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Good, Better, Best of Skin Care Products 2014

good, better, best of skin care products
July 10, 2014 Reviewed by Christina 7 Comments

There's nothing better than finding the perfect skin care product to address our needs. Over the years, however, those skin care needs change and fluctuate, and the products that used to work so well just aren't cutting it anymore. And sometimes, we just want to kick our beauty routine up a notch. Whether you're dealing with sudden changes in your complexion or new anti-aging concerns, switching up your product potency will help you achieve the best results. Our Good, Better, Best list allows you to choose the product that most effectively addresses your skin care concern. (Plus, you can find the best fit for your budget as well!)

Sagging Skin

Good: Arcona Peptide Firming Complex ($72) is an anti-aging serum designed to boost collagen and elastin production while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with powerful peptides like Syn-tacks and Syn-coll, this firming serum also binds moisture to the skin using hyaluronic acid. TIA member Annette says, "I love the way this product glides on and within minutes, firms my skin."
Better: It's a tie!
MitoQ Moisturizing Anti-Aging Serum ($119) supports healthy cell function to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, firm skin and fade age spots through a unique form of ubiquinone, the antioxidant in CoQ10. This fragrance-free serum replenishes antioxidant defenses to reduce mitochondrial oxidative damage and support collagen and elastin production. TIA member Elisabeth says, "By the end of my trial, I compared the [before and after] pictures and could not believe the difference."
Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Prime ($135) visibly tightens, tones and lifts sagging facial contours. A powerful combination of copper peptides, epidermal growth factor, natural artichoke leaf extract and a patented new tetrapeptide promotes collagen and elastin for firmer skin and improved elasticity. This silky cream also helps restore density to thin, fragile skin while reducing lines and wrinkles. TIA member Cynthia says, "I love this product. It firms my skin while smoothing out wrinkles."
Best: Ultra Renew PLUS Ultrasonic LED($159) is an exclusive, at-home beauty tool that tackles the signs of aging through three different modes — LED, ultrasonic and ionic — helping to firm and smooth skin. All three can be used at the same time for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The device's LCD display panel shows the selection of modes and intensity. TIA member Susie says, "Have used it for 2 weeks and can't believe the improvement in my skin texture and firmness."

Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Good: Amarte HydroLift Cream ($70) smoothes fine lines and wrinkles while a silky formula of retinol, adenosine, caviar extract and acacia collagen evens out texture and tone, leaving skin plump, hydrated and brightened. TIA member Jennie says, "I would recommend this product for anyone who is serious about fighting wrinkles and improving skin tone and plumpness."
Better: BRAD Biophotonic Essential Elixir Multi-Peptide ($96) is rich in bio-fermented amino acids. This light,regenerative serum nourishes the skin while restoring elasticity, firmness and radiance. Hydrating hyaluronic acid also helps with plumping skin. TIA member Christina says, "My cleansed skin craves this light, refreshing serum and I am noticing an improvement to my skin tone."
Best: Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop) is a broad spectrum antioxidant serum that effectively firms and smoothes skin, including crow's feet, and protects collagen from free radical damage. This heavy-hitter combines potent anti-agers like copper peptides, Matrixyl 3000, Lipochroman-6 and niacinamide for a healthy, glowing complexion. It's packed in an airless dual-chamber that maximizes the stability and potency of the actives. TIA member Jill says, "This is without a doubt THE best product for firming that I have found."

Dark Spots & Hyperpigmentation

Good: Sweetsation Lumi*Essence Organic Advanced Brightening Repair Treatment($36) corrects dark spots, age spots, sun spots and freckles caused by sun damage and melasma. This brightening serum combines vitamin C, alpha arbutin, kojic acid, niacinamide and milk thistle, along with exfoliating papaya and pineapple enzymes, to achieve an even and radiant complexion. TIA member Kylee says, "I have always had problems with breakouts and oily skin with moisturizers and I haven't had one issue with Sweetsation."
Better: Medik8 White Balance Click ($80 in the shop) is an effective solution against dark spots, age spots, freckles, sun damage and uneven skin tone. Kojic acid is stored in the top part of the lid and is released by a clever click mechanism, ensuring its highest activity over the recommended period of use. TIA member Sheena says, "I can see definite improvements in the melasma on my forehead and age spots on my cheek."
Best: Sciote Illume Brightening Serum ($95 in the shop) uses 5% kojic acid, 3% glycolic acid and 1% salicylic acid to reduce age spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles while promoting cell turnover. This natural skin brightener also hydrates skin with hyaluronic acid for a more youthful, even tone. TIA member Pam says, "My skin now glows and I use less foundation than before. Thank you Sciote!"


