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Best skin care products in the world: how to choose cosmetics that work

Best skincare products-how to find them

Best skincare products in the world: how to find and pick them

When I was 23, I didn't know anything skincare except that it was expensive.

I was chubby, and I had some acne issues. I didn't feel good about myself , but I was too ashamed to ask for help.

Luckily, help came without me asking. 

I was doing my internship in a pharmacy and there was this lady, Manuela. She was working at the skincare aisle.

Manuela is a very direct person. She told me that I was pretty except for my chin where the acne was. Manuela suggested that I start using some skincare products, and she sold me a bunch of them. 

My acne didn't improve much with those products alone.

But since that day, I became passionate about skincare  so I guess my money was well spent anyways.

By the way, my acne finally improved when, besides using cosmetics, I started to eat well and cured the hormonal unbalance I had. 

This is the foundation of everything I do.

If I could tell you ONE thing only it would be that:

Recently I have come to the conclusion that the beauty industry is populated by three different kinds of experts:

  • “Experts” who swear wonders of any skincare product they try (because they get commissions to do that).
  • Experts who acknowledge the beauty industry has a transparency issue; these people are aware most cosmetic products are just marketing, yet they don’t do anything to address the issue or change the situation.
  • Experts who acknowledge the problem and try their best to fix it.

Even though I don't like the word "expert" I do want to make a revolution in the beauty industry by bringing more transparency to the table

This is why I am developing products and selling them in a way that takes transparency extremely seriously.

Some might be as simple as cleaning your skin in a gentle way and that’s okay. 

I want to make a revolution.

I want the beauty industry to adhere to strict standards of quality and performance. 

1% Hyaluronic acid serum.

 Perfect hydration in just one step.

Formulations should promise one thing and deliver it. As simple as it sounds, I truly believe this is the direction the beauty industry should turn to.

I feel for consumers: with the plethora of products the industry offers, it's hard to know what to buy to make the most out of hard-earned bucks…

So I decided to write this short guide to help YOU navigate the beauty industry. I want you to spend money on products that are really worth it!

You need to become what I call an “educated consumer". Educated doesn’t mean you need to know everything about skincare. You only need to be able to make an informed decision when purchasing. 

Best skin care products- The #1 misconception you need to know

Quality of cosmetics

Cosmetics should adhere to high quality standards.

A very common misconception is that expensive products are better than average priced/cheap ones. This is not always the case, alas. When buying high end cosmetics you’re not only paying for the product itself (ingredients, packaging, manufacturing, etc.); you’re also paying for advertising, retail locations,  research that has been sustained on certain ingredients, and so on.

Some brands can charge more because of their brand positioning. 

To help you understand this concept, think about Mc Donald’s coffee ($1) and the Blue Bottle coffee (don’t know the exact price for a cup, but I do know it’s expensive). Coffee quality is not the same, indeed. However, the difference is not so prominent to justify such price gap. Clearly, when you decide to sip Blue Bottle coffee you’re paying for the overall experience, not for the coffee itself. Blue Bottle doesn't target the same kind of customers as Mc Donald's. Their brand positioning is completely different. The same concept applies to skincare. 

Does this mean you shouldn’t buy expensive products? Not at all. 

High-end products are usually very appealing and give you a remarkable experience. Fragrances are pleasant and not overwhelming, which is important as well. As a general rule , expensive products are more polished and sophisticated.

Luckily ,if you cannot afford such expensive products, you can still find high quality cosmetics. So the real deal is learning how to differentiate a high quality product from a bad one. This is crucial when making skincare choices; in fact, some formulations out there contain more than 80% water, which basically means they won’t do anything for you, no matter what they claim on the packaging.

Best skin care products in the world- What really makes products work

The first thing you need to know is that what makes a product working is a combination of the following factors:

  • What ingredients are in the product
  • The amount of these ingredients
  • How the product is formulated (crucial!)

I used the word combination because you need all these 3 for the product to work. If one element is missing, there would be a substantial decrease in the performance. 

The first thing you want to do when selecting a product is to analyze the ingredients list. A basic understanding of how cosmetic labeling works will definitely help you choose the best skin care products. Remember that ingredients are listed in descending order. 

Analyze_ingredients_list

Learn how to read cosmetic labels


What are the active ingredients in this product? 

With “active ingredients,” I mean ingredients that have a proven record of being able to address a particular skin concern. For example, we know that hyaluronic acid , vitamin C, niacin, Retinol, Kojic acid among others are effective. We know because they’re backed by science. 

