The skin-care products and tools to rehab your skin and help you glow, fast.
If you’re a skin-care lover, you know that nothing beats the feeling of a long, luxurious facial. But it’s 2021, and even if you’re stuck at home most of the day, you don’t always have time to indulge in a multi-step process or sit with a face mask for 30 minutes between Zoom calls. We want the products and tools that can deliver real results fast, and these 15 favorites do just that. Granted, if you only use them once in a blue moon, we can’t guarantee you’ll see much of a difference. But committing to five, 10, or 15 minutes a few times a week is enough to lighten hyperpigmentation, smooth rough patches, and leave your complexion feeling hydrated and looking dewy. Check out everything our staff swears by for an express facial from the comfort of our own homes.
Dr. Dennis Gross SpectraLite FaceWare Pro
LED masks are the ultimate at-home luxury item that every skin devotee needs. This one from Dr. Dennis Gross has both red LED light, which is good for anti-aging and stimulating collagen production, as well as blue LED light, which kills bacteria and prevents acne. And for someone like me, who can get a little lazy about skin care, this one can easily be thrown on when watching TV or lounging around the house.
Dr. Jart+ Shake & Shot Rubber Masks
My absolute favorite part of any facial is the pour-on rubber mask moment at the end. As soon as I hear them stirring up the concoction, I instantly feel soothed. Dr. Jart makes an amazing at-home version, and while I do miss the element of someone directly pouring it over my skin, this is a close substitute.
Skin Gym Glass Facial Cupping Set
I am basically addicted to all things facial massage, and cupping is my newest obsession. The technique used is pretty niche and only available at the fanciest of spas and aestheticians, but at-home sets like this one from Skin Gym have made it super easy to DIY. Pro tip: Skin Gym also has some great follow-along video tutorials that you can watch to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit.
Kitsch Ultra Soft Microfiber Leopard Spa Headband
Sometimes it’s the little add-on habits that really make all the difference. Whenever I put on a microfiber headband, I assume an entirely different persona. For a few minutes, I’m in the thick of a spa-like zen–and as a bonus, my hair always looks that much better when I’ve wrapped my extended skin-care routine or weekend facial. It seems like it would be an afterthought, but this might be my number one must-have.
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-tox Hydra-gel Eye Patches
These eye patches have been known to extend my typical morning routine after any random restless night. But to step it up a notch for a glam weekend facial, I keep them refrigerated. They’re also gentle but effective as a pre-party or pre-Zoom beauty hack. In other words, they’re a no-brainer.
La Mer The Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask
I also try to keep a few hydrating La Mer masks on hand for impromptu at-home facials. They provide the perfect instant escape from reality—and from the dryness that tends to plague my skin during winter months. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re La Mer, but I’ve never loved a single-use mask more.
Tatcha The Rice Polish: Classic
To be fully transparent, I first purchased The Rice Powder in 2018 after hearing that Meghan Markle swears by it…and now I swear by it! The powder foams up when it comes in contact with water, so you’re basically a scientist when you use it, and the result is crazy-soft, exfoliated skin.
Salt by Hendrix Rose Quartz Gua Sha
I try to Gua Sha as much as I can, after I genuinely started seeing a difference in my face on the days that I use this tool versus the days I skip it, and I knew that I needed to stick with it after other people started to comment on the results. It’s super important to read about the correct way to use it first, and once you get the hang of it, the effects are seriously exciting!
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
For a product so affordable, this rosewater spray feels like such a spa-like treat when spritzed after exfoliating, masking, or just as a midday pick-me-up. A bonus is that I feel like the bottle lasts forever, and it leaves you with a dewy, fresh-faced look every time!
Marie Veronique Probiotic Exfoliation Mask
I first tried this mask during a facial with Amity Murray at Take Care in the West Village and have been hooked on it ever since. This mask is perfect for providing a gentle exfoliation to tired and dull skin while boosting the skin’s barrier with probiotics. This mask does tingle just a bit, but it’s never too intense for my sensitive skin. I attribute the jaw-dropping glow I rock for days to come to this guy, for sure.
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Mask
These days I’m looking for products that will both boost the hydration levels in my dry, dry, *dry* winter skin while toning down any inflammation. This mask’s star ingredient, vitamin B5, is essential for anyone looking to boost hydration and calm redness during their routines. The added hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea, sodium PCA, trehalose, and polyquaterium-51 are all key factors in keeping my skin plump and glowing without ever making me look too slick.
Venn Skincare Age-response Compound K Hyaluronic Booster
If you are looking for a true boost in your complexion’s radiance, a pump of this tincture is all you need. K-beauty brand Venn has a patent on Compound K, an antioxidant derived from Korean ginseng. Compound K just so happens to be a more potent antioxidant than vitamin C, and it’s far gentler, too. This means it protects my skin from environmental stressors and lightens the appearance of dark spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in my complexion without ever irritating my sensitive skin. This formula leaves me in a state of absolute glass-like, glowing perfection. I cannot stress enough how much I rely on this product—it’s a desert-island choice, for sure.
Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
I’m a big proponent of face massages, and while I’d always prefer to have one of my favorite aestheticians get to work on me, an at-home session can work wonders for depuffing and sculpting. Tata Harper’s oil is a cult favorite for a reason—it smells divine, and the added jojoba esters provide a gentle exfoliation to get rid of dry, dead skin. The essential fatty acids feel like they’re helping to plump up your complexion and provide just the right amount of slip for your fingers. My favorite move is working your thumbs under your chin in a figure-eight pattern—trust me on this one.
Georgia Louise Cryo Facial Freeze Tools
Speaking of facialists, Georgia Louise is one of the best, which is why I always have her freeze globes nearby when I need a quick fix for my puffy eyes and cheeks. These live in my freezer, and when I only have a few minutes, they work wonders—just let them briefly defrost and then run them along your cheekbones, jaw, and brow bones. It also helps wake you up, so pair them with your morning coffee and then get to work on your inbox.
Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask
Glycolic acid is one of the gentlest and most effective AHAs available and is found in a variety of different products to help brighten, even out tone, and exfoliate the skin. I’m partial to this 10-minute mask from Caudalie that also contains the brand’s patented Viniferine ingredient, which has shown in clinical trials to be more effective at lightening dark spots than vitamin C. If you need a quick boost of radiance (without using higher concentrations of actives and risking redness or irritation), this is the mask for you.