Good: Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Time Release Vitamin D Moisture Mist ($39) is an aromatic spray that offers long-lasting hydration. Alpine rose extract helps to increase skin's resistance to environmental stressors and dryness while shiitake mushroom, a rich source of vitamin D, soothes redness and irritation. Marta says that it "provides lasting hydration for the face, neck and décolleté.
Better: La Vie Celeste Extra Rich Face Creme ($75 in the shop) is a a hydrating and firming moisturizer that can be used during the day or overnight. It contains R-lipoic acid, ChroNoline, apple stem cells and other organic ingredients to help lift sagging skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This cream is deeply moisturizing without feeling heavy and does not clog pores. It's best suited for dry to normal skin types. TIA member Karen says, "This is probably my favorite night cream. It smells delicious and feels heavenly."
Best: Benir Beauty BV Nine Platinum Anti-Aging Bee Venom Cream ($136 in the shop) is a luxurious, peptide-based cream that repairs signs of aging and stimulates cell renewal with bee venom, copper peptides, Coenzyme Q10, argireline and hyaluronic acid. This multi-purpose eye cream encourages collagen production while diminishing lines and wrinkles by relaxing muscles in a non-paralytic way. TIA member Marilyn says, "It feels luxurious to apply and leaves my skin soft and hydrated."

Crow's Feet

Good: Sciote Peptide + Defense Firming Eye Creme ($65 in the shop) is a gentle yet potent eye cream that uses aloe instead of water to soothe and hydrate skin, along with a blend of peptides, including the SYN-AKE peptide, which reduces wrinkles by inhibiting muscle contractions. This eye cream also contains both glycolic and lactic acids to smooth skin without irritating the delicate eye area. TIA member Aimee says, "One of my staples! Best eye creme I have ever used...and I have tried many."
Better: AQ Skin Solutions Eye Serum ($99 in the shop) visibly minimizes crow's feet while also lightening dark circles and clearing up under-eye bags with a concentrated formula of Matrixyl 3000 and human growth factors. This non-greasy serum gives eyes a more youthful appearance by firming, lifting and tightening sagging skin while moisturizing, keeping the eye area soft and silky. TIA member Mona says, "My under eye area is firm and my brows seem lifted. And OMG my eyelashes are longer and thicker."
Best: E'shee Clinical Esthetic Alpha and Omega Gene Therapy Eye Cream ($284 in the shop) uses an advanced restoration formula with breakthrough peptides, Far Infrared Ceramic Powder and the brand's own signature epidermal growth factor. This potent eye cream improves skin's firmness and texture, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, rebuilds the extra cellular matrix, reduces dark circles and soothes redness caused by rosacea and broken capillaries. This cream does double duty and can also be used to repair lip lines. TIA member Cheryl says, "This eye cream is one of the best I have ever tried."

