Ever notice that right before the seasons start to change, your skin enters this period of serious (and badly behaving) contradiction?
Your beauty regimen still requires nourishing protection for those wait-it’s-technically-still-winter days, yet it’s also prime time for peels and masks that rejuvenate—so that you’re sloughed of your dull skin and balanced out for the warmer weather ahead.
(Ignore the shift and watch your skin get inflamed, oily, or cranky.)
So lining our top shelves this month are multitasking serums that give your face a healthy glow, quickie hydrating masks for busy mornings, kale-infused eye creams, and tons of exfoliating MVPs we can’t get enough of.
Keep reading to see the 12 products W+G editors are obsessed with this month (and make some room in your makeup bag).
I tried this mask while I was battling a cold and at the peak of the red-and-crusty-nose phase—and when I peeled the sheet mask off after 15 minutes, I actually looked like a non-frightening human again. It contains soothing chamomile, aloe vera, and—wait for it—a gelatinous fungus called tremella fuciformis sporocarp, which is a major hydrator, like hyaluronic acid, and is trending in Asia. (No, I cannot pronounce it either.) The mask is incredibly moisturizing, ultra healing, and instantly eased my ruddy flare-up—which you definitely can’t say about cough syrup.
The brand known for its luxe makeup in stainless steel packages—like gorgeous lipsticks and cream bronzers—has just launched its first skin-care item. And yes, it’s just as indulgent as its golden hue indicates. Seriously—this is not your everyday facial oil (though if you have it, use it every day). It harnesses an exotic ingredient (which is biodynamically grown) called Dioscorea batatas, which literally means “the root of light.” That’s because it—combined with jojoba, wild rose, and other botanical extracts—will give you an enviable glow. It’s ultra-hydrating and is perfect to apply before your makeup to give you a dewy look.
This is unlike any other body wash you’ve ever tried. Don’t be deterred from its black color (it’s just the activated charcoal)—it’s rejuvenating, exfoliating, and nourishing without using any detergents (which dry out the skin). The smell reminds me of rich licorice—it’s a great pep-you-up scent that turns your shower into a more indulgent, spa-like ritual. And it leaves your skin feeling way softer than I’d expected.
Everyone needs—yes, needs—to exfoliate. (Which is exactly what the luxe, non-toxic brand found with its top-selling T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum.) Drunk Elephant’s new at-home peel takes the skin-refining action up a serious notch, explains founder Tiffany Masterson, competing with “the services you need to book a facialist for.” A battery of acids—and a ridiculously innovative use of chickpea flour—collectively slough, clear, and brighten your skin without any redness or drama. When you follow it up with Virgin Marula Oil, included, it results in baby(facial) soft skin that just glows.
You can almost see the Type A beauty minds behind Jessica Alba’s brand ticking off the selling points of this new product. A blend of super-popular facial oils? Check. Trendy rose gold packaging? Check. And USDA organic certification? Bonus! Given that the light- to medium-weight oils (like olive, jojoba, and chia) do their skin-replenishing magic without being too heavy, it’s got most skin types covered, so you’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of this plant-powered elixir.
Get one if you can. YTP, the brand that put kale to work in a super direct skin-care capacity, have now launched an eye cream for the part your face that ages first. (Sorry, there are fewer oil glands there than the rest of your face, it’s science!) So why is it flying off shelves? Well, in addition to it containing a superfood blend of greens (spinach, alfalfa, green tea), and not being $80, YTP uses tripeptide 5 (made from amino acids), which is the closest thing to bottling the ageless genetics of Jennifer Aniston and Robin Wright.
One of my co-workers has the dewiest skin ever—she glows. She told me her secret is blending a cream blush with a highlighter stick. While that’s a great hack, this blush/highlighter duo from new brand One Over One (which cutely call themselves “the white T-shirt of makeup”) takes that idea and simplifies it, saving time, space, and money. Applying both sides together made my cheeks look lustrous and peachy. And since both were cream based, it looked more natural than a powder. Even better? The natural oils—like organic sunflower and sesame seed—along with organic cocoa butter nourish while they brighten.
Okay, I know turmeric fights inflammation and all, but I never thought that extended directly to zapping my zits. I applied this spot treatment on an annoying chin pimple. It went on orange—no surprise I guess—so I really had to blend it before putting on my foundation. It didn’t sting the way, ahem, scary-chemical-filled spot treatments can. While it worked a bit slower than those products, it definitely cleared my pimple, and didn’t dry my skin out in the process (thanks to the organic beeswax and sunflower oil). Score.
Frank Body Glow Mask, $22
Frank’s Instagram presence is all about the (sexual innuendos of) coffee scrub and adult bath time. But the cult-fave brand takes its hydration seriously, like with this new mask that’s incredibly gentle and moisturizing. It contains antioxidant goji berry extract, plumping raspberry and cranberry seed oils, and soothing shea and cocoa butters that calm itchy, flaky, WTF skin in about 5 minutes. Seriously, the brand calls it a “morning quickie” for a reason—you can even use the mask when you’re rushing to leave in the morning. Just put it on, shower, rinse, and go (er, glow).
As an African Black Soap convert, discovering the new facial care products of this cult line was a big deal. Like Nubian’s body-care products that line my bathroom, this silky moisturizer uses palm ash and plantain peel (designed to remove impurities) whipped up with hydrating shea butter and oat bran extract. And while it’s formulated for oily, acne-prone skin, my dry complexion was soft and happy after a week of slathering this on.
Winter turns my skin into a yo-yo-ing mess of dry, flaky patches and an oily t-zone. This moisturizer completely changed that overnight, leaving it hydrated, glowy, and exfoliated—without drying it out. That’s due to its power duo of glycolic and salicylic acids that banish your dull skin while aloe and bilberry extract (which tames inflammation and brightens) keep your complexion hydrated. It’s a moisturizer with super peel powers that work magic while you sleep.
First of all, this is the first monogrammed and totally customized beauty product I’ve ever owned, which I must admit is pretty cool. Not only does the blend of organic-only oils address your specific skin-care needs—including everything from nourishing rosehip to acne-fighting tamanu, in my case—but it comes in a really sizable bottle that’s looks to last me a long time. That means more skin-balancing hydration for whenever you’re having a need-it-now moment.
If you missed last month’s top beauty picks, these are the 13 products that’ll resurrect cold-weather complexions. And if you’re overwhelmed by skin-care options, this is what you need to know about the difference between serums, oils, moisturizers, and balms.