2017 skincare favorites: SK-II, Instytutum, and more

Not to sound cliche, but omg it’s 2018! And what better way to start off the new year than to reflect on my favorite skincare products from the past year, right?

Author: Jenny Wu
Jenny Wu

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  1. Amy says:

    So many products I am dying to try! I need to research into these a bit and see if I can get them over here, without incurring massive shipping / customs charges. I hope you’re having a brilliant 2018 so far!

    Amy – http://AMbeautyedit.com

    • Jenny says:

      Ooo yikes, custom charges are definitely no fun :( Hopefully you’ll be able to find local retailers that carry these products! I hope you’re having a great 2018 as well!

  2. AB says:

    Super keen to try SK II! Hoping to incorporate it into my 2018 routine!



  3. SofiaaDot says:

    I really want to try more SK-II products!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

  4. Jessica C says:

    AND OMG orange shit head as a president …THAT Comment got me chuckling out loud hahaha

  5. Jessica C says:

    OMG Jenny has it been THAT long since I last visited your blog?? You’ve gotten SOME upgrades! I LOVE the way it looks now!! And this post got me reading so carefully and spending too.. you got me on that Klairs toner LOL … I’ve never heard of the brand but you made it sounds so amazing!!

    Jessica || Cubicle Chic

    • Jenny says:

      Aww thanks Jessica! I highly recommend the Klairs toner, it’s such an affordable + effective + versatile product that will work for almost any skin type!

  6. Your photos are gorgeous. Sadly, I haven`t tried any of these products, but they all sound so great! For the most part of 2017 I have been loyal to a few products, but this year I want to experiment more with my skincare.


  7. So beautifully written (love photography too!), I must say these posts are my fave. We get to try so much skincare during the year, but it’s always nice to see those products that actually “make it”. I must admit, I am so curious to try that Klairs toner you mentioned – plumping? Yes, please! And of course LRP – it is such a wonderful brand, I need to try more from them this year! Happy 2018 xx

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks so much Naya, so glad you like these types of posts, especially since it’s one of my favorites to write! Can’t recommend the Klairs toner enough, it’s such a staple for adding hydration to the skin. Hope your 2018 is off to a great start!

  8. Nora Gouma says:

    Love this amazing post, all sound great products, I love to try one of them pretty soon, thank you for sharing!!!



  9. There’s so many products here that I’ve heard countless wonderful things about – in some ways I regret only being into Green Beauty LOL. The Honey mask sounds freaking amazing! I love just using honey on my face when it starts to break out, so I can definitely see how this would do wonders for your skin!
    Happy New Year!


    • Jenny says:

      Haha, I almost wish I was only into green beauty, it’d certainly save me from wanting to buy so much stuff! ???? Honey is really a fantastic ingredient, I love how it’s anti-bacterial and nourishing at the same time!

  10. √Člise says:

    i’m most interested in the klairs toner! a lot of people rave about klairs and their midnight youth serum or whatever it’s called looks really interesting because it’s bluuuuue *o* perhaps someday when i’m ready to commit to higher price skincare. right now, i’m someone who prefers cosrx – their low pH cleanser is my 2017 fave ♥ anyway, i love reading your blog and figuring out brands i never heard before, especially asian brands!

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much Elise, glad to hear that! Klairs has 2 products that are blue and I agree, the color really adds to the appeal of the product :P I really like how affordable and no-nonsense Cosrx’ products are, I can see why they’re staples in so many people’s routines!

  11. Courtney Hardy says:

    These all sound like good products. These sound so refreshing, and good.

  12. Gabrielle says:

    A lovely way indeed to start a fresh new year! I adore your product photography here by the way with the blossom, so delicate and beautiful. La Roche-Posay is a brand I’ve been meaning to try more products from and so I’ll be sure to give this mist a go sometime this year. Happy 2018!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • Jenny says:

      Aw thanks so much Gabrielle, I hope 2018 has been going well for you so far! La Roche-Posay has some lovely products that are especially nice when your skin is irritated or on the sensitive side!

