I Only Used Trader Joe's Skincare Products For A Week — Here Are The Ones I Loved (And Hated)

·8 min read

From soup dumplings to butternut squash mac and cheese, Trader Joe's seems to be the place to be to find everything you need.

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Which is why I was shocked to discover that Trader Joe's has an entire skincare section that I wasn't even aware of!

As a Trader Joe's lover and skincare junkie, I decided to combine my passions and only use Trader Joe's skincare products for one whole week to put it to the test.

But first, a bit about my skin: My skin type is typically dry, especially during these winter months. I prefer a simple routine with an emphasis on hydration, and all of the (non-TJs) products I use have been in my skincare routine for almost a year, so they're fond favorites.

Selfie of BuzzFeeder Maya Ogolini
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Here's my current skincare routine:

Thermal spray, cleansing balm, facial cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen sit on a counter with the caption "$60.57"

In the mornings, I'll splash my face with some water in lieu of washing, then use my CeraVe moisturizing cream followed by Bondi Sands sunscreen. At night, I'll use The Inkey List oat cleansing balm as a first cleanse to remove my makeup, then follow it up with my KORRES foaming cream cleanser. We finish up with CeraVe. Cook at 350, serve immediately to friends and family.

I also like to apply my moisturizers to damp skin to maximize hydration, which is why I'll sneak in a few sprays of my Avène thermal spray before applying my moisturizer.

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And here is my new skincare routine from Trader Joe's:

A package of cleansing towelettes sits next to a facial cleanser, toner bottle, moisturizer container, and sunscreen on a counter

These items were easy to find and should be available in your local store. I looked for products that most closely resembled my current routine in the hopes of giving them an easy match.

Typically you should give skincare products a month to see how they react to your skin, so be aware that my experience serves as more of a "First Impressions" to how these products look and feel.

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Caption that reads "After one week, here are my thoughts"
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Trader Joe's Micellar Cleanser & Makeup Remover, $3.99

A package of cleansing makeup removing towelettes

When I was younger, makeup wipes were a staple in my nightly routine, but I switched to a cleansing balm because it was gentler on my skin. Still, there's no denying the ease of this product, a quick once-over wipe and you're done and ready for the next step of your routine.

These wipes are definitely softer than others that I've used, which my face was definitely thankful for. Still, my makeup was reluctant to budge with this wipe, and I found myself rubbing a bit aggressively in a way that I wouldn't have had to with my cleansing balm.

These wipes also smell heavenly, but with fragrance comes a price, and my eyes definitely started to burn while trying to remove some mascara. This is a minor thing if you're planning on washing your face immediately after, but it's something to be mindful of, especially if you have to scrub as hard as I did to get all of my eye makeup off.

All in all, I had to use two makeup wipes to get all of my makeup off. That doesn't seem like a lot, but with only 20 towelettes in the package, this isn't something that I'd really go back to Trader Joe's for.

My ranking: 2/5 Joe's.

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Trader Joe's All-In-One Facial Cleanser, $5.99

A bottle of facial cleanser sits on a countertop

For the first half of this week, I used this cleanser morning and night, per its instructions, before switching back to nighttime only to see if it would adapt to my previous routine well.

I really enjoyed this cleanser. It's mild, foams nicely, and is gentle enough to use around your eyes. Still, using it twice a day was a bit too much for my dry skin, and I found that I much preferred it just at night. If you do prefer to cleanse twice a day, you might like to try using wipes in the morning, and then save the facial cleanser for the night.

After washing my face, this product didn't make my skin feel stripped of moisture like other cleansers do, but I also don't feel like it helped to either add or keep any of the moisture in my skin. If you're lucky enough to have skin that's neither dry nor oily and want something simple without extra fluff, you might want to try this cleanser out.

My ranking: 4/5 Joe's.

