11 Skincare Products We Buy Over and Over (and Over)

  • Harling Ross
    Social Media Editor
    Harling has combination skin that's prone to redness and sensitivity.

    What is it?

    Pai Instant Calm Redness Serum

    What has it done for your skin?

    My skin is very sensitive and prone to flushing, but this serum keeps all of that in check. I see a noticeable decrease in redness and irritation after I use it.

    How do you use it?

    I pat it all over my face before applying SPF in the morning and before applying moisturizer at night. In the summer, I actually use it as my moisturizer because I find that the hyaluronic acid is enough to keep my skin feeling hydrated when it's already warm outside.

    PS!

    I've tried a lot of anti-redness products and this is one of the few that actually works.
  • Kate Barnett
    President
    Kate has combination-to-oily skin that's prone to hormonal breakouts. Her mom says the oil means she'll have less wrinkles, so there's that.

    What is it?

    Somme Institute A-Bomb facial moisturizer

    What has it done for your skin?

    Even though I have combination/oily skin, moisturizer is still important -- particularly in the winter -- and this is one of only two moisturizers I've found that doesn't break me out. It's made everything about my skin better. It's more even, a bit glowier and plumper, and with the rest of the Somme system my acne's under control. I love this stuff.

    How do you use it?

    Morning and night with the rest of the Somme products. I have a tendency to pick, so if I have spots I continuously reapply to both discourage me from picking and help my skin heal faster.

    PS!

    With all face products, if there's extra after I've applied I rub it into the tops of my hands since that's an area that's often overlooked and, being delicate, shows damage early.
  • Jasmin Aujla
    Senior Integrated Marketing Strategist
    Jasmin has combination skin and a very oily T-zone.

    What is it?

    Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

    What has it done for your skin?

    I originally got it as a tester, put it on, went to bed and when I woke up there was a major improvement! My skin looked and felt clearer and moisturized -- but not oily -- and just generally really healthy. It's the first product that I've actually seen the results from so quickly and it's been a solid staple in my nighttime routine ever since.

    How do you use it?

    It’s a light oil, and I smear it all over my face before bed. I don’t need a moisturizer afterwards because the oil is very hydrating. After washing my face, it's my last step before sleep. Sometimes I put it on in the morning too when I know I'm not going outside for a while. Otherwise I only use it at night since it's pretty concentrated.

    PS!

    Really massage it in -- upward strokes, always upward strokes.
  • Leslie Price
    Editorial Director
    Leslie has dry skin and is worried about looking old.

    What is it?

    ACURE Sensitive Facial Cream

    This is my daily (morning and night) facial moisturizer. I had run out of my $$$$ one and found this after speaking to someone in the Whole Body section of Whole Foods.

    What has it done for your skin?

    It's very soothing and hydrating. My skin is extremely sensitive and dry, especially in the winter. This has no synthetic fragrance (among my NYE resolutions -- including eat one fermented thing a day -- another is to stop using any products with synthetic fragrance), parabens or sulfates. It feels very hydrating and healing. It fights redness and doesn't make me break out.

    PS!

    It's organic, too. It's got it all! And it's only like $12 on Amazon. That seems pretty good for a formula that I like better than all of the other pricey moisturizers I've tried.
  • Shari Brown
    Integrated Marketing Strategist
    Shari has temperamental skin that goes from dry to oily in 0-60.

    What is it?

    La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream

    What has it done for your skin?

    My skin is pretty all over the place. One minute it's super oily and the next it feels like a chalkboard, so I've been looking for a product that would help for both instances. I received the La Mer moisturizing creme as a sample in a swag bag from a Saks event I attended last year. After I washed my face, I applied the creme and went about my day. Around mid-afternoon, I noticed I didn't have to use an oil blot to freshen up, or re-apply any moisturizer (which is usually the case). My face felt smooth and hydrated without the additional oil. I was sold. I ran to Saks and got the larger size; I leave the sample in my make-up bag while I'm on the go. To this day, I swear by it.

