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The 28 Best Skincare Products of 2020, According to Health Editors

Our team rounded up the best skincare products of the year.
By Lisa DeSantis
September 11, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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  • Biossance Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser

    Great for all skin types, this gel
    transforms into an oil on the
    skin, melting away dirt and
    makeup. The star ingredient,
    squalane (ethically sourced
    from sugarcane), calms, protects,
    and locks in moisture.

    $28
    SHOP IT
    biossance.com
  • Moon Juice Milk Cleanse Gentle Foaming Wash

    The brand is known for its
    adaptogenic and plant blends
    that promote whole-body
    wellness
    (supplements inside and
    topicals outside). This vitamin E
    and reishi-mushroom
    cleanser
    wards off free radicals and
    reduces inflammation, leaving
    thirsty skin soft and supple.

    $32
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Renée Rouleau Rapid Response Detox Cleanser

    Calling oily, congested complexions:
    This potent antibacterial
    combo of kaolin clay and tea tree
    oil helps absorb excess sebum
    and clear blemishes without
    zapping skin dry. During breakouts,
    leave on for five minutes
    for a clarifying boost.

    $42
    SHOP IT
    reneerouleau.com
  • Laneige Cream Skin Mist

    This milky liquid packs all of
    the benefits of a rich cream in
    a convenient spray. Mist onto
    bare skin post-cleansing to
    seal in moisture, or on top of
    makeup throughout the day
    as a refresh.

    $27
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com

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  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner

    Watermelon and hyaluronic
    acid hydrate, while PHA and
    BHA (polyhydroxy and beta
    hydroxy acids) smooth skin and
    unclog pores. The best part:
    You don’t need a cotton pad.
    Pour into hands, press onto
    skin, and you’re good to glow.

    $34
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Saint Jane The C-Drops

    This potent serum contains
    20 percent vitamin C, which
    brightens dark spots and prevents
    new ones from forming,
    while full-spectrum
    CBD calms
    sensitivity. Derms recommend
    pairing an antioxidant with SPF
    for max protection benefits,
    so layer this free-radical
    fighter
    under sunscreen every a.m.

    $90
    SHOP IT
    saintjanebeauty.com
  • Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Max Night Serum

    You’ll wake up to softened lines
    and brighter skin with this
    serum, says Debra Jaliman,
    MD, a dermatologist in New
    York City and Health Advisory
    Board member: It marries anti-aging
    retinol with vitamin B3.

    $32
    SHOP IT
    target.com
  • Heraux Molecular Anti-Inflammaging Serum

    While you can’t turn back the
    clock, this splurge-worthy
    serum comes close, smoothing
    lines, brightening spots, and
    firming skin (one of our testers
    swears she can wear less
    makeup because of it). Its star
    ingredient, HX-1—developed by
    stem-cell researchers—fights
    chronic inflammation and helps
    skin cells function optimally.

    $250
    SHOP IT
    herauxskin.com

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  • Simple Purifying Pink Clay Face Mask

    Pores may be tiny, but they can
    stretch like a pair of leggings
    on Thanksgiving when dirt,
    oil, and pollution are trapped
    inside—leading
    to breakouts.
    This pink purifier uses kaolin
    and bentonite clay to suck out
    gunk and calamine to soothe.

    $7
    SHOP IT
    riteaid.com
  • Aveeno Oat Mask with Cucumber Extract

    Prebiotic oat tackles redness
    and irritation, but you can thank
    cooling cucumber and seaweed
    extracts for the surge of
    instant hydration, says Joshua
    Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist
    in New York City and Health
    Advisory Board member. Apply
    to clean skin and rinse off after
    just five minutes.

    $13
    SHOP IT
    cvs.com
  • Indeed Labs Snoxin II

    Whether you want to buy time
    in between Botox appointments
    or you’re not into injectables,
    you’ll love this temporary, line-smoothing
    serum, which has a
    peptide (XEP-018) to minimize
    muscle contractions. Rub onto
    clean skin, and you’ll notice
    softer lines in about two hours,
    with results lasting for eight.

    $28
    SHOP IT
    Amazon
  • St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Rose Water & Aloe Vera Scrub

    The brand’s gentlest scrub
    yet! You get mechanical
    exfoliation from finely ground
    walnut shells and crushed
    rose petals that slough away
    dead skin, resulting in a
    smoother, glowing complexion.

    $4
    SHOP IT
    target.com

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  • Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel

    Even oily-skin types need
    moisturizer, since dehydrated
    skin can produce more oil to
    compensate (it’s a bad cycle!).
    This lightweight, noncomedogenic
    gel quenches skin’s
    thirst while calming irritation.
    Salicylic acid helps fight acne,
    adds Michelle Henry, MD, a
    dermatologist in New York City.

    $44
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Tatcha The Water Cream

    The Japanese botanical-rich
    cream is great for all skin
    types, says Dr. Jaliman. We
    love its unique feel upon
    application: When you start
    rubbing it in, you’ll experience
    a water-bursting sensation—
    that’s the sign that the ingredients
    (green tea, rice, and
    algae) are penetrating the skin.

