As the saying goes: Don’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to beauty, it’s hard not to judge a product by its packaging. With a new, minimally packaged, millennial pink brand popping up by the day, it’s no secret that it’s what’s on the outside that sells, and we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t admit that we’re naturally drawn to great marketing and sleek and chic packaging.
But it’s what on the inside that actually matters, right? And nowhere does that ring truer than when it comes to skin care products. A pretty product might look great on your vanity, but super efficacious products give you great skin, and we’ll take that over the former any day. If you’re in agreement, check out these nine picks below.
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This leave-on, liquid exfoliant has reached cult-classic status for good reason. It’s gentle enough for everyday use on all skin types, but leaves your complexion looking as clear and radiant as more intensive resurfacing products thanks to 2-percent BHA, which unclogs and helps to diminish the look of large pores. Salicylic acid and green tea work to brighten, clear and smooth fine lines.
This product is sometimes referred to as a facelift in a bottle thanks to the intense active ingredients that address so many signs of aging that it leaves your skin looking more radiant and youthful after just one use. Lactic acid helps to boost hydration and lightly exfoliate.
While this packaging might be as straightforward as you can get, it’s the inside where the magic really happens. The oxygenating and moisturizing treatment contains botanicals that help to stimulate epidermal regeneration and revive skin worn down from sun, stress and pollution. Bonus: Unlike most masks, this one can be used around the eye area so you can have great skin from top to bottom.
CeraVe Renewing SA Cream ($23)
This multipurpose cream contains a blend of proven key ingredients including salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides to exfoliate, soften, nurture and protect skin. While the packaging might be on the basic side, the formulation inside is anything but.
PCA Skin Clearskin ($42)
This daily moisturizer is refreshing in how simple the packaging is, and it delivers the same no-nonsense results: clear, beautiful skin. Ingredients such as 4-percent niacinamide, vitamin A, chamomile, and botanical oils and extracts work to even skin tone, take down redness and calm skin while infusing it with long-lasting hydration.
3Lab Aqua BB Cushion Compact ($100)
This cushion compact does everything a good complexion product should do: covers any imperfections, promotes younger-looking skin, contains a high level of broad-spectrum sun protection and gives you a beautiful finish. In addition, it contains a high concentration of collagen-boosting peptides that give this formula an anti-aging boost so long-term, your skin will start looking just as beautiful when you take it off as you do after you put it on.
Many high-tech skin gadgets are now decked out with sleek packaging and rose-gold accents. This anti-aging light isn’t one of them, but the results are about as good as you can get with an at-home device. It’s the only FDA-cleared, full-face LED device to emit medical-grade light intensity to stimulate collagen production and diminish wrinkles. After 16 weeks of use, more than 80 percent of people saw improvements in fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture. We’ll take that over a splashy logo any day.
It provides a potent, pure dose of vitamin C that is stabilized to brighten and retexturize skin, helping to even out redness and any other discoloration. In addition to the 10-percent exfoliating ascorbic acid, the formulation also includes coenzyme-Q10 for antioxidant protection and squalane to boost skin’s moisture level.
The brand’s proprietary TriHex Technologycombines a blend of peptides and key ingredients to nurture the health of the skin and support the production of elastin and collagen. This particular product is formulated to help heal compromised skin, and is especially great for post-procedural use to heal and promote healthier-looking skin quicker.