Skincare Product Reviews

What are the best D2C skincare products?

We’ve researched many of the top online brands that help protect, preserve, and nourish your skin. No two people have the same outer layer, and thus there are a variety of brands and products on the market catering to people with various types of skin. Since skin is in contact with the outside world most of the time, it can be easily damaged.  Select an option below to explore more about skincare:

Dryness (Xeroderma)

In most cases having dry skin isn't severe and can be taken care of using the proper routine to avoid further complications. However, this isn't always the case and can result in long-term damages/issues such as eczema, in which you should contact a dermatologist.

Oily Skin

Excess oil on the skin is caused by the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous gland under the skin's surface. The sebum isn't all bad but it can cause the pores to clog easily and result in acne outbreaks if left untreated.

Acne & Pimples

This is one of the most common skin ailments that affects millions every year. Facial blemishes appear for many reasons, and since everyone has different underlying causes, there are a multitude of treatments to resolve acne including topicals, oral supplements, and more.

Wrinkles, Aging, & Sun Damage

Looking younger is pretty much always the goal! Slowing the effects of aging includes wrinkle reduction, increasing protection against sunlight/UV rays, and proactively proteccting your skin over the long run.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

This is a very common skin condition that affects millions of people each year. It is the result of extremely dry skin and can impact people of all ages. However, there are ways to manage eczema and as a result of proper skincare it can clear up pretty well.

Hyperhidrosis

This is also known as excessive sweating regardless of heat and/or exercise. You may sweat so much regardless of external factors that sweat soaks through your skin and drips of your hands.

Top D2C skincare brands for men

Men's Skincare Reviews

Top D2C Skincare Brands for Women

Women's Skincare Reviews

Dry Skin Explained

What causes dry skin?

Typically having dry skin isn’t cause for concern since it is caused by external factors, however, a few skin conditions can also cause your skin to dry up more than desired. Common causes of dry skin include:

 

  • Weather – typically in the winter it is less humid and colder which results in skin drying out a bit
  • Temperature – when the environment is too hot or cold, it can have a negative impact on one’s skin condition and dry it out
  • Water – Taking long hot baths and showers can severely dry out the skin. Additionally, swimming in highly chlorinated pools can cause severe dryness
  • Soaps and Detergents –  Many popular soaps, shampoos, and detergents can dry out the skin because they are meant to remove oil which can inadvertently remove the moisture from the skin
  • Other conditions – People that have skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis typically have dry skin 

 

Having prolonged dry skin that isn’t taken care of can be detrimental to your skin’s long term health because it can lead to ailments such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or even infections since the skin can crack, allowing bacteria to enter the body.

What are the visible symptoms of dry skin?

As stated previously, typically dry skin isn’t a cause of concern and is usually temporary. The symptoms of dry skin vary from person to person but some of the most common symptoms of dry skin can include (individually or in combination with each other):

 

  • A constant feeling of skin tightness (especially after activities in water)
  • Rough looking and feeling skin
  • Constant itching
  • Flaking, peeling, or scaling of the skin
  • Fine lines or cracks on the surface of the skin
  • Gray, ashy skin
  • Redness
  • Deep cracks that may bleed

 

While these may not be an immediate cause of concern, you should contact a dermatologist immediately if you experience the following:

 

  • The dry skin NOT improving despite your best efforts
  • The dry skin is accompanied by redness 
  • The dryness and itching interferes with your sleeping and daily life 
  • There are large areas of skin that begin to peel or scale-up
  • There are open sores and/or infections as a result of the scratching

How to treat dry skin

To prevent dry skin and help relieve some of the issues give by non-severe dry skin use the following methods:

 

  • Moisturize regularly and often because the usage of cream and other products allows for to be able to retain moisture better and keep water from escaping
  • Limit your exposure to water. Take shorter showers and use warm, not hot water. Additionally, limit time in highly chlorinated pools and wearing gloves while washing dishes can help prevent drying your hands out
  • Choose products wisely and avoid soaps, shampoos, and detergents that will dry out your skin because of the chemicals that they use. Try cleansing creams, gentle skin cleansers, and shower gels with moisturizers to protect your skin
  • Cover as much skin as possible outdoors. Regardless of the weather cover up as much as possible. When it is sunny, staying covered up will allow you to stay protected from the sun rays and UV light that can damage your skin. Additionally, in the winter this is super important because the conditions make it super easy for your skin to dry out

Oily Skin Explained

What causes oily skin?

