There are lots of fun and exciting components of being a beauty editor, but as much as we love sitting at our desks and swatching the latest and greatest to hit our beauty closet, there's definitely more action during our day-to-day work. A while ago, my former beauty editor colleague Courtney Higgs and I were detailing the most important beauty trends, products, and brands of the previous quarter, and we noticed a pretty interesting list: the top 20 best-selling skincare brands, ranked.
What To Look For In Your Skincare
It's no secret that before making any major skincare purchase, WWW's beauty editors look to the experts for the scoop on the skincare products that absolutely deserve the hype. To pinpoint a few standout brands, we reached out to esthetician Ian Michael Crumm and facialist Gina Mari, both of whom regularly work with celebrity clientele. For anyone embarking on a skincare journey, Crumm recommends focusing on an effective cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. "There are tons of products on the market, and it's easy to get confused when starting out," explains Crumm. "If you don't have a routine, start by introducing a gentle facial cleanser, a simple moisturizer, and a sunscreen that blends well into your skin for daily use."
Skin type plays a role in determining the best products for the job. For dry skin, Crumm suggests adding hydration through gentle products that contain plumping and conditioning ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. As an esthetician, Crumm gravitates toward a couple of best-selling brands, including Restore by Doctor Rogers and Goldfaden M.D. Similarly, Mari emphasizes cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and sunscreen as essential components of a well-rounded skincare routine. "The beauty industry can be overwhelming, especially when looking at social media, so I encourage everyone to keep it simple," says Mari. For all skin types, she recommends incorporating a toner to restore your skin's pH balance immediately. Her holy grail skincare brand? Goldfaden M.D.
What We Considered When Determining the Best Products
As skincare-obsessed beauty editors, our interest was piqued to see which brands WWW readers are hoarding and loving. We immediately started to discuss our favorite brands from the list, the cult-favorite products we love (plus some that we don't), what brands didn't make the list, and so on and so forth.
Inspired by these conversations, we transformed them into a guide featuring the top 20 skincare brands that our readers cherish. In this guide, Courtney and I each share the one (yes, only one!) product we would personally purchase from each brand. Are you curious to find out which products made the final cut? Keep scrolling! All of our must-haves and recommendations lie just ahead.
1. The Ordinary
Hydration is by far my top skincare priority at this stage of my life, so hyaluronic acid is an ingredient I seek out above all others. It's truly my favorite substance on earth (besides water, of course). There are really pricey HA serums out there, but I love that this one by The Ordinary is so affordable, so pure, and so effective.
Customer review: "I have struggled with extremely dry and itchy skin for years and have tried so many products with no relief. This serum saved my skin and keeps my skin feeling hydrated for hours. It wears well under makeup. I will definitely be repurchasing!"
As someone who consistently deals with congestion and breakouts, a weekly exfoliation treatment is essential. Fun fact: My mom and I both love this affordable peel from The Ordinary. It features a mix of cell-sloughing AHAs and BHAs (from lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids), which make my skin look and feel smoother, brighter, and clearer.
Customer review: "I am a sucker for exfoliating products and when I first tried this i thought there was no way my face would feel 'polished' but boy was i wrong. My face feels so soft and refreshed after every use. Always clears us whatever breakouts i get."
This little bottle contains two of my favorite forms of makeup remover: micellar water and oil. I love that it's like a double cleanse in one bottle, although I always follow up with a traditional cleanser after using.
Customer review: "I’ve been using this for years. I can’t live without it! This works better than any other makeup remover I’ve ever tried. Good for all skin types. Has never broken out my sensitively skin or caused or caused any kind of reaction."
To be fully transparent, I definitely prefer Glossier's makeup selection to its skincare. (I think Lash Slick ($16) is the best mascara ever made). That said, Balm Dotcom is one of the brand's most cult-loved products, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't keep a tube of this shimmery Birthday Cake number in my makeup bag at all times. I also appreciate that it doesn't contain coconut oil (as so many lip products do these days!) because it never makes the skin around my lips break out.
Customer review: "I just love the taste and texture of this product. Especially this flavor and color. The shine it adds to my lips are amazing. I use it everyday!"
I know makeup wipes are really bad for the planet, but I just love these ones! I'm working on it, okay?
Customer review: "These makeup wipes remove all of my makeup and leaves my skin feeling fresh! I don't need to put too much effort into removing my makeup with these."