If you can’t identify any active ingredient, there could be 2 scenarios:

  • scenario #1: the product is of a very poor quality one, mostly composed of water and glycerin. 
  •  scenario #2: the product does not address a particular skin concern, yet is intended to preserve a skin that is already in good condition.  If this is the case, the product won’t do much for you. It might experience a very pleasant initial feeling right after application, but that’s it. Be wary of natural extracts as well. Most of the times, they’re so diluted that it's impossible to notice any benefits (same principle as homeopathic remedies).

Where are the active ingredients located in the list? 

Are they towards the beginning or the end? If they are towards the end, it’s not a good sign. The worse sign is reading something like /water, glycerin, dimethicone, etc. (in this order). Don’t get me wrong, glycerin is an excellent humectant for the skin , but it’s also very tacky. This is why its percentage must be limited in a formulation. Glycerin is also a very cheap ingredient (along with dimethicone); to make myself clear, if you see a product with that composition that costs more than $10.99, it’s probably not worth the money. 

Big brands are becoming increasingly aware that the order of the ingredients in the list counts; for example, the Aveeno Shampoo proudly claims that oat extract is the first ingredient. This is very important; however, we don’t know how diluted is that extract…

Some indie brands are making a difference by using hydrosols or floral water as first ingredients and/or avoid free glycerin (it means they use natural extracts in glycerin instead of just glycerin). This is definitely an improvement and something to look forward to.

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How many ingredients are there? 

As a general rule, the more the ingredients, the lower their relative % , the lower the benefits. Steer away from products that have a super long ingredients list. In this case, less is more.

Is the majority of the ingredients cheap? 

Clearly, not all ingredients are priced the same. While some companies genuinely care about consumers, others make decisions with profit in mind. There was a “moisturizing” cream on Amazon which was composed of water , glycerin, and a bunch of different silicones. Silicones are emollient, indeed. Moisturizing? Arguably. Some may say they are because of the film formed on the skin that prevents moisture loss. 

My point is that you shouldn’t be paying $60 (or more) for products that are made with cheap ingredients overseas. Because you’re not paying for the product! You’re mostly supporting the company’s by helping cover the costs for advertising, locations, testimonials, etc. (see above). You can get the same quality for $5 . An example is petrolatum. So (too) many products have a high percentage of petrolatum and are sold as they were something miraculous when you can have the same result by buying the Vaseline brand. An example of this is the La Mer lip balmretailing for $60; it claims to contain a “Miracle Broth”, yet the first ingredient we read on the label is …petrolatum! The miracle broth is probably present at 0.001%. Guess what? You wouldn't even notice if it wasn't in there.  

Analyzing the ingredients list can give you a pretty clear understanding of the /overall quality/ of a product, but there’s more to consider. Let's jump to point 3

How has the product been formulated? 
how_cosmetcs_are_formulated

Formulation affects the quality and the performance of a product

Unfortunately, consumers have no way of knowing how a product has been formulated , and this is a big issue. In fact, while the presence of active ingredients is certainly beneficial, the presence itself is not enough. The formulation plays a huge role. For example, there are some ingredients that are active only within certain pH level. If you make a mistake with the pH, the active ingredient is not going to work.

This is why I always suggest to avoid purchasing from DIYers, at least when it comes to skincare. You want someone with a strong chemistry background AND years of experience to be formulating cosmetics. Certain skills cannot (and should not) be improvised.

Has the company performed some kind of *independent* clinical testing on the product? 

90% of the time , the answer is a sound no. There are either no data at all or, if you’re lucky, only some small studies performed on 4/5 subjects (family and friends).

It’s also important to point out that, when present, these studies have been designed by the company itself. Clearly, no Government research entity will ever set up a double blind placebo study to make sure claims are substantiated. Still, it's a good sign!

The best brands are those that not only perform clinical studies but also share the results publicly. 

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Let me ask you something: when was the last time you read on a magazine about a beauty product that doesn’t work? I’m serious. Truth is, it never happens. Conversely, you’ll find tons of vaguely alleged values.

Don’t even make me start on posts you see on social media because those are the worst: fake reviews, influencers who get paid to endorse products they don’t even use, celebrities who dare to swear their flawless visage is due to a miraculous serum.

The only way to know if a product really works is to conduct clinical studies. Ideally, these studies should highlight a noticeable difference between the “before” and “after”. 

