24 Skin-Care Products Bringing Our Editors a Sense of Calm Right Now

Jun 15 2020 - 2:30pm

There is a lot going on in the world right now and, chances are, it's showing on your face. Whether your skin is freaking the f*ck out [1] from stress or you just can't seem to quell the irritation that comes with wearing a face mask covering [2] every day — or maybe a little of both — there is science behind seeking solace in your everyday rituals. For many people, that comes in the form of a set skin-care routine [3].

From acne treatments that keep stress breakouts at bay [4] to face masks that serve as a form of escapism, it's OK to want to treat yourself every now and again. (There is, after all, no "right" or "wrong" way to practice self-care [5] in these unprecedented times, so long as you acknowledge there is privilege in being able to do so.)

As for us? We're right there with you, so we asked our POPSUGAR editors to share the latest skin-care products [6] offering them some minor reprieve, even if just temporarily — before we all get back to putting in the work.

Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner

"I have combination skin and experience just about all of my breakouts on my chin. Because of this, I swear by toners to balance my skin and remove excess oil and makeup from the area. The Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner with Moringa + Papaya [7] ($28) does just that while also gently exfoliating the skin to keep your pores clear with a blend of two-percent salicylic acid and papaya enzyme. It doesn't leave my face feeling dry or tight — just clean and fresh." — Jessica Harrington, associate beauty editor

Perricone MD Acne Relief Retinol Treatment & Moisturizer

"I have never experienced acne quite like I have during this pandemic, and I blame everything from the sweat the percolates under my suffocating cloth face mask to the stressful news cycle. Still, I've found some slight reprieve in the Perricone MD Acne Relief Retinol Treatment & Moisturizer [8] ($45). It's jam-packed with my favorite ingredient for breakouts (retinol) plus a dose of hydrators and brighteners (like niacinamide, which does double duty), but the best part is that it lacks that gross chemical smell that comes with other acne treatments. A win!" — Kelsey Castañon, senior beauty editor

Dr. Jart Cryo Rubber Mask With Firming Collagen

"I've been trying to hydrate as much as possible while at home, which is why one of my fave face masks is this Dr. Jart Cryo Rubber Mask With Firming Collagen [9] ($14). It's a two-step treatment that comes with an ampoule serum that you put on to moisturize the skin before letting the rubber sit on your face for at least 30 minutes so that everything can penetrate. I tried this a few weeks ago, and once I removed the mask, I couldn't get over how glowy I looked, not to mention how incredibly soft and tight my skin felt." — Danielle Jackson, assistant beauty editor

Hero Cosmetics Micropoint for Dark Spots

"As a hormonal acne-suffer, I'm guilty of picking my skin from time to time. It often leaves me with dark marks and scars left over that take months to fade. Sometimes a brightening serum just isn't enough. I just started using these new Hero Cosmetics Micropoint for Dark Spots [10] ($13) and after one use, I saw a dramatic change in a few of my blemishes marks. I tried one on my face and one on my chest, and they look so much lighter. These patches are total game-changers. I'll be purchasing another pack soon (which is a good thing, because for the entire first week of June, the brand will be donating 100 percent of proceeds from the launch [11] to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund charity, up to $10,000)." — Krista Jones, associate editor, Shop

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub

"I love — emphasis on the love — a good body scrub. It's not only a must for removing my self-tanner every week but just for unbelievably soft skin in general. All I had to do was unscrew the lid of the Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub [12] ($42) to know I was going to be obsessed with it. It has a heavenly coconut smell that makes me want to eat it (or at least have a tropical drink inspired by it). The texture feels like soft sand and even looks like it in the jar." - JH

Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask

"I'm one of those people who likes to go to bed with skin that feels moist (sorry . . .) — like, over-the-top moisturized. The Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask [13] ($34) fulfills all my hydrated skin dreams, well into the next day. My skin just drinks it up overnight and leaves me feeling renewed, glowy, and truly plump when I wake up, especially if I've gotten a little too much Florida sun in my parents' backyard the day before (sorry again to my dermatologist). It's become one of those products I'll never be able to live without." — Aviel Kanter, senior native living editor

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Face Serum

"Keeping my face thoroughly protected from the sun often means I have to look elsewhere for a little glow, and lately I've been reaching for the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Face Serum [14] ($30). I mix a drop of this into my morning moisturizer to help even out and brighten my skin with hyaluronic acid and vitamins C+D. It gives me the faux-glow I'm looking for and does good things for me in the long run." — Alanna Martine Kilkeary, associate beauty editor, Makeup.com and Skincare.com

