5 Beauty Products I Used to Think Were Pointless That Now Are Essentials

Simply put, it's our job to find the best beauty products out there for you. From the newest serum to the hottest lipstick color to the dry shampoo that will change your life, we will find it, test it, and let you know what we think. We're not complaining. It's a pretty fun gig, and we'll volunteer to be beauty guinea pigs any day.

But one of the cool things to come out of this is finding out what products you're loving and buying. It helps us figure out what you want to learn more about and what you're into so we can bring even more personalized recs to you.

Because we share a lot of our favorites with you every single day, we recognize it might be hard to keep up. So we've decided to put together a handy weekly list of what we love and what you love—consider this a CliffsNotes, one-stop-shop of what's really trending and worth adding to your cart at this very moment.

This week, I'm taking a look back at all the beauty products I thought were pointless, but are now my absolute essentials. Do you have a favorite that I missed? I'd love to know. Send us a DM.

Face Oils

I always thought face oils would make your face, well, oily. So of course, I stayed away from them for a long time. That was a big mistake since my skin is usually classified as normal to dry, and I could have benefited from an ultra-moisturizing facial oil all this time! The best ones don't leave an oily, greasy finish. In fact, they absorb quickly, solving your dry-skin problems a lot faster.

This was the first face oil I tried, and it really won me over. I love that it's a hybrid oil-serum, so it nourishes, hydrates, and calms the skin. This one really works quickly on my dry skin and is so lightweight.

Yes, this face oil is pricey, but let me tell you, it's totally worth it in my opinion. It just does such a good job of leaving my skin moisturized and radiant that I don't really use any other products aside from sunscreen when I apply it. It has made my skin more radiant and healthier looking. The formula contains 100% natural ingredients, so that makes me feel even better.

This one is great for acne-prone skin because it's formulated with clarifying plant oils such as tea tree and black cumin-seed oils. It also contains 1.5% salicylic acid to clear clogged pores and prevent acne and blackheads.

Drunk Elephant's facial oil is enriched with antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9 to give your skin a rejuvenating glow. It absorbs quickly, targets fine lines and wrinkles, and protects against free radicals.

Body Scrubs

Okay, I didn't really think body scrubs were exactly "pointless," but I sure did not do a lot of body exfoliation for a long time. Because of that, I never kept any body scrubs on hand. Now, I make sure to exfoliate my body once a week. It's just a great way to ward off any flaky skin and leaves my skin silky smooth and brighter.

Kayo is a Who What Wear editor-favorite brand. This scrub contains charcoal and kaolin clay to draw out dirt, oil, and toxins, and volcanic pumice for exfoliation. But it won't leave your skin parched because it's also formulated with coconut oil to hydrate.

I use this scrub to prevent any ingrown hairs, and it really does the trick. It has both mechanical and chemical exfoliating ingredients such as jojoba, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and papaya and pineapple enzymes. You can also use it as an exfoliating mask.

If you're looking for an affordable drugstore option, Dove's body scrub is a must-have. The formula has medium-sized exfoliating particles for gentle yet effective exfoliation. It's also enriched with a quarter of moisturizing cream to leave your skin feeling smooth.

This scrub is 100% all-natural and made with brown sugar, organic botanical oils, and food-grade vanilla. You're going to want to eat it, but you definitely shouldn't. But hey, at least it works so well on sloughing off dead skin!


I had no idea what an essence was until this year. A big star in the K-beauty space, essences both hydrate the skin and balance its pH. They're usually formulated with fermented ingredients (aka probiotics) to improve cell turnover and the skin's barrier. As someone who needs a lot of hydration, I've been relying on essences to keep my skin from getting too parched. I find they leave my face looking brighter and plumper, too.

This essence pretty much does it all: brightens skin, repairs damage, hydrates, and preps the skin for other products. It contains ellagic acid, which is a natural compound that brightens and protects against UV rays.

Peach & Lily's essence absorbs quickly, so you can see it will boost hydration in no time. Additionally, it contains brightening and firming agents, plus probiotics to strengthen the skin. Its main ingredients include a hyaluronic acid complex, lotus extract, and bamboo extract.

This popular essence is formulated with a blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids to boost the skin's renewal process. It also has exfoliating benefits.

Tatcha's essence has its proprietary complex of rice, green tea, and algae, which contain AHAs and amino acids to resurface and nourish the skin. It's perfect for normal, dry, combination, and oily skin.

Vitamin C Serums

An antioxidant serum was never on my radar until I heard my colleagues raving about how glowy vitamin C serums made their faces look. So I gave one a whirl, and the rest is history. They can protect your skin against environmental damage. Plus, they brighten dark spots and just leave your skin looking oh so radiant. Now whenever someone asks about my glowy skin, they get to listen to an effusive monologue on vitamin C serum.

In that effusive monologue, I will probably mention SkinCeuticals's C E Ferulic multiple times. It is my holy-grail vitamin C serum that manages to make skin so glowy and smooth. And it does a good job of evening my skin tone. I could go on and on about how much I love it, but I'll spare you (for now).

With over 75,000 ratings and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, TruSkin's vitamin C serum has legendary status now. In addition to vitamin C, it's formulated with botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, and jojoba oil.

Formulated to brighten the skin and improve hyperpigmentation, Murad's vitamin C serum is super potent and effective. It's also infused with glycolic acid to target dullness and a phyto-luminescent extract to illuminate the skin.

This booster is formulated with 15% pure vitamin C, so it's another potent product. Other ingredients include the antioxidants vitamin E and ferulic to target the signs of aging and hyaluronic acid to improve the skin's moisture barrier.

Face Mists

Because I had a low-maintenance skincare routine for so long, I always slept on face mists. I just didn't really think they were necessary. Although I can't say I use a face mist every day, I now keep one on hand for when my face needs a refresher. This is especially handy in the summer months when my face gets sweaty and I need a pick-me-up. Plus, it's just a nice, luxurious mood booster.

If you spray this mist before applying your serum or moisturizer, you'll lock in hydration. Ingredients include rose water, aloe, and glycerin.

La Roche-Posay's thermal spring water is enriched with minerals, which will not only boost hydration but will also protect the skin against environmental damage.

This ultrafine mist is just so dang soothing. Its main ingredients include watermelon, hyaluronic acid, and hibiscus flower, which all work to hydrate, smooth, and soften the skin.

For a toner option, you can't go wrong with Caudalie's popular Beauty Elixir. You can use it to hydrate and brighten the skin, tighten pores, and set makeup. Ingredients include grapes, rose oil, and rosemary.

Next, These 33 Affordable Beauty Products Are Going Absolutely Viral on Amazon

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