I used to think skincare was just for frilly, fancy people — but then I moved to California. Boy oh boy, is the air DRY and the sun STRONG here in the desert. Lotion is basically a necessity that they give out on street corners for free, otherwise everyone here would look like a leather boot by August. And because I’d rather not look like 50 by the time I hit 30, I finally caved and got really, really into skincare.
With that said, I know what I’m talking about when I tell you that the products featured below are boss. When I first started my routine, my face had a ton of dark spots from the sun. Now? Smooth like a baby’s butt, I’m tellin’ ya. My skin is brighter, clearer, and the bags under my eyes have started to fade. So why are you still reading this? You’ve got toners, cleansers, mud masks, vitamin C serums, and more to check out — but if you’re really looking for results? I highly recommend the eye gel at #10. Especially if you’ve got dark circles.
This Bottle Of Vitamin C That Helps Fade Dark Spots
As far as bottles of vitamin C go, this one is my absolute favorite. Why? First of all, vitamin C can help fade dark spots that pop up on your face — but only if it’s potent enough. Not only did this stuff fix two, TWO spots on my face, but the hyaluronic acid also works to lock in moisture to help keep your skin from drying out.
These Sheet MasksThat Are Loaded With Snail Mucin
Snail mucin can help ease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and hydrate skin — and these masks are absolutely loaded with it. Not only does each sheet contain seven times higher snail concentration than competing masks, but they’re also hypoallergenic. And don’t worry about the snails — zero were harmed during the harvesting process.
This Tube Of Benzoyl Peroxide That Fights Blemishes
Made with 5.5% benzoyl peroxide, this spot treatment is great for healing stray blemishes that pop up. It’s made without any parabens, fragrances, or sulfates — and it only takes a small little dot to tackle any zit. And since Belei is Amazon’s house brand of skincare, you can rest assured that this stuff genuinely works. “The few single spots of acne I have had pop up have literally been gone by the next day without any skin dryness or peeling,” raved one reviewer.
This Whipped Body Cream That’s Seriously Luxurious
I’ve always used drug store body lotion until recently, and there is a noticeable difference in quality between those brands and this tub of Ouai. Not only does it go on ultra-creamy, but I can feel that my skin is hydrated hours after I’ve applied it. Also, it goes on like butter and absorbs so quickly — whereas drug store creams kinda go on like thick water that leaves my legs feeling sticky.
If You Have Brittle Nails, You Need This Nail Strengthening Cream
Complete your at-home manicure kit with this nail strengthening cream. If you have ever gotten gel or acrylics, then you know how damaging it can be for your natural nails. And they don’t just bounce back right away. My nails are still suffering from my time in the salon. This will prevent chips, breaks, splits, and cracks on soft, fragile nails. Your natural nails will be crazy long in no time after continued use.
This Pressed Serum Is Ah-Mazing For Dry Skin
When I say that this pressed serum changed my life, I’m being totally serious — it’s that big of a game-changer. Think of it as a small bottle of lotion that goes a really, really long way. I only need a small dot to hydrate my entire face, and it even helps fade dark spots as it moisturizes. And since it’s made with 31% apricot fruit extract, it’s absolutely rich in skin-brightening antioxidants.
A Retinol Moisturizer That Helps Smooth Skin
Safe for all types of skin, this retinol moisturizer helps smooth skin so that your face is left looking refreshed. Retinol slowly releases into your complexion throughout the day, helping to ease the appearance of fine lines — and it even contains hyaluronic acid for moisture. As far as Amazon brands go, this one is a total hit with reviewers: “I used to own a salon spa and I am a product junkie,” wrote one reviewer. “In two weeks my skin is looking better than it has in years. The tone is much more even and my skin much brighter.”
Trust Me — You Need This Sunscreen For Your Face
Sun exposure is a huge factor when it comes to signs of aging in your face, which makesthis bottle of broad-spectrum sunscreeneven more important. But why buy this bottle instead of cheaper options? For one, it’s loaded with hyaluronic acid to help keep your skin from drying out. And two, it also contains 9% zinc oxide — which can help soothe blemishes, as well as rashes. Personally, I’ll use this bottle in the morning, then follow up with cheaper sunscreens throughout the day.
This Toner That Helps Brighten Skin Using Nine Powerful Seeds
I use this toner every morning and evening after I’ve cleansed my face. It’s slightly thicker than water, making it easy to pat onto my skin with my fingers — and I genuinely have noticed that my complexion looks brighter than usual. That’s likely due to the nine different essential seeds in the formula: green tea, baobab, chia, tea tree, lotus, and more. Also, a little goes a long way — I don’t see this bottle running out for at least six months.
