Skincare and makeup you recommended for all types of skin

We just did skincare earlier this week but there were so many discussions in that post I wanted to talk about it again. I’ve been doing dermaplaning, or shaving your face with a single blade, about once a week for over three months now, since we first started talking about it. I’m still keeping it up and it does make my skin look brighter and feel smoother of course. However I also still wax once a week to get the tiny hairs, the hairs do feel blunter after, and I also cut myself for the first time! It just looks like a scratch down my cheek as I wasn’t paying enough attention. It’s not bad though. As I mentioned in my first follow-up, you do have to keep it up but I don’t regret starting it. Here are some products you’ve mentioned and things I’ve tried or heard about. I am definitely using retinol more since we’ve been talking about it.

An all-natural skincare system for blemish-prone skin
My friend Misty recommended the TreeActiv cystic acne treatment and raves about how it cleared her adult acne. I bought it for my teenage son and you get a small jar for over $20, but the stuff really works. He liked it so much I bought him the entire system, the TreeActiv Acne Eliminating Face Cleanser, the Four-in-One Acne Treatment, which is a nice gentle scrub, and the Acne Eliminating Face Cream, which is a light moisturizer that smells minty. They all have a fresh, minty smell to them with the scrub/mask smelling the most like tee tree oil. They all have hundreds of positive legitimate reviews. My son has also tried ProActiv and the La Roche-Posay product system (the Efflaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser, the Clarifying Solution, treatment and moisturizer.) His favorite is TreeActiv by far as it’s the gentlest and seems to work the best. La Roche-Posay is a close second. While Proactiv works, it was too harsh on his skin.

An affordable retinol serum that people love
This retinol serum has over 3,000 reviews and a 4.4 star rating. Women rave about the difference it makes in their skin and say it works so much better than more expensive products. One woman writes that it gave her “immediate results,” “like the lines disappeared” and says she bought a few bottles because she didn’t want to run out. Others love the formula and say it “glides on” and “is not greasy.” It’s said to do wonders for age spots, wrinkles and acne scars. People even use it on their hands. Tree of Life also has a three serum set with hyaluronic acid, retinol and vitamin C for under $20.

An anti-aging serum with multiple beneficial ingredients
Here’s another serum that has thousands of glowing reviews. This serum from Eva Naturals has retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and vitamin C. Reviewers write that they saw results after just one day and say it reduces scarring, helps clear acne and improves skin overall. A licensed esthetician calls it “the perfect product for my sensitive oily acne prone skin” and writes that “my skin has improved so much since i started using this product!”

Gentle, light foundation for all skin types
In our last post MrsBanjo asked for foundation recommendations for acne-prone skin and Aggie mentioned that people swear by Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup. This foundation is so affordable at less than $6. It has a 4.3 star rating and over 3,000 reviews! Women call it “my favorite drug store foundation” and say it has “great coverage” which is “long lasting” and “doesn’t irritate pores and acne.” It’s also said to be great for older skin because it “doesn’t settle in wrinkles.” It comes in 40 different shades and many reviewers write that they had a hard time finding a color that matched their skin tone before discovering this product. One reviewer calls it the “holy grail” of foundation. Rimmel Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation was also recommended.

Hydrating skincare with hyaluronic acid
Hecate recommends this fragrance free three piece skincare set from Peter Thomas Roth which includes a cleanser, moisturizer and serum. She writes that “I noticed a big difference in the elasticity of my skin after I’d switched to his products. It’s not a line filler, but it smoothes them out over time. ” Reviewers call this “such a great deal for the set” given the prices of the individual products and say the “moisturizers glide over skin and a little goes a long way.”

A dead sea mud mask that will leave your skin so smooth and soft
This mud mask is the number one bestseller in body muds and the reviews make it easy to see why. It has almost 1,500 reviews and a 4.5 star rating. People say it left their face “as smooth as a baby’s buttcheek,” that it really works and that “you can tell the difference after the first application.” You can use this all over your body as you get a full 8.8 ounces of product for just $15.

