In some ways, we are living in the golden age of skincare. With just a few clicks, you can discover hundreds of new products that promise to resurface, renew, filter, glow, glaze, you name it—and get the box delivered by tomorrow, dopamine rush included. But we know how that story usually ends: Disappointment, even anger, at less-than-stellar results.
In truth, the most effective skincare routines are simple and strategic. For a lifetime of healthy skin, dermatologists advise prioritizing three non-negotiables: moisturizer, gentle cleanser, and sunscreen. After that, the trick is to find targeted treatments with proven ingredients to help skin thrive from head-to-toe.
So for our annual Women’s Health Skincare Awards, we cut through the BS to give you a streamlined list of high-performance staples and innovative extras, all reviewed and vetted by best-in-class experts, including top dermatologists, aestheticians and the intrepid WH beauty team. Reference these winners whenever you need to revise, supplement, or maximize your own skincare routine. After all, you don’t live in a bubble; skin goals and needs evolve. You may want to swap to a sensitive formula in the winter. Or level up with a potent serum after a big birthday.
Read on for the insider picks that our pros use to the last drop and recommend to patients and clients. If you are a newbie, minimalist, skinfluencer or fall somewhere in between, rest assured that you can “add to cart” with confidence.
Meet Our Experts
How We Chose The Winners
Women’s Health editors consulted a variety of leading skincare experts—including dermatologists, cosmetic chemists, and aestheticians—to get their top-recommended skincare products for a variety of skin types, such as sensitive, acne-prone, and mature complexions. After thoroughly researching and vetting every single submission, our team of beauty editors and experts selected the best products for face, body, eyes, and lips.
Editorial assistant Sabrina Talbert (shown here) loves the sheer Skinbetter Science SPF stick because you can use it on your face, chest, shoulders—anywhere you need protection.
AM and PM picks to cleanse, hydrate, protect, and treat your complexion
“As someone with an oily T-zone, I’m a big fan of oil-free, water-based moisturizers. This cream is so lightweight and feels refreshing on the skin, but it doesn’t have the ultra-thin, watery texture that lots of other gel moisturizers have. It’s light enough, but still hydrating.” — Jackson
“This is not your average clay mask that will leave you feeling dry, tight, or irritated—it’ll do just the opposite, leaving the skin both the cleanest it’s ever been and the silky smoothest from an at-home product. It does this with a perfectly luscious blend of pore refining white halloysite clay with raw organic honey, silver, plant oils, and gentle enzymatic acids. It’s the closest the skin will get to that post-professional extraction facial feeling.” — Hand
Best Sunscreen Stick
Skinbetter Science Sunbetter SHEER SPF 56 Sunscreen Stick
“This delivers effective sun protection in a weightless, transparent, and easy-to-apply stick. It glides on smoothly and blends beautifully onto the skin without leaving behind a white residue or a sunscreen scent. Plus, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes! I love using the stick for touchups on my face, ears, scalp, and the tops of my hands.” — Dr. Mraz Robinson
“This is an OG. I don’t believe in toners but if there’s one my patients absolutely need to use, this is the one I recommend. It’s affordable and has glycolic acid which gently exfoliates the skin. It also has ingredients that help reduce irritation from glycolic acid.” — Dr. Lal
“These ampoules deliver a highly concentrated dose of actives to nourish the skin. Vitamin C protects the skin from free radical damage and restores brightness, UltraGlycans support firmness and elasticity in the skin, and hyaluronic acid enhances the skin’s radiance and elasticity, and prevent signs of aging. The results are immediate, restoring brightness and providing a natural and even glow.” — Dr. Mraz Robinson
“If I had a skincare hall of fame, this product would be a front-and-center MVP. It combines a few of my favorite antioxidants, vitamins E and C, to protect against environmental aggressors, reduce discoloration, and improve the skin’s radiance.” — Dr. Turner