People with oily skin typically have more of a shine on their skin which is caused by the production of sebum from the sebaceous gland under your pores. This oil is needed to keep the skin hydrated and healthy but when too much is produced, it causes an individual to have oily skin. Here are some of the causes of oily skin:

 

  • Genetics – If your parents have oily skin that means that their sebaceous gland is overactive and thus yours might be as well
  • Age – As you grow older, the skin loses proteins such as collagen which slows down the production of sebum drying out the skin a bit more and allowing for things such as wrinkles and fine lines to form
  • Location and time of year – People tend to have oiler skin in hotter, more humid environments with the skin typically being more oily over the summertime 
  • Enlarged pores – Age, weight fluctuations, and previous breakouts can lead to your pores becoming larger which results in the secretion of more sebum and thus oilier skin
  • Improper skincare – Using the wrong skincare products, over-washing your skin, and not moisturizing can all lead to excess oil being produced by your skin 

What does it mean to have oily skin?

People with oily skin typically have a shine to their skin and they show their age a bit less as they get older. However, due to the excess production of oil, people with this type of skin experience a lot more breakouts (click here to learn more about acne) because the sebum mixes with the dead skin cells on your face and clogs up your pores. Sebum is actually good for your skin but having an excess amount means that you have to take special care of your skin and have a solid skincare routine to protect and preserve your skin. 

How to manage oily skin?

To manage oily skin, you need to be able to manage the excess sebum that is produced and here are a few tips:

 

  • Wash your face regularly with gentle soap and warm water. Avoiding soaps with fragrances, added moisturizers, or additional chemicals can irritate/dry out the skin and cause the secretion of more sebum.
    • There are also specific acids that can be implemented into the cleanser that can help manage oily skin. These include salicylic, glycolic, beta-hydroxy, and benzoyl acid
  • Avoid rough fabrics in your washcloths, clothes, and anything that may rub on your skin (including loofahs) because the added friction can cause more oil to be produced
  • Use a toner that is made of natural astringents (such as witch hazel) and NOT ARTIFICAL ones as the natural toners can have soothing properties
  • Pat the skin dry instead of rubbing the towel against your skin can cause the skin to be more irritated and that will result in more sebum being created, making the situation worse
  • Use blotting papers and medicated pads because they are specifically designed as absorbent papers that pull excess oil from the skin. Note: this doesn’t treat sebum production, but it does help the skin seem less shiny and makes it a bit harder for your pores to clog
  • Use a facial mask that is made from something like clay, honey, or oatmeal because these have been shown to absorb oils from the skin, cleansing the skin a bit
  • Moisturize using an oil-free moisturizer or aloe vera can help protect the skin and make sure that it isn’t irritated and dried out, causing more sebum to be produced
  • Avoid oil-based products such as make-up, moisturizers, soaps, etc. because these products can cause the pores to be clogged up even more and make the situation with your skin even worse overall

Note: These methods won’t work for everyone so test out the methods on a small patch of skin first because skin irritation can lead to more oily skin because it can cause more sebum to be produced. The best way to prevent and manage oily skin is to find a skincare routine that works for you and stick to it.

Acne Explained

What causes acne?

People with oily skin typically have more acne and outbreaks because of the excess sebum produced by their skin, however, acne can be an issue for people of all types of skin because acne when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Additionally, this condition is most common with teenagers, but it can affect people of all ages as well. Acne typically appears on your face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders because these areas of skin have the most oil glands. The main factors of acne include:

 

  • Excess sebum (oil) production from the glands within the skin
  • Hair follicles clogged up by dead skin
  • Bacteria
  • Inflammation of the skin

 

When the hair follicles get clogged up, the following can happen:

 

  • The walls can bulge up and produce a whitehead 
  • The pores can be clogged by oil and bacteria and darken causing a blackhead 
  • When blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria there are little red spots created with a white center which are called pimples. Blockages and inflammation inside hair follicles can create cyst-like lumps beneath your skin.

 

Acne can sometimes be the sole repercussion of having oily skin, however, it can be made much worse by the following external factors:

 

  • Hormonal changes specifically during puberty result in the additional secretion of androgens which cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Additionally, hormone changes during midlife (specifically within women) can result in more acne
  • Certain diets that are typically super-rich in carbohydrates (which includes foods like bread, rice, and chips) can cause acne to get worse
  • Certain medications that have drugs like corticosteroids, testosterone, and/or lithium can cause acne to occur or get worse
  • Stress doesn’t cause acne but if you already have acne, it can make the skin condition worse 
  • Genetics also play an important part in if you get acne so if your parents had acne you will most likely develop it as well

What does it mean to have acne?