Sand & Sky Australian Emu Apple Enzyme Powder Polish

"I've been slacking on the exfoliation front, and my skin was starting to look seriously dull. Then, I got my hands on the new Sand & Sky Australian Emu Apple Enzyme Powder Polish [15] ($45), and wow did it remind me how much I love an enzymatic exfoliant. This powder turns into a pretty purple cream when you add a few drops of water or face oil, and it smooths skin with fruit acids and brightens with vitamin C. Something about the powder format makes it especially fun to use, so now I have no excuse not to exfoliate." — Dawn Spinner Davis, senior editorial director, Group Nine Media

Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
"I'm always on the hunt for new sunscreen formulas that plays well under my everyday CC cream and when the Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 [16] ($22) landed in my mailbox, I was excited to give it a try (even if I am spending most of my time at home these days). This lightweight formula is infused with sea fennel and moringa seed extract for a super silky-to-the-touch finish that glides on like butter. I love that it doesn't make my skin look too dewy or overly matte, and my CC cream sits nicely overtop without any pilling or fuss. It's become a staple in my purse during any socially-distant activities inside and out." — AMK

Asarai Earth Tones Red Clay Mask

"I don't think I've ever masked so much in my life before these last few months . . . but here we are. The most recent one I've tried (and gotten hooked on) is the Asarai Earth Tones Red Clay Mask [17] ($35). It's made with Australian clay that's supposed to soften, brighten, and detoxify the skin, and every time I put it on, it applies so smoothly and makes my skin feel like silk when I take it off." — DJ

Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream

"I would use the Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream [18] ($49) every day for the rest of my life purely for the scent alone — it's that good. (Think: earthy but fresh, like you're walking the last leg of a long hike in the mountains but that just so happens to be surrounded by flowers.) It's also extremely hydrating, and gentle enough for my sensitive skin. What more could you want?" — KC

Diptyque Paris Softening Hand Rinse

"It's hard to make washing your hands feel luxurious — especially right now. But the Diptyque Paris Softening Hand Rinse [19] ($62) really changes things. Between the light lavender and rosemary scent and the gorgeous glass bottle, there's no way for this hand wash not to make you feel fancy. It leaves your hands feeling soft and moisturized which is a must." — JH

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream

"While I like my skin to feel overly hydrated at night, during the day I hate nothing more than feeling sticky, especially in the summertime. There are few daytime moisturizers that leave me feeling confidently hydrated, while not pilling underneath sunscreen or feeling too heavy the moment I step outside — the Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream [20] ($48) is one of those magical creams. It's a hybrid gel cream, that goes on the skin like silky butter and sinks in immediately for a soothing experience. It's my new favorite daytime moisturizer, hands down." — AK

Moon Juice Acid Potion Resurfacing Exfoliator

"Moon Juice Acid Potion Resurfacing Exfoliator [21] ($42) has been around for a while, but it just got a facelift that caught my eye — how chic is this new bottle? And the juice (pun intended) is really fantastic, too. It contains an AHA and BHA acid complex, "super mushrooms" to calm inflammation, and hydrating and free radical-fighting ingredients. A quick swipe after cleansing makes my skin feel refreshed and moisturized, as well as thoroughly clean." — DD

Youth To The People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream

"I've been meaning to try the Youth To The People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream [22] ($58) for as long as it's existed, but it somehow got lost in the depths of my skin-care drawer. Alas, while doing a little deep cleaning, I decided to dig it up and give the tub a try, and I'll say this: I shouldn't have slept on this one. It's completely non-irritating, but has taken my skin from dear-god-I'm-dry to near-normal levels — a pretty big feat given I'm spending 98.9% of my time indoors." — KC

Seiso JBeauty Ceramide Moisture Milk

"Since I've been practicing social distancing, my skin has been super dry and lackluster. After trying one too many products and seeing very little changes, I decided to completely overhaul my skin-care routine. I was immediately intrigued by the Seiso JBeauty four-step collection for it's beautiful, luxe-looking packaging. But after using it for a few weeks, I can honestly say it's been the best decision I've made for my skin. While I genuinely recommend using the entire routine, one of my favorite products from the collection is the Ceramide Moisture Milk [23] ($95). This lightweight emulsion helps replenish the loss of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol in your skin for improved hydration and reduced inflammation. I feel like the formula packed with skin-loving ingredients and the soft and moisturizing consistency brought back that dewy glow that I live for." — Genesis Rivas, assistant editor, Makeup.com and Skincare.com

"I started using Seiso JBeauty right as stay-at-home orders went into place in LA . . . and right as my skin started to go haywire thanks to stress. Since then, the gentle four-piece skincare line — developed by one of the founding partners of Kate Somervile and the team behind some of Japan's best-loved skin-care products — has helped keep my skin calm when I'm anything but. The set includes Fuwawa Foaming Cleanser [24] ($38), Pure Ceramide Concentrate [25] ($155), which is kind of like a supercharged essence-meets-serum, Ceramide Moisture Milk ($95), and the Water Velvet Cream [26] ($65), all of which are packed with the brand's patented koji-derived ceramide complex. There's a reason ceramides are having a moment in skincare circles right now; the naturally occurring lipids help hydrate, calm and protect skin. The Fuwafuwa Foaming Cleanser ($38) is my favorite step in the process — it's a light and gentle wash that swipes away my makeup, with a citrus-and-mint scent that calls to mind a mojito." — Lindsay Miller, deputy editor

