'I’m a beauty editor. Here are 12 "unsexy" skincare products I always buy.'

You know what we're talking about. Plain packaging. No gold-plated lid (?). Zero glitter (??). Doesn't even come with a mini quartz jade roller (???). 

I mean, we're all suckers for buzzy products that look pretty - you'd totally be lying if you said otherwise. But more often than not, we know that pricey products can just end up being some ridiculously good looking packaging and not much else.

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This is where our reliable, 'unsexy' products come in. They might not be easy on the eye, but they're always on time. Never talk s**t about you behind your back. Won't nick off with your wallet.

And they actually work. Goodness, how nice is that for a change?

Wanna know what they are? Course you do! We all do. 

Below, I've rounded up some of my favourite 'unsexy' skincare products, that pack a real punch when it comes to results.

Medik8 C-Tetra Lipid Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum, $78.20.

Image: Adore Beauty  


It might look science-y AF, but Medik8's C-Tetra Lipid Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum is a seriously good time. Honestly, it is.

It's made up of 100 per cent stable vitamin C and essential fatty acids to keep your cute face looking bright, youthful, and hydrated - which is the dream, really. 

Listen: Help! My vitamin C is turning my eyebrows orange! On this episode of You Beauty, Kelly and Leigh are answering ALL your listener questions. Post continues below.

I have pretty sensitive skin, and while I struggle to work some other vitamin C formulations into my routine (read: skin gets pissed off), this one doesn't seem to irritate like the rest of 'em.

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Tub, $5.99.

Image: Chemist Warehouse 

Imagine if I made a list of products I'm obsessed with and DIDN'T include a tub of Vaseline in it? HA! As if I would. Everyone knows Vaseline is the best thing since Chris Hemsworth. I could honestly smear it on my toast every morning, I love it that much. 


I have tubs of the stuff everywhere, and I'm forever slathering it on my lips, eyelids (at night), on my destroyed skin post-actives and on dry spots that seem to pop up TOO often for my liking. You know how the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding likes Windex so much? This is my Windex.

Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid, $52.

Image: Paula's Choice  

God, I love Paula. And her products. One of my faves of the bunch is this guy - the Hyaluronic Acid Booster

I've tried a million different hyaluronic acid serums, and it's one of the ingredients I use the most - twice a day, every day. This might not look as jazzy as some of the options out there, but it's bloody good. 

Although small and unassuming, this product instantly gives my skin a slurp of hydration and has the most beautiful plumping effect (I bring it right up around my eyes to nix those fine lines for a bit).

As mentioned, the bottle is small, but a little goes a long way (you only need two to three pumps, max). And I love how it's not a dropper/pipette situation - I always end up using too much because I have zero self control.

Biologi Bk Rejuvenation Eye Serum, $25.

Image: Adore Beauty 


While it's technically an eye product, you can also use this stuff all over your face as a serum - and gosh, it's good. Especially if you struggle with incorporating vitamin C into your routine - it's super gentle and won't feel like it's burning your face off.

Combined with antioxidants, this serum helps take care of sun spots and signs of pigmentation, as well as brightening the skin and reducing redness (something my skin really excels at, bless).

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume, $15.49.

Image: Chemist Warehouse 


I’ve been blessed with an *actual* flake for a face, so one of the products I buy on rotation is La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume

A dermatologist recommended it to me a few years back when I burnt off a whole layer of skin with acids - and since then, it’s just become one of those staples that I always repurchase. 

I pop it on at night (she’s thick) when my skin is feeling dry, irritated and needy (always) and it just gives it a big swift kick of hydration and leaves it feeling comfortable and smooth by morning. 

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Original, $30.

Image: MECCA

If you're a dame with a face, chances are you've heard of Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream - it's been around for yonks

Oh, come on! You've definitely heard of it - maybe you just had your Airpods in or something. 

The cult Eight Hour Cream has been around since the 1930s (told ya it was old), and it's good for just about anything. Chapped lips! Fine lines! Dry elbows! Whacky cuticles! If you haven't tried it before, give 'er a whirl. You'll love it.


CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $10.39.

Image: Look Fantastic  

If you ask a dermatologist, most of them will tell you that a good gentle cleanser is sufficient for the average person - you really don't need to go about spending big on your face wash. It just needs to be a smart one. Gentle! Fragrance-free! Non-Drying! Great at long division!

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is one of those cleansers. You've probably seen her everywhere and heard the hype - but is she really anything special? 

Well, yes. Yes, she is. This is a good gentle cleanser that takes care of your skin, without breaking the bank. 

The creamy formula is made up of do-good ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, meaning it keeps the skin feeling lovely and hydrated after use - instead of that gross stone statue kind of feeling you get with other cleansers. 

Clear Skincare Vitamin B3 Serum, $36.

Image: Clear Skincare  


Have you tried Clear Skincare before? No? It's good stuff - give it a go. The products have a vibe similar to The Ordinary, in that the packaging is simple and the ingredients are clearly labelled on the front. 

One of my favourites is the Vitamin B3 Serum - it contains five per cent niacinamide in a one per cent hyaluronic acid serum. It's a great all rounder formula that tackles everything from premature ageing to dull skin, and it also won't break the bank - which is *always* preferred.

Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray, $20.79.

Image: Priceline 


Essential? Probably not. Do I use it regularly? Yup.

This fancy French face spay/baton has been a staple in my routine for years. She might not look like anything special, but for a gal with sensitive skin, she's a godsend. 

It's pretty much just water in a spray bottle (pls don't judge) - but I like how it soothes and calms redness and irritation on my face, and offers a hit of instant hydration. 

I spritz it on my skin after I cleanse, and I'll also just keep it on my desk during the day to mist my face - cause aircon and heating hate my skin.

Strataderm Scar Therapy Silicon Gel, $20.49.

Image: Chemist Direct  

I'm an actual nine-year-old child, so I not only have some existing scars, but I'm constantly gifting myself new ones. 

A dermatologist recommended this to me a few years back after I had my ✨second✨ knee reconstruction surgery, to help minimise the appearance of the scars. So, I've pretty much been using it since then and I totally rate it, you guys.

QV Intensive With Ceramides Light Moisturising Cream, $26.99.

Image: Priceline 


I have like three tubs/bottles of this floating around my life. One in the bathroom, one in my bedroom and one in the car. ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯  Love the stuff. 

It's great for dry, irritable skin (ME), and can be used on your face or body. I like that it's formulated with ceramides to help support your skin barrier (important), and a bottle of the stuff lasts for agessss. It's also delightfully fast-absorbing and non-greasy, which is always a good time. 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50+, $28.99.

Image: La Roche-Posay


There are SO many cool and swanky sunscreen formulas getting around these days. It makes remembering to apply SPF every day super easy - and we're all about it.

But there's some less-jazzy formulas out there that kind of fly under the radar. These kinds of guys might not be particularly Instagram-worthy, but they actually offer a heap of other benefits that your standard sunscreen wouldn't.

Take La Roche-Posay's Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream for example.

This ultra-light, non-shiny, non-greasy sunscreen has a lovely invisible finish and ticks all the boxes when it comes to UVA/UVB protection. It's dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin (and eyes) and I love how it doesn't go all gross and weird under makeup.

At Mamamia, we independently choose and write about products our writer's genuinely recommend. We have affiliate partnerships so if you use these links to buy something, Mamamia may earn a small commission.

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Have you tried any of the above products before? What are your faves? Share with us in the comment section below.

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