In most cases with the proper skincare and treatment, acne can be treated without much damage, however, the following are some possible complications of having acne:

 

  • Scars can form and result in long-term damage after the acne has healed. There are two main types of scarring that occur and those are pitted scars (acne scars) and thick scars (keloids)
  • Skin changes can also occur after acne has healed. The affected skin where acne occurred may become darker (hyper-pigmented) or lighter (hypo-pigmented)

 

People with darker skin are typically more likely to experience these skin complications. However, acne can be serious in specific conditions and a doctor should be contacted if the following occurs:

 

  • If self-care remedies don’t clear up your acne, contact a doctor to get some stronger medication and if that doesn’t work, consider contacting a dermatologist
  • In older adults, a sudden onset of severe acne may be an indication of an underlying disease that requires medical attention 
  • Consult a medical professional immediately if you experience fainting, difficulty breathing, swelling, or tightness of the throat after applying any skincare product

How do you treat acne?

To manage acne there is a multitude of different treatment types. Some home and lifestyle remedies could help with the reduction of acne:

 

  • Wash the affected regularly with gentle soap and warm water. Avoiding soaps with fragrances, added moisturizers, or additional chemicals can irritate/dry out the skin and cause the secretion of more sebum.
    • There are also specific acids that can be implemented into the cleanser that can help manage oily skin. These include salicylic, glycolic, beta-hydroxy, and benzoyl acid
  • Avoid rough fabrics in your washcloths, clothes, and anything that may rub on your skin (including loofahs) because the added friction can cause more oil to be produced
  • Pat the skin dry instead of rubbing the towel against your skin can cause the skin to be more irritated and that will result in more sebum being created, making the situation worse
  • Use blotting papers and medicated pads because they are specifically designed as absorbent papers that pull excess oil from the skin. Note: this doesn’t treat sebum production, but it does help the skin seem less shiny and makes it a bit harder for your pores to clog
  • Avoid oil-based products such as make-up, moisturizers, soaps, etc. because these products can cause the pores to be clogged up even more and make the situation with your skin even worse overall
  • Avoid touching or picking acne because this can cause more irritation of the skin and lead to infections/scarring

 

Note: These methods won’t work for everyone so it’s important to test out the methods on a small patch of skin first to avoid further skin irritation. The best way to prevent and manage acne is to find a skincare routine that works for you, then stick to it religiously.

 

In addition to home remedies/therapies, there are also topical prescription treatments for acne (that require medical supervision). A few of the most common Rx acne meds include:

 

  • Drugs that contain retinoic acids or tretinoin are often useful for moderate acne. These come as creams, gels, and lotions
  • Antibiotics can be used to kill bacteria in the skin and reduce inflammation to reduce the amount of acne that is present throughout the body
  • Using higher percentage levels of cleansers that have azelaic or salicylic acid could help clean the skin up a bit more and manage the discoloration 
  • Dapsone is a gel recommended for inflammatory acne, especially in women 

 

In addition to prescription topical treatment options, there is the possibility of being prescribed, some of which include:

 

  • Antibiotics
  • Combined oral contraceptives
  • Anti-androgen agents
  • Isotretinoin

 

Finally, another option that a lot of people consider to manage/treat acne include the following therapies:

 

  • Using different frequencies and intensities can allow light-based therapy to be effective in reducing acne
  • A repeated chemical peel that is made with things such as salicylic, glycolic, or retinoic acid and applied to the affect areas
  • Your doctor using special tools to drain and extract blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts that haven’t cleared up after topical medication 
  • Nodular and cystic lesions can be treated by a steroid injection

Anti-Aging Explained

How does aging affect the skin?

Our skin is the largest organ in the body and it experiences the most battering from external factors such as the sun, harsh weather, and bad habits all of which affect the rate at which it ages. The skin ages based on a variety of factors aside from normal aging which includes:

 

  • Your lifestyle (diet, stress, weight, and habits)
  • External factors include exposure to the sun (photo-aging) and pollution
    • One of the most influential factors in skin aging is the exposure to UV light from the sun because the UV damages the elastin in the skin making it  more fragile and easier to damage
  • Loss of subcutaneous support (fatty tissue between your skin and muscle)

 

As skin ages, some of the most common changes are:

 

  • Wrinkles form on the skin and it becomes easier to get bruised as the blood vessel walls get thinner 
  • The skin becomes rougher and develops more slack (making skin hang loosely)
  • It also becomes more transparent as the surface layer of the skin loses thickness. Additionally, the area in between the top layer of the skin and the layer below it comes together also making the skin more fragile
  • Changes below the skin also become apparent. For instance, the loss of fat under the skin often creates a “skeletal” look, causing skin around the lips to pucker, and cartilage loss in the nose can cause it to droop.

