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14 Skin Care Products So Good, You'll Want to Throw Away Your Foundation

These powerhouse products promise a brighter, clearer complexion
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Have you ever had one of those magical days when you look at your makeup-free face and realize that your bare skin actually looks better than if you were wearing foundation? It's rare, but it happens. And finding the right skin care picks can help you have those unicorn days a little more frequently.

Dull complexion? Add an exfoliating toner to your nighttime routine and follow it up with a hyaluronic acid serum. Acne? Call in the spot treatments. The scarring that inevitably follows the breakouts? Vitamin C is your girl. Oh, and when it's time to call in the big guns, never forget retinol, which can basically do it all.

Here's to the true skin care holy grails — the powerhouses that will have your natural skin looking better than the best foundations out there.

Image via Imaxtree

Acid toners — or glow tonics — are on the rise in a big way and it's easy to see why. They exfoliate oh-so-gently, brightening complexions and reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores practically overnight. This one combines glow-boosting glycolic acid along with probiotics, antioxidants and hydrating hyaluronic acid, which makes it especially good at what it does.

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In need of a little extra exfoliation? You might want to try out a peel like the Drunk Elephant Sukari Baby Facial (a product that's fast-approaching cult status). Designed to be used on a weekly basis, it offers a pretty major perk-me-up for your skin.

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This night cream is so good at what it does — it hydrates and smooths skin like you wouldn't believe. It works fast, diminishing the appearance of, well, pretty much everything: dark spots, pores and even fine lines.

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Here's another great gentle retinol option. Since it's a granactive retinoid, it's actually a bit less potentially irritating to your skin, as retinol products can be for some. The fact that it's delivered along with lightweight, hydrating squalane (another ingredient you should look into adding to your routine) also makes it an attractive pick.

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