When I mention clinical studies, I’m only referring to skincare products whose promises seem a little bit “too much”. No need to perform clinical studies for products that only claim to be gentle on the skin or to leave it soft and supple. Nobody would ever perform a test to prove that a detergent really cleans.

You shouldn't trust online reviews and, at the same time, from a consumer’s prospective, statements such as “clinically proven” or “dermatologist approved” are misleading. They could refer to almost anything. You need to investigate what studies have been performed and what conclusions were drawn from them. 

Best skin care products in the world-Make a difference with your brand

If you own a beauty brand or planning to start one, make sure to adopt a real approach of transparency.

Transparency seems to be a buzzword nowadays.

You need to make it a reality for your brand.

People don't trust companies like they used to. Brand loyalty is going down as well. You need to give your customers a reason to buy from you and one to come back. Creating simple yet effective products is always a damn good strategy.

#1 Make sure you're able to substantiate the marketing claims you make; if you aren't, don't make them. Simple as that.

2# Don't fool customers into believing they'll obtain some instant anti-age effect or they'll look 10 years younger. They won't. 

3# Do your homework and apply the transparency rule. For example, if you claim your ingredients are natural, make sure they really are. This seems obvious, however you have no idea how many products I see that are not 100% natural yet they claim they are. Truly disappointing.

I hope this "small guide" on how to choose the best skincare products was useful. If you have  specific products to analyze or questions,  write me in the comments section.

140 thoughts on “Best skin care products in the world: how to choose cosmetics that work

  1. I want to start my own beauty products.

    1. Deb, congratulations on making the decision! You might want to take a look at this article where I explain all the process in details…let me know if you have any question. https://luisafanzani.com/start-a-cosmetic-line/

  2. Have you ever analyzed “The Ordinary” brand skincare products?

    1. Some products are good, some other not as much… What’s your favorite?

      1. I have found the Ordinary range has made a difference to the texture of my skin especially the hylauronic acid followed by the Vitamin C. I am not keen on their moisturiser as it doesn’t seem to absorb well so I use other brands

        1. yes, sometimes you have to buy from different brands.

  3. Wow, super informative. Thank you for sharing such honest guidance and advice!

  4. GM, can you please tell me your opinion of LeMer?

    1. Sure! You can read this answer I posted on Quora. I analyzed the ingredients of one of their best selling cream. Here’s the link https://qr.ae/TWhTh1

  5. Luisa

    I am 68 years old and have developed what has to be the worlds most dry skin, mainly due to serious illness and meds which dry out skin, especially my face. I am on a fixed income and really can’t afford to spend a lot on skin care. Could you recommend products that might help my in regaining softness and nice looking skin?

    I loved this article but would appreciate recommendations from you.

    1. Hi Marcella! For the body, I would suggest to use Vaseline at night and CeraVe cream during the day. Vaseline is very effective for dry skin. You should be using it at night because being very greasy can be unpleasant used as a daily moisturizer. To make CeraVe even more effective, you could add some drops of oil to it. CeraVe can be used for face, too so you don’t buy 2 different products. Let me know if this helps you!

    2. I have extremely dry skin as well due to eczema. I would suggest castor oil, which I ordered through Amazon. It’s thick enough to stay on my skin like Vaseline but absorbs much better. I have also found jars of homemade skin creams at farmers markets made with shea butter and other natural oils and essential oils to be helpful as well.

      1. Essential oils are the worst thing you can put on the skin if you have eczema…

  6. What ingredients I should look for if I want to remove dark spots

    1. High amount of niacinamide (at least 10%) and / or vitamin C

      1. Luisa,

        I’m 51 and out of the blue (well, i had not noticed) that my face is getting a lot of age spots, but I also have large porse and to top it off, my wrinkles are more noticable. I have tried many brands but with no success. What product would you recommend for a single mother with a fixed income.

        1. You can’t really prevent age spots, but you can wear sunscreen to minimize them. Also a cream with a high amount of niacinamide would help, but definitely won’t make them disappear.

      2. In that vein, is “The ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%” a good one?

  7. hey, can you suggest best antiaging products . i am 50+ and have deep acne scar too.

    1. To minimize acne scars appearance, I would suggest using one of this exfoliants: https://www.navinkaskin.com/products/nightly-calibrator and https://amzn.to/2LC6jJo

  8. Luisa I really like you. You are so straightfoward!!!

    If you have spare time I would like to ask for your opinion about sisley and La Prarie. One is a french botanical skincare brand and the other is proudly announced their famous serum works as efficent as botox injection.