This Cleansing Water That’s Safe For All Types Of Skin
There’s a reason this cleansing micellar water sells out all the time; people just can’t get enough of it. Heck, I love it too! The gentle formula is safe on all skin types, and it removes any makeup or dirt on my face without leaving my complexion feeling dry.
The Exfoliating Toner That’s Really, Really Strong
You should be using an exfoliating toner once or twice a week to help minimize the appearance of pores — and if your skin can take it, this one features a whopping 11% concentration of AHA (AHA toners are ideal for anyone with dry skin or people with acne scars they’d like to fade.) And unlike some exfoliating toners, this one also contains 3% glycolic acid to help smooth your skin’s texture.
This Gel That Actually Made A Difference With My Dark Circles
The dark circles underneath my eyes are genetic; my entire family has them. And since I’m not willing to get fillers, I’d kind of resigned myself to living with them — until I tried this gel. And boy, does it really work. Not only does it help get rid of puffiness, but it’s also made a significant difference in my dark circles after just one month of using it. Seriously, if there’s only one thing you buy from this list, make it this.
This Ferulic Acid That Helps Even Out Your Skin Tone
Ferulic acid is chock-full of antioxidants that help reverse the signs of aging in skin — and this bottle in particular even features added vitamins C and E, which help even out your skin tone. Reviewers loved how it helped soothe away fine lines, with one going so far as to say that “I love using this product for the fine lines on my face. I feel as though my facial lines have softened with the first week’s use of this product. I love that this serum is a light, fresh, easy-to-use compliment to my daily facial regiment!”
This Bottle Of Retinol That Can Help Stimulate Collagen Production
Using a few drops of retinol on your face twice a week can help stimulate collagen production in your face, which can lead to the softening of fine lines and wrinkles. And if your face is already fresh like a baby’s bottom? Well, this bottle of retinol will only help keep your skin looking radiant. Start out using it twice a week, then increase from there if your skin can take it.
This Eye Cream That Can Help Calm Puffiness
As far as eye creams go, I’m totally in love with this one from Boscia. I’ve noticed a difference in how puffy my eyes are in the morning when I use it the night before. Wild indigo works to reduce the appearance of dark circles, while cacao root is chock-full of antioxidants — and I’ve found that it even helps brighten my under-eyes for a more “awake” look.
A Toner Made With Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Cruelty-free and vegan, this toner is an affordable option for anyone looking to save a few dollars. Apple cider vinegar in the formula helps gently exfoliate, while damask rose oil gives it an invigorating scent. Plus, it can even help shrink the appearance of pores — all while absorbing any oil left over from cleansing.
After You’ve Used Toner, Apply This Hyaluronic Acid
Toner works to balance your skin’s pH after you’ve cleansed it, while this hyaluronic acid helps lock in moisture so that your complexion doesn’t start to flake. It’s organic, vegan, and made without any artificial fragrances or parabens. However, the best part about it isn’t the moisture — using it can even help fade acne scars, as many happy reviewers can attest.
This Charcoal Mask That Won’t Dry Your Skin Out
The point of wearing a charcoal mask is to dry up oily skin out, but what happens when they dry your skin out too much? Enter: this balancing charcoal mask. Suitable for all types of skin, it contains hyaluronic acid to help impart some moisture so that your complexion doesn’t start to flake — and you only need to wear it for about 15 minutes.
A Bottle Of Vitamin C Made With Jojoba Oil
If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper bottle of vitamin C, might I suggest this one? The plant-based formula is free of any synthetic colors or fragrances and even features jojoba oil to help moisturize skin. “The results are unbelievable,” wrote one reviewer. “With or without makeup, my skin is bright, smooth, and my spots are disappearing.”
These Eye Masks Made With Real 24-Karat Gold
Even though these eye masks are made with real 24-karat gold, you can still grab them for less than $20 — a total steal, right? Gold helps awaken the skin underneath your eyes, while the hyaluronic acid nourishes any dry spots. Plus, they can even help reduce puffiness in the morning.
This Moisturizer Specifically Made For Dry Skin
Thirsty skin is no match for this bio-complex moisturizer! The blend of squalane, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin gives it a silky feeling as it glides onto your skin, locking in moisture for hours — and a little even goes a long way. Plus, it’s made without any parabens, fragrances, or sulfates.
This Purifying Mud Mask Made With Jeju Volcanic Ash
Mud will generally dry your skin out, which is why each order of this mask also comes with a second bottle of ultra-hydrating, skin-softening, superfruit face mask. When used together, the end result is soft skin that’s oh-so clean — and the Jeju volcanic ash even helps detoxify your pores for a fresh look.