“This facial scrub contains gentle jojoba beads combined with chemical exfoliants (salicylic, lactic, glycolic, citric, and malic acids) to buff the skin and unclog pores without the risk of microtears to the skin. The added chemical exfoliants is what boosts this scrub’s ability to deliver on results instead of just manually scrubbing the skin!” — Dr. Fahs
Best Exfoliator For Glowing Skin
Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Exfoliating Peel Pads
“I love chemical exfoliants to keep skin healthy and glowing. My favorites are these peel pads, which pack a proprietary blend of AlphaRet (retinoid) and a triple-acid complex (glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids) to exfoliate the skin. The peel pads are gentle enough to use a few times a week for most skin types and are effective at removing dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores, while reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pore size, and dull skin tone.” — Dr. Mraz Robinson
“This product is skincare with suncare. This hybrid mineral and chemical sunscreen goes on sheer to wear under makeup and contains essential ceramides and niacinamide to nourish the skin before, during, and after sun exposure. The formulation also works to minimize any white cast on application.” — Dr. Turner
Best Sensitive Skin Moisturizer
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer with Niacinamide
“When it comes to moisturizing the face, this is my go to! It has ceramides, thermal spring water, glycerin, and prebiotics. It has been shown to keep the skin hydrated for 48 hours after application.” — Dr. Lal
“This gentle peel has the perfect balance of exfoliants, blemish-clarifiers, and potent brighteners (including actives clinically proven to target melasma) paired with essential nutrients to reduce the risk of irritation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can sometimes occur with peel formulations. One of the stars is mandelic acid; a larger molecule size, this acid is great for even the most sensitive skin types and leaves it feeling bright, less congested, and glowing.” — Hand
“I get it, sunscreens are a tough sell—gloopy, sticky, and some of them leave your skin looking oddly ghost-like or even purple. But you must protect your skin from UV damage daily and for that, I enthusiastically recommend this new-to-the-market product. It blends into all skin tones seamlessly and will leave your complexion with an almost matte-like, velvet-y feel. This is SPF you’ll actually want to use. Hallelujah!” — Underwood
Peace Out tiny acne patches (they are barely noticeable, we promise) were a huge hit with lifestyle director Lindsay Geller (shown here), who used them to protect her blemishes so they could heal. Winning!
Gentle pore-clearing and balancing solutions for stubborn face and body breakouts
“I love this cleanser because it proves that acne products don’t have to be expensive or overly-complicated to get the job done. It contains salicylic acid—a hero acne-fighter—and is good enough to clear up surprise pimples without drying out the skin.” — Jackson
“It leaves skin feeling moisturized without contributing to breakouts. All skin, including acne-prone skin, benefits from moisturizing, which helps add hydration back into your skin. Those with acne or acne-prone skin should look for moisturizers that are non-comedogenic and oil-free so that they don’t contribute to acne.” — Dr. Ugo
“This lightweight, gel-based moisturizer dries quickly but delivers deep on hydration. Perfect for hot summer weather or those with acne and oily skin as it hydrates without that heavy, sticky moisturizer feeling!” — Dr. Fahs
“This cleanser is my favorite because it’s great for all skin types with acne. It has factors that help moisturize the skin upon cleansing, leaving the skin soft and not dry. I also like that it has ceramides, so it’s not as drying as other salicylic acid washes. It also has niacinamide which helps the skin barrier in acne prone patients.” — Dr. Lal
“Body acne is much harder to treat. I like wash-off products because leave-on products may not be feasible for patients. This is a strong BP (benzoyl peroxide) wash that is great for fighting body acne. It can be used daily and does not fail!” — Dr. Lal
Retinol? For your body? You bet. Deputy art director Christine Giordano (here) slathered on this Paula’s choice powerhouse to battle hyperpigmentation, smoothes fine lines, and so much more.’
