I’m going to give it to you straight: I love Trader Joe’s. There are few places in the world that can get me to stand in line for a solid hour on a Sunday afternoon, but it is truly worth braving the crowds for the sake of cauliflower pizza crust and a tub of chocolate Jingle Jangle (and frozen dumplings, and a $2.49 bag of kale, and Cookie Butter…I could go on and on). But while Trader Joe’s treats tend to get all the credit, it’s high time we talk about the other heroes gracing those hallowed aisles: Trader Joe’s skin-care products.
To be totally honest, I actually didn’t know Trader Joe’s had dipped their toes into the beauty game until recently. But as soon as I found out, I rounded up a massive bag of skin-care offerings—all of which are, not surprisingly, wildly affordable—to give them a try for myself. The verdict? They were good. Which means my weekly TJ’s haul is about to get even more stacked. But at less than $25 pop, who can really blame me? Scroll through to see the best Trader Joe’s skin-care products that are just as good as Cookie Butter (okay, almost as good).
A dermatologist recently told me I should throw away all of my makeup removing wipes because of how drying they tend to be, but I’d like to submit these as a challenge to that assessment. Because they’re formulated with micellar water instead of alcohol, they’re able to pick up dirt and impurities without dehydrating the skin.
This label isn’t joking about the “all-in-one” thing. It wipes away makeup, cleanses, and exfoliates at the same time, which combines three steps from my usual routine. It has no scent and leaves skin with a squeaky-clean feeling that doesn’t totally dry it out.
This stuff recently went viral on Reddit, and while I kind of felt like I was scrubbing my face with a (delicious!) breakfast bowl, I totally get the hype. It mixes the antioxidant-rich fruits with alpha-hydroxy acids to leave skin feeling squeaky clean thanks to the combo of physical and chemical exfoliants. Take note: Those with regular to oily skin types should use it only 2 or 3 times a week, and it may be a little much for dry or sensitive skin types, so try a test patch ahead of slathering on fully.
Tea tree oil is enemy number one for acne, which means these pads are king for clearing away breakouts. While the tea tree oil and acne-fighting partner in-crime, witch hazel, can be intense and slightly drying, these pads are also formulated with chamomile to help soothe skin and balance things out.
Here at Well+Good, we freaked out when we discovered this toner, and for good reason: It’s not every day that you come across a rose water product for $4. And after trying it out for myself, I can attest to the fact that the ultra-refreshing combo of Damask rose water and witch hazel was well worth going nuts over. It made my face smell like a rose garden and hydrated and purified my skin at the same time.
While I will never be able to spell “hyaluronic” without my computer yelling at me via one of those little red squiggle lines, as far as moisturizing ingredients go, hyaluronic acid is one of the best. It absorbs water, so helps your skin hydrate from the outside in. I slapped this serum on underneath my moisturizer, and was pleasantly surprised at how my skin felt at the end of the day.
Vitamin E doesn’t get quite as much attention as its buzzy cousin, vitamin C, but it’s a powerful antioxidant that can protect skin from free radicals and in oil form can help hydrate and nourish any dryness. As someone with super dry skin, I loved this stuff in its pure form. If you’re oil-prone, though, it may not be the best for you because it’s known to clog pores and cause breakouts.
Lavender Salt Scrub
Exfoliating your body is an important part of any beauty routine—yes, even in the winter—and this lavender-scented salt scrub is the perfect way to slough off skin in any season. It’s made with salt and scented with lavender, which left my skin feeling soft and my brain feeling chilled-out every time I used it.
Coconut Body Butter
Holy vacation in a tub. Trader Joe’s coconut butter mentally transported me to an afternoon of sipping piña coladas on a beach, and needless to say it was love at first sniff. Intoxicating (though admittedly strong) scent aside, it has ultra-nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to help keep skin hydrated whether you’re actually on a beach, or just trying to get through the brutal NYC winter.
Trader Joe’s isn’t the only place to find beauty products on the cheap: Check out some of the best drugstore skin care, and see what happened when I tested the top drugstore mascara of 2018 (spoiler alert: It’s now the only one I use, ever).
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