The Stylist Skincare Awards is your definitive guide to the best skin-scrubbing, glow-giving, dizzyingly advanced formulas that have hit shelves over the past two years. The 21 products you see here are unquestionably brilliant, and we know this because you told us so. This year, we were inundated with over 1,200 product entries which the Stylist beauty team whittled down to a shortlist of 100 for you to vote, and then merged these results with the views of 10 hand-picked beauty industry visionaries to find 2012’s winners.
Welcome to your ultimate skincare checklist – don’t go shopping without it.
Stylist Best Classic Buy – Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Fragrance Free
Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Fragrance Free, £20, Elizabeth Arden
Once again, the Stylist beauty team has deliberated (and quarrelled) over the ultimate classic skin product. An icon in its own right, we were unanimous in naming this extremely versatile balm as an irrefutable part of the modern skincare kit.
Best Cleanser - Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Triple Action Cleanser
Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Triple Action Cleanser, £4.49, Neutrogena
Thanks to Neutrogena’s wonder scrub (a mask, cleanser and pore refiner), squeaky-clean skin is in our reach. Dr Sam Bunting noted it was just as “effective for the chest and back as the face”, which made it the clear winner with you.
Best Luxury Cleanser – Decléor Hydra-Radiance Smoothing & Cleansing Mousse
Hydra-Radiance Smoothing & Cleansing Mousse, £26, Decléor
Whoever said cleanser has to be boring? A gently foaming cashmere-soft lather, packed with neroli oil and papaya extract, this light aromatic formula effortlessly lifts dirt and feels more like a spa treatment than a face wash. A real treat.
Best Eye Cream - Nip+Fab Dark Circle Fix
Dark Circle Fix, £15.95, Nip + Fab
“It really does help brighten dark circles!” judge Una Brennan exclaimed. Which, let’s face it, is what we all want. That’s not all; this pump action eye cream is a cinch to apply, has a glorious buttery texture and disappears quicker than Houdini. Definitely one to stow away in your desk for emergencies.
Best Luxury Eye Cream - Crème de la Mer The Eye Balm Intense
The Eye Balm Intense, £125, Crème de la Mer
We adore its velvety-green nourishing formula and genius cooling applicator, but its power is in its ability to decrease puffiness, boost hydration, reduce dark circles and firm the eye area. “Sleep in a pot,” one Stylist beauty team member calls it.
Best Facial Exfoliator - Soap & Glory No Clogs Allowed
No Clogs Allowed, £11, Soap & Glory
This inventive facial scrub doubles up as a five-minute detox mask and quickly became an adored favourite of our panel judge Terry Barber. “It heats the skin and cleans out pores immediately,” he raved. You loved it too, voting it straight into the top spot.
Best Luxury Facial Exfoliator – Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White Skin Brightening Exfoliator
Clearly Corrective White Skin Brightening Exfoliator, £25, Kiehl’s
You don’t need a handful of gravel to get truly smooth, glowing skin. Kiehl’s gentle exfoliator proves it, with a killer formula which blends white birch extract, peony and ceramides which combine to reveal fresh, brighter skin without scratching the skin’s surface.
Best Day Cream - Olay Total Effects Sensitive
Total Effects Sensitive, £14.29, Olay
This satin-soft cream absorbs instantly, smells fresh and uses soothing white tea and sea buckthorn to moisturise without aggravating sensitive skins. Better still, it offers sun protection, a smooth base for make-up and a barrage of age-defying ingredients. Hard to beat.
Launch of the Year and Best Luxury Day Cream - Clarins Extra-Firming Day Wrinkle Lifting Cream
Extra-Firming Day Wrinkle Lifting Cream, £46, Clarins
Clarins’ plant-extract infused, elasticity-restoring, silken day cream is the stuff beauty dreams are made of. This cream received double its competitors’ votes. You were won over by its instant glow.
Best Night Treatment - Olay Regenerist Night Renewal Elixir
Regenerist Night Renewal Elixir, £29.99, Olay
It’s a second consecutive Skincare Awards win for this utterly brilliant night-time skin serum. Deeply hydrating, a combination of three humectants soften and hydrate, while Olay’s unique pentapeptides ramp up cell renewal, all while you sleep.