    $68
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light

    The British makeup artist’s OG
    Magic Cream was beloved for
    its intense plumping and glow-boosting
    effects but was too
    rich for some. Meet its new
    baby sister—
    a lighter, more
    mattifying formula with the
    same skin-loving qualities plus
    SPF 20, perfect for oilier skin
    and warmer-weather
    use.

    $100
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • ZitSticka Hyperfade

    Pimples stink, but it’s the lingering
    dark marks that can
    really get you down. This patch
    contains 24 self-dissolving
    microdarts that push brightening
    ingredients like niacinamide
    right where you need
    them. Place one on clean, dry
    skin for two hours. “The patch
    protects from further irritation,”
    points out Dendy
    Engelman, MD, a dermatologist
    in New York City and
    Health Advisory Board member,
    “providing a sealed environment
    for skin to heal itself.”

    $85
    SHOP IT
    Amazon

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  • Neutrogena Stubborn Acne AM Treatment

    Apply in the morning and this
    clear, 2.5 percent micronizedbenzoyl-
    peroxide formula will
    treat breakouts throughout the
    day as it penetrates pores and
    kills acne-causing
    bacteria.
    After a few hours, you’ll notice
    a reduction in redness and
    inflammation.

    $10
    SHOP IT
    target.com
  • Obagi Clinical Blue Brilliance Triple Acid Peel

    These tiny vials punch way
    above their weight class, thanks
    to potent salicylic, glycolic, and
    lactic acids that offer a clinical-grade
    exfoliation safe for
    at-home use. For brighter, more
    even-toned skin, use one vial
    every two weeks. Swipe the
    liquid onto dry skin, wait 10
    minutes, then rinse. “It instantly
    clarifies my skin when it’s in
    desperate need of a reset,”
    says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic
    chemist in New York City.

    $145
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Kinship Insta Swipe Lemon Honey AHA Pads

    A sweet (and sour) solution
    to dullness: Swipe one of
    these lemon-and-manukahoney-
    infused biodegradable
    rounds over skin to remove
    leftover makeup as well as
    clear, brighten, and soothe.

  • Versed Guards Up Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35

    Non-nano zinc oxide offers
    mineral broad-spectrum
    UVA
    and UVB protection to shield
    skin from the sun, pollution,
    and blue-light
    exposure,
    explains Dr. Zeichner. Its peach
    hue counteracts chalkiness.

    $22
    SHOP IT
    target.com

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  • Tula Skincare Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    In addition to sun protection,
    this sunscreen/skin-care hybrid
    brightens and strengthens,
    thanks to probiotics, pineapple,
    and papaya. Have oily skin?
    This noncomedogenic formula
    and light gel texture is for you.

    $36
    SHOP IT
    Amazon
  • It Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream

    Overnight is when your skin is
    able to regenerate and repair.
    This lavender cream helps kickstart
    the process by speeding
    skin-cell turnover and tackling
    lines, wrinkles, dryness, and
    loss of firmness.

    $54
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Pond’s Rejuveness Advanced Hydrating Night Cream

    One surefire way to get skin to
    produce more collagen is by
    using a retinoid. Though some
    prescription versions can be
    costly and irritating, this drugstore
    gem provides comparable
    wrinkle-reducing
    results
    without the peeling.

    $9
    SHOP IT
    target.com
  • Augustinus Bader The Face Oil

    Developed by one of the
    world’s leading stem-cell and
    biomedical scientists, this
    formula taps science and
    nature with its TFC8 amino-acid
    complex and botanicals
    such as babassu, argan, and
    hazelnut oils. The oil offers
    a variation from the line’s
    already wildly popular creams.

    $230
    SHOP IT
    augustinusbader.com

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  • Pause Fascia Stimulating Tool

    Facial tools are all the rage, but
    they’re not all created equal.
    This weighty, medical-grade
    stainless steel device is FDA-cleared
    to help boost collagen
    with daily use. Apply your fave
    cream, then glide it over contours
    to sculpt and lift skin.

    $115
    SHOP IT
    Amazon
  • Jenny Patinkin Rose on Rose Derma Roller

    Gently roll over cheeks, chin,
    and forehead—tiny
    hypoallergenic
    stainless steel
    needles
    puncture the skin so your
    serum can penetrate deeper
    and work even better. Flip, and
    use the rose-quartz
    acupressure
    bulb to reduce tension.

    $75
    SHOP IT
    saksfifthavenue.com
  • Live Tinted Huestick in Grounded

    Remember the viral video of
    an influencer using red lipstick
    to counteract dark under-eye
    circles? That was Deepica
    Mutyala, and it inspired her line
    of multiuse sticks that cater
    to everyone. “It gives an option
    for color correction in skin
    tones that have been underrepresented,”
    says Dr. Henry.
    “And I love the versatility.
    You can use it everywhere—lips,
    eyes, cheeks.” Choose
    from seven diverse shades.

    $24
    SHOP IT
    livetinted.com
  • Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer

    Available in 36 hues, this full-coverage,
    radiant matte liquid
    concealer covers imperfections
    so skin still looks like yours,
    only better. Hyaluronic acid and
    ceramides prevent it from
    caking and settling in creases.

    $32
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of Health Magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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