Are you looking to establish an effective skincare routine? Here is our guide to the best products for men. 

Our Recommendations

1. Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule

Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule

COSRX Product for Soothing and hydrating

COSRX Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule

This soothing and hydrating serum is packed with effective yet gentle ingredients that help soothe the skin. It is even suitable for calming current breakouts.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Soothing and hydrating
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply a few drops of the serum to the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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One of the key ingredients in this gentle serum is centella asiatica extract. This plant extract has been shown to effectively treat wounds and soothe inflammation in the skin. It also contains vitamin B5 (AKA panthenol), an anti-inflammatory ingredient that improves hydration and elasticity while soothing the skin.

Pros

  • Lightweight and non-sticky
  • Gentle
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • The lighter hydration may not be hydrating enough for very dry skin

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this Korean serum contains madecassoside, which has antioxidant benefits, and allantoin, which soothes.

Water, Centella Asiatica Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Octanediol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Madecassoside, Panthenol

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Centella asiatica in cosmetology"

    Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.

2. Resurfacing Retinol Serum

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

CeraVe Product for Fading post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and minimizing large pores

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

This drugstore retinol serum is specifically formulated to tackle post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and large pores, and helps promote an overall even and clear complexion.

Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Fading post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and minimizing large pores
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, apply a pump of the serum evenly all over the face, neck, and chest. Use once a day (or less frequently to prevent irritation).
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This is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable retinol. This fragrance-free retinol serum not only helps with acne scars and large pores, but it can also help fight signs of aging and brighten the skin.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Developed with dermatologists

Cons

  • May cause irritation or dryness

This non-comedogenic retinol serum also contains ceramides and niacinamide, which work to calm and restore the skin while maintaining its barrier. Additionally, this formula contains licorice root extract, which gives a brightening boost. That extra benefit may further help lighten discolored scars.

Aqua/Water, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Niacinamide, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Phosphate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Dimethiconol, Lecithin, Sodium Citrate, Retinol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients?"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.

3. Moisturizing Lotion

Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

Vanicream Product for Daily Moisturization

Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

This face, hand, and body lotion was specifically formulated for sensitive skin, helping to moisturize and restore without irritation.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying any serums or treatments, massage the lotion into the face and neck. This lotion can also be used on the body.
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This fast-absorbing lotion contains a short list of ingredients that moisturize the face and body without causing irritation, including white petrolatum and propylene glycol.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-greasy
  • National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

Cons

  • May not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin

This lotion is free of fragrances, dyes, and other ingredients that commonly irritate sensitive skin.

Purified Water, White Petrolatum, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol Solution, Ceteareth-20, Simethicone, Glyceryl Monostearate, Polyethylene Glycol Monostearate, Sorbic Acid, Bht.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Safety assessment of propylene glycol, tripropylene glycol, and PPGs as used in cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.

4. Acne Medication Pads

Stridex Daily Care Acne Medication Pads Maximum Strength

Stridex Product for Acne and Blackheads

Stridex Daily Care Acne Medication Pads Maximum Strength

These cleansing pads use the power of salicylic acid to help treat and prevent breakouts.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Acne and Blackheads
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Cleanse and dry the skin, and then sweep a pad across the entire face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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These pads are soaked with a 2% concentration of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (or BHA). Salicylic acid is an incredibly effective chemical exfoliator that unclogs pores to help treat current breakouts and prevent new acne from forming.

Pros

  • Lightweight solution
  • Exfoliating

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

These alcohol-free pads are textured, which increases the product’s ability to sweep away debris and exfoliate the skin.

Salicylic Acid, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Menthol, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Purified Water, Simethicone, Sodium Borate, Tetrasodium EDTA.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"

    Accessed Aug. 27, 2021.

