Skin Saver: Universkin P Serum
What Universkin says: “It’s revolutionary personalized skin care, tailored to your individual skin needs. The base of our unique system is an innovative and patented serum formula designed to integrate pharmaceutical-grade active ingredients. This serum acts as the foundation to receive your specific ingredients (up to three) at concentrations recommended by your skin-care specialist following a thorough analysis of your skin.”
What Best Health says: “I recently had the opporutnity to visit SpaMedica in Toronto to receive a Universkin analysis and pick a blend of active ingredients for two custom serums: one combo for day and one for night. The whole process took about half an hour and Claudia, the senior medical aesthetican, advised me on the best ingredients to treat my specific concerns. We went with niacinamide, madecassoside and azelaic acid for the morning to improve texture and reduce redness, and retinol and D-panthenol for the evening to help with cellular renewal and dehydration. Claudia mixed the powder ingredients into each formula before my eyes and I now have two serums that are fresh for eight weeks. It’s a pretty neat experience and is probably the direction we’re heading with most skin care – completely customizable products that are tailored to each individual. Just be careful with the glass bottles! They’ll smash if they fall on a hard surface.” – Andrea Karr, web editor
Universkin P Serum, $199 at universkin.ca.
Skin Saver: Riversol Hydrating Antioxidant Mask
What Riversol says: “Our Hydrating Antioxidant Mask is formulated to deliver intensive 24-hour moisture therapy to quench even the driest of skin types. Developed specifically for sensitive skin, this mask delivers potent, stabilized antioxidants to stimulate healthy cell regeneration and protect the skin from toxins and environmental pollutants.”
What Best Health says: “My biggest goal for my skin, especially during the winter, is to combat dehydration so my skin doesn’t look dull, dry or tired. Riversol’s mask actually hydrates — making my face look clear, glowy and well-rested — so I keep coming back to it for weekly or bi-weekly application (usually 20 minutes while I’m watching TV or working on my computer). My skin looks and feels better when I use it, probably due to the inclusion of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and and Beta-T, which repair the skin, reduce inflammation and fight free radicals. Seriously LOVE it. Would recommend it for all skin types, including sensitive and oily.” – Andrea Karr, web editor
Riversol Hydrating Antioxidant Mask, $49 at beautymark.ca.
Skin Saver: Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil
What Korres says: “This brightening oil infused with real wild rose petals pays homage to the legendary Wild Rose Oil ingredient that started it all. This ultra concentrated Vitamin C oil is rich in omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids and vitamins A and C. It provides significant antioxidant action while repairing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skins overall tone and texture. This silky oil easily absorbs into skin, delivering a fresh, dewy, enviable glow.”
What Best Health says: “I’ve only been using this product for a week (applying morning and night) and my complexion already looks brighter, feels more hydrated, and is crazy soft to the touch. This oils light texture absorbs immediately into my skin, leaving behind a dewy glow and sweet scent. I’ll admit, it was the cuteness of the bottle (real rose petals floating inside) that drew me to try this product in the first place – but I have to say, I am quite pleased with my results so far.” – Alyssa Ball, assistant web editor
Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil $75 at beautyboutique.ca.
Skin Saver: Valmont Sérum Majestueux Vos Yeux Essence of Bees
What Valmont says: “This extraordinarily silky smooth serum firms the eyelids for a return to younger looking eyes. Day after day, skin around the eyes appears smoother and more toned. A combination of surprise ingredients for high-flying expertise.”
What Best Health says: “As you might expect from a product at this price point, the Essence of Bees eye lifting serum feels luxe. It’s got a surprisingly thick consistency for a serum, but it absorbs quickly, imparting just a slight sheen to the undereye area. There’s a gentle, but immediate, sensation of tightening upon application, along with a very mild cooling effect. The powdery fragrance is, again, surprisingly powerful – but not at all unpleasant.” – Brett Walther, web editor
Valmont Sérum Majestueux Vos Yeux Essence of Bees, $500 at holtrenfrew.com.
