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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.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    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 overnight lip mask because chapped lips are simply not. it. Simply apply it before bed – or any time of day, really – to give your smackers a boost of juicy hydration with cushiony results that'll be a dream come true in the a.m.

    a yellow and a pink tub of lip masks  with assorted fruits and product swatches around them

    Promising review: "Laneige never fails me! I wake up to baby-soft lips every day because of this amazing product. Love to cap off my skincare routine at night by showing my lips some TLC with this mask. Wonderful smell to have added to my nighttime routine, and results always speak for themselves. So glad I got this as the skin on my lips felt more dry than usual with the change/transition of the seasons as we're heading into summer. Can't wait to get the other scents (trying to control myself not to buy them all at once LOL). Def recommend and will keep this as a staple in my routine!!!" –annienugid

    Get it from Sephora or Amazon, both for $24 (available in seven scents). 

    15. A pack of SKIN1004 Zombie Pack Face Masks that really gives your skin a living dead quality – not Thriller status, don't worry – while you wear it, but washes away to reveal firmer and brighter skin with reduced pores and fine lines.

    Promising review: "Smells great! This face mask does exactly what it says. My skin is nice and lifted, hydrated, noticeable reduction in fine lines, improved texture, reduced my pore size, and eliminated some newly developed rough patches forming around the hairline. Couldn't be more satisfied with this product! I have pretty good skin, but this mask has really helped take my skin to the next level." —Samantha

    Get a box of eight masks from Amazon for $24.

    16. An all-over oil made from a blend of grapeseed, tea tree, and clary sage oils to target ingrown hairs, banish dryness, and nip irritation in its red and bumpy bud. 

    a round bottle of gold oil
    a model applying oil to their armpit using a glass dropper

    Fur is a small biz that makes vegan, nontoxic, and cruelty-free skincare products that hydrate your skin, soften your hair (body and otherwise), plus eradicate ingrowns. All of their ingredients are dermatologically and gynecologically tested, BTW.

    Promising reviews: "Love this product. Best smelling body oil. I literally use it everywhere. It especially smells so good using right out of the shower. 10/10 recommended." –Rachel R.

    "This is my go-to new fave skincare product of all time. My body hair is so coarse and thick. I love the difference this oil makes!" –Bethany P.

    Get it from Fur or Amazon, both for $52.

    17. Or some CND SolarOil so you can stop reciting Karen Smith's "my nail beds suck" line from Mean Girls every time you glance at your hands. This all-natural formula will nourish and strengthen your nails, thus making them less sucky! 

    reviewer photo of them holding a bottle of solar nail oil
    a before and after of a reviewer's nails with uneven edges and then looking long and smooth

    Promising review: "I had a problem with my cuticles getting so dry that they would split sometimes, and no matter how many times I put lotion on my hands they would never get moist enough to lay flat like they’re supposed to. My nails were dry and brittle, so I’d end up with one breaking and then have to cut them all back in order to have them the same length. This oil has ended all of that. Now I have to cut them back because they seem to be growing faster. I haven’t had a nail split since the day I started using this oil. It soaks into your cuticles and nails so well. I was really good at using it every day in the beginning, but in the last week I got busy and only used it twice so I ended up with a split cuticle. That’ll help you remember, right?!?! I got back on track these last two days and the cuticle is healed already. That’s just how moisturizing this stuff is. I highly recommend it!" —mlasorensen

    Get it from Amazon for $8.50+ (available in five sizes).

    18. A soothing facial spray here to combat stressed, tired, and angry skin. From out-of-nowhere irritation to persistent breakouts, this mist uses skincare powerhouse hypochlorous acid to calm any and all signs of stress, plus build a stronger barrier. 

    before and after of a model with red, irritated skin and then their calmer, even skin (from using the facial spray)
    a model holding two different-sized red bottles of the facial spray up to their face
    Tower 28

    Tower 28 is a clean beauty brand and Asian woman-owned small business that makes skincare, plus makeup that acts like skincare. Their products are nontoxic, nonirritating, vegan, and cruelty-free, so sensitive skin can breathe a little easier. 

    Promising review: "I have been using this spray for a few weeks now and it has drastically improved my skin and inflammation. I have extremely sensitive, reactive skin with a combination of acne, eczema, and the occasional perioral dermatitis. Within a day or two I was able to notice my skin healing and the redness was going away too. I will be repurchasing this forever! Never change the formula or discontinue this product, it’s a staple in my routine..." –Sam M.

    Get it from Tower 28 for $12+ (available in three sizes, including a 16oz bottle to refeill your current stash) or from Sephora for $28+ (available in two sizes). 

    19. A set of Avarelle acne patches infused with tea tree, cica, and calendula oils, which help to reduce swelling and *ahem* suck out the innards of the surprise breakout you woke up with this morning.

    Promising review: "If you are looking for relief from occasional, painful, unwelcome cystic acne, then run, don’t walk and buy this product! I’ve tried other drying products such as sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, toothpaste (??!!)... but I didn’t have any luck and only had dry patches the next morning. I put these patches on as soon as I feel the 'here we go again' tenderness on my chin. Within two to three days, they’re gone. I am 31 years old and am experiencing cystic acne for the first time. 😑 Go buy this product and experience the magic yourself." –Cheryl

    Get a pack of 40 from Amazon for $7.64 (also available in an XL size).

    For more info, check out our full review of the Avarelle acne patches.

    20. Peach & Lily Ginger Melt Oil Cleanser, a spa-grade product aptly named for the way it melts away makeup, SPF, excess oil, and other gunk on your skin. Just activate it with a little water and *voila* you're clean (no harsh scrubbing required!).

    gif of a model pouring cleansing oil onto their hand and rinsing it off
    an orange bottle of cleansing oil surrounded by natural ingredients
    Peach & Lily

    Peach & Lily is a woman-owned Korean small skincare brand that creates spa-grade, cruelty-free products with stellar results. 

    Promising review: "I was lucky enough to try this product out and it was absolutely perfect. I wear tinted sunscreen and eyeliner. Removed that so easily and felt so good on my skin. After I washed everything off my skin felt fresh. I even checked with a makeup remover wipe to see if there was any leftover makeup on my skin and the wipe was completely clean. I also love that it doesn’t leave an oily feeling on my skin but at the same time doesn’t dry it out. And on top of all that it’s a clean formulation so I don’t have to worry about putting gunk on my skin. It’s the perfect cleanser and does everything it promises. A must-have!" —Madeline

    Get it from