Top picks for your daily essentials.
BY JACQUI SALONGA
Collage Art by SANDY ARANAS
When it comes to daily beauty and grooming essentials, most can’t help but take “the basics” for granted. Almost always overworked and sometimes overlooked, these mainstays need to take the spotlight now more than ever. Nothing reinforces healthy skin, hair and scalp, and the body more than a consistent routine—and these best and brightest discoveries do just that. From cult-favorite brands to new-and-improved releases, it’s time to take your daily lineup to the next level with products that really get the job done (tried and tested!) and in the best way possible, especially with everyday use. Fortified with super ingredients, clean formulas, and dependable components that offer significant results with regular use, discover what tops our list this year—a.k.a. compilation of all the “musts” you need to add to your regimen, stat.
ZO Skin Health Brightalive Skin Brightener
For days when your skin feels a little lackluster, give it a boost with the BrightAlive from Zein Obagi’s ZO Skin Health line. With a formula that includes papain and niacinamide, this gentle, peptide-packed essence minimizes the appearance of dark spots while evening out your skin tone so your skin looks brighter, calm, and refreshed—minus the harsh and stingy feeling that retinol products can cause.
Sunday Riley Good Genes
A potent, all-in-one treatment serum infused with soothing arnica and purified-grade lactic acid, Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is an instant exfoliant that addresses the build-up of dead skin cells while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This product also diminishes excess sebum, discoloration, and dark spots, leaving skin more radiant than ever.
Sunday Riley PInk Drink
The Pink Drink from Sunday Riley is a staple you never thought you needed. It’s a firming, resurfacing essence that’s enriched with peptides to fight dullness while restoring skin firmness and elasticity. By integrating this into your morning and nighttime routine, it’s a great way to give your skin that extra TLC. Mist it directly onto the skin or into the palms of your hands and pat away for a more gorgeous you.
Drunk Elephant The Littles
Boasting 100% natural and non-toxic ingredients, Drunk Elephant takes pride in its minimalist formulations that are said to be much safer than the products that usually fill our shelves. If you want to try what this brand offers, this travel-sized selection is your answer. The set gives you a complete experience of its star products, which include the Beste 9 Jelly Cleanser, the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, and the Protini Peptide Cream. You get a complete evening ritual that cleans, resurfaces, replenishes, and moisturizes skin all in one go.
Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti
Finding the right deodorant and antiperspirant that actually works may sound like a tall order, especially when you live in the tropics. Free of baking soda and aluminum, this gentle deodorant cream uses a blend of plant oils and shea butter to moisturize skin, while the mandelic acid and arrowroot components eliminate odor-causing bacteria and lessens extra moisture on the skin.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum
Packed with 15% Vitamin C, this potent day serum contains a generous amount of antioxidants and fruit enzymes that visibly firm, brighten, and improve the signs of photoaging. Made for all skin types, this serum targets fine lines and wrinkles, dull skin, uneven texture, and loss of elasticity by dissolving dead skin cells. The result? Skin complexion that’s firmer and brighter.
Aveda Shampure Body Lotion
Enjoy all-day moisture with Aveda’s Shampure Body Lotion. It has 100% natural and certified olive oil that locks in moisture and softens the skin. It’s a daily use-friendly choice that comes in a lightweight consistency, so it doesn’t leave you feeling any of the goopy, heavy texture characteristic of other lotions; and is likewise potent enough to ultimately moisturize your skin, leaving it feeling soft and nourished.
Aveda Invati line
When products are represented by a word that means “invigorate,” you already know what to expect. Aveda’s Shampure Invati Line has been one of its best-selling offerings to date because of its promise to address thinning locks or breakage caused by tightly-styled hair, aging, or even hair loss. By massaging the product onto your scalp, you’re on your way to hair that’s stronger and more revived than ever.
Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk
A sunblock dedicated to sensitive skin and safe enough for babies, the Anessa UV Mild Milk sunscreen not only has a gentle formulation that doesn’t feel heavy at all, but also has powerful SPF 50 that protects skin from the sun’s harsh rays. With a silky texture that makes it easy to apply, integrating a reliable sunblock into your daily regimen will never feel like a chore, whether you’re in the city or at the beach.