5. Gentle Facial Cleanser

Vanicream Product for Daily Cleansing

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

This mild, soap-free cleanser is excellent for dry and sensitive skin. It gently cleanses without irritating or drying out the skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This Vanicream cleanser was made specifically with sensitive skin in mind. It is incredibly gentle on the skin, and contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin to keep the skin moisturized. This formula is also soap-free, meaning it gently cleanses without irritation.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

Cons

  • May not be effective enough for acne-prone skin

This cleanser is free of common irritants that can negatively affect sensitive skin, including dyes, fragrances, and essential oils.

Purified water, glycerin, coco glucoside, sodium cocoyl glycinate, acrylates copolymer, caprylyl glycol, mica, sodium chloride, 1,2-hexanediol, titanium dioxide, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 26, 2021.

6. Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Product for Daily Cleansing

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

This gentle and hydrating cream cleanser is one of the best La Roche-Posay cleansers for normal to dry skin. It effectively removes dirt and debris from the skin while still retaining its essential moisture.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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If you have dry skin, finding a cleanser that cleans without stripping the skin of its natural moisture is essential. This cleanser contains ceramides and glycerin, which are excellent for keeping the skin adequately moisturized.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Gentle

Cons

  • May not be suitable for acne-prone skin

In addition to the ceramides and glycerin, this cleanser contains niacinamide, which helps soothe the skin. Additionally, this cleanser is suitable for those with more sensitive skin.

AQUA/WATER/EAU, GLYCERIN, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAETHYLHEXANOATE, PROPANEDIOL, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE, POLYSORBATE 60, CERAMIDE NP, NIACINAMIDE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, COCO-BETAINE, DISODIUM EDTA CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, PANTHENOL, TOCOPHEROL (CODE FIL: D242855/1)

7. Fragrance Free Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Sebamed Fragrance Free Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Sebamed Product for Daily Cleansing

Sebamed Fragrance Free Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

This gentle, hydrating cleanser is specifically formulated for dry and sensitive skin. It effectively cleanses without irritating or drying out the skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This fragrance-free cleanser contains a variety of soothing ingredients that support the skin and prevent irritation. Antioxidant-rich vitamin E and panthenol both hydrate, nourish, and fight irritation while the soap-free formula cleanses.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Gentle
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May not be suitable for acne-prone skin

This gentle cleanser is suitable for a variety of skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and dehydrated skin.

Water (Aqua), Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Citric Acid, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E),Glyceryl Laurate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Benzoate

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.

8. Daily Face Cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser

Cetaphil Product for Daily Cleansing

Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser

For those with normal to oily skin, this is one of the best cleansers from Cetaphil. The gel to foam formula is clinically proven to deeply cleanse the skin, but is still gentle enough to not strip it of its natural oils.

Skin types: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This is an excellent cleanser for daily use, particularly for those with normal to oily skin. It cleanses without irritating or drying out the skin and contains vitamins B3 and B5, as well as glycerin, which hydrate and nourish the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

The mild and low lather formula is dermatologist tested, and shown to be gentle on sensitive skin. Since it is also non-comedogenic, it won’t clog pores, making it a suitable choice for those with acne-prone skin.

Water, Glycerin, Peg-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Masking Fragrance, Panthenol, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium Edta, Methylparaben

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.

9. Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin CleanserCult favorite

Cetaphil Product for Daily Cleansing

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This cult-favorite cleanser is known as one of the best Cetaphil products of all time. The creamy formula gently removes debris from the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: First, wet the skin with lukewarm water. Dispense the cleanser into your palms, and then gently massage into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This gentle cleanser is perfect for everyday use, and is appropriate for all skin types (although it is best for normal, dry, and sensitive skin). It has been clinically proven to be gentle on sensitive skin, and leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturized, rather than tight and dry. This cleanser contains vitamins B3 and B5, as well as glycerin, which hydrate and nourish the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gentle

Cons

  • May not be effective enough for acne-prone skin

This award-winning cleanser has been clinically tested and shown to be hypoallergenic, which means it won’t irritate the skin. The mild, soap-free formula was crafted with sensitive skin types in mind.

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 25, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Aug. 25, 2021.

