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    31 Effective Skincare Products That'll Have You Doing A Happy Dance When You Look In The Mirror

    Unexpected zits = no happy dance. Slapping on a pimple patch that slurps out the goo overnight so your breakout is barely visible = happy dance.

    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 vegan exfoliating body scrub to slough away the rough bumps on the back of your arms and legs (keratosis pilaris is its name, but you may have heard it called "strawberry skin" or "chicken skin") with a combination of powerful alpha-hydroxy acids.

    a split reviewer photo of their arm before and after using the body scrub

    2. A lightweight moisturizer because it provides a barrier between your precious skin and all the nasties, like pollution and stressors. Sunflower seed oil, vitamins E and B5, and more nourishing ingredients help the skin retain moisture, improve softness, fade hyperpigmentation, brighten, and gently exfoliate.

    before photo of a reviewer with tired-looking skin and breakouts next to a photo of the same reviewer with clear, plumper-looking skin after using the moisturizer

    3. A Paula's Choice liquid exfoliant that'll resurface the skin, brighten hyperpigmentation and acne scars, clear pores, and improve skin texture. If you're just dipping your toes in the chemical exfoliant pool (first of all, welcome!!), start by applying this every other day or a few times a week to build up a tolerance and not irritate your skin.

    Reviewer's before and after showing the exfoliant dramatically reduced hyperpigmentation on their cheek and made the skin smoother
    A reviewer with dark skin and their before and after showing the exfoliant brightened dark spots along their hairline and made their skin look bright

    Promising review: "Love this product. Have already purchased it twice. I could actually see improvement in the size of my pores, redness around my nose and dullness. Mind you, I do follow a very strict skincare routine, but I think that I will stick to this product for a while. I use a cleaner, toner, then this Paula product, followed by my nighttime serum and my vitamin A (retinol) cream for face and the neck, and décolletage cream as well. My husband has noticed the improvement as well. If you are hesitant, you can always try buying the traveling-size bottle as well. That's what I did and then I got hooked. Get it! It won't disappoint!" —Felicitas Martinez

    Get it from Amazon for $10+ (available in two sizes).

    4. Differin, a once daily topical retinoid for acne that hasn't responded to any other treatments. It contains adapalene, a retinoid that unclogs pores and speeds cell turnover so acne doesn't even have a chance to form.

    before photo of a reviewer's dark red and inflamed cheek and jawline acne
    the same reviewer after using the retinoid for a few weeks and their acne is almost totally gone

    I use Differin and it's great but I must warn you: It is strong. Unfortunately, I wrecked my skin the first few weeks after buying it because I applied it way too often and paired it with chemical exfoliators and a really drying face wash. Once I cut back my application to one to two times per week and switched to gentler cleansers, my skin flourished. The annoying bumps on my forehead (the ones that aren't acne but are literally just tiny little bumps) disappeared over time, my temples stopped breaking out, and my acne scars lightened. If you're dipping your toes in the Differin pool, it's not a bad idea to check with your dermatologist before starting!

    Promising review: "I've used this product about two months now and not only does my skin rarely have breakouts, but also other people are telling me how smooth and good my skin looks. I've always had moderate adult acne and I cannot recommend this product enough. It's not a quick-acting gel; it takes weeks to see results but it's worth it!" —Leann M Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $12.88+ (available in three sizes).

    5. A bottle of azelaic acid so you can add a new skincare ingredient to your vocabulary *and* reap its benefits. It can help prevent pimples and blackheads from forming because it increases the speed of cell renewal — which has the added benefit of correcting dark spots. And, it helps kill the bacteria that causes rosacea and acne, so consider it a win-win.

    before photo of a reviewer with light discoloration and dark spots next to an after photo of the same reviewer and many of their dark spots are gone to reveal a smoother, more glowy complexion

    6. A calming cream if your complexion is often red and splotchy. This soothing formula contains centella asiatica — also called "tiger grass" — which calms redness and irritation.

    7. And a Dr. Jart color-correcting treatment to neutralize redness while simultaneously protecting your skin from the sun's damaging rays. This color-changing cream goes from green to beige and absorbs into the skin flawlessly; in fact, some reviewers wear it in place of foundation when they need light coverage.

    BuzzFeed editor wearing the cream on half of their face

    8. A vegan and cruelty-free pH-balanced oil to foam cleanser because it cleans your face — like really cleans it — without leaving it feeling tight and stripped. It's made with vitamin B5, chinaberry extract, and olive oil.

    9. A thighs and buttne acne treatment that'll deliver relief from ingrown hairs and painful red bumps.

    before photo of a reviewer's thigh with several ingrown hairs and red irritated bumps next to an after photo of the same reviewer's thigh and the red bumps are mostly gone

    10. A purifying serum for anyone with blemish-prone skin. It contains niacinamide (also called vitamin B3), a superstar ingredient that protects against moisture loss, tightens pores, and reduces discoloration.