Luxurious K-beauty sheet masks for less than $1 a piece
We’ve featured these sheet masks before. Someone bought them over the holidays and Instagrammed a photo using them with a friend. (I’m so sorry I don’t remember your name!) They gave them a great review too, as do thousands of other users. You can get 16 for $10.49 or 32 for $19. People call them “fantastic” and say that they leave their skin “bright and glowing” and even reduce acne.

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92 Responses to “Skincare and makeup you recommended for all types of skin”

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  1. LolaB says:

    I am, like, basking in the skincare posts.

    • tealily says:

      Yes! Skincare has been my jam lately. I’ve always taken care of my skin, but I’m hitting an age where I’ve realized that I need to switch things up. My oil production is going down, I’m starting to see some fine lines, and my hair has been drier. I’ve been trying all different kinds of products to see what works for me now, and I’m always happy to hear about new ones! I’ve got some great ideas here. I’m eyeing those masks, in particular.

      I also just want to give a shout out to vitamin C serum. It’s made such a huge difference in my skin’s clarity!

    • Lindy says:

      Me too!! Love it. Learning so much.

  2. JAC says:

    Can someone recommend a good drugstore fundation for dry skin that is very pale? Most things I have tried were either way too dark and yellow ( Burjois for an example) or too drying ( Revlon Colorstay, the one for dry skin). I’m also not from the US so we don’t have things like Colorpop here.

    • Erinn says:

      I have a hard time with this, too.

      I find the closest thing I’ve found to a match has been CoverFX Powerplay N10 – and even then it can sometimes be a hair too dark depending on the time of year. But it’s not drugstore, and I find it can cling to dryness in spots.

      I’ve started using the Loreal Freshwear 24 hour stuff – and the more I use it the less I like it. I find the shade I bought a bit too yellow – but I’m not sure the next one down would be right, either. I have a hard time finding a true neutral that’s pale enough. Most people LOVE that foundation, but I find it settles into lines and clings to dryness, and rubs off from my chin and nose pretty easily.

      Now – one thing I haven’t tried, but have heard good things about from other pale people is getting a foundation lightener. You can get a white one from NYX I think, and add it to your foundation to lighten it up enough. So if you could find one that’s the right tone, but a bit too dark (which I find most drugstore foundations ARE too dark for me) you could try adding that in.

      You might also want to look at The Ordinary – they have two foundations. They’re not my favorites, but I’ve re-bought them a few times. I use them alone, or mix them in to other foundations. One is a very fluid, lighter weight foundation – the other is a high coverage, thicker one. Out of the foundations I buy they’re the least drying ones I use. I think they’re around 6 bucks Canadian as well – so they’re certainly worth giving a shot for that price. They also have a great refund policy – a full year I think if you buy through their site. I think the shade I use is “1NS”. I have a public instagram @erinnkec if you take a look there you’ll see how fair I am, which might help as far as shades go.

    • Birdie says:

      The Fit Me foundation for dry skin! The glowy version of the matte and poreless.

    • Birdie says:

      @Jac, I recommend John McLean on Youtube, he is extremely pale and tries out foundations with the palest shade.

    • Lori says:

      I like Smashbox Studio Skin Hydrating Foundation in the colour .5. It’s carried in Canadian drugstores, but not every store carries this colour, the lightest one they make.

    • Taylor says:

      Highly recommend looking into oil cleansing! It has saved my skin (I usually have super oily skin that is prone to cystic acne) and the oil I use completely balanced it out. I have heard the same for dry skin 🙂 might help to take one part out of the equation of finding the right foundation.

    • tealily says:

      I have the same problem. Neutrogena has some lighter tones that have worked for me and have not been overly drying, but mostly I’ve moved on to Urban Decay for my liquid foundation, although I still use the Neutrogena mineral powder foundation for a little extra coverage and to set. Almay has lighter tones, but it’s always been too cakey for me.