Skin Saver: Rodial Rose Gold Serum
What Rodial says: “Anti-gravity serum with instant lifting and wrinkle-filling is enriched with ‘24 Carat Gold’ technology for tri-dimensional face rejuvenation. The lightweight silky formula melts effortlessly, releasing a powerful blend of anti-aging ingredients to visibly lift, plump and reshape the face. The combination of fast acting, hi-tec and highly effective active ingredients make this product a must have for extreme anti-aging.”
What Best Health says: “This serum is effortless to wear. It goes on thin, and it leaves a layer that absorbs with my moisturizer. And, I found, can even be worn on its own, as it actually has a bit of shine. While I have yet to notice the ‘extreme anti-aging’ benefits, it does give my skin some extra oomph on days when I need it.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Rodial Rose Gold Serum $230 at Murale stores.
Skin Saver: Cardea AuSet Noire Charcoal Mask
What Noire says: “This blend of mineral-rich bentonite clay and pure activated charcoal powder has absorbing properties that extract toxins from the skin’s surface and pores, leaving it cleansed and purified.”
What Best Health says: “This mask comes in powder form which allows you to customize it. Cardea Auset – a new Canadian, plant-based beauty and wellness brand – recommends mixing the powder with your choice of distilled or mineral water, honey, green tea or a few drops of essential oil, depending on what your skin is craving. I mixed one teaspoon of powder with one teaspoon of water to create a paste, which I applied all over my face. A little definitely goes a long way here. I left the mask on for 10 minutes and rinsed off with warm water. The breakouts around my chin cleared up faster than usual.” – Melissa Greer, web editor
Cardea AuSet Noire Charcoal Mask, $38 at cardeaauset.com.
Skin Saver: Roger & Gallet Aura Mirabilis Beauty Vinegar
Roger & Gallet says: “Ideal for prepping the skin, this formula should be used as a toner, just after cleansing. It helps to gently eliminate dead cells, while preparing the skin for the products that follow. It leaves skin feeling smooth, refines skins texture, and helps to tighten pores and clarify the complexion, so that every day, skin looks luminous, pure and radiant.”
Best Health says: “I’ve only recently started using toners again. I blame a brief affair with Sea Breeze astringent during my teens for turning me off. Luckily, today’s toners, or vinegars as in this case, are nothing like those of the ’90s and early 2000s. I used this in the morning after rinsing my face with water. It felt refreshing and left my skin smooth. It also smells divine!” –Melissa Greer, web editor
Roger & Gallet Aura Mirabilis Beauty Vinegar, $25 at sephora.com.
Skin Saver: Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Bubble Cleansing Mask
Rodial says: “This detoxifying bubble mask generates O2 bubbles to remove dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil revealing a brighter-looking complexion. Purifying bamboo charcoal deeply cleanses and unclogs pores for fresher, smoother looking skin whilst a rich blend of collagen, ceramide, vitamins a & e and peptides leave it revitalized. ”
Best Health says: “Sheet masks are always fun. And I really didn’t know what to expect with this one – but it got way more bubbly than I ever thought it would. I was wearing it while netflixing, when it scared my husband more than an episode of Stranger Things! And he’s seen me in tons of masks before, so I know this one is next level. In addition to the fun factor, this seriously cleanses. My skin was squeaky clean. So moisturizer is a must after.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Bubble Cleansing Mask, $78 for 8 sachets at at Rodial retailers.
Skin Saver: Lierac Hydragenist Morning Moisturizing Mist
Lierac Laboratories says: “The oxygenating spray that rehydrates and replumps the skin upon awakening.Based on the esthetic technique of tissue oxygenation, this morning mist is concentrated in Hydra O2 complex and enriched in rhodiola rosea extract to rehydrate and replump the skin.The skin is smoothed, signs of fatigue are erased and complexion freshness is restored. ”
Best Health says: “This product smells incredible. Made with notes of rose, jasmine and gardenia, this hydrating spray adds a little bit of luxury into my morning routine. Thanks to its slightly gelled texture, this product is the ideal lightweight moisturizer.” – Angela Serednicki, assistant digital editor
Lierac Hydragenist Morning Moisturizing Mist, $45 at lierac.ca.
