Already Prettypoll: Skincare Favorites

Skincare is SO personal. Every person’s skin reacts to the environment, foods, allergens, stress, hormones, and dozens of other factors, so it can be tricky to “recommend” products to others. You never know what all is affecting someone else’s complexion. (Hell, half the time I don’t know what’s monkeying with my own complexion.)

But if you’re anything like me, keeping your skin happy is both a passion and an ongoing science project. So I’d love it if you could share a few of your skincare faves and explain why you love them. I’ll get the party started:

Yes To Tomatoes Acne Treatment Spot Stick: One of the ONLY products that works on my super painful cystic acne and regular old acne without making my skin dry and irritated.

Clarisonic Mia: I don’t use the cleanser the company provides – I stick to this super gentle one from Aveda – but I use the brush every other evening. Keeps my skintone relatively even, and helps with keeping breakouts at bay.Ā If I skip more than one night, I definitely see more acne activity.

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil Free UV Protector SPF 42 : Yes, I too wish this stuff was cheaper. But it is the only sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores (sense a theme, here?) – it’s very thin, almost the consistency of whole milk, and feels totally weightless on my skin. I apply to my face, neck, and back of my neck every day of my life. And the bottle looks small, but generally lasts four or five months for me.

And you? Tell us a few of your skincare favorites!

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23 Responses to “Already Prettypoll: Skincare Favorites”

  1. Sarah

    I started using Dr. Bronner’s castile soap about 18 months ago, and I am astonished by how happy my skin is. I’ve now switched all soaps on my house to Dr. Bronner’s. My daughter’s skin improved dramatically as well. I also use an Aveda sensitive skin moisturizer in the winter that my skin loves, and I recently added Mario Badescu eye cream to my routine. At 40 I feel like I finally found the perfect product mix!

  2. Amanda

    Dr. Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Serum. I rarely recommend any skin care products because a) to your point, Sal, it’s hard to know if they’ll work the same for others and b) they are often just…OK. But this is the only stuff that has really changed my skin, and has continued to work beautifully for the three years I’ve been using it. I used to have constant acne- mild to moderate, granted, but it was constant. I never had a truly clear skin day until I started using this regularly. I think it’s probably the retinol doing the trick, so another product (at a lesser price; the Dr. Brandt is $84 a bottle) with that ingredient might be just as effective, but I’ve been so happy I haven’t wanted to try anything else.

  3. Psals

    I’m a huge fan of Origins Checks and Balances face wash. A little goes a long way, and my skin feels smooth and clean, without being dried out from over-washing it.

  4. Caitlin Treml

    I love It Works skin care line. It’s so gentle but effective. My favorite is the cleanser and the exfoliating peel. SO AMAZING!! But, all of their products are great. It’s all plant and botanically based too, so all natural, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Plus it actually works really well on all different kinds of skin issues — tone, spots, acne, wrinkles, moisture, you name it.

  5. wonkyone15

    I use the Le Edge exfoliating tool on my face in the shower- it looks like a razor, but it’s not quite the sharpness of a dermaplane tool- it scrapes the dead skin cells off but not hairs. It is very satisfying to see the gunk it removes! Then I follow up with Dove sensitive skin bar soap, sometimes with my hands, sometimes with a cheap Olay version of the Clarisonic. My moisturizer is just a Target generic version of Clean & Clear acne fighting moisturizer. Pretty simple and inexpensive!

  6. montroyal04

    I’m liking Origins products, which are a little more spendy than drug store products, but not as expensive as a lot of other things. I have dry skin, so I think skin care might be a little easier in terms of products not causing breakouts. I rely on raw shea butter from Mountain Rose herbs to get me through the winter. Shea butter goes straight on my skin (even my face) during the worst of cold dry spells, or made into a homemade body butter mixed with almond oil and coconut oil. I use either almond oil or coconut oil to take my makeup off at night.

