Hundreds of products come across our desks every month, but not all of them deliver on their claims or live up to the hype. (Not everything that goes viral on TikTok is a miracle worker.) This is our exclusive curation of the best-in-class skin-care products receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now.
FaceGym Brightening Active Roller ($65 for the tool and two roller heads)
A first-of-its-kind tool, this microneedling roller takes a different approach: Rather than rolling the skin and then applying a serum afterward, this roller head contains more than 3,000 microneedles that not only create tiny micro-channels in the skin, but actually dissolve in the skin, too. This sends a potent brightening cocktail of crystallized vitamin C, tranexamic acid, niacinamide and licorice root extract deep into the epidermis for instant and long-term results.
Each roller should only be used one time, once a week, to reduce the look of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, boost collagen production and give your skin a radiant glow. Once you run out of roller heads, you can purchase a pack of four refills for $65 (just the heads; you keep the handle).
The newest addition to EltaMD’s Skin Recovery System, this lightweight, creamy mask is the definition of beauty sleep if you’re someone with stressed skin. The star ingredient is the brand’s patented AAComplex, a combination of three amino acids that help to repair the skin barrier, visibly lessen the appearance of redness, reduce the risk of irritation, and boost hydration.
Chronobiology technology allows the antioxidant-rich formula to work its magic while you sleep, working with your body’s natural repair processes to hit skin’s reset skin and leave its barrier stronger and more prepared for any aggressors it will be faced with the following day. It’s also fragrance-free, which I always appreciate, and suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Three forms of vitamin C—ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid—combine with exfoliating lactic acid in this potent, oil-free and lightweight moisturizer that doubles as a serum. It feels refreshing on my skin, absorbs quickly and really makes my skin glow, but not in the greasy way, while also brightening dark spots over time.
“What makes this collection groundbreaking is the combination of vitamin C and lactic acid in the same formula,” says Dr. Dennis Gross. “Lactic acid improves vitamin C absorption and performance by removing the surface layer of dead skin, replenishing ceramides and GAGs (glycosaminoglycans) to help strengthen and repair the skin’s moisture barrier. By increasing water in the skin, lactic acid causes vitamin C to go deeper into skin. There has also been recent medical literature that shows lactic acid works to neutralize free radicals in the lipid phase of skin, making it the perfect partner to vitamin C.”
I’m a big fan of Exuviance’s peels—the Pure Retinol Corrector won our NewBeauty Award—and dermatologists love them too. Now, the brand is launching new exfoliating pads that are gentle enough to use every day and on all skin types, even sensitive.
The formula is smart: A medley of heavy-hitting polyhydroxy acids—gluconolactone and lactobionic acid—soothing cucumber extract, and antioxidant-rich green tea extract and vitamins C and E resurface while also hydrating and brightening. Don’t forget to bring them down to your neck too!
Nu Skin is expanding its popular Nutricentials collection with three new serums that are formulated with plant-based ingredients and the brand’s Bioadaptive Botanical Complex, a blend of adaptogenic extracts from plants that thrive in extreme climates and therefore help stressed skin adapt to environmental aggressors like UV and blue light rays, and pollution.
The three serums include Bakuchiol, for fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone; Ceramides + Postbiotics to strengthen the skin barrier and smooth rough skin; and Hyaluronic Acid + B5 to hydrate and revitalize dry, dull skin. I like to think of them like boosters when your skin needs an extra pick-me-up: Apply a few drops to your face and neck after cleansing and then follow with the rest of your normal skin-care routine.
Whether it’s makeup, sweat or everyday grime clogging your pores, or you’re just genetically cursed with large ones, exfoliation can work wonders to keep them clean and clear. This new vegan serum is infused with pharmaceutical-grade salicylic acid and lentil seed extract to clarify skin and tighten pores to make them look smaller.
In a clinical study with 113 women ages 18 to 35 using the serum twice a day, it proved to instantly minimize pore appearance by 29 percent, but it also worked long-term: 87 percent of participants agreed it “trained their pores to look minimized in four weeks.” The addition of lilac and lemon myrtle extracts help keep excess oil at bay, too, which is another known pore-clogging culprit.
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