Skin Saver: Vichy Idéalia Day Care
Schaf says: “An antioxidant-rich formula specifically formulated for normal to combination skin to correct first signs of aging: Smooths fine lines, boosts glow, refines pores. The extract of fermented black tea and andenosine have been combined with blueberry extracts containing polyphenols and Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water in a radiance activating formula. Its texture is soft, fresh and silky.”
Best Health says: “I have a mix of oily and dry areas, where my T-zone and my the cheeks are slightly oily, and my jaw area, and along the hairline are dry. Once I started using this, my skin improved almost immediately where my dry areas softened and my oily areas were less oily, yet maintaining a healthy glow. This is a lightweight cream but properly formulated with a concentrated amounts of beneficial ingredients that makes it work great over my entire face.” –Dorette Bridge, account manger
Vichy Idéalia Day Care, $45 at vichy.ca.
Skin Saver: Schaf Purifying Scrub
Schaf says: “Get gunk (A.K.A dead skin cells, dirt, makeup) off your face the gentle way. This foaming deep cleanser and scrub borrows from science and nature with its blend of white lava particles, bamboo beads, African shea butter and hyaluronic acid. Together, they polish away the bad, while doing some good for your hydration levels. The result? A complexion that looks and feels fresh as hell.”
Best Health says: “This formula has the perfect ratio of scrub to cleanser. It gave me a satisfying exfoliation, without leaving my face tight or dry. One caveat: Thanks to the lava particles, this scrub was a little more abrasive than some, and I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive skin types. My combination skin handled it just fine though. I also love that Schaf is an all natural Canadian brand.” –Melissa Greer, web editor
Schaf Purifying Scrub, $40 at schaf.ca.
Skin Saver: EOS Evolution of Smooth Delicate Petals Body Lotion
EOS Evolution of Smooth says: “A moisturizing body lotion with natural ingredients and a blooming scent that applies richly, feels light, natural and provides visibly softer skin.”
Best Health says: “This rich lotion is fast absorbing and leaves my skin lightly fragranced. It left my skin feeling super soft and moisturized all day long.” –Jacinda Shears, ad operations
Skin Saver: CHO Nature Beauty Oil
CHO says: “Helps protect skin against adverse weather conditions such as wind, cold and pollution. Jojoba oil, being very close to our sebum, constitutes in itself a true protection against external aggressions, the essential oil of patchouli, probably one of the best essential oils for the skin, reinforces the barrier. Protecting the skin by ensuring excellent cell regeneration, it is perfect for dry skin and first wrinkles.”
Best Health says: “Between pollution and general stress, city life isn’t doing my skin any favours. The vitamin E in this oil helps protect against air pollution and applying it was a luxurious treat for my skin. The bottle includes instructions for a ‘ritual’ that involves warming the oil between your hands, applying both palms to your face and inhaling the fragrance. The de-stressing effect alone was enough to make me a daily user.” –Melissa Greer, web editor
CHO Beauty Oil Morning, $130 at Tallanda in Montréal.
Skin Saver: Korres Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir
Korres says: “A precious golden elixir infused with the immense antioxidant power of on-day fresh Greek saffron to universally correct all signs of aging. Korres extracts the full power of this hand-picked, one-day fresh saffron at its maximum antioxidant levels and combines it with beta-glucans, peptides and amino acids to create this ageless elixir that strengthens skin’s resistance to daily damage.”
Best Health says: “It has a pretty saffron scent and goes on very smooth. It’s not the most moisturizing product, however, I do think it has brightened my skin over the last few weeks. It lists its benefits as firming & lifting, anti-wrinkle, moisturizing, plumping, smoothing & brightening. Time will tell if it firms & lifts & plumps J I would recommend it.” – Marjorie Callaghan, account manager
Korres Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir, $130 at beautyboutique.com.
