Basic Skincare Guide: Product Recommendations

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Here’s a list of product recommendations based on the science I’ve described in The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare.

Remember: your skin is individual so you may respond to these products differently, so make sure you keep your skin type and conditions in mind (refer to the specific considerations for each product type), and introduce products slowly and keep track of how your skin is doing (as detailed in Chapter 2).


Foaming Cleansers

Cream Cleansers

  • Avène Gentle Cream Cleanser: Oil-rich cream cleanser that is suitable for dry skin. Has moderate fragrance that may irritate sensitive skin.
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser: Gentle hydrating cream cleanser that’s suitable for dry, sensitive skin. Fragrance-free.
  • QV Face Gentle Cleanser: Oil-rich, fragrance-free cleanser that keeps skin moisturised during washing. It’s particularly good for dry and dehydrated skin. The QV line also has gentle fragrance-free body cleansers in huge pump bottles.

Self-Foaming Cleansers

Micellar Waters

Cleansing Oils

  • Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil: Grapeseed oil-based cleansing oil that’s fragrance-free. One of the most budget-friendly cleansing oils around (they’re generally on the more expensive side).
  • Shu Uemura Balancing Cleansing Oils: Lightly scented line of cleansing oils based on mineral and corn oils that come in handy pump bottles. Suitable for removing eye make-up.

Cleansing Balms

Make-up Removers




  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra-Light Fluid: The exact formulation of this organic sunscreen depends on the country, but the texture is light and very runny. Designed for oily skin. The melt-in cream also has a fantastic formula, but only seems to be available in the US at present. The European versions have labelled UVAPF, which tends to be very high. Fragrance-free.
  • Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30+: Broad spectrum organic sunscreen with a light texture that sinks in easily and works well under make-up. Comes in a handy pump tube.
  • Bioderma Photoderm Sunscreens: Can’t be found in many countries (e.g. Australia), but the European formulations have extremely high UVAPF.
  • Coles Face Sunscreen SPF 30 Broad Spectrum: Extremely cheap sunscreen from Australian grocery giant Coles that performed very well in a blinded consumer test.

Inorganic (Mineral)

Combination Organic/Inorganic


  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA: Heavier moisturiser that works great for dry skin or harsh weather. Fragrance-free.
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream: Fragrance-free heavy moisturiser that is excellent at smoothing and softening dry skin. Includes ceramides and niacinamide.
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: Jar-packaged cream with both humectants and oils for treating dry and dehydrated skin.
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: A moisturiser that absorbs quickly and is fantastic for dry skin. Contains ceramides and oatmeal.
  • Cold-Pressed or CO2 Extracted Rosehip Oil: This was the first ever plant oil I tried. It has small amounts of vitamin A in it and is linoleic acid-rich, so it’s very good for oily, acne-prone skin.
  • Squalane: Squalane is the oxidation-proof version of squalene. It’s a light-textured oil that sinks into skin easily and is suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel: Very hydrating, silicone-based moisturiser that comes in jar packaging. Moderate scent.
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Moisturisers: Fragrance-free moisturisers that are very suitable for sensitive skin. Very humectant-rich. They range from light to heavy for different skin types.
  • Vaseline: Pure petrolatum jelly. Works great as a night-time moisturiser for dehydrated or dry skin, or as an overnight mask on top of other products. Very safe for sensitive skin.
  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Petroleum jelly, diluted with some other ingredients that make it spread better. Includes lanolin, which makes it less safe for sensitive skin than Vaseline.
  • Klairs Supple Preparation Toner: Humectant-rich toner, great for layering if you have dehydrated skin.

Get more information on The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare here.

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