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    25 Easy And Effective Beauty Products For Anyone Looking To Upgrade Their Skincare Routine

    Ain't no shame in the upgrade game.

    1. A K-beauty snail mucin essence that –  I promise – isn't nearly as gross as it sounds. It repairs and rejuvenates stressed and irritated skin, plus fades dark spots and preps your mug for all of your other glorious products. 

    Promising review: "This stuff is incredible. I have suffered from minor acne for almost two years and I finally realized the products I was using were far too harsh for my dry, sensitive skin. After using gentle products and eventually moving onto K-beauty, I found this to lighten all the scarring from the years of picking at my breakouts. My scarring is still a bit noticeable but it was gotten tremendously better thanks to this product and this product alone." —Marc

    Get it from Amazon for $20.90.

    2. An exfoliating body scrub revered by reviewers with keratosis pilaris (aka, "strawberry skin") and other textured skin-related issues. It's made with glycolic and lactic acids (for brightening), bisabolol (for soothing), and pumice beads (for buffing and de-bumping). 

    reviewer photo of them holding a purple tube of body scrub
    reviewer before and after of their arm with red bumps and then their arm with smoother, less irritated skin, from using the scrub

    I love-a-love-love this scrub! I saw instant reduced redness and texture in my mild KP after first use on my arms, and have been a believer ever since. Note: it's recommended to use this product once or twice a week, so as not to overwork or irritate your skin.

    Promising review: "I have been dealing with scaring and acne and used a lot of other products...THIS was the game changer! Less scaring, less breakouts, softer skin, and as an added bonus, the exfoliation also helps my other creams work better. Win-WIN!!" –Amber

    Get it from Amazon for $12+ (available in three sizes). 

    3. A five-pack of Lapcos Collagen Sheet Masks infused with firming and refreshing peptides that'll help brighten your complexion, as well as tackle fine lines and dark spots. All you have to do is slather it on and look *mildly* ridiculous for 10–20 minutes (as is the tradeoff with any sheet mask).

    gif of someone unpacking a white collagen sheet mask from a purple packet

    Lapcos is a Korean-owned small biz based in Los Angeles that makes cruelty-free skincare. In addition to these collagen masks, they also make other varieties like aloe vera, charcoal, and pearl sheet masks, and even variety packs.

    Promising review: "I bought the collagen masks and I'm so glad I did. I tried it because the reviews were great and I'm glad I listened to them. I used this mask last night for 20 minutes and my skin feels firm and soft. It was easy and comfortable to use too. Packaging was great and easy to open. I'm very pleased with this product and will be buying more in the future. I'm also thinking of trying some of the other ones as well. This is definitely worth buying." –Misty D. Morris

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $17 (available in 13 other varieties).

    4. CeraVe hydrating facial cleanser so you can lock in moisture as you rid your skin of a day's worth of gunk and grease instead of drying it out, because you've been hurt by the post-cleanse "if I don't immediately put on some moisturizer my skin might actually flake off" phenomenon too many times.

    reviewer before and after, showing their red, irritated skin with acne and then their clearer skin, from using the cerave cleanser
    reviewer photo of them holding the white and green bottle of cleanser

    Promising review: "I wasn't sure if this would work at first because the texture is like body lotion, but after a couple of days I could really see the difference both in terms of hydration and acne! It’s such a great face wash! I have struggled with my acne for years and have tried a billion different products and none of them worked like this one. My face looked flawless just two weeks after I used this. I don't do a lot of reviews but I’m glad I bought this and I'm writing this review after having bought it for the third time. Trust me, this is a really good product." —RONGHUI XIE

    Get it from Amazon for $14.57+ (available in two sizes).

    5. An inexpensive bottle of The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid serum with vitamin B5, which is essentially just a bottle of dewy, hydrating, and plumping goodness for your face. 

    a glass dropper bottle of serum on top of a clear liquid in front of a black and white tile backdrop
    The Ordinary

    Facial hyaluronic serums work to help your skin produce more moisture, while also making other hydrating products, like your daily moisturizer(s), more effective.

    Promising reviews: "This serum makes my skin so much softer and smooth to the touch immediately after applying. Before I started using it, I had really oily skin and this has definitely managed my skin's barrier really well by maintaining its hydration throughout the day and preventing my skin from overproduction of oils on my face." –MinnieDW15

    "I recently picked this up again and I can’t believe I ever stopped using it! My skin is very dry and this hydrates it so well without leaving any sticky or tacky residue. The rest of my skincare and makeup goes on flawlessly on top of it." –librab4by

    Get it from Sephora for $7.50+ (available in two sizes). 

    6. A ~handy~ exfoliating mitt that'll gently yet effectively scrub-a-dub-dub dead skin away, unclog pores, smooth texture, and help combat anything else that's standing in the way of your soft, glowing skin goals. 

    reviewer photo of them wearing a black exfoliating mitt in the shower covered in dead skin
    reviewer photo of them revealing dead skin build-up on their leg and on a black exfoliating mitt

    Promising review: "Right out of the box I could tell these mitts were going to be exactly what I needed. Excellent quality and easy to use! I’ve tried them twice already and my skin is now incredibly smooth! After I scrubbed my arm, I looked at the mitt and saw it was covered with dead skin cells. I’ll be buying more of these as gifts for girlfriends (in a fun spa gift basket)!" —Danielle Gill

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available individually or as a pair).