    How do you use it?

    After I wash my face in the morning, I rub the creme in my hands (to make it almost translucent), then I press it into my face.

    PS!

    It's definitely a splurge, yet oh so worth it. Plus, a little goes a long way so my wallet only sheds a slight tear when I have to re-buy it.
  • Matt Little
    Director of Business Operations
    Matt has combination skin with sporadic stressed-induced breakouts generally hidden by a persistent five o'clock shadow.

    What is it?

    Kiehl's 'Facial Fuel' Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men

    What has it done for your skin?

    Confession: up until about three years ago, my skincare routine consisted of emergency acne treatment and occasional glitter removal. When my friends sat me down for a pseudo-intervention to discuss skincare, I was steadfast in the fact that I couldn't be bothered to spend time on my skin. But once I finally caved to at least trying a daily moisturizer, I was faced with picking one. It took a while before I found one that didn't make me break out, didn't leave a greasy residue and made me feel like the money and time was worth it. Enter this baby, which has become a daily staple. It's light and wakes me up like nothing else. It strikes the right balance between effective and easy.

    How do you use it?

    Generously, every morning after I get out of the shower.

    PS!

    The whole Facial Fuel line include menthol and caffeine, which leaves you feeling refreshed and awake and makes for the perfect complement to your morning coffee.
  • Krista Anna Lewis
    Photographer 

    What is it?

    Biologique Recherche P50W lotion

    What has it done for your skin?

    About a year ago my skin was going through a particularly weird, long and painful bout of adult acne (ew). My old standbys, which had fixed my skin in a previous acne storm, weren’t working anymore. Then I discovered this! It's smoothed it out, reduced the appearance of my pores and completely cleared up my acne. Even more fun? The occasional cut (or spate of overzealous acne picking) heals more quickly than it did before I started using it. Now I’m too scared to stray.

    How do you use it?

    Twice a day. Once after cleansing at night and again first thing in the AM.

    PS!

    Everyone else on the internet will tell you this stuff smells, but if you've ever tried putting pure apple cider vinegar on your face, you'll be able to deal. And you really can't smell it after you've been using it continuously.
  • Amelia Diamond
    Deputy Editor and Senior Writer
    Amelia has dry skin that's prone to breakouts.

    What is it?

    Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

    What has it done for your skin?

    It hasn't fixed any skin issues, of which I have plenty, but it doesn't contribute or exacerbate, which is important. What it does is go on like velvet to create a perfect non-texture for tinted moisturizer, foundation or just bronzer/blush. Face lube! Without the residue! It feels so amazing that I put it on every day, no matter what, even if I'm not wearing makeup. I think there's a mattifying effect, too -- it reduces shine from my SPF but doesn't take away the ~* glow *~. And when I do wear makeup, it holds it on longer.

    How do you use it?

    One little pump every morning, once again at night if I'm doing my makeup before going out, anytime a friend comes over because I want to show them how soft it is.

    PS!

    Don't eat it.
  • Maria Pitt
    Visual Intern
    Maria has combination skin that's prone to hormonal or sugar breakouts.

    What is it?

    CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM and CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM

    What have they done for your skin?

    I’ve struggled with acne for most of my life, from small spots to cystic acne that made me feel like my face was covered in mini volcanoes (I apologize for the visual). I also spent most of my life in South Florida where the heat and humidity kept my skin feeling sticky 90% of the time. For a long time I believed that lotion and moisturizer would make my skin oilier. I thought I should be stripping my skin of all oils or moisture to cure my acne. So wrong.

    My derm recommended these two and I've kept them in my routine ever since. They're non-comedogenic, non-irritating, developed with dermatologists, all the good stuff. They moisturize my skin without making it feel oily.

    How do you use them?

