5 Skincare Products That Really Made A Difference To Our Skin

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As beauty editors, a large part of our job is testing and trialing new products so we can recommend formulas that provide real results that are worth every dollar. And while it’s one of the major perks, we’ve also tried a lot of products that either don’t do a thing or, worse, break us out. These five products do the opposite: They’re amazing formulas that we’ll continue to buy and recommend again and again, knowing they do exactly as they claim. Here are five products you won’t regret buying:

1. For No-Makeup Makeup: Kosas Tinted Face Oil, $42 

Kosas tinted face oil Source: KOSAS

When we first saw the term ‘Tinted Face Oil,’ our head filled with questions… Would it provide enough coverage? Would it slip and slide all over our face? Would it work? Well to answer those questions; it provides light to medium coverage, it doesn’t move, and yes it does work. The best bit is, this is like makeup and skincare combined. While it gives enough coverage to be considered makeup, it also has amazing skincare benefits, so it kinda feels like you’re having a makeup-free day even when you’re not.

Now for all the deets: The Kosas Tinted Face Oil is a lightweight dry oil that provides intense hydration with buildable coverage. It’s designed to enhance the skin’s natural glow while veiling imperfections and evening out tone. The formula consists of three types of pigment in a blend of six botanical oils, including hydrating avocado and jojoba, brightening rosehip, replenishing green tea seed oil, and red raspberry to even skin tone. It blends out like a dream and leaves our skin looking glowy AF, and it didn’t settle into fine lines.

To use: Shake the bottle before applying, then add a few drops and use your fingers to blend. If you’re looking for more coverage, add a couple of drops and finish by bouncing a damp beauty blender across your skin for a streak-free finish. If you have oily skin or are using more than five drops, set with a fine loose powder (like the Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder) to keep it in place all day. For more tips and shade deets, read our full review.

2. For Balanced, Hydrated Skin: Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, $39

Glow recipe Source: Glow Recipe

This lightweight moisturizer landed on our desk just when we needed it; after we trialed a toner that left our skin feeling dry, tight, and uncomfortable. Within days, our skin was replenished, hydrated, and soft. It was kind to sensitive skin, rebalanced dry skin, and didn’t aggravate our acne-prone skin – it’s basically our new fave moisturizer because it’s lightweight enough for daytime but hydrating enough for night, when we typically reach for richer creams.

K-beauty brand, Glow Recipe, always offer hella-hydrating products bursting with vitamins and antioxidants for #glassskingoals, and this bouncy, banana-based formula is no different. Infused with potassium and magnesium as well as soothing Cica Asiatica (aka cica, a classic K-beauty ingredient) it hydrates while healing stressed skin. To amp up your glow game, it also features vitamins A, B, and C to reduce inflammation, brighten skin, and help protect it from free radical damage. And we’re not done! Jojoba oil, glycerin, squalane, and hyaluronic acid make an appearance to heal and boost hydration. Apply it morning and night, once you’ve cleansed and toned, and before you apply your oil or SPF. For more deets, read our full review.

3. For Bright, Even Skin Tone: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $166

Skin Ceuticals Source: Skin Ceuticals

Whenever we ask dermatologists and beauty experts about their must-have products, without fail, the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic gets a mention. It’s essentially a daytime vitamin C serum, but it exceeds that label in SO many ways. The C E Ferulic contains a synergistic antioxidant combo of 15% pure vitamin C, 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid. With the combined percentage of just 16.5%, it doesn’t sound like a potent formula, but trust us, it is.

Firstly, the serum remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, working to protect your skin from damaging and aging free radicals while brightening your skin and evening out tone. It also helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We use it every morning and it’s helped smooth our fine lines, perfect our texture, and fade acne scars. Simply apply four to five drops to a dry face and neck (after you’ve cleansed and toned), then follow with a moisturizer. We realize it comes at a price, but we think it’s worth every penny. Although, if you’re looking for a dupe, the Yeouth Hyaluronic Acid Cream with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, Tripeptide 31, $30, is another great find.

4. For Gentle Skin Balancing: Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, $44

Pai Skincare Source: Pai

Face oils are one of our (many) skincare obsessions, so when we find one as good as this, we have to tell everyone just how bomb it is. And what we love about this oil is that it was born out of necessity: the founder of Pai Skincare needed an oil that would soothe and protect her own hyper-sensitive skin. No oil could do that, so she created her own formula that can be used by all.

What separates this oil from others is the extraction process: using an advanced Co2 extraction method, it derives a more potent, effective, and longer-lasting oil in comparison to other cold-pressed alternatives. This means the oil has a higher concentration of fatty acids and omegas 3,6,7, and 9, to replenish and strengthen the skin, thereby preventing future moisture loss, as well as hydrating the skin at a deeper level. Within weeks, we noticed our skin was brighter, more even-toned, softer and more supple – plus it’s great for acne-prone skin. We use just two or three drops every night, once we’ve cleansed, toned, and moisturized. It does have quite a strong, earthy smell, but this just goes to show how natural the formula is.

5. For Healthier Skin: Soleil Toujours 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $39

Soleil Toujours Source: Soleil Toujours

When we traded in our chemical sunscreen for a mineral formula, our skin improved dramatically: it felt and looked healthier and it made our skin get much less oily throughout the day – huge bonus! The thing is, chemical sunscreens can easily irritate your skin (especially sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin types), and are known to kill coral – if they can kill coral, then imagine what they can do to your skin?

The problem with many mineral sunscreens is that they aren’t that fun to use; either they’re difficult to rub in or they leave a white cast. The  Soleil Toujours 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $39, does neither of these and blends into your skin easily without leaving a trace. It also makes a great base for makeup.

The formula protects against UV rays with zinc oxide, which has calming and soothing effects on the skin, plus it can lower oil production. Aloe vera leaf hydrates and Soleil’s EcoSun Complex® contains vitamin C to brighten, and vitamin E to hydrate and soothe. Apply it as the last step of your skincare routine, before you apply your makeup. We’re seriously impressed with how much better our skin looks and feels since we started using this SPF instead of a chemical SPF. For more of our fave mineral sunscreens, check out this post.

For more bomb skincare products, check out 10 bomb moisturizers.