Buying new skincare products can be stressful: You’re not quite sure how your skin will react, and the last thing you want is a brand new product that makes your skin look worse, not better. To help ease your anxiety, and try something here, we asked our editors for recommendations—these tried and true picks have stood the test for our editors (some products for 15 years). So whether you’re on the market for a skincare overhaul, or you’re just looking for another item to add to your routine, you’ve come to the right place.
Alex Redgrave, Executive Editor
I’ve been using SK-II Facial Essence for 15 years! It’s a magic elixir that comes with the requisite origin story: Older workers at a Japanese sake brewery noticed their hands were smooth and radiant after being in constant contact with the sake fermentation process. SK-II isolated this “miracle” ingredient, called Pitera. So there’s your beauty geek-out moment. I love it because it balances unhappy skin in winter and summer. You just pat on a bit of liquid gold until it fully absorbs in your skin. Then add moisturizer (I like Dr. Hauschka) or oil (rosehip in the winter; a lighter blend in the spring/fall). Spritz some old-school rose water and it’s time for Netflix.
Aknari Brightening Youth Serum
Kate Berry, Style Director
To be honest, I use whatever [skincare product] comes my way. But I’m totally obsessed with this brightening serum by this makeup artist I worked with years ago. It instantly revitalizes my skin from all the NYC elements and the fresh herbal essential oil scents also are also very stimulating.
Jessica Romm Perez, Editor In Chief
I like it keep my evening skincare regime pretty streamlined but I have to say Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser really makes my face feel clean at the end of the day and gets rid of all eye makeup residue. I then rejoice in Herbivore Orchid Face Oil and Chantecaille Stress Repair Eye Cream and crawl blissfully into bed. It’s a nightly ritual I really enjoy.
Lily Sullivan, Editorial Assistant
I’m fairly low-maintenance when it comes to my skin, but since its release I’ve been obsessing over unisex skincare brand Peet Rivko’s Daily Moisturizer. The line is fragrance free and plant-based plus the packaging is playful and chic.
SK-II Facial Treatment Oil
Some people are high maintenance with their skin care regime—and then there’s me—higher than high maintenance. The ritual of a many-step process is very relaxing and oddly enough, peaceful—and it’s been proven to aid in depression. I have about 50+ skincare products to choose from (some are just tiny, specific for certain occasions), but I always, always use the SK-II Facial Treatment Oil. The price is high, but seriously, it has instantly added so much moisture (but no oiliness) to my skin.
Alyssa Clough, Associate Social Media Editor
It’s impossible to narrow it down to just one! My everyday “can’t-live without” product is definitely Fresh’s Rose Water Toner. It completely changed my skin and eliminates any dryness and also adds a nice, natural glow. Just a few spritzes post-wash and pre-moisturizer makes all the difference. It’s magic, seriously. When I want to treat myself (and my skin), I grab an Organic Sea Kelp mask by Whamisa. It’s like your regular sheet mask but a million times better and is more like a mini-facial in a package—for only $14! Plus, you get to put real sea kelp on your face, which is just fun.
Rachel Besser, Market Editor
I just discovered this new brand, Tulura. Their “Duo” comes with a serum and a facial oil loaded with seasonal ingredients meant for spring and summer skincare. Use the duo at night after cleansing your face, or in the morning with a little SPF and you’re good to go. The best part about these products (besides the adorable packaging and glowy skin) is that they have no harmful products in them. It feels like I’m really giving my skin a treat.”
Jessica Dailey, Digital Editorial Director
I started using Naturopathica’s Oat Facial Cleansing Polish after a Heyday facialist used it during a visit last year. It’s gentle and soothing for my sensitive skin, and leaves my face super smooth.You only need to use it three times a week, so one tube lasts for awhile.
Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
Anna Kocharian, Digital Editor
I’m very minimalist when it comes to skincare but I swear by this rose petal toner.