South African women of all skin types reveal the best beauty products they tried in 2019

Photo by Park Street
Photo by Park Street

So how are those 2019 skin resolutions coming along? 

Well, I didn't achieve Jhené Aiko's skin, but I can certainly say my skin has gone from being 'The Worst' to looking like there's 'Eternal Sunshine' on it.

And to whom do I owe this honour? 

I have to say Dermalogica's intensive moisture cleanser has really given me everything I've always wanted in a cleanser. And believe me, I've been around the block when it comes to the perfect face wash. 

New intensive moisture cleanser 295 ml, R799 at Dermalogica concept stores 

best beauty products of 2019

But this daily dollop of cream on my face is not served alone - I garnish it with the Lancôme Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate serum. 

Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate, R1410 at Woolworths beauty counters and online 

best beauty products 2019

I started using both these products during the autumn and late winter seasons at a time when my skin isn't as oily as it is in the warmer seasons. Usually when I try new products during winter, I worry that they won't be as effective come spring/summer because of my skin's hydration problems, which result in it becoming extremely oily.

However, three or so months into summer '19, I can comfortably say that the glazed donut look is gone, thanks to the amount of hydration both these products provide. 

READ MORE: Can using this friendly acid in conjunction with vitamin C actually give you skin like Jhené Aiko? 

In terms of makeup, I took quite a liking to Esse's new SPF 30 probiotic foundation range that treats the skin even while you're glammed up. Since soft glam took over beauty conversations in 2019, medium coverage foundation has moved into the spotlight, and perhaps this is how this foundation caught my attention and later, affection. 

The recommended retail price for this foundation is R595 online or at Esse concept stores, or find your nearest store here.


Enough about me, though. As we all know, not all products yield the same results on all skin types, as there is no cookie-cutter formula for every skin concern, although a few really high-end ranges might have us convinced otherwise.

This is why I spoke to five women in their twenties and thirties about which cosmetic products have really hit the (dark) marks for their respective skincare and makeup goals.

These are the other cosmetic products SA women - of all skin types - now swear by since they tried them. 

Here's why:


Eco Diva Face Wash, R340 on their website 

best beauty products of 2019

It’s truly the best face wash I have ever used. My main issue with other face washes is that they sting your eyes. This face wash removes all makeup, plus it leaves your skin feeling super fresh, and not dry like many other 'soapie' face washes would. It contains only natural ingredients, and the smell and the feel truly speak to that. 

This is the only one I’ll buy for the foreseeable future. 


My go-to beauty product has been L.A. Girl's Orange Colour Corrector, currently R49.95 at Dis-Chem (usually R64.95)

best beauty products of 2019

As with most Indian women, I struggle with dark circles under my eyes.  I’ve tried so many products over the years until I discovered L.A. Girl, and haven’t looked back since. The orange colour corrector neutralises dark spots. And the best part is that it’s really affordable.

It tends to sell out quite quickly, so I usually buy a few tubes to last me the year or longer.

Oh and of course, my other absolute favourite has to be M.A.C's Ruby Woo lipstick. 

Retro Matte Ruby Woo lipstick, R260 online at M.A.C and R140 for the Mini lipstick 

best beauty products of 2019

READ MORE: You may now kiss the guide: 8 lipsticks your lips won't regret trying out


My go-to and best beauty buy is The Body Shop’s Matte Clay Foundation in Japanese Maple, R170 at Clicks  (currently unavailable online at The Body Shop)

best beauty product of 2019

I bought this foundation on a whim while shopping for other things at the Body Shop. 

For a while I’d been looking for an affordable foundation that I could use daily and most importantly, wouldn’t give me breakouts.

A year later, I’m still using it.  I have combination skin and the foundation doesn’t irritate or severely dry out my skin. 

Its medium coverage - so you may have to apply two layers, but it doesn’t look caked on or feel heavy. You still get a ‘natural’ finish.

Cons: The Body Shop needs to step up their shade-range game – they only have about 10 or 12 shades. 


I've been using Garnier Even & Matte Ideal Complexion Daily Cream 40ml, R39.95 at Clicks 

best beauty products of 2019

I use all the products in the Garnier Even & Matte range to remove dark marks associated with my menstrual cycle and to keep my skin even toned. I’ve been using Garnier since 2014, so it's not just a 2019 discovery for me.

It repairs my skin from all damages, including sunburn, faster than other products I’ve tried.

I'm also enjoying the Pond's Flawless Radiance 3-in-1 Brightening Micellar Water to remove makeup and excess dirt from my pores. You can shop it at any local cosmetics store. 


I tried the Nimue Skin Technology range for the first time almost three months ago and the results have been impressive. Although I don’t have a lot of breakouts, I did have uneven skin tone, with random dark marks all over the face.

I then decided to commit to following the instructions for the range and see if it would help. I’m so glad that I’ve definitely seen a change and people close to me have commented about how even and smoother my skin has become. I cannot say if the range would work for everyone, but it’s certainly working for me.

The range consists of a cleansing gel, conditioner, exfoliating enzyme, a moisture lite day cream and purifier night cream, plus let’s not forget the most important product for me, their SPF 40 sunscreen.

Nimue Sun-C SPF 40, R540 online 


What product has really worked well on your skin and you haven't turned back since? Tell us here.

FOLLOW OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES HERE: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Luxity has released a report rating luxury brands according to popularity in South Africa. Which brand is your favourite?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
16% - 38 votes
11% - 25 votes
Dolce & Gabbana
14% - 33 votes
Louis Vuitton
23% - 54 votes
12% - 28 votes
25% - 60 votes