10. Hydrating Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Product for Daily Cleansing

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This cleanser is gentle on the skin, but still cleanses away dirt, debris, and oil. It both cleans and hydrates, and doesn’t strip the skin of its natural moisture or disrupt the protective barrier.

Skin types: Normal and Dry
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet the skin with lukewarm water, then gently massage the cleanser into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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It’s incredibly important that people with dry skin use a cleanser that strikes a balance between effectively cleansing and not stripping the skin. This is one of the best CeraVe products for dry skin, because it’s hydrating and gentle, but still actually cleanses. Since it is important to cleanse your face on a daily basis, this product makes it easy to do so without disrupting the skin’s barrier.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-irritating
  • Fragrance-free
  • Accepted by the National Eczema Association

Cons

  • May not be be effective enough for acne-prone skin

This hydrating cleanser features glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which hydrate and lock in moisture. It also contains three essential ceramides, which restore the skin’s barrier.

Purified Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-11, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum

11. Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Product for Daily Cleansing

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

This foaming cleanser is gentle and non-irritating on the skin, but still effectively removes dirt, debris, and excess oil without stripping it.

Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet the skin with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This cleanser is one of the best CeraVe products for oilier skin types, because it cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. Maintaining the skin’s moisture is vital, as products that dry out the skin can actually trigger the skin to produce more oil. This cleanser allows you to protect your skin while still cleansing away excess oil, dirt, and debris.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-irritating
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • None

This daily foaming gel cleanser contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and three essential ceramides. These ingredients help ensure the cleanser doesn’t strip the skin of its natural moisture. They also help calm and soothe the skin.

Aqua / Water / Eau, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Niacinamide, Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl, Taurate, Propylene Glycol, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholesterol, Disodium Edta, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum

  1. American Academy of Dermatology. "How to control oily skin"

    Accessed Aug. 24, 2021.

12. Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

Paula's Choice Product for Daily Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

This creamy moisturizer provides the deep hydration that drier skin types need. It also contains replenishing ingredients that fight the signs of aging and improve the skin’s texture.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply the moisturizer over your face, neck, and chest.
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This product is one of the all time best Paula’s Choice moisturizers. It contains a beneficial blend of emollients, peptides, antioxidants, and other replenishing and moisturizing ingredients that deeply hydrate the skin to soften and smooth. It is also suitable for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Soothing

Cons

  • No SPF for daytime use

One of the main ingredients in this moisturizer is hyaluronic acid, which attracts and maintains moisture to the skin. It also contains moisturizing evening primrose oil, a non-fragrant plant oil containing antioxidants that protect the skin.

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate (Emollient), Butylene Glycol (Hydration/Slip Agent), Glycereth-26 (Hydration), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil (Non-fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Cetyl Alcohol (Texture Enhancer/Hydration), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (Emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (Texture Enhancer), Stearic Acid (Texture Enhancer/Hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (Texture Enhancer/Emollient), PEG-100 Stearate (Thickener), Glycerin (Skin-Replenishing), Cyclohexasiloxane (Texture Enhancer), Dimethicone (Hydration/Texture Enhancer), Panthenol (Vitamin B5/Skin-Soothing), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (Skin-Restoring), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Skin-Restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (Skin-Replenishing), Tocopheryl Linoleate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopherol (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice-Derived Skin-Soothing), Sodium PCA (Skin-Replenishing), Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract (Roman Chamomile/Skin-Soothing Antioxidant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Hydration), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Linoleic Acid (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Restoring), Linolenic Acid (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Restoring), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant), Saccharide Isomerate (Hydration), Hydroxypropyl Guar (Film-Forming Agent), Allantoin (Skin-Soothing), Rosa Moschata Seed Oil (Non-fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifier), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Texture Enhancer/Stabilizer), Carbomer (Texture Enhancer), Sodium Citrate (pH Adjuster/Chelating Agent), Trisodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Batyl Alcohol (Stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Chlorphenesin (Preservative), Benzoic Acid (Preservative), Sorbic Acid (Preservative)

