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Dollars & Sense: Why This Grape-Derived Serum is Better than Wine

Our pick of the week: Recently, we were bummed to learn that a daily glass of wine may not be so good for your health after all. While we’re not ready to renounce pinot noir just quite yet, we do know that the alcohol in wine can lead to a host of skin woes, from dehydration to redness and inflammation. So the best way to reap the antioxidant benefits of grapes (besides eating the fruit or drinking non-alcoholic wine) can be found in skincare products.

Our current favorite is Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. The brand spent years researching and patenting the active ingredient, viniferine, a compound derived from grape vine sap. The result is a silky serum that works to undo all kinds of skin damage, from dark spots caused by excessive sun exposure to the overall dullness that sets in after a weekend of nonstop party-hopping.  

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Why This Hydrating Mist Is Better Than A 12-Pack of Coconut Water

Our pick of the week: It’s a universally acknowledged truth that a girl who has dry skin must be in want of a facial mist. Alright, even if you missed the Pride and Prejudice reference, we’re sure you shouldn’t go without Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist. We love this botanical spray for its rehydrating powers. It has moisturizing aloe, glycerin, and marshmallow root, plus soothing rose extracts (and it smells like wildflowers to boot). 

If you’re still a bit perplexed by the idea of a facial mist, we understand—these two-in-one toners and hydrators are a bit of a dark horse in the beauty industry, but we think they should play a role in everyone’s regimen. You can use Jurlique’s mist in three ways. First, spray it on right after washing your face to balance out your skin’s pH levels (it also helps seal in moisture and preps your skin for other products). Second, use it to set your makeup and prevent caking if you wear foundation or powder. Finally, keep it at your desk to refresh your skin and wake yourself up when you’re jonesing for a nap around 3pm. No matter how you’re using it, the trick is to hold the nozzle at arm’s length and spray far away—the fine mist should cover your face evenly.

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Dollars & Sense: Why This Exfoliating Mitt Beats a New Top

Our pick of the week: Back in our pre-Birchbox days, we thought exfoliation was synonymous with harsh scrubs or grubby washcloths that felt like sandpaper on our skin. Now we know that’s so old school. Thanks to the help of gentle exfoliators like MicrodermaMitt’s Face Mitt, we can get a smooth complexion without stripping away a whole layer of skin—cue happy dance.  

Inspired by Turkish spa treatments, this dermatologist-approved mitt is made of 100 percent natural floss silk, which gives it a soft, finely grained texture that’s a far cry from the washcloths of yore. Plus, it’s super fun to use: just slip your hand into the mitt, wet it under a running faucet, and glide it across your skin—no separate cleanser necessary. It gets rid of all the oil, dirt, makeup, and dead cells that clog your pores and lead to breakouts, and our experience proves that it will leave your skin softer with just one use. Incorporate it into your weekly regimen, and over time it will help fade the look of the scars, sun spots, and fine lines that mar your topmost layers of skin (pretty cool, right?). 

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Dollars & Sense: Why This Moisturizing Bar Beats Out Bottled Water

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why our latest pick is a smart splurge. This week, we’re showing off one of our new April finds! 


Our pick of the week:  We first became intrigued by Erno Laszlo when we saw that the brand’s past and present client list was like a Who’s Who of Hollywood: Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Madonna, just to name a few. If so many iconic celebs swore by the brand’s signature cleansing bars, we figured we had to try it for ourselves. 

At first glance, Erno Laszlo’s Active pHelityl Soap looks like any bar of soap you’ll find on the drugstore shelves. But don’t be fooled, this bar is actually the exact opposite of regular bar soap: it adds moisture and balances out your skin’s pH levels with natural safflower seed oil and moisturizing glycerin. Use it with Erno Laszlo’s intensive (but worthwhile) face-splashing technique, and we think you’ll be as super-pleased with the results as we are. 

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Dollars & Sense: Why We Can’t Get Enough of This Fresh Scent

Our pick of the week: Here at Birchbox, we take the concept of season-appropriate products seriously. Just as we wouldn’t be caught dead wearing boots when the rest of the city is sporting sandals, now that it’s spring we’re swapping out our heavy perfumes for Atelier’s light green scent Trèfle Pur. This clean blend of bitter orange, delicate clover, and freshly cut grass makes us feel like we’re frolicking in an open field, even when we’re desk-bound.

