5 Bad Ass Skin Care Products (& 9 less expensive alternatives!)

Now that I’m older I’m realizing more and more just how important skincare is in aging. Sure, there are neurotoxins, fillers, lifts and tucks, but none of those mean a damn thing if you’re not rocking healthy skin to support it.

And if you were depending on lasers to be your saving grace then think again. There will be a time, at a certain age, when you decide that there is something more valuable than vanity and that’s time.

Unless you want to spend your adult life recovering from treatment after treatment, chasing a dream. No? Then you really MUST get your skin regimen in order, like now.

So, I’m going to tell you about five industry favorites and some less expensive alternatives.

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic ($159ish) 😮 is ground zero in my skincare regimen. I put it on before all of my other skincare products first thing in the morning to protect my skin from the environment.

Super Power Ingredients:

Skinceutical C E Ferulic is a highly potent, form of pure 15% Vitamin C , Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), and ferulic acid that work synergetically to help protect against environmental damage caused by ozone pollution and free radicals that accelerate the aging process. (bastards.)

teeny heartYou can get a free sample of Skinceutical C E Ferulic by signing up on the Skinceuticals website here.

Budget Friendly Options

But, there are other products with antioxidants similar to those in the C E Ferulic such as:

Complete Skin Solutions Vitamin C + E Serum

Complete Skin Solutions Advanced Vitamin C + E Serum has the same power ingredients, Vitamin C (15%), Vitamin E (1%) , Hyaluronic Acid and Ferulic (0.5%) for under $30

Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum

The Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum (see how they did that? “ceuticals” ;)) which uses d-Alpha- Tocopheryl , a natural Vitamin E for under $20

I’m totally grabbing both of those when my Skinceuticals version is out!

TNS Essential Serum®

Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum ($239 – $289) is the next step in my skincare regimen, both in the morning and at night to help keep my skin moisturized, bright and glowing.

You’ll notice that I’m not bitching about the price. And I’m not gonna lie, the stuff smells like wet dog but it’s one skincare product that doctors, aestheticians, and beauty mavens can agree about because it works.

Super Power Ingredients:

There are some cool ass ingredients in the TNS Essential Serum such as skin brighteners like Alpha-Arbutin and Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™ that trap water on the skin’s surface.

However, the real magic happens with SkinMedica’s TNS Recovery Complex® (TNS) and the APS Correcting Complex® (APS) that are cleverly concealed in the two chambers of the TNS Essential Serum bottle.

Chamber 1 contains TNS Recovery Complex® made up of a growth factor formula called Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS®) in order to counter the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone and texture.

teeny heartGrowth factors are the cells that signal our molecules to stimulate more cell growth to take the place of senescent cells (dead cells) in order to keep our skin thick and nourished.

(this ingredient can also be bought separately called, you guessed it, TNS Recovery Complex )

Chamber 2 has the APS Corrective Complex with peptides for skin support and antioxidants that fight free radical damage.

Mixed in with these super hero ingredients come the Alpha-Arbutin known to lighten hyper-pigmented skin, and Hyaluronic Filling Spheres that trap water on the skin’s surface to help retain maximum moisture.

beautyblackbook heartI’m going to piss some peeps off for telling you about this but sometimes you can find TNS Essential Serum as cheap as $125 for an 1oz (or $79 for .6oz) at ebay  (If you do go this route though make sure that the box is sealed, and the bottle & box have a serial number. Then call SkinMedica and verify it’s real and also not expired.)

Alternative Products:

Delfogo RX SkinPro Anti-Aging Serum

The Delfogo RX SkinPro Anti-Aging Serum has 22% Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) which is the highest potency available for considerably less than the TNS serum. ($39ish) 

Catherine Jinn Pro Bio-Placenta Essence

Catherin Jinn Pro Bio-

Catherine Jinn Pro Bio-Placenta Essence

Then there’s the Catherine Jinn Pro Bio-Placenta Essence ($40ish) that has hyaluronic acid (HA) for skin hydration, epidermal growth factor (EGF)  for  general rejuvenation, and neuropeptides to smooth out wrinkles.

Coui Super C Serum

For a bit less cash you can consider the Coui Super C Serum ($37ish) which has Vitamin C, HA, Collagen and EGF.

S|B|C Secret EGF Serum

S|B|C Secret EGF Serum

S|B|C Secret EGF Serum

Finally, the S|B|C Secret EGF Serum ($28ish) has EGF to help with collagen production that can improve texture and elasticity,  ChroNOline™, a biomimetic peptide , a synthetic form of amino acids to activate skin repair and Cococin™ that has lots of essential fatty acids to stimulate blood circulation and promote the general health of the skin.


