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My inner circle is small, but the number of skincare questions thrown my way is anything but. On any given day, I’m asked to divulge whether a product “works,” is “worth the hype,” or “the right thing” for his/her skin type. When you’re the only beauty editor in your group chat, you might as well accept the fact that you are the living, breathing drugstore or Sephora who rarely gets a day off. Don’t get me wrong; I can wax poetic about retinol for as long as you want, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, science-y stuff I don’t have all the answers for, experts like the duo behind Chemist Confessions are who I routinely recommend.
I’m constantly chatting with dermatologists, facialists, and doctors for expert advice on literally anything related to the skin. However, what sets chemists Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu apart is the fact that their expertise is on Instagram, where you can get a full breakdown of decoded ingredient lists in between watching Rihanna’s latest Story or double-tapping Beyonce’s predictably flawless #OOTD. In other words, you don’t have to sacrifice time for trustworthy info about a popular product or buzzy ingredient.
And though the duo has their own line of products, I’m relieved to know that they still appreciate Amazon dupes and cheap knockoffs like the rest of us. Ahead, a list of the must-haves they recommend we all try summer.
Biore Aqua Riche SPF 50
“Biore Aqua Riche SPF 50 is a classic chemical sunscreen texture that we always love. It has a really fresh texture with a clean finish that we tend to recommend for darker skin tones.”
$12 at Amazon
Timeless 20% C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum
“Vitamin C is really an all year staple, but pairs beautifully with sunscreen in terms of ultimate sun protection. While Skinceuticals is the mother of the CEFerulic formula, Timeless is a shameless cheap, Amazon knockoff that works pretty well. Budget hunters beware though! The Timeless formula is a bit more acidic than the Skinceuticals one, so it might not be suitable for those with more sensitive skin.”
$25.95 at Timeless Skin Care
Chemist Confessions Aquafix Water Gel
“We might be a little biased, but this happens to be a staple in Gloria’s summer routine as oil-free hydrating serum. It’s both makeup and sunscreen friendly so we always have this around.”
$35 at Chemist Confessions
Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque
“This is a good soothing, cooling product to have lying around when you may have had a little too much sun. Summer may not be a great time for more aggressive actives like acid treatments and retinol. Try instead to go for a more ‘defensive’ routine with plenty of soothing actives and of course, sunscreen!”
$59 at Dermstore
Chemist Confessions Mr. Reliable Moisturizer
“Victoria is a lazy soul and has just been using this all in one moisturizer at night and nothing else. Unless she’s flying, this has really carried her through summer (both in humid and dry climates) without making her too oily by end of day.”
$35 at Chemist Confessions
Kose SoftyMo Oil Cleanser
“We’re all still wearing makeup during summer and typical oil cleansers don’t feel too great to use since the texture can feel almost too nourishing during the warmer months. We gravitate towards Softy Mo since the texture is lighter and leaves skin feeling relatively refreshed.”
$9.85 at Amazon
La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral UV Fluid SPF 50
“We consider this the gold standard mineral sunscreen. Light, sheer, and does a good job of not leaving that much of a white cast. Happens to also be water-resistant so great for both the normal day routine and also when you want to be more active.”
$33.50 at Ulta
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