    Many thanks!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I know both brands. Any specific product you’re interested in analyzing?

  9. Please am trying to get rid of pimples on my face what product should I use

  10. I have severe acne problem on my cheeks and jawline..as far as now i have tried clindamycin po4 gel…but no significant results..please recommend smthg which would actually work on my oily skin .

    1. Sara, you should see a dermatologist as acne is treated through medications rather than cosmetics.

  11. Hi Luisa, what about Nuskin AgeLOC products? They claim their products are ‘all of the good n none of the bad’. And I’ve seen many good real life testimonies on their products. I don’t read ingredients but I care for safety n results.

    1. It looks like the do clinical tests on their products which is a good thing.

  12. Hi what skin products are recommended for dry sensitive eczema prone skin. I love your articles it’s very informative. Thanks

    1. Thank you! For eczema prone/ very dry skin, I would recommend using unguents / creams with high content of petrolatum (mineral oil), cholesterol, and ceramide.

  13. Hello,Luisa!
    First of all, I want to commend you on the article you published which states facts only. I am reaching out to you for help to treat, melasma, as I was told by dermatologists. I have tried Hydroquinone,chemical peels, laser, fraxel, high octane Vitamin C concentrate and you name it all but all experiments failed. It has now spread all over my face. You can also classify this as hyper pigmentation (dark patches).
    I desperately need your help.
    Thank you in advance.
    anita

    1. Anita, I am not a doctor and can’t help with treatment of such skin condition.

  14. Excellent information. Your site definitely explains essential concepts to its readers. Thanks for continuing to write such wonderful articles.

    1. Thanks to YOU for the nice words!

  15. I have been using Aveda Botanical Kinetics line–the Purifying Creme Cleanser and the Hydrating Lotion combo. I started using this 14 years ago, back when I was going thru chemo as my skin was very sensitive and I found this combo very soothing. I am fair/freckled skinned and 50+ and sadly despite always using sunscreen my skin is showing it’s age–but happy about that too because I’m alive! Also I think my product loyalty is costing me and I am paying for brand and not getting much more than a pleasant scent/packaging. Your article seems to support my suspicion. Am tempted to pick up a drug store brand cleanser and hydrating lotion to try for awhile as a test–any you recommend in particular?

    1. I’m not a fan of foaming face cleansers because they make my skin very dry so I would suggest to use micellar water instead. if you do prefer a foaming one, the Olay Gentle Clean is okay (you can find it at Target). L’Oreal Age perfect Hydra Nutrition is a very moisturizing/hydrating cream. As expected, texture is not lightweight , though.

  16. Due to acne, have got skin with marks and pores due to deep acne… like cystic acne..: is there any product to cure the skin or lasers is the only option… thanks for your help

    1. No skincare product will make your scars disappear completely. Try microdermabrasion or laser.

  17. Hi Ms. Luisa,

    I’m a combination skin type, which product are suits to me? I tried all expensive products but still my t-zone are too oily. My pores are visible and i didn’t achieve the skin i want which is glowing and youthful skin. i’m 38y.o.

    1. Oily skin is caused by hormonal unbalance and/or diet. Before spending a lot on skincare products, I would recommend to check these 2 factors. Cosmetics can help, but the first step to glowing skin is ALWAYS to fix lifestyle habits.

  18. Plz my name is faith. Am 29yrs old light skinned, plz I need a good cream that will take away d small black blemishes from other fake creams I have used. I need a good cream recommendation from you.

    1. Creams won’t make black blemishes suddenly disappear. Ingredients that might help reduce their appearance are sodium ascorbyl phosphate and niacinamide.

  19. I only recently dabble into the k-beauty routine with random products. I learned about actives from your article and will like to incorporate cosrx snail mucin as essence and the ordinary 10% niacinamide as serum. I have oily acne prone skin with old acne scars. I will love your opinion.

    1. Niacinamde promotes protein synthesis which improves skin texture. It can be helpful depending on how old and deep are your acne scars.

  20. I never knew that the order of the ingredients on a label is very important for skincare products, like how glycerin is great for the skin but only in specific quantities. I am looking to get some new skincare products for my wife and will certainly make sure I check out the ingredient list when I am making that decision. Your article does a great job of explaining how to find the best products.