    • Cee says:

      Use a good hydrating primer – it will make most foundations work. Drugstore usually ignores the opposite ends of the spectrum, so I would purchase a white foundation to mix it with whichever foundation you like.
      If not, Max Factor has a hydrating foundation. The lightest shade is a bit pink but it can be worked with. L’Oreal has glowy foundations, too (glow is keyword for hydrating)

    • Nicegirl says:

      @jac, maybe try L’Oréal True Match. I use a few throughout the seasons to match my pale skin. Sometimes I mix a bit of it with Olay moisturizing beauty liquid to make my own tinted moisturizer.

      I’m also using Rimmel lasting finish 25hr breathable light wear foundation with good results. For dry skin maybe also try L’Oréal Infallible Longwear shaping stick foundations. I loved the coverage and they were very moisturizing.

      • TaniaOG says:

        I use True Match in N1 and it matches. I’m very very light, always the lightest shade. Check out Arna Alayne On YouTube, she has lots of great pale person suggestions, including drug store.

    • Erica says:

      Have you tried FitMe in porcelain? I’m so pale I reflect sunlight and blind people and it works for me.

  3. Ali says:

    I have my face and eyebrows waxed monthly and love the results but because of it I don’t use retinol.

    CB does both. Anyone else here do both and have no problems with it? Is it a low dose retinol? Thanks for any insight.

    • Celebitchy says:

      After I wax my face I put antibiotic ointment on it to reduce the little pimples you can get afterwards. I don’t use retinol on it right after, I just wait a couple days. I am careful with it after waxing but you don’t have to be as careful after shaving.

    • aenflex says:

      I use tretinoin, and also wax. Once tolerance was achieved, I had no problems with waxing. Of course, YMMV. Were it me, I’d rather find alternative forms of hair removal than sacrifice my Retin A…

    • stephanie says:

      I thread my eyebrows now because of this. never going back to waxing, it could have been a coincidence but I started to get hyperpigmentation on my upper lip from waxing. Once I stopped (I actually just use a razor on my upper lip now), the dark upper lip went away!!

    • Cee says:

      I would stop waxing entirely – sags skin and you can get hyper pigmentation very easily.

      Try threading instead, or invest in laser hair removal.

  4. Birdie says:

    If you want a high coverage foundation that lasts all day I highly recommend Maybelline Superstay 24 hr. It doesn’t break me out and it covers blemishes, break-outs, your past and bad decisions.

  5. launicaangelina says:

    I’m becoming more interested in the retinal serums, so I’m trying the TreeActiv. I am also going to try the acne wash. We’ve had so much humidity lately, so I think it’s leading to some clogged pores.

    • Birdie says:

      I highly recommend double cleansing. Starting with an oil-cleanser to break down the sunscreen, sebum etc. and then using a water-based cleanser to thoroughly clean the skin.

  6. Giddy says:

    I have completely changed my skincare routine because of these posts and tips from other commenters. The first major change was when a commenter ( sorry I can’t remember who, but thank you) recommended African black soap. I looked on Amazon and there are quite a few brands. So, I looked at the comments and ordered one bar of Du du osun for a whopping 4.99. I love it! In less than two weeks I have seen a difference in my skin, with with lightening of spots etc. f there are other brands that are better I’d love to know, but this one is great.

    Then there was a discussion about serums and someone recommended the three serum set of Tree of Life Serums from today. For 19.95 you get Vitamin C, Retinol, and Hyaluronic Acid serums. Again this was a game changer for me. My skin has changed in about 10 days and I’m loving it. After trying all different price points in skincare for years, I now have my total skincare package for 25.00 on Amazon. That’s amazing.

  7. aenflex says:

    It stands to mention that vitamin a derivatives in skincare are best packaged in air tight, light tight containers. Same with vitamin C. Light and air degrade them and also cause premature oxidization with LA-A. Personally, anything with unstable actives in my routine must be packaged appropriately. They can be stored in the fridge to extend shelf life, as well.