  13. I’ve been looking for an eye cream and I might just give that one a go. Not sure about the dark circles though, I don’t have a huge issue with them but then some days I wake up looking like my mascara has run hahaha. Happy New Year!


    • Jenny says:

      Thank you, I hope 2018 has been going well for you! I’ve yet to come across an eye cream that’s been effective against dark circles, but the Instytutum one has pretty much made any fine lines around my eyes disappear!

  14. Caitlin says:

    Very helpful post! Thanks for sharing!
    ||Caitlin|| http://caitlinpaigexox.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

  15. Mica says:

    I really need to try that SK-II essence, I have a sample I got a while back but I’ve never gotten around to trying it, but everyone talks about how good it is! :) I’ve heard good things about Instytutum too.

    Happy new year! Hope that this first week of 2018 is going well for you! We’ve been enjoying the warmer weather with some pool time, as it has been a particularly humid summer so far the pool has been a good idea.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • Jenny says:

      Can’t recommend SK-II and Instytutum enough, both are products I will keep repurchasing despite their prices!

      Thank you Mica, I hope 2018 has been going well for you so far as well! I can’t wait for the weather to warm up, I will not miss the cold weather and short days!

  16. Alyssa says:

    Once again you mentioned products I’ve been wanting to try. That Klairs toner, Pyunkang Yul and especially SK-II! The reason I haven’t tried the first 2 products is because I always end up buying another product but with SK-II, it’s just way over my budget! But I always hear great things about them. Even my favorite Filipino and Korean celebrities are using them, and they’re not even paid to endorse them at all. I just see it from their vanity tables!

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

    • Jenny says:

      That totally happens to me Alyssa, which is why I’ve had products in my wishlist for years and still haven’t gotten around to them ???? SK-II is definitely a classic that’s worth trying at least once, you might want to check if they sell sample sizes on eBay, that’s how I first tried out Sulwhasoo!

      Jenny | Geeky Posh

  17. Becky says:

    aaaaAAAAAAaaah that sk-ii facial essence has been on my radar for YEARS but i’ve never gotten it since it’s quite expensive for what it is. but soooo many people love it! i can’t wait to try that klairs facial toner *o* i’m currently using the fresh rose toner and i’ve realized a lot of brands don’t make hydrating toners! also i just love the way you post your posts? it’s so informative without being bulky!

    becky @ star violet

    • Jenny says:

      Aww yay, so glad to hear that, thanks Becky! And yes, I don’t think enough Western brands make hydrating toners, but I think it’s slowly changing, so hopefully we’ll see more options this year! As for the SK-II, maybe see if you can find people selling sample sizes on eBay, that’s how I’d try out expensive brands before committing to the full-sized product :)

  18. Happy New Year to you and your family Jenny! Wishing you much happiness, good health and all things wonderful! Maybe if we’re lucky the orange ???? will be flushed out.
    Loving the mix of AB and Western products! I recently had to break out my LRP Cicaplast because of a little masking incident. That product will always be an HG for me for how it comes to the rescue. Interesting to read your experience on the NuFace Mini. I had debated between that device and the Ziip and ultimately ended up with the Ziip which I’m very happy with. I hope to review it soon. The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is a product I revisit every now and then. I’m always amazed by how much better my skin is when I’m using it. Thanks for the reminder

    • Jenny says:

      Aww thanks Rowena, I hope things have been going well for you so far! Haha, and yes, one can hope the ???? will get flushed out soon! ???? From reading about the Ziip it sounds like the technology is the same, but the design and shape of the tool is different. I’m excited to read your review on it!