13. 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Product for Exfoliating and Reducing the Signs of Aging

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

This gel exfoliant contains glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid, or AHA), a chemical exfoliator that sheds dead skin cells to reveal smooth, younger looking skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Exfoliating and Reducing the Signs of Aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply a dime-sized amount of the gel all over the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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AHAs like glycolic acid are commonly used to reduce the signs of aging, including wrinkles. This gel exfoliant contains an effective 8% concentration of glycolic acid, along with other soothing ingredients.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin

In addition to the glycolic acid, this exfoliator contains soothing and hydrating ingredients, including chamomile, aloe, and green tea.

Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria Flower Extract (chamomile/skin-soothing), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (hydration), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (green tea/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin replenishing), Panthenol (hydration), Sodium PCA (skin replenishing), Propylene Glycol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Hydroxyethylcellulose (texture-enhancing), Polyquaternium-10 (texture-enhancing), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Sodium Benzoate (preservative)

14. Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Paula's Choice Product for Daily Cleansing

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Those with particularly oily skin will benefit from this gentle cream-to-foam cleanser, which effectively cleanses and removes excess oil to reduce shine without drying out the skin.

Skin types: Oily
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: First, wet the skin with lukewarm water. Dispense the cleanser into your palms, and then gently massage into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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Oily skin needs a cleanser that effectively cleans without stripping the skin of its natural oils. This is because skin that is stripped can actually end up producing even more oil. This is one of the best Paula’s Choice cleansers for oily skin, because it removes excess oil but is still gentle enough to maintain the right hydration balance.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle

Cons

  • May be drying for some skin types

This cleanser contains ingredients that hydrate and soothe the skin to keep it balanced, including glycerin, sunflower seed oil, and aloe.

Water (Aqua), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (cleansing), Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (cleansing), Stearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Glycol Distearate (texture-enhancing), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (sunflower oil/non-fragrant oil/antioxidant), Acrylates Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Cetearyl Alcohol (texture-enhancing), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (hydration/skin-soothing), Sodium Chloride (stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Hexylene Glycol (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 5, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Pharmacological attribute of Aloe vera: Revalidation through experimental and clinical studies"

    Accessed Aug. 5, 2021.

15. 1% Retinol Treatment

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Paula's Choice Product for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

This treatment combines retinol, a powerful anti-aging ingredient, with hydrating and brightening ingredients for an even, smooth skin tone.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, massage a pea-sized amount of the treatment into the skin. Initially, limit usage to three times a week to allow the skin to adjust.
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Retinol is the gold-standard for fighting signs of aging, so this is an excellent choice for those with wrinkles, fine lines, and sun spots. The addition of soothing and hydrating ingredients helps counteract some of the potential irritating side effects of retinol.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

This serum contains vitamin C, which brightens the skin, as well as licorice extract and oat extract, which soothe and calm redness.

Water (Aqua), Dimethicone (skin-softening), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Butylene Glycol (hydrating), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Castor Isostearate Succinate (skin-softening ), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (texture enhancer), PEG-33 (stabilizer), Polysorbate 20 (texture enhancer), Behenyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), PEG-100 Stearate (texture enhancer), Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate (stabilizer), Polymethylsilsesquioxane (texture enhancer), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinol (skin-restoring), Ceramide NG (skin-replenishing) , Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-replenishing ), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (antioxidant plant extracts/skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Arctium Lappa Root Extract (burdock extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Salix Alba Bark Extract (willow bark extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Glycine Soja Sterols (antioxidant/skin-softening ), Lecithin (skin-restoring), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (antioxidant/skin-softening), Sorbitan Laurate (texture enhancer), Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester (skin-soothing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Hydroxyethylcellulose (texture enhancer), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tribehenin (emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (skin-softening), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-softening), Pentylene Glycol (hydrating), PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides (emollient), PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer (stabilizer), PEG-10 Phytosterol (fatty acid-based emollient), PEG-8 Dimethicone (skin-softening), PEG-14 (texture enhancer), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (texture enhancer), Arachidyl Glucoside (texture enhancer), Arachidyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), Sclerotium Gum (texture enhancer), Carbomer (gel-based texture enhancer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Benzoic Acid (preservative)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: An overview of clinical efficacy and safety"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

