Beautypedia: Exclusives

Best & Worst Skincare Products: February 2016

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February was a relatively quiet month in terms of the release of new skincare products, but the Beautypedia team still saw quite a few come across our desk. They included some instant favorites, as well as a few skincare products that would have been ideal had they not included potentially-iffy ingredients. Here are the month's best and worst products!

February's top-rated products include an excellent option for sensitive skin, two cleansing bars that avoids all the pitfalls of soap, as well as mattifying primer and a hydrating AHA exfoliant.

The Best (4-Star Favorites and Higher)

Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief Toner Normal to Oily ($20) – For oily skin that's also sensitive, this soothing toner provides a host of anti-inflammatory ingredients designed to reduce redness in a formula that's water-light.

Drunk Elephant Peekee Bar ($28) – While this might look like a standard bar of soap, it's anything but! This bar product is fragrance free, contains mild cleansing agents instead of harsh detergents, and uses wheat germ starch to keep its shape instead of fatty ingredients that can lead to dull skin.

Drunk Elephant Juju Bar ($28) – Another unique take on the bar cleanser, Drunk Elephant's JuJu has good "juju" in the way of mild cleansing agents, as well as finely milled bamboo extract and clays that add a boost of manual exfoliation to your AM or PM skincare routine.

BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Mattifying Prep Gel ($24) – Though this won't keep you shine-free all day, this lightweight, sheer gel provides a matte finish that works beautifully under makeup. Bonus: It includes a good mix of anti-inflammatory agents, too!

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence ($78) – This toner-like product has a beneficial blend of hydrating an anti-aging ingredients as well as glycolic acid, at a pH that ensures it will exfoliate.

There weren't many products with a low rating in February (which is good news!), but the ones that didn't earn high marks included some potentially-irritating treatments, and a fragranced mattifier that dries out skin.

The Worst (2 Stars or Lower):

Benefit the POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel ($28) – Though this succeeds in mattifying skin, it also makes it feel drier and drier the longer you wear it, and it has a potent fragrance.

philosophy renewed hope in a jar re-energizing moisture mask ($37) – A high amount of fragrance means this could irritate skin, despite claims it's "perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin." Also, it contains an iffy amount of drying alcohol—not something you want in a product promising to moisturize and repair your skin.

GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment ($69) – In addition to the fact that this contains multiple ingredients that can irritate skin (including a strong fragrance), it simply cannot firm or contour skin as claimed, not to mention the jar packaging means its good ingredients won't stay stable once it's opened.

Dr. Brandt Needles No More 3-D Filler Mask ($95) – While this mask does contain some good smoothing ingredients, many of its best ingredients are listed after the preservative (meaning you're not getting a lot of them). More importantly, it can't "revolumize" skin as claimed, nor can it replace (or even approximate) the results you get from using dermal fillers—but it does contain potentially irritating lavender extract.

To see more of the latest product reviews from all brands, check out the New Reviews Section.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Beautypedia: Exclusives

Welcome to Beautypedia: Exclusives, where we share our take on current beauty trends, reveal the current Best & Worst new products, beauty dupes and more!

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The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally continues the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesntand the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paulas Choice or another brand.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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