Large Pores

Good: Sevani Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Creme ($68 in the shop) is a multitasking moisturizer that brightens skin and closes pores by using natural fruit acids, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and anti-inflammatory botanicals, such as gotu kola, licorice root and sacred lotus. This creme helps to even out skin tone, reduce wrinkles, fade age spots and reduce blemishes. It's best suited for oily, normal or combination skin types. TIA member Kristina says, "Seriously...where did my pores go? I actually thought that this morning when I looked in the mirror!"
Better: Your Best Face Prep Microdermabrasion ($80 in the shop) is a creamy microdermabrasion treatment that infuses skin with botanicals, vitamins and antioxidants to brighten, sooth, heal and protect. It also contains peptides that smooth existing wrinkles and help prevent new ones, such as collagen-boosting Matrixyl 3000. This treatment also enhances the effectiveness of products that follow it. The new formula now includes TEGO Pep 4-Even, a skin brightening peptide, to balance uneven pigmentation. TIA member CC says, "I have used everything before and nothing gets close to a spa-level service like Prep."
Best: Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System is an exclusive facial cleansing brush that's uniquely powerful yet gentle. It uses 1800 micro vibrations per second, making it extremely effective while still being gentle enough for sensitive or mature skin. The rapidly rotating brush heads refine pores without scrubbing or rubbing, clarifying the complexion and stimulating healthy skin. TIA member Lisa says, "all of my lotions and potions go in more easily and my cystic acne breakouts are much less frequent. What could be better?"

Problem Skin

Good: Blissoma Smooth A+ Perfecting Serum ($25.99) is a moisturizing treatment boasting 4% niacinamide, anti-inflammatory herbs and vitamin A to treat and prevent acne breakouts, cleanse and calm pores, soothe rosacea and reduce hyperpigmentation on damaged or irritated skin. TIA member Ana says, "it does wonders for oily, pimple prone and itchy skin."
Better: Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask ($42) provides powerful purification of skin's pores and surface with tea tree oil and bioactive components to prevent and treat excessive oiliness and blemishes. Recommended for problematic, oily and acne-prone skin. TIA member Katherine says, "you can feel it working immediately. My skin looks and feels amazing after using it, and I adore the results."
Best: Medik8 betaGel On the Spot Exfoliator ($68) fights blemishes by penetrating deep into the pores to calm inflammation and reduce congestion. Key actives in this spot treatment include salicylic acid, azelaic acid and niacinamide, to help minimize acne-causing bacteria and soothe problem skin. This treatment wears well under makeup and does not contain benzoyl peroxide or sulphur derivatives. TIA member Preksha says, "betaGel really set itself apart from the rest as it is helping fade old acne scars that have been driving me crazy."

Redness & Rosacea

Good: Sevani Advanced Complexion Corrector ($39 in the shop) is a light spray for correcting redness, rosacea, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, irritation, inflammation, open pores and acne. This complexion correcting mist improves skin's texture and adds radiance overtime by utilizing natural exfoliants and nourishing ingredients like as niacinimide, licorice root, panthenol and green and white teas. TIA member Dasha says, "after a month of daily usage my skin is visibly calmer and it's tone is more even."
Better: Medik8 Red Alert ($60 in the shop) uses teprenone to provide calming relief from redness and flare-ups caused by skin hypersensitivity, rosacea irritation and erythema. This anti-redness serum also works to treat broken veins and protects skin against other irritations by improving the lipid barrier. TIA member Kay says, "My skin tone is definitely beginning to even out, and the small spider veins are much less noticeable."
Best: Ultra Renew Plus ($159) is an exclusive beauty tool for at-home use that delivers the very best anti-aging treatment. This device uses three modes — LED, ultrasonic and ionic — to help firm and smooth skin. All threes can be used at the same time for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, or separately. The device's LCD display panel shows the selection of modes and intensity. TIA member Susie says, "Have used it for 2 weeks and can't believe the improvement in my skin texture and firmness."