    I’ve been using Retin A for 5-6 years and it’s amazing. Best choice I’ve made for my skin. If I couldn’t get tretinoin, I would go for an OTC option that contains retinaldehyde vs. retinol, retinyl palmate, retinal, etc. Retinaldehyde requires less steps within the skin to convert to retinoic acid than the other options.

    • Prettykrazee says:

      You are correct. I have read that as well. The correct packaging for vitamin A & C should be opaque with a pump. I have always wanted to try these inexpensive serums but the packaging has turned me off. So I stick with my more expensive vitamin C serums bc it has packaging that extends it effectiveness. I store my Vitamin C serum in a dark drawer.

      • Cee says:

        Have you tried The Ordinary? Their packaging is very good. My Vit C comes in a dark, UV protected vial.

      • Prettykrazee says:

        Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately it’s not for me. While the packaging is UV protected, it isn’t airtight. The vial lets in air which caused degradation and oxidation. If they change their packaging I might give it a chance.

    • stephanie says:

      tretinoin is prescription right? i just bought differin at CVS and am going to try it

    • auntiezana says:

      you are correct 🙂 so much skincare lacks the proper packaging and ends up being a giant waste! ugh

      • NicoleInSavannah says:

        Agreed on packaging. That vitamin C would be hot dog water in a day. Retinol and every derivative of Vitamin A must be in a dark container. So much wasted money. I highly recommend The skincare board is a wealth of knowledge and I simply do board searches. Always remember to take note of all ingredients and only introduce a new product once at a time. Patch test and give the product a couple of weeks before adding any new in case of reactions.

    • jen says:

      Agreed. I also used to buy skincare products on Amazon, but after too many products were tampered with, I did some research and tampered products are definitely a thing on Amazon. Now I buy all my products straight from the source, especially if it is going on my face.

      • KidV says:

        I do the same. I buy products direct from the company when I can. I’m fine paying for shipping.

        With Vit C serum, I’ve noticed it starts to oxidize after 3 months of being opened. Supposedly it’s still effective, but I break out in tiny itchy bumps when I use it. Therefore I don’t skimp on application. I use generous amounts on my face, neck, chest, hands. And if I do have any left after 3 months, that’s what I use on my arms and legs.

      • Original Jenns says:

        Just as an aside, some companies are creating powdered Vitamin C, that you mix in with your other serums to keep it from oxidizing. I have not used this, so not a recommendation, but just an option 🙂

    • Birdie says:

      @ Original Jenns: I love Sokoglam so much! They are doing such a good job

  8. Birdie says:

    Anyone looking for good and affordable serums, I highly recommend The Inkey List and The Ordinary. You can get amazing hyaluronic acid serum for under 10$!

    • CityGirl says:

      Thanks Birdie – I’m going to give The Inkey List a try!

    • jen says:

      Thanks, I keep hearing about the inkey list, I will check them out! And I second The Ordinary, I’ve bought a handful of their products with good results. Their website also makes it easy to choose products based on your skin condition.

  9. JennyJenny says:

    I bought the K~Beauty sheet masks and LOVE them!

    So soothing and leave my face feeling so refreshed. I definitely recommend.

  10. My3cents says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I was actually going to suggest maybe doing a post for teenagers (acne and such) but seeing as you have personally tried them it’s even better.
    General question- what are the guidelines for using products for teens (15-16) I mean can general products be used or it neccessary to buy age specific skin products? Sorry if this is silly I’m just not really knowledgeable about cosmetics, it’s a bit overwhelming for me.

    • tealily says:

      I think it’s really trial and error, since everyone’s skin is different. Products aimed at teens are probably more often non-comedogenic, oil control, etc., but not every single teen needs that. I used a lot of the products I did as a teen well into my 30s because I’ve always been pretty oily, but now that I’m approaching 40, I’ve found that I need to change to more moisturizing products.

