Skincare has never felt more important to our daily beauty rituals. Not only for keeping complexions in shape, but also as a way of incorporating a moment of self-focus into the busy everyday. From balancing cleansers to restorative serums, by way of antioxidant-rich treatments, these are the best-in-class formulas we can’t recommend enough.
Best For Sensitive Skin
Redness, stinging, heat, tightness – sound familiar? For reaction-prone skin, we love Avène’s Tolérance dermatological range. Each of the cleansers and moisturisers has been formulated specifically to soothe hypersensitive skin, calm redness and help reduce sensitivity over time. With no fragrances or preservatives, they are super gentle.
Best Eye Treatment
This potent eye serum comes with a hefty dose of science, designed to deliver a full eye treatment in one; think firming, de-puffing, brightening and smoothing. We love the lightweight formula, which absorbs quickly and can be worn under make-up. Consider this eight hours of sleep in a bottle.
Best All-Round Cleanser
An effective skincare routine doesn’t have to take a long time, and this cleanser is a case in point. The non-foaming formula contains micro particles to remove make-up and penetrate the skin, giving it a deep and thorough clean. Fruit enzymes offer gentle exfoliation, while niacinamide evens skin tone and helps increase hydration. Use daily for a refreshed complexion.
Best Day Cream
Just like with our wardrobe staples, we like our beauty basics to work hard, and this day cream does exactly that. Powered by U Beauty’s innovative HYDRA-SIREN Capsule, five types of hyaluronic acid are delivered deep into the skin, to offer unrivalled hydration that lasts throughout the day. Peptides, oat extract and shea butter work to calm, rejuvenate and boost glow.
Best Face Mask
Whatever the skincare concern, Faace has a mask to help, and thanks to its straightforward approach to beauty language, it couldn’t be simpler to find the perfect one for you. From Period to Sweaty, Dull to Tired, each vegan formula uses natural actives to offer effective treatment. We also love the brand’s charitable initiatives, including their partnership with Hey Girls, to help reduce period poverty.
Best Sheet Mask
For instant results, a sheet mask is our go-to, and we have become devotees of this intense hydrator. Hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, deep-seawater extract stimulates collagen, while vitamin E helps protect cells from free-radical and UV damage. The mask itself is made from bamboo fibre, which transfers an increased amount of the active formula to the skin. The result? A fresh, supple and glowing complexion after 20 minutes.
Best Brightening Peel
Formulated to overhaul dull complexions, this little power pot contains fruit acids to gently remove dead skin cells without causing irritation. Hyaluronic acid delivers a plumping hydration hit, while aloe vera cools and soothes. Whatever your skin type, introduce this into your weekly regime and we guarantee you won’t regret it.
Best Vitamin C
What makes this product stand out is the innovative, stabilising formula that keeps the vitamin C potent, meaning it can deliver its brightening, firming and smoothing benefits at full strength, from first to last drop. Green tea, squalane and tartaric acid moisturise, protect, reduce pigment and boost absorption. After twice-daily use, our skin was plumped, even in tone and refreshed.
Best Clarifying Exfoliant
If you’re looking for something to reduce pores, banish breakouts and treat pigment, this is it. The overnight serum contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, bakuchiol, peptides and organic rosehip and tamanu oil essential fatty acids, to effectively exfoliate dead skin cells and replenish the skin’s barrier, leaving you with a clear and glowing complexion. Apply every evening on to clean skin.
Allies of Skin
Best For Acne-Prone Skin
This BHA exfoliant has become our secret weapon against breakouts. The leave-on liquid formula uses 2% salicylic acid to dissolve dead skin cells and thoroughly unclog pores, while antioxidant-rich witch hazel and green tea help soothe and repair. Soak a reusable face pad and swipe all over your face (avoiding eyes) every other day, building up to twice-daily use.
Best For Stressed Skin
When busy life begins to show in our faces, this is our solution. Containing the brand’s signature Cell Balancing Complex – a powerful lipid blend – this daily cream balances, restores and renews the skin’s barrier, helping to protect it against pollution and blue light. The rich formula leaves skin feeling hydrated, and we love that the packaging is made from recycled plastics.
