The best skincare brands, tested and loved by our editors

Trends come and go, but the best skincare brands (usually) last forever. Aside from the occasional change in ownership or change in formulation, these beauty brands have achieved almost mythical status for a reason. Newer brands entering the market need to be exceptional to break through in today’s saturated landscape.

This list has a little bit of everything, from the time-tested classics worth investing in to the newer beauty names that are changing things for the better. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite skincare brands so you can shop with the confidence of a seasoned beauty editor.

Featured image by Andrea Posadas.

Augustine Bader

Augustinas Bader, a professor of applied stem cell biology and cell technology, essentially bottled up her research to offer some of the most effective products on the market today.

And while not every product in the Augustinus Bader line is an essential (the $77 Cleansing Balm, in particular, could easily be replicated for much less), Rich Cream is a vanity status symbol well worth the effort. —Caitlin Clark

Biological Research

If you haven’t tried this French skin care line yet, I highly recommend their masks. I like multi-face mask with Vivant Masque, so I’m hydrating while targeting my T-zones. It’s not cheap, but you don’t need much. Plus, it’s safe enough to use daily or weekly, whenever you want to mask up. –Sacha Strebe

summer friday

Beautiful, minimalist brand, effective formulations, and skincare that won’t break the bank. While I have noted that Summer Fridays is my favorite candle, I come first for the cult-favorite and much-loved skincare. It all started with the game-changing Jet Lag mascara, but the social media darling has expanded to sunscreens, serums, and my favorite eye cream. For that glowing, sun-kissed look, Summer Fridays are your best bet. —Isabelle Eyman

charlotte tilbury

In 2013, the beloved YouTuber and makeup artist launched her eponymous skincare line (and her well-known Magic Cream) in the UK. A decade later, Charlotte Tilbury’s expertise still shows through in her beautifully packaged skincare handiwork. —Caitlin Clark

Image by Michelle Nash


I have been using Cosmedix for over 10 years because they have high performance ingredients and they do what they say. I swear by their toner and Eye Doctor cream, which doubles as a highlighter thanks to the brand’s special liquid crystal. –Sacha Strebe

Skincare Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland Skincare is a relatively new discovery for me, but my skin was forever changed with the first application. The skincare line is an extension of the geothermal spa in Iceland, where treatment offerings include a float in the famous mineral-rich Blue Lagoon, massages, and beauty therapies that harness the transformative elements of geothermal seawater: silica, algae and minerals.

But for those of us who can’t travel to the other side of the world, the spa has bottled up and applied its healing practices into a beautiful skincare line. From their face cream to eye serum to seaweed mask, everything is carefully formulated to optimize skin health and promote radiance. —Isabelle Eyman

Dr. Loretta

Honestly, these products are just fun wear. The Intense Replenishing Serum is deliciously viscous, the tightening eye gel de-puffs like a dream, and Dr. Loretta’s Detox Mask is fresh (and effective) enough that you want to slather it on every day. 10 out of 10 I would recommend it all. —Caitlin Clark

Furtuna Skin

The revolutionary skincare line earns its high price tag with organic ingredients grown on private property in Sicily and a team that is in complete control of the product, from plant to packaging. —Caitlin Clark

it’s clinical

I was introduced to iS Clinical a few years ago and have slowly developed an obsession ever since. Their Hydra-Cool Serum is the ultimate glass of water for your epidermis, the SPF is the best I’ve tried and the Active Serum is simply a must. –Sacha Strebe

Renee Rouleau

When my skin is feeling hormonal or blemish-prone, I pull out the big guns. Renée Rouleau is famous for her arsenal of acne-fighting products; Her cleanser, in particular, really nails it. Ella packs a punch in the acid department blended with gentle biodegradable jojoba beads that reduce acne, bumps, blackheads, and clogged pores while removing red discoloration and leftover scars from blemishes. –Sacha Strebe

Review skin care

Ask a dermatologist for their favorite skin care brands and you’ll almost certainly hear Revision Skincare. What flash packaging lacks, their products make up for with effective ingredients. —Caitlin Clark

Image by Belathée Photography

winemaker’s daughter

I first heard about Vintner’s Daughter in a Goop pop-up in 2015. The brand, launched in 2013 by Napa Valley winemaker April Gargiulo, had already become a mythical elixir in the beauty world almost exclusively by mouth. on the palate: a powerful and nourishing dense serum that could do wonders for every skin type.

The brand lived up to the hype then and continues to do so 10 years after its debut. The recently launched companion pieces of the Active Botanical Serum, the Active Essence Treatment (a super-effective spray that preps skin for the serum) and the Active Renewal Cleanser (a killer double cleanse in one), make for an untouchable trifecta that gives me the glow. balanced and bright. skin you’ve always dreamed of. —Caitlin Clark

better skin

Honestly, the number of times this science-backed brand has been recommended by estheticians and dermatologists would seem like a stretch if we weren’t all so obsessed with it. Sascha Strebe loves AlphaRet’s unique blend of retinoids and AHAs (which surprisingly never causes irritation) while Isabelle Eyman can’t get enough of SkinBetter’s eye cream (she clearly likes eye creams). It’s not cheap, and it’s not always easy to find IRL, but SkinBetter is one of the most unique and effective brands on the market right now.


The science-backed luxury skincare line is another option for dermatologists and physicians. Launched in the early 1990s after the brand’s founding scientist Sheldon Pinnell’s research into topical antioxidants led to the first patent for vitamin C, the entire SkinCeuticals portfolio remains groundbreaking and outstanding. —Caitlin Clark


Tatcha blotting papers have always been a must, but when the Japanese brand’s Indigo Overnight Serum in Cream Treatment turned out to be the only thing that cured my perioral dermatitis in 2020, I became a devoted disciple of all things Tatcha. —Caitlin Clark

your beauty

When Tina Chen Craig, an OG blogger known to many as “The Bag Snob,” channeled her obsession with skincare to create a unique, all-in-one “smart product,” U Beauty was launched and an Internet favorite was born. worship. —Caitlin Clark

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