    The bottles are pretty self-explanatory. The AM is for the morning, the PM is for the evening. They're mild enough to be layered with other, more topical stuff (Differin, Adapalene, Retinol-A, etc.), which is super helpful.

    PS!

    These are a drugstore buy, but pricier than you might expect. The CeraVe website has coupons!
  • Lauren Myers
    Journalism Resident
    Lauren has normal skin, prone to hormonal breakouts.

    What is it?

    Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer

    What has it done for your skin?

    This product has been a legit miracle for me. It's moisturized my skin but also evened it out and cleared it up. My friend introduced me to it while we were on vacation this past summer and I immediately fell in love with it. Like, I basically ran to Sephora when I got home. Most tinted moisturizers I'd used left my skin feeling a weird combo of cakey and sticky, but this one goes on smooth and feels super light. I'm obsessed with it.

    Bonus: SPF 20!

    How do you use it?

    I use it daily. I put a dot on my cheeks, forehead and chin and then rub it in.

    PS!

    This product is especially great when you’re tan and just want to add minimal makeup. A little goes a long way.
  • Patty Carnevale
    Head of Revenue
    Patty has combination skin that is very sensitive to sun and weather. Dry in the winter, oily in the summer, sunscreen needed all day every day.

    What is it?

    Chanel Sublimage La Creme Yeux skin regeneration eye cream

    What has it done for your skin?

    I'm a face sleeper and I have dermographism ("an exaggerated wealing tendency when the skin is stroked") so when I wake up in the morning my face is like an etch-a-sketch. It's a good time. Moisturizing before bed does help though! This has done wonders for keeping my under-eye bags quenched and healthy.

    How do you use it?

    Sparingly. A pinky-dab under each eye most nights, and in the morning if it was a longer night than usual.
Haley Nahman | January 10, 2017

This is the shit we’re gonna need on a post-apocalyptic island.

My roommate’s skin looks like it’s made of baby giggles. It looks like she cashed out her 401k to commission a team of scientists to develop a skincare program for her under lock and key. So when I found out her entire routine was to wash her face with soap and water, I was pissed at her for like ten minutes. She forgave me for that, because she’s perfect, but then I did a bad thing. I started pushing products on her like drugs. At first it was really fun — an uncomplicated departure from my chemical-laden convos with my sister and cousin who know more about skincare than actual dermatologists — but a couple months later she sent a text that made me question what I’d done.

“I just heard collagen in moisturizers is good for anti-aging. Do you know about this?”

Her skincare innocence and probably some of her savings were lost that day. I could only assume my pushing was responsible. But while I do mourn the time and money she will lose for caring about this stuff, I’m also kind of excited for her. A little because I’m a sucker for new routines and pretty bottles that smell good, definitely, but also because I just love skincare. A lot of it has worked for me, like for real worked. That’s the part of beauty I love to talk about. The stuff that’s memorable, that really makes a lasting impact, a difference you can see and feel. I never get bored of it.

I asked everyone at Man Repeller to tell me what their hands-down favorite product was — the thing that changed everything, that they’d take on a desert island. That’s the good shit right? Above is what they told me. Below is where I’d like you to share yours. I’ll even let you tell me it’s soap if you’ll let me be mad at you for a few.

Want more team skincare recs? Here are all our favorite acne products!!!

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

  • Hilary

    I want to live in this photoshoot – the colors, the fab paper cutouts !! <3

    After trying countless different routines for my cystic-acne-prone, sensitive skin (probably a mix of Kate and Harling), and eventually abandoning chemical-laden products (Proactiv, etc.) for natural ones, my current favorites are those by Indie Lee and SW Basics. Definitely want to try Harling's and Kate's picks from this list after reading. I love the SW Basics Cream moisturizer, (it's just shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil) but I have to use it *very* moderately otherwise it leads to some breakouts (which is a tricky game to play in the winter, when my skin is both its usual oily but with added patches of dryness).