How to get rid of wrinkles and combat other signs of aging?

While aging can’t be fully reversed, there are many ways to slow down the skin’s natural aging process and make it appear much younger than your peers.

 

  • Protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen, covering up your skin as much as possible, and using shade as much as possible
  • If you want a tan, apply a self-tanner because the machines emit harmful UV lights that could make the damage even worse
  • Stop smoking because it can cause wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion
  • Avoid the same facial expression because as time goes your muscles get adapted to that movement and the skin because set in that position
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet because the food that you put in your body helps your body recover and get the nutrients it needs to rebuild
  • Drink less alcohol because it dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin
  • Exercise frequently because moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system and the sweat created can age the skin more
  • Cleanse your skin gently and frequently because washing helps to remove pollution, makeup, and other substances without irritating your skin (and irritated skin produces more sebum 

  • Apply a facial moisturizer every day because it traps water in our skin making it more full

 

If your skin burns or stings, it means your skin is irritated. Irritation can make your skin look older as well, so it’s  important to consult a medical professional like a dermatologist to find the root cause of the irritation.

Eczema Explained

What causes eczema?

Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It typically occurs in people with dry skin and it causes the skin to become red and itchy. This can be long-lasting (chronic) or flare periodically. The causes of eczema are unknown but some of the assumed ones in the scientific community are:

 

  • A gene variation in people who have eczema inhibits the skin’s ability to retain moustiure and protect itsself from bacteria allowing the skin to be severly impacted by external factors such as ther enviornment, irritants, and allergens 
  • In some childern eczema may also be casued by food allegeries 

What does it mean to have eczema?

Eczema is a very common skin condition and the following are some of the symptoms of having eczema:

 

  • Dry, severely itchy skin 
  • Red to brownish-grey patches on your skin
  • Small, raised bumps that might excrete fluid when scratched and crust over
  •  Thickened skin that may become cracked and scaly 
  • Skin that becomes raw and sensitive due to heavy scratching

 

In some adults and children, eczema may flare up from time to time and then clear up for a bit or be a persistent issue that can only be managed through a proper skincare routine. However, a doctor should be contacted if:

 

  • You are so uncomfortable with it that it is affecting things like sleep and daily activity
  • Your skin looks infected (it has red streaks, pus, and yellow scabs)
  • The symptoms continue even though you have a proper skincare routine or home remedies don’t treat it

 

While eczema might not always be super serious, it can lead to a multitude of complications such as:

 

  • Asthma and hay fever (sometimes these conditions may preceed eczema)  
  • Chronic itchy, scaly skin thus the more your scratch the skin, the itchier it becomes which can cause the skin to become discolored, thick, and leathery 
  • Skin infections can be caused by repeated scratching because it creates open sores and cracks 
  • Irritant hand dermatitis can occur in people whose hands are often wet and exposed to harsh soaps, detergents, and disinfectants.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis is a super common occurrence with people who have eczema
  • Sleep problems can be caused due to the severity of the itching 

How do you treat eczema?

To manage acne there is a multitude of different treatment types because eczema is not contagious, but there is no treatment that can cure it. Some home and lifestyle remedies could help with the reduction of eczema:

 

  • Avoid rough fabrics in your washcloths, clothes, and anything that may rub on your skin (including loofahs) because the added friction can irritate the skin
  • Pat the skin dry instead of rubbing the towel against your skin can cause the skin to be more irritated 
  • Moisturize your skin AT LEAST twice a day because this will help the skin stay moisturized and protected from the external environment and the moisture is kept in the skin
  • Identify triggers that make your eczema worse and reduce your exposure to those things. Some triggers might be excess sweat, stress, certain foods, soaps, detergents, pollen, and dust
  • Avoid baths and take shorter showers with WARM water, not hot water because the hot water can further dry out the skin and make eczema worse

 

Note: These methods won’t work for everyone so it’s important to test out the methods on a small patch of skin first to avoid further skin irritation. The best way to prevent and manage eczema is to find a skincare routine that works for you, then stick to it religiously.

