Skincare Products Our Editors Always Recommend

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

As much as I love makeup (and trust, me I really love it), skincare is the place to invest when it comes to your beauty routine. I'm not saying you have to drop half your overdraft on a face serum, but you do have to invest time, patience, and yes, perhaps a little cash, when it comes to curating a skincare routine that works.Having a stellar regime doesn't necessarily always mean a 10 complicated step routine (although if you do that, bravo) it's mainly about getting the basics sorted like your cleanser, moisturiser and SPF, then adding in your serums for your specific skin concerns and extras like masks and treatments for regular skin upkeep.So where to start? There's a whole lotta noise out there and it can be tricky to separate the magic from the marketing when it comes to skincare shopping. That's why I asked the rest of the ishonest beauty team which products they genuinely couldn't live without, from face creams to serums and oils to mud masks. Our Editors try out hundreds of new products each year to keep up with the latest super-ingredients and buzziest launches to hit the market so it takes a very special product to make it into our routines time and time again.But these are the holy-grail picks that we go back to every damn time, why? Because they really work. If a skincare product has made it onto this list, you can bet it's an A* buy...

1 La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum 30ml

With continued use, this genuinely makes your skin look like you've only drank water and eaten greens for a month. The hyaluronic acid sits in two different molecular sizes; the bigger of the two replumps the surface and the smaller ones penetrates the skin barrier to work from within it's all very techy. I just love how dewy my skin looks tbh. Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

3 F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial

'If there's a time of year when I want to self-soothe in a duvet swaddle, it's winter. So I'll be cocooning my face with this skin-barrier replenishing overnight waterfacial (mask to you and me). Packed with moisture-loss- preventing ceramides and cheek-plumping omega fatty acids, this is the only cocktail I'll be having for the foreseeable.' Laura Capon, Deputy Beauty Editor.

4 Skin Regimen Hydra Fluid 50ml

This super light moisturiser is marketed as great for applying post-shaving because it's really non-irritating which was really the allure for me to use it after I wax my upper lip every month. If you apply the wrong thing post-wax you can be met with a bumpy mess, but this leaves your skin so soft and hydrated and not-clogged up! Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

5 BOBBI BROWN Vitamin Enriched Face Base 50ml

I use to steal this from my mum's dresser when I lived at home (sorry, mum) and I still love it years later. It's just the silkiest moisturiser that makes a fab base for makeup. It's especially great dry skin I hate when makeup clings to dry patches or doesn't blend properly and this eliminates that. Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

6 CeraVe Cream to Foam Cleanser 236ml

In the mornings I always wash my face before I hop in the shower and then I do my skincare afterwards. Not really sure when I developed this bizarre routine but it works. This is the perfect morning cleanser for me because it leaves skin feeling fresh as it foams but doesn't leave your face feeling tighter than your favourite jeans post-lockdown in between washing it and applying my serum. Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

7 Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defence SPF 30

'I've tried so many sunscreens in my mission to find one that doesn't break me out. From oil-free to all-natural, they all seems to give me those tiny under-the-skin bumps. That was, until I found this ah-mazing formula by Drunk Elephant. Free from essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS, this SPF kept my skin happy and breakout-free.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

8 Soy Face Cleanser

'If you want a cleanser that removes everything, from makeup to dirt and excess oil, this is for you. The low-foam formula dissolves impurities and leaves the complexion feeling clean - without stinging your eyes or leaving your skin dry and tight. It's perfect if you don't fancy faffing around with multiple makeup removers and just want a one-stop-shop.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

9 Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream

Before I tried this, I wasn't on the vitamin C bandwagon. Loads of products I tried had the super-ingredient in it but I just didn't see how it enhanced my skin. But after using this gel-cream for a few months I noticed how much my skin was glowing before I'd even put on makeup. It was the product that made me feel more confident to go out sans base product. Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

10 Olay Regenerist 3 Point Face Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

'Hyaluronic acid is my weakness when it comes to skincare - and this moisturiser is packed full of it. The rich cream thoroughly moisturises my dry skin and leaves my complexion looking healthy, plumped and dewy. The added niacinamide also helps smooth and decongest pores, making it an all round winner.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

