Things I always buy at Trader Joe's: mochi ice cream, chili-spiced dried mangos, and chocolate-covered frozen bananas (okay, and some healthy stuff too). Things I never thought to get at Trader Joe's: skincare products. But as it turns out, everyone's favorite cult grocery store has quite the stacked lineup of beauty products that go well beyond the hand soaps and lotions you might be familiar with.
Since I truly never thought to hit up the Trader Joe's beauty section, I figured there must be plenty of other people who never have, either. So on my latest grocery run, I stocked up on the Rose Facial Oil ($6), Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum ($9), Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 ($10), Antioxidant Face Serum ($10), and Micellar Cleanser and Makeup Remover Towelettes ($4). I then handed out the products to my fellow editors to test and report back to me. Scroll down for our honest reviews on Trader Joe's beauty products.
"I applied two pumps of this face oil at night pre-moisturizer and by the time I woke up, I was delightfully surprised to find that my skin was still hydrated and glowy. I also liked that it’s a super-versatile product and can be applied to hair as a heat protector and to cuticles pre-manicure. A little goes a long way with this oil, so you’re truly getting a lot of bang for your buck." — Anna LaPlaca
"Hyaluronic acid is one of the buzziest skincare ingredients to take hold in recent years, so it's always nice to find one that's inexpensive yet effective. This option from Trader Joe's is perfectly fine and functions much like lots of other similar serums on the market. It's a pretty bare-bones formulation, so you definitely need to follow up with a vitamin-rich moisturizer for max hydration, but it's a nice addition to any skincare routine for not a lot of cash." — Courtney Higgs
"Since I'm working on clearing up some breakouts and residual acne scarring right now, I've done some major streamlining to my skincare routine. I'm talking a bare-minimum product regimen complete with makeup remover wipes, two different cleansers (one for morning and one for nighttime), maybe a toner, moisturizer, and eye cream. My skin is extremely sensitive to ingredients, so until I find the aggravating perps, I've eliminated my favorite serums. (So sad.) That said, hyaluronic acid is probably one of the most benign—and essential—ingredients for a healthy complexion, so I felt comfortable trying out this formula from Trader Joe's. I appreciated that there were minimal ingredients and it seemed like a really pure formula—aka I wasn't worried about it exacerbating my skin. And I was right! To be honest, I never notice a difference between $300 hyaluronic acid serums and $20 hyaluronic serums, and this Trader Joe's formula is a great option if you're on a budget. It did exactly what I had hoped it would; drenched my skin with some much-needed hydration (this time of year is a bugger for dry skin) and gave me a dewy, healthy glow. The consistency is nice, and it didn't cause my skin to have any type of reaction or breakout. 10/10!" — Erin Jahns
"I have very pale skin, so I take my sunscreen extremely seriously. When I first read the label, the Trader Joe's Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion ($10) checked all the boxes: It's SPF 40 (I don't mess around with anything lower), broad-spectrum, and is a mineral sunscreen as opposed to a chemical one, which is often less irritating. (Read more on mineral versus chemical sunscreens here.) I slathered it on my face before a day of work, and by the end of the day, I would rate it about a seven out of 10. It doesn't leave a white cast and feels nice on the skin, but it does feel thicker than my go-to Supergoop! sunscreen and takes more effort to blend in. I prefer sunscreens that are a bit easier to glide on your skin. It left my face slightly shiny, but if you interpret it as glowiness, you might not be mad at that. It's been two days since I started using it, and it hasn't made me break out, which is great. Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my neck, chest, and body, but it wouldn't be my favorite facial sunscreen. Remember: The best sunscreen is the one you are willing to use every single day, so don't settle for anything less!" — Erin Fitzpatrick
"I think this serum felt like a silicone primer because of its velvety texture. If you've ever tried Supergoop!'s Unseen Sunscreen, this serum is quite similar to that texture. As it happens, though, it's not my personal favorite consistency at all. A lot of people love a velvety-matte-gel feel, but I really prefer serums like Caudalie's Anti Dark Spot Serum that feel more like a super-lightweight cream. This serum has no smell in my opinion, which is actually a plus for me." — Erin Fitzpatrick
"After washing my face at night, I put the serum on. It was more oily-feeling than I thought it would be. I normally opt for serums that are lighter and on the watery side, but to me, this one felt more like a face oil. It did help my dried-out skin, though. I had a little dry patch underneath my eye, and the next morning it looked a lot smoother. I don't know if I would use it every day since it's not my favorite texture-wise, but I will add it to the mix of products that I rotate in and out." — Sarah Yang
5. Micellar Cleanser and Makeup Remover Towelettes ($4)
"I know single-use makeup remover wipes are so bad for the environment, but they're a staple in my house for those nights when I just can't with my full skincare routine. These ones smell really nice, and I like the idea that they're soaked in micellar water and aren't too stripping. I'll definitely use the pack until it's gone." — Courtney Higgs
"Even though I consider myself a little bit of a product snob when it comes to beauty, I can never make myself spend a lot of money on makeup remover. It's just so counterintuitive to me! I'm actually a HUGE fan of Trader Joe's Natural Facial Cleansing Pads With Tea Tree Oil (they're perfect for that crucial time after a workout and before you shower), so I was excited to try these micellar-infused towelettes as an alternative option. I'll be honest—I'm strictly a wipes type of girl when it comes to makeup removal, and I have never boarded the fast-and-furious micellar-water train, so these spiked towelettes felt like a good compromise. Many wipes don't get the job done as fast as I want them to because they're not saturated with enough product, but I found these were efficient, soothing, and worked like charm for getting my face clean and product-free in just a matter of minutes. They also smelled nice, didn't leave behind any sticky or oily residue, and didn't irritate my skin or eyes. These were a win for me!" — Erin Jahns