This eye makeup remover has a cult following for a reason. It removes stubborn mascara, eyeliner, and even eye shadow in one fell swoop.
Customer review: "I've been using this for seven to eight years and [it] is the best eye makeup remover out there."
4. Drunk Elephant
Marula oil is one of my favorites for sealing in the goodness of my skincare. A few times a week, I like to pat this luxe oil into my face as the final step in my nighttime routine.
Customer review: "My skin tends to be on the dry side. I am also starting to show fine lines. I put this on to seal all the moisture in at night after my products, and my skin looks renewed!"
I keep my skincare routine pretty basic, but I love to experiment with different types of masks. This is one of the brand's most iconic products, and it's basically like a facial in a bottle. Think brighter, tighter, smoother skin in just 20 minutes.
Customer review: "I love how efficient this product is! It clears up my skin powerfully without causing any sensitivity. Following up with the oil is a must!"
5. Dr. Jart+
I'm not using this one religiously at the moment, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. It's one of the thickest and most moisturizing creams I've ever used.
Customer review: "I like how it’s thick yet it feels so lightweight and hydrating/moisturizing on the skin and leaves a matte finish. If you don’t like the heavy feeling of a thick moisturizer this is the one for you."
This soothing, moisturizing mask helps improve skin texture and radiance while you sleep.
Customer review: "I love this mask! When I started using it, it was to sandwich Differin Gel between moisturizer and it. Helped my skin to remain calm and reduced redness. Now, I use it when my skin needs a pick me up, or when my skin is dry."
I only recently committed to using eye cream daily (actually, twice daily), and this was one of the first options I took seriously. I trust the brand implicitly at this point, so that helped rid me of my skepticism around this particular category.
Customer review: "This eye gel is to die for! It goes on smooth and doesn’t feel sticky. I saw a difference the next morning—my eyes looked brighter and bags were lessened. I highly recommend using this product daily!"
Like pretty much everyone, I've been a longtime fan of Bioderma's beloved micellar waters. (They're the best for makeup removal—even the most stubborn waterproof eyeliner or mascara!) That said, the brand's Sébium version is more strategic for someone like me with acne-prone skin, as it's noncomedogenic and has special ingredients like zinc and copper to help tone and detoxify the skin.
Customer review: "I’ve been using this product as the first step of my double cleanse for the summer (cleansing oil was a little too heavy) and it’s really helped to reduce the sebum production on my face too. Super gentle and doesn’t irritate my skin at all."
Anyone who knows me knows I stan a good face mist. This one is among my favorites. On top of being packed with lots of good ingredients like red algae and squalene, I love how fine the mist is and that it doesn't disrupt your makeup if you spritz it midday.
Customer review: "I call this a facial in a bottle! I use this after my settling spray, it gives the most beautiful finish, it literally makes your skin look like you just got a facial! This is my 4th bottle and I’ll continue to buy this forever."
This handy stick is brand-new from Tatcha and it's quickly made it to the top of my favorites list. (I don't board a plane without it!) It's basically a solidified serum featuring lovely ingredients like hydrating squalane and Japanese lemon balm. If you're prone to dryness or scaly patches, it's the perfect antidote.
Customer review: "Love this! I use it under my eyes, after moisturizer/eye cream and before makeup, where I sometimes get pilling from those products mixing. I also use it in winter on areas where I get dry patches."
8. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
I cannot stress enough how much I love this modeling mask. It's seriously my favorite Sunday skincare ritual for soothing my skin and revealing the plumpest, dewiest version of my face. I wish I could bathe in this stuff.
Customer review: "This is a fantastic product. The most effective moisture mask I have ever used and didn't at all irritate my super sensitive skin. It made my skin plump, glowy and super hydrated."
Celebrity facialist Shani Darden told me to start using these anti-aging peel pads once or twice a week, and the frequency of my breakouts has definitely decreased since. I absolutely hate traveling with lots of skincare products, so I love that I can throw a few of these in my bag to use them whenever and wherever.
Customer review: "Just started using this product. Made my skin feel smooth and really clean. My pores look visibly smaller and my makeup is going on flawlessly. I will definitely be purchasing again."
There are lots of facial sunscreens on the market now that don't show up ghostly or ashy on brown skin, but that wasn't always the case. For a long time, EltaMD was one of the only brands that offered a truly sheer facial sunscreen. Aside from being one of the first SPFs Black people could use, it's also one of the best.
