find better results when I spend a little more on a cleanser from a brand I use other products from.

Earlier this year, I purchased The Jojoba Company Jojoba Bead Cleanser, $29.95. I’m no stranger to the brand or products, but first impressions always count and this just did not hit the spot for me. 

I used about a quarter of the bottle and gave it up. It wasn’t very nourishing and I found that even after a double cleanse, I still had leftover makeup and residue on my face. It was a sad day indeed!  

Image: Nourished Life, David Jones, Look Fantastic, Adore Beauty

All was forgotten though, when I discovered the Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser, $62. Because OH MY GOSH was this nourishing! This cleanser made me want to actually wash my face in the AM (because sometimes... I just CBF). 


This will be my forever go-to.   

Throughout the year, I did also try the Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser, $49 and Dermalogica Skin Age Smart Resurfacing Cleanser, $69. Both were great products, and I did notice my dry and slightly sensitive skin react really well.

However, I’ll definitely be taking the Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser with me through to 2022 and beyond. It’s hands down, one of the most beautiful cleansers my face has ever experienced.

The best moisturisers.

Your dry-skinned girl froths over a good moisturiser. It NEEDS to be hydrating and light, without too much fragrance.  

This year, I tried quite a few. Loved some. Couldn’t tolerate others.  

I gave the Mecca Cosmetica Hydrating Moisturiser, $50, a crack after going on a mini-Mecca haul, and it’s one I’ll be leaving in 2021. Aside from the pump jar breaking mid way, I felt it was a touch too heavy and didn’t work well with my makeup.   

Another 'no' for me is the Blessed by Nature Hydrating Dewy Moisturiser, $14,99. I can’t say it was dewy, or hydrating or moisturising.  

I’ve also had my hands on the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Cream, $24. This is a touch heavier than what I expected, but my skin soaks this up! It is slightly fragranced, but there’s a sensitive version which is apparently better if your skin doesn’t cooperate with this one. It’s been totally fine for me, though.  

Going into 2022, the Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream, $36, will be the one that I repurchase over and over again. Try saying that five times really quick. 

In my opinion, this is such an UNDERRATED PRODUCT and brand, overall. I’m sorry for yelling, but it really is. This moisturiser was hydrating, lightweight, sat well under makeup and smelt like a dream.  

The best serums.

Vitamin B

This year, I really only tried TWO niacinamide serums - and I think that’s more than enough. 

I discovered asap’s Super B Complex Serum, $105, late last year. I was hooked. Hydration? Check. Gentle on my skin? Check. Slightly higher price tag? Also check. It’s the one product I recommend to anyone who will listen and is the same product I notice a difference when I STOP using it.  

After finishing the bottle, I decided to give another brand a go. ALPHA-H’s Vitamin B Serum, $79.95, was my choice and honestly - it just wasn't right for my skin. I knew I had to go back to my one true love: asap’s Super B Complex Serum will always have my heart.  


Vitamin C

Vitamin C has always been a struggle for me. My skin will react and even if I try to persevere, it becomes a bit too much for me to handle. From asap’s Super C Complex Serum, $105, to The Ordinary’s L-Ascorbic Acid Powder, $9.90, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’m destined to eat vitamin C and avoid it on my face completely. For now, anyway.  

Image: Look Fantastic, Adore Beauty.


After listening to a You Beauty podcast episode about bakuchiol, I was super intrigued to find out more. As someone trying to conceive, I know retinol is a no-no during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so I purchased the Medik8 Bakuchiol Peptides Serum, $87. It’s an absolute dream to use and has definitely made a difference to my skin. A little also goes a long way and it will be a product I repurchase once it’s completely empty.  

Hyaluronic acid

When I emptied The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, $12.90, I set to find something else. It’s definitely bang for your buck, but I wanted something... more. 

The infamous snail jizz, or properly known as the Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, $47.52, is a product I bought for fun but has now become a staple in my routine. Who knew this bottle of goodness could actually be so hydrating and plumping for the skin?  

The best exfoliators.

Chemical exfoliants have been part of my skin routine for a while now, but I still can’t get past a good physical exfoliant from time to time. It just works so differently and you instantly FEEL the results.  

I religiously use the Murad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel, $95, twice a week. It’s not too harsh, but is enough to really make my skin look brighter and more evenly toned. Again, a little goes a long way, so it’s been the only chemical exfoliant I’ve tried this year and will definitely be a repurchase.  


Image: Adore Beauty, Sephora, iHerb

For a physical, the Kiehls Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser, $47, is a big winner in my eyes. Though it’s considered a daily cleanser, it’s much too harsh for me to use every day. I opt for a fortnightly use to avoid over-exfoliating.  

For the real sensitive skinned people out there, I’d suggest looking at the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Pearl Exfoliator, $24.99. Though it’s a physical, it was very gentle (maybe a little too gentle for my liking if I’m honest). Though I probably wouldn’t repurchase, I could see why others with sensitive skin would! 

The best sunscreens.

I’ve seen myself make more of an attempt to get out and about for walks during lunch this year, so sunscreen is ALWAYS in my AM routine (and reapplied throughout the day).  

I always make sure I have a bottle of the Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+, $49, on my shelf. However, I was also pleasantly surprised when I discovered the Bondi Sands Fragrance Free Face Sunscreen, $14.95, during a Priceline sale.  

Image: Sephora, Chemist Warehouse


Even though it can sometimes be a little too ‘shiny’ on my face for me, it doesn’t slip into my eyes or slide down my face when I wear makeup on top. For a savey option, it’s definitely one I’ll repurchase again.  

The best masks.

Give me a mask any day! When beauty salons closed here in Sydney, researching masks that would make a difference was something I jumped on straight away.  

My top two favourite masks that I purchased this year HAVE to be the DMK Enzyme Peel Mask and the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial, $60, Both used for very different reasons, but both effective at what they do, making your at-home facial nights that one step better!  

Image: Mecca, James Cosmetics


The James Cosmetics Décolletage Sheet Masks, $65, are also another 2021 'lockdown made me do it' purchase and I’m so glad I did. They are SO HYDRATING and make your chest feel super luxe. 

Remember, your face ends at your chest! 

Annnd... that's a wrap!

I'm someone who enjoys routine and familiarity. After focusing on my skin this year, I know the products that I love and the ones that don't really work for my skin.

Many of these will be repurchased because they’re just that good. However, as someone who also enjoys a little adventure, I’m always up for trying new products I think I’ll enjoy.  

I love creating a routine and spending a little time on myself every day. 

Image: Supplied/Despina O'Neill

While many often question the number of products I buy, for me it's something that brings me a little bit of excitement...

And maybe I’ve convinced you to pick one (or many) of my fave products from 2021! 

Have you tried any of the above products? What are some of your favourites? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Supplied/Despina O'Neill.