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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. 

High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic acid serum

We make and sell products using the same standards of transparency described in the article.

Our goal is to change the beauty industry for the better.

Are you in?

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. 


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? 

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. 

What are the "best" face products?

Since there are literally millions of skin care brands and products and I haven't tried them all, I don't feel I'm the position to tell you what to buy and what products are superior. I will give you my opinion on specific products in the comments section.

To summarize, I want to give you some guidelines that will allow you to understand and chose the best face products. 

As a general rule, the best face products are not necessarily luxury skin care products such as LaMer or La Prairies. Also the so called "medical grade" facial treatments at the end of the day are no different than regular ones.

The only way to know is to look at the ingredients list, clinical studies, and company's profile. 

As far as the ingredients, opt for products that state the concentration of the active ingredient. For example , a serum than contains 10% niacinamide is better than one that doesn't say anything (especially if you see niacinamide towards the end of the list...). 

Keep in mind that smaller companies might have higher prices compared to big corporations because their costs are higher. This leads to the fact that a $300 jar of LaMer cream is overpriced BUT a similar product from a very small company might not be. Huge companies are able to buy packaging and ingredients in bulk , thus paying less for those. 

If you have sensitive skin, avoid products that contain colorants (on the ingredients list as CI followed by a number) and fragrances. 

There's no such thing as "BEST PRODUCTS". There's the product that works best for you which is a completely different concept. Yes, we can look up the ingredients but at the end of the day we don't know how companies work behind closed door. 

Take what I say as starting point , but then go out and make your own research. Try different products and see what works the best FOR YOU.

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.

232 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.

  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

  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: and

  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?

    2. Hello Luisa,
      So glad that i read your article. I am from India. Now in India all claims are towards sulphate free and paraben free. If these claims are there it is a superior and expensive product.
      Also cosmetics are towards natural ingredients bloke aloe vera, saffron and turmeric. How do we figure out the authenticity of these?
      Have you tested Indian Brands anytime?

      1. I don’t have much experience with Indian products. I am a fan of turmeric , but as usual it’s important to see whether it is added at the right amount and properly formulated.

  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 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.

    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!

    2. Could you give me your opinion on the Rodan and Field skincare line? Thank you!

      1. Hi Leslie, I am not in the position of judging a whole brand. We should evaluate single products. If you search through the comments, you’ll see that I’ve already written something about specific products from Rodan and Field.

  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 There’s also a free version called Pubmed central , but it contains less articles.

  22. Hi Luisa
    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

  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.


    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 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
    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!!

    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 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.

          1. Thanks luisa I’m 37 my skin looks so dull I have tried many expensive products I’m struggling with white heads

          2. Expensive products may or may not be better than cheaper ones. Whiteheads are a form of acne. Make sure skin is clean – you can use a salicylic acid cleanser and avoid oil rich moisturizers.

  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.

  65. Hi Luisa. Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative overview about choosing the right skin care product. Also, a bigger THANK YOU for taking more time to answer our questions. You seem to truly care and educate your extended friends. On that note, I’ve been on a quest to find my am/pm routine and generally google top rated skin care products. That brings me to Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. Over 20k, 5 star reviews on Google and basically on any other platform that sells this product.
    Based on your extensive experience and knowledge, is this product worth all the hype?

    1. Hi Cassadra! Yes, it’s a good product. I do think that there are other cheaper ones that give you the same results.

  66. Hi Luisa, I am so impressed by your expertise, straightforwardness and ethicalness which are clearly conveyed by your writing style. I took lots of notes from what you’ve written. Thank you for taking the time to be so helpful. (I found you through Quora.)

    1. Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you so much for the support!

  67. I really enjoyed reading articles and all the replies to queries. Easy to understand for end-users of products like me. I’m 56, have a pretty good skincare routine & exercise but still trying hard to fight signs of ageing. My concerns are dullness & starting to sag skin :(. Could do with a good but not sticky body moisturiser too. (I live in a tropical coutry). Could you kindly point me to some good drug store brands? Many tks!

