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Treat Yo-Self: Products You Should Splurge On

If Valentine’s Day is about showering the person you love with gifts, then congratulations because no one loves you more than you! Maybe you’ve been eyeing a special piece of jewelry, a nice bag, or something indulgent at Sephora. While the beauty of accessories is in the eye of the beholder, choosing to splurge on skincare can be tricky. How do you know if that $75 cleanser you’ve had your eye on is really going to work? That’s why we created Rate Your Routine: to make sure the products you spend your hard-earned money on actually work towards your skin goals. Here’s how to treat yo-self with effective, luxurious products.


Spend some ca$h here. Drugstore serums tend to be made up of filler ingredients like water, dyes, thickeners, and solvents, which is why many are much cheaper than the ones you’ll find in niche beauty stores. Serums should be made of very small molecules to sink into the skin more effectively. These take more time to formulate hence the heftier price tag, but you’ll find that the effects on the skin will be much more apparent.

Our Picks:

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
This is a powerful antioxidant serum that protects against free radicals while clarifying and firming the skin.

Caudalie Vinopure Serum
This serum contains the acne-fighting ingredient, salicylic acid, which clears clogged pores, while rosewater soothes and hydrates.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
Vitamin B5 and ceramides give this serum its deeply hydrating quality. This serum is great for all skin types, even sensitive skin!


Retinol is a pretttty unstable ingredient, so if not formulated correctly, your retinol products won’t be as effective in fighting fine lines and wrinkles. It’s typically best to splurge on a derm visit for a prescription or a product with a hefty helping of retinol if you want a concentrated formulation. The highest concentration of OTC retinol you can get is just over 1%, and most products on the market use even less as it can be an irritating ingredient, despite its benefits. For anything higher in percentage, like Retin-A, you will need a prescription as your medical history may factor into how you react to the ingredient.

Our Picks:

Dr. Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment
Formulated with 1.25% retinol and collagen and prickly pear to hydrate, you get a lot of bang for your buck. This is as close to prescription strength as you’re gonna get without a copay.

Eve Lom Tim Retreat Eye Treatment
You’re going to see a lot of eye creams with retinol out in these streets because nothing is quite as effective for targeting fine lines around the eyes. This bad boy has vitamin C to brighten around the eye area and soy to hydrate.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
This 1% formula works on fine lines and wrinkles, but it also targets uneven texture and tone. Plus, it’s a clean formula so there are no sus fillers.


Many drugstore exfoliators contain microbeads which are truly terrible for the environment (because they are made of plastic, can’t break down and the ocean is full of them), or harsh exfoliators (hey, apricot scrub -_-) that cause micro-tears in the skin. Spending a bit more on an exfoliator that has sustainable granules or high-quality acids is being rly cute to yourself and the planet.

Our Picks:

Dr. Roebuck’s Byron 2-in-1 Mask + Scrub
This scrub cleanses with eco-friendly beads with kaolin clay and peppermint oil to clarify. Pretty refreshing if you ask me…

ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
This treatment uses natural silica as a physical exfoliator while lactic acid and fruit enzymes provide chemical exfoliation.

Caudalie Glycolic Peel
This mask uses AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate and promote cell turnover and collagen production.

Want to see if any of these splurges will help you reach your skin goal? Check on RateYourRoutine.com!

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