Best Hydrating Serum
The smart thing about this serum is that it uses two different-sized molecules of hyaluronic acid to deliver a double hit of hydration. While the larger size treats the surface of the skin, the smaller penetrates deeper, to plump and fill fine lines. It also contains B5 and madecassoside, to help repair the skin and boost collagen, and is suitable for sensitive and irritated skin. Apply after cleansing and skin feels instantly quenched.
Best Night Treatment
If we could have a FaceGym facial every day, we would – but here’s the next best thing. The cult brand’s Face Coach oil is powered by mastic tree extract and antioxidant, to stimulate elastane and collagen, hydrate and improve the skin’s barrier. Maximise the benefits by massaging it in before bed and letting the vegan formula work overnight.
Best Detoxifying Toner
This toner has made it into our beauty hall of fame thanks to its unparalleled ability to clear and tighten pores, smooth skin texture and boost radiance. We also found the mineral and active-rich formula left complexions feeling soft and plump. Apply a few drops with a face pad morning and evening.
Best Face Oil
De Mamiel is one of our long-standing bathroom-cabinet favourites, thanks to its use of natural formulas that address both our skin health and wellbeing. Made by hand in the British countryside, the collection of face oils harness antioxidants, flower essences and aromatic oils to deliver seasonal treatment: illuminating and nourishing during summer, hydrating and comforting in winter, revitalising for autumn.
Best for Hyperpigmentation
For hyperpigmentation, nothing compares to this power-packed serum, formulated specifically for darker skin tones. It harnesses a blend of vitamins, antioxidants and botanical extracts to brighten, even and nourish the skin, while working to block the formation of hyperpigmentation. Each bottle is custom-made to suit your bespoke skincare needs.
Best DIY Facial Tool
Over the last two years, we’ve become adept at DIY facials, and this tool has elevated them to salon level. The steamer releases nano-sized particles that penetrate the skin, declogging pores, removing impurities and dead cells, and replenishing moisture. Taking only 10 minutes, skin is left feeling cleansed and supple, and the efficacy of serums and creams applied afterwards is boosted.
It’s no small wonder this balm has garnered a cult following. Developed by renowned make-up artist Frances Prescott, the synthetic-free formula contains a potent blend of plant-based oils that cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise in one step. We especially love the roll-on stick format, which makes it ideal for travel beauty kits. Buff over skin and massage in before rinsing or wiping off.
Best Micellar Water
We’ve tried several micellar waters, but it’s the minimalist formula of Typology’s Eau Micellaire that really speaks to us. Containing just seven ingredients and no fragrance, the pared-back, vegan cleanser effectively removes make-up and daily grime, leaving skin feeling clean and fresh. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, too.
Best Make-Up Remover
We haven’t found anything that removes make-up (even mascara) as well as this. Packed with plant-based ingredients, including exfoliating papaya, pineapple enzymes and hydrating avocado oil, it gives skin a thorough clean without stripping it. The gel-to-milk formula negates any need for a cotton pad. Simply massage into damp skin then wash off.
Best For Uneven Skin Tone
Don’t let the lightweight texture of this serum fool you; the potent blend of actives means business. Azelaic acid treats pigmentation and redness, niacinamide unclogs pores, ascorbyl glucoside brightens and boosts collagen, and bakuchoil reduces blemishes. Apply daily after cleansing and notice the difference – smoother, clearer more even-toned skin.
Best Face Tool
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this is the second year running we’ve given CurrentBody’s LED mask an award. As far as at-home tools go, this remains our favourite, not only for the skincare benefits (improves firmness, texture and tone) but also for how quick and effortless it is to use. The flexible silicon mask can be worn while you’re at the desk/watching TV/reading a book, meaning it’s easy to incorporate the recommended three 10-minute sessions per week.
We’ve been bowled over by this Swedish skincare brand, which combines highly effective formulations with sleek design, and a dedication to inclusivity, to create beautiful products suitable for every skin type and colour. Ingredients are natural and vegan, formulas are cruelty-free and packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.
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