Trader Joe’s is my go-to when it comes to stocking my kitchen —but can they really compete with Sephora for space in my bathroom cabinets? I tested out 7 of their most popular health and beauty products to find out.
Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 $8.99 USD/1.7 Fl Oz
After TJ’s launched their Daily Facial Sunscreen last summer, it quickly developed a cult following — with many fans declaring it a perfect dupe for Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen ($38 USD/ 1.7 FL Oz) And, after trying the Trader Joe’s version, I can see why it consistently sells out. It goes on clear, and blends in well, with no pilling. Even better — the velvety smooth matte finish doubles as a make-up primer (just wait 15 minutes to let it set before you start applying anything on top).
Marula Facial Oil $6.99 / 25 ML
Thanks to a high concentration of antioxidants, Vitamins C and E, and Omegas 6 and 9, Marula oil nourishes, hydrates and feeds the skin. Cold pressed from the seeds of the African Marula tree, TJ’s Marula Facial Oil has a very gentle scent that smells slightly sweet and fruity. It felt lightweight on my skin and absorbed fairly quickly, but still left me with that glazed donut finish. This is a great face oil for combination skin because it’s got natural antimicrobial properties to combat acne. The TJ’s version has been compared to Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil ( $68 / 30 ML), and after trying it, I agree. This face oil is a definite win for the skin — and the wallet.
Trader Joe’s Dry Shampoo $4.99/1.35 Oz
This dry shampoo isn’t going to get recalled over fears it could kill you, but it also won’t take your locks from couch-worthy to club worthy in less than 30 seconds, like most of the top-selling sprays. Since it’s a powder that you spritz onto your roots, rather than an aerosol can, it’s much better for the environment. But that also means it takes longer to apply.
I have fine medium blonde hair and although the powder blended well into my roots, it did very little to make my hair look clean and fresh. Not ready to give in, I got a friend with dark thick hair to test it and she loved how well it sunk into her roots and felt it did the trick reviving her tresses. I really wanted to love TJ’s Dry Shampoo — for the health of the planet and my scalp — but it just didn’t cut the grease for me.
Coconut Body Butter $5.99/8 Oz
With pure coconut oil, shea butter, Vitamin E and aloe vera, it’s no wonder this skin-soothing body butter has been a top seller for over a decade. The whipped consistency makes it feel luxurious going on, and although it’s thick, it absorbs quickly and won’t leave you feeling greasy. I tested TJ’s Coconut Body Butter with a few friends and we all agreed that it felt especially decadent on our dry, thirsty feet. The downside for me was the overly long list of ingredients, since the skin is our largest organ and we absorb everything we put onto it. I checked this body butter out on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep rating system and sadly it scores in the ‘High Hazard’ zone for dangerous chemicals. Looks like I’ll be sticking with my old standby for silky skin — Trader Joe’s Pure Coconut Oil. ($13.)
Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Serum $4.99/2.75 Fl Oz
I first heard about this product when I complimented a friend on her extra-shiny hair and she revealed her secret is TJ’s Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Serum. Most serums leave my fine hair looking limp and overly greasy, so I was skeptical. But one pump of this serum — spread evenly on the bottom 3/4’s of my hair while it was damp — totally delivered. Post blow-dry my hair felt super soft, with noticeable shine. Even better, it tamed my frustrating frizz. After I was done styling, I rubbed a small amount between my hands and ran them lightly over the top layer to tame down sneaky flyaways. I will absolutely get this one again.
Trader Joe’s Micellar Wipes $3.99 / package of 20
These wipes are thick but they were on the dry side and I needed to use more than one to get all my makeup off. They have a slight floral scent and didn’t sting my sensitive skin or eyes. I typically avoid using make-up wipes, but for travel — or those late nights with lots of glam — they do come in handy and these ones get the job done, at a decent price.
Trader Joe’s 100% Organic Argan Oil ($6.99/ 1.7 Oz)
Rich in Vitamins A and E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, pure Argan oil has been used in beauty remedies for centuries. The oil, made from the seeds of the Moroccan Argan tree, is proven to boost skin elasticity, but its benefits don’t stop there. It’s also known for minimizing fine lines, calming inflammation, strengthening nails, and even improving hair growth (when consistently rubbed into the scalp). TJ’s Argan Oil has a faint nutty smell. It’s very rich so it took time to absorb into my skin, but left it feeling super hydrated. Now that I know how beneficial this oil is — this inexpensive organic version feels like a literal steal.
We’ll see you at the beauty aisle in T.J’s!