Skincare hype is really hard to ignore. When a brand or product manages to cut through the cluttered market and capture consumers’ attention either by word of mouth, the press, or social media, it’s really hard to resist just making the easy choice and buying the It serum, SPF, or face mask that everybody else seems to have. The issue is that the skincare products that amass the most hype aren’t always the ones that deserve it, like a hit single on an album that contains way better (albeit less popular) tracks.
That problem is just what this list is attempting to solve. Here at Who What Wear, we wind up trying almost every product from every buzzy skincare brand introduced to the market, so we have thoughts about which of them are most worth buying. Here, check out the one product from 15 different much-discussed skincare brands (SkinCeuticals, Sunday Riley, Shani Darden, etc.) that we think you should snag over all the others.
Eve Lom’s solid cleansing oil is probably its most iconic product, but my favorite from the brand is this honey-infused kaolin clay and camphor mask, which works wonders to clear congested pores and calm puffy, irritated skin. I’ve had many a skincare expert tell me to save on cleansers, splurge on masks and serums, so if you’re going to spend $85 on something from Eve Lom, I recommend this, especially because it agrees with so many skin types.
Sensibio H20 is by far the most-hyped product from this cult French drugstore brand. But as far as its cleansing waters go, I’d recommend the newer, lesser-known Hydrabio version, which boasts the added benefits of caffeine and castor oil to extra-revive and hydrate the skin.
Everybody always talks about Good Genes, but after careful review of this beloved brand’s entire collection, team Who What Wear agreed that its most special product is actually its eye cream. “I’ve tried (and regularly use) so many eye creams, but I always find myself coming back to this one,” says our associate beauty editor Erin. “It’s the first one I recommend to friends and family if they’re complaining about puff, circles, or fine lines.”
Like Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask, this affordable treasure of a product works for almost every skin type. Blue tansy causes a cooling, soothing effect, while AHAs and BHAs gently unclog pores and exfoliate for clear, bright, non-irritated skin.
There’s a lot to love about Supergoop!’s mass-followed Unseen Sunscreen, but if you’re irritation- or breakout-prone, you simply must try this lightweight mineral formula, which one Dermstore reviewer called the “only sunscreen that works for sensitive skin.” It’s so gentle, in fact, that reviewers have even used it on babies with eczema.
SkinCeutical’s legendary C E Ferulic antioxidant serum is 100% worth a purchase. But equally great is the brand’s newer Phloretin CF offering, which boasts all the protective, brightening benefits of C E Ferulic but with a formula that’s more compatible with acneic and oily skin.
With over 1500 reviews and a five-star rating on Dermstore, this affordable sunscreen is a hit for a reason. Beauty editors and dermatologists are obsessed as well. “This U.S. brand is my absolute go-to for sunscreens,” London-based cosmetic dermatologist Sam Bunting told Byrdie last year. “The products are incredibly well formulated and contain my favorite ingredient—zinc oxide—at good percentages.”
Jessica Alba, Kelly Rowland, and Emmy Rossum are just a few of the celebrities who swear by facialist Shani Darden’s products. Her Retinol Reform is her first and best-known launch, but I actually prefer this gentler version, which works perfectly for those new to the intense wrinkle- and breakout-fighting powers of retinol.
Dr. Dennis Gross
Any dermatologist worth their salt will tell you that active ingredients like the ones in these wipes are worth your money. This two-step peel kit is loaded with five alpha and beta hydroxy acids plus retinol, vitamins, antioxidants, and resveratrol to give you the brightest, clearest, most youthful skin you could hope for. The product has almost a five-star rating on Sephora, Amazon, Dermstore, and the brand’s website.
Drunk Elephant is no doubt one of the most buzzed-about skincare brands on the market. This award-winning exfoliating mask is one of its most popular offerings, and it’s well-earned. A combination of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids creates smooth skin, smaller pores, and minimized wrinkles.
More exfoliators! This scrub from the Kardashians’ go-to dermatologist packs an intense punch of physical and chemical exfoliation thanks to mineral crystals, active plant extracts, antioxidants, and vitamins A and E. If you’re seriously trying to get rid of acne, wrinkles, and dull skin, use this before cleansing every night.
Nurse Jamie’s exotic-looking massage roller seems to be all anyone ever talks about, so this highly rated serum often gets overlooked. Epidermal Growth Factor is the key ingredient in this youth-inducing product, which visibly works to stimulate collagen and elastin production for a plumper, more glowing, more lifted complexion.
Dermalogica’s daily exfoliant is its buzziest product, and we have to agree with the hype. The rice-based enzyme powder sloughs away dead skin, while a combination of soothing plant ingredients makes the product gentle enough for everyday use. Put this stuff to the test for just a week, and you’ll notice much more glowing, less broken-out skin.
Friends always ask me what skincare to buy from Glossier, and every time, I recommend the same thing: its (currently sold-out because it’s that good) sunscreen. The product is lightweight, wears well under makeup, and is super highly reviewed by folks with darker skin tones.
This Dermstore best-selling French brand low-key makes my single favorite makeup remover on the market. I have lash extensions, which means that any cleansers with oil will mess up the adhesive, but I also have sensitive eyes, which get irritated by harsh ingredients easily. This oil-free formula removes mascara (yes, I wear mascara on my extensions) incredibly well without making my eyes tear, drying out my skin, or wrecking my lashes—an under-the-radar must-have.