    1. Hi Jennie, if you live in a humid tropical place, a product based on Hyaluronic acid would be perfect for you.

  68. Hi Luisa,
    Great post! Really important information!
    Please, I would really appreciate your answer on 2 questions:
    1.- What do you think about Neutrogena’s hydro boost line?
    2.- How about applying pure glycerin for moisturization?
    I’m looking for products for my dull, dry skin but I don’t have many choices here (latin america)
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Claudia. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost is a terrible product. I don’t recommend it. If you want to hydrate through hyaluronic acid , take a look at my serum that probably contains 10X the % of the Neutrogena product. Applying pure glycerin would be extremely uncomfortable as it’s an extremely tacky viscous liquid.

  69. Hi Luisa, great info that I wished I had came across years ago!! I too have used many skin care products from Mary Kay to Proactiv and Roden Fields . I am now using Nu Glow which I like. It is very simple two steps and I am done. When I first got it I thought this will never last as long as they say but it is very concentrated. Seems like the uglier the packaging and smaller it is the better it works for me. Thanks again for your info and responding as you do. I too found you through Quora.

    1. thank you for reading!

  70. Hi again Luisa I meant to ask you in my earlier comment about your recommendation for a good toner or astringent. I currently am using Rodan Fields Brightening . I have oily skin and I like to use a astringent especially in the summertime it seems to make my face feel cleaner.

    1. I actually do not recommend any toner. I think they’re a waste of money. They don’t serve any purpose as they’re extremely diluted. If you really want to use something, just use witch hazel as astringent.

  71. Hello nice info on this blog. Do you have any skin care recommendations for my idian wife looking for blemish and wrinkle help.
    Also Im an African American male what should i look for in facial products for moisturizing, blemish, and wrinkle?

    1. Hi Michael, It’s hard for me to give recommendations without knowing more details such as age, skin type etc.

  72. Hi Luisa
    Thank you for providing such great info , I’m so happy o found your blog . Could you share your opinion about skin ceuticals ? Blemish age defense and CE feurulic ?
    Thank you so much

    1. Thank you. Bleimish age defense: active ingredients are okay, but I don’t like the first ingredient being alcohol which is never optimal for the skin. CE ferulic is okay, but other vitamin c derivates are more stable (for example sodium ascorbyl phosphate).

  73. Wow, thanks for such an informative article! I knew some of this but there was a lot I didn’t know. I’m excited to investigate some of my favorite brands to see if they’re actually worth it!

    1. Thank you for reading!

  74. Hello firstly let me say thank you for your posts and this blog my dream since a young girl was to have my own cosmetic brand empire(lol im ambitious)i truly am passionate about it thats why i never really understand how some of these brands have so much money to thier disposal but decide to put out crappy formulas but bedside the point i have a question do extracts really work do they really do something for the skin? Example like willow bark extract ect thank you once again 🙂

    1. It depends on several factors including but not limited to the extraction method, percentage in the formula, how the plants have been grown and harvested.

  75. Hi,Ihave dry skin and have issue of big pores on skin especially close to nose area.Iam 21 years old.what products should I use?

    1. Try with a dermaroller and a salycilic acid based cleanser.

  76. Hi! What is an anti wrinkle cream for face and eyes you reccomened,? I heard retinol is great what are the best brands that are the most natural in terms of no perfume and dyes? Also what do you think of vegan products? Do you thing the cerave brand is good for face wash and moisturising? Thank you!

    1. I recommend retinol if wrinkles are already deep and/or you’re older than 45. Otherwise I recommend my Hyaluoronic acid serum which works well in reducing the appearance of superficial wrinkles. As fas as the brands, I like Paula’s Choice. Vegan products are perfectly fine as most of the active ingredients are made in the lab and have no animal origin. Cerave makes pretty good products.

  77. Hi I was using Lush brand products to cleanse and moisturize my skin but was shocked to recently find out some products contain parabens. I have combination skin (dry cheek area, oily forehead and nose). Is there a cleanser and moisturizer and eye cream you would recommend? I am 47, no wrinkles yet and blemishes only during my period. Very very dark circles. I really found you article very informative. Do you have a blog we can follow?