    From Indie Lee, my fav product is probably her Squalane Oil, which has really helped balance my skin out. Wish teenage-me had known that oil would help my oily skin more than anything ;[

  • there is something very cruel about knowing someone with perfect skin and finding out they solely use soap and water…they don’t even *need* moisturizer because their skin has the naturally dewy glow of an angel.

    anyway i am not that person but i have fallen for a lot of one love organics products, much to my wallet’s dismay.

  • katikeyes

    Nivea Creme in the big blue tub. My mother uses it, my grandmother used it, and now I’m addicted to it. I’m pretty acne prone, and I’ve had fewer break outs since using it too. I glop it on every night. Really helps with winter skin.

    • katikeyes

      Also spironolactone, duh.

    • jess

      and here I thought it was my little secret! Blend it with a drop or two of lavender oil in your hand and its even better x

      • katikeyes

        trying this tonight!

  • Lillian

    Moms love to remind you that oil = less wrinkles

    • pamb

      As a 51 year old with skin so oily I need to blot about an hour after putting on makeup: I look younger than other women my age. I think it’s due to the oil.

  • Petra Cozianu

    Johnsons baby wipes for removing makeup and then a cold water rinse every day, followed by Pai Rosehip oil as moisturiser once every three days. My skin is very sensitive and it can get dry if I wash it with soap, but also I break out if I use a daily moisturizer. The rosehip oil provides just enough moisturizing that lasts for 3 days without clogging my pores

  • Mon Valdés

    I have really dry skin, and I love my Kiehl’s Midnight recovery oil, I use it every single night as a “serum”, which I follow up with moisturizer, my favourite is the Embryolisse lait-creme concentre, which I use both morning (before makeup) and night. And two times a week I use Sunday Riley’s Luna oil + Good Genes combo, and it’s like magic! I don’t have acne or any other severe skin issues, but these products are my holy grail, and they make my skin feel amazing!

  • Inkygrl

    Retin-a. My derm says everyone should use it. I mix it w moisturizer so it’s not too drying. It’s made a huge difference in the texture of my skin long term. Almost 50 and my skin looks 30. Also sunscreen obv.

  • Abby

    Yes to P50. It’s really saving me this winter and I can tell a big difference when I don’t use it.

  • Zoe

    I’d need crates of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer (because even on a humid island my skin would be as dry as the Sahara) and African Black Soap which I’m convinced does magic on my skin.

    • African Black Soap <3 instead of shower gel changed my life.

  • Samantha Lee

    I don’t have any products I’m obsessed with – I’m pretty new to actually trying to take care of my skin (embarrassingly I’ve never washed my face at night). BUT I am wondering if anyone’s found something really good for wrinkles? I’m in my 20s but have already noticed some pretty severe “neck rings” that I’m not too happy about and would love to take care of before they get worse. Anyone? Anyone?
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

    • Sarah

      you can try tons of different expensive things but really sunscreen and retinol is the answer

      • Samantha Lee

        Yeah, I’ve thought about looking into Strivectin, which I know isn’t cheap. I’ve also heard of laser treatments but am a little concerned doing something like that.

        • Sarah

          I am not sure that Strivectin does much. I tried it once and didn’t see to many results. But, that is probably the case with most products. If you do some research you will see that really retinol is what will actually work – it started as a prescription strength acne medication but they realized that it was also making wrinkles fade and making people look younger. You can get a prescription (although it is best if you can say its for acne, because then insurance will give it to you for cheap- i know that some derms are having to ask you what you want it for and if you say acne its much cheaper then if you say wrinkles) or you can look for beauty products that contain retinol, but the prescription is probably much stronger. Here is a link to MR’s explanation of it. http://www.manrepeller.com/2017/01/retinol-use.html

          My suggestion would be sunscreen every day on your neck – i mean EVERY day, retinol if you can, and then also anytime you put on face products make sure you also spread them down on to your neck. You could also try Bio Oil, its relatively cheap and effective at lessening lines/scars.