    11. A pack of fast-acting pimple patches so that juicy whitehead in the middle of your forehead is less angry the next morning. Apply it before bed and it'll slurp all the gunk and goop from your zits overnight, shrinking your pimple so it's less noticeable in just a few hours.

    model wearing the clear circle patches on their cheek pimples

    12. A bottle of rose hip oil if your skin has lost its glow. Its antioxidants and fatty acids may help brighten dark spots and restore your skin's plumpness. Use it on your face, nails, and body for scrumdiddlyumptious results.

    Promising review: "This oil is amazing!! It has evened out my skin tone, balanced my oily and dry patches, and cleared up blemishes all in only two weeks of use. This is the best my skin has ever looked. Everyone needs to use this oil!!! This has made such a difference with my skin that friends and coworkers are even noticing. I lather it on generously every night, and again in the morning. The oil does have an orange color but once it is absorbed into the skin you can't notice. My only complaint is that it has left a little orange stain behind on my pillow cases. But if that is what it takes for me to have beautiful skin, I can deal with it!" —Alyssa

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    13. A powerful benzoyl peroxide body wash to tackle buttne, backne, and cystic breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is an antimicrobial agent that targets the bacteria on your skin that causes acne and also helps clear out your pores.

    14. A soothing mist because it'll make your skin ~smooth like butter~. Seriously — it's in the name. It's especially great for folks with sensitive, red, eczema-prone skin thanks to calming and soothing ingredients like centella asiatica (which we've covered) and allantoin. And lactic acid helps unglue the dead skin cells to reveal glowy skin underneath.

    model with eczema on their back spraying the mist on their body

    15. A skin spatula that'll help remove blackheads and de-gunk pores using high-frequency vibrations. This can also help your skincare absorb better since your pores won't be blocked with debris.

    16. A reparative K-beauty snail mucin essence for rejuvenating your face, lightening hyperpigmentation, and prepping your skin so it's ready to drink up all the benefits of your moisturizer.

    before photo of a reviewer with cheek breakouts and acne scars next to an after photo of the same reviewer whose cheeks are now much more even and all their breakouts are gone

    17. A tub of brightening, firming, and rejuvenating eye cream so you at least look like you got some sleep (even if you were up until 2 a.m. scrolling through Instagram).

    Reviewer before and after showing the cream tightened and brightened their under-eye area
    Different reviewer's progression photo showing their eye bags disappearing over time

    Promising review: "This eye cream is the real deal. I’m in my early 30s, but I smile and laugh a lot and it was starting to show on my face. I had read reviews of people just using this as an all-over face cream and that is what I did. I’ve had fantastic results — lines around my eyes have diminished hugely, even my husband noticed. I had been using Philosophy’s Miracle in a Jar but haven’t even been tempted to go back since this wonderful potion in a pump bottle came into my life." —Nicole D.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in three sizes).

    18. A 3-in-1 cleansing bar if you have lingering dark spots and patches of uneven skin. You'll get an exfoliating sponge and a cleansing bar that works as a cleanser, exfoliator, and a brightening mask.

    reviewer's before and after photo showing the cleansing bar helped erase almost all of their dark spots on their cheek and evened their skin tone

    19. A powerful glycolic acid peel to help improve texture, reduce fine lines, and soften skin. Glycolic acid helps sort of unglue skin cells, so the softer, brighter layer underneath can emerge. But it can be a bit irritating to your skin so start slowly — especially because this peel also contains retinol, a collagen-boosting ingredient that can make your skin more sensitive.

    20. A niacinamide serum because it addresses a whole host of issues. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that makes your skin barrier more resilient (a weak skin barrier can result in redness, dryness, dullness, breakouts, and more). It can also help reduce the appearance of pores, balance oil production, and improve your skin texture.

    21. A box of pore-tightening, skin-lifting face masks that'll truly terrify you, first because you'll look like a zombie once you've applied it, and second because it's so darn effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

    Promising review: "I wasn't a fan of this mask when I first tried it (I found it a little irritating and it didn't seem to make much of a difference). Then I used it multiple times a week, and I noticed a huge difference. My friends and family noticed it too. My skin has a more even tone, the wrinkles around my eyes aren't as noticeable, and it really eliminated clogged pores and breakouts. I've never tried Hanacure, but I think this mask is great." —SpruceMoose

    Get a box of eight masks from Amazon for $30.92.

    22. A resurfacing body serum for unclogging pores (because yeah, your body is literally covered in 'em), smoothing texture, hydrating, and brightening.

    hand pressing a pump bottle and the clear gel coming out of the bottle

    23. A multiuse skincare oil so you can say bye-bye to uneven skin, stretch marks, and acne scars. It helps your body retain moisture (see ya later, dry skin!) and absorbs into the skin fast so you won't feel greasy.