Serious hydration and potent actives to stay smooth, healthy, and glowing
“Dermatologist-created serum that packs a punch! Alpha arbutin and kojic acid work to stop pigmentation in its tracks without irritation or dryness. Love the dispenser and ability to purchase refill cartridges!” — Dr. Fahs
“The PureLift Pro+ is my preferred microcurrent tool because it not only reaches the dermis like other microcurrent devices, it also goes even deeper, forcing the muscles to contract and strengthening the framework of the skin. The pulses are also randomized, which is a huge reason why the results are so dramatic. It takes just one 10-minute session—five minutes on each side of the face—to start seeing results.” — Hand
Best Body Lotion For Crepey Skin
Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment
“As skin ages, it tends to lose elasticity and become thinner and appear more crepey, so it’s crucial to select a body care item that will help encourage collagen production. This Paula’s Choice product is formulated with plant-based moisturizers, antioxidants, and retinol—an anti-aging superhero—to support crepey skin by defending against environmental aggressors and encouraging new collagen stimulation that firms skin.” — Dr. Turner
“Honestly, this is one you have to see and try to believe. Massage it into your face and you’ll notice an immediate tightening and lifting effect thanks to the product’s blend of silicates and seaweed. It’s astonishing, really, which is why this product is lighting up social media, with millions of views from in-the-know skincare devotees. The effects are temporary, of course, but the product’s blend of antioxidants and and provitamin B5 will help to improve the look of skin over time, too. It’s a win-win!” — Underwood
“A splurge, for sure, but what a delightful one! This soothing, delicate serum—from a line that Brad Pitt has invested in and uses—is all about wrinkle reduction and skin texture refinement, but in the gentlest way possible. But don’t let the incredibly appealing celebrity face associated with the line alone sway you: There’s serious science involved here. At the core of all Le Domaine products are two highly sophisticated and innovative compounds developed by a French biotech company that utilize nutrient-rich plant compounds to target natural skin-aging processes. It’s incredibly feat of bioengineering that will directly benefit your face.” — Underwood
When you want a little kiss of color but plenty of nourishment—and even sun protection—go for one of these MD Solar Sciences lip balms. Commerce editor Jasmine Gomez (here) loves how hydrating they are.
At-home TLC for the most delicate skin on the face
“Vitamin K oxide is the hero ingredient of this eye cream that can help reduce the appearance of dark circles. It contains a proprietary peptide complex that works on puffiness. Plus, the applicator is not to be overlooked. The product is dispensed through a smooth ceramic applicator that gives a bit of a cooling effect and allows the user to apply even pressure to help move fluid along under the eyes, further reducing puffiness.” — Dr. Turner
“The cooling stainless steel rollerball applicator is the cherry on top of this revolutionary eye serum from the biotech geniuses at Bioeffect. The brand’s clinically proven barley-derived EGF— responsible for collagen and elastin production—is formulated with just ten amazing anti-aging ingredients, and targets not only puffiness, but also fine lines and wrinkles in the delicate eye area. Store it in the fridge for extra depuffing when needed.” — Hand
“It contains TriHex peptide technology (which is a blend of peptides) to enhance elastin and collagen production in the skin and improve fine lines. It also has niacinamide, green tea extract, and darutoside to improve puffiness and reduce appearance of dark circles, and can be used on the upper and lower eyelids.” — Dr. Marchbein
“These cute undereye patches are just enough to hide all evidence of a rough night (or early morning). They’re made with niacinamide and a hyaluronic acid blend that delivers moisture to the skin under your eyes in just 30 minutes.” — Jackson
“This is a wonderful way to protect the lips from UV damage while nourishing them with hydration and a pop of buildable tinted color. Unlike many SPF lip balms this one is super hydrating thanks to shea butter, avocado, and olive oils.” — Dr. Mraz Robinson
For skin that is silky-smooth from neck to toes, assistant social media editor Isabel McMahon (here) turns to this gentle Necessaire exfoliator. A little goes a long way.
Skincare doesn’t stop at your neck! Soft, smooth, and happy results for your birthday suit
“Think of this as a device that’ll give you in-office results in the comfort of your own home. It’s very pricey, but it’s a best-seller that’s FDA-cleared and reliable. In short, it’s worth the splurge.” — Jackson
“Hair removal creams have come a very long way from the smelly, goopy, burning mess they were when I first used one at the ripe age of 12. This product in particular comes with a hand-free, glide-on applicator that allows you to apply the product evenly without having to rub it in and dirty up your hands.” — Jackson
“This at-home hard wax kit has been my go-to for years. Super easy and great for a beginner to use at home. It’s also nice because it’s a small kit and you heat up the wax with a microwave instead of a separate heating gadget.” — Worden