    1. Hi Linda, I always recommend micellar water as cleanser. I like the Bioderma one. Moisturizer I recommend the Dramatically Different by Clinique. You want to avoid moisturizers that contain oils where you have oily skin. The way to go to moisturize these areas is by using an oil-free moisturizer and or an oil free serum.

      1. Thanks so much!

  78. I have dry skin, which moisturizer would you recommend for me?

    1. Clinique Dramatically Different.

  79. Hi!
    I’m still getting lost in ingredient lists and don’t have access to all the brands mentioned…which is disappointing. Eucerin seems to be considered good where I live. I think I previously liked Eucerin’s Hyaluron Filler line (from previous use) but now the ingredient list looks suboptimal. Thoughts?

    (Thanks for all the articles!)

    1. If you enjoyed using Eucerin Hyaluron filler, you’d see more even more results using a product like the serum I make and sell. It contains 1% of High molecular weight hyaluronic acid so way more compared to the Eucerin one.

  80. Hi. What do you think of Sulwahsoo products especially the radiance energy mask and first care activating serum? I’ve lost the info leaflet and list on product is in Korean. Thanks

    1. A lot of natural extracts but how concentrated are they? How were the plants grown and harvested? Impossible to know…This is why I’m not a fan of natural extracts unless it is possible to know their origin. I also don’t like the fact alcohol is listed as third ingredient.

      1. Hello so what your saying is extracts work if they are pure and extracted the right way? Im just confused a little also what way should they be extracted for it to be pure ? Im asking as im intrested in having my own line someday and want to know the truth because alot of people claim so much thing about extracts and i just want to know the truth

        1. Yes, correct. It also depends on how the plants were grown and harvested, how the extract has been obtained, its amount in the formula and so on. Unfortunately, marketing always plays a role when it comes to extracts. Several products only contain 0.1% of aqueous plant extracts. Obviously they won’t do anything in these conditions. The only extracts I recommend are those from Alban Muller. If you want to create your skincare line you should take a look at my ebook

  81. Hello, I found you on Quora and find your notes rather insightful and would like your opinion on the following products (do you recommend anything better or are these ok?). late 30s, “normal” skin, occasional t-zone hormonal breakouts, but focused on minimizing lines, wrinkles and reducing that “dull skin” look and feel.

    1. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid face wash exfoliating cleanser
    2. L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Cicacream Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer
    3. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face
    4. Ever Skincare Youthful eye cream
    5. Philosophy microdelivery triple-acid brightening peel pads

    1. Hi Nichole. Here are my thoughts. 1. okay but to give glycolic acid the chance to work you should leave it on a few minutes. Since you’re already using #5 as chemical exfoliants, you could also switch to another cleanser with no acids. #2 is okay for the price. #3 seems good based on the ingredients list. However be aware that most of the products on Amazon are of poor quality and or diluted. Fake reviews are also very common. Marketing is everything to sell on Amazon. #4 is a waste of money. No real ingredients. I would suggest the eye cream by Navinka skincare instead. #5 seems good but alcohol will dry out the skin. If possible opt for an exfoliant that does not contain it.

      1. Thank you! I’ve never heard of Navinka skincare before, i’ll have to look into that!

  82. Hello, Luisa
    I want to congratulate you for such a thorough-written article! I found you through the Nivea Crème question on Quora (a product I currently use during nighttime) and now that I read your article and some comments, I would like to know your opinion on some products I’m very fond of:
    1. Clinique for Men’s Oil Control Mattifying Moisturizer
    2. Lancôme’s Hydra Zen Beauty Facial Essence
    3. Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream
    4. Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Cleanser
    5. Clinique for Men’s oil control cleanser
    I am a 24 yo man with combination skin (oily t-zone, normal cheeks) with a 4-step daily skincare routine. I also use a combination of rose water, witch hazel water and a bit of glycerin as toner.
    I appreciate the time given to this! Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Diego. I took a quick look at the ingredient lists for those products. #1 and #5 are a no. While I do think Clinique products are generally good, these two aren’t. The moisturizer is not very moisturizing and the cleanser is too aggressive. It makes your skin produce even more oil. #2 is a facial essence…nice feel but not necessary. #3 and #4 are very good products you should maintain in your routine.

