EDITOR’S NOTE: To learn more about the relationship between Trader Joe’s and Aldi, click here.
I have a problem.
I’m vain and love to try new beauty products … but I’m also a cheapskate. I cringe when I read articles about the latest Must Have serum or cream that *only* costs $79.99 plus tax. No, thank you.
Enter Trader Joe’s.
Trader Joe’s has a small but impressive line of beauty products, ranging from your basic cleansing products for hair, body, and face, to specialty products like antioxidant serum. Many are fragrance-free, which is good news for sensitive skin like mine. Here are six products I recommend you try and one that you can skip.
Trader Joe’s Enrich Facial Moisturizing Lotion, SPF 15, 4 oz., $3.99
Trader Joe’s Enrich Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 is a great bargain at $3.99. Moisturizers with SPF often cost three times that amount, or more. I do wish they made a higher SPF, too, for times when I spend more time outdoors, but SPF 15 is a good place to start.
The moisturizer is a basic lightweight lotion that goes on well alone or under makeup. It’s thin enough to sink in quickly. It’s also unscented, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin. It isn’t chalky or cakey, so you don’t have to worry about white streaks, as you often do with a higher SPF.
Trader Joe’s Nourish Enriched Intensive Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer, 6 oz., $5.99
This moisturizer is thicker and richer than the Enrich version. It’s definitely a more intense moisturizer that’s great if you have especially dry skin or during the cold months. I love to use it at night, and even under makeup when I don’t need SPF. At this price, it’s much cheaper per ounce than your average drugstore brand. It’s also unscented, which is perfect for sensitive skin.
Trader Joe’s Jojoba oil, 4 oz., $7.99
While not technically a facial product, Jojoba oil can be used on your face as a light, not-too-greasy moisturizer or makeup remover. It’s a great all-around moisturizing oil that is one of my travel must-haves because I can use it for everything from an after-shave lotion to de-frizzing my hair. I bought a bottle several months ago and use a few drops on my skin or hair every day; and yet I still have almost half a bottle left.
Trader Joe’s Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum, 1 oz, $9.99
If you only buy one thing on this list, buy this face serum. It really has transformed my skin from a hot mess of “dry here, rough here, oily there” to a smooth, soft, and even surface. The first time I used it, I loved the feel of my skin afterward, and using it every day has helped heal my acne scars faster and improve my skin’s texture. Serums can be expensive, so this is quite a bargain for a great product.
Trader Joe’s SPA Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil 8.5 oz, $5.99
Trader Joe’s makes a good, basic facial cleanser, but it’s too drying for my sensitive/ combination skin. This face wash cleans the skin thoroughly without drying, and it’s never irritated my skin. Just a small amount lathers up nicely in the shower and the smell of the tea tree oil– which can smell too medicinal for my taste– isn’t too strong and doesn’t last once you’ve rinsed it off. I prefer to use it in the morning only because it doesn’t remove eye makeup on its own. If I do use it at night, I start by removing my makeup with either the Facial Cleansing Oil or Jojoba Oil for a Korean-style double cleanse.
Trader Joe’s Facial Cleansing Oil with Argon and Coconut Oils, 4 oz., $6.99
If your skin is even drier than mine, or if you wear foundation and/or waterproof mascara (like I do), then this is the cleanser for you. Unlike most cleansers, you don’t wet your face or your hands first. You start by putting just a little on your dry skin, rub it in (gently massaging your eyelashes to remove mascara, if needed), and then apply water to foam it up a little before rinsing it off. It has a very strong, floral scent that might not be for everyone. (I like it, but my boyfriend doesn’t.)
This cleansing oil is a perfectly good cleanser on its own, or you can use it before one of the foaming face washes to get your skin extra clean. I wish it was unscented like Trader Joe’s other beauty products, but so far the scent has not irritated my skin.
And One to Skip:
Trader Joe’s Micellar Cleanser & Makeup Remover Face Wipes, $3.99 for 20
Micellar cleansing water and wipes are all the rage because they promise to remove makeup, cleanse, and tone your skin in one step. I like to use micellar wipes when I’m traveling or just want the easy way out.
However, I don’t recommend these. Unlike other brands I’ve tried, these wipes are small, tissue-thin, surprisingly dry, and don’t thoroughly remove my waterproof mascara. The price is low for face wipes, but it’s not a bargain when you consider that it would take two of these wipes to do the work of one wipe in another brand. I hope they improve this product or just start selling micellar water because I think Trader Joe’s can do much better on this one.
If you want to try new skin care products but worry about wasting money, then give some of these Trader Joe’s products a try. Most of their products are affordable, well-made, use many natural ingredients, and are unscented and gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Although I usually shop for groceries at Aldi (and I’ve purchased a few of Aldi’s beauty products), Trader Joe’s can count on seeing me at least once a month to restock some of my favorite beauty products. Well played, Trader Joe’s. Well played.