So, you're standing in Ulta, and you have $300 burning a hole in your pocket. What do you buy? Well, if it were up to me, this is what I would spend my money on.
Banila CO – Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm
Best for all skin types.
The number one product in your beauty regimen has to be a cleansing balm that will gently melt makeup away without causing irritating friction and prep your skin for the next step.
The Banila Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm is a fantastic and affordable product that will last you a long time, as well as cleanse and hydrate your skin in one simple step.
First Aid Beauty – Face Cleanser
Best for normal and dry skin.
After removing your makeup with a cleansing balm, you will surely need a second, more thorough cleanse to remove the remaining grease from your skin.
The First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that removes any leftover products from your skin while leaving it soft and supple.
It has a non-stripping, pH-balanced formula that contains soothing and hydrating ingredients such as aloe, allantoin, and glycerin, and it won’t make your skin feel uncomfortably tight once you remove it.
Kate Somerville – Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment
Best for dry, combo, and oily skin.
After thoroughly cleansing your skin, it's time to apply your treatment, which can be an exfoliating serum that will gently remove the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin's surface and reveal a glowy complexion from underneath.
The Kate Somerville Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment is a leave-on exfoliating serum that contains a blend of three alpha hydroxy acids that work to smooth away surface dullness and hydrate the skin for a more even-looking complexion. Additionally, peptides, honey, and tea extract help further hydrate and soothe irritated skin.
Vichy – Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
Best for dehydrated, combo, and oily skin.
If you want to skip the exfoliating part, you can introduce a simple hydrating serum after cleansing instead.
Vichy Mineral 89 Daily Skin Booster is a lightweight gel-serum that is the ultimate solution for more nourished, hydrated skin. Made with Vichy’s proprietary 15 mineral-rich water and hyaluronic acid, this gooey gel will last you for ages and will make your skin look hydrated and glowy.
La Roche Posay – Adapalene Gel 0.1%
Best for acne-prone skin.
La Roche Posay’s Adapalene Gel is an anti-acne medication that can work great on moderate to severe cystic acne. Adapalene is a type of retinoid that works by speeding up cellular turnover, thus purging clogged pores in the process and cutting off the food supply for bacteria that feed on cellular debris.
This product is a must-have for anyone dealing with consistent breakouts (and not just a pimple here and there) and can be used 3-4 times a week on its own, followed by a moisturizer.
RoC – Retinol Correxion Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid
Best for dry skin showing premature signs of aging and uneven skin tone.
Packed with beneficial ingredients that work to reduce premature signs of aging, uneven skin tone, texture, and hyperpigmentation, RoC's Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Filler is a retinoid that's more suitable for dry skin types.
The creamy serum contains vitamins C and E that offset free-radical damage and infuse the skin with antioxidant benefits. The formula also contains a specially formulated mineral complex that offers a healthy dose of hydration and helps boost the retinol’s efficacy, resulting in healthy and radiant skin.
La Roche Posay – Cicaplast Baume B5
Best for all skin types.
To seal hydration from your serums, you need to follow them up with a good moisturizer to prevent moisture from evaporating and leaving your skin dry.
The Cicaplast Baume B5 is a product that delivers an instant moisturizing effect and immediate relief within seconds of applying it to irritated skin.
This thick, non-comedogenic balm contains many soothing, repairing, and moisturizing ingredients, including softening shea butter, hydrating glycerin, soothing and repairing panthenol, nourishing magnesium, and anti-inflammatory zinc, as well as madecassoside, which is one of the four main compounds in the plant extract Centella Asiatica, an incredibly soothing and repairing agent that helps strengthen the skin barrier and relieve irritation.
The Cicaplast Baume B5 is so soothing that it can be used as an eye mask and can even be applied on irritated eyelids, which isn't something you can do with many other products.
COSRX – Honey Sugar Lip Scrub
Best for dry and chapped lips.
COSRX Honey Sugar Lip Scrub gently buffs away dryness and flakes with soft sugar granules infused with hydrating honey. Additionally, nourishing shea butter prevents the product from being too harsh on the delicate lip area, providing just enough exfoliation to leave a soft, smooth canvas for lip color.
First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Lip Therapy
Best for dry and cracked lips.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy is a nourishing treatment that helps hydrate, nurture, and protect lips from dryness, cracking, and bleeding. The nourishing lip balm contains colloidal oatmeal, an ultra-calming ingredient that nurtures cracked lips back to life, as well as moisturizing shea butter and hydrating glycerin to smooth skin's appearance.
CeraVe – Eye Repair Cream
Best for dark and dehydrated under eyes.
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream is a lightweight gel-cream that visibly reduces the look of dark circles and puffiness due to ingredients such as brightening niacinamide, marine and botanical complex, and an MVE technology which is a patented delivery system that continually releases moisturizing ingredients in the skin.
Additionally, the Eye Repair Cream contains ceramides, which help restore and maintain the skin's natural barrier and prevent the under-eye area from becoming dry and dehydrated and looking crepey.
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream - $18
La Roche Posay – Anthelios Light Fluid SPF 60
Best for all skin types.
The Anthelios Ultra-Light Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 60 is a lightweight sunscreen that contains four stable chemical filters and is free of oxybenzone, which is the super controversial chemical filter everyone wants to avoid.
Besides that, it also contains alcohol denat and silica, which are both ingredients that aim to make the formula lightweight and cosmetically elegant. Alcohol denat can be a little drying in products such as cleansers and serums, but it's totally fine in sunscreens because it gives the formula a nice and weightless feel.
And in case you weren't counting, the beauty regimen on this list totals $298 and consists of products that will last you a long time and help you maintain happy, healthy, and glowing skin!