Skin Saver: L’Occitane Terre de Lumiére Beautifying Body Lotion
L’Occitane says: “With zesty and aromatic top notes, this unique fragrance unexpectedly develops into delicate aromas of lavender, honey and almond from the South of France. Complete the Terre de Lumière ritual and moisturize your skin, with this body milk inspired by the fragrance.”
Best Health says: “I’m not one for body lotions. And I’m not big on scented creams either. But this one is gorgeous. It’s a warm dessert scent that has me taking notice throughout my day. Colleagues complimented my ‘light perfume.’It also leaves a very subtle sheen on the skin. It’s like I hired a pro makeup artist to highlight my skin because it’s blended perfectly. There’s no Kardashian-level strobing with this. I just love it.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
L’Occitane Terre de Lumiére Beautifying Body Lotion, $32 at loccitane.com.
Skin Savers: Dr Roebuck’s Anti-Aging Eye Regeneration Cream
What Dr Roebuck’s says: “A rich, natural, regeneration, eye cream designed to rejuvenate the eye area while reducing dark circles and puffiness. Infused with potent, naturally occurring amino acids and antioxidants.”
Best Health says: “As an early-morning swimmer, I’m always concerned about ‘goggle-eyes’ – a term I’ve given the inevitable rings left around my tired peepers long after I’ve finished my laps. It’s led to a bit of an obsession with under-eye products, and a pretty strict regimen of serums and creams at morning and night. On days when that doesn’t seem to be enough, I’ll break out the big guns: A lunch-hour application of Dr Roebuck’s Eye Regeneration Cream. With the consistency of whipped butter, it’s a heavy-duty dose of moisture that helps with any lingering trace of goggle-eyes and under-eye puffiness. Although I like to lay it on quite heavily, it dries with a nice matte finish that also helps minimize the appearance of crow’s feet. Bonus!” – Brett Walther, web editor, readersdigest.ca
Dr Roebuck’s Anti-Aging Eye Regeneration Cream, $40 at beautyboutique.ca.
Skin Savers: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water Wipes with Argan Oil
What Garnier says: “Remove waterproof, long lasting makeup and eliminate impurities and pollution quickly and gently. Oil-based makeup removal is so easy! Ultra-fast and with no greasy after effects, makeup is eliminated from the first go. Multi-action wipes clean, remove makeup and soothe. ”
Best Health says: “I love traditional micellar water, so I didn’t think I’d need it in my makeup wipes. I was wrong. These makeup wipes are thicker than most, so you won’t need to use more than one wipe for a full face of makeup. I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup, but my makeup comes off quickly after one quick swipe. Your face feels a bit sticky after using these wipes, but the feeling doesn’t last. Your skin quickly soaks up any remaining residue that the wipe may have left behind. Since the Argan oil in these wipes are so hydrating, I don’t need to use moisturizer after taking off my makeup anymore.” – Angela Serednicki, assistant digital editor
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water Wipes with Argan Oil, $9.99 at mass and drug retailers.
Skin Savers: Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips
What Bioré says: “Remove weeks (yes – weeks!) worth of pore gunk with just one strip. With natural charcoal, pore strips suck out oil and blackhead breeding impurities, leaving skin feeling fresh, clean and three times less oily.”
Best Health says: “These strips felt more comfortable than others I have tried. When the strip dried, it didn’t pinch or pull my skin. It was also easier to peel off – and my eyes did not water. After one use, the skin around my nose felt softer and looked smoother, and there were definitely less blackheads. I used the strip in the morning before work, so it doesn’t leave your nose red. So, you can start the day looking great, and it can be your little secret as to why.” – Melissa Williams, head of marketing solutions
Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips, $10 at select food, drug and mass retailers.
