If you're into the beauty world, chances are you're always looking for the next great under the radar skincare product. After all, it's a surefire way to stay ahead of the curve — seriously, don't you want to find out what the next BB cream is? The new micellar water? Or hey, even the next sheet mask?
Skincare trends come and go, and there are certain hyped up products that you'd be hard pressed to ignore, like the aforementioned micellar water and sheet masks, as well as things like skin-boosting serums and oil cleansers. But on the flip side of that, there are other products out there that are just as fab — they just so happen to live in more obscurity. So, what are these hidden gems? I asked Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, a New York-based, board certified dermatologist, and Charlotte Cho, the K-beauty genius behind Soko Glam about some of the products and ingredients they feel don't get quite enough love — and they listed a whole treasure trove of new things to try.
So, ready to research your way to the best skin ever? Read on for 11 under the radar beauty products and ingredients that you should consider adding to your skincare routine.
"As much as people have discussed retinoids and retinols in the past, I’m still amazed by how few actually use them," Dr. Bhanusali tells Bustle. "For optimum skin health, pretty much everyone should be using one after the age of 18, whether for acne or anti-aging benefits. They also help with pores, scars, pigmentation, and redness."
Truffles of both the mushroom and chocolate variety are a lot of fun to eat, but how about as a skincare multitasker? "Truffle is a powerful and luxurious ingredient that works for skin that is stressed and uneven as it has brightening and anti-aging properties," explains Cho. "It contains an enzyme called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) that isolates free radicals and prevents them from damaging making skin smoother with fewer fine lines and wrinkles." She particularly likes the Neogen White Truffle Serum In Oil Drop, since it "combines hydrating effects of oil and moisturizing effects of an ampoule," while absorbing quickly, even for oily skin types.
If you're a K-beauty diehard, you may have heard of Benton's Aloe BHA Skin Toner, but it's still largely under the radar. As Cho explains to Bustle, "This is a toner that is suitable for all skin types and packed with beneficial ingredients like aloe to soothe and moisturize skin and salicylic acid to exfoliate and reduce sebum with anti-inflammatory properties." Oh, and as for another cult fave beauty ingredient? It also happens to contain snail mucin, which Cho says is "known to be effective on skin by lightening acne scars, increasing collagen production, and restoring hydration."
"Pearl has a long laundry list of skin benefiting properties, including accelerating new skin growth, healing acne and blemishes, and minimizing large pores," says Cho. "This power ingredient has long been used in traditional beauty treatments and is the key ingredient in one of the hottest emerging brands coming from Korea, Klavuu. The minerals and active properties in pearls keep the skin acidic, which slows the aging process while still keeping skin hydrated and firm. It also stimulates regeneration of collagen to plump wrinkles and fine lines." Honestly, what doesn't it do? If you're into the idea of pearls-as-skincare, Cho recommends the Klavuu White Pearlsation Pearl Serum Mask.
"I think cleansers with a great calming ingredient like glycerin or chamomile are wonderful," says Dr. Bhanusali. Seriously, never underestimate the power of soothing simplicity.
As for other cleansers you should keep an eye out for? "The Enature Moringa Cleansing Balm is the first step you would take for the double cleanse to easily break down oil based impurities like oil, makeup, dirt, and excess sebum that can cause troublesome breakouts. It’s enriched with moringa pterygosperma seed extract that builds natural collagen to plump fine lines and fights signs of aging," says Cho. Another bonus? "Enature is also a brand that does not contain any animal ingredients and free of parabens and artificial fragrances!"
If you're looking for something to further up your cleansing game with, you might want to give Neogen's Real Flower Cleansing Water, another natural product, a try. As Cho says, "This is the one skincare product that you will absolutely love because of its natural rose petals inside of the bottle. It has a soothing and hydrating formula that is great for sensitive or dry skin and it cleanses without over-stripping natural oils. As you swipe the product across your skin, it helps take away dirt from your pores, makeup, and sunscreen."
As for the next step in your routine? "This product will change how you think about toners," says Cho of the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner. "Formulated for sensitive skin, this toner is infused with hyaluronic acid and non-irritating botanical extracts that deeply hydrate, soothe, and protect skin. Some of its botanical extracts include aloe, centella asiatica and althaea rosea flower that reduces inflammation and protects skin." If you're in need of more convincing, keep in mind that it's rated as the #1 toner by Korean women — not too shabby.
"Niacinamide is one of the great anti-inflammatories," says Dr. Bhanusali. It's something of an anti-aging superstar, and you'll find it in everything from your favorite CeraVe moisturizer from the drugstore, to your other favorite Dr. Jart+ cream from Sephora.
Did you know that birch is actually something of a skin saver? "Birch juice is a sap from birch trees and is known to be the next coconut water because of its richness in proteins and antioxidants and hydrating properties," says Cho. As for particular products with birch's best properties? "The Enature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack is the best, mess free way to boost moisture overnight. It has 74 percent birch sap to deeply hydrate and soothe skin as you sleep, since you are not drinking water throughout the night!"
So, ready to give every single last product on this list a try? Here's hoping they all come in handy.