    • deb says:

      I wouldn’t use harsh/strong serums (especially not retinol). Innisfree’s bija cica balm is pretty mild, it’s used to balance skin tone and protect against spots – around $20-30, might be cheaper online. Try a sample in store. Also tea tree oil for pimples – a drop mixed in with moisturizer before application. Harsh exfoliators will break you out so avoid that and if you’re feeling really oily, a good way to balance your skin is up over moisturize for 3-7 days and your skin will balance itself. Use a mild moisturizer, maybe Cetaphil.

    • tealily says:

      Oh! A great tip I got from my very practical dermatologist when I was a teenager was NOT to use a moisturizer if your skin is oily. Everyone tells you all the time to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, but she said think about it: why would you spend all this time and effort removing the oil from your skin if you are just going to replace it? I only very occasionally used any kind of moisturizer at all until I was about 34. Now I use it daily.

      • NicoleInSavannah says:

        How is that true though? If you use a harsh cleanser, you are stripping oils and your skin then produces more oil for the lack of it from harsh ingredients.

      • Birdie says:

        @Tealily: As a skincare junkie I had a little meltdown over here, haha. That was an interesting recommendation from your dermatologist because the skin needs to be moisturized to contain its hydration. Oily skin can quickly be dehydrated (lacks water) while still being oily. A moisturizer seals the hydration so it doesn’t oxidize. Lots of people with oily skin equate an oily face with a hydrated skin and use lots of products that mattify or they skip it like you were recommended, but that dries the skin and dry skin leads to early aging. There are lots of moisturizers without oil for oily skintypes. I personally use the BENTON Aloe Propolis Gel.

      • deb says:

        I suggested it because it worked for me -i used to have very oily skin as a teen. tried the over moisturizing technique and my skin balanced itself out but whatever works for you!

      • tealily says:

        Oh I didn’t mean you in particular, deb. Sorry, didn’t notice your comment right above. I’ve always used very mild cleansers (I have very sensitive skin), and tried very light moisturizers, but was constantly a grease ball regardless. I followed my doctor’s recommendation and it worked great for me for a couple decades. Don’t know what to tell you, folks!

  11. stephanie says:

    does anybody watch Dr Dray on youtube? She is a derm and does drugstore beauty hauls and discusses the ingredients to watch out for. i love her channel

  12. totesmagotes says:

    I am loving these posts! Especially when it’s the reasonably priced stuff that has great reviews. Not everyone can drop $160 on serum alone!

    What does everyone do for everyday sun screen? I don’t wear it (I KNOW, NOT GREAT) because it always pils or leaves a gross white cast or smells overly of sunscreen. Yes, those are lame reasons, but I am in an office for the majority of the day.


    • Celebitchy says:

      I use the Neutrogena ultra sheer liquid but other Neutrogena products like clear face are also very good and I’ve used both

      In this earlier post there’s a product that reader Lila swears by and now I want it, Biore Aquarich

      My mom loves this tinted sunscreen she said her dermatologist recommended it but it is pricier:

      • Lila says:

        You have such a good memory, CB! 💜 I adore that stuff. The reddit skincare people keep saying the secret to reapplying sunscreen religiously is having a sunscreen that you actually like putting on, and I get it. I don’t feel like I’m going to turn into a greaseball from multiple layers, and it’s got a subtle citrus scent and leaves my skin feeling cool and hydrated.

        If you ever do another skincare post (I hope! I squeal with delight every time I see one.), are you open to ingredients that are a smidge ‘out there?’ I’m in love with snail mucin. I know it sounds weird, but it’s not an expensive ingredient, it calms skin so wonderfully, lightens dark spots, and in Korea they have regulations so that it’s gathered cruelty free. I love Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, which is $16 on Amazon, plus you can try a sample in-store at Ulta if you’re a wimp like me and unsure about putting snail slime on your face 😂

      • Original Jenns says:

        Lila – I love that there are regulations for cruelty free! I tried snail mucin as a sample and LOVED it, but didn’t know how it was gathered and felt like a monster, so I haven’t bought anything with it. I should have researched. Great to know the options!

