Rant & Rave: Skincare

Tell us what you love and hate about...


It’s confusing. There’s a lot of trial and error. When you find skincare products that work, it feels so good and makes life (skin) better… but trying to get there? It can be a nightmare of a ride!
There’s also a ton of puffery in skincare, and you have to invest time to research and get to know ingredients if you want to buy efficacious products. You also have to know when and how to apply what and where!

— Christine


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Andrea Barboza Avatar

I wasn’t crazy about any of the Drunk Elephant products! I got everything except for the sunscreen. They were “Ok” but nothing that wowed me! Definitely not worth the crazy high price tag!

On the other hand, eerything (skincare) that I’ve tried from Tatcha is PERFECTION! I highly recommend the rice enzyme powder and the essence! Also, The Luminous Deep Hydratation Lifting Mask is hands down the best face mask I’ve tried. EVER! (And I’ve tried a lot!)

Also love: Good Genes by Sunday Riley; Truth Serum by Olehenriksen and the Hopoallergenic Firming Eye Cream by Perricone.

For body: Sol de Janeiro is the bomb!

AB Avatar

Rave: When something works really well, it’s like music goes off in the background — nothing beats an improved skin situation. It makes the journey / cost almost work it.

Rant: It’s overwhelming, costly and time consuming to work through it. So much hype and so many claims out there, so many products per category and so many categories (serums, cleansers, treatments, creams/moisturizers, and then all those for eyes too) so many treatments/procedures like peels, so much cost involved in the quest, so much time to figure out how and if each product works. And the downsides to something not working well can a bummer at best (the two red, burn-like marks under my eyes after trying a new cream were startling until they healed).

Lulle Avatar

Rave: when you find the right product it can really make a huge difference in your skin! I also like to spend time on my skincare routine, it’s a bit of “me time” that I really enjoy.
Rant: absurd claims and outright lies are not rare from brands selling skincare. Brands exploit women’s lack of confidence to sell ridiculously priced products that often contain nothing that could even start to help.
I’m also deeply annoyed at the false belief that anything natural must be great for the skin, and conversely that anything “chemical” must be damaging. I hate when brands perpetuate this mistake to boost their sales, and especially when they market their products as “natural” when, next to one random plant extract, they are actually filled with synthetic ingredients.
And finally, I am very wary of any trend in skincare. Skin has needs that are always the same, or may vary slowly in time or with the seasons, but it doesn’t suddenly need that weird mask that is all over Instagram or the newest gadget everyone is talking about. Skincare is about using truly effective ingredients consistently, not giving in to the latest craze.

Nancy T Avatar

LOVE: What a really *good* skincare regimen can do for my face and neck! It just makes me feel confident in my own very troubled skin. I’ve got combination skin that is still prone to breakouts, which is crazy because I’m 58! Plus hyperpigmentation in areas, and some sagging in my jowls is beginning, along with some deep expression lines. The thing is, that with a well put together regimen, my skin is in much better condition than without.

HATES: Finding an HG product only to have it get DC’d or no longer easily accessible is a major pain in my butt! It happened with my old HG eye cream from Physician’s Formula. Took several tries to finally find another that I love equally; Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream. Also happened with my favorite night cream, Hada Labo Plumping Gel Moisturizer. Ulta quit carrying it, and now I have to order it from Amazon or a few other online shopping sites. Another thing I despise is when a product has a ton of hype and hoopla surrounding it, but it does squat in practice!

Deborah S. Avatar

Confusing is the word, Christine. I love how good skin care feels when applying and how it makes my skin feel and look. However, the process of getting there is so painful. So many products with so many wild claims and new ones coming all the time. If the process of trying and waiting for results weren’t so long then it wouldn’t be so bad. I also get frustrated easily with all of the chemicals and trying to determine what is what. I am glad that there are so many sites now where they identify the chemicals and educate the public on what works and what doesn’t.
I came late to the ageing skin care party and have been trying to play catch up but there is no miracle product. It took years for my skin to get to this point and it will take a while to make headway. Patience isn’t my virtue.

Products I love right now are Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil, Tatcha Rice Enzyme Cleansing Powder, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic and Vit. C Eye Gel, Sunday Riley Good Genes, Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser, Sunday Riley Tidal and Boscia Tsubaki Cream/Gel Moisturizer. I also use a prescription retinal and have recently started back using a couple of Olay Regenerist products.