  83. Olá, muito interessante o seu artigo… Alguns tipos de espinhas viram pequenas feridinhas que após sua cicatrização ficam manchinhas escuras, quais substâncias ou produtos são bons para a remoção dessas manchinhas?
    Desde já muito obrigada.

    1. sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.

  84. Dear Luisa, your article is very interesting and valuable. I would like to read more information like this written by a real expert in cosmetics area. There are so many posts and videos everywhere on the internet, but one can not trust and rely on these posts anymore (as most of them are not true, posted in return of commissions). Your article has facts, is built on real scientific investigations. Please, keep writing! Big thank you for your work!

    Could you please help me to choose morning and evening routine? I am 29, my skin is oily in the T zone, my pores on nose and partly on cheeks (close to the nose) are visible, there are blackheads on my nose.

    Currently I am using Garnier Micellar Water, La Roche-Posay MICELLAR FOAMING WATER FACE CLEANSER, Clinique moisture surge 72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator. What do you think about these items?

    1. Yes, your routine is fine. The Clinique moisturizer is okay for oily skin. Consider adding some blackheads patches or strips to your routine. This should be done every 7 to 10 days.

  85. Can you do a review on Costa Brazil skincare?

    Are they worth it?

    1. There’s no much to review as I only saw oils and candles on their website.

    2. They only sell mixture of oils. The claim they make are not real. Oils are not anti-aging products. They’re emollient which smooth the surface of the skin. Stretch marks may reduce their appearance because of this.

  86. This is very interesting and helpful.
    Please i have been using fair and white gold 3 for long but it doesn’t remove spot although i don’t like brightening or lightening product. I’m considering olay or qei+ Paris. I’m 29.

    1. unfortunately those products won’t work. Don’t waste your money. Spots cannot be removed just by using a cream. You probably need laser. However you can reduce their appearance with certain ingredients such as niacinamide and sodium ascorbyl phosphate.

  87. Super helpful information! I was wondering your take on Dewing It by Fitish. I read your earlier comments concerning the lack of evidence for CBD moisturizers. That aside, how do the ingredients for this moisturizer stack up?

    I’m 32 with combination skin (oily t-zone, normal cheeks) and tend to break out on my chin.

    1. Hi Lauren, ingredients are okay for a moisturizer. Considering it contains CBD , the product is not overpriced either. This kind of moisturizer works especially well for oily skin.

  88. I appreciate your time and information. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for reading, Paola!

  89. Hi Luisa

    Absolutely great article. I feel so informed and gobsmacked that I fell for the marketing tac tics of these expensive brands.

    I’m 29, of indian descent and have combination skin. I have enlarged pores on my nose and the area of my skin surrounding my nose. I’ve tried micro needling and I feel like it made the pores slightly larger. I also have slight hyperpigmentation around my mouth, forehead and neck.

    I still need to do research and decide which would be the best product for me. I was hoping you could give me advice about which ingredients to look out for, particularly for the enlarged pores and pigmentation.

    Thank you for your time! Looking forward to browsing your site.

