When it comes to achieving fabulous, flawless skin many of us will try just about anything. Ingredients like fruit acids, ginger, essential oils and many others have been hailed as the secret to perfect skin. Blackhead extractors, facial peels, pore strips and exfoliating gloves are just a few of the things we've tried. But it's hard to separate the best from the rest without potentially doing a number on your skin and without spending a small fortune. Using a product that's wrong for your skin can be like scrubbing with a Brillo pad or lathering up with baby oil. To take the guesswork out of skin care, we test drove some of the latest products to hit the market. Read on and find out what might work for you!
Best grown-up zit zapper: RoC DematologiC Purif-AC Fast Action Gel
While the angst-filled teen years are behind us, you'd think it'd be the end of pimples and blackheads too. Too bad that's not always the case. Contrary to popular belief, it's not poor hygiene, stress or diet that cause adult breakouts but genetics. So you can't do a whole lot to stop them, but once they're here you can fix them in a hurry with the Fast Action Gel from RoC's adult acne skin-care line. This gel is great because you can apply it over your makeup -- no need to skip cover-up. This product works fast. After eight hours, pimples haven't completely disappeared but they are well on their way.
Best dry-skin cleanser: Evian Affinity Remineralising Cleansing Cream
There seems to be a disproportionate amount of cleansers for dry skin versus cleansers for oily or combination skin. It's hard to find a product that will keep your skin soft and leave it clean. The formula Evian uses has marula oil extracted from African almonds along with magnesium, copper and zinc to retain moisture. It works. The silky texture is deceiving -- this cleanser really cleans and even removes eye makeup easily. The best part is that skin feels creamy-soft, not dry and flaky.
Best oily-skin facial mask: The Body Shop Natural Oceanic Clay Ionic Mask
The 60+ minerals in this mask work to clean way under the surface of your skin and tighten up pores. You know it's doing its job when the tight feeling that accompanies a drying face mask lasts longer after it has been rinsed off. This product leaves skin glowing.
Best hint of tint: EstÃ©e Lauder DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer SPF 15 Sheer Tint Release Formula
We all know that we should moisturize before we use foundation and Mom says that daily application of SPF is essential. It's necessary but sometimes it seems like such a hassle. That's why EstÃ©e Lauder's tinted moisturizer with SPF is so great -- it's everything in one! Don't be put off by the grey/blue colour; it blends on light and even, just a step or two above your naked skin. It's sheer coverage, so don't expect any heavy coverage or concealing from this product. Do expect a fresh dewy look and the good feeling that comes from wearing SPF, just like Mom said.
Best no-effort cleanser: Aveeno Positively Radiant Dual-Textured Cleansing Pads
These cleansing pads come pre-moistened with foaming blemish fighters and each side of the pad has a different texture. This cleanser is soap-free, oil-free and hypoallergenic. One side is smooth, used to wipe away dirt, then flip to the rougher-textured side and exfoliate away impurities. The exfoliating side is gentle enough that it won't irritate your skin, but if you're looking to slough away dead skin cells, you'll need something stronger. As a cleanser, this is easy to use because the pads do most of the work for you and really makes skin feel clean.
Best multi-tasking shower gel: Lush Flying Fox: The Sex-Appeal Honey Shower Gel
This shower gel has antibacterial elements, and it helps reduce red, irritated skin. And that's not all it does -- the essential oils in the mix, including pure jasmine, are purported to be both aphrodisiacs and PMS-tamers. Makes for a nice a way to start your day: clean, refreshed, happy and in the mood for love. It smells great too. The musky honey-jasmine scent is strong and lasts. You probably won't want to add extra scent if you shower with this. (Find the Lush store nearest you.)
Best at-home spa treatment: Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Facial Peel
This peel is designed to be an at-home alternative to a glycolic acid peel, a pricey spa treatment. The grainy texture is similar to an exfoliating scrub, so be careful to read the instructions (Unlike exfoliating, after you apply the product, you don't scrub right away). Make sure to wait 10 minutes before massaging a little water into your face and neck to break up the dead skin cells. The scrub, made with mushroom protein, is gentle and doesn't irritate sensitive skin. After, skin feels a little softer, but definitely smoother and tighter -- it's feels like you've just shed an old layer of skin.
Best de-puffing eye cream: Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Eye Cream
Origins eye-cream is chock-full of minerals like calcium and iron that moisturize and exfoliate to get rid of those lines and creases in the eye area. You'll wake up looking as refreshed as the full eight hours you meant to get will make you feel. Rub this cream in gently (use the fingertips of your fourth fingers) before you retire for the evening and your eyes will be de-puffed by morning -- no matter what time you really got to bed. (Buy it online.)
Best non-greasy skin serum: The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost
This skin boost is designed to seal in moisture after cleansing. It's light and silky and you barely have to rub it in because it absorbs into your skin right away. It leaves skin silky but definitely not greasy.
Best scented body lotion: Lush Karma Kream
You love the smell of your body lotion first thing in the morning. But by mid-day, the scent is barely a memory; it just doesn't last. Lush Karma Kream is the solution to your long-lasting scent needs. It fuses the brand's signature citrus-spice scent with moisturizing cocoa butter for an all-day soft and sweet smelling skin experience. It's a nice light cream that leaves your skin softer for the whole day and the fragrance lasts even longer.