We are proud to present the first-ever BeautyMNL Awards: a five-part event that celebrates this fabulous year in beauty. After comprehensive discussion—and a whole lot of road-testing—the girls at the BeautyMNL office have listed the Best Products of 2016.
In the second installment of The BeautyMNL Awards, we’re zeroing in on every beauty girl’s favorite body part: the skin. It is, for the lucky ones, a treasure. But for others, the skin can also be like a spoiled child: willful, disobedient, and prone to unexpected tantrums.

Now, what constitutes good skin in this day and age? There’s a detailed list, as you can probably imagine. We want velvet texture, even tone, youthful plumpness, a kissed-by-light glow—all of which depend on two things. First, genetics; then, skincare. But you’ve got to separate the breakout formulas from the ones that will make you break out—and that’s where we come in. Here are the Best Skincare Products of 2016, whose effectiveness floored even the most skeptical on our team.

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, P900
“This toning liquid is very, very gentle yet extremely effective on blackhead-ridden skin. You’ll see visible results in a week!” – Adelen F.

“I am not very prone to pimples but I have a ton of blackheads on my nose. When I forget to use a pore strip every two weeks, my blackhead situation is literally the first thing you will see on my face. So after using the BHA Blackhead Power Liquid for just a few days, I completely understood why people were raving about it. It brings my blackheads up to the surface of the skin and wipes them all away. I haven’t had major blackhead breakouts since—there are noticeably less blackheads appearing on my nose. I use the liquid at night only instead of twice a day, just so it doesn’t dry out my combination skin. I love it!” – Frankie C.

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Pure Castile Liquid Soap, P900
“Anything that cuts my bathroom time in half is a keeper in my books, and this all-around liquid is definitely one of those products. I use it to soap my body and face, wash my hair, and even brush my teeth! It’s that versatile, and that safe! No matter how it’s used, the effect is the same: a squeaky-clean feeling with a cooling aftermath that is perfect for Philippine temps.” – Dani C.

DewyTree Ultra Vitalizing Snail Essence Water, P1,299
“First of all, this bottle has so much product in it, the splurge is totally worth it! Case in point: after I’d been using it for four months, the bottle was still 2/3 full! And of course, I really love the power of snail mucine. To put it generally, it really corrects anything in your face that needs correcting. Used on my combination skin, it made my oily regions less oily while simultaneously hydrating my dry regions. I also feel like it’s such a good toner because it really prepares my skin for all the other products I’m going to apply. It just feels like everything absorbs better.” – Ruod A.

Bioré Cleansing Oil Facial Cotton Sheets, P429
“Shout-out to the most effective cleansing sheets ever! I work out a lot and these wipes are so convenient to use beforehand, especially if I’ve come straight from work. They quickly remove all my makeup with a few swipes, to the point that I don’t even have to rinse my face (just when I’m in a rush!). No other wipes can compare to Bioré’s anymore. Plus, the essence smells so good!” – Nicky M.

Skin Genie Anti EYEging, P150
“I love the instant cooling effect of this eye treatment. The scent of it is heavenly. It reduces my under-eye puffiness in the morning—the difference is striking about an hour after application. This has now become a must-have for both my morning and evening routines.” – Erika A.

Banila Co. Clean It Zero Resveratrol, P1,055
“BEST MAKEUP REMOVER, HANDS DOWN. I look forward to using this every night. Plus points for its crisp and refreshing green tea scent!” - Mara. J.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam, P649
“I love this foam. I can feel all my built-up oil and residue getting absorbed and removed after every wash. Morning and night, I look forward to cleansing my face with this because of how soft, fresh, and ‘powdery’ my skin feels afterwards.” – Carli D.

Skin Vitals Make Up Filter, P2,250
“It amazes me how something all-natural can be so hardworking! It magically melts away my makeup and prepares my skin for a deeper cleanse. I love using it at night because it makes my skin feel super-squeaky-clean yet still very hydrated.” – Ina G.

VMV Hypoallergenics Face & Body Shield 60, P1,960
“This is the best sunscreen I have ever used in my life, and that’s all you have to know. Big thumbs-up! It’s so gentle and non-sticky, even my mom swears by this product.” – Christine S.

COSRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads, P800
“These pads saved my skin when I started breaking out randomly. I’m not prone to acne so I kind of freaked out when I started getting pimples on my forehead on a regular basis. That’s when I got myself a tub of COSR pimple pads! I use just one pad at a time. First, I wipe it all over my face. Then, I focus on the breakout by pressing the pad over it and leaving it on until the pad is all dried up. It definitely calmed my skin down after just a week! Also, it has some mild exfoliating effects. The texture of my skin smoothed out big-time after every use.” – Kat E.

Simple Micellar Wipes, P299
“I’m super lazy when it comes to makeup removal, so these cleansing wipes are lifesavers! They do a good job at removing my makeup, they never sting, and they don’t feel drying at all.” – Patty G.

Banila Co. Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Essence Oil, P1,350
“I use this oil during my nighttime skincare routine, in between toner and moisturizer. I rub the oil between my fingers and then press my fingers into my skin so it absorbs evenly. Not only does the oil smell delicious (like honey!), I also wake up the next day with calm, clear, glowing skin.” – Dom R.

Pond’s Washable Cold Cream, P499
“I’ve only started using this product in recent months, but WOW! It has become such an essential in my skincare routine. Not only does it effectively remove makeup residue, but it also leaves me with baby-soft skin immediately after. I wake up with a fresh face every single day, thanks to this gem! PS. It’s No.1 in Japan.” – Angie G.

Glamglow SuperMud, P3,300
“When I feel like my skin needs some deep-cleansing and I have no time to get a facial, I turn to this mud pack. Every time I use it, it makes my pores look smaller and even calms budding zits. It’s such an effective spot treatment, I can actually feel it drawing out all the icky things hiding under my skin.” – Joanna T.

Aloe Derma Spa Body Cream, on sale at P281 (limited time only)
“This cream soothes and smoothens out my always-dry skin. Actually, I can’t call it ‘always-dry’ anymore, thanks to this aloe vera potion!” – Jennifer P.

Bioré Micellar Cleansing Water, P189
“I really like how this cleanser makes my face skin feel in the morning—really healthy and moist. There are definitely times when I get home too tired to even wash my face before going to bed. I know that’s gross, so I just apply this micellar water since it’s the only thing within reach of my bed. In the morning, I’m always happy (and still kind of surprised) to touch my face and feel skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom.” – Cecille M.

Banila Co. The Blacks Mild Moisture Mask (Berry), P695
“I’ve only had this sleeping mask for less than a month but it’s already a staple in my skincare routine! I’m always excited to put this on every night because I’m sure to have smooth and supple skin the morning after. Aside from the impeccable packaging, the light, refreshing scent of this mask is such a treat. The mask is cool and dense but absorbs easily so I don’t worry about staining my pillows while I sleep.” – Erika G.

COSRX AHA BHA Clarifying Toner, P650
“This is the product that made me believe in the miracle of chemical exfoliation. With just a few days of use, I witnessed an actual skin makeover. It smoothed out the rough texture of my skin, brightened up sallow spots, helped fade existing scars, and calmed an active breakout. I couldn’t believe it! I’ll experiment with other toners for fun, but this is a Holy Grail product I’ll keep in stock at all times.” – Kim V.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Energizing Foam, P196
“I love this foam because my face feels so clean after using it. I also find that it removes my makeup well. I use it every single day. In my experience, it’s able to keep my face (mostly) free from major blemishes.” – Bea P.

Avalon Organics Intense Defense with Vitamin C Balancing Toner, on sale at P230 (limited time only)
“This toner definitely lives up to its name. I have combination-oily skin, and anyone with the same skin type knows you’ve got to balance oily problems with dry problems. That’s why I like this toner—it leaves a refreshing, hydrating feeling while also clearing my blemishes and helping me maintain a fresh face throughout the day.” – Jara A.

Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser, P693
“This cleanser has been part of my daily skincare routine ever since I can remember. I’ve been loyal for years, and I will continue to be loyal and sing its praises! It is very gentle on my oily skin, but it controls sebum in a serious way and leaves me free of acne. A five-star rating for this cleanser would be a huge understatement.” – Denisse L.

Skinlite Collagen Eye Zone Mask, P100
“This ultra affordable product is the perfect picker-upper for tired eyes. Putting on a pair of these eye masks is a truly calming experience. But not just that! The patches soothe fatigue, hydrate the under-eyes, and bring down any swelling. You’ll wake up to fresh, luggage-free eyes in the morning.” – Annicca A.

“What an effective cure for puffy eyes—and at a price you just can’t beat. Win-win situation for insomniacs like me!” - Sheena A.

DewyTree Ultra Vitalizing Snail Cream, P1,199
“This snail cream helps immensely in toning down my monthly hormonal acne. It’s a great moisturizer, too!” - Mara J.

“I first got this snail cream as a small freebie, but after my first try, I had to buy the full-sized version. I knew right then and there that my skincare routine wouldn’t be complete without this product. The way this snail cream is formulated fits so well with my dry, sensitive skin. It’s so moisturizing, it gets rid of every single dry patch on my face. Every. Single. One. When I put this on at I night, I know my skin is thanking me for the TLC.” – Rimina P.

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, P170
“The reviews seemed too good to be true, but when I tried these pimple patches on myself, I was surprised at how good the results were! They really deliver what they promise—flattened pimples, less redness. And I dare say using a pimple patch is much more satisfying (not to mention, hygienic) than popping a zit.” – Dinah M.

Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Tissue, P450
“I can’t live without these cleansing tissues! This pack from Innisfree has really effective cleansing powers, an ultra-moisturizing formula, and a fragrance I can only describe as ‘divine.’ A life- and skin-saver, especially for long-haul flights.” – Sheena A.

Chi Beauty Jade Roller, P1,995
“I wasn’t expecting this product to do so much for me. The most important thing to know about the jade roller is that it boosts your skin’s ability to absorb products. After I’ve applied my skincare, I roll it gently over my face for about 15 minutes—after which, my skin is smooth and velvety. The roller is also a GREAT de-puffing tool. If I wake up with a bloated face after a night of drinking, I use the roller while I’m having breakfast to bring the swelling down. If I’m going to an event and feeling kind of puffy, I jade-roll for about five minutes before I do my makeup. I don’t know why, but this really helps define the contours of my face. I can really see the difference when I stop jade-rolling for a couple days—my skin just looks flat, pallid, and less vibrant. Tip: Keep it in the refrigerator and use it cold always.” – Steph C.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
The BeautyMNL Awards: The Best Makeup Products of 2016

For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!