One of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, especially during these strange times, is with beauty and self-care products. So, below are 30 items – which are listed in alphabetical order, and range from a natural, at-home pedicure kit to a truly budge-proof lip color – to help you maintain a sense of balance and well-being no matter where you are.
Bare Hands The Natural Pedicure Kit, $36
It’s rare to find a product that immediately becomes a beauty staple. But that’s what Bare Hands – an at-home nail kit that buffs nails and hydrates cuticles by artist Suzanne Shade – became for me during the pandemic. So help keep our hard-working feet looking as healthy as our hands, Shade just launched The Natural Pedicure Kit. It includes a glass file to gently exfoliate rough skin, and a Verbena balm to seal in moisture. Like the look of glossy toenails? Then use the glass polisher from your Bare Hands kit.
CASA Home Good Mornings Candle, $36
While most candles are used in the evening to set a relaxing tone at the end of a hectic day, this one was expressly developed to do the opposite. With spicy, invigorating notes of cardamom and neroli, this candle incorporates responsibly-sourced palm wax (not oil, whose production wreaks havoc on the environment) and sparks the mind and soul for a productive day. Light it as soon as you wake up for the best benefits.
Dally Goods Barefoot In The Grass Hand Soap, $21
Since we’re washing our hands more than ever now, why not upgrade to something more luxurious? Founded by husband-wife Kevin Egan and Elizabeth Walton Egan, Dally (a playful nod to dilly-dallying) encourages you to shift gears and enjoy the moment – even if it’s for a few minutes to get your mitts clean. The design is positively eye-catching – thanks to powerhouse creative agency Pentagram – and the Barefoot in the Grass scent channels the herbaceous and floral notes of a leisurely outdoor stroll on a bright summer day.
Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum, $68.00
For decades, the beauty industry villified melanin by promoting “whitening” products. So to change the conversation and promote true inclusivity, Marie Kouadio and Alice Lin launched Eadem. And if you’re a woman of color (like myself), who’s always tackling post-inflammation hyperpigmentation, reach for this. A few drops of this hydroquinone-free and fragrance-free fluid diminishes dark spots with the brand’s signature Smart Melanin™ Technology without disrupting your natural skintone.
Embody S.O.S. Gummy, $28
Here’s a sobering fact: over 31 million Americans are plagued with eczema (I’m one of them) and dry scalps, with the number just increasing from pandemic-related stress. And while this newly-launched Embody product won’t completely cure the problem, it can help. Take two these berry-flavored gummies daily for at least a couple months, and gradually notice those red, itchy flareups happen with less frequency and intensity.
Gentleman Farmer Camp Adirondack Candle, $48
The best part of the company and this candle is the humanity behind it. Owned by a woman and deeply committed to helping others, Gentleman Farmer employees refugee women who’ve relocated from war zones to America to pour this clean soy-coconut candle with a generous 55-hour burn time. In addition, the warm and subtly woody blend of Sandalwood and Oakmoss evoke the peace and tranquil beauty of the Adirondacks.
Grown Alchemist Power Couple Kit, $95
Every skin type can benefit from this chicly-packaged set of two of Grown Alchemist’s best sellers: the Detox Serum and Instant Smoothing Serum. An oil-free and lightweight gel, the Detox Serum purifies the complexion with a special antioxidant complex, while the Instant Smoothing Serum feartures a proprietary Tri-Hyaluronan Complex to deliver weightless, but deep moisture. Use together for the best results.
Happy Dance Look Alive Face Moisturizer, $29
From the cheerful, affordable CBD brand founded by actress-mom Kristin Bell comes its first product for the face. But whatever you do: don’t be misled by the incredibly fluffy texture of the Look Alive CBD Face Moisturizer. Because even the tiniest dab of this cream packed with avocado oil, full-spectrum CBD, and four types of hyaluronic acids can restore moisture and a healthy glow to even the most dry, parched complexions.
IDEO Skin Memory Serum, $175
While doctor-endorsed beauty brands aren’t anything new, IDEO stands out for boldly launching with a single product, the Skin Memory Serum. Inspired by the groundbreaking research of Dr. John Blass – he spent over 30 years studying Alzheimer’s and brain degeneration – the serum stars his proprietary RMA Complex. Comprised of resveratrol, malate, and antioxidants, it helps skin cells behave as if they were younger. In short? It addresses practically every concern you could imagine, from firmness to discoloration.
Kai Reed Diffuser, $78
Though Kai launched in 1999, the fragrance developed by Gaye Straza remains one of the most beloved scents in the world. (Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are among its most famous fans.) And this reed diffuser instantly transforms even the most ho-hum space by gently infusing the air with Kai’s unmistakably clean and crisp blend of gardenia and other white florals that’ll instantly transport you to a warm and lush tropical destination. Even better? Unlike other diffusers, this elegant one will last up to four whole months.
