Hold on — are you a professor of dermatology? A beauty editor or skin-care formulator? Because your passion for the Skin-Care category of our 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards has us convinced that you work with the stuff for a living. This year, your vigor (and tens of thousands of votes) during our Readers’ Choice voting process revealed what you love to slather across your face and neck daily, along with some of the best products the category has to offer.
When it comes to skin care, no two vanities are alike, so when the world can come together and agree on 10 amazing products, it’s a big deal. Among the adored, you’ll find a bounce-inducing moisturizer, a sunscreen that leaves no cast (white, pink, or otherwise) on deep skin tones, and tiny but mighty acne treatment patches. You’ll also see some TikTok favorites, including the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, a treatment lauded by board-certified dermatologists and beauty enthusiasts for its exfoliating and pore-minimizing effects, and the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Serum, a lightweight serum that imparts a hyper-glowy complexion.
We salute your skin-care savvy. Onward to the best skin products, according to Allure readers. And make sure to check out the rest of our 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards winners, including fan-favorite categories like hair care and makeup.
All the Winning Products:
Readers’ Choice Awards: Skin
SKIN TOOL: Soniclear Petite by Michael Todd Beauty
After the shocking demise of the beloved electric cleansing brush that shall not be named, we were left wondering if we would be able to sonically cleanse our skin the same way ever again. Thankfully, Michael Todd Beauty waved us (and apparently you) over to its Soniclear brush. The clever device has long-lasting antimicrobial brushes that last for six months of regular cleansing, exfoliating, and pore-clearing before needing to be replaced.
CLEANSER: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This consistently award-collecting face wash wins, wins, wins because it gives normal to dry skin so much more than just a clean slate. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser thoroughly removes the day’s debris — makeup included — while leaving behind the benefits of hyaluronic acid and ceramides. That means fresh, hydrated skin with a fortified barrier that can hold in that much-needed moisture.
EXFOLIANT: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
You all understand why Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is the best-selling product across the Paula’s Choice wide gamut of skin-care offerings. Its titular beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, is active-ingredient royalty, exfoliating the dead cells and pore gunk that stand between you and a smooth, clear complexion. And with soothing, antioxidant-packed green tea in the mix, you — and your skin — can keep calm and carry on using it regularly.
SERUM: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Serum
In addition to being a reader favorite, Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops has long been an editor favorite. “I can’t say enough good things about this multitasking serum,” Allure commerce editor Sarah Han said shortly after its launch in 2020. “[Its] brightening, tone-evening, and redness-reducing abilities make it an absolute star.” It’s a perfect, fruity-scented example of why niacinamide has become such an essential ingredient in so many skin-care routines.
EYE CREAM: OleHenriksen Banana Bright+ Eye Crème
Although you won’t find actual banana listed among the ingredients in OleHenriksen’s Banana Bright+ Eye Crème — the name comes from its instantly brightening banana-powder-inspired pigments — you will find actual gold. A colloidal form of the precious element mixes with ascorbic acid to deliver super-stable forms of vitamin C that help diminish dark circles and smooth the entire eye area over time for a less line-y look and more consistent concealer application.
MOISTURIZER: Tatcha The Water Cream
Few moisturizers delight both those with oily skin and those with dry skin the way The Water Cream does. Tatcha’s lightweight wonder ensures ample hydration without clogging pores, in fact, promising to keep them clearer and less noticeable with Japanese botanical extracts, leopard lily, and wild rose. Skin is left glowy — not shiny — with the most subtle hint of 23-karat gold.
SUNSCREEN: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
You know right from its name that Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 checks off one of the highest-priority boxes in our search for ideal sun protection: It disappears into skin without a telltale cast. Its four chemical filters offer broad-spectrum protection in a moisturizing formula that gives your usual makeup primer a run for its money.
ACNE TREATMENT: Peace Out Acne Healing Dots
Winning Allure awards left and right, Peace Out Acne Healing Dots have become the gold standard among hydrocolloid pimple patches. In addition to the polymer technology that helps draw out the stuff that makes a blemish undesirably juicy, these practically invisible little circles contain clarifying salicylic acid. After a few hours, the zit you’re targeting looks and feels calmer, flatter, and well on its way to disappearing entirely.
Also a Best of Beauty Award winner, the Fenty Skin Cookies N Clean mask addresses oiliness and breakouts with three powerhouse ingredients: clay, charcoal, and salicylic acid. Named for its appearance and not its scent (it’s fragrance-free), the little beads of encapsulated charcoal burst upon application and blend in with the creamy, non-drying formula. After just 10 minutes, pore-clogging impurities and excess oil are washed away with the mask.
LIP BALM: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
By now, fans of the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask know that the “sleeping” part is just a suggestion. While its blend of coconut oil, shea butter, and murumuru seed butter imparts incredible moisture as an overnight treatment, there’s no crime in making it your daytime lip balm. In fact, its free radical-fighting vitamin C and fruit-derived antioxidants are all the more reason to make it a part of your morning routine.