If you could only use one brand for skincare, which could you commit to?

I feel most confident in products I’ve used over time from Aveeno, Origins, Shiseido, and Skinceuticals, but it would be hard to fill my entire routine with any one brand. If I had to, I’d go Origins as they have a good variety of products, have worked for me over many years (and different formulas), and aren’t extremely expensive (relative to where skincare can go).

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Erica Avatar

I don’t have one brand I’m loyal to and tbh a lot of skincare has nothing but fragrance, synthetic or natural and terrible alcohol. I’d say Cera Ve. Even though my routine is fairly simple, I still would need more than one to get all that I need though. I couldn’t be without their cleannser!

kjh Avatar

Cosrx. Esp now that they have increased offerings on the anti-aging front. Still use a smattering of other KB, and Paula, and scripts. But Cosrx is #1 for me. Odd, as it is primarily an anti-acne line, but works well for aged/oily/ dehydrated, too.

kjh Avatar

Hi, Christy. The low ph cleanser is a must have. I wrote one of the first consumer reviews on Ulta, if you want to see what I really think. Ironically, the milky gel first cleanse (Amazon) is truly suckworthy. Remarkably inefficient and bad for m/u removal. Then the bha/aha toner, another absolute HG. No matter what you choose to follow it, if you get that stuff first down in the pores, it seems there is a barrier against other products clogging you up. In the ams, I often do a seven skin type thing with all liquids, nothing heavier than an essence. After the initial toner, then the centella toner. Then the sacharomyces toner and/or the saccharomyces essence, depending. I use the bha power essence, for any oily areas that appeared during the night. Any drier areas get the snail 96. Then spray it all up with the pha spray (Amazon.). That has the finest spray you’ll ever use, and is gentle enough for the non-acid-habituated. Unlike most Cosrx, that’s small and on the pricey side. The aha power essence is too strong for me right now (as are all DE products. My derm conditions have made me sensitive and reactive to lots of stuff I used to use.). I put the Cosrx ceramide cream (Amazon) over differin at night, and use the rice sleeping mask at least once a week, but daytime, 4-5 hours. Fairly often use the saccharomyces toner spray over m/u, if anything is looking powdery. If my skin is asking for straight up light moisture, I use the birch sap one. Oh, by ‘Amazon,’ I mean not available at Ulta! I spent my youth chasing a bunch of expletive deleted skincare promises. The science and knowledge have certainly evolved. But the idea of this regimen at 70 is pretty strange, because it virtually eliminates oil, that most people my age need, to keep their skin from blowing down the road. What I suggest you try first are the low ph cleanser and the aha/bha toner, if you want to start up more Cosrx. They are non-spectacular workhorses that are efficient, cost effective, and basically use ‘Paula principles.’

Monika Avatar

Same here! I use the rice mask, AHA/BHA toner, BHA liquid, PHA cream, hyaluronic acid intensive cream (wintertime) from them. Other then Cosrx I like serums from The Ordinary and the premium lotion from Rohto Hadalabo.

Z. Avatar

Oh man, this is tricky. I really love certain things I’ve tried from Fresh (cleansers and masks), but I’m also loyal to my advanced night repair serum from Estee Lauder and have liked things from Farmacy as well.

Honestly, maybe I’d go with drunk elephant (assuming I could try products before committing), just because I always hear people rave about them and I feel like they’re products are specifically designed to work well together. All their products are pricey, but if I’m committing to one brand, I think I’d be okay shelling out a little more money. My only hesitation is that DE doesn’t believe in skin types, and I have very oily skin, so I’d just be a little wary of not finding things that are a little too rich/moisturizing for my tastes.

I also really love some products for clinique, but more in terms of cleansers and moisturizers than actives and treatments (like retinols and serums). They’d also be a contender, but I’d want to take a closer look at their range and see what else they offer that could work for me.

Man, this is way tougher than picking one brand for makeup.

Lauren Avatar

I would probably go with Paula’s Choice. I’ve gotten hooked on just about every product that I’ve tried from the line. The lip balm is one of the only ones that actually seems to hydrate my lips instead of chapping them even more. The 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant has literally saved my skin, and the cleansers and moisturizers are great, too. I also recently started using the fragrance-free and dye-free shampoo/body wash and conditioner, and it’s really made a difference in the back acne I was getting. The price is reasonable, too, considering I used to rotate between several different shampoos/conditioners, trying to find something that wouldn’t make me break out.

kjh Avatar

I like the Resist bha, because it’s more watery than either the regular or the clear line bha. Also smaller, boo. Paula was the pivotal change for my skin, with the info on the pH necessary for skin acids to work. I may have largely defected to Korea, but still use some Paula..like the Resist moisture for a midweight, the omegas, and some others. Paula really is knowledge based, and if you’ve got as many reactions as I do, her ingredient dictionary and the now sister site Beautypedia will always be a go-to.