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Trader Joe's Rose Water Facial Toner, $3.99

A spray bottle of rose toner sits on a countertop

To be honest, I'm not completely sure what a toner is supposed to do, and I have one in my regular skincare routine. As I understand it, toners, like most skincare products, can serve different purposes dependant on your skin's needs. Because my skin needs hydration, I've spent the last week spraying my face with this toner after washing my face at night, and before my moisturizer in my morning routine.

This product isn't actually bad, it's just unnecessary. I don't feel like it added any extra hydration in the way that my Avène spray did, which makes me feel like I could have just splashed my face a few times under the sink, and achieved the same effect that this toner gives. I know that this is coming from the guy that regularly purchases glorified water in a can to give a few quick spritzes pre-moisturizer, but again, I do feel like that actually contributes something to my skin.

The only thing that this spray really provides is a rose smell, and I'll be honest, after the micellar wipes, I'm a bit sick of it. Is it very glamorous to use a face spray and feel like you're giving a skincare tutorial for Vogue? Sure, but it doesn't always feel glamorous to spend four dollars on a product that does practically nothing when you could easily spend that money on the Taco Bell drive-through, and feel just as good.

My ranking: 3/5 Joe's.

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Trader Joe's Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer, $8.99

A small container of Trader Joe's face moisturizer sits on a countertop

Not that it's especially important, but I love the packaging of this moisturizer. The design is super cute, and there's a seal inside to make sure the moisturizer stays as fresh as possible.

This is an "It's Not You, It's Me" situation. Objectively, this moisturizer is great. I used it morning and night, immediately after applying toner with damp skin. It's a gel consistency that instantly thins out once you take it between your hands. It absorbs easily, is relatively scentless, and definitely moisturizes your face. It's great for somebody's skin, just not my skin.

This product is moisturizing, but I found myself having to apply at least two layers to achieve anything remotely similar to the moisture that my CeraVe cream gives me. Because this markets itself as a "gel" moisturizer, I can't blame Trader Joe's for not going all-in on hydration. I will say that after applying this product, I was left with very glowy skin, reminiscent of a glazed donut, which is an absolute dream for me.

Again, this might be a good pick for someone with less dry skin than me. I might even come back to this as a summer moisturizer, but if you have dry skin, you'll either want to skip this one or follow it up with an occlusive.

Rating: 4/5 Joe's, but better as friends.

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Trader Joe's Face and Body Sunscreen Lotion, $5.99

A bottle of Trader Joe's sunscreen sits on a countertop

My main challenge with sunscreens is usually avoiding a white cast and making sure that it doesn't affect my makeup application on top of it. I used this sunscreen at the end of my morning routine, applying three fingers worth to my face before applying to my body.

The sunscreen passed the white cast test with flying colors. It was easy to apply, and quick to blend in. That being said, I'm as pale as the day is long, so it would be worth knowing how this works with darker skin tones. It sort of has that sunscreen smell, which I don't mind, but it does get stronger if you're reapplying throughout the day.

The first few days, I hated this sunscreen because it was caking up my makeup, specifically my foundation. Around Wednesday, I decided to give the sunscreen some extra time to really sink into the skin, which helped a ton. If you're purchasing this product, be sure to know that you'll have to factor in a few extra minutes before layering anything on top of it. Also know that with an SPF 30, you'll definitely have to reapply during the day, but I can absolutely see myself using this product after this week is over.

Rating: 5/5 Joe's.

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A caption that reads "Final Thoughts"

I'll finish this up by saying that I wasn't going into this experience with high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. All of these products were easy to use, relatively inexpensive and helped to shave at least five minutes off of my usual skincare routine. While my dry skin didn't necessarily love all of the products, nothing in this routine broke me out, which is more than I can say for some higher-end products that I've tried.

I can absolutely see myself continuing to use the face cleanser and sunscreen, but saving the cleansing towelettes for a lighter makeup day so I won't have to scrub my face so hard.

If you're ever low on Everything But The Bagel Seasoning and head over to Trader Joe's for a refill, I'd recommend coasting through their skincare section. Their newest product may just be your skin's new favorite.

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Have you tried any skincare products from Trader Joe's? Let me know in the comments!

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