Ever since I was a child, I loved to make people feel and look beautiful.

How to Choose the Right Skincare Products

We had a Cheeky a few months ago say that the minute she would get into Sephora’s skincare section, she would lose absolutely ALL sanity! We absolutely & completely get it. To me, it can be like picking wine at the grocery… You may not know what the hell you’re doing & how this baby will taste, but the bottle is decorated and designed to the 9’s, so you’re sold. It can be a similar experience. You get in there with your pretty face, but you end up caving on some random purchase, you don’t know what you just bought or you don’t know if your skin is gonna like it. We get it!

Let’s spend some time going through ways in which we can help you find the RIGHT products!

When it comes to products for Cheeky at least, there are several considerations that I think of when it comes to choosing the ‘right’ products –

  • Brands
  • Trials/Results
  • Ingredients
  • What’s worth the research/time/expense
  • Purchase outlet

I’m not sure if that’s the ‘right’ list of considerations among skincare professionals, but I do strongly believe in using medical grade skincare that can be found at dermatologist offices & skincare clinics as well as recommended by skincare professionals. I have had the most luck with products that have the data to prove that their products work by a well-known brand with quality ingredients. That’s been my jam! It helps me take a lot of the guesswork out of what I should be looking for when it comes to my skincare routine & I hope it does for you too.

Let’s delve into each one by one and see where that gets us!


For every product that I buy, I immediately research the brand. Who created it? How do they source their ingredients?  Have I heard of them before? What are the reviews like? Do they have a loyal following? Are they responsive? I spend a lot of time researching the actual brand and the ‘science’ behind their magic. This is one of the first things I’ll do. Just the other month, a Cheeky asked us about Elemis skincare and what we thought of it. I couldn’t have been happier to research this brand. I ended up LOVING Elemis, so it was really exciting!


The only way I know how to learn is to see it with my own two eyes. It’s  how I’ve always been. While it’s typically a pain in the ass to be a visual learner, it’s been seemingly useful in the skincare realm. Folks WANT to see results. I need to see the trials, see how the skin was impacted… Just see proof that it works. I tend to trust folks who do independent trials and have actual skin representations on how it worked. Not just numbers!


I’m a bit ‘shady’ when it comes to this…. I TRY to find products with outstanding ingredients, but I have a hell of a time sticking to what the world is telling us to do…. Avoid this, avoid that, look for vegan skincare, look for this, look for that. I just can’t do it. But I will say that I mainly steer clear of some:

  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Oxybenzone or Avobenzone
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Propylene glycol

For more information regarding these ingredients, read our blog. For more information regarding chemicals found in all/most skincare products, visit EWG.org

What’s worth the time & expense

So I typically have plenty of time on my hands. Sure, I’m busy with my family, friends, home life, work, exercise, EATING, Cheeky (duh), etc., but I’m not the type of person that puts a shit ton on my plate and then has a connipshit (bet you haven’t used that word in a while) because I’m too busy for anything fun. But I do find that my time is worth a lot when it comes to skincare. I absolutely do not waste a ton of time on finding a cleanser for my skin. I just need to know it’s oil-free, good for dry skin and has good ingredients. I’m not too selective. However, when it comes to my moisturizer or sunscreen, that’s a different story. Pick and choose what you spend your time researching & spending cash money on.

Purchase Outlet

I strongly trust Dermstore.com because it was originally founded by a board-certified dermatologist and they offer professional strength formulas. I also rely on Sephora, Blue Mercury, my dermatologist, my skincare doc’s office, individual websites, etc. The world can be your oyster, but I would suggest if you’re just starting to go and REALLY find the best products for your skin, start out with Dermstore.com They don’t do frills and they take it off the shelves if it doesn’t work for folks. (I’m in no way affiliated with them, just like to talk them up!)

Below are the brands that have returned consistent products and yielded promising results (according to Cheeky):

SkinMedica – TOP choice! These guys are just huge players – they’re owned by Allergan which owns Juvederm, Botox, etc. They’re my favorite hands down. One of my favorite things about them is that every product is tested and proven to work. I am analytical in nature (not numbers, but just facts I guess) and I love when I can actually see something works with my own two eyes before trying it out.

SkinCeuticals – I’ll say this is probably my second favorite! They were first started by their devotion to skin cancer research and then ended up finding amazing opportunities to improve skin in more ways than not.

PCA Skin

GlytoneAnother big fav! Recommended by our dermatologist, these guys aren’t frilly in anyway, but they deliver absolutely solid skincare products and results.

Nia 24

Vi Derm – Most famous for their VI Peel that has proven to show great results for melasma and sun damage.

Obaji – These guys have been around for awhile, since 1988. They are most often seen in skincare clinics – in fact, I see them in most. They’re a big player. I personally haven’t tried their products before but they are certainly a great one.

ZO Skin Health – We have some of their products & really love them!


ElemisOne of my new very favorites! Clinically tested products made from nature.

However, there are many brands out there that aren’t specifically centered around dermatologist offices, there are higher grade than something you would find in a Sephora (not all, but a lot of them), but they have been proven to be very effective – either by way of users or through clinical trials.

  • Drunk Elephant
  • Sunday Riley
  • Avene
  • isClinical
  • Epionce
  • Replenix
  • Embryolisse
  • Dr. Dennis Gross
  • Dermalogica


  • Do know your skin type
  • Do create a daily skin care routine
  • Do be cautious of “miracle” products


  • Don’t buy products without doing research
  • Don’t go crazy
  • Don’t hesitate to ask a professional (or Cheeky, your trusted skin enthusiast!)

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