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As a shopping writer, I experience some pretty incredible perks—testing out products before they hit the market, getting the low-down on all of the best sales, and receiving samples of beauty products that I certainly could not afford on my own. The latter allowed for me to test a bunch of products from perhaps the most renowned and high-end skincare brand on the market: Skinceuticals. You might’ve heard of the brand because of its uber-famous vitamin C serum, or maybe, like me, your dermatologist recommended it for its incredible acne-treatment options. Either way, you probably are aware the the extremely effective line-up of offerings is fairly pricey.
That’s why I wanted to let you know what products are actually worth the hype. Over the years, I’ve tested out more than $700 worth of Skinceuticals acne serums, anti-aging products, and corrective moisturizers and let me tell you, it’s been an eye-opening experience. I’ve found products that I refuse to leave the house with, tested some that weren’t all that impressive, and found the closest thing to a cure for cystic acne bumps—I never thought that was possible.
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What I’ve learned is that if you’re in the market for a toner or a moisturizer, you probably don’t need to spend your cash on Skinceuticals’ offerings. I didn’t have a bad experience with the glycolic toner or emollience moisturizer, but I also didn’t notice much of a difference in my skin. Instead of spending $40 to $63 on these, I’d stick with a classic CeraVe option.
However, if you’re like me and are somehow in your twenties (or any age, really) and you’re going through puberty again, experiencing a second wave of acne while also having to worry about under-eye bags and dark spots, I’ve got several life-changing products that are more than worth the investment.
Below, you’ll see my rundown of these hits.
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C E Ferulic Acid
First thing’s first: The C E Ferulic Acid is worth every d*mn penny. Yes, it’s $166, but this serum lasted me half a year—and did wonders for my skin. It’s clinically proven to protect skin against environmental damage, and living in New York, I’m prone to a whole lot of that. The vitamin C serum is effective for up to three day’s worth of time, so even if I skipped a few applications here and there, my skin would never dull or lose its glow. Not to mention, it didn’t ever leave my skin feeling dry like a lot of other vitamin C serums have. I have combination skin, so it’s difficult to find serums that won’t make my face oily or patchy.
I’d recommend you buy this if you’re concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, or environmental stressors. It’s very brightening and creates a nice dewiness, as well, so if you’re in the market for something to help your skin glow, this is the product for you.
Glycolic Renewal Cleanser
As stated above, I’ve been struggling with acne as of late. Instead of shiver with dread, I’m reaching for my Old Faithful: Skinceuticals’ Glycolic Renewal Cleanser. I started using this a few years ago when I was experiencing some very painful cystic acne, and it helped erase those away without drying my skin. I know that a $38 cleanser might seem steep, but hear me out: This one is packed to the brim with skin-saving ingredients and acids that wipe away grime from deep within your pores, leaving your skin clean without depleting any of its essential oils.
Not to mention, it boosts cell turnover. This helps with healing acne scars, dark spots, and minimizing the appearance of fine lines. If you’re somebody who loves to have a face full of makeup on the regular, or who’s fighting off bumps and white heads, I couldn’t recommend this cleanser enough. It’s a saving grace.
For the record, one bottle lasts me around three months. So basically you’re paying a little over $10 a month for this product.
Blemish + Age Defense Serum
If you experience cystic acne, trust me when I say I know what you’re going through. Having those large under-the-skin bumps arrive on your face (likely during the worst times) can be heartbreaking. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it effects my confidence when this occurs, and often leaves me wanted to cover my face up with anything I can—scarves, hoodies, you name it. But, this product has helped me so much whenever these painful cysts arrive. And, in just a few days’ time, it gets rid of them.
The Blemish + Age Defense serum is formulated with salicylic acid to reduce your sebum production (the pore-clogging oil) while also cleaning our your pores. It dries out whiteheads and kicks black heads to the curb without leaving my skin feeling rough and patchy. Plus, every time I use this, the redness surrounding these bumps goes down and my face tone evens out a bit. This is extremely useful because then I feel less of a need to pack on concealer and foundation, clogging my pores even more.
This is the hero product I never leave home without. It’s my safety serum that I keep on hand and love to use to prevent and combat painful acne. It lasts for about three months and I apply it multiple times a day (it’s gentle enough for this type of use!).
If you experience cystic acne, get this product. You won’t regret it.
AOX + Eye Gel
My under-eye bags have a life of their own, and they like to think that they’re the main characters of my face. But, I found a gel that keeps them in their place. This serum/gel combo has vitamin C and other antioxidants to soothe my under eyes and deflate any baggy skin. It’s also designed to minimize the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles, while also protecting skin against pollutants in the air.
For those who are concerned with how their skin is aging, I’d say this gel is a home run.
Clarifying Clay Mask
I’ve become accustom to giving my skin a refresh and recoup day once a week, and this Clarifying Mask is a major part of that. It somehow sucks our the dirt and grime from my pores without leaving my skin feeling like leather. This is all thanks to the hydroxy acid blend that exfoliates skin, and also the aloe and chamomile included, which soothe my face. Unlike other “clay” masks, this one is made from actual clays from the earth, and doesn’t include any harsh and irritating chemicals.
I use it once a week (usually on Sundays) and love how it gives my skin a boost. If acne is a worry of yours, try out this top-rated face mask.
It shouldn’t be rocket science to create a vitamin C serum that’s curated for acne-prone skin, but apparently in the skincare world, it is. That’s why it was so exciting when Skinceuticals launched this Silymarin CF product last year. The first-of-its-kind serum combines all of the goodness of a typical vitamin C product with the protectiveness and treatment of an acne product. It’s made with salicylic acid, silymarin, and the same ferulic acid that’s used in Skinceuticals’ most famous product. Together, these ingredients cleanse my skin, brighten it, and protect it from any grime.
I use this serum as an all-over treatment in the morning before I apply makeup, and as a spot treatment throughout the day on any blemishes that I might have. It works to brighten my face, and also tackles zits like a lineman. I love it.
There you have it. Six essential Skinceuticals serums, cleansers, and face masks that are undoubtedly worth the money. Trust me—and my skin!