Every day, dozens of moisturisers, serums and toners roll past our desk. Over the years we must have tried hundreds, if not thousands, of skincare products. We have the best dermatologists, aestheticians and formulators in the field of skincare on speed dial, and we’ve even been known to head straight to the labs to check up on what goes into our favourite face creams. Because of this, we reckon we’ve got a pretty good knack for spotting exceptional skincare products.
One tip? Beware of judging a serum by its bottle or an eye cream by its pretty pot. Bells and whistles don’t necessarily guarantee a superior skincare product. The packaging might be fantastic (and worthy of a spot on the ‘gram), but the boring, bog-standard pot next to it could be a better shout for happy skin. We seriously rate French pharmacy brands like La Roche Posay and Avène. And, for higher-end skincare, we love derm-led and science-backed brands like Murad, Dr Dennis Gross and Skinceuticals. We also love to see innovation (see: encapsulation, bio-technology and microbiome-friendly skincare)
However, not all are made equal so it’s worth looking at the concentration, the quality, the stability and even the packaging (for instance vitamin C degrades when exposed to light, so steer clear of transparent containers).
We’ve whittled down the must-haves: SPF/sunscreen, a great cleanser, and something to keep your skin hydrated (it could be a lightweight serum if you’re more oily, or it could be a heavyweight moisturiser if your skin is usually parched).
You don’t really need a 10-step skincare routine, but if we were to throw in a few extra bolt-ons, there are a few serums for concerns like anti-ageing or dryness that we swear by included below. In addition, exfoliating (in moderation, and nice and gently) is an excellent shortcut to brighter, healthier-looking skin. Plus, a well-employed face mask can make all the difference; nourishing your soul as well as your skin.
To help you find the best skincare products ever that’ll leave your skin feeling better than ever, we’ve decided to reveal what made it into the hallowed domain of our bathroom cabinets. And what has stayed there. These lotions and potions from the likes of Kate Somerville, U Beauty and Murad are the firming, foaming, dark spot-banishing essentials we reach for on the regular (and smuggle home from the beauty cupboard so we’re never left without them).
Containing skin-loving ingredients like vitamin E, shea butter, squalane, amino acids, peptides and BHAs, they’ll help with everything from skin tone to slowing signs of ageing. So without further ado, have a scroll through these killer beauty products, see if there’s anything that’s up your street and hopefully, discover a few new faves. Happy shopping.