    1. Paula’s choice has a 20% niacinamide treatment that might help you with enlarged pores and hyperpigmentation.

  90. I’m 20 years old and also had acne
    I want clear skin but my skin had acne marks and now i feel wrinkles on my forehead and also on my cheaks 🙁

    1. You can’t possibly have wrinkles at 20 ! As far as the acne, at your age, it’s mostly hormonal. It will probably go away by itself. In the meantime, reduce the amount of dairy you consume, use products that are oil free and suited for acne skin ( especially salicylic acid )

  91. Hi Luisa! Your website is very good.
    Do you have an opinion about Aquasource gel from Biotherm?
    Thanks you.

    1. I don’t like the presence of alcohol as 3rd ingredient. Other than that, it’s a decent moisturizer.

  92. Hey Luisa,
    I’m 56, have a little dry skin but a bit oily on the nose, and prone to acne with any beauty cream, even those for acne prone. Looks like I can’t stand anything that is occlusive. In the following hour I have pimps around the mouth zone or nose.
    The only products I have lately found that don’t give me blemishes or acne and give me a nice hydrating feel and look -even if not enough- are two from AHAVA brand that works with Dead Sea extracts. What do you think of :
    And what would you suggest to hydrate without blemishes ?
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Emma. The moisturizer seems okay. The serum contains many different oils. Therefore, I would avoid it in the area where your skin is already oily. May I suggest you try out hyaluronic acid serum which is not occlusive and highly moisturizing?

  93. Hello! what do you think of these two products in Monat
    1)30 second miracle instant perfector ($90)
    Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Lilium Candidum Flower Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol.

    2)rewind control nectar ($120)
    Aqua/Water/Eau, Propanediol, Glycerin, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Pulp Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Pulp Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, 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, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Sodium Phytate, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Dextran, Citric Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbet


    1. Hi Sam. I agree. Both products are SUPER overpriced. Not worth the cost. All those “extracts” are basically nothing but fancy names for water …

  94. Hi, thank you for your candor about beauty products. I have recently undergone breast cancer surgery and have to take an estrogen inhibitor. I am trying to find a good toner. I have started using the Tatcha brand cleansing oil which is supposed to be less drying. I was using organic rosewater toner and found that to be too drying. I need all the ingredients to be organic and natural due to the cancer.

    Please let me know what you think. I have recently purchased your hyaluronic acid serum. I hope it adds moisture. The last one I used did not do what it claimed.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Kelly! I actually think toners are useless -but perhaps you mean a cleanser since you mentioned the Tatcha product. If you read the ingredients, you ‘ll see IT IS NOT natural. Therefore, you might want to try some other oil cleansers. We do make one, if interested.

  95. Heya luisa,

    This is such a helpful Great post! I have wasted so much on skincare and makeup that don’t work and it’s so frustrating. Please could you tell me if you would recommend nip and fab brand and murad.

    1. You’re pretty good when it comes to choosing skincare products. As far as nip and fab , I would stick to the products they call “extreme” because the others are not as good. Murad retinol night cream is pretty good. You’ll see that the active ingredient retinol (retinyl propionate) is not confined at the end. Also they post photos that are actually real.

      1. Thankyou for your expertise advice, ah thanks! I do a lot of research on the internet (that’s how I found your great post :). I have noticed since using nip and fab vitamin c my skin is a lot better. It’s not expensive so I do love it, I’m glad you said it’s a good brand, I’m going to stick to the nip and fab but look for the extreme sticker 🙂 I will invest in the murad followed by Paula’s choice as that was a skincare brand I’ve been looking at previously and have noticed it’s been mentioned here a lot. I noticed nip and fab does the quick small ingredients and the good stuff at the top** which I was pleased about as I didn’t have a clue about this until I read your post so I ran to the bathroom to check… it was good to see only three ingredients with the best first. Thanks for your fab post and your reply much appreciated

        1. Yes, Paula’s choice is another brand I always recommend. Let me know how it works for you.

  96. Luisa, you are incredible! I recently found you on Quora and I’m in awe of how much of your time and expertise you offer for free. I wish I lived in the US so that I could buy your products! Instead, I’m scouring your writing for tips to figure out how to look after my skin.

    I’m 38 and haven’t paid any attention to the world of cosmetics until now. I never use soap, very rarely wear make up, and cleanse and moisturize mostly with cold pressed, organic jojoba oil. Sometimes I’ll add a few drops of essential oils to my face oil (highly diluted) or some almond or argan oil in the winter. Now that I’m noticing the start of wrinkles around my mouth and textured skin on my cheeks, I’m feeling the need to start some kind of routine.