Face Masks

Good: Sciote Antioxidant Scrub & Masque ($50 in the shop) reveals more radiant skin by using exfoliating glycolic acid (5%) and lactic acid (2%), coenzyme Q10 to neutralize free radicals, a peptide complex to improve skin texture and kaolin clay to draw out impurities. This antioxidant-rich 2-in-1 mask and scrub help reduce hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. TIA member Sam says, " It has also reduced my hyperpigmentation considerably! I really feel like my skin is more radiant after I use it."
Better: Voya Maskerade Face Mask ($66) helps bring hydration to the skin with seaweed, antioxidants and rich organic extracts that calm irritation and relieve dry skin. Skin is left feeling refresh and rejuvenated. TIA member Jan says, "I used this at night and my face felt smooth and hydrated after using it. I also saw these same benefits in the morning."
Best: It's a tie!
Royal Nectar Face Mask with Bee Venom ($68) is a hydrating, lifting and rejuvenating treatment with anti-inflammatory bee venom as the key active, which effectively firms skin and helps reduce lines. This face mask also contains manuka honey and a soothing blend of waxes and oils to bring out a healthy glow, meriting all the Kate Middleton and British Royals buzz. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. TIA member Andy says, "I sleep with this product on almost every other night, and it's SAVED my sleep deprived skin."
Kat Burki Hibiscus Antioxidant Face Mask ($78) resurfaces and exfoliates skin by using a formula of natural ingredients and powerful antioxidants to enhance skin's radiance and clarity. Raw blueberries and cranberries reduce scarring and discoloration while rose hip and grapeseed oils restore moisture to the skin. TIA member Ada says, "it's really making a difference in the quality and evenness of my skin tone."

Body Treatments

Good: Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10% ($35) is a body lotion infused with pumpkin extracts and glycolic acid to improve elasticity while exfoliating and brightening skin. This body treatment works exceptionally well at regenerating and repairing sun damaged skin and evening out tone. TIA member Sally says, "I honestly feel like a magic eraser has removed all of the tough patches and replaced it with smooth, soft, amazingly even-toned skin."
Better: Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Age Repair Body Lift ($95) Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Age Repair Body Lift is an anti-aging treatment that can be used on the whole body, especially bust, belly, and behind, promoting increased elasticity. This body cream prevents and reduces stretch marks while also smoothing cellulite and crepey skin for a younger looking body. TIA member Carol says, "I have been so pleased with this product after using it on my arms, legs, and chest with fabulous results."
Best: Ultra Renew Sculpt ($129) Ultra Renew Sculpt is our exclusive at-home body renewing device that works to smooth cellulite while also detoxifying, firming, lifting and plumping skin. This device has three modes: ultrasonic, FAR infrared and EMS. A large ultrasonic plate and light panel allow for ease of use and efficient coverage on larger areas like the arms, legs, buttocks or tummy. TIA member Cynthia says, "Some benefits I notice have been plumping up of my skin, reducing lines and wrinkles, and giving my skin a rosy glow."

  • May 27, 2018

    by Renee

    I can't disagree more. I looked up Mary Kay ingredients, and did not find one that is cancer-causing. I thought it would be because the ingredients sounded scary, but researched, and every single one of them was fine.

  • August 18, 2014

    by Marla

    Ladies, I have yet to find a Mary Kay product without all sorts of cancer causing chemicals, and chemical/artificial preservatives. Take a look at the "Ingredients" tab at the top of this page and look up the ingredients in your MK products. You will never want to put them on your skin again.

    Natural medical grade skin care products (Mary Kay is not) such as what you find on TIA are more expensive. Extracting natural ingredients that REALLY WORK are more expensive that carcinogen chemicals like Mary Kay puts in their products (mineral oil is a PETROLIUM product, like putting a can of oil on your face).

    ANYTHING on this sight is worth every penny. .

  • July 29, 2014

    by barbek

    Thanks for the article. I'm searching for a good product. Mary Kay stopped making their classic formula that I have used for over 20 years. My skin is a wreck. The new Mary Kay is just horrible. I look in the mirror and want to cry. My skin was so pretty, and I received so many compliments. I really hope I can find something else that works as good as the old Mary Kay line.

  • July 15, 2014

    by Kevin

    Maybe I missed it but, how long do these typically last before I would need to buy another bottle or tube?

  • July 11, 2014

    by Angela

    I agree with Lila your prices are out of control for most of us women.

  • July 11, 2014

    by Evalina

    Very impressive list! I'm using Mary Kay products and my skin is gorgeous. I'll be 60 next week and on my face there is no signs of it! And it doesn't cost me a kidney.

  • July 10, 2014

    by lila

    Wow, anything that doesn't cost a kidney? I want to change my current beauty routine products to more natural, safe and effective ones but at those prices it gets impossible. Why is everything that is natural, clean, good, cruelty-free and eco-friendly so expensive? :/

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