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.
NuFACE MINI+ Starter Kit ($245)
Meet the new NuFACE Mini, which the brand has been working on since 2018, taking into account client’s feedback, questions and challenges, and incorporating technological advances since the OG Mini launched in 2014.
“I like to say this device is beauty and brains,” says brand cofounder and aesthetician Tera Peterson. “The device itself has gotten a facelift: It’s still petite and compact, but the plastic has a softer, matte-touch feel than the high-gloss plastic of the original. It also now comes in three colorways that mimic the Southern California sunset: Sandy Rose, Midnight Black and Violet Dusk. We also have a new Bluetooth capability, so you can connect to the brand-new NuFACE app—it’s your aesthetician at your fingertips and step-by-step tutorials that walk you through your treatments.”
The newest addition to the brand’s cult-favorite salad-inspired skin-care line, this vegan, gel-to-foam cleanser is ideal for acne-prone skin. Loaded with vitamin C–rich kiwi and a Triple Acid Complex (citric, salicylic and gluconolactone), it effectively gets all the grime and oil out of clogged pores while helping to calm existing breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.
It also won’t strip the skin barrier thanks to the addition of moisturizing and purifying spinach, celery, broccoli and asparagus—what Byroe calls the “Green Boost.” I’m craving a crisp, refreshing salad just writing this!
In a consumer survey, after three weeks of use, 96 percent of participants noticed a reduction in excess oil and agreed their skin felt more balanced, and 78 percent experienced a reduction in breakouts and blemishes.
Hyperpigmentation, especially melasma, is so frustrating to treat, and even the smartest, most skilled dermatologists would agree. This innovative, hydroquinone-free treatment contains a potent blend of 5-percent cysteamine (a buzzy brightening antioxidant), 1-percent niacinamide and vitamin E to make stubborn dark spots and patches look lighter and your overall skin tone look more even.
In contrast to hydroquinone, cysteamine appears to be safe to use indefinitely, and doesn’t come with the risk of rebound hyperpigmentation. It works by reducing melanin in the skin, and it also inhibits tyrosinase, which is the enzyme responsible for converting dopamine to melanin.
This product is a pre-cleanse treatment, so it may seem unfamiliar and feel like a burden to add another step, but it’s worth it if hyperpigmentation is the key concern you’re fighting. At night, apply a thin layer to dry skin and leave on for 15 minutes (maybe get your coffee machine prepped for the morning or do your evening body-care routine), and then rinse it off and wash your face with cleanser before following with your normal skin-care regimen. According to the brand, a mild tingling or warming sensation is normal, too, so don’t be worried if that happens to you.
Salwa Petersen Face Oil (Starting at $59)
Harvard-trained lawyer turned beauty entrepreneur Salwa Petersen is a force. A so-called “modern-day nomad,” Petersen was born in northern Chad in Africa (northeast of Nigeria) and was taught many local beauty rituals (if you haven’t tried her Chébé leave-in hair treatment, it’s a real treat).
This month Petersen is adding a new launch to her collection, which took five years of research and development and extensive testing, including 77 reformulations, to create. A “miracle elixir” face oil, it “enables the women living in the extreme climatic conditions of the Sahara and the Sahel regions to achieve and preserve fabulously young, healthy and radiant skin, which has been the subject of speculation and legends since forever,” the founder explains. “Rumor has it that the fountain of youth exists somewhere in an oasis lost between the dunes of the Chadian desert.”
In special, handcrafted vessels, finely chopped sandalwood chips are infused into a blend of organic desert date, sea buckthorn, jojoba, sunflower and sesame oils, indigenous herbs and Lake Chad spirulina, which sits for 40 days and 40 nights. The texture is velvety, like a dry oil, and the natural scent is woody-floral. After each use, skin becomes softer, smoother with a noticeable glow.
If you’re stuck in a moisturizer rut and on the hunt for something new, give this lightweight, whipped one a try. Though it feels a little thicker on my fingers, it feels so light on my skin—it’s not greasy and it dries quickly. The star ingredient here is ceramides, which are finally getting their time in the skin-care spotlight after all these years behind the scenes. They’re the “glue” that holds skin cells together and keep the skin barrier strong and healthy.
Plus, you also get hyaluronic acid, vegan desert milk and whipped coconut milk—it sounds like a yummy cocktail, but for your skin. And lastly, the icing on the cake: it’s clinically proven to hydrate skin for 72 hours!
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.
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).
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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