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Post in Skincare Aware

Holy Grail Skin Care

Hello all, 

A little bit about myself: I'm into skincare. I have combination skin and during that time of the month I have breakouts. I'm always looking for new products to try to add to my skincare routine. (Hopefully products that won't break the bank. 😉 


Need: Products to help with anti aging, brightening, dark spots (some acne scarring), pores. [Including toners, cleansers, eye cream**, sleeping masks) What are your holy grail skin care products that you absolutely love?

Age: 28


Thanks so much! 🙂 

Re: Holy Grail Skin Care

I am 35 y/o with combination to normal skin, that used to be very acne prone but is now pretty well controlled. Generally, to address the issues you've listed you want to incorporate Vitamin C, AHAs, retinol/retinoid, and use sunscreen daily. Spoiler because I ramble:



Sad to say, my HGs right now are the Drunk Elephant C-Firma and Framboos glycolic serums, and a prescription retinoid (tretinoin). The DE is expensive, but in terms of brightness and pore size appearance, I have seen the most improvement with them. Generally, I think glycolic acid works better for my skin than lactic acid, but everyone is different. As such, I didn't get much out of SR Good Genes bc it's lactic acid. Using a retinoid (I started off on Differin) really got my acne under control to where I could start using other actives. That's where I began down my road to better looking skin, and I highly recommend it. If you can get to see a doctor, it might be worth it, but you can also now get Differin/adapalene OTC. It is drying though, so you definitely have to make sure your skin stay moisturized. My skin really loved the Nourish Organics Pure Hydrating Organic Argan Face Serum. It's more of an oil and is available at Target.


If you are new to using acids/other actives, I would start slowly. If you haven't tried Pixi Glow or the Ordinary Glycolic toner, those are inexpensive places to start. I have worked up to a place in my routine where I acid tone daily to twice daily and use the DE glycolic every other night, but it took over a year to get there. I had to go through a few vit c serums before finding one that didn't break me out (also I stopped using them while ramping up my DIfferin use, which may have helped, too). I switched to the Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution while I ran out of C-Firma before I could repurchase it during the spring sale. It's ok but definitely not as brightening as the DE. It is more stable than a product that uses l-ascorbic acid (LAA), so if you are concerned about not being able to use up a serum before it turns, I would recommend looking in to a vit C derivative, like the Ordinary. It's also supposed to be less irritating than LAA. So if you haven't used vit C before, maybe start there, too.


I have been very happy using Boscia Clear Complexion cleanser and the Belif Problem Solution toner. It's also imperative that you use an SPF 30+ sunscreen every day. I really like Tarte Tarteguard 30 SPF. Then again, my skin is a bit sensitive to both chemical sunscreens and silicones. Your skin may be more tolerable to things.

Regardless of what products you chose, it's really important to start slow, only using one new product at a time, and incorporating your actives slowly, like every third day, building up to recommended usage. Good luck! 

Also as an aside, you may find this thread  helpful: It's where people post what they are using in their daily skincare routines to deal with their specific problems.


RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

@CByul I’m a skincare addict as well! I change my routine up so much but the one addition I’ve fallen in love with is the Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment. I use it everyday in the morning. My skin is very balanced so I don’t get much tingle or redness. I’m in love. I definitely recommend it!!!

RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Highly recommend skincare addiction sub on Reddit. It changed my life (and my bank account, cry)

RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Hi @CByul! I recommend The Ordinary products for all of the concerns that you listed above. They are super inexpensive and such amazing products. You can purchase them on Sephora or on their website. My other new favorite brand is Skin Food, which you can get at Ulta. They have everything from masks to cleansers to toners and are also inexpensive. You can find them at Ulta. And Ulta just so happens to be having a sale on Skin Food one, get the other half off 😊! I have also heard great things about the Cos rx brand, as the other poster mentioned. I know you can purchase some products on Ulta as well as Amazon. Good Luck!

Re: RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Thanks for your recommendations! I haven't heard about the brand "The Ordinary", but I'll look more into it. Oh yes, I'm trying out some Skin Food masks now. I've used the rice one and I have the brown sugar one (haven't used it yet). I've also heard about the Cos RX one too. 

RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Hi @CByul ~ Cost-friendly products to add to your arsenal during that time of the month would be CosRx Aha/Bha toner, CosRx Acne Pimple patches, and CosRx’s Lightening C Serum. It is such an effective brand that has helped my skin. If you are willing to spend a bit more, I’d recommend Good Genes by Sunday Riley. As you have probably already learned, it is such an elegant lactic acid that lightens, smooths and brightens. For AM to brighten and smooth out the complexion, Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma is a product I have tried to ignore, but once I gave in, I think we will have a long relationship. For moisturizing, I am a big fan of Belief’s Moisturizing Bomb, Sephora Collection’s Instant Moisture Intense, and FIrst Aids Beauty Intense Hydration. There is a lot out there, so I am sure others will have great advice.

Re: RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Thanks for your recommendations! I've heard of the CosRx brand through Youtubers, especially about the pimple patches. Where do you buy those products from? I've also heard great things about Good genes..Sadly it's $200 which is out of my budget. I was wondering is there another product that works similarly to this one, but isn't as expensive? I definitely want to try about DE C-firma. I've actually been looking for a product with vitamin C in it.  

Re: RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

@CByul Ulta is sold out online right now, but they also carry a decent amount of COSRx products, including the patches and AHA and BHA toners. You can sign up for an email notification of when they come back in stock. They also carry the products at certain stores. I have also seen the pimple patches available at Urban Outfitters.

RE: Re: RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

@CByul ~ CosRx’s patches can be brought from Sokoglam. com and Amazon, as with their other products. Good Genes is expensive, - I agree - but their 1 oz container is less expensive and is on sale during Sephora’s spring sale. Though I cannot attest to it being the same, people on the boards claim The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid works wonders on their skin. Best of luck!

RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Anything Farmacy! Worth the slight splurge

Re: RE: Holy Grail Skin Care

Thanks! 🙂 I heard Dew It All is good. 

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