It goes without saying that as beauty editors, we try a lot of products. So much so our favourite products often get lost in the shuffle as we continue to test, review, and research new brands. There's so much out there that it's entirely possible to fall in love with a formula and forget about it a few weeks later. Talk about lovin' 'em and leavin' 'em.
So to make sure you hear about those aforementioned gems, the ones we've cherished for longer than most, we made a comprehensive list. Yes, 26 of the best face products and why we can't quit them. Keep scrolling for everything you need and more when it comes to smoothing, brightening, moisturising, and all-around perfecting skincare.
Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"I absolutely love anything from Tata Harper, and for whatever reason, the brand's formulas seem to love me back. Perhaps it's due to the organic, natural origin of the ingredient lists or the luxe yet effective formulations—I don't know. Regardless, this clarifying pick is still on the newer side from the brand, and I've been smitten with how clean (yet hydrated) it makes my skin feel ever since I had the opportunity to try it. I love to use it in the morning and am convinced the lively herbaceous scent helps wake me up.”
"Typically, I'm not into clay masks. But every so often, I like to use this one if I feel like my skin needs a more intensive clean-out. (Like, once or twice a month.) It's one of the few clay-based formulas that doesn't leave my skin tight and pink. Instead, it's left brighter, clearer, and healthier. Probably due to the addition of papaya enzymes, fruit acids, and vitamin C."
"At just £12, this dermatologically tested cleanser lacks all the things acne-prone skin doesn't want (sulphates, comedogenic oils, soaps, and fragrances) while boasting all the things it does want, such as skin-brightening niacinamide, plumping ceramides, and glow-enhancing antioxidants."
"Even if you're oily and acne-prone like I am, keeping skin hydrated is still key to maintaining a healthy complexion. And unfortunately, many toners can be horrifically dehydrating. If you're on a budget, both wellness editor Victoria Hoff and I swear by this rose, aloe vera, and witch hazel toner. The perks: tightened pores, decreased oil, and increased hydration. I recently used this for almost a week straight instead of my usual morning cleanser, and my easily riled skin wasn't phased in the slightest."
"This eye cream was first recommended to me by a dermatologist after I had complained about my consistent dark circles. At £10, this eye cream is more affordable than most but still does it all in one fell swoop—de-puff, de-circle, and protect (from free radicals, premature wrinkles, and the like)."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"I don't think I'll ever be able to quit this cleanser. It's the only face wash I've ever used that yields as favourable results. Serums and moisturisers are important, but according to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, the cleansing portion of your skincare routine is perhaps the most important."
"Recommended to me by our editorial director, Faith (she told me it 'plumps your wrinkles upon contact'), this moisturiser lives up to the—very expensive, I know—hype. It's infused with potent 'caviar absolute,' an ingredient that targets the loss of volume in your skin and almost immediately restores tone and density. It refines contours, firms, lifts, and contributes to increased elasticity, as it should for the price. But when something works, it's hard to ignore. If you're into a splurge, this is without a doubt the cream to buy. Plus, it allows me to push back Botox appointments."
"On its own, the combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E enhances my skin's protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals, improves signs of aging and photodamage, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and brightens my complexion each time I use it."
"I found and fell in love with Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum, a concentrate sent from the gods to rebalance and calm any irritated skin and help reduce redness. It's an active plant-based complex that works to strengthen your skin's natural defenses, minimising a sensitised reaction. Purslane (one of the line's hero ingredients) calms inflammation and protects your skin."
"When I opened the packaging, my nose was immediately met with the loveliest coconut scent. It smells like a tropical holiday bottled up and sent to your front door. Plus, it is so chic—perfect for your burgeoning beauty vanity. The oil itself is authentic Monoï de Tahiti oil (the result of macerating the native tiare flower in refined coconut extract for at least 10 days). The process slowly infuses the oil with nutrients as well as that delicate, natural fragrance. There's even an original tiare flower in each bottle."
"Tata Harper's Resurfacing Mask was another product I kept in my bathroom cabinet but got around to trying. Once I did get into it, however, I realised the two formulas serve different purposes. The mask has a really cool texture, kind of like jelly, and is made to be used more often than the other. It's super gentle, never causes redness or irritation, and works perfectly to smooth and retexturize before a night out. In fact, I don't really understand why, but it (temporarily) fills and flattens my forehead wrinkles to the point where it looks as if they never existed to begin with."