11 Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum

I've never met a Murad product I didn't like, and this one just took the top spot. Vitamin C is a tricky ingredient to bottle effectively, but this one is gold-stabilised (fancy) and teamed with dead-skin-slaying glycolic acid for a brighter, healthier-looking complexion. My skin looked improved within days of using it and I don't plan on stopping. Cassie Powney, Beauty Editor

12 The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, 5.90

'Hyaluronic acid is my favourite skincare ingredient and its the one thing I wouldn't be without because it makes such a difference in plumping out those fine lines that are becoming more and more common now I'm in my thirties. This one by the Ordinary is the most effective you will find for the price.' Laura Capon, Deputy Beauty Editor

13 Ole Henriksen Transform Plus PHAT Glow Facial 50ml

I'm huge fan of using exfoliating acids in my skincare and PHAs are gentle acids that work at sloughing off dead skin to reveal the glowy, illuminated skin beneath. I'm use to the more potent AHAs that we have in our skincare in things like serums and toners so I was sceptical about the effectiveness at first. But, this mask really does work wonders, when I wash it off my skin looks so much brighter and plump.' Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

14 CeraVe Smoothing Cleanser 236ml

Sometimes, I have to push my magpie tendencies to one side and accept that the product in the fugly bottle is The One. Case in Point: this frill-free gel cleanser, offering three types of ceramides and a gentle foaming action to remove dirt. I love it because it feels gentle enough to lather all over my face (including my sensitive eyes), and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed without any tightness. The dream. Cassie Powney, Beauty Editor

15 Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF30

'As someone with dehydrated skin, I often find that SPF moisturisers are not hydrating enough for me and I need to apply them separately until I met Hydra Vizor. It's so lightly creamy and the soft pink formula really blends into my skin well (ashiness is a real worry for melanin-rich skin). It's love.' Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

17 Blemish + Age Defense

'I've been having some issues with texture recently, every morning I'd wake up with teeny-tiny little blemishes and those annoying under-the-skin spots across my jawline and lower cheeks. That was, until I started using this serum. It's totally decongested my skin, leaving it smooth and bump/blemish-free. It's non- drying, so perfect if you have sensitive skin but want an effective anti-blemish treatment.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

19 Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment

It doesn't matter that I see the word dildo every time I look at the bottle, because this is up there with my all-time favourite face oils (and I've tried a lot). It does contain a bit of fragrance, which I wouldn't recommend for sensitive skins, but oil is such a pampering part of my beauty routine that I'll admit, I do crave a bit of a scent when applying it. This one's also packed with barrier-restoring lipids and absorbs super quick, keeping skin hydrated for the remainder of the day/night. Cassie Powney, Beauty Editor

20 Dr Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil, 26.50

I LOVE Dr Hauschka's clarifying face oil, my skin can bounce between being super-dry and super-oily, so when it's on the oilier side I reach for this. Don't ask me how it does it, but somehow the formula balances my skin' and brings it back to a happy medium. It reduces shine, calms redness, and actually helps to prevent breakouts before they happen. Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

21 Niod Flavanone Face Mask, 29

'One of the things I want most in life (apart from an endless supply of Dairy Milk) is glowing skin. Normally I can only achieve the glow I like from makeup but after using this decongesting face mask, my skin literally glows through my foundation. Packed with three different types of clay, it does have quite a tingling effect but it's well worth it for the end result.' Laura Capon, Deputy Beauty Editor

22 Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

'You don't need to drop to find the best moisturiser, this purse-friendly formula offers immediate hydration thanks to it's multiple amino acids, fatty acids and hyaluronic acid. It's non-greasy and absorbs fast enough for you to apply makeup directly afterwards. For under a fiver, you can't beat it.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

23 MV Organics Rose Plus Booster Oil, 77, & MV Organics Rose Soothing Protective Moisturiser, 27

These two are my go-to for hormonal skin days. Once a month (without fail) I'll get a couple of those nasty cystic spots - you know the ones that feel like you have a an actual grape sitting under the surface of your skin? Well this duo is the only combination of products that vastly improve my hormonal flare ups. I'll mix a few drops of the Rose Plus oil in with the moisturiser, the high quality essential oils (including rosehip and jojoba) soothe and help promote healing, so they cut the life of those cystic spots in half. Instead of being plagued with breakouts for over a week, my skin is back to it's former glory in a day or two. Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

MV Organics Rose Plus Booster Oil, 77 MV Organics Rose Soothing Protective Moisturiser, from 27

