20 Effective Skin Care Products That'll Make You Think, 'Why Didn't I Buy This Sooner?'

Minimize acne, irritation, dryness and more complexion annoyances with these skin savers.

Skin care issues sometimes pop up at the most inconvenient times. You’ll be sticking to a good routine when suddenly a bunch of zits, dry flakes or an oily T-zone come out of nowhere. If you’re looking for skin care products that’ll actually get the job done, here are moisturizing creams, vitamin C serums and more treatments that can help you achieve a clearer complexion.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

A Farmacy Cleansing Balm
Melt away dirt, grime and stubborn makeup with this ginger root- and sunflower oil-based formula.

Promising review: "This product is truly a pleasure to use! I enjoy it as the first step in my evening double cleanse, and it really does an amazing job just melting away any makeup or sunscreen. It's gentle enough to use around the eye area, and it feels so nice to massage into my face. It cleans off easily in water, making it a great first step in the cleansing process. Also, this product smells GREAT — so fresh and clean. I normally don't prefer fragrance in my skincare products, but since this is a wash-off product, it's not a deal-breaker. I highly recommend it, and I will be re-purchasing!" — TheWittyKnit

Get it from Sephora for $34.
A Drunk Elephant Antioxidant Face Oil
If you're done dealing with dry skin, this hydrating face oil will help boost moisture, thanks to Marula seed oil and other antioxidants.

Promising review: "This oil is so good. I use it at night over my serum and moisturizer. It’s super lightweight and just locks in the moisture! I wake up with a glow and I usually never wake up with a moisturized glow despite my use of an ultra hydrating moisturizer! I like to gently pat this product in and only use a small amount. It stays on all night and only a slight residue is left in the morning. It does not feel sticky or thick at all, which is great. I have combo, acne-prone skin that is on the sensitive side and this does not make me break out!" — kar100

Get it from Sephora for $72 (available in two sizes).
A customized skin care regimen
Personalize your regimen with this skin care-friendly subscription that'll provide you with a face wash, night cream and more essentials.

Get a 30-day trial subscription for $30.
A bottle of Tend Skin Solution
Apply it once a day after shaving to help keep ingrown hairs and razor bumps at bay.

Promising review: "This stuff is AMAZING. You would never believe it, but it works wonders. One of the worst parts of summer for me is razor burn and chafing/irritation, particularly at the beach when the hair follicles on my legs dry up from the saltwater. This stuff prevents ALL of that. No bumps, no pain nothing." — Claire

Get it from Amazon for $16.
A Versed Wash It Out Gel Cleanser
Gently cleanse your face with gentle gel-based formula that'll remove debris and makeup without stripping the skin barrier.

Promising review: "This is a simple cleanser, but it does everything I need a simple cleanser to do. It cleanses without stripping the skin, it doesn't leave any residue and it is eye-safe. It is slightly peppermint-y, but it doesn't sting my skin or eyes, which is something I was definitely worried about at the beginning. Because it is so gentle, I typically use this as a second cleanse or my cleanser in the morning. Overall, it is such a great cleanser and I enjoy having it in my routine." — MOREBEVERLYCHERIE

Get it from Versed for $12.99.
A jar of First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads
Get a glowing complexion in as much time as it takes you to pick up a pad, gently swipe it across your face and toss it in the trash. They're alcohol-free and safe to use on sensitive skin.

Promising review: "I started using this product months ago when I started noticing clogged pores and tiny bumps on my cheeks. This product has been a life-saver! Not only did this help eliminate my clogged pores, but it leaves my face glowing! I have very sensitive skin and haven't had any issues with it." — Melissa House

Get a pack of 28 from Amazon for $18+ (available in two sizes).
An Eva Naturals face serum
It's formulated with aloe, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol and salicylic acid that help minimize dark spots and excessive redness.

