Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($55)
What it does: Ren's mask promises to even out skin tone and increase radiance like a mild enzyme peel you might get at a medical spa. The lactic, glycolic, and citric acids loosen your dead skin cells while the papain exfoliates and the omega-3 both soothes the skin and boosts cell turnover. 'Radiance Renewal' is not an exaggeration.
When to use it: You can use it as often as once per week, but its effects are best seen the day after use, so keep it in mind the night before something big. We use it on Sundays for an extra Monday morning boost.
Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Cream ($115)
What it does: In the long run, Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion cream should lessen the appearance of acne scars and discoloration (the same benefits as dermatological microdermabrasion). But in the short term, think of it as a very serious exfoliator. It'll leave your skin soft and your pores open to better absorb the serum and moisturizer of your choice.
When to use it: The label warns not to use it more than every three days; we'd suggest weekly.
Dr. Gross Alpha-Beta Peel Pads ($78)
What it does: This oldie-but-goodie is a two-step process. The first towelette is full of alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), heavier doses of which are found in most in-office chemical peels, to resurface the skin. The second neutralizes the acids and moisturizes your face. Regular use of AHAs helps with everything from melasma to acne and even wrinkles. But just one use of Dr. Gross peel pads at night and your skin will shine bright the next morning.
When to use it: Though they're advertised as daily pads, we'd recommend using them 48 hours before your need-to-glow moment to let a bit of that shine wear off pre-date.
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 ($60)
What it does: We've heard facialists refer to Biologique's P50 as a "magical potion." Its most active ingredient, usnic acid, is found in moss and actually protects the species from sun damage. In the meantime, P50 will also work on shrinking your pores, clearing your breakouts, and balancing your complexion.
When to use it: It's a toner at its core, which means you can use it daily, both morning and night--we'd recommend doing so.
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Philosophy The Oxygen Peel ($55)
What it does: When celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwen Stefani need to look their best, they turn to oxygen facials. It turns out blasting your skin with oxygen delivers incredible, if short-lived, results. Philosophy makes an at-home kit with enzyme capsules and oxygen foam that you mix up inside the kit's plastic cup.
When to use it: It's relatively mild, and Philosophy recommends using it three days in a row if you have a special event or need to look particularly awesome, but the effects aren't exactly long lasting so save at least one treatment for just prior to applying makeup.
The magical word in skincare these days is "glow"—no one's angling for a matte complexion. Instead, a premium is placed on dewy skin that looks like it's lit from within. There's no shortage of medical facials offering youthful results and sure, any series of chemical peels, oxygen, and laser beams will give your face that model-off-duty luminescence. But there are a few at-home products you can use to maintain that beaming skin in between appointments, or at least approximate it for significantly less money.