Supergood Unseen Screen
Finally, a sunscreen that works well with your makeup routine! Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen provides invisible SPF 40 protection that works outdoors and indoors, such as when you’re constantly exposed to blue light or infrared rays. It doubles as a makeup-gripping primer with a velvety texture that offers ample coverage that can be worn alone or together before foundation.
Puressentiel Muscles & Joints Roller
When days become more grueling than usual, this UK-borne brand offers a promising roller that can easily soothe aching joints and muscles. Made up of 14 all-natural essential oils, easily roll away the pain after your daily workout, or on long days when you need instant relief, to calm your body and your mind at the same time.
Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray
The Purifying Air Spray from Puressentiel fits the bill when you're looking for an immediate pick-me-up in the middle of a hectic day. Offering a natural, uplifting, and aromatic scent that eliminates bacteria, viruses, and mold, this surely deserves a space in our everyday essentials kit. It’s one we’ll frequently reach out for, whether we’re at home or outside. Made from 41 purifying essential oils, this bioalcohol is free from harmful phthalates, making it safe even for those with asthma.
Sebamed Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner
If you’re someone who’s afraid to shampoo regularly, here’s a safe and gentle way to do so. Sebamed’s Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner is 100% soap-free, has moisture-retaining properties that can penetrate the hair shaft while adding volume and shine, and glycoside surfactant blend that protects hair and scalp from dryness. The conditioner supplements the shampoo with its repairing and restorative properties, giving your locks the shine it deserves.
Sebamed Anti Pimple Gel
For sudden breakouts, this simple product rescues you from zit-ridden days. Sebamed’s Anti-Pimple Gel formula works with your skin’s pH value and is anti-bacterial, making it safe to use. It likewise reduces skin irritation, reduces inflammation, and dries pimples up, stat. Just place a small amount on your fingers or a cotton bud, apply it on the affected area, and leave it to work its magic!
SkinRX Lab Madecera Cream
Leave it to the Koreans to come up with the solution for brighter and fresher skin. The newest addition to your K-beauty lineup is the Madecera Cream from SkinRx Lab. With soothing madecassocide, adenosine which helps build up skin’s natural barrier, plus niacinamide which brightens newly resurfaced skin, you count on this star product to make your skin extra supple and looking more youthful after every use.
Origins GinZing Eye Cream
Give those peepers a visible boost with this Vitamin C and niacinamide-packed eye cream that significantly reduces dark circles, while helping depuff and brighten the eye area. Not only will this product provide you with a well-rested glow, it also keeps the delicate skin around your eyes moisturized and hydrated all day long.
Neal's Yard Frankincense Intense
When it comes to using anti-aging products, it's never too early to start. Upgrade your traditional routine effortlessly with this signature line from Neal's Yard, which naturally plumps and lifts your skin. Meant to target the early signs of aging, especially deep lines and loss of firmness, the award-winning Frankincense Active Phyto Complex technology that's in every product—from cleansing to moisturizing—delivers on its promises, which is to lift, re-contour, firm, and restore skin to its youthful state.
NUXE Super Serum 
Building on its reputation as an expert in the use of botanical oils for anti-aging, the NUXE Super Serum is formulated with hyaluronic acid to correct wrinkles and promote firmness while minimizing dark spots. Its fresh and silky texture transforms your skincare routine into a pleasant experience as soon as you massage it onto the skin, resulting in instant effects of a smoother, plumper, and more luminous complexion—and a more relaxed you.
Now here’s something to get excited about: imagine a vegan exfoliant in powder format that polishes the skin and sloughs off dead skin cells, all while supporting the skin’s moisture barrier. That’s what Dermalogica’s Milkfoliant is all about. It is generously concocted with fruit-based grape extracts; rich in alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and coconut milk that smoothes and softens skin; and papaya and papain extracts that help exfoliate and resurface the skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, too!