  7. Jean Thilmany

    You can now get Japanese sunscreen/moisturizer via Amazon and I bet it won’t clog pores. It feels almost like that skin prep stuff you use before makeup, name is escaping me. Here are too recs:

    I haven’t tried this one but it sounds like the one I have tried:

    This is the one I’ve tried:

    Other than that, the Retin-A stuff I was so nervous to ask my derma (just a regular dermatologist, not a “cosmetic” one or the ones who do the lasers and stuff) to prescribe, as I’m doing it for vanity and read this NY Times piece. But she was more than happy to do it.

  8. Jean Thilmany

    Oh yeah, and Vanicream as a moisturizer. Only thing cleared up son’s eczema and it works very well.

  9. Kerry

    I love MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sunscreen (Unscented). I prefer mineral-only sunscreen formulas – my skin is pretty pale, so it may not work for others, but it doesn’t make me look pasty and doesn’t feel greasy or sticky once it’s absorbed. A bonus is it gives my skin a more matte appearance, so it almost looks like I’m wearing makeup when I’m not.

  10. vxbxl

    I have super oily skin that seems to do best when I mostly leave it alone.

    I really love PaintBox SoapWorks’ Clean Slate facial scrub (see here for all her facial care products:

    It’s a charcoal based scrub that gets you really clean, but leaves moisture behind. I only use it when I shower – every other day. The rest of the time, I leave my skin alone or, if I’m sweaty or grimey, I spray it with some witch hazel hydrosol and wipe the dirt away. I live in a very hot/humid place, and I swear my skin is in better shape with less acne since I stopped messing with it as much.

  11. Ilaniel

    I really love First Aid Beauty’s basic cleanser. I have sensitive, oily skin, and that one works really nicely without drying me out. For moisturizer/sunscreen I use Aveda Inner Light mineral tinted moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 20. It’s one of the only sunscreen/moisturizers I’ve found that doesn’t turn my face into a grease bucket. I also like Arcona’s Magic Dry Ice moisturizer and raspberry clarifying pads but they are super pricey so I use them very sparingly. (Though, if you do buy Arcona products in person, you can get buckets of samples because they know you’re spending a lot.)

  12. Keilexandra

    I love my Japanese sunscreens–a similar formulation to Shiseido, which is a Japanese brand, but much more affordable. Biore Rich Watery Essence, for example, is excellent for SPF protection and no white cast on people of color. I can’t speak to break-out tendencies since my skin is relatively accepting of products.

    • Jennifer

      Thanks so much for the recommendation. I’m not able to pay $20 for a sunscreen like Shiseido, but this one is comparable to the price I’m paying for Neutrogena. I ordered it from Amazon. Maybe I can tolerate it under my foundation if it’s like a moisturizer and not regular sunscreen. I’m outside at least 5 days a week, I know I should be wearing it, but haven’t found one I can make myself wear everyday.

  13. loubeelou

    I use Bare Minerals face wash and moisturizers (the heavier cream that comes in a small pot during the winter months) and find they’re very gentle. The biggest boon though I think has been the elimination of wine (and thus most alcohol I drink) from my diet – no more red blotchiness and this is the first summer in forever that I haven’t had chest acne issues. For my body, my favorite moisturizer is the Melaleuca Renew brand – kinda hard to procure, but it keeps the winter itchies at bay for a solid 48 hours. I also like Palmer’s cocoa butter.

  14. livi

    A recent fave is a bar of Dial soap. I noticed it wasn’t drying out my hands like liquid soaps do so I tried it on my face and I love it. My face doesn’t feel as tight and dry and it gets all the make up off.

  15. Sea

    I used to be a water and washcloth person until I reached my late 30s and suddenly wanted something that would both mollify my fine dry lines and not give me pimples (which I didn’t have as a kid but got to have in my 30s instead).

    My skin hyper reacts to many, many things. For the past year or so, I’ve been happy with REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing balm, a homemade serum of rose hip seed oil and argan oil, and Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting fluid. The first and last items are not cheap, but I am swayed by the blogger Caroline Hirons’s suggestion that one ought to be willing to spend more on her face than on a handbag or pair of shoes.

