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Review of the Best Skin Care Products

Updated on May 22, 2015

There are an abundance of products claiming to work wonders on your skin and many can definitely work over your wallet. Do the expensive products work better? Are there less expensive but effective options? Does anything really help dark under eye circles? The good news is that the answers are out there if you are willing to invest the time to do a little research. The other good news is that I have consolidated much of the information right here from sources such as Beautypedia, Good Housekeeping, Total Beauty and Consumer Reports.

There are a few overall winners as well. Certain brands kept showing up consistently in several categories such as Olay, Neutrogena, MAC and Boots. The Body Shop, RoC and the "Say Yes to" line (Say Yes to Carrots, Say Yes to Cucumbers, etc.) get honorable mentions. These brands all seem to deliver high quality over a wide variety of products.


Top rated cleansers from are:

1. Cetaphil (Consumer Reports also recommends this product)

2. Olay Foaming Face Wash

3. Philosophy Purity

Paula Begoun, aka Cosmetic Cop and author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, works with Top recommendations:

1. Alpha-Hydroxy Foaming Face Wash and the Nourishing Cleanser

2. Boots No7 Beautifully Balanced Purifying Cleanser and several other Boots cleansers were recommended (sensitive skin, Time Dimension, Anti-blemish, etc.).

3. Yes to Carrots; Yes to Cucumbers

4. Universal Anti-Aging Cleanser by Patricia Wexler, MD ($16)

5. Several Neutrogena products, Eucerin Gentle Hydrating and Biore Combination Skin Cleanser.

Pocket Guide: Top Rated Cleansers

Total Beauty
Good Housekeeping
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle $8.99
CeraVe Foaming $11.47
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil $31
Trader Joe's Nourish $5.99
The Body Shop Aloe Calming $14.50
Mary Kay Timewise $20
Boots Expert Gentle $4.69
Bioelements Sensitive Skin $45.50
Olay Cleansing Brush and Cleanser $30
When multiple products had the same rating, I chose products for this table with the easiest availability and the least expensive. Many products from Total Beauty are expensive.

Facial Moisturizers

Good Housekeeping

1. Chanel Ultra Corrective Lift Firming Day Cream, SPF 15 ($150)

2. Olay Definity Deep Penetrating Foaming UV Moisturizer SPF 15 ($28)

3. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect SPF 30 ($68)


1. Beauty Control Facial Defense and Restore SPF 20

2. For Goodness Face by Avon SPF 30

Top reviews were given to Olay Regenerist by TotalBeauty and Consumer Reports (2007).

Night Cream

Good Housekeeping

1. L'Oreal Paris Advanced Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle Repair Night Cream ($20)

2. Vichy LiftActiv Retinol ($42)


1. Retinol ResQ by Alpha-Hydroxy ($15)

2. Calming Lotion by Kamins ($75)

3. Restoritive Night Cream by Boscia ($48)

Pocket Guide: Top Rated Moisturizers

Total Beauty
Good Housekeeping
MAC Mineralize Timecheck Lotion $44.00
Clarins Bright Plus $62
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair $22.00
Total Effects Olay $24.99
The Body Shop Vitamin C $20
RoC Retinol Correxion $23.00
Olay Regenerist $25.99
Clinique Superdefense $45
Boots Lift and Luminate $21.00
When multiple products had the same rating, I chose products for this table with the easiest availability and the least expensive. Many products from Total Beauty are expensive.

Anti-aging Serum

Good Housekeeping

1. Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum ($23)

2. Mary K TimeWise Replenish Serum


1. Time Defiance Derma Erase Artistry by Amway

Wrinkle Filler

Good Housekeeping

1. Boots No7 Intensive Line Filler ($18)

2. Olay Regenerist Filling and Sealing ($19)


1. Regeneration Tight, Firm and Fill Extreme Wrinkle Concentrate by Beauticontrol ($39)

2. Instant Wrinkle Write Off Line Filler by Cosmedicine ($15) Begoun did not like the fact that this product does not contain antioxidants.

3. Wrinkle Filler by DHC ($28)

4.. Perfectionist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler by Estee Lauder ($40) Paula Begoun claims that this does not do well with silicone based foundations. It gives a patchy appearance.

5.. Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler by Good Skin Labs ($40)

RoC, Olay Regenerist, Sephora, and MD Formulations also received high ratings for wrinkle filler products.

I must admit that I have never been a fan of "fillers". I wasn't interested in buying a cream that only addressed wrinkles cosmetically and did not improve my skin. Then I found a cream at Kohl's called Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler by Good Skin Labs (apparently owned by Lauder). It does fill in the lines and seems to improve the skin as well. see the results. After reading the review by Paula Begoun, I think I may try the Regeneration product.

Best At Home Peel

Good Housekeeping

1. Boots No7 Glycolic Peel ($25)

2. Clarins Bright Plus ($44)


1. AHA Alpha-Hydroxy Acid Beauty Fluid by Derma E ($17)

Other products are listed under "exfoliants" at Beautypedia.

Evidently the folks at Boots weren't prepared for the Good Housekeeping review. Stores everywhere were out of the product for months. I even checked online and it was still a 2-3 month wait. They have since solved the problem. It must be good!

Facial Firmer

Good Housekeeping

1. Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Growth Factor Neuropeptide Serum ($150)

2. Kinerase Restructive Firming Cream ($98)

Paula Begoun rates both products as mediocre.


After reading reviews from many sites, the two brands that consistently had products with top reviews were Olay, especially the Regenerist line, and Boots. Olay products are available at most grocery and department stores. Boots is available at Target and other department stores.

Eye Creams

I chose to not include eye creams because I don't think they are particularly effective. Many of the eye creams contain the same ingredients as face cream but at a much higher cost.

Dark Circles

So many products claim to treat dark under-eye circles. I have tried many products and the fact is...the don't work. Circles can be caused by darkened pigment or small, leaky blood vessels. There is not a cream available that can have an effect on leaky blood vessels. Some initial research points to vitamin K as helping to strengthen blood vessels, but there is NO indication that topical application is effective.

Dark circles are often accompanied by puffy eyes. Chilled cucumber slices, ice packs or frozen tea bags are all worth trying. Cold can act as a vaso-constrictor and so can caffeine. Does caffeine work topically? That is unknown, but it won't damage your skin and therefore won't hurt to try. There is another option, but I don't know if you are ready for this: hemorrhoid cream. Yep, you read it correctly. It is a vaso-constrictor and can reduce puffiness. Of course, if you try it, buy a new tube. The down side is that the cream can be quite irritating so daily use is difficult.

Will You Try It?

Do you plan to try one of the products mentioned in the article?

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    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      I have tried lots of products, and many don't agree with sensitive skin. I also don't want to use "fillers" and am lucky I don't usually have dark circles under my eyes. I like the Olay Regenerist products, but Cetaphil is really good too. When my son was in his teens and had acne, it did the trick. And I think guys should use moisutizer, we ladies end up looking so much younger than them!

    • profile image

      Se7en Apps 4 years ago

      I have an ebook for the amazon kindle and I wanted to know if you could review it. I could send it to you as a gift. Please do let me know if you would be willing to.


    • profile image

      Sandy Arnett 6 years ago

      Great information.