What kind of beauty lover are you- the kind who created a skincare routine decades ago and hasn’t strayed from it, or are you constantly switching up your routine?
If you are always on the hunt for the next big thing when it comes to skincare, we’re here to help. Each year thousands of new skincare products make their debut, while some tried and true products become elevated to cult hero status (we’re looking at you, La Mer). Sifting through all of the choices and deciding what’s hype and what’s worth a try can be overwhelming but that’s why we are here.
Here’s a look at the best skincare products of 2021. Our top picks address a multitude of common skin issues, such as dry skin, oily skin or anti-aging concerns.
We’ve also included a wide range of prices, from drugstore, picks to medical-grade choices as well as some clean beauty brands. You’ll see a mix of new brands and products as well as some heritage names- and help you figure out where to start.
Related: Best Anti Aging Face Serums
How to Find the Best Skincare Products
Finding the right product for your skin takes some time, effort, and a little experimentation. The first thing to do is to understand your skin.
Most skin is normal, dry, oily, or a combination. If you’re not sure, pay attention to how your skin feels after cleansing, and whether it looks shiny in a few hours.
Next, are there any skin issues to be addressed such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or textured skin such as large pores? Anti-aging can also be a major concern when fine lines and crow’s feet start to appear.
Once you understand your skin type and what you want to improve on your complexion, it’s easier to narrow down the pool of products to try.
How Many Skincare Products Do I Need?
Apologies to all the minimalists but it’s important to remember that one product cannot do everything for you. However, depending on your skin’s needs you can maintain a pretty minimal routine such as a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
Our in-house biochemist and skincare specialist, Elle MacLeman, tends to recommend using a cleanser, moisturizer, serum, oil and sunscreen.
Some people also enjoy a little more ritual to their routine and enjoy more products and steps. As long as it’s working for you and you enjoy it, then it is the right number of products.
What Do the Best Skincare Products Have in Common?
Our best skincare products of 2021 are a diverse group of items- we’ve sourced them from department stores, beauty boutiques, drugstores, and everything in between.
What some of these products have in common is a handful of hero ingredients, including hyaluronic acid (the ultimate of hydrators), peptides (which can help boost collagen production), squalane (a lipid that is highly moisturizing), and a variety of botanical extracts like licorice root and turmeric, both skin brighteners.
Best Skin Care Brand of 2021
Our top pick for the best skincare line for 2021 is Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick takes a tough-love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the gentle nurturing of plants with the powerful results of innovative science. The result? Straightforward, effective skincare that delivers radiant-looking skin that is good for you and good for the environment.
Also topping our list is Formulyst. The comprehensive line of products targets everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. Formulyst wants to help its customers achieve their best-looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup.
And if you want to take all the guesswork out of creating your own beauty regimen, this streamlined kit from Advanced Dermatology is for you. It contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible-looking skin.