The 23 Best Skincare Products of All Time, Tested in

skincare products on pink background


We updated this article in September 2022 to ensure all picks tested and vetted by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab were available and correctly priced.

As anyone who’s ever perused the aisles of their local drugstore or beauty supply chain can tell you, finding the best skincare products is hard. That’s why our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists are always testing the latest and greatest innovations in skincare, from drugstore picks to luxury beauty brands and everything in between, to find the best products in the world that are actually proven to work.

The GH Beauty Lab thoroughly evaluates skincare products using technical Lab instruments and consumer feedback. In the Lab, our scientists use devices that evaluate skin’s hydration levels, firmness and the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and pores, both before and after use of a formula. They also distribute the products to consumer testers, who evaluate them on ease of use and the look and feel of their skin after a set time period. Then these data points are culled together to determine the best skincare products you can buy, from face cleansers to moisturizers, serums, eye creams, sunscreens and more.

To put together this definitive list of the best skincare products of all time, we consulted dermatologists to ask about their favorite brands and formulas, and included those recommendations alongside the GH Beauty Lab’s top-tested skincare products across categories.

Our top picks:

No matter your age or what type of skin you have — from oily to acne-prone to dry to sensitive — these are the #1 products to add to your skincare routine right now.

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Best Face Cleanser


Soothing Cleanser

Best Value Face Cleanser


Daily Facial Cleanser

Best Overall Face Moisturizer


Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin


Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+

Best Face Moisturizer for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin


HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream

Best Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin


Calm + Restore Oat Gel Facial Moisturizer

Best Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen


Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer with SPF 30

Best Anti-Aging Day Cream


Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Anti-Aging Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 30

Best Dark Spot Treatment

L’Oréal Paris

RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Moisturizer with SPF 30

Best Night Cream


Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Moisturizer

Best Face Serum


Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum

Best Anti-Aging Face Serum


Metacell Renewal B3

Best Skincare Product for Acne-Prone Skin

Mary Kay

Clear Proof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask

Best Eye Cream


Absolue Revitalizing Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Best Value Eye Cream


SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream

Best Face Sunscreen


LiftActiv Sunscreen Peptide-C Face Moisturizer with SPF 30

Best Value Face Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic

Matte Effect Sunscreen SPF 30

Best Face Scrub


Brightening Facial Scrub

Best Face Peel


Rapid Reveal Peel

Best Face Oil


Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Skin Therapy Oil for Face

Best Face Mask

Mary Kay

TimeWise Repair Lifting Bio-Cellulose Mask

Best Brightening Treatment

La Prairie

Cellular 3-Minute Peel

Best Skincare Ointment


Healing Ointment How we test skincare products

When testing skincare products, GH Beauty Lab scientists distribute label-masked formulas from a variety of brands to a panel of thousands of women across the country to solicit unbiased feedback from consumers with a range of skin types. Consumer testers evaluate the products on factors like application, texture, scent, ease of use, irritation and look and feel of skin after using according to packaging instructions for a specific time span.

GH Beauty Lab experts also take scientific measurements in the Lab using instruments to gauge product results. These include the Corneometer, which calculates skin’s moisture levels; the Cutometer, which measures firmness; and the Visia Complexion Analyzer, a digital imaging device that can track changes in skin, including the size and depth of wrinkles, pore size and dark spots. Finally, hundreds of data points are tallied to zero in on the best skincare products and brands in each category.

What to look for when shopping for the best skincare products

GH Beauty Lab experts recommend using the following guidelines when searching for the most efficacious skincare products:

️ Choose reputable brands: Seek out products from well-known brands with a history of trust and efficacy.
️ Consider your skin type and goals: Zero in on formulas labeled for your skin type (i.e. dry, oily, acne-prone, sensitive, combination, etc.) or goals (such as anti-aging, brightening, purifying, etc.).
️ Find a nice price: More expensive skincare products aren’t always better; in GH Beauty Lab testing, affordable buys have performed as well or superior to luxury formulas, so choose the best option that fits your budget.

What are the most important skincare products?

Dermatologist and GH Beauty Lab experts suggest these four skincare products as essential to most skincare routines.

  1. Cleanser. A face wash removes dirt and impurities from skin to help prevent dullness, clogged pores and breakouts, plus prep skin for leave-on products like serums and moisturizers.
  2. Serum. Serums contain concentrated skincare ingredients to address specific issues or goals, such as anti-aging, clarifying and brightening.
  3. Moisturizer. All skin types require hydration in the form of a moisturizing lotion or cream to keep skin healthy, soft and radiant.
  4. Sunscreen. Daily application of a face sunscreen helps prevent sun damage and signs of aging.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Our experts who collaborated on this story include:

  • Danusia Wnek, a Chemist in the Good Housekeeping Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab, who develops and oversees the testing of skincare product categories including night creams, serums, moisturizers, eye creams and more, utilizing both lab instrumentation and consumer feedback to recommend the best products on the market.
  • Sabina Wizemann, a Senior Chemist in the Good Housekeeping Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab, who develops laboratory protocols using specialized lab equipment, conducts product testing across skincare categories and oversees large consumer studies. She has researched, tested and evaluated thousands of products for almost a decade. Sabina also researches skincare ingredients for GH and verifies product claims.
  • April Franzino, the Beauty Director at Good Housekeeping, who has over 15 years of experience researching, writing and editing skincare-related content, utilizing the expertise of the Institute’s Beauty Lab scientists and top industry professionals such as dermatologists and aestheticians. She is an expert in all face and body skincare product categories, including cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers and more.

April Franzino Beauty Director April (she/her) is the beauty director at Good Housekeeping, Prevention and Woman’s Day, where she oversees all beauty content.

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