The BEST Skin-Transforming Products We Tried This Year
We’re not even exaggerating when we say there are literally thousands of formulas on the shelves (some far superior to others), and we guestimate that at HB HQ, collectively, we’ve tried roughly half of them. And since we spend so much time trialing the best (and not always on point) of the beauty bizz so you don’t have to, we wanted to shout out 10 of our fave skincare finds this year. Whether you’re looking to max out on your glow game or nix a pimple stat, these formulas go above and beyond.
Although we LOVE sheet masks, they’re not the most time-efficient skincare product nor the most sustainable, which is why some skincare brands are now also offering liquid masks. And these 111Skin masks are the best of the best. Plus, unlike single-use sheet masks, you can get anywhere between 20 to 100 uses (roughly) per product, so you’re spending your $$$ much more wisely. There are currently six liquid masks in the 111Skin collection, but our top picks are the Nac Y2 Recovery Mask, $150, and the Microbiome Blemish Mask, $135. Read our full review to find out why.
Okay, so we may be biased but ever since we finalized the formula of our WISHFUL Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer our skin has been thanking us with the most satisfying glow. Formulated with Manuka honey, cica, peptides, and collagen, the rich-but-lightweight whipped cream moisturizer helps to firm, lift, repair, AND plump the skin, as well as reduce redness and even out your complexion. It’s a true overachiever.
If you’re looking for a serum to make your skin shine brighter than your smile, this is it. Coming to you from our new fave optimistic and affordable skincare line, Sundree, this hydrating vegan serum is packed with the industry’s glow-getting faves. The fast-absorbing formula is packed with hyaluronic acid to drench your skin with moisture, soothing aloe vera, niacinamide to brighten, and a hint of CBD for all of the above. It’s our go-to brightening serum for plump, dewy skin.
This recently landed on our desk and we’ve been hooked ever since. The Bedouin Elixir brings together 25 phyto-potent botanical oils, including camellia oil, apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, argan oil, prickly pear seed oil, hemp seed oil, neem oil, blue tansy essential oil, sea buckthorn fruit oil, and a blend of lavender, rose, neroli, jasmine, and ylang-ylang essential oils. Each oil is hand blended and carefully sourced; it’s also non-toxic, organic, vegan, and cruelty-free. The results? After just a few weeks, your skin will be more hydrated, plumper, glowier, and all-around healthier than ever before. It even helps to restore uneven skin and brighten hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and post-inflammatory scarring.
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Need to nix a pimple ASAP? Well, this drugstore pimple-flattening treatment brings together not one but three acne-fighting ingredients. Say hello to 2% succinic acid, 2% sulfur powder, and 1% salicylic acid, which come together to gently exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and calm inflammation, thereby minimizing the size of your pimple. It also helps reduce oil levels and prevent future breakouts in that area. To ensure it doesn’t leave your skin dry and thirsty – like so many spot treatments do – it’s also formulated with 0.4% hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin. Yet again, another The Inkey List winner.
6. Undefined Beauty R & R Day Serum, $28
If your skin is lacking luster right now, Undefined Beauty has the answer in the form of this skin-enhancing serum. Formulated with antioxidant-rich licorice root, collagen-infused noni fruit, pore-tightening niacinamide, and brightening vitamin C, this serum works magic to hydrate, brighten, and plump your skin. Plus, thanks to the potent combination of alpha-arbutin, kojic acid, hyaluronic acid, and tremella mushroom, it restores uneven skin tone and texture while protecting your skin from harmful pollutants.
If we had to place a product under the category “simple but seriously effective” this would be it. The oil stays loyal to its only ingredient, prickly pear seed oil, which has had a moment this year. Famed for its plumping restorative results, the prickly pear seed oil is bursting with omegas and fatty acids, as well a vitamin E and K, which to put it simply are the bomb.com for your skin. Its skincare prowess? It brightens, softens, minimizes fine lines, restores uneven tones, you name it, it does it.
Shani Darden is the celebrity esthetician to watch RN. She literally has us hooked with every new product drop and this tool is no exception. It harnesses the power of high-performance sound wave technology to target wrinkles on a deeper level while boosting circulation and optimizing the skin’s oxygen intake. The gentle waves penetrate the skin and stimulate the facial muscles for a firmer, more contoured effect. Each tool comes with a Facial Sculpting Wand, Disc Attachment, Precision Ball Attachment, and Hydra Prep Gel: its self-care made state of the art.
There are some products that we try for a couple of weeks, then they make their way into our cupboard, this moisturizer remained firmly on our top pick edit until we hit the pan. Enriched with a phytoxygen complex and ascorbosilane-C (a highly stable vitamin C), it purifies and reenergizes the skin for the most radiant glow. It’s also infused with buddleja davidii leaf & thyme extract to protect skin against ozone pollution while simultaneously soothing and hydrating. Ever since we started using the lightweight cream, our skin has been supple, soft, and bright. Plus, it layers beautifully underneath makeup.
10. AziMD Skincare IllumiC With Ferulic Acid, $113
Ask any derm and they’ll tell you about the skincare powers of ferulic acid combined with vitamin C, which is exactly what this serum’s formula boasts. Not only will this winning combination brighten your complexion like no other, but it also restores uneven tone and texture while reducing the development of fine lines and wrinkles. We are obsessed with this lightweight and non-sticky formula. In literally a week, we noticed a significant improvement in post-pimple marks and a brighter, more even complexion.
For more amazing skincare products, check out our latest round-up of tried, tested: OBSESSED!
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.