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.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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.

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oat face mask
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

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.

But It: Aveeno Oat Face Masks ($10, Amazon)

vichy serum
Credit: Courtesy of Vichy

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.

Buy It: Vichy LiftActiv Peptide-C Ampoule Serum ($30, Ulta)

cerave cream foam cleanser
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Cleanser

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.

Buy It: CeraVe Cream-to-Foam ($18, Amazon)

revlon roller
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Buy It: Revlon Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Roller ($13; Amazon)

clarins scrub
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best Face Scrub

This oil-infused scrub harnesses sugar from beetroot to exfoliate dead skin cells without irritating or drying out the skin. By removing dead cells, it also clears the way for your following products to better penetrate.

Buy It: Clarins Comfort Scrub ($26, Ulta)

advanced retinol
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best Retinol

This retinol combines retinol and peptides, proven ingredients for smoother, brighter, and firmer-looking skin. One tester saw an immediate improvement with enlarged pores and overall glow.

Buy It: No7 Retinol Night Concentrate ($35, Target)

loreal wrinkle expert
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Daily SPF

Daily sun protection is an easy habit to stick with when you find a formula you love. The lightweight, nongreasy texture was a hit with testers.

Buy It: L’Oréal Paris Wrinkle Expert 55+ Lotion SPF 30 ($10, Walmart)

neutrogena gel cream
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best Moisturizer

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.

Buy It: Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream ($27, Target)

first aid beauty eye cream
Credit: Courtesy of First Aid Beauty

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.

Buy It: First Aid Beauty Niacinamide Brightening Cream ($36, Sephora)

bottle of product
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Buy It: InstaNatural 30% Glycolic AHA Chemical Peel ($22, Amazon)

st tropez self tanner
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best Self-Tanner

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)

acne pads
Credit: Courtesy of Target

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.

Buy It: Alba Botanica Acnedote Anti-Pimple Pads ($9, Target)

bliss clear serum
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best Toner/Serum

This two-in-one product is a daily treatment with salicylic acid and soothing botanicals to manage oily skin and congested pores. Use it after cleansing, then top with SPF or moisturizer.

Buy It: Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Toner & Serum ($12, Target)


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