      • Birdie says:

        @Celebitchy: I use the Bioré sunscreen and it is honestly the best! It is perfect, especially for oily screen because it sinks completely into your skin without a residue.

      • Celebitchy says:

        @lila oh it’s so much easier to remember something when you wrote it! Also we did talk about the snail moisturizer in another post too, and I have used that and liked it. It’s so inexpensive too.
        Here’s the post:
        Here’s the stuff I used! It’s more expensive than when I got it and I’m using other stuff now.

    • tealily says:

      I use Olay Complete, sensitive skin. I like it because it’s zinc based, so it doesn’t have a smell to it and it’s very light. However, it’s only spf 15. I did find a version that’s spf 30 that I had to order (smaller bottle and more expensive… why??), but it’s also thicker. I’m on day 2 with it and still deciding if I like it or not.

    • Cee says:

      I wear either Eucerin Dry Touch SPF 50 or Isdin Water Fusion Dry Touch SPF 50. Both perform very well under primer and foundation.

    • Birdie says:

      @Totesmagotes: I highly recommend Bioré UV Watery Essence Sunscreen. It is available on Amazon and to me it is the best, I use it daily. It has no whitecast at all, sinks into your skin immediately and protects amazingly. It is not oily or greasy and has a slight fresh smell. It is from Japan and affordable.

    • H says:

      I got the Eva retinol serum. Here’s hoping it works!

    • TheMummy says:

      I don’t bother with sunscreen unless I’m going to be actually be outside for any length of time, like during the work day. Sunscreen has to be reapplied every two hours. And women put it under their makeup and so it does not get reapplied…so what’s the point? You have sun protection for the first two hours of the day (which I spend in a classroom anyway, so no sun) and nine after that.

      I wear 50 spf sunscreen (I like Alba Botanicals and another brand that has a badger on it…can’t remember the name) when if I’m going to be outside doing anything (I hike and garden a lot). But I don’t bother with it the rest of the time because you only get two hours or so of protection with each application of sunscreen.

    • stephanie says:

      I have struggled with sunscreens as I am very sensitive to it and they make me break out. I avoid sunscreen with UV boosters as they heat up on my screen and irritate my skin.

      I just started using dermalogica’s chemical free sunscreen with zinc. it does have fragrance but it hasn’t irritated my skin.

      I don’t mind the white cast as long as it doesn’t make me break out.

      still looking for that perfect zinc based, chemical free fragrance free sunscreen

  13. KidV says:

    A great and cheap makeup remover/facial cleanser that I used for years as a broke single mom, is Johnson & Johnson Baby Bath. The old school yellow one. It takes off makeup, including mascara, and doesn’t dry out skin. It’s gentle, it’s for babies.

    • Original Jenns says:

      Love this tip! For saving coins, I used to use Noxzema for shaving. It would be the giant blue tub and I’d get it at the dollar store, and my legs would be so smooth.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Laverne Cox uses baby shampoo to wash her face

  14. Original Jenns says:

    I have oily oily OILY skin and developed acne breakouts as an adult which sucked. I tried this soap which is a miracle worker. I feel it dries my skin out a bit right after the wash, but others say it doesn’t, so it may depend on the person. I also lotion/cream/etc it up after washing. It has stopped breakouts and calmed down a lot of the acne scar redness I used to have. When I don’t use it daily or almost daily, it shows. It was recommended by a coworker of my boyfriend who was trying different items for her daughter’s eczema. I don’t know how it worked out for her, so I can’t say if it will help in treating it. I think I have very light rosacea on my cheeks, small patches of red that won’t go away (seeing a Derm soon to figure it out), and it does not affect that. No better or worse when using the soap. The price can be high but it is so worth it. If I end my days with only the acne scars I have now and no more, I’ll be happy.

  15. deb says:

    if you’re in Oz, you can buy serums at a decent price from the ordinary. now that they’re available at Myer, it removes the shipping cost and it’s cheaper after the USD to AUD conversion. I would also recommend tea tree oil mixed in a carrier (like moisturiser) and Innisfree’s bija cica balm

  16. Clare says:

    Soooo how do you guys colour match drugstore foundation?!