This isn’t your typical eau de parfum. One of Atelier’s signature Cologne Absolues, Trèfle Pur is a boutique scent designed to reveal its composition over time and outlast other fragrances (we put it to the test this morning, and we’re happy to report it’s still lingering well past lunchtime).  Learn more about our current spring fragrance obsession after the jump!

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Dollars & Sense: Why This Smart Sunscreen Trumps a Sun Hat

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why that fancy serum or cream is a smart splurge. This week, we’re showing off one of our brand new products! 


Our pick of the week: We’re total sunscreen geeks here at Birchbox HQ, but even the most SPF savvy among us were blown away by NIA 24’s Sun Damage Prevention Sunscreen. As the name suggests, the broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen shields us from both UVA and UVB rays, but it also has the miraculous ability to fade the signs of past sun exposure (read: dark spots) and fortify skin against future damage. How does it work? The brand’s buzzed-about ingredient, Pro-Niacin, is a refined form of vitamin B that sinks beneath the surface to trigger your cells’ natural repair process. It also boosts your skin’s defense barrier, making it better equipped to deflect harmful solar rays. Plus, we’re happy to report that the creamy lotion isn’t greasy at all and works perfectly under makeup. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind sunscreen after the jump!

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Dollars & Sense: Why You Need This Stretch Mark Cream Instead of a Bikini

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why that fancy serum or cream is a smart splurge. This week, we’re previewing one of March’s samples (get excited!).

Our pick of the week: Until we found Apothederm’s highly concentrated cream, the thought of showing our stretch marks to the world was enough to make us dread bikini season. But thanks to this fast-acting formula, the unsightly fault lines on our thighs, bellies, and hips are finally disappearing (now if only summer would hurry up and get here faster). The targeted cream is filled with patented peptides that fade discoloration, plus brightening amino acids and natural moisturizers like shea and cocoa butters. You can expect to notice visible vanishing results in as little as two weeks, and the longer you use it, the more improvement you’ll see. Take our advice, and start using it now to prep for upcoming poolside sessions. Learn more about this miraculous cream after the jump!

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Dollars & Sense: Why You Should Buy a Clarisonic Over a New Pair of Jeans

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why our latest pick is a smart splurge.

Our pick of the week: If you’ve yet to try the Clarisonic, drop everything and listen up. The entire Birchbox team agrees that this next-gen device is the best thing that’s happened to our skin since we learned to stop lathering up with bar soap. A bit like an electric toothbrush for your face, the oscillating bristles help dislodge twice as much dirt and oil (and six times as much makeup) as washing with your hands alone. In weeks, your skin will feel much smoother and clearer. And, unlike other investments (cough cough, your tenth pair of designer jeans), this evergreen complexion helper will never lose its appeal. Learn more about why we love the Clarisonic after the jump!

How long it will last: As long as you replace the brush head every three to four months, the Clarisonic will work as well as it did the first time, for years and years. No wear and tear to worry about here. 

Buy this, not that: At $195, the Clarisonic Classic rings in at almost exactly the same price as a new pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans. We don’t know about you, but our closets are already awash in a sea of interchangeable denim, while you only need one of these miracle-working brushes to snag glowing skin for years to come. 

—Mai

Looking for something more travel-friendly? Check out Clarisonic’s pint-sized Mia brush.

Dollars & Sense: Why This Two-in-One Moisturizer Rocks

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why that fancy serum or cream is a smart splurge.

Our pick of the week: We used to think of exfoliating and moisturizing as two separate steps, but all that changed when we stumbled upon Clark’s Botanicals’ Smoothing Marine Cream. The cult brand’s bestselling product dissolves dead cells overnight with a gentle dose of glycolic acid. Not only does this buzzed-about ingredient soften the look of fine lines and brown spots, it also increases your skin’s ability to retain water. Learn more about why Clark’s moisturizer is well worth the splurge after the jump!

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Dollars & Sense: Why Eye Serum is a Great Investment

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why that fancy serum or cream is a smart splurge. 

Our pick of the week: VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything Eye Serum. The skincare equivalent of our morning cup of coffee, this targeted treatment is made with a host of both high-tech and familiar ingredients to perk up tired eyes. A unique vasoactive boosts circulation and reduces the look of puffy circles. Kinetin growth factors amp up skin’s elastin and collagen production, while USDA-certified organic coconut oil heals and rebuilds damaged cell membranes. Finally, the pharmaceutical-grade formula omits 76 of the most common allergens, so it won’t irritate your sensitive eye area. Learn more after the jump!

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