  19. Happy new year! And thanks for the extensive and very useful guide. I definitely want to try the Instytutum Eye Cream this year



  20. Sal UmmBaby says:

    Hahaha orange for president was a shock for most of humanity ;) As you know I share your love for the Klairs toner but the SKII is on my luxury wish list. I just got my hands on some Pyunkang Yul and I can’t wait to try them but I didn’t get the serum or ampoule but I have a feeling I will at some point this year. I was actually looking to get the Paula’s Choice BHA toner but upon your recommendation, I’ll get the more boring CosRX instead because I also love whopping huge bottles too ;) xxx


    • Jenny says:

      I’m still in shock over it! ???? After trying Pyunkang Yul’s ampoule I definitely want to try out more of their products, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on them! And yes, definitely go with the Cosrx BHA instead, much cheaper too! :D

  21. I appreciate that you share a great mix of products here! You sold me on the Cicaplast (even though I already have one, I clearly *need* another one) I am tempted by that SKII but I don’t think I can shell out that much especially when I had an awful reaction to a Shiseido one recently! I wonder if these are available in smaller sizes/samples? SK-II only came into Canada very recently so here’s to hoping we’ll see more affordable versions/sizes coming out!

    Stephanie | theFantasia.com

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks Stephanie! Sorry to hear about your experience with the Shiseido FTE, I would definitely recommend trying a sample of the SK-II before splurging on the full size. I know Sephora gives samples in stores when you request it, or you might be able to find people selling sample sizes on eBay. Good luck!

  22. Jenny, this is a skincare treasure chest! I’m so glad you posted these, because I haven’t tried any of them! They all sound so good! Saving this post and you’ve given me a great list to work with :D


    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Kim! Always happy to introduce new products to you guys, as I know I personally love discovering products on your blogs! Hope you’ll get a chance to try some this year!

  23. Gorgeous list dear! You *almost* sold me again the SK-II essence. I’ve had it once or twice, but I couldn’t tell a difference in my skin. Estee Lauder’s version is a bit heavier and works better on my skin. This year I’m wanting to try more from Naruko and finally some Pyunkang Yul! I’m not sure if my routine needs another step like an ampoule, but I could give it a try anyway..

    xx Laura / Laurantaina Beauty Blog

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Laura! I didn’t even know Estee Lauder made a first essence, I know they have their famous serum in the brown bottle and that’s on my list to try one day! The Pyunkang Yul Ampoule is interesting as it’s nothing like an ampoule and more of an oil-free occlusive. Definitely a unique product worth checking out if you need something of that nature in your routine!

  24. Shireen says:

    I still haven’t try the Klairs toner because for once in my life I’m trying to finish at least one of my toners before opening a new one. LOL! The LRP Thermal Spring water is hands down my favourite too, I’ve gone through a lot. You are tempting me with the NuFace Mini……so pricey though!

    Shireen‚éúReflection of Sanity

    • Jenny says:

      I totally get that. I have so many products that have been sitting in my wishlist for years that I’m still waiting to try because I need to finish up my current stuff first ???? Try to get the NuFace Mini on sale! If you use it often the cost per use isn’t bad at all, especially since you don’t need to buy refills or anything like that (don’t buy their gel, just use generic aloe vera or conductive gel)!

  25. I’m sorry “who knew we’d have an orange poop for prez” — I almost died laughing. I’m really loving the sound of that honey mask, It sounds amazing. As for Asian retailers? I’ve given up. They take too long. From now on, I’ve started letting my friends order for me when they are in Shanghai or wherever, and they can ship it back to me when they come back to the US. Much faster :D.


    • Jenny says:

      Haha, and somehow he continues to surprise me everyday, and not in a good way ???? That is the one downside of Asian retailers, the slower shipping time. I know the Taiwanese ones ship via EMS so they actually arrive in about a week, but a few of the Korean ones ship using registered mail and that can take anywhere from 1-5 weeks. It definitely helps if you have friends or family abroad who can buy stuff for you, you get the best prices AND great shipping time!

  26. The Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser is among my favorites, as well as the Instytutum eye cream. And the NuFace mini… I always thought they were more gimmicky than anything else, but now you tempt me…

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  27. Ms Tantrum says:

    I love Irish Moor mud mask and really want to try their pumpkin enzyme one next. You are making me want SK II essence so much.

    Ash | http://www.mstantrum.com