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Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Essential skin care products from Sephora worth stocking up on

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

When it comes to skin care, Sephora doesn’t disappoint. The beauty retailer sells thousands of items, including essential skin care products, from hundreds of prestige and luxury brands

If Sephora carries your go-to skin care products, whether it’s a gentle facial cleanser or nourishing serum, it’s worth stocking up on it. Investing in a few extra bottles means you won’t scramble to find replacements — or substitutes — when they're not available. And if you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider, the more you spend, the more you’ll earn in rewards to cash in on future purchases. 

Shop this article: Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening CleanserSkinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide CreamKiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream

Benefits of stocking up on essential skin care at Sephora

Product availability 

Popular skin care products at Sephora sell out fast, and supply chain interruptions continue. It’s wise to keep extra bottles of your favorite essential skin care products on hand because you can’t predict when they’ll be available. Certain products are also harder to find than others depending on the season, such as sunscreens and SPF moisturizers. 

Long shelf lives

On average, skin care products last for one to two years when they’re unopened and stored correctly. While you might be comfortable stocking up on skin care products you use infrequently, consider investing in your daily products, such as facial cleansers and moisturizers. Because they need to be replaced fairly often, it’s unlikely your backstock will expire before you use it. 

Beauty Insider benefits

When you buy in bulk at Sephora as a Beauty Insider, it’s easier to rack up rewards. It paves the way for your rise to the next level, which in turn unlocks new benefits. Sephora also has a relatively low threshold for free standard shipping that starts at $50 for Beauty Insiders — and it’s easy to meet the minimum when you buy two or more prestige skin care products. 

What are essential skin care products?

More than anything, essential skin care consists of products that cover high-priority skin concerns — and it varies from person to person. With that said, Sephora's most popular products include facial cleansers, moisturizers, serums, sunscreens and acne treatments

Facial cleanser

If there’s one product that everyone needs, it’s a facial cleanser. Water alone won’t remove dirt, and harsh soaps strip skin’s natural moisture barrier. Instead, facial cleansers are effective at removing daily buildup or makeup without drying or irritating skin. Sephora also offers a number of specialized formulas, including those that target acne or have built-in exfoliators. 


Face moisturizers boost hydration levels and leave skin softer, smoother and plumper. They function as protective barriers that minimize exposure to excessive moisture, environmental stressors and dry and cold air. Certain moisturizers also minimize the appearance of fine lines, dark spots or scars. Besides skin-based benefits, face moisturizers are essential for better foundation applications because they smooth over fine lines and dry, patchy areas. 


Serums deliver highly concentrated doses of nourishing ingredients, ranging from hyaluronic acid to niacinamide. Because they are potent formulas, it’s common to see results much sooner compared to other skin care products. To maximize benefits, serums are applied before a moisturizer so they’re “sealed” into skin. There are countless serums specially formulated for various skin types and concerns, and Sephora alone offers over 400 varieties. 


Although spending time outdoors is a healthy way to raise vitamin D levels, sun exposure increases the risk for skin cancer and ultraviolet-related damage. The Centers for Disease Control recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, ideally, SPF 15 or higher, to protect skin against UVA and UVB rays. It’s not limited to body sunscreen, either; you should apply — and reapply — face and lip sunscreen throughout the day. 

Acne treatment

At some point, everyone ends up with a blemish that calls for reinforcements, namely acne treatment products. They’re loosely grouped into two categories: preventive treatments, such as daily complexion pads, and spot treatments, including acne dots or topical gels. Most acne treatment products contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as their top ingredient, though several formulas include sulfur, glycolic acid, clay or tea tree oil.

Best skin care products at Sephora to stock up on

Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser

A pH-balanced formula, this gentle facial cleanser dissolves dirt and impurities with Japanese algae, hyaluronic acid and Hadasei-3. It leaves skin with a luminous glow and velvety-soft texture. 

Sold by Sephora

Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

If you have extra dry skin, this deep moisturizer is infused with hyaluronic acid to quench parched skin and shea butter to seal in hydration. It also contains active lips and peptides that plump skin and boost elasticity. 

Sold by Sephora

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream

Ideal for sensitive skin, this Kiehl’s moisturizer is fragrance-free, lightweight and nonirritating. The water-based formula is enriched with squalene, which enhances your skin’s moisture barrier and glycerin, which increases moisture retention. 

Sold by Sephora

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

A bestseller and Clean at Sephora product, this niacinamide serum minimizes the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It has a brightening effect on skin and it can be worn either on its own or beneath moisturizer and makeup.

Sold by Sephora

Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum

This Biossance night serum resurfaces skin overnight and leaves it smoother and softer, particularly around the chin and jawline. It has a non-greasy finish once it’s absorbed, so it won’t transfer onto clothing or pillows. 

Sold by Sephora

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

The SPF 40 sunscreen is virtually weightless, making it a suitable option to wear beneath makeup. The formula contains a meadowfoam seed complex, which smooths your skin’s texture and boosts its moisture levels. 

Sold by Sephora

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Salicylic Acid Pore Refining Pads

With 10% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid, these daily acne pads keep blemishes under control. Unlike other pads, they’re nondrying and can even be used on the arms, neck and chest. 

Sold by Sephora

Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots

These salicylic acid acne dots became a viral sensation for their overnight results and discrete design. They’re also well-received for their travel-friendly design, considering a single sheet fits in almost any cosmetics bag. 

Sold by Sephora

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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