Cult Skincare Favorites: Are They Worth the Hype?

We all have those products we use everyday and love dearly, but then there are the products that are loved by everyone. These are the products that have withstood the test of time and have been praised by countless beauty and skincare aficionados over the years. They have achieved holy grail status and remain the the cult favorites in the industry, but the question remains: are these products truly worth the hype?

Here are a few skincare favorites that I believe have achieved this cult status among the beauty community and have been tested by yours truly.

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Sigh…I wish I didn’t love this cleanser as much as I do. It feels amazing on the skin, the texture is smooth (almost silky), and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and just the right amount of clean. However, I can never justify spending almost $40 on a basic cleanser, especially because there are so many other great cleansing products on the market nowadays. As a result, I’ve been living off countless samples of this product that somehow always fall into my Sephora order right when I’m running out of my last little tube.

Verdict

This one’s a toss up; it’s worth buying if you can afford spending that much on a cleanser on a regular basis. If not, I’d say pass on this one.


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This toner is a staple in many beauty lovers’ skincare arsenal, and it’s easy to see why. First off, it’s extremely affordable but most importantly, it does what it claims to do: tone the skin and prepare your face for the rest of your skincare products. Witch hazel is best known for being a natural astringent that can help soothe inflammation and redness, so this product definitely works wonders for those with acne-prone skin. It’s also great for wiping away any remaining residue that might be left on the skin after cleansing.

Verdict

Absolutely worth the hype!


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I remember when I first started getting really into skincare, this was the product that absolutely everyone was talking about. After lusting over it for months but never feeling all that eager to take the plunge given the steep price tag, I finally got to try this cult favorite after receiving it for Christmas this year. Now I’m not trying to say that this product was a disappointment since I know so many people who swear by it, but this just did not work for my skin-type. Because this is obviously a lactic acid chemical exfoliator, it is best recommended for those with dry skin, which I do not have in the slightest (I’m as oily as they come). So unfortunately, I found this to be irritating and not very effective for refining any texture or fine lines that I was hoping would be smoothed over.

Verdict

This might be worth the hype if you’re dry, but I’d stay away if you have oily or combination skin.


Now this is a cult beauty favorite that I actually love! With its powerhouse blend of AHA’s that include glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, and salicylic acids, this product produces near instant results. I use this baby around 1-2 times a week and it never fails to give my skin that smooth, almost doll-like feel that I thought could only be achieved from getting an expensive facial at a spa. It really packs a punch.

Verdict

Worth the hype in every way!


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Another cult classic that I couldn’t help but fall in love with right away. This brightening serum gives the skin an instant radiance that looks beautiful either by itself on those no-makeup days or under foundation. If you like to glow, this product is definitely for you! Not only does it give your skin that luminosity, but it can also lighten discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and acne-scarring. What more could you possibly need?

Verdict

100% worth the hype.


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Tatcha Water Cream

$68 USD

Alright, I have to be honest. I initially bought this product because I was head-over-heals in love with the packaging. But hey, I can’t be the only one who’s fallen for a product’s outward appearance without caring about the actual stuff inside, right? I digress. From what I can gather, what makes this product such a cult classic is the universal appeal of the formula; I’ve seen skincare lovers with dry skin rave about this about as often as I’ve seen those with oily skin sing its praises. Because of that, I figured I had finally found the perfect moisturizer for me, with cute packaging and an ideal light-weight consistency, all in one over-hyped product. Sadly, that was not the case here. The watery texture upon application felt heavenly at first, but the product never really soaked into my skin like I wanted it to, causing my face to become extremely greasy throughout the day. It was not a cute look and left my skin craving more hydration.

Verdict: Unfortunately not worth the hype, cute packaging be damned.