          • Sarah

            oh also, start washing your face and using products every night. Consistency is key (in other words, retinol once a week when you think about it won’t do much)

    • Alice

      If they’re on your neck, could they have been caused due to poor posture? The only things that have been proved to work on wrinkles are spf and retinol, my favourite spf is from A’Pieu pure natural sun cream spf 45(it’s a chemical one and if you’re in the US available on amazon) because it’s alcohol free and looks good under makeup.

      • Samantha Lee

        Probably caused by a number of things – dry skin, sleeping posture, never took care of that area. I do wear moisturizer with SPF in it, but I’m trying to find something that will reduce the look of them (while I obviously try to prevent them from getting worse). Thanks for the suggestion!

    • katikeyes

      Those rings are your “venus rings.” They mean you’re beautiful. Google it! It’s a thing, I swear.

      • Samantha Lee

        Haha, I had never heard of that. Thanks for the encouragement, even though I’d rather be without them! 😉

  • I’ve not tried most of these products before, but I probably should!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

  • Sarah

    I second CeraVe, my sister’s expensive NYC dermatologist recommended it to her – I have been using it for 2-3 years and never had such consistently good skin. I still get occasional hormonal zits but my acne breaksouts/black heads are a thing of the past! It really seems to work and often drug stores will do BOGO half off so then you are only paying $20 every 3/4 months…not bad. I also use their Foaming Face Wash cleanser in the morning and then The Body Shop’s Seaweed deep cleanser at night – I never thought TBS would be a go to skincare place for me but I LOVE the seaweed line. The night treatment in this line works great if you feel a breakout coming – I will use it after showering on a day where I sweat a lot of wake up with great looking skin. I think I might have to try the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery serum!

    also, Retinol!

  • Lauren Caudle

    dōTERRA Frankincense Oil + Trilogy Rosehip Oil day and night. My skin finally loves me back!

  • Marley Arviso

    Last year I developed adult acne as well (soooo cooool) and I have a bad habit of picking zits as soon as they pop up, which means I’m left with a of scarring post zit. The Pixi Glow tonic really helps fade those spots quickly and makes and existing zits heal quicker 🙂 My skin is also very dry so I usually follow up with Glossier’s super bounce or Herbivore’s Phoenix cell regeneration facial oil and then top it all of with First Aid Beauty’s Ultra repair cream. YAY HYDRATION!

  • 808kate

    Glossier milky jelly, Timeless C+E Ferulic serum (Skinceuticals dupe but it’s never oxidized and like 1/5th the price), Futurederm retinol, and Olay Hydra Firming Cream. Forever and ever

    • Sarah

      I have been thinking about trying Olay for forehead wrinkles, do you think it makes a difference?

      • 808kate

        I’m not sure, but a lot of the Olay products have ~4% niacinamide which is a high concentration and good for hydrating and hyperpigmentation. I think retinol is the best for lines, I was getting some faint forehead lines (I’m 29) and after using a retinol for about 6 months they were gone.

  • nicolacash

    My desert island products – the Dr. Jart+ Micro Water, Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence, and Olay’s Micro Sculpting Cream w/SPF 30 <3

    • Kay

      Benton snail bee!!!!! It is the business!!! If there is a god it will never be discontinued

      • KatSmln

        anyone tried Benton Fermentation Essence? Currently using Snail one but thinking about change. Which one is better for acne prone skin?

  • starryhye

    CeraVe, Retin-A and rosehip oil. Those 2 could get me through the apocalypse. I’m thinking of jumping on the P50 band wagon but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

    • Sarah

      recommendation on brand of Rosehip oil?

    • Emmmmieee

      I’m 1000% in your boat! Sames! Rosehip oil, CeraVe, + Retin-A for the absolute win. What should we do about P50? The love for it is so intense, it scares me.

