Launch List: The Best Skin Care Launching in December

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Launch List: The Best Skin Care Launching in December featured image

Hundreds of products come across our desks every month, but not all of them deliver on their claims or live up to the hype. (Not everything that goes viral on TikTok is a miracle worker.) This is our exclusive curation of the best-in-class skin-care products receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now.

1 / 11

Shiseido Bio-Performance Skin Filler Serums ($295)

The brand’s most innovative launch in its history, this day-and-night hyaluronic serum duo (it uses the brand’s proprietary Japanese HA) is great for people who are interested in filler, but not yet ready to go under the needle, or those who have fillers and want to extend their results between appointments.

“Shiseido has been pioneers when it comes to hyaluronic acid, and we’ve been innovating with the ingredient for the past 40 years, always trying to make it more efficacious to give more plumping and hydration to the skin,” says Gisela Ballard, vice president of U.S. training and education for Shiseido Americas Corporation. “These serums are unlike anything else.

In the Night Serum, we’ve successfully compressed the hyaluronic acid molecule, which is a very big molecule, so it doesn’t typically penetrate and do anything for the deeper layers of the skin. By compressing it, we allow it to absorb and work beneath the surface. The Day Serum has an expander that will release that compression mechanism and actually allow the hyaluronic acid to puff up and really volumize and plump skin. Together, the results are as close as you can come to a filler without a needle.”

2 / 11

OleHenriksen Dewtopia 5% Acid Firming Night Crème ($60)

This firming, retexturizing night cream is the next launch in the brand’s wildly successful Dewtopia franchise, and has a beautiful texture that’s rich and buttery, but also somehow light like a gel-cream. The natural lemon-y scent is so good, too.

“Our Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment launched a little more than a year ago and became a mega best-seller around the globe, and we felt that we needed a beautiful sleeping partner for it—that’s how this came to be,” says Olé himself. “Edelweiss stem cell extract comes from the Alps and it’s a really strong antioxidant that’s been clinically proven to strengthen collagen in the skin for a reduction in lines and wrinkles.

The 5-percent alphahydroxy acids [glycolic and lactic] get rid of the dull, lifeless skin cells and reduce the look of pores. We also chose shea butter as a key ingredient because it’s extremely nourishing and hydrating, and it’s also an anti-inflammatory. We’ve also gone back to our Scandinavian heritage with the idea that ‘less is more’ because this cream makes skin glow so you don’t need as much makeup, if any.”

3 / 11

Murad Quick Relief Colloidal Treatment ($46)

According to the National Eczema Association, it is estimated that 1 in 10 individuals will develop eczema during their lifetime. If you or someone you know falls in this category and itchiness and irritation get the best of you during a flare, give this new fast-acting therapeutic cream a try (you can use it on your face, eyes and body).

A proprietary, highly concentrated blend of 5 percent colloidal oatmeal—the key ingredient in any eczema treatment—and ground cherry (inspired by the efficacy of steroids but sourced from plants), it soothes discomfort and returns skin to a happier state. It also helps reduce skin’s receptivity to eczema trigger signals, which helps extend the time between flare-ups. It’s free of fragrance, dyes and gluten (among the usual suspects like parabens, etc) as well.

4 / 11

Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial ($68)

The third mask to join the brand’s colorful skin-care collection, this one is unique in that it’s a leave-on formula. Apply it after C-Firma (or whichever vitamin C serum you love) in the morning, and/or after your night serums and let the radiance-boosting power take effect. Unlike the other two masks (Babyfacial focuses on softness and F-Balm Waterfacial delivers hydration), this one targets discoloration, acne marks, unevenness and dullness.

It’s free of synthetic fragrances, like everything else in the line, and loaded with azelaic acid (10 percent!), which helps smooth rough spots and take down redness. Other key ingredients include 1-percent salicylic acid, moisturizing marula and chia oils, ceramides, fermented green tea, pumpkin seed, and brightening niacinamide.

5 / 11

Farmacy Wake Up Honey Eye Cream with Brightening Vitamin C ($45)

This time of year I am staying up later, trying to cram everything in—work, wrapping presents, family time, holiday parties—and my under-eyes reap the consequences. This silky, fragrance-free eye cream brightens the area with 3-percent vitamin C to make dark circles less noticeable, while also hydrating and soothing with the brand’s proprietary buckwheat honey blend.

