Face-Off: Our Editors' Ultimate Skin-Care Showdown

We don't know about you, but we're way too busy to mess around with an elaborate, seven-step skin-care regimen. Sure, we want a youthful complexion and a lit-from-within glow, but we refuse to complicate our routine — especially because we've found some awesome, beyond-effective skin-care products that deliver results almost immediately. What kind of results, you ask? A brighter complexion, divinely hydrated skin, and the near-disappearance of pores, for starters. Not too shabby.
Here's the thing: When we find something we love, it's hard not to tell the world about it. That's why three of our editors are sounding off on the skin-care products they hand-selected to be in our newest boutique...and why we're hooking you up with some serious perks with purchase. It's our ultimate skin-care showdown — and everybody wins!
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The editor: Christene Barberich, editor-in-chief
Her pick: Brad Ultra Peel, a skin-renewing exfoliating gel that makes lines and wrinkles practically disappear.

Try it if: You want seriously smooth, bright, and hydrated skin — without spending hours on a skin-care regimen.

Did you notice a difference? "I know this sounds crazy, but I noticed a difference the very next morning after applying it for the first time. The surface of my skin was noticeably smoother and perhaps it was wishful thinking, but I did think my skin looked tighter, too."

How did the product feel? Was it easy to use? "I really don't like wearing heavy creams or greasy ointments. I just feel like so many of them sit on the skin and don't penetrate. This one goes on light, there's a very slight tingle, and it absorbs quickly. It also smells really botanical, which I like a lot. I'm not sure if you can use it every day, but I've been using it every other night for the past few weeks, and I do think my skin looks more radiant and fresh."

Would you recommend this to your friends? "Yes! Definitely! I'm so busy and give zero attention to my skin-care routine, so this comprehensively potent product does a lot with very little effort. I mean, I can see a difference, and knowing that it's stimulating collagen and elastin production while also minimizing lines and wrinkles just gives me some extra assurance it's the right kind of product for me. I really think Brad is a genius and knows so much about not only how to make your skin look good but how to rehabilitate it through age, stress, weather conditions, you name it...he's my new guru."

Why we're selling it on R29: This does-it-all gel is truly a cult classic in the making. We're so crazy about it that we've scored a little something extra: a sample of Brad's Ultra Elastin Sculpting Firming Cream Complex. (We told you Brad's a great guy.) Shop it here!

Photographed by Anna Moller
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The editor: Annie Tomlin, beauty director
Try it if: You're looking for a quick, easy, one-step solution for fine lines, dullness, discoloration, and acne.

Did you notice a difference? "I'm bonkers for the Alpha Beta peel because its benefits are immediately visible. In less than 10 minutes, it makes my skin smoother and brighter, and I swear that half of my pores disappear. I struggle with breakouts and fine lines, but the Alpha Beta peel has helped immensely with both. Let me put it this way: If I don't use these pads, I notice a difference — and it's not a cute one."

How did the product feel? Was it easy to use? "The pads are klutz-proof, which is always a plus, and they're really effective, too. This peel packs serious skin care into a two-pad, two-step process. The first pad has glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and mandelic acid — a blend that clears pores and helps to speed up cell turnover. It stings a little bit, but that's normal for any kind of peel. Then, the second treatment pad delivers antioxidants galore, plus retinol, which is one of the best anti-aging ingredients out there. If you don't want to fuss with a dozen serums and creams every night, you'll love this stuff, because it just makes it look like you have the world's best facialist at your beck and call."

Would you recommend this to your friends? "I have been for years! I am something of an Alpha Beta peel evangelist, actually — I've given them to my mom, former roommate, and beau because they're just that good."

Why we're selling it on R29: These effective pads make it beyond easy to have radiant, healthy skin — both immediately and in the long term. Take it to the next level with Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Daily Glow Moisture lotion. A trial of the oil-free formula is yours to try (and really, you should). Shop it here!

Photographed by Sarah Balch
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The editor: Megan McIntyre, senior beauty editor
Her pick: Karuna Skin Restoring Mask, a hydrating sheet mask that helps eradicate dry, flaky skin.

Try it if: Mother Nature was particularly unkind to your complexion this winter, or you just need a quick hydrating boost.

Did you notice a difference? "My skin is usually quite oily, but all that moisture-sucking indoor heat has led to some patchy dryness on my face, specifically around my nose and mouth. After putting this crazy-looking mask on for 15 minutes, my skin felt soft and looked dewy, plus all those scaly patches had disappeared."

How did the product feel? Was it easy to use? "If you've never used a sheet mask before, it can be a bit odd at first. But, once you get used to having it on your face and get the hang of applying it, using a sheet mask is really quite lovely. The problem with most regular masks is that when they are used on dry skin, it can feel like they don't penetrate below the flaky scales. Since the sheet creates a barrier, it forces the coconut water, hyaluronic acid, and other skin-healthy extracts below the surface of the skin, so they can get to work where they are needed most. I also loved the cool and refreshing feel the mask had on my skin — makes me think these would be great as little pick-me-ups on a sweltering summer afternoon."

Would you recommend this to your friends? "If you've ever dealt with dry skin (and who hasn't?), then this is definitely worth trying."

Why we're selling it on R29: This mask is like a DIY facial, minus the mess and stress. We're also hooking you up with Karuna's Renewal Eye Mask — get ready to say good-bye to puffy eyes and dark circles. Shop it here!

Photographed by Chantal Adair

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