24 Night Nectar 50ml

'During certain points in the month my skin feels so dry. I really need an extra kick in my routine to lock in moisture and this oil does just that. I apply all my juicy moisturising skincare and then press this on as the final step. The lavender and frankincense give it a beautifully sleepy smell too.' Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

26 Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, 15

'I always double cleansemainly because I wear a lot of makeup. I use this after I've removed the bulk of my makeup because it leaves my skin feeling super soothed and I never get that horrible tight skin feeling with it.' Laura Capon, Deputy Beauty Editor

27 Calming Serum

'Ok, hear me out, I know that this is a LOT of money to spend on skincare, but this is one of the best serums I've ever used (and trust me, I don't say that lightly). Why? Because every time my skin freaks out, this serum calms it down asap. From hormonal breakouts, to redness, dry patches or texture issues, this soothing formula contains an active, plant-based complex that calms skin, taking down redness and reducing irritation.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

28 Evolve Hyaluronic Serum, 30

Do you ever look at your skin in the mirror and feel like it's just a bit bleh? Maybe it's just me, but somedays my face looks dull, tired, and like i've been up all night - even though I'm a grandma and like to go to bed at 10pm. Whenever my skin gets like this I slather my face in Evolve's Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Not only is it 99.3% natural (which means it's made up of non-toxic, non-synthetic ingredients), but it's like a big drink of water for thirsty skin. Pop it on before any moisturiser and it'll get rid of all signs of dehydration. Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

29 Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, 24

'The quicker I can get my makeup off the better, that's why I love this balm as I can just rub it all over my face, rinse with a wet flannel and it gets rid of everything in one go. Way quicker than scrubbing your face with 5 orange stained makeup wipes.' Laura Capon, Deputy Beauty Editor

30 Bia Wash Off Cleansing Oil

'An oil that helps to mattify? Huh? But yes, this light cleanser really doesn't leave your skin feeling at all greasy or shiny but balances and hydrated. The formula transforms into a milk on contact with water and features ingredients like borage, blackcurrant seed, oat lipids and chia seed to encourage moisture retention.' Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

31 Neal's Yard Remedies Rose Face Wash, 17

I like my cleanser to do just that, cleanse. I really don't have the time or patience to triple cleanse my face every day with a balm, oil, and then a cream. I just want one product that does the whole job (preferably in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea). NYR Rose Face Wash does just that, removes all my makeup, including mascara, and leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean - with stripping it of all it's moisture. Basic, but it works.Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

33 Colbert MD The Stimulate Serum, 135

I'm an impatient person, I like to see a difference the day after I use a product and no other serum works quite as hard as this one from Colbert MD. The formula is loaded with glycolic acid, which helps improve skin texture and tone, leaving my complexion clearer pretty much overnight.' Victoria Jowett, Beauty Director

34 Caudalie Vinoclean Micellar Cleansing Water 100ml

'This is such a lush micellar water if you are looking beyond the drugstore. It's made from organic grape water and removes all signs of makeup so well on all skin types. When I'm doing a light face beat, I find it so effective as a first cleanse that there's no remanence on my flannel on my second.' Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

35 Medik8 R-Retinoate, 135

'OK, so, this is spenny and I didn't think retinol was right for me, and then I was introduced to this. It's technically not retinol but is a type of Vitamin A and it helps skin to repair itself. It's non-irritating (like some retinols can be) and suitable for sensitive skin. I use it every night and honestly, the change in my skin is incredible. I never want to be without it.' Laura Capon, Deputy Beauty Editor

36 DECLOR Green Mandarin Night Balm 15ml

'I really miss facials, like ALOT but luckily this night balm helps to create the vibe at home. The scent is so aromatherapeutic that you can close your eyes as you massage it into your skin and pretend your hands are that of a gentle beauty therapist. The balm is quite thick so make sure you warm it up in your hands before you apply.' Keeks Reid, Beauty Contributor

37 Frances Prescott Tri-Balm, 46

'Nothing slays those final traces of make-up better than a face balm and a hot cloth. This one comes in a handy portable stick, and cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises in one simple step. It contains no nasties (synthetic chemicals, parabens or silicones) and smells like an expensive spa, thanks to all the nurturing plant-based essential oils Frances has packed in.' Cassie Powney, Beauty Editor

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