Our Favorite Products: May Edition


Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature in which ITG's editors discuss our favorite products. They're the best things we've tried all month long, reviewed, photographed, and anthropomorphized before we have the opportunity to get sick of them and move on to something new. This month's got hydration, hydration, and more hydration; read on for the whole haul.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Ampoules

I traveled way too much last month. LA, Berlin, and Amsterdam—plus a few highly abnormal sojourns to Brooklyn for housewarming parties. (If y'all could move back to Manhattan, it'd make my life so much easier.) I by no means want to sound ungrateful, but long-haul flights are really rough on the skin. But after 28+ hours on a plane in May, I feel confident in two suggestions that'll keep your face from imploding in on itself thanks to cabin pressure: 1. An aisle seat that makes bathroom access easy for when you drink approximately 1 liter of water per hour of the flight. 2. Tiny little ampoules of hyaluronic acid. Theoretically any hyaluronic acid will do, but Dr. Barbara Sturm's little glass babies will fit in even the most stuffed quart-sized baggies. Use before or after the flight—I opt for both times. Skip it during the flight—there's absolutely no way to avoid germs when the water in the bathroom sinks isn't potable. —Emily Ferber

Kiehl's Calendula and Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque

I've had this since they launched it back in February, and I LOVE it. In general, I gravitate towards anything that smells like, feels like, or just says aloe somewhere on the package. Especially now that it's post-Memorial Day. It's not that I'm sunburnt often (don't worry, I've read all the same scary studies about sunburns as you have), I've just had such good luck with Epicuren's Aloe Vera Calming Gel that I want more. This fits the bill for sure: It's perfect after a day out in the sun, for a cool jelly reset. It smells nice, it soothes me (mind and skin), and I can leave it on for the duration of a whole Chef's Table episode without anything bad happening. Like I said, LOVE. —Tom Newton

Sustain Body Balm

The Body Balm from the all-natural, wellness-focused sexytime product line Sustain is the best lip balm I've ever used. But first: Why does it exist? Denoted for "Play", the balm is marketed for intimate encounters—I truly cannot imagine what that looks like, and every time I do, it's an HR violation. But it's a fantastic product regardless. All two of the online reviewers seem to recommend it specifically for lips, and that's how I use it. If it works for other stuff, wonderful—as long as you and your lover are happy, I'm happy. —Brennan Kilbane

Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask in Warm Chestnut

My boyfriend identifies as blond. (He is very much not blond, but was as a child and won't let it go.) I don't identify as blond, though my ends are making a very strong counterargument at the moment. There's no problem with being blond (or identifying as blond even if it's not your genetic lot in life), but I'll just say it's not the most flattering shade for me. Colorists in New York are very into the whole cool-toned blond thing, but I prefer something more caramel-y. Somehow, darker + warmer hair makes me look tanner and healthier. So roughly every third shampoo, I mask for 30 minutes with the buttery Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask, which deposits a warm, reddish brown color onto my more straw-like lengths. When it washes out, I'm slightly less blond—and my hair doesn't feel like straw anymore. Another reason to stop blonding myself. —EF

Goop Edition 02 Fragrance — Shisho

I didn't expect it to buy into the Goop world, but here I am. Brooklyn Decker tipped me off, and I actually think they're the perfect unisex fragrance. They're just so good—I like both Goop Edition 01 and Edition 02, both the candles and the colognes. They don't have that traditional high-end fragrance smell; they're closer to an essential oil blend. Both feel very raw. With Edition 02, there's a smoke/wood smell that's strong, but once it's on your skin it gets cleaner and lighter as it wears. It feels like a journey. So good, I've been wearing it almost every single day, which I never do. —TN

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%

There is very little to say about The Ordinary's lactic acid cocktail, other than it works just as well as you'd hope it would. I use it every other night in lieu of all other exfoliants, and it delivers smooth, glowing skin every other morning. It also smells like maple syrup, which I hate, but you can't win 'em all. —BK

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Looking for a scalp product? Our editors picked three (and a couple other things), here.