I am very easily swayed by good packaging; sometimes this has led me down the hole of wasting money on things with little else to offer besides their aesthetic sensibilities. But it's also what piqued my interest in sister skincare brands PSA (Purposeful Skincare by Allies) and Allies of Skin — a happy discovery because both brands have blown me away with their skin-enhancing formulas. Since their Black Friday sales are underway for the entire month of November (with 30 percent off everything), I figured now is a great time to introduce you to my best-kept skincare secret. 

PSA and Allies of Skin make products with formulas that are effective, efficient, and always feel luxurious and nourishing. They're my response when a facialist remarks on how exceptionally hydrated my skin is, or when my sister asks me how I'm achieving my sublime glow.

While both brands have gained traction and adoration within the skincare world,  they are still relatively under the radar, which makes no sense when you factor in how stupidly good their products are. To understand the difference between PSA and Allies of Skin, think of the former as being like Deciem's The Ordinary — affordable products at a lower price point — and the latter like Niod — more complex formulas with pricing to reflect that. 

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PSA Midnight Courage Retinoid Night Oil

Shop now: $27 (Originally $38); us.allies.shop

Listen, I know how useful and skin-changing retinol can be, but between my high standards and sensitive skin, the perfect product has eluded me. I do think, however, that I have found the one with PSA’s Midnight Courage Retinoid Night Oil. Aside from the aforementioned retinol, the formula also includes bakuchiol (a gentle natural alternative) and rosehip (for soothing and hydrating). This is one of very few products I’ve come across that makes a marked, overnight difference.

PSA Gifted Acai & Sea Buckthorn Vitamin C Glow Oil

Shop now: $27 (Originally $39); us.allies.shop

Vitamin C is a popular go-to skincare ingredient for a glowing complexion. Although hyperpigmentation-reducing and anti-aging vitamin C is the star, it’s supported by super moisturizer vitamin E and antioxidant-rich acai oil.

PSA Liquid Clarity BHA & Bakuchiol Blemish Recovery Booster

Shop now: $20 (Originally $28); us.allies.shop

The best way to describe a skincare booster is as a suped up, extra-concentrated version of a serum. While you might use the same serum every night, you can swap in boosters when your skin is experiencing temporary flare-ups. The Blemish Recovery Booster uses a gentle chemical exfoliant, BHA, as well as bakuchiol to minimize pores and blemishes while speeding up your skin’s recovery process.

Allies of Skin 35% Vitamin C + Perfecting Serum

Shop now: $83 (Originally $118); us.allies.shop

Allies of Skin touts this as the world’s first waterless 35 percent Vitamin C product. What that means for you is a stable formula (read: no oxidation or product prematurely going “bad”) that is incredibly potent, especially compared to other vitamin Cs. Regular usage will plump skin, reduce signs of aging, and brighten the complexion.

Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial

Shop now: $84 (Originally $120); us.allies.shop

Looking at a red, inflamed, and broken out complexion before I go to bed is a sure bet for an anxious slumber. The Promise Keeper Sleeping Facial has been a godsend in this regard, when I apply it before bedtime I am put at ease regardless of the condition my skin is in. The treatment is formulated with silver that’s sterile and skin soothing, hyaluronic acid for ultimate hydration, niacinamide to fade dark spots and enhance your complexion, and more.

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