Promising review: "I am a licensed esthetician who suffers from hormonal cystic acne that leaves horrible scarring on my sensitive skin, my skin has improved so much since I started using this product! For the first couple of weeks my skin purged out any underlying blemishes but afterwards was clearer and smoother than I’ve seen it in YEARS! I love that it not only targeted my acne scarring with the vitamin C, but it also soothes the redness with the niacinamide, has anti-aging properties from the retinol and helps minimize my blackheads and pore size with the salicylic acid." — Jackie

Get it from Amazon for $14.95.
A tube of Tatcha sunscreen
Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed
Use as a shield against the sun (thank you, SPF 35!) and as a makeup primer so your foundation will stay on all day.

Promising review: "The best daily sunscreen I have ever used! It has improved my skins texture, blurs pores, absorbs in immediately and leaves my skin feeling great!" — ancanc

Get it from Sephora for $65.
A Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
This conditioning face wash doubles as a makeup remover, making it easy to cleanse your skin and take off concealer, foundation or blush.

Promising review: "Love this stuff so much! Since I have sensitive skin, it's always been hard for me to find a good cleanser. But this stuff is awesome. It's so gentle and feels so nice when you massage it into your skin. Its texture is amazing and better than any other gel cleanser I've tried. I can tell that my skin has improved after using this stuff. A bonus is the subtle rose smell, which is thankfully not from any artificial fragrance. This cleanser is perfect for sensitive skin." — glitter

Get it from Glossier for $9+ (available in two sizes).
Mighty Patch pimple patches
These babies suck nasty gunk out of your zits overnight, so you can wake up with clearer skin and avoid popping pimples.

Promising review: "I do not claim to understand the science behind this tiny miracles, but they have changed my life. I spent my workday looking forward to going home and putting one of these bad boys on my newly erupted Mt. Zit and the overnight results were shocking. Not only is it grossly satisfying, but it saved me several days of walking around with a bloody crater in my face because my previous method of dealing with unsightly blemishes was to pick, pick and pick." — Amazon Customer

Get a pack of 36 patches from Amazon for $12.50.
A Versed Daily Brightening Solution
Target post-breakout dark spots with a combination of AHAs, kojic acid and bearberry extract that'll gently exfoliate and reveal a brighter-looking complexion.

Promising review: "My skin is brighter than it's ever been and it's so soft to the touch. The texture of my nose is noticeably smoother. The prices can't be ignored, either; I was willing to pay much more if reviews told me I needed higher priced products. Versed is affordable and really works. I'm a Versed convert!" — JOYOUS202

Get it from Versed for $17.99.
A Mario Badescu facial spray
It's infused with calming chamomile and lavender for a quick hydration boost. Spritz it on your face whenever your skin is feeling dry and tight.

Promising review: "This is a worthwhile indulgence and great value for a luxury beauty product. The smell is exquisite and not overbearing or overly floral. I purchased this because I find the scent of lavender very soothing and it helps me manage stress. The added bonus is that this actually feels as though it moisturizes and soothes my dry winter skin." — Melissa

Get it from Amazon for $7+ (available in two sizes).
A bottle of Ancient Greek Remedy facial oil
Instead of using a million products to hydrate your complexion, this multipurpose oil blend will help lock in moisture and keep irritation at bay. You can also use it on your hair to help tame frizziness.

Promising review: "I brought initially on a whim because I was tired of buying the oils I needed separately and wanted to try something new. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. I have kinky, curly and dry hair and I dye/bleach it often. I use this for moisture and my hair loves it. I also add it to hair masks or a pre-poo. For my skin, I mix this with my lotion and my shea butter. My skin is moisturized all day and thriving. I also use it on my feet in the winter when I go to sleep and it helps a ton with cracked heels. For my face, one pump does more than enough. If my hands are damp, I can use one pump for my face and my neck. This is now a staple in my skincare routine. I've stopped having breakouts, my skin is glowing and thriving and my tone has evened up. My sister is also now hooked on this as its one of the only moisturizers that have helped with her acne, tone and doesn't bother her sensitive skin." — Lo

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
A Glossier Balm Dotcom Skin Salve
Get a moisturized pout with this lip balm that leaves subtle tint and hydrates with castor oil, beeswax and lanolin.