    I always had sensitive, oily skin which I think kept me looking young, but recently I’m noticing a lot of flaky, dry skin around my nose. Based on reading your generous writing, I’ve decided on some items and would love your thoughts on others:

    Cleanser – Micellar water by Bioderma (not sure which one yet)
    Exfoliant – NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals, will probably use this in some jojoba oil
    Moisturizer – Here I’m a bit stuck. You mention Clinique and The Ordinary, but both of their moisturizers are mainly water. I’m hoping to find a serum/cream combination that includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Any suggestions please?

    All the best to you with your business!

    1. Hi Nicky, thank you for your comment. Where do you live? If you live in Europe, take a look at a brand called Bionike. They have very good products. The only Clinique Moisturizer I recommend is the “Dramatically different” one. All others are nothing special. It is a pure moisturizer meaning it is not going to help with anti aging. I would recommend the Barrier Repair with retinol moisturizer from Paula’s Choice. Feel free to send me an email if you can’t get any of these.

      1. Thank you so much Luisa! I’m in the UK now and moving to Portugal soon. I’ll give these a try. Have a wonderful day x

  97. Once again, thank you for your valuable time in answering our questions.
    I am 58 very dry skin with and new wrinkles appearing daily!

    What are your thoughts of applying a layer of oil (such as rose hip) before the moisturiser, do you think this is helpful or hinders the uptake of the moisturising product?

    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Melanie, I think it’s helpful. I do it as well especially when I must apply foundation on top of everything. However, oils don’t really have any benefit besides making the outer layer of the skin soft.

  98. Hello i was wondering if you can give some honest advice as you seem very honest and genuine (thank you for that 😊) i make my own soap using the cold process method ,someday i will like to sell it. Handmade soap has a higher ph as you may know however my family as well as i have used my soap and it has not cause any problems my question is since handmade soap is a wash of product will it still be ok to sell even though it has a natrually high ph i ask because i wouldnt want to harm any one who might us emy product and in my research i have learned about ph and the skin mantle ect and ive also learn that even water can disrupt the ph mantle for a while so i was wondering is naturally soap safe to sell and use thank you for your time🙂

    1. It is safe to use, no worries.

      1. Thank you for the response so its ok to sell as well right? what about babies is it ok to use it on them im asking because i will like to let people know because i hear read alot of things about how natural soap is bad for the skin is, is that true thank you.

  99. Thank you for the response so its ok to sell as well right? what about babies is it ok to use it on them im asking because i will like to let people know.

    1. I can’t answer this as I don’t know how you operate or your formula.

  100. Hi Luisa, many thanks for your article and your advice! I found you on Quora and I landed on this post, which was really interesting to read!

    I wanted to ask you some advice: I’m 35, some wrinkles and lines are starting to appear on my face, and I would like to act to minimize them. I usually use the products of La Roche-Posay for my skincare: Effaclar Gel Moussant to clean in the morning and at night, and Hydraphase UV Intense Legere as hydrating cream (what do you think of those products?). My skin type is mixed, but it gets drier in the cold seasons.
    I would like to start using an anti-aging cream and/or serum to minimize the formation of new wrinkles. I’ve seen your serum and I would give it a try if I were living in the US! Actually, I’ve read a lot about The Ordinary, which I can buy where I live (Switzerland), and I would like to ask if you have any recommendation about a good product of this brand for my skin and age.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. I would suggest one of their retinol serum followed by a good moisturizer. I want to add that most Swiss brands are of excellent quality.

      1. Thanks for the advice! I’ll definitely try the retinol serum.
        Regarding Swiss brands, could you give me some names? I know of La Prairie and Valmont but they are really expensive (around 150-200$)…

        1. This might sound crazy to you, but the Just products are very good.

  101. What is your opinion on the decim brand products? I just purchased them. I need help with dry skin that also haelps redness. I have rosacea. I am also interesting I’m something with anti aging. Thank you!

    1. what product did you buy? I don’t evaluate brands, I evaluate single products.

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