 

In addition to home remedies/therapies, there are also topical prescription treatments for eczema (that require medical supervision) that should be done under doctor supervision. A few of the most common Rx acne meds include:

 

  • Certain creams like a corticosteroid cream or ointment might be prescribed by a doctor to help manage the itching and overall repair the skin. There are also other creams that have calcineurin inhibitors that help manage eczema
  • Antibiotic creams or oral medication may also be prescribed to help ward off infections and bacteria that are introduced into the body as a result of open sores or wounds from persistent scratching
  • Oral corticosteroids like prednisone can be prescribed in order to control the inflammation of the skin and reduce eczema
  • One of the newer forms of treatment is an injectable monoclonal antibody called dupilumab (brand name: Dupixent) can be used to treat severe eczema when someone’s body might not respond super well to the other treatment options

 

Additionally, another option that a lot of people consider to manage eczema are the following therapies:

 

  • Using different frequencies and intensities can allow light-based therapy to be effective in reducing the severity of eczema
  • Wet dressings can be another option. This is the process of wrapping the affected areas with topical corticosteroids and wet bandages

Hyperhidrosis Explained

What causes hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a skin condition where a person sweats excessively regardless of the external condition or activities undertaken. Sweat is used by the body naturally to cool its self down and it is triggered when the nervous system senses that the body temperature is increasing or if you are extremely nervous. There are two main types of hyperhidrosis each with different causes:

 

  • Focal Hyperhidrosis: This is also known as primary hyperhidrosis and it is a chronic skin condition that is hereditary and causes excessive sweating specifically in the armpits, hands, and feet. In this type, the nerves responsible for signaling your sweat glands become overactive, triggering regardless of temperature or activity. 
  • General Hyperhidrosis: This is also known as secondary hyperhidrosis and it is caused by other medical conditions that causes the body to sweat more overall. Some medical conditions include (but are not limited to) diabetes, menopause hot flashes, thyroid problems, some types of cancer, nervous system disorders, and infections

What does it mean to have hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a pretty common condition with about 3-5% of adults in America suffering from it. It typically affects both sides of the body and impacts the armpits, hands, and feet during waking hours. While this condition is typically isn’t serious and the main repercussion is an embarrassment, you should still contact a doctor because excessive sweat can be a symptom of a more serious ailment. You should seek out immediate medical attention if:

 

  • Your heavy sweating is accompanied by lightheadedness, chest pain, or nausea
  • The level of sweating massively disrupts your daily routine
  • Excess sweating causes emotional distress and/or social withdrawal 
  • You notice a sudden uptick in sweat levels
  • You also start to experience night sweats or no obvious reason

 

Hyperhidrosis can lead to having the following complications:

 

  • A random uptake in sweating could be an indication of more serious issues
  • People who sweat profusely are more likely to gain skin infections and develop ailments like acne
  • There are also possible social and emotional repercussions for excess levels of sweat

How do you treat hyperhidrosis?

To manage hyperhidrosis there is a multitude of different treatment types and options available. Some home and lifestyle remedies could help with the management of hyperhidrosis:

 

  • Use non-prescription antiperspirants because they temporarily they can reduce the amount of sweat that the sweat glands produce which reach the skin
  • Apply astringents that contain tannic acid to the affected areas
  • Bathe daily because it helps keep the bacteria on your skin in check. Be sure to dry yourself well in the areas where you sweat the most
  • Choose clothing made of natural materials (including shoes) because they allow for your body to be more aerated. Also, moisture-wicking clothing could also be a viable option. Additionally, change your clothes often to dry your body and ensure that you dry off the excess sweat produce
  • Try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and biofeedback. 

 

In addition to home remedies, there are also prescription treatments for hyperhidrosis that should be administered by a doctor. A few of the most common Rx hyperhidrosis meds include:

 

  • Prescription antiperspirants are stronger than normal antiperspirant that is more effective in blocking the sweat glands in producing excess sweat
  • Prescription creams that contain glycopyrrolate might help manage hyperhidrosis of the face and head
  • Oral nerve-blocking medications prevent the nerves from communicating with each other and this can reduce the level of sweating in some people
  • Antidepressants can help manage hyperhidrosis because excessive sweating can be caused high levels of anxiety and this medication and help manage that
  • Botulinum toxin injections temporarily block the nerves that cause sweating (6-12 months) and can be repeated to manage hyperhidrosis over a longer period of time

 

Additionally, another option that a lot of people consider to manage hyperhidrosis are the following therapies and surgries:

 

  • Microwave therapy uses a device that delivers microwave energy is used to destroy sweat glands
  • Sweat gland removal can also be done without microwave therapy and a surgeon has a minimally invasive surgery that can target specific areas where the sweating is localized 
  • Nerve surgery (sympathectomy) purposefully ends severs the nerves that to reduce the number of signals that sweat glands get, thus reducing the amount of sweat produced

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