Rachel R. Avatar

To me, it’s a necessary evil. When you find the magic products that work, it makes a huge difference in how skin looks and feels.

However, it is confusing and it’s really hard to find those perfect-for-you products and which combination to use them in. Then after a while, they’ll stop working and you have to start over again. It’s very frustrating!

I also find the practice of skincare incredibly boring. Wash with this; smear that on. No creativity. No color. The same routine every day. *snore*

Spring Avatar

It’s so interesting that you say that because I love the whole ….ritual I guess, of putting on skincare. I actually get really excited about cleanser! haha. Kinda sad I suppose. 🙂

WildDove Avatar

Mature skin with lifelong acne tendencies. My skin is the best it’s ever been this year. Most of skincare for me is “inside-out” with a low-fat, clean, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free, natural diet high in vegetables and fruits, basic supplements including vitamins C, A, and collagen, adequate water, must have good elimination, good sleep, a little exercise, and minimizing sun exposure. And a few basic products that work well for me — favorites include Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and Facial Mist, Clinique DDML+, and Sephora Sleeping Masks especially the Green Tea (I wish this stuff came in a jar or tube!). Cleansers: EL Sparkling Clean cleanser, First Aid Beauty face cleanser, Clinique liquid facial soap, or pHisoderm for Sensitive Skin. I now exfoliate only before special occasions, after I learned that the good bacteria on your skin like to eat dead skin, so I encourage their flourishing as much as I can. Good bacteria help keep bad bacteria in check. Rinse with “water-only” in the a.m. Skin likes to keep a somewhat acidic pH.

Lulu Avatar

Love skincare! Color is harder for me. There are fewer trends in skincare, and much of the time efficacy and luxuriousness are reflected in price so you often get what you pay for.
For my face, I don’t buy any drugstore products except for Bioderma Sensibio. I don’t use products that advertise or claim great results. I also stay clear of brands that are known for color and/or fragrance
At 61, I find a combination of prescription Retin-A and the cosmeceutical Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum, along with a variety of European and Korean brands work well. Ireland’s Pestle & Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum, for instance, is fabulous.

Anne Avatar

Rave: Love my current products, but it was frustrating and far too expensive to get it all sorted out. And, unless and until my skin changes dramatically again, it’s not changing. (Fingers crossed.)
Rant: I refuse to make my skincare a science project. I can take just so many claimed ‘benefits’ because of this and that new scientific breakthrough (or mysterious plant discovery found in the remote jungles of where???) before I start rolling my eyes. I really like to keep it as simple as possible.

kjh Avatar

Prob the biggest rave is that skincare is so much more effective than in prior decades. And I I like the science project/nerdy/analysis approach. Cosdna and EWG are my middle names. As many reactivitites as I have, they have to be. Also love the internet resources for skincare…yeah, the ones with testing schedules and databases. And I love the idea of being able to tailor more specifically. Even 10 years ago, there just weren’t varied formulas of the same basic ingredient, take vit c in its multiple forms and even different carrier bases. My aged skin is oily/dehydrated. It needs water bases and often breaks out, given oil. I grew up in the era of what I think of as the old Clinique method. Many still think of that as the prototype American way. Wash…tone. (Alcohol based/ cleansing toner, not pH balancing) …moisturize. No wonder my skin was an effin mess. I guess what I love best is the opportunity to learn.

Miska Avatar

I think it all comes down to trial and error. What works great for one person, could cause a bad reaction in someone else. I think that it’s important to know your ingredients. It’s been a big help in finding cheaper dupes of skincare when I need to tighten my budget. Higher price doesn’t always mean higher quality. Sometimes simple wins out over a shit ton of ingredients. There certainly is a lot of stuff to navigate through when it comes to the world of skincare. Reading up on trusted reviews is also very helpful. My big rant is, as others have said, having an HG product be DC’d. So infuriating!

Aj Avatar

When you find what works for you, it’s like your day just brightened more. I do wish there was easier way to test skincare without having to go through the process of hoping the product doesn’t burn, irritate or breakout your skin.
You also have to do a lot of research on the skincare you want to test out.

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