    1. I ‘m glad you find the article useful!

  21. Hi,
    I have been looking for someone with an insight like yours for a while. Where can I find skincare facts?

    “For example, we know that hyaluronic acid , vitamin C, niacin, Retinol, Kojic acid among others are effective. We know because they’re backed by science.”

    Where can I find the results of these scientific studies?

    1. Hi Ken, You can find all scientific studies on Pubmed.com. There’s also a free version called Pubmed central , but it contains less articles.

  22. Hi Luisa
    Greetings
    your article is quite informative and it really needs courage to write all this ,when there is so much compition in cosmetic industries ….
    I am a crazy buyer of cosmetics ,starting from anti ageing cream and so on …but I hardly recomend any of these to anyone ,because all were not upto the my expectation ….
    Thanks to you now I know what to pick in the market
    with regards
    Anamika Samanta
    Kolkata
    India

  23. Very informative article, Luisa! I wonder what you think about Erno Laszlo brand. Thank you.

    1. I am not very familiar with that brand. With that being said, I looked up the Firmarine moisturizer which sells for $100. The first 3 ingredients are water, butylene glycol, and Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate. All these are cheap. These are followed by C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate and Glycerin. With glycerin being probably around 3/4% you’ll see how overpriced is this cream. Perhaps I picked the wrong one. Which one were you referring to? Have you noticed any benefit from the use?

  24. Hi Luisa! Thank you so much for this post. It really helped me to differentiate between the products. One question tho. What do you think would be a great moisturizer for a rather oily skin? I am only 20 and was thinking of using a moisturizer for my skin, however I don’t know how to pick it because my skin can be either oily or dry sometimes.

    1. Dear Ada, first I think you should use a micellar water as cleanser. As far as the moisturizer, I would suggest something with a very light texture. What’s your budget?

  25. Hi Luisa,
    Thanks for an informative post.
    Need some help but can’t find any info online. I live in London currently and hardwater is really making my skin bad and lifeless, when I go to a place with soft water I can notice a ton of difference 😐 . What can I do to battle hard water effects.
    This is making me look older than I am 🙁

    1. I have never heard of this issue so I don’t know how to help you.

    2. Yes, hard water effects not only the skin but the hair, as well. You will need to install a water softening system in your home.
      In the meantime, exfoliate your skin and apply moisturizers generously. As for your hair, treat it after cleansing with hydrating hair mask and/or conditioners.

  26. Hi Luisa,

    Can you recommend me a good and affordable Sunscreen. As I am living in Singapore where the sun shines all year round, I am thinking at least a SPF90?

    Thank you and looking forward to your valuable advice.

    Regards,
    Carmen

    1. Take a look at Bionike sunscreens. If you can’t find that brand in Singapore, write me again.

  27. Hii Luisa, pls what’s your take on natural ingredients for acne.
    Also please what do u think about Makari product.

    1. Their products mostly contain ingredients for skin brightening. If that’s what you’re looking for, give it a try. I am not familiar with that brand, but I went on their website and read their ingredients lists.

  28. What is your address overall opinion of the Avene brand?

    1. Considering the price, I think it’s good!

  29. Hey Luisa,
    I am a 27 year old recently trying to get into a nice skincare regimen. What do you recommend for a combination skin(acne prone) for morning/night??

    Also what are your thoughts on Rejuvenique light oil by Monat?
    The ingredients list is as follows:
    Propanediol Dicaprylate/Caprate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Adansonia Digitata Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Taitensis Flower Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Eugenol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool

    1. I can’t give you specific advice on a skincare routine without having more background. For acne prone skin, I would avoid products containing squalene as it is comedogenic. I would also avoid cleansers that are too aggressive and switch to micellar water. I would then apply something (cream or serum) that contains small amounts of salicylic acid.
      The oil you mentioned is very expensive ($99 for 1 oz). There are similar products on the market for a fraction of the price.

  30. One superb is that there don’t seem to be any superb Plexaderm aspect outcomes beyond the usual disclaimer that some human beings can also go through minor pores and skin irritation.

  31. Hey

    thank yo, very enlightening!

    it would be great to have some examples of those products, by any chance you have written anything about it have you?

    thank you for the great post

    1. Thanks! What products are you interested in?

  32. Hey ,
    I am in my early twenties and developed acne around 13 , then it turned to keratosis pirosis in my late teens.
    It is in my lower and upper body , how can I fix this ?