Isla Beauty Snow Scrub Exfoliator

"When I say the texture of the Isla Beauty Snow Scrub Exfoliator [27] ($54) is fun, I mean it literally bounces under your finger when you poke it. The physical exfoliant buffs away dead skin with all-natural silica particles and fruit pectins while Swiss glacial water and snow algae regenerate the skin. It even has a slight shimmer to it that can be seen when it catches the light." — JH

Furtuna Skin Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil

"Most face oils are great for layering, but they don't actually moisturize skin — instead, they help your skin retain moisture. And this is the reason face oil is the first step I skip when I'm short on time. I'm very excited about Furtuna Skin Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil [28] ($225) because it's different: It has both a water and an oil phase, and you shake it before you apply. That means you can use it at any point in your routine for both hydration and antioxidant benefits — it even boasts blue light defense, which I need now more than ever." — DD

Love all things beauty? Can't get enough products? Come join our Facebook Group Real Reviews With POPSUGAR Beauty [29]. There are lots of fun conversations happening there, as well as all the product recommendations you could ask for — not just from us but community members, too.

Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Hydrating Mask

"Joanna Vargas is one of the only people I'll let touch my skin during normal times, so her products are the next best thing right now. I have experienced a newfound love for the Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Hydrating Mask [30] ($60 for 5), not only because it soothes my chronically puffy undereyes, but also because it's much larger than most undereye masks. Instead of small patches that just get applied underneath the eyes, this mask is a true mask, going under the eyes, over the side of the eyes (hello, crow's feet), and across the forehead. You get a lot of hydrating bang for your buck." — AK

Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Serum

"Because I've been experiencing so much irritation from wearing my face mask outside, I've been relishing in coming home to treat my skin with the Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Serum [31] ($89). It is a bit pricy, to be sure, but its potent enough for a little to go a long way — just one drop of the ceramides and cucumber seed oil-spiked liquid treats my entire face. The result comes the next day, when I wake up to far less redness than I did before bed." — KC

Surface Deep Dermatologist Developed Anti-Odorant Pads

Surface Deep Dermatologist Developed Anti-Odorant Pads
"I've been looking to swap out my OG deodorant for a hot minute, but couldn't fully devote myself to the natural deodorant life. When I got a hold of these Surface Deep Dermatologist Developed Anti-Odorant Pads [32] ($26), though, I was intrigued. The biodegradable pads are powered by a fruit-based glycolic acid formula that removes odor-causing bacteria and trapped sebum from the skin's surface. I've been using these pads for two months now and am seriously impressed. While they don't block sweat, they've kept all signs of odor at bay. The best part? The skin in my underarm feels truly clean, balanced and calmed — I haven't picked up my deodorant once." — Samantha Holender, assistant beauty editor, Makeup.com and Skincare.com

Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Serum

"Over the past few months, I've made the conscious decision to scale down my double-cleanse, multi-serum, most-definitely-excessive skin-care routine. While I've set aside a handful of my go-to products, this Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Serum [33] ($130) is one I'll never, ever part with. It's formulated with hyaluronic acid, dual-action peptides and antioxidants to minimize lines and hydrate the skin. It's completely changed my skin's appearance, gives an amazing glow (I'll even dab on a few drops on top of makeup) and keeps my complexion looking plump, healthy and radiant. It's a holy-grail, for sure." — SH

Face-Kit Renew Mask Kit

"Like most beauty editors, I love a good face mask — I do multiple a week. The Face-Kit Renew Mask Kit [34] ($85) is the newest one I've gotten to try and let me just say, it is more than a face mask. The mix-it-yourself experience adds an element of self-care to it that I love. The kit comes with the mask powder, mixing base, a brush, spoon, glass mixing bowl, cleansing cloth, and linen bag to keep it all together. It really takes my at-home facial to a whole new level." — JH

Biopelle Exfoliating Heel Cream

"After nearly three months without a proper pedicure, my feet are looking a little . . . something. We're entering troll feet territory, people. Despite my best efforts at pumice stone scrubbing and cuticle trimming, the only thing that has truly begun to make a difference is the Biopelle Exfoliating Heel Cream [35] ($70). It contains a whopping 30 percent glycolic acid to slough off all that dead skin around my heels and big toes. After a few days in a row of using it, I'm finally starting to feel like my normal, socially acceptable self." — AK

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