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Splurge-worthy Skincare Products, According to Our Editors

There was a time — a not-so-distant time — when I was young enough to take a lackadaisical approach to skin care. I spurned sunscreen (to maximize my tan!), washed my face with drugstore body wash and usually fell asleep with makeup on.

Then, I turned 33. Now, I frantically try to undo the skin care flippancy of my youth with everything from lotions and supplements to magic potions and ancient beauty secrets

Luckily for my older self, it’s the 21st century, and the modern-day beauty industry has come a long way since the days of lead-based face powder or whale grease lipstick. Increasingly, the market is flooded with effective products — albeit some more effective than others — for tackling common skin care woes like dark circles, enlarged pores, dehydrated skin and discoloration. 

Because I’m a beauty blogger with common skincare woes, many brands were kind enough to send me samples of their products to review. And so, in the name of scientific research, I slathered on face masks, smoothed on creams and spritzed on sprays to identify the products worth skipping and the ones worth splurging on.

After literally months of playing human guinea pig, these are my recommendations for the best splurge-worthy skin care products to add to your routine: 

8 Skincare Products Worth the Splurge

1. Hanacure

Hanacure All-in-One Facial Set
Image: Hanacure

My fellow RetailMeNot editors have already written extensively about Hanacure, a gel-based, all-in-one Korean facial mask that has recently gained a cult following on social media. The viral mask comes with a laundry list of benefits, including clarifying, brightening, lifting, firming and contouring. 

Enchanted by the hype, I used Hanacure for several months with one application per week. The experience of wearing the mask is quite remarkable — you can feel your face tighten and harden, and then rinse the sensation away with the mask. My skin is firmer and smoother immediately after an application, and after many weeks of use, I’ve seen my crow’s feet and smile lines soften. 

The verdict? I do like Hanacure, but at $29 per mask, it’s not exactly cheap. I’ve recently switched over to a Hanacure dupe — the Zombie Pack from Zombie Beauty — and can attest it delivers a virtually identical effect for a fraction of the price ($17 for a pack of eight, to be specific).

Price: $110 for a four-mask starter kit at 

2. FACTORFIVE Skincare


FACTORFIVE harnesses the power of ethically derived human skin cells from adipose fat tissues to trigger the skin to produce higher levels of collagen, hyaluronic acid and other growth factors. According to the brand, their products change the skin at a cellular level to reduce signs of aging and create youthful skin. 

Given all these claims, I was naturally eager to try out FACTORFIVE. I’ve been using the Regenerative Serum with the Anti Aging Cream every morning for the last few months. I like that the two products feel ultra-light and non-oily, and you only need a pump of each to get your skin feeling super soft and hydrated. 

The verdict? Still, at nearly $200 per bottle, FACTORFIVE is likely prohibitively expensive for lots of shoppers — may I suggest trying their more budget-friendly mini sizes before investing? 

Price: Regenerative Serum – $199 at

Price: Anti Aging Cream – $189 at

3. Eco Defense Daily Moisturizer

Eco Defense Daily Moisturizer
Image: SpaTechnologies

As I mentioned, I stubbornly eschewed sunscreen for most of my adult life, convinced it would stand between me and my perfect tan — and now I’m paying the price.

But I’ve seen the error of my ways, and now — before I step out into the hot Austin sun — I will slather on Eco Defense Daily Moisturizer. It’s a moisturizer and a sunscreen that is lightweight and has a slightly fruity fragrance.

The verdict? Being Latina with a darker complexion, I use SPF 25 — but if you want more protection, the brand also makes an SPF 45. 

Price: $68 at 

4. Sun Patch Under Eye Sunblock

Sun Patch Under Eye Sunblock
Image: Sun Patch

Another thing I’ve noticed about my skin now that I’m on the other side of 30? Dark spots — also known as hyperpigmentation, age spots or (my personal least favorite) liver spots. A range of conditions can cause these pesky blemishes, but are most commonly the result of exposure to UV light. 

Unwilling to give up afternoons by my apartment pool, I’ve started wearing Sun Patches — a peel-and-stick 50 UPF+ silicone sunblock — on the sensitive skin around my eyes.

The verdict? The reusable patches stick to your skin before a sunshine session and peel right off when you’re done. I like the patches are portable, mess-free and come in a range of ’70s-esque neon colors. 

Price: $26 for a four-pack at 

5. ActivatedYou Essential Skin Food 

ActivatedYou Essential Skin Food
Image: ActivatedYou

Get this: My next best splurge-worthy skin care product isn’t a lotion, cream or any kind of topical — it’s a supplement you take as a pill each morning. Essential Skin Food, as the supplement is called, is from ActivatedYou, a brand developed by actress Maggie Q who starred in flicks like “Nikita” and “Mission Impossible III.” 

They made the supplement with six plant-based compounds designed to encourage collagen production. One capsule a day unlocks a host of benefits, including healthy cell turnover, reduced elastin breakdown and clearer skin.

The verdict? Looking for a men’s skincare supplement? This one works for any gender. 

Price: $69.96 at 

6. Baraka Shea Butter Fair Trade & Organic Skincare

Baraka Shea Butter
Image: Baraka Shea Butter

As a brand, there’s a lot to love about Baraka. Seeking to connect consumers with the hardworking creators of their organic skin care products, the Canadian/Ghanaian family-owned business supports Ghanaian communities by bringing their ethical, sustainable shea butter to global markets. 

The verdict? Their products are hand-processed using time-honored traditional methods. All their shea butter products are natural, cruelty-free and — as I can attest — addictively yummy smelling. 

Price: $12.31 at 

7. Dignity Coconuts Raw Coconut Oil

Dignity Coconuts Raw Coconut Oil
Image: Dignity Coconuts

Another organic skincare brand that I love is Dignity Coconuts, which manufactures raw coconut oil, ethically sourced from small-scale farms in the Philippines. The brand dedicates itself to helping communities overcome cycles of poverty and copra slavery, and each jar is signed by one of its workers.

The verdict? I use their raw coconut oil as a fragrant natural moisturizer and hair treatment, but you can use Dignity Coconuts products for cooking as well.

Price: $15.26 for a 15-ounce jar at 

8. Sea Witch Botanicals: Spa Veritum Soothing Facial Toner 

Sea Witch Botanicals: Spa Veritum Soothing Facial Toner
Image: Sea Witch Botanicals

Full disclosure: I had never used a toner before, and had to do a bit of research before deciding to put this one on my face. Through a quick Google search, I learned that a toner is a water-based product that helps prepare the skin for the serums and skins applied afterward. Toner isn’t really necessary, but some have ingredients that can give a nice little boost to your skincare routine. 

Take the Sea Witch Botanicals Spa Veritum Soothing Facial Toner. It’s a plant-based, vegan toner made with witch hazel, aloe, lavender and rose water. It cleans and tightens your pores while providing a natural, cooling fragrance that gives your mood a boost.

The verdict? Besides a calming toner, it also works as a men’s skin care product, according to the brand, which recommends using the spray as an aftershave.

Price: $16 at

The post Splurge-worthy Skincare Products, According to Our Editors appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

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