When it comes to skincare, I’m not exactly a brand loyalist. I get recommendations from friends and social media, which results in a hodgepodge of products. I’ve always wondered about trying a system that was designed to be used together. How would a collection of products with formulas designed to complement each other feel different from my potpourri routine?
I did some research and discovered DIME Beauty, which prides itself on offering a range of 20+ clean and affordable products, from which you can build a personalized regimen. The idea is that your skin evolves and what may work at, say, 30 may not serve your skin in your forties and beyond. DIME has options for every phase of your skin’s life. After testing more than nine DIME products, I’m thrilled that several of them have displaced my long-time favorites.
DIME has a great presentation (just look at my shelfie) and glass bottles that are significantly more sustainable than plastic. Each bottle is designed to hold 1-2 months of product and all formulas are cruelty-free and vegan. I took it upon myself to explore The Works ($153) bundle and a selection of other products. The bundle is a great collection for anyone looking to refresh their skincare routine and swap out products that may just be inertia choices.
Jelly Can Foam
I’m extremely attentive to cleanser directions (even though I can be laissez-faire about other products) because application affects efficacy. I was so glad to discover that this Gentle Jelly Cleanser ($24) foams up unlike some other jellies, such as the cult-favorite Glossier Milky Jelly one. A huge part of jelly cleansers' popularity is the skin feel (they’re luxuriously rich without the creamy/oily sensation associated with breakouts), but I always feel like non-foaming jelly cleansers do nothing.
You just swipe this one on and rinse it off and it doesn’t penetrate your pores. This cleanser has the best of both worlds with a jelly-feel and a foamy application, and it smells delicious (thanks to strawberry oil). It’s sensitive-skin friendly and I can imagine using it all year round, but especially in the winter when you want something gentle for dry, chapped skin.
Holy Grail Serum
It’s a close call, but I think the Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($30) is my favorite product in The Works bundle. I’ve tried several different hyaluronic acid serums and I’ve never been sold. Some of them are too viscous and leave you feeling sticky, others are runny and feel like water. I’ve been searching for a good daytime serum that layers well with makeup and I’ve finally found it in this formula. It has just the right viscosity and doesn’t pill up under makeup.
Trending: Skin Cycling
I’ve been experimenting with the ”skin cycling” trend (where you use active ingredients on select days and let your skin “recover” on others) with several DIME products. For one of my active days, I use the Hyper Glow Serum ($30) with 15% Vitamin C. It’s a thin formula (similar to the Vintner’s Daughter toner) that I use sparingly and pat into my face after cleansing. It doesn’t sting like some active serums and absorbs really well. I use it once a week (Monday) to brighten my skin tone.
Thursday is my second (and final) active day of the week, and I use DIME’s TBT bundle ($69), which includes a serum and a night cream. I gave up using a physical exfoliant a while ago, so I was thrilled to discover the TBT serum uses mandelic acid (a chemical exfoliant) to increase cell turnover. It also includes niacinamide, which I love for its oil-regulating properties. I’ve tried retinol before but I didn’t follow the “ease in” instructions and was scared away by the irritation it caused. The TBT cream uses bakuchiol, a retinol alternative, that I was excited to try (and careful to follow the recommended guidelines for). I layered it on top of the TBT serum and used it only once a week as my skin adjusted to the bakuchiol (DIME recommends starting with twice a week, but I was playing it extra safe). Both of the TBT products are anti-aging focused so if this is your main skincare goal, you can gradually build into using them more often.
Your Zits Will Thank You
Before I tried DIME’s Power Patches, I dismissed blemish stickers as a vanity product. I thought they were for self-conscious teenagers who’d rather have a sticker on their face than admit they have a zit. But the Power Patches have completely changed my opinion of these sticky little wonders. The first miraculous discovery was how perfect they are for bacne. You don’t have to wait for zit cream to dry before putting on pajamas. Just choose either a small or large patch and count on Salicylic Acid to do its thing.
When it comes to vanity, I was also well served, but not in the way I expected. The patches aren’t invisible–if people look at all closely at your face, the peach-colored patch is evident. But to me, the beauty is that even when I had a full face of makeup on, I could treat the zit. Typically, I’d suffocate my blemish with makeup (probably how it came to be in the first place) and the only time I’d treat it was at night. But these patches encourage daytime treatment and, as an added bonus, prevent picking.
Skincare is such a personal series of choices that some trial and error is unavoidable. That being said, I was impressed by the high success rate I had with virtually every single DIME product I tried. A few of the products (such as the toner) were a bit strong for my drier winter skin, but I plan to use them when summer arrives and oil is more of a concern. Venturing out from a long-standing routine can feel like a leap, but DIME’s products use such high-quality ingredients that a swing and a miss is worth discovering a bevy of new creams and serums to love.
5 More Reasons to Love DIME
- For all products, each ingredient is listed with an EWG Skin Deep rating from 1-10 denoting how hazardous it is. Nearly all of DIME’s ingredients fall in the low hazard (1-2) category.
- There is no added fragrance (a potential source of irritation and drying) in any of DIME’s facial skincare products. In the body care products, only natural fragrance sources derived from plant extracts and oils are used.
- While most perfume brands test on animals, you can rest assured that DIME does not engage in such practices. My favorite scent is the newest one: Dans Les Bois ($48).
- If you’re a skincare beginner (or shopping for someone else), use the Skin Quiz to determine what products would benefit your skin type most and shop picks that are tailored to your needs.
- No guesswork involved: Most products have video tutorials to learn about the ingredients and suggested application. You may discover (like I did) that you’re applying your serums incorrectly — check out this Serum Set video.