A Cheap Eye Cream Infused With Vitamin E
I hesitate to call this eye cream cheap, as the ingredients are anything but. Jojoba oil and cucumber work to moisturize skin, while vitamin E works to minimize dark circles. Gently dab it on in the morning and evening for best results — but one reviewer put it best: “Due to thin skin, hereditary purple under-eye discoloration and illness over the years I’ve developed pretty deep purple circles… within a week this reduced the deepness of my coloration, and I no longer have to color correct!”
The Vitamin C Serum That’s Suitable For All Skin Types
If you’re looking for a mid-price vitamin C, this one is available for less than $25. Dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free, a few drops is all it takes to help brighten your complexion — just make sure to pat it into your skin after your cleanser and toner for the best effects.
This Eye Cream That Helps Diminish Dark Circles
Formulated with a triple-peptide blend to help firm up the area underneath your eyes, this cream is perfect for anyone trying to look a little more “awake” these days. Caffeine works to reduce puffiness, while hyaluronic delivers moisture — and it’s even gentle enough for daily use. “After 5 days of use, I have noticed that my under eye area is not screaming for cream right after washing,” wrote one reviewer. “I feel like this product is making a difference.”
Save A Little Money With This CeraVe Sunscreen
Not all sunscreens are the same. This one is made with hyaluronic acid to help keep your face from drying out. While it’s not as potent as Elta, it still provides SPF-30 protection against the sun — and the non-comedogenic formula won’t leave your pores clogged. Personally? I keep my bottle of Etna at home and bring this CeraVe out with me in my bag.
This Exfoliating Toner That Isn’t Too Strong
Need a toner that’s a little less intense? This one contains 7% glycolic acid, making it gentler than the 11% option you saw earlier. It’ll still exfoliate away dead skin, giving your complexion some much-needed clarity — and many reviewers with sensitive skin wrote about how it didn’t cause any irritation. One reviewer even wrote that it “doesn’t break out my sensitive skin, and seems to give the same glowy/plump effect.”
The Hydrating Face Cream From Burt’s Bees
Using lotion in the morning and before bed is an easy way to help fight signs of aging — and this one from Burt’s Bees is available for less than $10. It’s formulated to be gentle on sensitive skin, while aloe vera works to hydrate any dry parts of your complexion. And unlike many lotions, this one won’t clog your pores.
A Slightly-Less-Expensive Pack Of Hydrating Face Masks
Not brave enough to put snail goop on your face? You might want to try these fresh-fruit face masks instead. Each one features a different natural ingredient, ranging from hydrating avocado to brightening mango — and the masks adhere smoothly to your skin without leaving any gaps.
This Mud Mask That Actually Bubbles Up
When I say that this mud mask bubbles up, I’m not kidding. Just get your skin wet, gently rub it in, then sit back and watch as the foamy bubbles cleanse away dirt from pores. You can actually feel the bubbles tickling as they purify your skin — and reviewers with sensitive skin reported that it didn’t cause irritation.
Not Sure Where To Start? This Cream Isn’t A Bad Spot
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to buy, you can’t go wrong with this cream. Retinol and collagen work to help tighten skin while reducing the signs of aging — and the advanced wrinkle formula can even help soothe the appearance of fine lines. Use it during the day to help lock in hydration, or put it on at night to keep your skin soft all night long.
A Mask Made With Mud From The Dead Sea
The next time your skin is looking a little greasy, slap this mud mask on. I like to use it in lieu of a cleanser, as (however ironic it may seem) the mud helps cleanse away dirt from pores. And since it’s made with real mud from the Dead Sea, it’s also chock-full of minerals to help leave your skin feeling smooth.
This Brightening Kit Has Everything You Need
I totally recommend this starter kit from I Dew Care. It comes with three products: a vitamin C serum, hydrating vitamin C gel, as well as a vitamin C lip mask. The vitamin C in each is great for helping to brighten your complexion, and the bottles are small enough to take with you when traveling.
This Bottle Of Hyaluronic Acid That Has Reviewers’ Approval
The other hyaluronic acids on this list lean more towards being a liquid, whereas this one from Belei is more of a gel. It’s derived from five different types of hyaluronic acid to help plump up dry skin, and it only takes a thin layer to be effective. In other words, a little goes a long way — and this bottle is available for less than $25.
This Castor Oil Will Give You Longer Lashes Without The Extensions
I’ve been researching getting thicker brows naturally and the one thing that I keep finding in my research is castor oil. This oil stimulates hair growth and even helps soothe skin too. Use it for your eyelashes, brows, hair, nails, or face, and prepare to be in awe of all that it can do.
This Starter Kit That — Well, Gets You Started!
Even though I like to think I’ve made a ton of great recommendations, I’m also fully aware that the number of options I’ve presented can be overwhelming. So if you’re unsure where to start, this daily hydrating kit from Belei is a pretty great spot. Not only does it come with ferulic acid and the bio-complex moisturizer, but reviewers loved how it left their skin feeling “hydrated.”