    1. You should see a dermatologist. I’m just a cosmetic chemist…Good luck!

  33. Hi Luisa I am 63 years old and I’ve been using Resilience Lift / Estée Lauder for years. I saw many ingredients in the label so after reading your I believe they are not very good products. What brand can you recommend me ? My skin is dry but in good shape .

    1. For dry skin, I recommend the Clinique Dramatically different Cream. For the record, the Resilience Lift is not a bad product. It’s just that is so overpriced!

  34. I like to thank you for your wonderful information… I like to know what you think of essential oils as anti aging… I understand that eating , exercise and sunscreen is a great start.. I have been using carrier oils coconut and Jojoba ..I feel they are genital to my skin and feel nice on my skin.. I feel essential oils are very harsh… They have books and companies advising that they work.. I do not see any vitamins in them but do note vitamins in carrier oils… I know the mighty dollar is all that these companies care about.. I like to know your take.. Thank you Lynn Rubinson my email is slrr44@msn.com also

    1. Not only essential oils do not have any anti-agin property, they’re also irritant for the skin. My opinion is: steer away!

  35. Hello Luisa, thanks for this quality post. Thumbs UP!

    1. Thank you for reading!

  36. What do you think of Rodan and Fields and the new Monat Skincare lines? Most specifically eye creams
    https://www.rodanandfields.com/
    https://mymonat.com/shop/products/eye-smooth?taxon_id=127
    Thank you for your input!

    1. Based on ingredients, Monat eyecream seems okay. I like the active ingredient being caffeine which works very well.

  37. Hey luisa
    Thumbs up for such a great article. It was indeed very helpful and interesting.
    Kindly, can you tell me any home made skin products and what is your opinion about using baking soda for pimple treatment

    1. Thank you! I wouldn’t recommend baking soda for acne. Try salicylic acid instead.

  38. I’m curious about “Olay-Regenerist” does it really work?

    1. not bad at all for the price. It helps.

  39. Hi Luisa, I really enjoyed reading your article.
    What do you think of Shiseido WASO color-smart day moisturizer oil-free with SPF 30? Is this a good product? I have combination skin, oily tzone, and dryer cheeks. Is this a suitable product for me?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Esther! The product you mentioned is a huge NO. The first 3 ingredients are water, cyclopentasiloxane, and alcohol. Alcohol in such high concentration in a moisturizer doesn’t make sense as it dries the skin.

  40. I haveperioral dermatitis. Does that mean no makeup the rest of my life????? I am in my70’s but dont want to go out with a face of guck. I used a med from dr doesnt work.Please, some kind of answer. I am all alone and dont like myself much anymore.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, but I can’t help. I am not a dermatologist and am not familiar with that condition. Wish you all the best.

  41. How do I get information about what products have gotten clinical trials and the results? Is there a particular website or do I just google the name of the product and “clinical trial”?

    1. If the company has performed some clinical studies, they show it on their website. To access studies on single ingredients , you can use Pubmed.

  42. Thank you for the informative article. I was wondering if I could ask your opinion on a few different products? I have been using the 1st, my Mom the 2nd and I have started to be “hounded” to try the 3rd.
    1)Olay 7 signs of aging
    2)Reversa Radiance Cream
    3)Rodan and Fields products

    Thanks again for any information.

    1. among the ones you mentioned, the best is #2 Reversa Radiance Cream.

  43. Can you list your top five best make up choices? I also have oily skin that is still at 62 acne-prone, I also have pop marks. I try to take excellent care of skin, vegetarian diet most of the time, exercise, yoga, all the good health care practices. None of these works. At the moment I use Chanel, as it doesn’t cause blisery breakouts. Thank you for your suggestions.

    1. Hi Donna. You’re doing everything right. Chanel is the #1 brand for makeup. Stick to it!

  44. Wow – what a great and thorough article. And just at a time I was wondering how I was going to keep affording my skin care. I’d like your opinion on 2 products I use but are expensive:
    Drunk Elephant Protini
    And especially Phloretin with Ferulic from Skinceuticals which is super expensive.

    Thx in advance!!
    Preethi

    1. The protini cream is good, but it’s anti aging not moisturizing. The Skinceuticals product is okay as well. However, I believe there are much better ones (The ordinary, Paula’s Choice).

  45. Hi

    I am 51 years old. My skin has changed over the last 2 years. I need suggestions on good skin care products. My pores are more visible, lines and wrinkles around eyes and mouth. My makeup doesn’t look natural anymore
    Please help! 🙂

    1. h=Hyaluornic acid can help you recover some skin elasticity. take a look at the shop section of my site.