  16. TheLibrarian28

    I bought the Shiseido sunscreen when you first recommended it, and I think I’m on my 6th bottle. It’s fantastic – worth every cent. I have sensitive skin and redness (not rosacea), and my skin really likes this. I actually think it’s made my skin smoother. I use it under the IT Cosmetics CC cream, and it’s great. Thanks so much for finding it!

  17. Erika

    I really like the Acure skincare line. I work outside several days a week, in all kinds of weather, so my face gets a lot of exposure to wind, sun, heat, and cold. As general practice I wash the sunblock and bug spray off with the Sensitive Skin wash, and then follow up with the Night Cream on my face and neck. In the summer I don’t moisturize in the morning (because I’m about to put on sunblock) but in the winter I use the Day Cream before I go out to protect from chapping from the wind. I am white and have a ruddy complexion that both burns and tans. I use MRM’s MSM cream on my face as well, especially in the winter. It reduces the blotchy redness in my cheeks and seems to assist in healing old (or new) sun damage. I do have other products I use when my skin feels particularly baked or chapped, but the above is my regular routine.

  18. Jennifer

    I’ve really enjoyed using CeraVe products lately. I’ve tried both the face washes (foamy and creamy) and I like them both. Now that I’m in the middle of summer and with all the exercise and sweat I deal with, I think the foamy kind does a better job. I’ve been a fan of the daily moisturizer with SPF for a while now, but I found the moisturizing cream (in the tub) to work really well for my skin (except for needing separate sunscreen). Unlike similar brands, this brand truly doesn’t cause extra greasiness and doesn’t clog my skin ( feel like it absorbs into the skin much better). I’ve even started using it instead of my regular lotion all over my body. To combat all the gunk that builds up from sweating I’ve started using Olay Regenerist overnight serum as my only exfoliator. I find it does a much better and gentler job than washcloths or the Clarisonic.

  19. Naomi

    I was given a sample of Phytomer at a bridal showcase and I can genuinely recommend their products. I use the Oligopur Face wash–it’s very gentle and leaves my skin feeling soft but not tight, while still cleansing, the Vegetal Exfoliant (which is a very light peel off retinol type exfoliant mask) and Shine Control Purifying Mask. I get them from eBay since they’re a bit spendy, but they are worth it!

    Also, I’d like to recommend the PocketDerm online dermatology service. You pay a 20$ fee monthly for unlimited products/services and the derm consults with you via chat/email. You take a detailed survey and send in photos of your face (they handle acne and other “surface” issues) and they will make a custom blended product for you. They prescribed spironolactone, the *only* thing outside of Accutane that has ever work for me, and I couldn’t be happier. Highly recommend!!

  20. Heather

    I switched to my own concoction and my skin has never looked better. I’ve battled rosascea, cystic acne and awful dry patches. Nothing worked until I started this new regimen. I fill a travel bottle with the following:
    1/3 bottle of castor oil
    2/3 bottle of sunflower oil
    30 drops tea tree oil
    50 drops of tamanu oil

    I keep it in the shower, and when I get in, shake the bottle to mix, pour a dime-sized bit into my hands and I rub it all over my face and let it steam while I wash my hair. When I rinse my hair, I hold my face under the shower and gently rub the oils in and off. It’s on my face 3-4 minutes.

    When I get out, instead of using moisturizer, I use a dab of vitamin e right out of the bottle. I rub it on my face until it’s not oily.

  21. Heina Dadabhoy

    Fresh’s Seaberry face oil has all but eradicated my rosacea.

  22. Grace Holt

    I’m one of those that jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon, and I love it! First off, I figured out that my acne always flared up when I ate a lot of sugary foods, so I’ve mostly phased those out of my diet. That, along with keeping myself well hydrated, was what my own personal complexion needed to fight breakouts. So, now, I use coconut oil as my facewash/makeup remover at night… I just slather it all over my face, including eyes, wash it off with a warm washcloth, and let the remaining oil absorb overnight as my moisturizer. I wake up with skin as soft as, well, a baby butt! šŸ˜›