If you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, you know it’s the ultimate spot for cookie butter, frozen pizza and cheap wine. But their most underrated section? Beauty. Check out our picks for the best in TJ’s skincare!
Natural Facial Cleansing Pads ($4)
If you ever used those oxy acne pads as a hormonal zit-faced teen, these are the grown-up version. The tea tree oil and other all-natural ingredients keep your skin clear without the skin-stripping acne-fighting ingredients in most washes and pads. These pads keep my occasional breakouts away and somehow manage to keep my oily forehead sheen away all day. I’ve also read that they do wonders for cystic acne and the dreaded bacne. So, if you struggle with face or body zits and want to avoid all the harsh chemicals that are in most acne products, these are a great option for you.
They can be a bit drying so make sure to follow up with a moisturizer/avoid these if you have super dry skin. They also have a pretty strong tea tree smell but I’m kind of into it. I would definitely not recommend these as a makeup remover unless you want to smear mascara all over your face, so make sure you’re already makeup free when you use these.
Tea Tree Face Wash ($6)
Similar to the cleansing pads, this is a GREAT option for oily skin and acne when you want to go the natural route. This also has that strong tea tree smell and tingle that some people might not be into, but I think it’s great. From my experience and other reviews I’ve read, it’s also a superstar at fighting zits for people of all ages.
The downside: The packaging and consistency totally suck, so be extra careful when squirting it into your hand. Unlike most face washes, this is a thin liquid so be careful when using the pump. You can accidentally nail yourself in the eye, which from my experience burns like the wrath of Satan. It’s also not the hottest makeup remover, as I noticed when I walked out of the shower looking like the Kung-Fu Panda after a swim.
Besides the liquidity, I’d recommend this face wash to any and everyone with oily to normal skin but definitely not dry skin. I noticed a positive change in breakouts and post-breakout scars after using it for only a few days.
Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm ($4)
As someone with a beauty budget of around 75 cents after rent and food every month, I am all about a multi-use product. This balm is da bomb (sorry I had to.) It’s non-greasy and made with some of the best natural moisturizing ingredients you’d find in a lot of lotions and balms such as cocoa and shea butter. I’ve been using it on my lips every day and it’s one of the few products out there that actually keeps them from peeling. It also does wonders on dry heels and elbows and I’ve even used it as a brow gel. Head to toe right? Bonus– the packaging is adorable and my coworkers constantly ask me about it.
If you are just buying this for your lips, it’s kind of a pain to open this giant tin every time you need a swipe. But, as a multi-use product, it’s at the top of my list!
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ($6)
I cannot stress enough how much I love using coconut oil as a moisturizer. It’s cheap and lasts forever. I’m not going to lie, TJ’s coconut oil is probably going to give you the same results as any other virgin coconut oil but since we’re doing a TJ’s post, I thought I’d throw it in.
I slap on a thin layer after washing my face every morning and it is the best natural primer for everyday use. If you’ve ever been as annoyed as I have at your foundation for looking caked on, use coconut oil as a primer. Your foundation will blend so seamlessly everyone will just think you’re naturally flawless. For a big night out, a fancy gala or hittin’ da club, I’d still recommend a makeup primer. But, for the daily office grind, coconut oil is the way to go.
Bonus: When you want to take off your makeup at the end of the day, this stuff doubles as an easy makeup remover. Just rub a ton of it all over your face and use a baby wipe or makeup wipe to wipe it off. Voila! The best makeup remover you will ever use!
Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo ($4)
As someone whose hair gets greasy, I need a good clarifying shampoo that will detoxify without destroying my precious overly damaged strands. TJ’s Tea Tree Tingle is great for removing all that dirt and buildup while helping keep your scalp itch and flake free. It’s a great alternative to that embarrassing Head and Shoulders bottle no one wants to be seen with in their shower.
The downside: I wouldn’t recommend using this daily. Similar to most clarifying shampoos, it can be drying. I also noticed more hair fell out after using this more than my regular Argon shampoo. My hair didn’t fall out in giant scary clumps or anything but definitely a few more strands than usual.
If you want to double up on the tea tree adventure, there is also a matching conditioner for $4 that I have yet to experiment with, but it’s probably pretty good too. This is one of the few shampoos I’ve used that’s left my scalp totally squeaky clean without a rinse and repeat. The tingly feeling lets you know it’s working. Definitely condition after using this though- the tea tree oil makes your hair super dry.
Antioxidant Facial Serum ($10)
I will admit I hoard serums. I have everything from Vitamin C serum, to Hyaluronic Acid serum, to Retinol serum. This TJ’s serum contains just the right amount of everything to create an even toned, glowy skin that’s also soft.
Living in NYC, I love a good anti-oxidant face product to fight all the crap in the air that slowly destroys my skin every time I walk outside. If you have acne or are seriously breakout prone, I wouldn’t recommend this as it can be a bit heavy and probably won’t help with zits. This serum is not what I expected from its gel-like consistency but it spreads like a primer.
For anti-aging and brightening, this stuff is a steal at $10. I’ve seen products out there with similar ingredients in fancy little tubes that sell upwards of $100. I’ve also found that it mixes GREAT with foundation to make a nifty little tinted moisturizer that’s also good for you!
Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion ($4)
This silky moisturizer is A+ for oily or combination skin. It’ll leave your face super soft, but not shiny like some heavy moisturizers out there. It also contains a pale girl’s BFF, sunscreen, but I would still recommend using something stronger than SPF 15 if you’re hitting the beach.
This moisturizer is a dream if you’re breakout prone. I’ve noticed my skin has actually been clearer using this $4 stuff than when I used to use Neutrogena’s daily SPF 15.
For the older ladies out there looking for some powerful anti-aging results, this probably isn’t the key to looking 19 again. But similar to TJ’s other face products, this does contain some antioxidants for a bit of an anti-aging boost that you don’t get from most basic moisturizers these days. While it may be too lightweight for super dry skin, this moisturizer has been my go-to favorite over every similar and more expensive product out there.