  46. Hello-
    I am 50 and my skin is looking dull, saggy and tired. I drink plenty of water. I’m wondering if you can point me in the direction of a skincare line that you love. I’m going to purchase your hyaluronic acid but someone mentioned I should do retinol and vitamin C, as well. Do you have any suggestions which ones I should use as well as a moisturizer (with and without spf), cleanser, etc. Do you have a favourite skin care line? I’m willing to spend a little if it is helpful (meaning I am not restricted to drug store brands).

    Thank you!

    1. Paula’s choice, Clinique, and the Ordinary. send me an email for indications on specific products.

  47. Luisa
    I have pimple and I will like to lighten my face alittle.am using Palmer’s coco butter but no result, can you recommend for me.thanks

    1. You should use a product with at least 5% Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C) .

  48. Thank you for the article, it helps a lot! I just went to the Dermatologist and she recommended a bunch of expensive products, my skin has not gotten better after trying like 5 different products, which were expensive as well. I tried a professional face mask yesterday and I hope it gets better. I am going to see all the ingredients next time I buy something.

    1. Hope it will get better!

  49. Hi Luisa , I am from India , I would like to thank you for such nice article , I am 34 years old can you please suggest nice cream for skin tanning, and open pores and also something for glowing skin, , i have done microdermabrasion in past but not very satisfied with it, Thank you.

  50. Hi, Luisa! Great article. I have been using Perricone products for years. Do you know anything about Sub D? I am 68, not a sun lover, so not too many wrinkles, but getting crepey arms and legs getting dry. What are got body creams? Thanks!

    1. Hi Joan, my uncle is an avid user of Perricone’s products, too! The Sub D is packed with active ingredients, good choice! For your dry skin, I would recommend the Bioderma atoderm line. Let me know how it works for you!

  51. Thank you for this really helpful article! I really appreciate the layman’s explanation of what to look for in terms of ingredients that are (not) helpful or worth the money. I may have to write out a cheat sheet for myself, and my targeted conditions, for when I next go to buy products!

    1. Yolanda, thank you for reading!

  52. I like your straightforward answers Luisa, thank you.

  53. Dear Luisa, thank you for your generous advice to so many women. I’d like to ask your advice/thoughts on Hannah Sillitoe products. She recently created her own brand of cosmetics and I purchased the face cream on the basis of supporting a small company. I’m 43 years old with no brand loyalty but wondering if it would be better to use Clinique on the basis of their clinical trials etc? Thank you Louisa

    1. Supporting friends on a business venture is a call of duty!

  54. Hi, thank you for the information. It helps a lot. I have used pretty expensive skin care products in the past and by coincidence discovered cerave. I really like their lotions and use it all over my body including my face. As my skin gets older I wonder if I need to switch to something else for a more bright texture. My face looks a bit dull. What do you think and what would you recommend?

    1. I would recommend sunlight, exercise, and some sweat. Exercise is great to give new life to dull skin!

      1. I didn’t see your answer on Sisley. What about sisleaya intégral anti-age Line of products? And the more expensive supremya products? The sisleya anti-aging foundation has a nice appearance, though I don’t know if it helps anything.

        1. Sisley, LaMer, La Prairie….they’re all the same super overpriced products.

  55. Hi Luisa thank you for your advice. I am 57 and looking into anti aging skin care. I have been using Lancôme genifique and 100% argan oil. Do you have any thoughts on Kate Somervilles’ skin care line or Kiehls apothecary? They were both recommended to me. Kate Somerville is a bit expensive. I appreciate your thoughts.. thank you.

    1. Kiehls is a good brand.

      1. Hi Luisa, I have always had great results from Oil of Olay… I know its cheap but it moisturised my skin and didnt leave a greasy finish. But now I have dryer skin and need to think about something with more anti ageing ingredients. What ingredients and products should I look at…? Is there anything good thats non-greasy…? Thank you…!

        1. Hi! I like the Bioderma Atoderm line for dry skin. Let me know the results, if you try it.

  56. Hi! What is your opinion of the Oumere skin care line? can vitamin c have adverse effects on against? I currently use Mad Hippie products!