Skin Savers: Tata Harper Clarifying Mask
What Tata Harper says: “The ultimate weapon against any skin imperfection to get your skin back to looking healthy, balanced and clear. Product benefits: Balances sebum and controls excess oiliness on the surface of the skin and helps calm and relieve the appearance of redness on the skin.”
Best Health says: “To be honest, this felt like any other clay mask. But the results were different. And it’s not something I even noticed while it was on my skin or immediately after. It was my cab driver who did. He kept talking to me as if I was young. So I asked him how old he thought I was, he guessed 10 years younger. Flirty cab driver? I thought so, until I was asked for I.D. at a bar three hours later. True story. I also used Tata Harper’s Beautifying Face Oil after the mask, so this might be the combination of the two face products. While looking 10 years younger is a tough promise for any mask, it’s the healthy glow and even skin that made the impact.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Tata Harper Clarifying Mask, $91 at detoxmarket.ca.
Skin Savers: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
CeraVe says: “Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe Eye Repair Cream reduces the look of dark circles and puffiness while helping to replenish the skin’s moisture barrier around your delicate eye area. ‘Marine & Botanical Complex’ helps reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness.”
Best Health says: “This is a suitable product for those with sensitive skin, as it is fragrance free and very gentle. Although I didn’t see a major change, this cream has great moisturizing properties.” – Irena Koutcher, senior project manager
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, $22.99 at mass retailers.
Skin Savers: Stress Positive Eye Lift
Dermalogica says: “Active, cooling cream-gel masque energizes skin to reduce visible signs of stress. High-performance formula minimizes the appearance of puffiness and dark circles, increases skin luminosity, lifts the eye area and helps restore skin barrier integrity.”
Best Health says: “When I don’t get enough sleep, I reach for this eye cream right after stepping out of the shower. It’s become a staple in my beauty routine. I love the feel of the cool, smooth applicator around my tired eyes. I do find, though, that when I squeeze the tube, I never get the same amount of eye cream every time. But the results are always fabulous, and that’s what matters to me.” – Angela Serednicki, assistant digital editor
Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift, $90 at dermalogica.ca.
Skin Savers: Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer
Paul & Joe says: “Pearls of orange flower water and lilium bulb extract form a hydrating coat over the skin, creating a clear and luminous base. Foundation goes on smoothly to achieving a beautiful finish.”
Best Health says: “I love the bottle design. When I first tried this primer, I used two pumps, which was more than enough. But I find just one pump gives a sufficient amount to act as a sealer prior to applying make up. It seems to tighten my pores, too.” – Kathey Stanton, account manager
Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer, $40 at Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique.
Skin Savers: Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Night Oil-Free Detoxifying Gel-Balm
Philosophy says: “Weightless and oil-free, take a deep breath night allows skin to breathe easy and imparts a look as refreshing as a good night’s sleep. Skin feels recovered from daily aggressors so it can resist signs of aging, longer.”
Best Health says: “My skin absorbed the gel right away and felt as if I had lightly misted my face with cool water. The gel balm is very light on the skin and I didn’t feel like there was any thing on my face, which I normally get from most gel balms. After the first night, my skin immediately felt hydrated and refreshed which after a long day was such a treat.” – Kimberly Le Sueur, head of digital ad ops
Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Night Oil-Free Detoxifying Gel-Balm, $49 at thebay.com.
Skin Savers: Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Gel Cream
Garnier says: “This moisturizer re-plumps and hydrates skin for 48-hours, while potent antioxidants work to help minimize the effects of long, busy days and external aggressions.”
Best Health says: “It has a nice fresh scent that is subtle and not overpowering. As a gel, I find it absorbs easily without making my face feel greasy. I doubled up on it in the morning and before bed and noticed that my skin immediately looked and felt smoother. If you’re looking to get that natural, dewy glow you should definitely give this a try.” – Alyssa Dow, senior graphic designer
Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Gel Cream, $20 at mass retailers and drugstores across Canada.