16. 10% Niacinamide Booster

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster

Paula's Choice Product for Refining Pore Size and Improving Skin Tone

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster

This super light niacinamide product is one of the best Paula’s Choice serums. It delivers a multitude of benefits, including minimizing the appearance of pores, controlling sebum production, smoothing fine lines, reducing redness, and brightening.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Refining Pore Size and Improving Skin Tone
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the booster to the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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Niacinamide is a powerful skincare ingredient that offers a wide variety of benefits, which makes this another great multipurpose serum. In addition to minimizing the appearance of pores, it has been shown to control sebum production, smooth fine lines, reduce redness, reduce hyperpigmentation, and brighten the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May cause flushing in those sensitive to niacinamide (patch test prior to using)

In addition to the 10% concentration of niacinamide, this booster contains allantoin and licorice extract, which calm the skin. It also contains vitamin C, which brightens. It’s important to note that users should patch test niacinamide first, because some people are sensitive to it, and it may make acne or flushing worse.

Water (Aqua), Niacinamide (vitamin B3, skin-restoring ), Acetyl Glucosamine (skin replenishing/antioxidant), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Phospholipids (skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing/antioxidant), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Carnosine (antioxidant), Genistein (antioxidant), Citric Acid (pH balancing), Sodium Citrate (pH balancing), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients?"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

17. 10% Azelaic Acid Booster

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster

Paula's Choice Product for Evening Tone and Texture

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster

This booster combines azelaic acid with other brightening ingredients that work together to fade post-acne marks, minimize blemishes, brighten, and even out tone and texture.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Evening Tone and Texture
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the booster to affected areas or all over the skin. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This is a great multi-purpose serum to have on hand. If you have hyperpigmentation, this is a particularly excellent product for you, as azelaic acid has been shown to help fade dark marks. It’s also great for smoothing the skin for a more even texture.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

This booster contains salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator that further minimizes the appearance of blemishes and evens out skin texture and tone. It also contains licorice root, which calms redness and brightens.

Water (Aqua), Azelaic Acid (skin-brightening/tone-improving), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-replenishing), Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate (emollient), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Cetearyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), Dimethicone (hydration/texture enhancer), Salicylic Acid (exfoliant), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (skin-soothing), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Cyclopentasiloxane (texture enhancer), Xanthan Gum (stabilizer), Sclerotium Gum (stabilizer), Propanediol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

18. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary Product for Daily Moisturization

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This daily moisturizer from The Ordinary is an excellent choice for all skin types. It contains a blend of ingredients that boost and maintain hydration levels.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums, massage the product into the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
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This moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to the skin, as well as amino acids, dermal lipids, and other hydrating ingredients that moisturize and protect.

Pros

  • Alcohol-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Lightweight
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • No SPF for daytime use

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this moisturizer contains saccharides. These plant-derived sugars support dermal water density in the skin, further helping to maintain moisture levels.

Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Glucose, Maltose, Fructose, Trehalose, Sodium PCA, PCA, Sodium Lactate, Urea, Allantoin, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Lecithin, Triolein, Tocopherol, Carbomer, Isoceteth-20, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

19. Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap

Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap

COSRX Product for Daily Moisturization

COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap

This lightweight, oil-free lotion is the perfect daily moisturizer, and is one of the best COSRX products for all skin types.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying any serums and treatments, gently massage the lotion into the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with a sunscreen.
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This lotion provides deep hydration that all skin types need, but does so without leaving behind a greasy finish. Birch sap helps to restore moisture to the skin and maintain hydration levels.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Contains fragrant essential oils

In addition to birch sap, this lotion contains hydrating and soothing ingredients, including glycerin, panthenol, allantoin, and sodium hyaluronate.

Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Betaine, Cetearyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethyl Hexanediol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.
  2. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.

20. PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Product for Nightly Moisturization

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

The PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion contains a blend of powerful active ingredients that hydrate, calm, and soothe the skin. It is lightweight but is still able to effectively moisturize.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Nightly Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying treatments, apply one to two pumps on the face, neck, and chest.
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This PM lotion has been a longtime fan favorite for skincare enthusiasts, as it is lightweight, effective, budget-friendly, and ideal for daily use.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Those with very dry skin may need a thicker moisturizer

Since it is oil-free and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores), this moisturizer is a great option for those with acne-prone skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide, which hydrate and calm the skin.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Potassium Phosphate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Ceteareth-20, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Ethylhexylglycerin

21. Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing CreamCult favorite

CeraVe Product for Daily Moisturization

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

This rich, non-comedogenic cream – which is often called “CeraVe in the tub” – is a cult favorite for both the face and body. It is thick and effective at moisturizing, but doesn’t leave behind an overly greasy film.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: On the face, after cleansing and applying treatments, massage a pea-sized amount into the skin. On the body, massage as much as is needed into the skin.
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This CeraVe cream is incredibly moisturizing. For dry and sensitive skin types, it is an excellent multi-purpose product to have on hand, since it can be used on both the face and the body.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • Thick but not greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • People with oily skin may find the thick consistency uncomfortable
  • Some people with acne-prone skin have noted that this product makes them break out

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream contains three key ingredients that restore the skin’s barrier, hydrate, and replenish: hyaluronic acid, ceramides 3, 6-II, and 1, and glycerin.

Aqua / Water / Eau, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Petrolatum, Potassium Phosphate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tocopherol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin

22. Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution

Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid

Paula's Choice Product for Acne, Blackheads, Hyperpigmentation and Redness

Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid

This gentle exfoliating product is ideal for skin prone to breakouts, as it unclogs pores to minimize blemishes while soothing the skin to decrease redness.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Acne, Blackheads, Hyperpigmentation and Redness
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the product and swipe all over the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This product contains a 2% concentration of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that is able to work deep in the pores to unclog and treat breakouts (and prevent new blemishes from forming). It also helps minimize the appearance of pores, and will work to diminish the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from previous blemishes. This concentration is high enough to be effective on acne-prone skin, but still gentle as to reduce the risk of irritation.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

Additional hydrating and soothing ingredients are paired with the salicylic acid to minimize irritation and reduce redness. This includes glycerin, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, and panthenol.

Salicylic Acid 2%, Water (Aqua), Dipropylene Glycol (hydration), Pentylene Glycol (hydration), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Glycerin (skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Panthenol (hydration), PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Methyl Gluceth-20 (hydration), Glycereth-26 (texture-enhancing), Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (hydration), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizer), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer).

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments A Review"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

23. 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment

Acne.org 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment

Acne.org Product for Acne

Acne.org 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment

This gel-based treatment uses benzoyl peroxide to help treat current breakouts and prevent new breakouts from forming.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Acne
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply a thin layer of the treatment all over your face. Follow up with a moisturizer, and a sunscreen during the day.
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Benzoyl peroxide is an incredibly effective skincare ingredient when it comes to fighting acne, as it kills bacteria that causes acne and removes excess dirt and sebum from the pores. The 2.5% concentration in this treatment is effective, but gentle enough that it is less likely to cause irritation.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • May cause irritation

If you’re new to using benzoyl peroxide, it’s best to start slowly with a smaller amount, and then increase how much you use as your skin adjusts.