Customer review: "Best sunscreen ever! Goes on thick and weird like a normal sunscreen but after a few minutes it just sinks in and makes the skin look amazing. Makeup wears well over it. Doesn’t make my oily skin act out."
Ditto! This is the only sunscreen I'll let touch my face, and it's probably the most frequently recommended by the most trusted facialists and dermatologists. There's also a tinted version, but I like the classic one. It looks great under makeup, doesn't pill, doesn't clog my pores, and even has a high dose of hyaluronic acid to keep my face balanced and hydrated.
Customer review: "This is my all-time favorite SPF. It is a dream to apply, doesn’t dry out my skin, and creates a perfect canvas for makeup."
Although this isn't heavily featured in my routine anymore (it was one of my go-to cleansers in college), I'd still reach for it without hesitation if I found myself without cleanser on a trip or something.
Customer review: "I purchased this product after all the great reviews. It’s an extremely gentle cleansing product for those of us with dry skin. It doesn’t foam or dry your skin up. I also didn’t feel that it made any difference to my skin."
I'm someone who is always wearing self-tanner, and—fun fact—using too many oils on my skin actually strips the color faster and contributes to patchiness and uneven fade. I keep this oil-free, hyaluronic acid–rich lotion on my bathroom vanity for immediate application post-shower. My skin stays free of flakes and scales and my tan lasts so much longer than when I use my stash of body oils or rich, oil-infused creams.
Customer review: "This lotion is amazing, especially for dry skin! It's literally my holy grail. This is amazing on my face and my body. It leaves my skin so smooth and hydrated. So gentle and refreshing on my skin!"
I know people really love the lip version of this mask (ahem, Erin), but this all-over face mask is really the move, in my opinion.
Customer review: "Obsessed with this product! My skin looks and feels amazing the next day. This hydrates my skin without breaking me out, and I have very acne-prone skin."
I keep the vanilla version of this lip mask on my nightstand and apply a thick layer about 15 minutes before I plan to turn the lights out. It drenches any dryness with lasting moisture, it smells delicious, and when I wake up my lips are noticeably hydrated and plump. It is a bit sticky, but since it's an overnight treatment, I don't mind.
Customer review: "I will be keeping this in my skincare routine forever now. I have since dry skin and my lips crack even in the summer. after using this once I already see a difference. so plump and hydrated!"
12. La Roche-Posay
French pharmacy skincare is such a treat, in general, but this sunscreen is truly one of my favorites for all-over sun protection.
Customer review: "The feel of the product is wonderful. In my opinion is absolutely does melt into my skin. It absorbs fast, and provides immediate relief from sun when reapplying after a swim. It also isn't oily and doesn't leave a cast on me."
Hands down, this is the best drugstore cleanser for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. In a panic, I once picked it up while traveling because the cleanser I had packed caused a slew of whiteheads. Eek! After cleansing with this formula two or three times, my skin was back to normal. It's truly miraculous. It is strong, though, so I would only use it a few nights a week and alternate it with a hydrating, gentle formula.
Customer review: "My skin has been clearer and I have experienced no breakouts at all since starting it two months ago. I also find this doesn't exacerbate the dryness of my skin—it leaves it feeling clean and fresh."
Makeup Artist Katie Jane Hughes inspired me to get creative with this multi-use balm, so now instead of just tapping it onto dry lips and patchy skin, I apply it on my cheeks and eyelids for a super editorial-looking touch of gloss.
Customer review: "I have really sensitive skin and use this moisturizer when Im not wearing makeup and want to give my skin a break. It is great under sunscreen and it really can be worn under anything for dry skin."
Weleda is famous for Skinfood (which is, indeed, super wonderful), but I've been really stoked about the brand's new clarifying line, and this oil-balancing face lotion, in particular. It has great ingredients like willow bark, witch hazel, and licorice root, which work in tandem to tone the skin, purge pores, and infuse the skin with antioxidants and other glow-boosters.
Customer review: "I'm really happy with this clarifying lotion. Leaves my skin looking and feeling amazing. Moisturizes very well. The scent is crisp and clean and not overwhelming. Great product. I would recommend."