“Don’t expect miracles—from any other cellulite cream—but I still think this luxuriously rich moisturizer is worth your consideration. It’s infused with caffeine and guarana extracts to tighten skin and the fast-absorbing formula leaves skin hydrated but not slick. And the scent—the scent—is glorious and beloved by everyone. It’s an irresistible blend of pistachio, salted caramel, and vanilla that will make you want to eat it like frosting. But, yeah, please don’t.” — Underwood
“I love topicals High Roller Ingrown Hair Tonic with AHA and BHA. It is a roller and easy to use after shaving and daily. It has AHA and BHAS both of which help exfoliate those ingrown hairs.” —Dr. Lal
“Contains both AHAs and BHAs to gently exfoliate the area. Roller packaging makes it convenient to apply to bikini area” —Dr. Ugo
“I love this! It’s a roller and easy to use after shaving and can be used daily. It has AHAs and BHAS, both of which help exfoliate those ingrown hairs.” — Dr. Lal
“This serum contains both AHAs and BHAs to gently exfoliate the affected area. Roller packaging makes it convenient to apply to the bikini line.” — Dr. Ugo
Best Keratosis Pilaris Treatment
Skinfix KP+ Psoriasis Smoothing Treatment Body Lotion
“KP is on the eczema spectrum and is accompanied by dry skin. This product has three acids and ingredients like the B-L3™ Complex that help normalize the skin barrier. In a study 91 percent of people who used the cream saw reduction in KP bumps.” — Dr. Lal
“Love that this exfoliator is a dual chemical and physical scrub. It contains a mixture of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs, as well as volcanic pumice to effectively exfoliate and smooth the skin. I love It for keratosis pilaris (chicken skin on the arms) or smoothing the legs. My favorite scent is the eucalyptus, it definitely adds a spa like experience to your ordinary shower routine.” — Dr. Fahs
“I’ve yet to find another body wash as universally beloved by my patients whom I recommend this product to. Not only is it gentle enough for all skin types, it delivers incredible moisture care of jojoba oil, a personal favorite ingredient of mine.” — Dr. Turner
“It’s amazing to me, the visceral power of scent. One whiff of something familiar and you’re instantly transported back to a specific time and place. That’s what this lotion does for me: As soon as it hits my nostrils, I’m back in Italy, basking poolside at the famed Le Sirenuse in Positano. That’s the point, of course—this line was inspired by picturesque hotel and developed by members of the family who’ve owned it for decades. But you don’t have to have been there to appreciate this bright, refreshing blend of incense, bergamot, blackcurrant, magnolia, and patchouli. I highly recommend a visit though.” — Underwood
“If you’re a big fan of Unseen Sunscreen face, you’re going to lose it over the body formula. This is everything you’d want in a sunscreen in one tube: easy to spread, weightless, no-mess, fragrance-free, and it goes on incredibly sheer. Applying sun protection doesn’t have to be such a mess, and this proves it.” — Jackson
“Feet are often overlooked, but they need as much, if not more, TLC as the rest of your body. This foot repair cream contains ammonium lactate to help slough off dead skin and soften calluses while the emollient petrolatum and the humectant glycerin keep feet hydrated. This is an excellent foot cream for those with dry, cracked feet.” — Dr. Turner
“My favorite part of the pedicure process is the part when they scrub your feet. I rarely do it at home—who has the team, and it makes such a mess. But when I do, I use this beautiful product. It has an invigorating aroma of grapefruit, clary sage, and rosemary essential oils and the natural volcanic black sand exfoliates gently but effectively. Avocado oil and aloe vera moisturize so you can park your tootsies on the lap of someone you love with confidence.” — Underwood
“This hand cream contains nourishing ceramides, gentle emollients, and antioxidant vitamin E to revive dry, rough hands. The formula is oil-free and absorbs quickly into the skin, it’s also fragrance-free, making it a good choice for even the most sensitive skin types.” — Dr. Mraz Robinson
“The Dove Beauty Bar is the absolute best. It’s sulfate-free and contains moisturizing cream to hydrate and nourish the skin without stripping it like traditional soaps can. It contains the brand’s signature 1⁄4 moisturizing cream and DEFI technology, a unique blend of mild cleansers, and is suitable for daily use on the face, body, and hands. My favorite, Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.” — Dr. Marchbein
“Stretch mark creams are often gimmicky, but literature does show that centella asiatica—one of the main ingredients in this cream—can be helpful at hydrating stretching skin. Top that off with its extremely silky texture, this cream melts right into the skin and deep conditions.” — Dr. Fahs
“There’s a reason CeraVe is so beloved by derms like myself for patients dealing with eczema. This particular moisturizer uses Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) technology that gives a controlled-release of the moisturizing ingredients throughout the day. Fortified with ceramides, cholesterol, and hyaluronic acid, this product works to maintain the natural skin barrier which is negatively impacted by eczema.” — Dr. Turner