2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, Water, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxide.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Benzoyl Peroxide"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

24. Acne Foaming Wash 10% Maximum Strength

PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash 10% Maximum Strength

PanOxyl Product for Acne

PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash 10% Maximum Strength

This foaming benzoyl peroxide cleanser is excellent for fighting acne on both the face and body.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Acne
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Gently massage the cleanser into the face, as well as any other areas of the body that are prone to acne (like the back or chest). Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This foaming cleanser contains a 10% concentration of benzoyl peroxide. This high concentration helps kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin while also unclogging pores to treat current breakouts and prevent new blemishes from forming.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May irritate the skin

For the best results, this cleanser should be used on a regular basis as part of an effective skincare routine to keep breakouts at bay.

Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide (10%) Inactive Ingredients: Carbomer Homopolymer Type C, Carbomer Interpolymer Type A, Decyl Glucoside, Dimethicone, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Propanediol, Purified Water, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sorbitan Stearate, Stearic Acid, t-Butyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Benzoyl Peroxide"

    Accessed Sep. 1, 2021.

25. 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

Timeless Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

This affordable vitamin C serum contains a 20% concentration of vitamin C, which helps brighten and fight signs of aging.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Brightening and Anti-Aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the serum onto the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a moisturizer, and an SPF during the day.
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This lightweight serum contains a 20% concentration of l-ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C that works to brighten and provide anti-aging benefits. It also contains vitamin E and ferulic acid, two skincare ingredients that protect the skin from environmental stressors and have also been shown to increase the efficacy of vitamin C.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Fragrance-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the pump

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this serum contains hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to the skin to keep it hydrated.

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Vitamin C in Dermatology"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

26. Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

This gentle and affordable serum contains vitamin C, which brightens and fights signs of aging, as well as other soothing and hydrating skincare ingredients.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Brightening and Anti-Aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the serum onto the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a moisturizer, and an SPF during the day.
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This vitamin C serum contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable form of vitamin C that helps brighten and provide anti-aging benefits. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to the skin, and vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage to the skin.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fragrance-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some acne-prone reviewers noted that it broke them out

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this serum contains jojoba oil, which moisturizes, and witch hazel, which soothes.

Organic Deionized Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), MSM, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid (Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Vitamin E (d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Organic Gotu Kola, Wildcrafted Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense), Wildcrafted Dandelion, Wildcrafted Geranium, Organic Jojoba Oil (Organic Simmondsia Chinensis), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Sodium ascorbyl phosphate in topical microemulsions"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

27. Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

Derma E Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging

Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

This affordable vitamin C serum contains a stable and effective form of vitamin C, as well as additional ingredients that help hydrate and soothe the skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Brightening and Anti-Aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the serum onto the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a moisturizer, and an SPF during the day.
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Vitamin C – an antioxidant that fights free radicals that can damage the skin – is key for a rounded out skincare routine, and this option is affordable and effective. It contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable form of vitamin C that doesn’t deteriorate as easily as other forms. It is able to brighten the skin and fight signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

In addition to vitamin C, this serum contains a blend of ingredients that hydrate, soothe, and nourish the skin, including hyaluronic acid, green tea leaf extract, rosehip oil, and aloe vera extract.

Purified Water, Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C, Stay-C 50), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Microcrystalline Cellulose (Plant Derived), Cellulose Gum (Plant Derived), Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (Vegetable Derived), Polymnia Sonchifolia (Yacon) Root Juice, Maltodextrin, Lactobacillus (Probiotic), Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Extract *, Allantoin, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Plant Derived), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Natural Fragrance Oils

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Pharmacological attribute of Aloe vera: Revalidation through experimental and clinical studies"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Sodium ascorbyl phosphate in topical microemulsions"

    Accessed Aug. 31, 2021.

28. 2% BHA Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ExfoliantCult favorite

Paula's Choice Product for Gently Exfoliating and Preventing Breakouts

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

This cult-favorite product contains salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator that gently exfoliates dead skin cells and unclogs pores for a clear complexion.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Gently Exfoliating and Preventing Breakouts
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the product and swipe all over the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This is a best seller at Paula’s Choice, and for a good reason. Salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid, or BHA) is an excellent chemical exfoliator that sheds excess skin cells and decongests pores to fight acne and blackheads and promote a more even skin tone.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

This product also contains green tea, which soothes irritation and provides anti-aging benefits.

Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (green tea/skin calming/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizer)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

29. C15 Super Booster

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

Paula's Choice Product for Brightening and Fighting Signs of Aging

Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster

The 15% concentration of pure vitamin C in this serum helps brighten the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Brightening and Fighting Signs of Aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Massage two to three drops of the serum into clean skin. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This lightweight serum is one of the best Paula’s Choice products, as it contains a powerful concentration of vitamin C, which evens out and brightens the skin tone while also minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains ingredients that hydrate and soothe the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

In addition to vitamin C, this serum contains ferulic acid and vitamin E. These antioxidants protect the skin, and are also known to increase the efficacy of vitamin C.

Water (Aqua), Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C/antioxidant), Butylene Glycol (solvent/texture enhancer), Ethoxydiglycol (solvent/texture enhancer), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), PPG-26-Buteth-26 (emulsifier/skin-softening), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (emulsifier/solubility enhancer), Pentylene Glycol (skin-softening slip agent), Tocopherol (vitamin E/stabilizing antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration), Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate (skin-restoring peptide), Lecithin (skin-restoring/hydration), Ferulic Acid (stabilizing antioxidant), Panthenol (vitamin B5/skin-softening, skin-soothing), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract (skin-softening/chelating agent), Propyl Gallate (antioxidant), Sodium Gluconate (chelating agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative)

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Vitamin C in dermatology"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

30. Moisture Gel

Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

Paula's Choice Product for Daily Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

This super-light gel formula is perfect for those with normal to oily skin, as it hydrates without making the skin feel greasy.

Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums, gently massage the moisturizer over your face and neck.
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Oilier skin types still need to moisturize daily, as it helps their skin stay hydrated and balanced. This super lightweight gel moisturizer is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for normal to oily skin, as it quenches the skin without leaving a greasy finish.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No SPF for daytime use

This moisturizer contains niacinamide, which calms the skin and can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and even skin tone. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidants that protect the skin.

Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone (hydration), Niacinamide (vitamin B3/skin-restoring), Laminaria Saccharina (Algae) Extract (hydration), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (hydration/skin-soothing), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidant), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil (non-fragrant oil/emollient/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phenyl Trimethicone (hydration), Dimethicone (hydration), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin c/antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Isohexadecane (texture-enhancing), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (texture-enhancing, Sodium Carbomer (texture-enhancing), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (texture-enhancing), Polysorbate 80 (texture-enhancing), Hydroxyethylcellulose (texture-enhancing), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Potassium Sorbate.

FAQs

What is the best skincare product for men with sun damage?

If you’re looking to address sun damage, in addition to wearing sunscreen daily to protect the skin and prevent future damage, you’ll want to look for products containing retinol, AHAs, and vitamin C. For retinol, try the CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum or the Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. For an AHA exfoliant, try the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant. For vitamin C, try the Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum, the TruSkin Vitamin C Serum, the Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum, or the Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster. Keep in mind that you should only add one new product to your skincare routine at a time to see how your skin reacts. 

What is the best daily acne face wash product for men?

One of the best daily acne face washes is the PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash 10% Maximum Strength, which contains a potent concentration of benzoyl peroxide. This skincare ingredient is incredibly effective at helping to fight and prevent breakouts. Since this face wash can be drying, you might consider using it only once a day (or every other day), and alternating with another gentle, non-comedogenic face wash from this list that works for you skin type, such as the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser or Hydrating Facial Cleanser.

What is the best moisturizer for men with dry skin?

If you have dry skin, two great options for you include the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer and the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which are both formulated for dry skin. The CeraVe option is particularly great for those who are looking for an affordable moisturizer that can be used on both the body and the face. 

The Bottom Line

Both men and women need to establish an effective skincare routine in order to keep their skin healthy and feeling its best. If you’re in the process of creating your routine, consider trying out some of our recommended products.