Best Luxury Night Treatment - Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer
Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer, £34, Clinique
Like the night-cream equivalent of Ronseal, this luxurious, plumping ‘radiance moisturizer’ really does do what it says on the tin. Salicylic acid works to gently exfoliate while powerful enzymes boost the skin’s ability to repair. Which explains its burgeoning global cult status and its clear victory. If we could, we would bathe in the stuff.
Best Body Lotion - Johnson's 24 hour Moisture Radiance Body Lotion with Shea & Cocoa Butters
24 hour Moisture Radiance Body Lotion with Shea & Cocoa Butter, £3.05, Johnson’s
It sinks in quickly, smells like holidays, adds a radiant sheen and has moisturising properties that last an entire day – truly, we couldn’t have designed a better body moisturiser if we’d tried.
Best Luxury Body Lotion – Sisleÿ Anti-Ageing Concentrate Firming Body Care
Sisleÿa Anti-Aging Concentrate Firming Body Care, £265, Sisley
“An investment worth saving up for,” was Nicky Kinnaird’s verdict on this sculpting cream, which contains 19 plant-based ingredients for an intensive skin-firming treatment.
Best Anti-Ager and Launch of the year - L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Repair 10 Instant Serum
Revitalift Repair 10 Instant Serum, £19.99, L’Oréal Paris
L'Oréal’s little red phial of joy lessens the appearance of wrinkles in just an hour. Dr Nick Lowe was wowed by the effects of its patented night-repair agent, pro-firmyl. We like immediate gratification in beauty. That’s what this glow-giving serum delivers. Well, that and nine other skin transforming benefits.
Best Luxury Anti-Ager and Award for Innovation - Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Serum
Plantscription Anti-Aging Serum, £45, Origins
Non-irritating, plant-derived, clinically proven and a pleasure to use? In a natural disaster, save your family, pets and this serum. This serum was clinically proven to have up to 88% of the wrinkle-reducing effects of a leading prescription ingredient. Powerful stuff.
Best Body Scrub – Soap & Glory Pulp Friction
Pulp Friction, £8, Soap & Glory
Close your eyes, remember your favourite summer escape and use a generous amount of this tropical scented scrub to buff your way to baby-soft skin. Added peppermint will zing you awake while orange and fig bring a touch of the exotic getaway into your morning.
Best Luxury Body Scrub - Rodial Brazilian Tan Scrub
Brazilian Tan Body Scrub, £35, Rodial
This tub and its hummus-like appearance (stay with us) was an overwhelming hit with the judges, due to its thick, unctuous texture, invigorating scent and ultra-smoothing particles. And for self-tan devotees, it creates an impossibly smooth canvas on which to apply your tan, waving a final goodbye to orange knees.
Best Sun Protection - Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Protect Shimmering Protection Lotion SPF30
Ambre Solaire Golden Protect Shimmering Protection Lotion SPF30, £16.59, Garnier
This SPF30 lotion might envelop you in the scent of monoi, ylang-ylang and jasmine, but the judging panel adored the shimmering finish that sets off a golden tan to perfection. Sun cream but not as you know it.
Best Luxury Sun Protection - Clarins Sun Care Milk Lotion Spray UVB/ UVA 50+
Sun Care Milk-Lotion Spray UVA / UVB 50, £18, Clarins
Proving that high-factor sun protection doesn’t need to swamp the skin, this light-as-air highprotection spray contains five key anti-ageing plant extracts to nourish skin as it protects. The ultra-light formula means you’re also less likely to sweat it off. Consider the rule book well and truly torn up.
Best Self Tan - Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Self Tan Mousse
Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Self-tanning Mousse, £13.99, Garnier This lightweight mousse not only provides a consistently streak-free tan, it’s also pretty foolproof to apply. The foam melts into your skin on contact, disappears and leaves in its place a gentle, effortless glow.
Best Luxury Self Tan - St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Firming
Gradual Tan Plus Firming, £20, St Tropez
We could tell you how brilliant we think this self tan is. Instead, we’ll hand over to judge Sharon Dowsett: “The true test of a product is if you’d recommend it to a friend, and I certainly would, and will be.”