Make & Mary Soul Shine, Cannabis Essential Oil Candle, $58
Launched in 2017 by Yvonne Perez Emerson, Make & Mary is a clean brand that harnesses the power of CBD and plant medicine. While the natural wax burns cleanly and evenly with the rich, earthy, and mood-boosting aroma of Palo Santo and Holy Basil, the sleek black vessel looks beautiful in any room, too. Another perk? You can reuse the jar after you’re done using it as a candle.
Malie Organics Plumeria Therapeutic Bath Soak, $36
If you’re still dreaming of an escape to Hawaii but haven’t been able to make the destination, turn to this new bath soak from Malie Organics. Crafted in small batches and packed with skin-healthy ingredients like fine sea salts and moisturizing kukui, jojoba, and macadamia oils, each packet hydrates and purifies the skin. Plus, the distinctive fruity-floral plumeria scent will virtually transport you to the lush, tropical islands.
Mario Badescu Drying Patch, $17
There’s no shortage of acne treatments on the market, but Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion – despite launching way back in 1967 – firmly remains the gold standard with a proprietary blend of salicylic acid, calamine, and sulfur. The only problem? The liquid formula and glass bottle, which make traveling with it a bit tricky. Enter these smart drying patches, which boast all of the pimple-zapping bottle of the cult formula in a portable, easy-to-use format.
MUTHA Deodorant, $28
While the cheekily-named MUTHA was launched with busy moms in mind, the entire product lineup is highly effective and ideal for, well, everyone. And though the recently-unveiled deodorant is formulated with clean, safe ingredients such as arrowroot powder, sage oil, and a probiotic noni fruit blend, it works so well it’s been endorsed by athletes. Plus, the bergamot-mint scent is soft and easily integrated into all lifestyles.
Prismatic Plants Good Day, $65
One of the upsides to the pandemic was having time to tinker with CBD products. The conclusion? I’ll only use full-spectrum CBD. And why? Full-spectrum CBD promotes the entourage effect, which occurs when all the cannabinoids (including trace amounts of THC) are present. And this formula, packed with full-spectrum CBD and potent adaptogens and nootropics (including Schisandra and Bacopa), staves off brain fog and keeps me sharp from the moment I wake up well into the afternoon hours.
PSA Gifted Acai & Sea Buckthorn Vitamin C Glow Oil, $39
From the sister brand of hip, Singapore-based Allies of Skin comes PSA, which specializes in truly results-driven skincare for all skin types at a reasonable price point. And GIFTED, the brand’s latest launch, is no exception. This silky oil is packed with 5% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (an advanced, stable form of Vitamin C) to minimize dark spots and boost collagen production, and acai and sea buckthorn oils to reduce inflammation and moisturize skin.
Repechage Rapidex® Marine Exfoliator With Phyto-Marine Actives, $59
Treat yourself to a spa-like treatment in the comfort of home with this innovative peel that incorporates pre-soaked, individually wrapped swabs instead of pads. Not only are they easier to use and less messy than their traditional counterparts, they allow for more precise application and can be used anywhere – even your feet. The potent trio of alpha hydroxy acids, marine hydroxy acids, and glycolic acid penetrate deeper than your standard at-home peel, and for the best results, use nightly for two weeks.
RéVive Sensitif Repairing Night Cream Recovery for Sensitive Skin, $225
Just unveiled this month, RéVive’s Sensitif collection was formulated with the belief that everyone has sensitive skin – whether it can be categorized in a clinical way, or be triggered through stress and external factors like the pandemic. And this lightweight, nighttime gel cream calms and hydrates even the most finicky complexions with the help of Bio-Calming Actives (Agastache Mexicana, Jasmine and Mangosteen), prebiotics – which encourage the growth of good bacteria on the skin – and RéVive’s proprietary Bio-Renewal Protein.
Ryan Porter Girl You Need To Calm The F Down Candle, $29
It’s impossible to not take yourself so seriously just looking at this fun, bubble gum pink candle with advice we should all take to heart. So the next time you’re feeling frazzled or on the edge, light this up and take a few deep breaths. Before you know it, the soothing scent of cherry blossom, magnolia, rose, and sandalwood will bring you back to reality and to the best version of yourself again.
Saint Jane Hydrating Petal Cream, $68
Don’t be fooled by the incredibly lightweight texture of this new face cream or the positively pretty pale pink packaging. Ingredients include full-spectrum CBD, as with the rest of the Saint Jane lineup, along with hibiscus seed peptide, ten floral essences, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid to plump up skin and deeply hydrate with no greasy afterfeel. Another bonus: the subtle floral scent makes every application a pleasure.