Biologique Recherche P50 1970 Lotion

The Biologique Recherche P50 1970 Toner is a super strong exfoliating toner and is considered a game changer in the beauty industry. I use it several times a week after cleansing my skin

The P50 1970 (original version) removes pore clogging dead skin cells like nobody’s business. In doing so it not only helps your yummy products to penetrate the skin better and, in doing so, addresses skin issues such as blotchiness, coarse wrinkles, and acne scars.

Superpower Ingredients:

Phenol for deep exfoliation, lactic acid to stimulate cell turnover, and salicylic acid which addresses acne, and niacinimide to improve the appearance of large pores, are the superpower ingredients in the P50 1970.

Phenol is able to penetrate the skin deeper than AHA peels or TCA peels.

Alternative Products:

Why? You can get this product at $28 at Rescue Spa. 😉

Factor Five Skin Serum

The guys at Silicon Valley have a lot to do with the technology behind the Factor Five skincare line thanks to the advanced research human stem cells.

The Factor Five product that I use is the Factor Five Regenerative Serum ($169ish) to fight the five signs of aging:

  • Wrinkles
  • Sunspots
  • Elasticity
  • Thickness
  • Texture

I like serums because they are quick to absorb into the skin leaving plenty of room for more thicker products but this particular one can be applied to the eye area and even has studies proving that it can promote the growth of your eyelashes too!

Super Power Ingredients:

HGF and cytokines derived from human stem cells, are the magic ingredients in the Factor Five Regenerative Serum.

As we age, our skin decides that it is tired of making cytokines and growth factors that would otherwise keep it younger looking. Damn skin! Now the geniuses at Silicon Valley, designed the Factor Five with those very same growth factors and cytokines, derived from human stem cells.

Alternative Products:

Neocutis Bio-Restorative Hydrogel

The Neocutis Bio-restorative Hydrogel ($135ish) is powered by processed skin proteins (PSP) to which is made of human growth factors, interleukins and other cytokines to diminish wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.

Lifeline Neck Firming Complex

Lifeline Neck Firming Complex ($95ish)  utilizes peptides derived from non-embryonic human stem cells in their moisturizers.

I like this too because they offer the option of buying their luxury travel collection ($105ish) that includes a bit of the Lifeline Brightening Cleanser, Daily Defense Complex, Recovery Night Moisture Serum, Eye Firming Complex, Neck Firming Complex, and Dual Action Exfoliator!

Ruby-Cell 4UMist

Ruby-Cell 4UMist ($58ish)  contains 1% of human advanced adipose-derived protien extract called liposomes. Liposomes have the unique ability to penetrate the lipid barrier of the skin down to the under layers that are responsible for skin health.

“The Rich Cream” by Augustinus Bader

Augustinus Bader “The Rich Cream” ($265 50ml, $180 30ml, $80 15ml) is the cherry top of my skincare regimen. It’s like, special. It has some cool stuff in it but it really hurts dolling out all of that cash (because 15ml of this stuff is more like a sample).

I use this at night after my TNS Essential Serum but I rotate it between a few other products. It doesn’t do well under makeup. It kind of rolls up in a weird sort of way so I limit it to nighttime use.

The good thing about this high-falutin, Kris Jenner using stuff it that you only need to use a teeny bit to make your skin all dewy and soft. But that’s not enough to justify the cost.

But what does is the way it helps the skin that I will be living with in the future.

Super Power Ingredient:

The magic of Augustinus Bader’s Precise Personalized Cosmetics is TFC8® or the trigger factor complex that supports the body’s intrinsic renewal process.

TFC8® is made up of about 40 natural amino acids, skin-essential vitamins, and other synthesized molecules, helping “The Rich Cream” to visibly lessen the signs of aging and leave the skin looking restored, rejuvenated and radiant.

Skin cells regenerate every 27 days and TFC8 combined with shea butter, aloe leaf, and avocado, primrose, or sunflower oils, you know that this renewal cream has hydration at its heart!

It’s expensive for the average skin princess but the bottle serves out ALL of the product leaving nada for waste.

Augustinus Bader "The Rich Cream"

Augustinus Bader “The Rich Cream” leaves no product to waste.

There is no real alternative to Mr. Bader’s concoction but you don’t have to buy a 50ml bottle. To save some cash try the two week 15ml ($80)  or the travel size option which is 30ml ($160) and rotate it with your other skincare creamy lotions.beautyblackbook keeping you in the know