    Psst! Bio-Oil contains retinol, which accelerates skin turnover but can make you more sensitive to the sun — so don't forget your sunscreen!

    Promising review: "I used different products for red stretch marks all over my legs, especially on the back of my knees, and none of them gave me the results that this one did. This oil is really lightweight and doesn't weigh you down, plus it smells really good too. My marks were gone really quickly, probably after using about a bottle and a half of this. It won't disappear overnight; you do need to keep using it for about one to two months but it WILL go away. My family and friends even asked me how my marks went away because they were REALLY red and noticeable as I have pale skin. Love this stuff!" —CherryPearl3

    Get it from Amazon for $8.92+ (available in three sizes).

    24. A splurge-worthy hydrating cleanser if you have sensitive skin. No, really. Like suuuuper sensitive skin. This gentle cleanser penetrates deeply without irritating thanks to soothing chamomile and hydrating marine algae. It's safe for post-procedure skin, as well as for folks with rosacea.

    the white pump bottle on top of light pink balls

    25. A potent matrixyl 3000 serum (ooooh fancy!) to hydrate, repair damage, boost collagen production, improve skin texture, firm, and even out pigmentation.

    26. A cruelty-free lip balm with SPF 25 because whoever you're locking lips with will definitely notice a difference.

    a split image of a reviewer's lips before and after using the balm

    27. An overnight mask that'll inject your skin with ~super collagen water~ (so fancy!) and baobab water as you sleep. The results = soothed and moisturized skin. You may even skip a full beat the next morning!

    before photo of a reviewer with redness and irritation on their cheeks and some oiliness all over next to an after photo of the same reviewer and their skin has a more even texture

    28. A soothing multipurpose oil blend for locking in moisture so you don't need to use approximately 50 million products that say they hydrate your skin...and then don't. Its gentle formula won't irritate rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema, but it will help you say goodbye to dry skin and frizzy hair.

    A before photo of the bottom half of a reviewer's face. Their skin is red and splotchy, and it looks irritated
    An after photo of the same reviewer. Now their skin looks glowy, even, and much less red

    Promising review: "This oil is amazing. I've been using it daily on my hair, face, nails, pretty much everywhere. I love the blend, the aroma, and the way it makes my skin feel. I've told everyone about it! My friends have noticed my face is really healthy and plump. I used to have redness and blotchy cheeks and it has gone away. I also use rose water on my face as a toner after I clean my face with oregano bar soap and the apply this oil on my face. That's my daily routine day and night and it's doing wonders for me! I could go on and on but I think you get the point! It's great so make sure to get a bottle or two!" —Vanessa

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    29. A versatile pore-cleaning clay mask so you can spoil your skin. This effective face mask empties your pores, brightens dark spots, and excels as a hair mask (esp. if you have natural hair) and foot soak. Reviewers recommend mixing it with ACV (if you have sensitive skin, you may want to skip this step).

    Promising review: "This product is awesome!! Makes my skin look glowy and healthy. I have combo skin. This has helped my skin look more alive and helped my breakouts. My husband even noticed a difference." —Magali Pita

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95. (And don't forget a bottle of apple cider vinegar!)

    Check out our Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay deep dive for more satisfying before and afters.

    30. A cruelty free vitamin C serum if your skin is in need of a pick-me-up. Just listen to the 58,000+ people who gave it a 5-star review: this stuff brightens, softens, and dramatically fades hyperpigmentation.

    A reviewer with dark skin showing the serum lightened the acne scars on their forehead and cheeks until they were basically gone
    Progression photos showing redness and acne on reviewer's cheeks is reduced on day 2 and day 4

    Promising review: "This is the first serum I've ever used, and I have noticed a significant change in my skin. I suffer from breakouts usually every day or so, and since using this serum every night my breakouts have pretty much gone away completely, and my scars are fading! I thought at first I was just tricking myself into believing it worked just because I wanted to see results but other people noticed as well and pointed it out to me! I will definitely be purchasing again!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    31. A cruelty-free brightening facial scrub because consistently exfoliating is just good skincare 101. A combo of sea kelp, lemon peel, French green clay, and Madonna lily can slough away the dry, flaky dead skin cells and de-gunk your pores to help reduce breakouts.

    Promising review: "I am always very skeptical of product claims, but this scrub makes a noticeable and wonderful difference — my boyfriend even commented 'Gee, you look good!' It smells fresh and lovely, feels good going on and somehow feels healthier. And it makes my skin look its best and reduced rosacea more than medicines did! Maybe there are better products out there but for me this is a keeper." —Dr. Suzo

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    You looking in the mirror, thrilled to see results: