Meet the 21 products (oh, and one facial) that your skin will fall in love with. This is 2013’s ultimate skincare edit that 45,661 of you voted for...
Amid all the futuristic ‘things’ we invest in – smartphones that run our lives, gadgets to monitor our every bodily function and computers that are beyond hi-tech – we can forget that skincare is one of the most scientifically advanced investments of all. Skincare solutions that would have been laughable just three years ago are now a part of our daily regimes – the efficacy of collagen-stimulating ingredient Matrixyl and the use of tretinoin (a form of vitamin A) to counter the ageing effects of sun damage are just two recent examples of the myriad advances that have been made.
Millions of pounds of time, resources and scientific research are crammed into every single product, many taking more than a decade’s worth of investigation to go from concept to counter. Seeing where skincare is headed next is a genuinely exciting prospect. Wading through thousands of pots and vials promising youth-giving results is a full-time job – our full-time job, in fact. Sharing cutting-edge skincare developments with you is why the Stylist Skincare Awards is one of our annual highlights. Back for its fourth year, it’s your indispensable guide to the innovative skincare solutions that have become available over the past two years.
The winning products on the following pages are the ultimate skin superheroes. Not only did we spend six months whittling the list down to only the very best the industry has to offer, crucially you placed your votes and told us – in your thousands – what you adored. We combined these results with the views of the nine beauty industry visionaries on our judging panel, hand-picked by us, to create your essential guide to the best skincare products that have been launched since 2011.
In addition there are the four special Stylist Beauty Team awards that we have given our personal seal of approval to and we have also added a new award for the ultimate facial. We guarantee this guide contains everything you’ll need for beautiful, healthy, age-defying skin – because we’ve road-tested every single thing in it.
Photography: Ian Walsh
Words: Evie Leatham, Samantha Flowers, Anita Bhagwandas
BEST CLEANSER: Sensibio H2O, £9.99, Bioderma
This backstage favourite removes every last trace of make-up without leaving any residue. Judge Debbie Thomas called it her “ultimate user-friendly cleansing essential”.
BEST LUxURY CLEANSER Sublimage Essential Comfort Cleanser, £68, Chanel
Leaving skin supple and ultra-clean, Sharon Dowsett said it made her skin “plumper and more radiant.”
BEST FACIAL TREATMENT Aromaplasty Double Radiance Facial, £45, Decléor
This tailored treatment involves a deep cleanse followed by a mask of potent yet gentle plant actives. It was unanimously voted for and adored by the Stylist team.
BEST FACIAL EXFOLIATOR Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Scrub, £4.49, Neutrogena
An undisputed reader winner, this scrub also impressed the judges with its ability to remove excess serum, tighten pores and mattify skin.
BEST LUXURY FACE EXFOLIATOR Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Cleansing Gelée, £22, Estée Lauder
The judges adored this cleansing exfoliator, with its gentle beads to remove dead cells and silky gel leaving skin gently polished. “People were commenting on the clarity of my skin after a few days,” said Mac’s Terry Barber.
BEST DAY CREAM Anew Vitale Day Cream SPF25, £19.50, Avon
This light yet potent formula targets the first signs of ageing such as the slowing of cell renewal. A double winner, it also scooped the Stylist beauty team’s Launch of the Year Award, with beauty editor Samantha Flowers crediting the vast improvement in her skin’s texture to this “little pot of science-laden brilliance”.
BEST LUXURY DAY CREAM Absolue L’Extrait, £250, Lancôme
The judges were blown away by the effect of this day cream after just one use. Each pot contains two million stem cells from the Lancôme rose. The anti-ageing results from long-term use were impressive, making it the reader winner in this hotly contested category.
BEST CLASSIC BUY Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +, £29.50, Clinique
First launched in 1968, this moisturiser has been reworked to include a hydrating trio of hyaluronic acid, glycerin and urea. “This is one of the most perfect moisturisers; a staple in so many women’s beauty regimes,” Stylist’s beauty director Evie Leatham said. This victor will enjoy cult status for years to come.
BEST ANTI-AGER Total Effects Moisturiser + Serum Duo, £16.99, Olay
Instead of just claiming to reverse the signs of ageing, award-winning creams must now protect against future ageing too. Add SPF20 to an already great product and you’ve got skincare perfection. This was a huge reader favourite, scoring almost twice as many votes as every other product in its category.
BEST LUXURY ANTI-AGER Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate, £55, Clarins
Raising the anti-ageing bar, this serum delivers a targeted hit of plumping hyaluronic acid and Survixyl IS peptides, protecting skin from environmental damage. Sarah Chapman called it “super-smart and functional”; we couldn’t agree more.
BEST EYE CREAM Youthful Eye Serum, £19.50, No7
Boots No7 is one of those brands you know you can trust due to its in-depth research. The combination of anti-ageing peptides and Vitamin A delivers a visible difference in the eye area in just four weeks. It was a landslide victory, both from the reader vote and our judging panel.
BEST LUXURY EYE CREAM Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Eye Balm, £34, Kiehl’s
This indulgent eye potion provides the eye area with something akin to a super-power energy drink. Giving an intense shot of hydration and smoothing the appearance of fine lines, we’ve made it an essential part of our daily skincare routine
BEST NIGHT TREATMENT Intense Hydration Night Cream, £19.99, Burt’s Bees
According to judge Amanda Scott, “Only a small amount of this thick cream is needed for super-soft skin come morning. It worked wonders on dry areas and also soothed redness.” Plus the appearance of fine lines were noticeably reduced, which is why it received a tidal wave of votes from you.
BEST LUXURY NIGHT TREATMENT Forever Youth Liberator Night Creme, £60, YSL
Leaving skin supple and glowing the following day, this cream’s long-term effects on pigmentation are gloat-worthy too; a deserving double winner if ever we saw one. Stylist’s beauty and features writer Anita Bhagwandas said: “If I could use one product for eternity, it would probably be this.”
BEST BODY LOTION In-Shower Body Moisturiser, £3.56, Nivea
The body conditioner is activated by water ensuring your skin drinks in moisture when it’s at its most receptive. Jayne Demuro said: “This is an effective product that’s easily absorbed and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. It’s the ultimate time-saver.” We also noted its brilliance for those who are prone to itchy winter skin.
BEST LUXURY BODY LOTION The Reparative Body Lotion, £125, Crème De La Mer
This is more than just a moisturiser thanks to the patented regenerating Miracle Broth at its core. “This is the ultimate body lotion; it delivered amazing all-day hydration and moisture, is non-sticky and absorbs instantly – it’s beautifully simple,” said judge Selina Jones.
BEST BODY SCRUB 4 Day Moisture Oil Scrub, £9.99, Sanctuary Spa
The Stylist beauty team is fanatical about scrubs; the particles must be small and dense enough to rid our bodies of that dulling, pore-clogging layer of dead skin. This one passed with flying colours and left our skin feeling hydrated for a good few days, doing away with the need to moisturise daily.
BEST LUXURY BODY SCRUB Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, £23, Aesop
The multi-textured grains made from pumice and bamboo stem in this gel-based scrub polish the skin’s surface for a soft finish. Infused with the fresh scent of geranium, it’s the antidote to rough winter skin in a tube.
BEST SUN PROTECTION Ambre Solaire BB Cream Sun Protection High SPF50, £15.99, Garnier
Giving a complexion-pepping effect, this sun protector is also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or cause break-outs. “It’s a great year-round daily skin protector,” said Dr Sam Bunting.
BEST LUXURY SUN PROTECTION Aroma Sun Expert Protective Hydrating Milk SPF50, £24, Decléor
The high SPF and UVA/UVB filters ward off harmful rays, while rose essential oils and natural extracts of Tahitian Rea help protect skin from sun-related ageing. It’s the perfect sun defence.
BEST SELF-TAN Instant Self Tanning Lotion, £4.99, St Moriz
When it comes to a streak-free finish, this formula surpasses all others: application is easy, the scent is inoffensive and it achieves the most natural-looking honey shade we’ve seen from a selftanning product. No wonder it was an undisputed reader winner.
BEST LUXURY SELF-TAN Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care, £81, Sisley
Infused with an armoury of anti-oxidants and plant extracts, this is the Ferrari of self-tans. “Fake tan often looks a little clown-like on me. This one was natural and left my skin feeling ultra-soft,” said Dr Frances Prenna Jones.