Cle de Peau Key Radiance Care line
Meet an ultra-luxe, three-step skincare regimen that smooths skin so well that it glows over time. With an innovative formula that absorbs into the skin quickly, this line from Cle de Peau empowers skin from within. Start with the serum that focuses on improving skin texture, followed by a lotion in either skin-softening or clarifying variants that hydrate, and end with an emulsion or moisturizer for day or night, to strengthen and revitalize skin. Easy, peasy!
Pixi Glow Tonic Serum
One of the most popular products from this brand, Pixi Glow’s Tonic Serum balances your skin with just a few drops. The exfoliating glycolic acid formula purifies skin and enhances your natural glow, while its ginseng and aloe extract properties naturally energize, hydrate, and improve skin over time. Top-shelf material, for sure.
VMV Superskin 3 Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid Toner for Oily Skin
If there’s one toner that can do it all, it’s the Superskin 3 Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid Toner for Oily Skin. Not only does it deep-clean and clarify skin of external contaminants, it also mattifies and brightens complexion. Monolaurin minimizes shine and oil and also lends its antibacterial properties to keep your skin free of dirt; while mandelic acid slows down the aging process by making skin clearer and firmer. The best part? It moisturizes your skin, doesn’t feel dry after it’s applied, and works even better once you’ve slathered on your go-to cream for a soft and smooth finish.
VMV Armada Face Cover
Good sunscreen is a perennial staple in every daily routine, wherever you are. VMV’s Armada Face Cover has been a consistent brand best-seller. Rightfully so, it offers comprehensive protection against the full spectrum of skin-harming light without the heavy sensation most sunblock formulas give. Available in SPF 30 and SPF 40, the lightweight texture spreads easily, dries instantly, and feels more like a moisturizer that you’ll practically forget it’s even there.
VMV ID Monolaurin Gel
Another stellar offering from VMV is its ID Monolaurin Gel. Developed to use for your face and body, it uses Monolaurin, which is a potent yet non-irritating coconut derivative that clarifies and smoothes skin for that all-over natural glow. Not only that, this non-drying and pore-friendly wonder product keeps breakouts at bay and naturally mattifies your skin, leaving it feeling refreshed, cooler, and calmer.
Olaplex Nº.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo that naturally eliminates impurities caused by pollution, residue, and other harmful elements, Olaplex’s No 4 C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo continues to be on the radar as one of the best and most hardworking shampoos. It restores and repairs with every wash, adding bounce and volume without compromising softness and shine. This formula works for all kinds of hair types, from fine to thick, so you can be sure to show off great locks every day of the week.
Sisley Supremya La Lotion
We may not realize how much our skin works extra hard to fight and protect itself from external factors that it gets stressed out as much as we do. Elevate your nightly ritual with a product that preps your skin to regenerate at its maximum level. The Supremya La Lotion from Sisley encourages the absorption of other products used afterward, leaving skin more moisturized, soft, and silky. Our fave part? Its blend of yummy floral notes of damask rose, magnolia, and geranium makes your nighttime routine something you’ll surely look forward to.
Guerlain Abeille Royale Double R Serum
Jumping off from the success of the brand’s Youth Watery Oil is a double serum that gives you two serums in a single bottle. With just one pump, the ingenious combination fuses two signature technologies derived from honey, to renew the look of the skin surface, yielding a brighter, smoother complexion, and refined pores, all while tightening the skin up.
Shiseido Vital Perfection line
Perhaps one of Shiseido’s most exciting lines to date, this Uplifting and Firming collection features anti-aging solutions you can use together or complement your current regimen. The collection includes a serum, a wrinkle spot treatment, eye cream, face moisturizers, and masks for the face and eyes, offering a slew of options for anyone looking to up their skincare game.
Aveda Smooth Infusion Perfect Blow Dry
To avoid frizz in this humidity, we reach for the Aveda Smooth Infusion Perfect Blow Dry. The heat-activated treatment smooths the hair and prevents frizz for up to 72 hours. Its plant-polymer shield coats each strand and repels water, while its botanical smoothing oil blend conditions the cuticles, making the hair feel softer and look shinier. We also love how it's formulated with UV filters, protecting our tresses from the sun.