Skin Savers: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Olay says: “Its advanced Amino-Peptide Complex formula penetrates deep into the skin’s surface to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Micro-Sculpting Cream is formulated with hyaluronic acid, amino-peptides and vitamin B3. It hydrates to help plump cells from within the skin’s surface.”
Best Health says: “This had a nice, slight fragrance. It goes on smoothly, and my face felt moisturized without being greasy, which is my biggest complaint with face sunscreen. With SPF 30, this should be a great addition to my makeup bag for summer. I would buy this product.” – Sandra Horton, account manager
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, $44.99 at mass retailers across Canada.
Skin Savers: Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask
Fresh says: “Developed at the Fresh Research Lab, Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask combats skin congestion for a balanced, healthy-looking complexion. The secret to the clay’s strength is its high mineral content, which includes calcite and quartz as well as alkaline salt, and gives it soothing and absorbent properties. The must-have mask also reduces the appearance of pores without drying out the complexion.” This limited-edition packaging is part of a new partnership with Rometti, a ceramics workshop based in Umbria, Italy. “The artists in the Rometti ‘laboratory’ work with clay mined from a local quarry that dates back to Roman times. Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask features the same mineral-rich clay—making this a natural partnership.” Launches May 2017, and is sold while supplies last.
Best Health says: “I just love a good clay mask. That tight feeling right after I apply it gives me instant gratification. I can literally feel it removing – no, pulling – the bad stuff from my skin, like oil and stubborn makeup. It’s like it beats up my misbehaved skin and puts it in its place. But one thing I have noticed is that the cheaper-made the clay mask, the bigger of a bully it is. And this clay mask is the Goldilocks of clay masks. It gives my skin the right amount of aggressiveness without leaving my skin all irritated and red. I can actually use it the in the morning and go out that day or night, which is why the packaging claims it can be used daily or as a facial or spot treatment. Now, my skin is sensitive, but it doesn’t react to everything. I was able to use this no problem.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Skin Savers: Complexion Cleansing Brush
Tweezerman says: “Superfine, soft bristles cleanse deep into pores to wash away impurities while gently exfoliating.”
Best Health says: “Every time I get a facial, I’m told I don’t exfoliate enough. Despite doing scrubs and masks, I never seem to be doing enough. I like that this is gentle enough to do every day and that I can just use my regular facial cleanser. It makes a lather even in oil cleansers. I love it.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Complexion Cleansing Brush, $21 at tweezerman.ca.
Skin Savers: Prevage City Smart Detox Peel Off Mask
Prevage says: “This double-action mask delivers both immediate and long-term detoxifying results. Instantly, smart polymers gently lift away dirt and oil to gently resurface skin, tree mushroom extract minimizes the look of pores and powerful antioxidants fight environmental aggressors to ease aging signs.”
Best Health says: “This mask is perfect for those with sensitive skin who would benefit from a gentle peeling mask. You know when you peel off a mask and you can feel your skin tugging? Well, this is nothing like that. There’s not even any redness after it’s completely taken off my face. My skin felt smoother, but part of me missed that intense feeling I get from other masks. Despite the absence of post-facial PSTD, my skin did feel slightly more plumped.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Prevage City Smart Detox Peel Off Mask, $98 at thebay.com.
Skin Savers: Consonant Come Clean Cleansing Cloths
Consonant says: “Our 100% natural bamboo cleansing cloths are formulated to cleanse, condition and brighten skin any time, anywhere.”
Best Health says: “Cleansing cloths are a guilty pleasure. They easily wipe off a day’s makeup or a night’s sleep. But when you think about the waste and production cloths can cause, it really does become a guilty pleasure. So when I heard that these clothes are 100 per cent biodegradable I feel less guilty. Especially since Consonant Skincare is a Canadian company. As for how they work: These are competitive against most other face wipes, except that these don’t give my eyes a sting when I wipe this area. Plus, there’s no perfumy smells. Just clean.” – Lisa Hannam, web editor
Consonant Come Clean Cleansing Cloths, $9 at consonantskincare.com.