Two upcycled ingredients—cranberry peptide and tangerine peel—help smooth out fine lines and encapsulated caffeine reduces puffiness, so makeup goes on really nicely over top. It’s not heavy or greasy, and it doesn’t pill when I also use concealer. The glass jar feels heavy and luxurious, and it’s recyclable too.

6 / 11

Josh Rosebrook Ultra Peptide Cream ($60)

Josh Rosebrook is the type of brand founder who sits with the chemists in the lab, educating himself on the nuances of each ingredient so he can perfect his formulas (his Daily Acid Toner and Hydrating Accelerator are two of my favorites). With one swipe of this velvety cream across your cheek, you can feel the care he put into it.

The base is rich with hydrating aloe and I love the subtle citrus scent, but the real kicker is the peptide medley: three biomimetic peptides and two botanical-based polypeptides that firm up lackadaisical skin (even sensitive types). There’s also brightening niacinamide, barrier-supporting ceramides and a quintet of nourishing oils, but somehow the finish isn’t dewy—expect more of a semi-matte effect.

7 / 11

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Chin ($18)

If you love the zit-zapping power of the brand’s best-selling pimple patches, this is the same effective treatment, but in a larger format to treat your entire chin at once. (If you’re like me, you’ve used four or five pimple dots on your chin at once, so this makes perfect sense!) It’s also the brand’s most requested product, so I’m assuming there are other people out there who call their chin their problem area.

Leave it on overnight (six to eight hours is best) and then let your skin breathe for a bit before putting another one on.

8 / 11

The Outset Ultralight Moisture-Boosting Oil ($44)

It’s hard to believe there are 14 botanical oils in this formula, as well as squalane, and it doesn’t leave my skin a greasy mess (other editors on the team love it too).

The feeling is mutual with brand founder Scarlett Johansson: “This is the only oil that I’ve felt comfortable using on my face since it doesn’t break out my sensitive skin and doesn’t feel heavy or greasy,” she says. “It’s so light and instantly sinks into skin, while providing all the goodness of nutrient-rich botanical oils.” 

Her cofounder Kate Foster (also CEO) says she and Scarlett “wanted a do-it-all oil that was truly universal, both in formula and in function. It may sound counterintuitive, but even people with oily skin types can benefit from incorporating it into their skin-care regimen to help balance and reduce redness. This oil isn’t intimidating for non-oil users and can be used in so many different ways to support skin when it’s craving extra nourishment.”

9 / 11

Kopari Niacinamide and Caffeine Eye Bright Cream ($36)

“We polled our consumers and asked what their top skin-care product request was from us, and they said eye cream,” says brand cofounder Kiana Cabell. “The texture is amazing: It’s very light but also really moisturizing and blends in very nicely with a cooling, soothing sensation that you feel upon application.

It’s packed with clinically backed actives like brightening niacinamide, energizing and depuffing caffeine from java berry, hydrating hyaluronic acid to smooth fine lines, and soothing cucumber and celery extracts. It goes beautifully under your makeup—it has a light-green, iridescent effect that also helps color-correct a little bit—but you can also use it at night.”

10 / 11

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream ($48)

“This is dry, dehydrated season—everyone’s skin is dry, dry, dry—and many of my patients are looking for rescue products right now. This product is just that,” says New York dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD. “The first critical ingredient it contains is colloidal oatmeal, which is anti-inflammatory and soothing. It also creates a great film on the skin to help lock in moisture, which is why you find it in every good anti-eczema product. The second one is beta glucan, which is not as common, but a fantastic ingredient. It really helps to suck in moisture, and also creates a film to fortify the skin barrier. I also love that it’s so different from what you think about when you think of a barrier cream: It’s breathable, it’s light and something you’ll like to use.”

In the brand’s testing, the cream proved to relieve discomfort from eczema, post-procedure wounds and wind burns. It also instantly reduced visible redness. You can also use it on your eyes and lips.

11 / 11

Weleda Skin Food Face Care Nourishing Night Cream ($25)

The brand’s cult-classic Skin Food is one of those IYKYK products—a celeb favorite, universal skin savior and makeup artist staple—that stands in a league of its own. Building on that success, the brand has expanded its beloved formula into a full range of textures and formats, including this new vegan night cream.

Comprising the same nutrient-rich plants found in all Skin Food products—calendula, chamomile, rosemary, pansy and sunflower oil—it also adds olive leaf extract, squalane, lacquer tree berry, sacha inchi oil and cica for your softest skin yet. The texture is rich and buttery, but lighter than the OG Skin Food, and will be one of the main things keeping my dry skin sane this winter.

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