Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature in which ITG’s editors discuss our favorite products. They’re the best things we’ve tried all month long, reviewed, photographed, and anthropomorphized before we have the opportunity to get sick of them and move on to something new. This month we jumped straight into autumn—temperatures dropped, pumpkins spiced, and though no one was particularly in the mood for tricks, treats still abounded. We’re caring for our bodies on the outside and the inside, and finding new ways to feel good without straying too far from home. Maybe that’s by seeing a burst of color each time we pass a mirror, or smelling a particularly lovely fragrance as a reward for frequent hand washing. From morning till cozy nights, here’s what we used up in October.
“I didn’t realize how much I appreciated this sunscreen until I was on my last drop. As my daily body sunscreen, it sits on my desk right by my living room window, where the sun beats unforgivingly every day around noon. Yes, you do smell a light sunscreen-y scent when you first squeeze the tube and apply, but it’s nice…like the way you smell a beach before you see the shore. It fades seconds after application anyway, along with a lightweight, cooling finish. Because it’s within arms reach, it’s never a big ordeal to reapply every two hours or if I need to pop out of the house to run an errand. Pick it up if you’ve been slacking on your body sunscreen game but don’t want it to be a burden.” —Utibe Mbagwu
“The products I actually use every day are pretty boring, but if you’re a beauty utilitarian like I am you appreciate when your staples get upgraded. Like, consider this toothpaste from Ojook that uses baked bamboo salts and nano-hydroxyapatite instead of… well, whatever is normally in toothpaste. NHA is naturally found in tooth enamel and was first synthesized by NASA scientists. It’s been shown to remineralize teeth comparably to fluoride, and it’s also antimicrobial and minimizes tooth sensitivity. And bamboo salt, used in Korean traditional medicine, has been clinically proven to reduce plaque and inflammation. When I first started using this toothpaste, it hurt. My gums bled for a week, and my teeth would sting after I rinsed. I only kept using it because my mouth felt so incredibly clean—squeaky clean, you know? Even when I woke up in the morning, my teeth were totally smooth from brushing the night before. Now that I’m nearly finished with the tube, the stinging has stopped and I’m obsessed. I’m also hooked on its slightly salty flavor, which I will admit is probably an acquired taste.” —Ali Oshinsky
“I’ve been somewhat obsessive about hand soaps, for obvious reasons. Before, when I wasn’t home all day and washing my hands after every little brief interaction with the outside world, I didn’t think too much about the stuff. Sometimes I’d splurge on a really nice bottle and it’d last for ages. Other times I’d pick up a cheap one from Target on my way home. But since handwashing is so entrenched in my day-to-day now, I’m trying to elevate the whole experience. And Other Stories’ hand soap is my go-to. The bottles are beautiful, the scents are luxurious yet not cloying, and they’re not a million dollars. The Perle de Coco one is my current favorite: smooth, comforting coconut (Byredo’s nose is known to have worked on many of their scents), wrapped in a moisturizing formula that doesn’t dry out my hands. I bought a giant bottle that And Other Stories seems to be out of at the moment, but it wouldn’t be a bad plan to stock up on a few of the smaller bottles as well for a healthy rotation. A flight of hand soaps, if you will, to keep things interesting.” —Ashley Weatherford
“Everyone thinks their probiotic is the best, but this one actually is. I had been taking Seed probiotics for a year, and I liked them a lot! The thing is, I didn’t realize that I loved them until I replaced them with a different probiotic. My affair lasted a month, and over that time I felt bloated and nauseous, and my skin blew up with inflammation. Actually, the difference in my skin was so noticeable that I completely overhauled my routine, thinking that something in there must have been breaking me out. Then I went back on Seed, my breakouts and discomfort went away, and I started connecting the dots. As all ingestible supplements should be, Seed is backed by science (it’s got an advisory board of 13 doctors both medical and academic and extensive clinical trials). But the brand also takes extensive steps to making sure their process, like their product, is digestible. I particularly love how every bottle has a list of the bacteria strains you’re taking, including specific blends for your gut, heart, and skin, plus hair and nails. And if you want to know more, go to their website to learn more—you won’t find dumbed-down diagrams or misinformation, just clear, concise knowledge. Doesn’t it feel good to trust science?” —AO
“Welp, it happened to me. After years and years of reading and writing about stubborn dark marks, I finally happened upon some recent splotches of my own. Can’t say how or when I got them, but in their wake I’ve turned to this megadose of vitamin C (25-percent) to blast them away. A pinprick of Super Booster is all I’ve been using to fade away my pimple-size circles of hyperpigmentation—actually, I’d argue that it’s the best way to treat these small kind of marks specifically. Peels and acids would work, but a daily peel seems a bit like using a chainsaw to sharpen a pencil. Or, I could also treat them with retinol, but that takes too long to get up and running (six weeks, minimum). But this spot treatment? With daily use my marks started to show signs of fading after day two, and they were completely gone after a couple of weeks. No burning or irritation in sight, just a reset to smooth, clear skin. Just like the little tube says! Love it when that happens.” —AW
“I’ve been reaching for this Sisley Lipstick in 13 Beige El Dorado to make me feel polished at a moment’s notice. Probably because it’s an actual statement lip instead of a nude lip—the latter always fades into the rest of my face and never leaves a mark on my Zoom screen appearance. I’m a sucker for a brick red lip color, but it’s been so long since I’ve felt like applying one. I’m finding that it’s an ideal reintroduction to regular lipstick wear. It’s incredibly comfortable and leaves almost a balmy finish. It’s great for the indoors. Of course, when I need to head outside, the dream is left on the inside of my mask—are there any brick red lip tints you guys love? Please share!” —UM
Photos via ITG