    • tealily says:

      I buy a bunch of bottles that I end up throwing out. 🙁

    • Cee says:

      Don’t you have testers?

      • Clare says:

        At my local Boots they have testers and counter people for the more ‘high end’ brands (No 7, Clinique, Clarins etc) but not for like Maybelline, l’oreal etc…

      • Cee says:

        Well, that’s really bad. We used to not get testers for drugstore makeup but then they realised most people just opened products to test. Even if Maybelline is cheap, it adds up if you have to purchase 4 different shades to see which one will be the best match.

    • Birdie says:

      @Clare: I use the inside of my wrist. A lady from Lancome did it on me as well.

    • deb says:

      can you ask for samples?

  17. tealily says:

    Anyone have tips for products that tighten sagging upper eyelids? They run in my family, sadly, and I don’t want mine to ever get to the point that my father’s have. I’d like to avoid surgery, if possible (I don’t want to the Renee Zellweger look). They aren’t obscuring my vision or anything yet, but I can definitely feel them and it makes it tricky putting eye makeup.

    • Harryg says:

      I have saggy lids! It has helped a lot to use tretinoin, but be really careful and start slowly. Also, if you tend to have puffy lids (and face) in the morning, it might be a “lazy” thyroid. Large dozes of kelp will get rid of puffiness.
      Tara Skin Care sells tretinoin. You used to be able to pay through Amazon, but now their payment options are a bit annoying, I think Paypal and some other. But they ship fast. Wait for a promotion, they have sales all the time.

      • tealily says:

        Thanks for the tip! Is that particular one different from other retinol creams, or just a better price?

    • KidV says:

      Vitamin C serum. That was part of my problem when I started using the serum in my 30’s. My upper lids were starting to sag and look crepey. Within a week they were much tighter. Heavy lids run in my family too. Also, botox. You can have it applied so that it lifts the eyebrows, which in turn lifts the lid a bit.

      A funny thing I did when I started the serum, was I used it on only the right side of my face. I wanted to see if I noticed a difference, I was told to do it for a month. The improvement was so quick I didn’t last a week. I was afraid my face would look lopsided if I continued for a full month.

      • tealily says:

        Thanks! I’ve been using a vitamin C serum for about six months or so now and I really like it! It’s definitely made a big difference to most of my face, but the difference to my eyes seems minimal (although I didn’t try your half-the-face trick, so maybe it’s doing more than I realize!).

      • KidV says:

        How strong is your serum? I use 20%, which I think is the strongest you can get at this point.

      • tealily says:

        That’s a good question! I use Olehenriksen Truth Serum. Looking on their website, I couldn’t find that information, but now I’ve found something that says it’s only 1.5%! I’ve tried a couple other brands, but they’re too sticky for me. I like that this one soaks in right away and my skin really likes it, but maybe I’ll switch it up and try something else. Which brand do you use? I do worry about using something really strong or with multiple acids (like the one linked here) because I have rosacea and almost everything makes it flare up, plus I sunburn really easily.

      • KidV says:

        I use Skinceuticals. It’s the Serum 20 AOX+ if the link isn’t working. It is pricey but it works. I also have rosacea and I handle this well and the texture is like water, not sticky at all. They also have a 10% and 15% if you want to start out slowly and work up to 20%. When I started with Vit C they only made 15% and it worked great.

      • tealily says:


    • Birdie says:

      @Tealily, ok maybe this is a very horrible suggestion, sorry in advance. A trend in asia is for people with monolids to use little plastic pieces that are stuck in the eyelid which opens the eyelid and makes it a double lid. I have seen it even being sold in my drugstore here in europe.
      Unfortunately, I think there is not much you can do about it with skincare. One day, I would personally fix it surgically because I know people where is seriously influenced their vision.