Lauren Avatar

I have really good luck with Peter Thomas Roth for face moisturizer/masks/exfoliators, Origins for facewash/serum, and Ole Henriksen for my eye cream. Ole changed the formula on the eye cream and I’m almost out so I’ll have to transition to the new one… scares me because my eyes are so sensitive and finding a day eye cream that doesn’t make my contacts feel like crap is a challenge. I really wouldn’t want to whittle it down to just one, but since I use more from PTR I’d probably go with them… but giving up Origins would be tough!

xamyx Avatar

This is impossible, as no “natural” skincare brand makes both an effective sunscreen & cleanser/moisturizer… My HG cleanser is Everyday Coconut, but they only do SPF 15, in a moisturizer that isn’t even that great for my dry skin. I have to cross over to “mainstream” sunscreens, with L’Oreal & Coppertone topping my list, but neither does a good cleanser/ moisturizer. I guess I’d just have to try some more things, but I don’t think I’d find any one brand to suit my needs…

Matilda Avatar

I can’t decide between Neutrogena (sunscreen and cleanser) and Paula’s Choice (skin perfecting 2% BHA liquid). Both of these address all of my needs. I attribute my relative lack of wrinkles, at age 62, in large part to the Neutrogena sunscreen.

Priscilla Avatar

I’d have to say Drunk Elephant. They are the only brand that I have used almost all of the products and been pleased with the results. I’m not loving the sunscreen, though. Everything else is pretty wonderful!

I’ve been a fan of Paula’s Choice for many years, but have had one or two serious reactions to her products. I have to pick and choose carefully.

Fragrance free skincare is a top priority for me, so my brands are limited. Cruelty free is a bonus for sure!!

Hillary Avatar

I could pretty much copy paste your comment! I have used Paula’s Choice for years, and heavily depended on their Beautypedia to warn me what products will be a mistake. That being said, I have very sensitive skin and some of their products break me out. I have slowly switched over to almost exclusively Drunk Elephant, and my skin has improved so much. I spent an entire year trying to find a cheaper alternative to the TLC serum, and finally had to cave as nothing else had anywhere near the results. I wish my skin loved a more affordable brand, but honestly after 11 years of skin struggles I’m willing to pay up.

Wendy Avatar

No question about it… Skinceuticals! The blemish skin care line is amazing. I don’t know what I would do without having the Blemish + Age Defense serum. It’s my holy grail for keeping my skin clear and radiant. When I run out or try another serum, my skin freaks and breaks out. Combine the serum with the nighttime moisturizer for oily skin and OMG! Perfection.

Glamorable Avatar

Peter Thomas Roth for me. They have fabulous products in each category that I use for anti-aging: great retinoids, Vit C, E, F serum, very nice oils and HA if I need extra moisture, and of course sunscreen.

kjh Avatar

Do they have a sensitive line stateside? The fragrant oils…linalool, geraniol, limonene, etc raise havoc with whatever is wrong with my lips. Stinging and swelling. I seem to have reactions to the natural side more than the synthesized side.

Kuávsui Avatar

It would have to be Paula’s Choice. I feel like no other company has the range of well-rounded BHA products and while I do use other brands’ cleansers, serums and moisturizers and like to try new things, I know I could trust them with the rest of my skincare needs as well.

Dolores Avatar

I love the spa brand Eminence Organics. Especially their Stone Crop facial cleansing oil and their Strawberry/Rhubarb Dermafoilant with Lactic Acid. Their line does not add water as part of the ingredients so you have the pure product. Their Coconut moisturizing cream is wonderful as well as their Stone Crop face mask.

Leah Avatar

I would definitely go with Clinique. They are the only brand that has worked for me and my extremely sensitive skin. Their Moisture Surge line has totally saved my skin!! I went from having skin that my dad described as feeling like sandpaper, to being as soft to the touch as the skin of a baby!

Iris Avatar

I have too many that I rely on consistently, from Drunk Elephant and Sunday Riley to SKII, Fresh, Kiehl’s, and CeraVe! I also really like individual products from the Ordinary, Peter Thomas Roth, and Korean skincare such as May Coop, but I’ve only used a smattering of products from the latter brands so I don’t have as good of an understanding of the brand as a whole. Brands that have never worked for me unfortunately: Ole Henriksen, DermaDoctor, and Neutrogena.

Brenda C Avatar

Caudalie, I haven’t tried all of their products but the ones I have I love, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to purchase anything in this line.

Stacy Avatar

I pretty much use drunk elephant exclusively now, but pepper in some products from The Ordinary. However, DE is super expensive so I ordered some smaller kits during the Sephora VIB sale to try out. Particularly curious about Ren if anyone has tried?

RedHedd Avatar

I’m a Paula’s Choice gal. Been using her stuff for years! Yes, I’ve added other brands here and there (Shu cleansing oil), but for the most part my whole skincare program is PC products.

Beth Lincoln Avatar

I DO only use one brand of skincare – Paula’s Choice. I have used them exclusively for over 10 years. Nothing comes close – I love this brand SO
much. It is science based and so fairly priced.

Deborah S Avatar

Four months ago I could easily have said Drunk Elephant as I pretty much used the whole line with my beloved Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Eye Gel and a couple of Tatcha products in the mix. Before that it was Sunday Riley. For various reasons I ditched everything about two weeks ago and just started a completely new routine and only 2 products are from the same brand. All together I think there are 8 different brands so not able to narrow it down to one right now. I think I am always looking for that next great thing.

Alecto Avatar

Paula’s Choice, though I’d very much miss some of the other non-PC products I’m currently using. PC has the only sunblock that I’ll use on my face, and also just about every other type of (tested effective) ingredient one would ever need. It doesn’t suit a few of my more frou needs, but it’s good, sensible stuff.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!