Puressentiel Intimate Hygiene Gentle Cleansing Gel
This soap-free cleanser helps balance the pH and protect against discomfort and irritation in intimate areas. It has an organic formula that contains floral waters, essential oils, and aloe vera to help soothe, refresh, and hydrate the skin. Its formula is also hypoallergenic, intentionally put together to avoid the risk of allergies in your sensitive area.
Puressentiel SOS Travel Roll On
Whenever we travel, we make sure Puressentiel's S.O.S Travel Roll On is in our purse. It contains 7 essential oils—namely exotic basil, fresh ginger, lemon, peppermint, red mandarin, sweet marjoram, and true lavender—to help fight against discomfort and nausea caused by car, boat, and plane rides. We also love how the 5ml roller easily dispenses the oil and is also TSA-friendly.
Puressentiel Headache Roll On
For quick relief for headaches, we apply on Puressentiel's Headache Roll-On on our temples, forehead, and neck. It has a relaxing and calming blend of 9 essential oils to provide relief from headaches. The essential oils include basil, garden chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, common myrtle, oregano, ravensara, and rosemary, which are rapidly absorbed by the skin and don't leave an oily, greasy feeling.
SkinRX Labs MadeCera Cream Sleeping Mask
This creamy sleeping mask is formulated with madecassoside, which heals the skin, and ceramide, which protects it while locking in moisture. The mask deeply penetrates the skin to moisturize the skin, revive the complexion, and support skin elasticity so that you wake up to glowing glass skin. We also love how fuss-free this mask is—you don't need to rinse it off, just apply it like you would with a cream moisturizer!
SkinRX Labs MadeCera Cream Better Skin Toneup Cream
SPF 50+ and PA++++ without the whitecast? Yes, please! SkinRX's MadeCera Cream Better Skin Toneup Cream helps sooth skin and strengthen its skin barrier while also protecting it from harmful UV rays. It also helps brighten your complexion thanks to daisy extract and alpha bisabolol, plus, it comes in a natural tone to prevent a whitecast.
Neal's Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Shower Oil
We always make sure to include the Neal's Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Shower Oil in our wind-down routines. Formulated with sweet almond oil, the Shower Oil transforms to a milky lather that nourishes and softens the skin. It also contains an aromatherapeutic blend of calming essential oils that can put anyone in the mood for restful sleep.
Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose line
Wild rosehip seed oil is touted for its nourishing and radiance-enhancing properties, which is why we're obsessed with Neal's Yard Remedies’ entire Wild Rose range. We personally love the Wild Rose Glow Facial Oil, which sinks into the skin and boosts its natural glow instantly. We also nourish our hands with the Wild Rose Hand Cream, which leaves the hands feeling soft and supple, even after frequent handwashing.
Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Beautiful Lips
Made with cocoa butter, beeswax, and fair trade organic honey from Mexico, the Bee Lovely Beautiful Lips helps nourish and soften the lips—and that's not even the best part about it. Three percent of the sales of this balm goes to charities that help protect bees, a vital insect for our environment. The primary beneficiary of this project is Bees for Development, which has introduced bees to cashew orchards in Ghana after it was found that their low yields were caused by low pollination rates.
Neal's Yard Remedies Aromatic Foaming Bath
For an extra relaxing evening, we pour the Neal's Yard Remedies' Aromatic Foaming Bath under running water when preparing our bath. It contains a blend of lavender, Spanish marjoram, and geranium essential oils to help you unwind after a long day, while conditioning botanical oils work to nourish your skin.
Clé de Peau Beauté Intensive Fortifying Cream
This luxurious cream helps protect and fortify the skin against premature aging while also delivering intense hydration. What makes this moisturizer special is that it leverages the skin's ability to restore and protect itself, allowing skin to respond to good stimuli like a good night's sleep and a balanced diet, and bad stimuli like UV rays and stress.
Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion
This lightweight daily moisturizer nourishes and protects the skin for a more vibrant complexion. It protects against dehydration with hyaluronic acid; reduces the appearance of dark spots and freckles with ginkgo biloba leaf extract, vitamin C ethyl, and crataegus monogyna flower extract; and shields the skin from UV rays with an SPF of 22—all packed in a formula that feels weightless and silky.