    7. A La Roche-Posay moisturizer chock full of nourishing ingredients like ceramide-3, niacinamide, and prebiotic thermal water. 'What does that mean?' you ask? Well, it means that your skin will not only be hydrated and softened, but also restored with a healthier barrier to prevent future damage!

    reviewer photo of them showing off their hydrated skin
    reviewer photo of them holding a white bottle of moisturizer

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this moisturizer! It feels amazing on my skin! No white cast, no strong scent, and a little goes a long way. It's great for sensitive, acne-prone skin AND makeup applies well over it! I'm so happy I came across this moisturizer!" –ken

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (also available with SPF 30).

    8. A Nova serum by Herbivore, which uses vitamin C and turmeric to brighten your skin to an "OMG drop your skincare routine"-worthy extent. The cute packaging is just a bonus!

    illustrated gif of a bright yellow bottle of vitamin C serum pumping out product
    Herbivore Botanicals

    Promising review: "I've tried this as a sample several times and have liked it every time. I finally bought the full-size bottle and like it even more. It's very creamy and hydrating, and I can see it fading some of my hyperpigmentation already." –Kim D.

    Get it from Herbivore for $64.

    9. An Innisfree daily facial sunscreen because if you really want to upgrade your skincare routine, protecting your mug from its mortal enemy (the sun) is a good place to start!

    an innisfree sunscreen infographic highlighting three ingredients: green tea extract, sunflower seed oil, and centella asiatica
    buzzfeed writer holding a white tube of sunscreen up to their face while standing outside
    Sephora, Clara McMahon / BuzzFeed

    I've been using and loving this sunscreen for years now. I'd been hurt by facial sunscreens in the past – some would irriatate my skin, some weren't strong enough, and others would simply pill off in minutes. Enter: the Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen with SPF 36. It's gentle, it's protective, and it sinks into my skin rather than melting off of it. It may not be my go-to for dog days at the beach, but it's certainly my #1 pick for everyday use (plus, it wears well under makeup!).

    Get it from Sephora for $15 (also available in a mattifying variety). 

    10. An octopus-shaped blackhead remover to rid your pores of blackheads, whiteheads, and other invasive radicals in the most adorable way imaginable. 

    reviewer photo of them holding a small black octopus shaped remover
    reviewer photo of the cap off to show the salt on the top of the remover

    Promising review: "After just two days of use, this adorable little octopus has done wonders for me, smells great too. Here's how I used it: I wore down the stick just a little to where the texture from the salt is visible, scrubbed around on my face so there was plenty of product, then I used my fingers to gently massage all the gunk away. Rinse, pat dry, and enjoy the softness. Highly recommended for people with sensitive skin like myself." —LuckLocust

    Get it from Amazon for $12.50

    11. A rejuvenating Fleur & Bee eye cream because no amount of coffee can truly tackle a.m. puffiness. It's made with natural ingredients like green tea, dandelion, aloe vera, along with caffeine and peptides to give your under-eyes a *boost* while gently nourishing them. 

    a brown pot of eye cream
    a model using eye cream under their eyes
    Fleur & Bee

    Promising review: "Love this product. Non-greasy. No noticeable scent. I'm on my third pot of Eyes Eyes Baby and see a noticeable improvement in my dark under-eye circles. An added bonus is that it seems to miraculously over time diminish or completely remove tiny skin tags that develop on my upper and lower lids. Will never run out of this product!!" –Sharon L.

    Get it from Fleur & Bee or Amazon, both for $26.

    12. Paula's Choice Salicylic Acid Exfoliant, a holy grail product known for giving you *instant* radiance (after gently removing dead skin, unclogging pores, and evening out your skin tone).

    Promising review: "I don't know what kind of miracle liquid this stuff is, but let me tell you, IT WORKS! I have been dealing with a patch of red bumps on my cheeks for years, been to dermatologists that say it's 'adult acne' and to try this cream or that cleaner. The prescribed meds worked some, but never completely eliminated the redness or the bumps and that was with consistent use for weeks and months. I've been using this product for only a week and the redness and tiny bumps have almost COMPLETELY vanished as well as my complexion is so much more even and my PORES look amazing. If you're looking for a product to completely change the way you look AND feel, look no further...this is the one! You won't regret it, I promise!" –Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $13+ (available in two sizes).

    13. A splurge-worthy SolaWave Wand and Renew Complex Serum, an at-home facial kit here to bring you an authentic spa experience (with authentic spa results) right from the comfort of your designated self-care station. 

    a gif of buzzfeed writer using the solawave tool
    the solawave tool and serum
    Rylee Johnston / BuzzFeed

    The wand has a 90-degree rotating head that glides in and over all of the contours of your face. It's complete with red light therapy, microcurrent, facial massage, and therapeutic warmth. The vegan and cruelty-free serum is formulated with blue tansy, hyaluronic acid, and all-natural aloe vera to soothe and hydrate. You'll be left with a de-puffed and energized face with a reduced appearance of fine lines, blemishes, plus dark spots and circles. 

    My BuzzFeed colleague Rylee Johnston tested this cool gadget for herself and said:

    "It's like a jade roller, LED mask, gua sha, and microcurrent device all in one! I have sensitive skin, so I took the serum and put a little on my hand beforehand. It made my face a little red at first, but then my skin literally brightened and today my acne is practically gone!"

    Get it from SolaWave for $169 (available in three colors) or from Amazon for $169 (available in four colors).

    14. An ultra-nourishing