      • tealily says:

        Oh wow, I don’t think I’m there yet, but good to know that’s an option. And yeah, when it starts to affect my vision I’ll consider the surgery. Hoping I can do something now to prevent it from getting that severe!

  18. Seeker542 says:

    Recommendations for a serum and oil I really like for my combination, breakout prone skin:

    Pacifica Vitamin C serum with marine extracts– $16 and easily available through Target and Ulta, a light gel formulation that supports moisture without leaving residue. I don’t know how high the concentration is but it’s been working for me. The bottle is clear but I cover it from light. I had been using Mario Badescu’s serum which was amazing but the last bottle I got was oxidized when I opened it because I bought it too soon before finishing my previous bottle. 🤦‍♀️ it’s not cheap.

    Teami Blends Soothe Face oil with lavender, sage & blue tansy– Of course after I found a perfect moisturizer, a lightweight oil that didn’t break me out, it’s no longer sold at Ulta (just that one, the brand’s other few face products are still available.) It is on Amazon, however, but that eliminates Ulta’s sale prices. It’s $40 and does last a long time. I think it’s a cheaper alternative to Herbivore’s Lapis oil; and Amazon has other cheaper blue tansy oils.

    I also support the comments that say to use plain tea tree oil. I put a few drops on with my toner or on top of my serum. Acne treatments started to dry me out too much, and I use separate glycolic toner.

  19. Malachite says:

    Love the recs! Anyone have suggestions for extremely sensitive skin, prone to dryness and rosacea? My skin has very bad reactions even to products considered mild. I don’t use cleanser, just water, but I do use a face balm for moisture and a sunscreen. I am starting to get more fine lines and want a product that can reduce them without sending my skin into a panic. Is retinol out of the question for very sensitive skin?

    • Birdie says:

      Hey, I have rosacea too and I feel you. Cleansing is super important to remove all the bacteria, sebum, sunscreen and makeup (if you use it) in order to avoid clogged pores which causes more irritation. Have you tried an oil-based cleanser yet? It is ideal for dry skin and doesn’t dry it out. But pls no coconut oil, that causes breakouts. I can highly recommend the hyaluronic acid by the Inkey List, awesome and affordable for hydration. It worked on my under eye wrinkles. Retinol is very harsh, if you want to still try, start with a low percentage. The Ordinary has Retinol with low to high doses. Maybe also consider a Vitamin C serum. Very brightening and anti-aging. Also, sunscreen is essential for everyday use. UV rays are no 1 wrinkle causer, even on cloudy days.

    • tealily says:

      Hey Malachite! I have rosacea and extremely sensitive skin too. Like, Cetaphil stings my skin sometimes. I found CeraVe “foaming” (doesn’t foam) face wash and it works really, really well for me. I consider it my one and only “holy grail” beauty item, and I pack it to bring with me wherever I go. I was also conversing with KidV upthread about vitamin C serums. She suggests a higher percentage than I’ve been using for some other skin issues, but I’ve had really wonderful results from Olehenriksen’s Truth Serum. It’s (apparently) a low dose of vitamin C, but it’s really moisturized and plumped my face, and helped a lot with fine lines. It’s one of the only skincare items I can use everyday without a problem. It is fairly pricey though. I usually just buy the travel size, which lasts a couple months for me. Birdie, I’m going to try your suggestion of Inkey List’s hyaluronic acid serum… dang, that price is right!

    • KidV says:

      I also have rosacea and a great gentle cleanser to remove makeup and dirt without drying out skin is Johnson & Johnson Baby Bath. I used it for years. I still use it when I forget to order more cleanser, which I do often.

  20. Anna S says:

    Ok, couple of things.

    1. I bought the Eva Naturals Skin Clearing Vitamin C Serum a few days ago is IT IS AWESOME. Thank you!
    2. Anything by The Ordinary is amazing and it’s reasonably priced.
    3. Are you guys able to do affiliate links for AmazonUK? Because I have bought a number of the things you recommended and would love for you to get compensated for that, if it’s possible.