The Best Beauty Products of 2016

By Ross Pelton

Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

May 20, 2016


The Jojoba Company Jojoba Bead Facial Cleanser ($35)

Pros: consistency, all natural exfoliants and moisturizers, non-abrasive, leaves skin clean

Cons: the smell

It can be tough to find a natural exfoliant that doesn’t rip your skin off your face. This gentle cleanser doesn’t use the plastic micro beads — that pollute the seas and endanger wildlife — used in most products. The senate banned these beads last year but manufacturers have until July 2017 to discontinue use of the tiny balls.

The cleanser has a milky consistency and the gentle beads leave skin feeling moisturized rather than dry like a lot of exfoliators. The Jojoba Company is also committed to not testing on animals or using animal derivatives, parabens, chemicals, sulphates, artificial fragrances, colors, perfumes, PEGs, mineral oil or petrochemicals. Win!

COVERGIRL truNAKED Shadow Palette ($10)

Pros: highly pigmented, blends easily, applies smoothly, great color, long-lasting, crease-resistant

Cons: dusty

I love this shadow palette. The eight colors are deeply pigmented and perfect for all skin types. The shadow goes on smoothly, blends well and stays put all day. It’s a great Naked3 dupe!

Head & Shoulders Nourishing Collection ($5)

Pros: reduces frizz, restores dry hair, smell, prevents itching and flaking, price

Cons: can make hair heavy

My perception of dandruff shampoo has not been the greatest. I’ve never had an issue with dandruff, so I obviously never felt the need to use it. But after a trip to Cincinnati this year, my perception of not only dandruff shampoo, but specifically the Head & Shoulders brand has significantly changed. I had a chance to visit Proctor & Gamble’s headquarters where I was given a tour of the archives and the building.

I also visited the Head & Shoulders lab and made my very own batch of Head & Shoulders! The amount of time they have put, and continue to put, into the brand is astounding.

I will shamelessly admit I have been a hair product snob in the past, but that attitude is gone. My fancy-pants products never left my hair as soft and silky as Head & Shoulders. Just make sure you use both the shampoo and conditioner. The scientists said they specifically created the products to work together.

Osmosis Goji Berry Liquid Foundation ($45)

Pros: full coverage, eight color choices, long lasting, light consistency, dewey finish

Cons: pricey

I’m very picky about my foundation — especially with the redness in my skin and acne scars. I was excited to try this foundation as it is made from a goji berry blend extract and contains a skin conditioning agent. These berries are said to be the key to the “fountain of youth.” Intriguing, right?

The foundation glides on smoothly and has great coverage. I was also a big fan of the olive shade, which is impossible to find elsewhere. It lasts all day and is also water-resistant. It doesn’t make your skin appear to oily or too dry. It makes my skin look natural and dewey. It is very light and is my new favorite foundation!

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Kampuku Beauty Bar ($13)

Pros: prevents razor bumps and breakouts, helps with oily skin, all-natural

Cons: the smell

If you are looking for a solution to razor bumps and breakouts, then, girl, this is your product. I use this bar on my face and my body. It removes makeup easily and helps with oily skin (but don’t lather too long or it can dry your skin out). The smell isn’t my favorite, but it really helps eliminate underarm odor. The bar contains nourishing probiotic and prebiotic extracts, as well as 14 natural plant extracts.

YUNI No-Rinse Body Cleansing Foam ($19)

Pros: convenient, no need for water or towel, leaves no residue

Cons: pricey

While I don’t think this product can fully replace a shower, it’s a great option if you’re in a hurry post-workout. The foam refreshes and gets rid of sweat, dirt and odor. It also has a blissful smell with a blend of neem extract and aloe vera that was very relaxing. My skin also tends to get itchy once my sweat dries and this completely solved that problem. Yuni products are non-toxic, plant based, biodegradable and compostable — which sure doesn’t hurt.

YUNI Shower Sheets ($12)

Pros: portable, minty-fresh smell, large sheets for entire body, alcohol-free

Cons: pricey

It is so annoying to have to run home after a workout and shower before going anywhere else. (Although, I admit I don’t always do this.) These are so perfect for freshness on the go. They get rid of sweat and odor easily. Not to mention they’re great for cleaning pores after a workout sesh to prevent breakouts. The sheets are large, biodegradable and alcohol-free. (Ahem, meaning no burning on the lady parts.) Are they a tad pricey at $12 for 20 sheets? Sure. But the minty smell is totally worth it.

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum ($30)

Pros: lightweight, effective, smells great,

Cons: pricey

I had seen this brand advertised on several TV shows. It was a huge hit in the UK when first launched. It used to only be available in Target, but now can be found in several drugstores and online as well. The serum is lightweight and easy to use. My skin is very sensitive, especially when using new products, but this product is very gentle. It leaves skin moisturized and perfectly smooth. I use it with No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream SPF 15 and No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Night Cream. By far my favorite moisturizer I have ever used.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($8)

Pros: effective, cheap, all natural

Cons: the smell

I am obsessed, I mean, OBSESSED with this product. Since I over-tweezed my eyebrows in my younger years, I’m left with thin, sparse eyebrows that I’m constantly filling in. So, one night I was searching for an alternative to the $50 hair regrowth products and ran across this gem. I read many reviews of people raving about it and how their eyebrows and lashes grew back after using it for several weeks. And I second that. I’ve been using this for a few months now. I use a q-tip and spread it on my eyebrows before I go to bed every night and I have seen a noticeable difference. It does smell a little funky, but it’s not overwhelming. I have never tried it on my eyelashes as I’m a little scared to put it that close to my eyeballs, but as far as eyebrows go, I strongly recommend it!

e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer ($6)

Pros: combats dryness, diminishes enlarged poor and fine lines, makeup goes on evenly, cheap

Cons: not much product in bottle

I bought the green, tone-adjusting formula as I have a lot of redness and occasional dryness — especially in the summer. While it doesn’t adjust my tone much, it perfectly smooths out my skin for applying foundation and concealer. I’ve tried expensive primers in the past and I will tell you this product works just as well and does exactly what it claims to do. I will definitely continue to buy this on the reg.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse ($30)

Pros: creates even tan, dries quickly, easy to apply, not greasy, works quickly, natural looking

Cons: fades quickly

As a former tanning bed addict and melanoma survivor, I have been on the hunt for the perfect self tanner for a long time now. It’s so hard to find one that doesn’t smell, applies evenly and also looks natural. I saw this self tanner as one of Allure’s best beauty products and I always like to try what’s on the list. While this product is a bit pricey, I promise you it is totally worth it. It goes on evenly (best with the application mitt) and dries very quickly. You gave to wait eight hours to wash it off, so I always put it on before bed. The tan looks completely natural and people can never believe it’s fake.

côte No. 71 Nail Polish ($18)

Pros: color choices, environmentally friendly, toxin-free, hypoallergenic

Cons: pricey, comparable wear to other nail polishes

The colors for this polish are insane. Côte offers over 100 shades in most color groups. And the polishes don’t contain any major toxins or allergens that are generally found in nail polishes: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens and gluten. The polishes have great coverage, but last only about a week before chipping. Overall, the best part about this product is that it’s safe for your body and environmentally friendly!


By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

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