Promising review: "I love, love, love this product! My lips feel so hydrated and soft and I especially adore the tinted balms! Gives your pout that perfect hint of color without being overpowering." — Jennifer S.

Get it from Glossier for $12 (available in eight shades/scents).
A tube of Bliss Jelly Glow Peel
Watch dead skin cells get lifted away with this nonabrasive exfoliator that's packed with papaya and pineapple enzymes.

Promising review: "This stuff is great! You can actually feel the dead skin it pulls up, which is kinda gross but 100 percent awesome! I have super sensitive skin so I was worried that I would react badly to this peel, but it’s so gentle. I only use it two times a week max but it always makes me look like I’m glowing when I get out of the shower." — Jackie H 93

Get it from Amazon for $9.
A Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask
Even out skin tone and increase hydration with this mask that'll be the perfect treat.

Promising review: "I’ve used this mask every night for about a week and it has made my skin super moist and plump. My skin both looks and feels so healthy. My skin sometimes flares up and is kind of sensitive, but it LOVES this mask. I will keep buying this forever!" — April

Get it from Glossier for $22.
An Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask
Extract gunk from your pores and get smoother skin with this deep-cleansing face mask that more than 17,000 reviewers swear by.

Promising review: "This has really helped me with my cystic acne! I have tried topical medications and even laser to help me with my skin, when I wasn't seeing any results I came to this and it has really changed the game! I am feeling so much better about my skin and my large cystic bumps have significantly reduced and even my skin tone has evened out. I read that you are to only use plastic with this (plastic cup/bowl and plastic spoon) and to use apple cider vinegar in a mixture with the clay, so I have done so and seen great results. Please try this!" — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $14.95.
A pack of 16 hydrating face masks
Bring the spa to your home with this set of face masks that'll provide you with a little self-care — and help you achieve a brighter and more hydrated complexion.

Promising review: "I use these masks once a week to moisturize my skin and focus on a little self-care. I am sensitive to some facial products, but I have had no issues with these masks. They are great for moisturizing, and I can see a visible difference in brightness under my eyes/on my forehead after use." — Millie Simmons

Get a set of 16 from Amazon for $9.99.
A set of oil-absorbing tissues
These absorbing tissues will soak up pesky excess oil around your cheeks, nose and chin.

Promising review: "I've had oily skin my whole life and have used countless types of oil blotting sheets because they're life savers. THESE ARE AMAZING. They're a great deal, big sheets and they pull out one at a time so easily. I'll never go back to other brands. Give these a try — they're completely worth it. They work well and are easy to use. I have no negative things to say at all." — Kelsey

Get a pack of 200 sheets from Amazon for $11.95+ (available in two formulas).
And a Versed Overnight Facial Peel
Vitamin A, glycolic acid and lactic acid get to work on your dull complexion while you catch up on sleep, leaving you with brighter skin in the morning.

Promising review: "I cannot describe how amazed I am by this product. I was very skeptical at all the claims that this would work overnight, but I am here to tell you it really, truly does. After my most recent hormonal breakout, my skin was looking dull, irritated and my jawline was full of healing blemishes. Not expecting much, I put this on before bed. Upon touching my face when I woke up, I immediately noticed how smooth and soft my skin felt. I started examining every angle of chin, cheeks and forehead because all my breakouts were gone (few very minor marks here and there) and my skin was completely soothed and looked fresh as a daisy! I've slowly started replacing my skincare routine with Versed products and they play really well together. This overnight treatment is no exception!" — Whoopitsk

Get it from Versed for $19.99 (available in two sizes).

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Before You Go

A Cuccio Milk + Honey Cuticle Oil

32 Beauty Products So Good, They Could Seriously Be Magic

Popular in the Community


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds