2020 Beauty Awards: The Facial Skincare Products Worth Your Money
Our team of editors and beauty pros tested hundreds of products to find the year's best in beauty. Here are their top picks for facial skin care.
From wrinkles to dark spots, adult acne to redness, skin troubles are an equalizer—that is, most people have one. Not surprisingly, brands are keeping up with the demands. Spot treatments that work faster? Check. Creams that do a million things at once? Sure. A face mask that softens in 10 minutes, tops? Yes, please. In the rush to meet each and every need, the really good stuff can get lost in the crowd of just-okay. And with skincare, the stakes are really high no matter your age. After all, if you’ve got a pimple, you probably want it gone ASAP—same goes for puffy eyes. So, we tested the latest formulas to find the truly effective and brilliant skin savers among them, and found that these were worthy of a spot on your bathroom shelf.
Best Face Mask
For an instant burst of hydration, this nourishing mask delivers—and quickly, too. Ideal for those who need to refresh quickly in a pinch, it works in less than 10 minutes to immediately smooth and soften skin. Our testers appreciated the subtle scent and especially liked that it was easy to rinse off.
Best Vitamin C
The 10 individually-packed ampoules ensure that vitamin C, a powerful brightener that can break down and lose efficacy when exposed to oxygen, remains fresh and potent. It received rave reviews from testers, who loved how smooth and soft skin felt after applying it.
Just as the name implies, this cleanser begins as a nourishing cream, packed with skin barrier-repairing ceramides and hydrating hyaluronic acid. Once you add water, it lathers into a foam so you can rinse away grime, oil, and even eye makeup without pulling or rubbing—no elbow grease needed.
Best Oil Blotter
Unlike blotting paper, which often removes makeup along with oil, this volcanic rock absorbs only the excess grease to cut down shine while leaving makeup intact. Simply roll it over your T-zone, chin, and other oily spots. Bonus: You can remove the stone roller to clean it, so it’s sustainable, too.
This multitasking moisturizer offers a trio of brightening ingredients that gently resurface skin throughout the day. They also increase cellular turnover, revealing the smoother, more even-toned skin underneath. Our tester loved applying its cooling, gel-like texture in the morning.
Best Eye Cream
This eye cream tackles two sources of undereye circles: pigment and shadows caused by puffiness. Niacinamide actually halts the pigment-creation process, brightening the eye area, while pumpkin seed oil smooths and deflates. It also has a tint to camouflage dark circles on the spot, which our tired testers appreciated.
Best Glycolic Peel
Although regular exfoliation maintains smooth, radiant skin over time, this chemical peel delivers a fast, more intense treatment for near-instant benefits. In a minute or less, it sloughs away dead skin cells, evens out tone, and smooths texture. Just remember to use sunscreen, as even at-home peels can make skin sensitive to sunlight.
This vitamin-enriched self-tanning serum gives you a golden glow after four to eight hours. And testers loved the tropical scent. Simply mix two-three pumps to your moisturizer to get a subtle glow.
Buy It: St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Face Serum ($30, Ulta)
Best Acne Pads
A gentle alternative to harsh products, these acne pads calm breakouts with salicylic acid, antibacterial thyme extract, and soothing witch hazel. After washing your face (or any affected area), simply wipe a pad over problem pimples once a day to help clear them up and reduce redness.