    1. They use many natural extracts that haven’t been proven to do what they say they’ll do.

  57. Hi luisa , thanks for writing this informative and thorough article it really helps me to choose which cosmetics brand is best for my skin type and still within budget ofc. Do you also review and test korean skincare brand? Eg: Missha time revolution borabit ampoule. Whats your thoughts abt the active ingredients as it has a very long list of ingredients. Do you think it is as good as the reviews? Thanks n cheers

    1. Hi Caroline, I personally don’t buy products with too many ingredients because I want a more targeted and powerful action. But if it works for you, you should buy it. It looks like it’s not super overpriced.

  58. Skin Care products can be tricky. Perfectly curated article about which cosmetics to use. What’s your thoughts abt the active ingredients in the Nu Skin Care Products?

    1. A lot of unsubstantiated claims. Before and after photos that are clearly fake. $83 for a product that has water, glycerin , pentylene glycol, and silicones as first ingredients…definitely a no!

  59. Hello Luisa, i found you through Quora. Thank you for your very informative article. I’m not that disciplined in my skincare routine buy i do try, i have combination skin and definitely as you stated food has been the main game changer for me, removing certain foods and drinking pleanty of water.
    I’ve been using Yves Rocher skincare products over the last 10 years along with some at home remedies (honey has worked miracles for me). Recently i have been hearing a lot about “Korean 8 or even 10 steps skin regimen”, they use a lot of serums, ampoules, essences. In your opinion, ¿Adding all this steps really works? ¿What do you think about Yves Rocher? (I´m sorry if there are any grammatical mistakes, English is not my first language)

    1. You definitely don’t need a 10 or even 8 steps skincare routine. Like you said, removing certain foods makes a huge difference. The rest comes from using a few effective products and especially avoid harsh cleansers. If Yves Rocher works for you, I don’t see why change it.

  60. Your website is very informative and I appreciate your direct response to questions. What is your opinion of cannabis in skin care products? Can CBD and/or THC help reduce puffiness in the skin around the eyes, smooth skin texture? Or do you recommend using products with niacin, for example, or a combination of both? Thank you!

    1. My apologies… some examples of products:
      Cannuka CBD Calming Eye Balm or Sagely Brightening CBD Face Serum

      1. There is no conclusive evidence CBD will reduce puffiness or smooth skin texture. CBD in skincare products is mainly used as anti-inflammatory and COULD help with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema , and rosacea. Again, studies are not conclusive. With that being said, the Sagely product is not overpriced as it contains quite expensive ingredients such as bakuchiol, CBD isolate, and sea buckthorn oil. Therefore, I would give it a try. It looks like the company has an ethical way of doing business.

    2. Thank you. I have replied to your other comment.

  61. Hi luisa thanks for taking time to write this..i really do appreciate.
    I’m not into any skin care routine but I think it’s time I start because I noticed the area beneath my eyes is becoming more dark wasn’t like that before.i want you to pls recommend what to use, not an expensive product plus I want you to also recommend a good cleaners, moisturizer n May be tonner I don’t know how to go about it.i just want that glow all over not just on my face..i am dark skin ..thanks.

    1. hi there! I would use a product with at least 10% Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. The Ordinary has one that’s affordable. You probably don’t need a toner. As far as cleanser and moisturizer, I think the Bioderma products are pretty good.

  62. Hi Luisa,

    I have an otherwise good skin except for very light blemish marks on my cheeks. Can you please help me with the top ingredients that help in combatting blemish spots?

    1. I would recommend a 10% niacinamide product. How’s your diet? A diet high in carbs and sugar promotes blemishes…

  63. Hi Luisa
    Very informative article! What are your thoughts on Deciem’s NIOD copper amino isolate serum 2:1 and NIOD supervise dismutase saccharide mist? I wonder if Deciem’s higher priced line NIOD is any better than the lower priced The Ordinary. Also which vitamin C The Ordinary carries is good? And how does it compare to paula’s choice vitamin C booster? Thanks so much!

    1. Deciem’s NIOD copper serum seems to have a higher concentration of actives (peptides) compared to the Ordinary. Higher cost is also due to this and the double packaging. The Ordinary vitamin C products are good expect for the ascorbic acid powder which is useless. Paula’s choice is the brand I always recommend.

  64. Hi I was wondering if u can help .i have a daughter of 22 she used lemon juice on her face n it did lighten her skin but discontinued using lemon juice n her skin has gotten very dark now actually worse than what it was before the use of lemon juice. What can she do to reverse the damage

    1. I always say not to use lemon juice on the face. I don’t know what the damage is so I can’t help. I would take her to a dermatologist.

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