Out with the Bad, in with the Best Skin-Care Products

In This Article:

We've all been there …. You buy a wrinkle cream, skin-brightening serum, or anti-blemish treatment hoping your skin problems will resolve right before your very eyes, but all you've got to show for it is an empty wallet, a cabinet full of disappointing products, and skin problems you still wish would go away.

Time for a Beauty Audit

It's time for a beauty audit: We checked the statistics on Beautypedia to find out which products received the most attention from our visitors, and we were shocked to see how many of those products made our WORST list!

What to Toss

Double-check this list to make sure you're not using any of the "Toss"-labeled products, and find out which state-of-the-art products you should be using instead. There really are products out there that can make a beautiful difference, and those are the ones you should be buying!

Toss: Lancome Visionnaire LR 2412 Advanced Skin Corrector. The ads may sound enticing, but this is far from what we would call skin-correcting because of the amount of alcohol it contains, which can cause irritation and generate free radicals.

Use: Paula's Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum or Beauticontrol Regeneration Overnight Retinol Recovery Serum. Look for a supercharged blend of retinol, potent antioxidants, and skin-repairing ingredients like these two products have for true skin-correcting abilities (including smaller pores and a more even skin tone).

Toss: Dove Beauty Bar. While this isn't technically "soap," the overall effect on the skin is drying because the cleansing agents in it are indeed drying. Further complicating matters, the ingredients that keep any bar cleanser in its bar form leave a residue that is difficult to rinse.

Use: Paula's Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser or Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Foaming Cleanser. A cleanser should have a gentle, water-soluble formula that easily removes makeup. These options do just that, while also keeping skin in balance.

Toss: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Original Formula SPF 15. This moisturizer lacks the UVA-protecting ingredients needed to offer reliable broad-spectrum sun protection. You're really not doing your face (or wrinkles) any favors here.

Use: Paula's Choice Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants or Estee Lauder Time Zone Line & Wrinkle Reducing Lotion SPF 15. These moisturizers protect skin from wrinkles and brown spots while also providing broad-spectrum sun protection. Added bonus: They're loaded with state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients.

Toss: St. Ives Apricot Scrub Invigorating, for All Skin Types. The walnut shells and cornmeal in this scrub can be too abrasive and tend to tear into the skin, damaging its protective barrier. Doing so causes more problems, such as irritation and delayed healing. Acne and uneven skin tone cannot be scrubbed away!

Use: Paula's Choice AHA or BHA Exfoliants. Research shows that the most gentle and effective way to exfoliate is with a well-formulated AHA or BHA product. If you aren't prone to breakouts and have normal to dry, sun-damaged skin, opt for an AHA. Those with normal to oily skin or breakout- or blackhead-prone skin will see dramatic results with a BHA. Both improve signs of aging, including wrinkles!

Toss: La Mer Creme de la Mer. At $150, the price of Creme de la Mer is absurd considering that it's formulated with mostly standard moisturizing ingredients. Even more disappointing, the few antioxidants Creme de la Mer does contain won't remain effective due to the jar packaging. In addition, the lime and eucalyptus can promote irritation. What a waste!

Use: Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer or Boscia Restorative Night Moisture Cream. Swap out your La Mer cream for one of these moisturizers, which are loaded with ingredients proven to remodel aging skin—really. You can use the extra $100+ you save for a pair of new, sexy shoes!

Wondering if any of your other products make the "toss" list? Check out our reviews on Beautypedia. (There's a mobile version for your smartphone so you can look them up while you're shopping too).

Recommended Products

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

View Media Highlights

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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