Skincare You Should Not Live Without

Every year, members of More’s Reader Panel scrub and spritz their way through hundreds of new fall beauty launches. The result: A shopping list of the season’s must-haves. Here, the skincare readers swear by

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AHAVA Extreme Night Treatment

This serum ($72; Click to Buy) uses ingredients from both the Dead Sea and the Himalayas, two places where the extreme climate means plants have to be tough to survive. That hardiness is then translated into this serum, with the goal of firming skin and boosting radiance. The consensus? Testers were hooked. “I loved the way my skin ab-sorbed this serum, and the results were dramatic! My skin was smoother after only two applications,” said one. Another added, “I noticed immediate results in both my skin’s clarity and tone—including on my neck and under my chin.”

Courtesy of Ahava

Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiant Skin Refiner

Don’t let the fancy name fool you; this is really just a gentle scrub ($40; Click to Buy). And extravagant name aside, our testers loved it. “My face felt smoother after the first use. By the end of the trial, there was a noticeable difference in its texture,” said one woman. Another said the scrub worked well on her sensitive skin: “Most exfoliants are too harsh for me, but not this one. It left my easily irritated skin soft and radiant.”

Courtesy of Aveda

Avon ANEW Genics Treatment cream

According to Avon, we all have something called a youth gene that dictates how quickly (and gracefully) our skin and body age. As the activity level of this gene declines over time, so does our skin’s vibrancy. Avon’s new cream ($38; Click to Buy) is said to stimulate this youth gene, setting off activity that leads to younger- looking skin. Did it pass muster? Our testers certainly seemed pleased with the product’s ability to hydrate. “This cream moisturized really well; I noticed a difference in my skin every morning,” said one. Another said the treatment lifted lax spots: “My skin seemed tighter after just two weeks.” One oilier type also gave it a gold star, despite its rich consistency: “I have trouble finding creams that don’t make my skin sticky. But I never felt that way with this cream. And I was pleased with how soft my skin was.”

Courtesy of Avon

Bare Minerals Renew and Hydrate Eye Cream

This product’s goal: to smooth lines and hydrate—period. Our testers response? Mission accom-plished. “This cream ($32; Click to Buy) felt comfortable on both the lid and under-eye area. I still have my crow’s-feet, which is normal for my age, but the eye skin did feel lubricated, and my lines were softened,” said one.

Courtesy of Bare Escentuals

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Day Intensive Advanced Anti-Aging Moisture Cream SPF 30

This cream ($129; Click to Buy) is all you need for day: a moisturizer, a sunscreen and an antioxidant formula (Idebenone). And testers were pleased with its multitasking. “After the cream was absorbed, my face felt great, and my foundation glided on. My skin stayed smooth all day,” said one. Another commended the product for all the boxes it checks: “I’ve been layering sunscreen, serums and moisturizers. But this product does it all.”

Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

Rodan + Fields Anti-Age Shield Hand Balm SPF 30

Our hands are one of the first body parts to show signs of aging. But the impracticality of slather-ing hand cream on all day, then watching it go down the drain every time you wash your hands, led Drs. Rodan and Fields (the brains behind the Proactiv acne line) to create a hand balm with SPF 30 ($43; Click to Buy). Why a balm? Its consistency is more water resistant than a lotion’s—and in stick form, you can apply it to just the backs of your hands (so no more tacky fingers while you text!). Although the application was a bit unconventional, testers got it right away. “I loved this product. My skin texture appeared better immediately. And I liked being able to applythis just to the backs of my hands,” said one. Another raved, “This felt a bit like petroleum jelly going on, but it was absorbed quickly. I also noted, after a day outside, that my arms were a bit burned, but my hands weren’t; the SPF worked.”

Courtesy of Rodan + Fields

Shiseido Future Solution LX Ultimate Regenerating Serum

The newest introduction from Shiseido’s Future Solution LX line, this serum ($240; Click to Buy) is supposed to improve many signs of aging (wrinkles, big pores, lack of radiance, sagginess). All the formulas in the Future LX collection contain an ingredient, Skingenecell 1P, which suppresses the skin’s Serpin B3 (a protein said to accelerate aging), but the new serum has even more of this ingredient and is therefore supposed to deliver results faster. It also contains a “soft glowpowder” to make the skin look more luminous—something testers picked up on. “This serum gave my skin a slight shimmer without making it too shiny,” said one tester. Others commented on whata pleasure it was to use. “Clean, silky—and vanishes on skin. Made me feel younger,” gushed one.

Courtesy of Sephora

StriVectin-TL Tightening Face Serum

Many lotions can successfully hydrate and even out tone; the really good ones can smooth fine lines. But lift saggy skin? Tough to do without a knife or needle. StriVectin steps up to the plate with this serum ($89; Click to Buy), and testers gave it a collective thumbs-up. One said, “After a week of using this, I could see a real change in the tight-ness of my skin, especially around my neck.” Another said, “I noticed an immediate change in the lines around my mouth and along my jaw. I’d recom- mend this to any woman who feels her skin is becoming saggy.”

Courtesy of Strivectin

Yes to Blueberries Brightening Eye Roller

Less a true eye treatment and more an instant antidote for puffiness, this light serum ($20; Click to Buy) is applied via a rolling metal ball, an action that moves blood built up under the eye—helping to shrink bags. Readers said it did the trick. “The coolness of the metal ball helped with morning puffiness—and it felt good,” said one. Another “noticed some tightening—probably as the serum dried, which helped with bag deflation.”

Courtesy of Target

Yes to Cucumbers Hypo-allergenic Body Lotion

A simple, light everyday lotion with aloe vera, cucumber and green tea, this product ($8; Click to Buy) hydrates—end of story. And testers appreciated its simplicity. “Went on easily and felt good,” one said. Another said, “I loved that it didn’t cake up like most thicker lotions. My skin still felt soft and hydrated at day’s end.” The strong cucumber scent was a bit polarizing, however: Some liked it (“refreshing”), while others were less enthusiastic (“smelled like a salad”). All agreed that the scent dissipated quickly.


Which five fragrances did our testers favor? Click here for the answer.


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First Published September 23, 2011

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