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.
Sun-care and skin-care benefits in one adorable, ergonomic little container you can fit anywhere? Sign me up. The brand’s proprietary Sun Dual Care technology not only shields skin from damaging UV rays, but also brightens it and reduces sun spots simultaneously with vitamin C.
Other key ingredients include hydrating hyaluronic acid, spirulina essence, which converts UV rays into “beneficial greenish visible light,” and hypotaurine, which hinders oxidation of the skin caused by blue light. In clinical testing, skin appeared visibly brighter and smoother, and the appearance of pores was visibly softened after using the sunscreen daily for two weeks. It also rubs in completely clear!
TATCHA The Silk Serum ($98)
If you’re someone who wants the line-smoothing benefits of retinol but it always irritates your skin, this silky serum provides a unique retinol alternative. According to the brand, the combination of upcycled cranberry extract and sea fennel act on the same factors as retinol to support collagen-depleted skin. TATCHA’s scientists tested the duo on human skin cells in-vitro, against both stabilized retinol and bakuchiol, and the serum was just as effective.
When these two ingredients are paired with silk protein and the brand’s proprietary Hadasei-3 complex (Akita rice, Uji green tea and Okinawa algae), this formula also provides moisture barrier support, firming benefits and a lit-from-within glow. It does contain essential oils, which lend to the earthy, herbal scent, so if you are sensitive to those, keep that in mind.
I was super excited when I heard about this launch from ’90s-nostalgia sunscreen brand Vacation—I’m obsessed with the Lotion that dropped in 2021 as part of the debut. It’s so good! But this fine mist is even more exciting to me because this is perhaps the easiest way to reapply sunscreen, especially on the beach when you want a hands-free option. No sand on my face please!
In addition to protecting the skin with SPF 50, it also offers instant refreshment thanks to cucumber and aloe vera (think spa water), as well as skin-care benefits (caffeine and antioxidant-rich ferulic acid are part of the mix too). It dries down quickly (and transparent) on all skin tones with a satiny finish, and you can use it on top of makeup too without making a mess.
“An eye cream was our number-one requested product since day one,” says founder Tina Chen Craig, who has worked on the formula for four years. “Like all of our products, this new concentrated eye cream is so much more than what the category suggests and unlike anything else in the world. Our SIREN Capsule technology drops the active ingredients on only the damaged areas of skin to lift, smooth, plump and brighten without irritation.”
This eye cream features two novel SIREN Capsules that U Beauty created specifically for the fragile eye area that work over time to train the skin to return to its youthful, glowy function. However, there are also immediate effects like hydration and illumination. “We added diamond powder because that illuminating effect was really important to me,” Craig adds. “I can even use it over concealer throughout the day to add a really subtle beautiful glow.”
FaceGym Acne Light Shot ($90)
The brand’s first LED device, this high-tech, compact, FDA-approved treatment utilizes blue light therapy (each session is 20 minutes) to banish blemishes. How does it work exactly? The blue light produces protoporphyrin, which reduces acne-causing bacteria on the skin as it also boosts anti-inflammatory and anti-infective peptides, and the skin’s metabolism. This allows for faster cell renewal, and fewer breakouts.
In a 120-day clinical study, patients saw a 75-percent reduction in their inflammatory acne after 30 days, and an 80-percent reduction in pore size after 90 days. They rated the device 90-percent effective for treating their acne skin problems over the course of 90 days.
If you’ve never tried one of Kate McLeod’s cult-favorite, waterless “stones,” do yourself a favor and add to cart ASAP. It will not only change your routine (for the better), but also your mindset about how the beauty industry can be more eco-friendly and plastic-free without compromising efficacy. This new Glow version of her best-selling Face Stone is a solid face moisturizer with line-minimizing bakuchiol and antioxidant-rich rosehip and hibiscus oils to give the skin a really pretty lit-from-within radiance.
Don’t let the “solid” format intimidate you: Just glide the stone across clean skin (forehead and each cheek) to let it melt in a little bit as it combines with the natural warmth of your skin. McLeod says “one Face Stone lasts three to six months with daily use and provides twice as much usage per ounce than a traditional face moisturizer.”
Dr. Brandt’s number-one best-selling product since the brand launched in 1995, this cult-classic eye gel just got a big makeover. Even the most iconic products still need tweaks after 25-plus years, especially when science and technology have come so far. The packaging is more sustainable and the formula has also been updated.
The lightweight gel-cream is more hydrating than before and the texture has been improved for a smoother, second skin–like finish. If you experienced a residue while using this before, try the new one and feel the difference. This is thanks to the brand’s proprietary Filmatrix technology (it creates a film of sorts), which blends nicely with tetrapeptides to tighten, smooth, de-puff and brighten the under-eye area. Over time, the skin looks more youthful and the eyes look more well-rested.
Not too many brands have successfully pulled off the sunscreen–vitamin C combo, but leave it to cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson to not only pull it off, but also hit a home run. Three years in development, this pink-hued formula protects skin from the sun with a high concentration of zinc (17.5 percent) and SPF 50, but it blends in invisibly on all skin tones. Add in 20-percent stabilized L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) and you’ve got a powerhouse that also helps to reduce and prevent dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles.
In clinical testing, 100 percent of participants showed significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, as well as skin softness, both immediately and after four weeks of use. Another big stat: 91 percent showed significant improvement in skin density (collagen production) after four weeks.
Though it packs in 10 nourishing natural oils—including argan, meadowfoam seed and rosehip seed—this formula is quick to absorb, nongreasy and replenishes ceramides the skin loses over time for a happier, healthier skin barrier. In clinical testing, it proved to hydrate skin for up to 12 hours and support skin barrier function for up to 24 hours.
Plus, with your purchase of the oil, you’ll also get an EVE LOM x Angela Caglia Rose Quartz Gua Sha, which pairs beautifully. Apply three to five drops of oil and then try out your favorite gua sha techniques to enhance your skin tone and flush out toxins.
Noble Panacea The Elemental Cleansing Balm & Exfoliating Refiner ($185 for 30 treatments)
Every aesthetician and dermatologist I’ve ever interviewed has stressed the importance of cleansing, and those who don’t take the time to do it right are wasting money on all the products they apply afterward. This duo is designed to be the first step (well, technically two steps) of the brand’s skin-care ritual, to cleanse, clarify and perfectly prep skin for active-infused serums and creams.
Step one is a cleansing balm made with eight different oils that morphs into a cleansing oil as you massage it into your skin, removing all the daily grime and makeup (including long-wear eye products). Step two is a chemical exfoliant with AHAs, PHAs and niacinamide to unclog pores and give the skin a nice glow. The exfoliant is also powered by the brand’s patented Organic Super Molecular Vessel (OSMV) technology, which keeps the ingredients stable at the molecular level to preserve their potency.