14. LilyAna Naturals
While I don't use this retinol cream regularly (I'm super careful about the amount of exfoliators I use on my face at any given time), I've always been impressed by the Amazon fame this cream has gained. It currently has over 38,000 reviews, which is just wild.
Customer review: "I have super sensitive skin and finding a retinol that works for me was difficult. Finally tried this and it’s super gentle and effective. Doesn’t burn or make my skin peel. I also really enjoy that it’s all natural!"
LilyAna reigns supreme on Amazon as one of the retailer's best-selling skincare brands. I have yet to try any of its organic formulas, but since I'm obsessed with eye creams, I have my eye on this anti-aging number. MVP ingredients include rosehip seed oil, organic hibiscus flower extract, and vitamins C and E. Sounds dreamy, right?
Customer review: "Use a tiny dab of this under your eyes for a few days and the bags and dark circles are gone, or at least greatly reduced. Putting some on your eyelids feels cool and refreshing. Wonderful product."
15. Ole Henriksen
I love a good cooling clay mask whenever I just feel like my skin is getting overly oily or my pores appear unusually enlarged. I don't go crazy with this one (maybe because I don't mind a little pore visibility), but whenever I do use it, my face feels so squeaky clean after.
Customer review: "I have combination dry/oily acne prone skin and this is by far my favorite mask! the cooling effect feels amazing and does a great job helping with inflammation. it controls my oil without stripping moisture like other clay masks do."
I can count on my hand how many primers I actually like and use pre-makeup application, and this skin tone–evening and brightening formula from Ole is one of them. (I also love the Banana Bright Eye Cream!) You can wear this primer on its own or before your concealer and foundation. It's laced with all types of skin-loving additions like vitamins C and E, along with illuminating pigments inspired by longtime secret, banana powder.
Customer review: "I have been using this product for a few weeks and really like how easy it is to apply with the pump, it gives the right amount of product and applies nicely to a freshly washed face. I love it as a base for foundation!"
I'm one of those people who cover every inch of my body in lotion daily. I like this one from Cetaphil because it's cheap and doesn't have a scent that would compete with my fragrance du jour.
Customer review: "This moisturizer should be a staple in everyone's cabinet. It has no scent, super hydrating, and lasts forever. This moisturizer always makes my skin feel great and I like to use two pumps at night to really seal in the hydration."
This might seem weird, but I'm someone who always keeps a basic bar of soap in my bathroom, and it's the only thing I use to wash my makeup brushes! So many brush cleaners have strange ingredients or oils that ultimately clog my pores, so I trust Cetaphil's no-frill formula to do the job, instead. I also keep a bar in the shower!
Customer review: "If you have sensitive skin like me, this product will work for you. My skin looks and feels so much smoother now after using this product for just a week. I feel like my skin is getting deeply cleansed."
I'm not strict about using toners or essences daily, but I really love this Caudalíe one. I love everything the brand makes, honestly, but this essence visibly evens out my skin's tone and texture and gives it a little radiance boost whenever I need it.
Customer review: "I have been using this product for a couple months now, and it has helped me with my dark spots really well! The essence absorbs quickly into the skin and provides an instant boost of radiance and hydration."
I'll just say it: Every single beauty lover should own this product from French skincare brand Caudalíe. I use it 24/7 and am addicted to the smell, the super-fine mist of the spray, and the way it makes my skin look instantly more radiant and healthy.
Customer review: "I’m on my fourth bottle of this stuff! It’s so refreshing and such a nice luxurious pick me up! I use it typically on my 'no makeup makeup days' as it’s lighter but it works pretty well with a full face."
18. Mario Badescu
I'm so basic for this one, I know, but applying a dab of this pink drying lotion on a zit is like wrapping myself in a nostalgia blanket. Can't stop, won't stop.
Customer review: "I am constantly having to buy this on repeat because it truly does work. I have told so many people about this product and they all rave about this just as much as I do. Once I feel a bump come up I automatically apply this to it, within the next day or two it has dried it up."
I am pretty darn obsessed with this lavender-spiked elixir from Mario Badescu. I feel like some of the other formulas get more love, but this calming mix of chamomile, lavender, and aloe is what my sensitive skin craves. I love spritzing my Beautyblender with it (before and during application) to give my face some extra TLC and dewiness.
Customer review: "Since I started using this product my skin has been completely renewed. It looks hydrated, the texture is super soft and has natural glow that completely brightens my face. I love it!"
