2020 Skin Care Favorites

2020 skincare favorites

FTC NOTES: Some products mentioned in this post were originally received in PR (which will be noted with a **).

First, a little bit about my skin! My skin is currently normal-to-oily with a tendency to be dehydrated, and not particularly prone to breaking out except when I have to wear a mask for more than a quick errand thanks to Miss Rona. My main skin concerns are redness/hyperpigmentation, hydration, and anti-aging. I am just about to turn 34 and I do have a few fine lines. These are the skincare products currently keeping my skin bright, clear, and happy.

Cleanser: Friends, I have found a true holy grail cleanser in the First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Cleanser ($21, FAB/Ulta/Sephora). This cleanser helped calm my skin down within just a few uses. It’s so very gentle. What I also appreciate about this cleanser for first-timers is they sell several sizes at varying price points, so you don’t have to dive into a huge tube you aren’t sure you will like.

Exfoliating: For my more regular exfoliating, I go for the Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment ($39, Tarte/Ulta/Sephora). This product packs a punch at 10% acid complex with both salicylic and lactic acids. It also contains sulfur, niacinamide, and glycerin which help with stuff like fine lines, pores, and evening skin tone/redness. I use this up to 3x/week and it really helps keep my skin clear.

Another exfoliator I love and have purchased many times is Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion** ($58, Dr.Brandt/Sephora). I originally got this in PR, but have bought 3 more tubes since then. This is an extremely fine-grit scrub that also contains salicylic acid for that double-whammy of both physical and chemical exfoliation. 1-2x per week (on days when I’m not using the Tarte toner) I mix a glob of this into my First Aid Beauty Cleanser to cushion the scrub (not required, but the Dr. Brandt team recommends this method for sensitive skin). I use it on my whole face, neck, and decolletage.

Moisturizing: I have two favorite moisturizers and they could not be more different. First, I love the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($varies, Target/Ulta/Amazon) – another very gentle product, and like the entire CeraVe line is, packed with ceramides that help calm the skin and build up its natural moisture barrier. It’s great for healing if you accidentally over-exfoliate, or have raw dry skin after a cold. If you have dry skin they also have a heavier formula.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Tatcha Water Cream ($68, Tatcha/Sephora). Where the CeraVe moisturizer is rather boring and utilitarian, Tatcha Water Cream is an experience. This product is pure luxury right down to the little golden spatula it comes with that slides conveniently into a slot on the lid. Tatcha Water Cream has numerous essential oils and plant extracts, so if you are sensitive to such things you’ll definitely want to avoid it, but this cream does wonders for my skin when it is dehydrated. It has a lot of hefty claims: balanced skin, more radiant/luminous skin, improved clarity & less obvious pores. I don’t know if it does all of that, but I definitely notice balanced, radiant skin.

Eye Cream: Another product I’ve been using for years is the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Brightening Eye Cream** ($48, It Cosmetics/Sephora). Despite the name, the brightening aspect is not why I love this eye cream. I love the texture, how hydrating it is, and how it lessens puffiness. I don’t have a tremendous problem with dark under-eye circles, so I can’t really say how well it handles those. All I know is when I don’t use this and try using a different eye cream, I miss this. It also wears beautifully under concealer, so I never have to worry about a bad makeup day. My fine lines haven’t gotten any worse since I started using this either, which is a bonus. I got my first jar of this in PR, but I have repurchased it twice since.

Here are a few extras that aren’t necessarily in my everyday routine, but that I use frequently and recommend.

COSRX Acne Patches ($6, Ulta/other prices elsewhere) are little hydrocolloid patches that help draw out all of the yucky junk in a zit. Just slap one on overnight after your usual acne treatment and that sucker is usually much smaller and more manageable in the morning.

The Creme Shop Sooper Soothe Sheet Mask ($4, The Creme Shop) are my quick fix for dehydrated or mildly irritated skin (not intensely irritated or reactive situations). This mask contains rice water, green tea, and snail goop (which is actually good for your skin, who knew). It’s a lovely soothing, moisturizing treat. And to think I originally tried this to hit free shipping at some point…

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($50, Ole Henriksen/Sephora) is my current go-to Vitamin C serum. I’m on my third bottle of this bad boy as well. It’s very gentle, and also contains aloe, collagen, and various plant and fruit extracts claiming hydration, anti-aging, and brightening. The effects of topical collagen are still kind of debatable, but I like this serum for its hydrating and brightening effects.

Fourth Ray Beauty Rainfall 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($16, Colourpop/Ulta) is one of only 2 products I’ve tried and liked from the Fourth Ray line (the other one I’m still kind of testing out so it’s not a favorite yet). It is nice for extra hydration when needed, and smells like cucumbers (which I love). I’ve repurchased this once as well.

I feel kind of bad about loving the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist ($28, Glow Recipe/Sephora) as much as I do. I talked so much sh*t when this was launched about how no face mist was worth $28, even if the mister is one of the best. Well, I eat my words. This mist is fantastic. I’ve purchased it not once, but twice now and I REGRET NOTHING. It’s hydrating and definitely adds a noticeable luminosity to the skin. And the mister is great.

Remember when Shiseido Facial Cottons were the must-have product for like all of YouTube? Yeah. I got sucked into paying $12 for cotton too. It’s okay. They’re great! But $12 for cotton is insane no matter how nice they are. Enter: Daiso Fresh Cotton ($1.50, Daiso). They are every bit as soft and lovely as the Shiseido Facial Cottons, but you get more and for a fraction of the price. It’s a no-brainer. If you live near a Daiso, scoop some of these up. If you do not live near a Daiso, Ulta Ultra Soft Square Cotton Pads are also a great dupe for Shiseido. Not as much of a price break, but Ulta brand stuff goes on BOGO sale a lot.

So that’s it…those are what products are keeping my skin looking as best as it can lately. What are you loving for your skin?

Comments

  1. I need to try the Glow Watermelon Mist!

  2. Erika says

    I love Glow Recipe Watermelon Mist. It’s so delicious and refreshing. And the FAB cleanser us just that. I’m going in on a big tube, once I work my way through my cleanser backstock.

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