SEEN Fragrance Free Shampoo, $29
The fact is that many shampoos, even pricy ones, include ingredients (like essential oils and fragrances) we’d never put on our faces or bodies. To that end, dermatologist Iris Rubin founded SEEN, which is free of a long list of ingredients (including sulfates, silicones, and dyes) that can trigger acne and irritation. And if you’re someone with an extremely sensitive scalp like me, try this fragrance-free shampoo. It lathers up beautifully, and leaves your hair and scalp clean and more importantly, comfortable.
Skandinavisk Fjord Hand Wash, $35
With this hand soap from the hip Danish fragrance brand, you can whisk yourself away to the the Norwegian Fjords – where the water is bracingly cold and the air is crisp – with a single pump. Imagine cleaning and bathing your hands with moisture from organic aloe vera and glycerin, while an invigorating scent of ripe orchard fruit, red currants, and apple blossom gently envelop the skin. Even better? The bottle is responsibly made of recyclable bioplastic, which is biodegradable and produced from renewable biomass sources.
Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Spray, $18
Block odors, not pores. That’s the simple premise this innovative deodorant brand by dermatologist Alicia Zalka, MD, is founded on. The unique blend of glycolic acid, probiotics, and eucalyptus essential oil means you’ll nautrally keep odors at bay rather than masking them. On top of that, you can spray this on other parts of your body (like your feet) and not worry about white streaks on your skin or yellow stains on your clothes ever again.
Supernal Illumine Restorative Oil Serum, $128
Though Melissa Medvedich launched her small-batch brand Supernal with a sole product, Cosmic Glow Oil, the response was so positive she decided to create a sister product. The result? Illumine Restorative Oil Serum. Like Cosmic Glow, Illumine is blended with potent, proven botanicals including bakuchiol (a plant-based alternative to retinol) and rosehip oil. But since it excludes essential oils and fragrance (both can irritate skin), it’s well-suited for even the most sensitive complexions.
The Slick Hair Company Slick Stick, $24.99
This Australian hair product quickly gained a cult following last fall – namely because of a viral TikTok by company founder Mia Plecic – and for good reason. It’s one of those very rare products that everyone can use, no matter if your locks are super curly or baby fine. Simply comb through your hair (like a mascara) to tame baby hairs and flyways, or add more polish to your desired style. It also comes in handy for keeping unruly brow hairs in place, too.
TribeTokes Delta 8 THC Gummies, $45
Are you curious about dabbling in Delta 8 THC, but unsure of where to begin? Try these adorable gummy bears from TribeTokes. Each one has 25mg of Delta 8 THC for easy dosing, and unlike competitors they taste just like candy, thanks to organic cane sugar and natural juice extracts. As for how you’ll feel? That depends on the individual, but longer-term benefits can range from decreased pain and anxiety to increased focus and concentration.
Up Side Kava Moon Mint Kava Chill Pills, $11.99
After everything we’ve been through, we all deserve more natural ways to chill out. And though noble kava has been used for centuries in the Pacific Islands for its calming properties, it’s only recently grown in popularity stateside. So the next time you’re feeling a bit anxious, pop one of these mints into your mouth. At first, you’ll notice a buzzy, slightly numbing sensation, which is totally normal, and within 30 minutes, you’ll hopefully feel a bit drowsy – but positive, too.
Vinésime Chardonnay Hand Cream, $29
They’re among of the hardest-working parts of your body, yet often neglected. You use them on a daily basis; and more often than not, every minute during the day. We’re talking about your hands. So why not give them the care they deserve with this new French hand cream? In addition to proven emollients like organic olive oil and shea butter, it incorporates a Chardonnay polyphenol extract. Brimming with polyphenols and antioxidants, this ingredient exclusive to Vinésime helps regenerate aging skin.
Wildwood Candle Co. Alder Candle, $28
Stretching over 30.2 miles of breathtaking and unbridled natural scenery, Wildwood Trail is one of Portland’s most beloved outdoor destinations. To help celebrate the feeling of running free here, Kylie Antolini started Wildwood Candle Co. with each scent paying homage to a particular trail. Alder, for example, is a short loop connecting Leif Erikson to Wildwood, and stars warm, woody notes of sandalwood, pine, and palo santo. The wood wick simply adds to the experience, with a crackling fire sound.
Wonderskin Wonder Blading Peel & Reveal Lip Color Kit, $32
This innovative, patented two-step system is a savior for all people who love wearing lip color, but hate dealing with maintenance and touchups. To use: simply apply two the three layers of the Lip Masque all over the lip area, wait 10 to 45 seconds (depending on the desired intensity), spray on the Lip Activator, then peel or tissue off. You’ll confidently enjoy hours of rich, bold color that won’t budge, feather, or fade.