19. Sunday Riley
Say what you will about Sunday Riley, but the products work. This retinol sleeping oil is one of the products that most helped to get my skin back on track after a bout of cystic acne in my mid-twenties that left my skin textured and scar-ridden.
Customer review: "The only product I truly see a difference when I don’t use! This is very moisturizing for a night oil but also helps my pores and my overall skin texture. I cannot live without this stuff."
This eye cream is magic in a bottle if you're someone who deals with dark circles and any level of under-eye shadows. It looks amazing underneath concealer or on its own for no-makeup days, and thanks to the mix of caffeine, mica, and other botanicals, it basically acts like an IRL filter for your face. I've used it for years and still can't shut up about it.
Customer review: "This is a great eye cream! Makes me look more awake instantly while de-puffing and brightening up the under eye area. Also plays well with other skincare and with makeup. It's lightweight but also hydrating enough."
Castor oil is my secret hair-growth weapon. The delicate hairs around my hairline and my eyebrows get coated in the stuff regularly.
Customer review: "This product works just as described. I've been using for a month on my eyelashes and I'm already seeing results. I recommend trying this if you're suffering from bald patches of lashes."
I've wanted to love so many lash- and brow-boosting serums, but my eyes are extremely sensitive and usually end up red, runny, and all-around miserable. This formula is one of Amazon's best-selling beauty products and uses safe, natural ingredients in addition to being vegan and cruelty-free.
Customer review: "I removed my eyelash extensions and my eyelashes were the shortest they’ve ever been. After using this my eyelashes have grown so much just in 2 weeks. Absolutely love this product."
Other Top Skincare Brands Who What Wear Editors Love
Customer review: "I’ve been using this for years, especially during my morning ritual and I absolutely love the way it makes my skin look and feel. Have tried other brands that I did not like because they were oily and sat on my skin instead of absorbing into my skin like the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic does."
22. Kate Somerville
Customer review: "The best of the best. This product evens out all of my texture and reduces my dry flakes. It’s not too stripping as-well and has helped on my journey to repair my skin barrier! I will re buy this again and again."
23. Kiehl's Since 1851
Customer review: "Kiehl's Eye Treatment is a definite treat for the skin of the eyes. It is soothing and comforting. It moisturizes the eye area and doesn't migrate into the eyes. My skin is dry and this soothes it gently. The cream takes away the "pulling" of dry skin in this delicate area."
Customer review: "This oil is wonderful, absorbs nicely and does not leave a greasy "feel" after use. I also know I'm fully protected because it spreads evenly and I don't feel like I missed any spots!"
Customer review: "My facial and ocular rosacea requires me to gently wash my eyelids for 20 secs twice a day. Fresh Soy is the only face-wash that doesn't gives me breakouts, burning or redness. Never irritates or makes me tear up even when I slather it on my eyelashes."
26. Vinter's Daughter
Customer review: "Very mild creamy cleanser that does a wonderful job of cleansing my face rather than stripping. It does a beautiful job of getting my sunscreen and mascara off. I love that it’s so gentle for my sensitive face. Will be purchasing again."
27. Sisley Paris
Customer review: "While rich in texture, it doesn't feel heavy on your face after application. It definitely is a cream of healing! Any dried areas will smooth overtime. In addition, it has ingredients that help with environmental stress factors. A must have cream in the house."
Customer review: "This is the perfect mask! It helps me look like I've slept for hours more than I have, and always keeps me looking refreshed and rejuvenated. It smells amazing, and feels rich when applied. I would recommend this to anyone of any age- it was a life saver in college!"
28. Indie Lee
Customer review: "I love this product. With 'maskne' being a real thing, this was recommended to me by an esthetician to calm my skin down and it's lovely. I love the smell, as it's more natural and reflects the ingredients, not chemicals or fragrances that are in other cleansers."
29. Doctor Rogers
Customer review: "This product is it. My skin turned desert dry after cancer treatment, and this product has helped bring it back to life again. Perfect & simple ingredients for skin barrier protection. Feels like heaven on and my skin drinks it up. Will rebuy!"
30. Goldfaden MD
Customer review: "This foam face wash has little lather, but leaves my skin feeling super soft and clean without any dryness or that 'stripped' feeling. Highly recommend if you’re struggling with blackheads, as it cleared mine up in mere days."
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.