  • Basil

    Sunscreen is the first thing. I grew up in a hot and sunny country, but left in my late teens to move to a cold and rainy one. Man it made a difference – I have fewer wrinkles than friends who continued to live somewhere sunny as I pretty much didn’t see the sun for a decade.

    I’ve used the Eve Lom cleanser for so long I can’t remember, and I’m too scared to change. It’s an oil based cleanser, but a pomade-y texture. You massage it into your skin, and then remove it with a worn muslin cloth. It’s amazing – gets rid of all the dirt (and make up) and doesn’t dry out your skin.

  • jess

    Mario Badescu Seaweed cleanser and Nivea Creme. Nivea creme + lavender essential oil is my winter skin saviour!

  • Anna-Liisa Springham

    Definitely Kiehls Avocado eye cream and i would sit on the island making rose water

  • Meg S

    I went to South Korea on vacation a year and a half ago. That’s all it take me to convert to the Korean skin care routine. One of my go-to things is Sum:37 rose cleansing stick. I’m also addicted to Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils. Son & Park Beauty Water is a wonderful thing. Trouble spot patches are amazing. Various brands make them, and they all work about the same. Put one on at night and your pimples are smaller and less red in the morning. Too Cool for School’s dinoplatz blotting papers come with a puff that picks up the blotting paper. Laneige’s water sleeping pack (water sleeping mask if you buy it at Target) is a requirement for me. It seals on everything you put on your skin before bed, plus adds another layer of moisture.

    I need to jump on the Retinol train but I’m not sure where to start.

    • Kay

      Paula’s choice resist intense wrinkle repair retinol is really good, it has made an obvious difference in my youthiness.

      • Meg S

        I’ve heard good things about Paula’s Choice, I know one of my friends uses it. Thanks for the recommendation. Have you used the C15 booster? I’m debating whether to get one or both.

    • Sarah
      • Meg S

        No idea how I missed that. Thanks!

  • doublecurl

    Paula’s Choice BHA <3 <3

  • A

    Bioderma, cleans my skin without drying it out. That and REN evercalm cleanser. I want to try retinol but I don’t know in what form would work for my skin which is prone to redness.

  • Aggie

    Ole Henriksen vitamin C serum collagen booster! I have had a lot of acne and this helped get rid of the dark scars left on my skin, it also plumps your skin in a magical way. Whenever I don’t use it I realize how much I am starting to age. Plus it has a citrus scent which makes it even more pleasant to apply in the morning 🙂

  • Shan

    I have dermographism, too, Patty! I was recently diagnosed after a particularly bad flair up, but I realized I had been dealing with it all my life. I find pure coconut oil works best for the itching.

  • Lili

    Acure Sensitive face wash is my holy grail! I try to be as au naturale as possible. But, “Manuka honey as face wash,” is no match for waterproof eye make up and heavy foundation… Plus I break out easily and often, and this face wash doesn’t harm my skin at all.
    I spent a good thirty minutes reading labels at my local organic grocer, only to realize that this was the ONE face wash that wasn’t like spreading horse shit across my face. 🙂
    (Okay that’s a little extreme, but you get the point.)

  • Anaid Chrietzberg

    CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, CeraVe PM moisturizer, LaRoche Posay No Breakout SPF, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tint Moisturizer…for mornings.
    Bioderma Sebium Micellar, CeraVe FFC, CeraVe PM moisturizer and the occasional dabbing of Mario Badescu Drying Cream… for night.

    Forever and ever and ever.

  • Yue

    I’ve bought the Hada Labo Lotion over and over. I have dry skin and it’s glow in a bottle. Although I’ll usually mix it with a few drops of oil (been using the Sunday Riley Juno oil).

  • I love reading about skincare and now I have a few things added to my Beauty Products Pinterest board! Would love an article on what order to put things on in your beauty routine because it does make a difference. There are some interesting youtube videos on the 10 step Korean skin care routine which are fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6Sskl5PJqA