Faith Xue, editorial director
"It's been a long time since I've used a skincare product that produced results this noticeable in such a short period of time, so please believe me when I say that though this mask may be expensive, it really, truly delivers. Apologies in advance to your foundation, because chances are high you'll be ditching in the very near future. Sleep tight."
"It makes a huge difference in balancing oiliness, and my skin is noticeably duller on days I skip this step."
"I don't usually like face oils, but it's filled with amazing natural ingredients, and I know that when I use it, I'll wake up looking like I got eight hours of sleep, even if it's far from the truth."
"This mask is an OG in my travel beauty rotation, and you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands for me to give it up. It's specifically designed to give major hydration to dull, dry skin, which makes it perfect to use during long-haul flights. You're supposed to apply a thick layer to your skin, then tissue any excess off after a few minutes, but I like to apply and then let it sink in completely without removing it at all. It's made with a bunch of soothing botanical ingredients like white lily, rose, and iris, and the gel-like texture feels like a tall glass of water for your skin without being sticky at all."
"I get this random breakout that flares up in the middle of my forehead without warning, which used to be the bane of my existence—luckily, I've discovered this, which literally clears it up overnight. It's a miracle worker, and I've gotten all my friends hooked."
"I love how easy to use this beauty gadget is—I'm generally too lazy to figure out most devices, but this one is so simple thanks to the NuFace app you download on your phone. My face feels more lifted and toned after a week of use, and honestly, sometimes I notice a difference after just one session."
Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"While not a remedy for deep, cystic acne, this device penetrates a bacteria-killing blue light deep within the skin to destroy those pesky breakouts that result from P acnes. I find it therapeutic to lie on the bed with my eyes closed and glide it along (freshly washed) skin for a few minutes a day. I swear it works, especially when I've got tiny bumps from greasy summer skin."
"It's light enough that it doesn't make my face greasy but still hydrates like a champ."
"I'll use this mask to help draw out impurities and get my skin back in shape. It feels so good to apply (it really does get super warm!) and revamps my skin to a tee."
"I try to limit my makeup-wipe usage to just a few times a month (aka when I'm too exhausted to stand at the sink) because they certainly don't cleanse as well as a traditional cleanser and water. But recently, I came across these wipes and actually find that my skin looks more radiant in the morning after I use them. I still follow up with toner, serum, and moisturiser, but these wipes come soaked with a magnetic gentle cleanser that lifts just about every last inch of makeup off. They're also incredibly soft—no scratching whatsoever."
"I wish I could say I were shameless enough to wear a sheet mask on a plane (Faith is really on to something with the Glow Recipe mask, though…), but I'd rather not scare my seatmate when the quality of my flight is largely dependent upon how decent they are toward me. So when I want the effects of a mask without the Michael Myers effect (the fictional killer, not the Shrek actor), I reach for these gel packs. They're all the good stuff you get from a sheet mask minus the sheet, including aloe, algae, shea butter, and ceramides. I'm always insanely glowy post-flight after patting one on."
Maya Allen, assistant editor
"I've yet to meet a mask as hardworking as this one. Bold statement, I know, but it's true. This Supermud Mask has a texture that you have to mentally prepare yourself for. It's far from gentle, but when you're dealing with blackheads, it's not time to play nice. This mask is full of activated charcoal and six acids. Whenever I need a heavy-duty skin overhaul to zap blemishes and unclog my pores, I reach for this. It might not be the most relaxing mask, but it gets the job done and my skin feels totally renewed afterward."
"If I'm on a mission to transform the texture of my skin, which turns dull and uneven when I'm tired and stressed, I slather these pads all over my face. I tend to get blackheads the most on my nose. So annoying. And these pads contain 30% glycolic acid, which lifts dirt and smoothes over those rough surfaces. Since I have sensitive skin, I use one pad every two days as a preventative measure."
"The name explains it all—this mask is essentially a vacuum cleaner for your face. Don't be scared, though. It's safe. When your pores are in need of an overhaul (aka, you spot a blackhead), this acid-filled mask will lift dirt, debris, and oil."
"Made of Mediterranean rose clay, this mask is good for you for many reasons. For one, clay-based masks take the power back from your pores by ridding your skin of gunky buildup. And if you're dealing with dark spots or acne-prone skin, this will lighten them and leave your skin looking radiant. I'm very into this mask because it works magic when it comes to exfoliating. My skin always feels baby-soft and rejuvenated after leaving this on."