50 Best Beauty Launches of 2022 That Are Actually Worth It
This year brought us so many beauty goodies. Brands like Iris & Romeo and True Botanicals delivered tinted, smart sunscreens to help us protect our skin while adding a little glow. Top board-certified dermatologists like Joshua Zeichner, MD and Shereene Idriss, MD launched their own skin-care lines. And brands like Davines and Olaplex brought new meaning to the words "hair treatment."
Here at Well+Good, the beauty and commerce teams comprise seven beauty lovers who are constantly trying the newest things. So we combined all our intel to give you the 50 best beauty launches of 2022 that are actually worth your hard-earned cash. Learn all about them, and shop them below.
50 best beauty launches of 2022
Best skin-care launches of 2022
Dr. Zeichner is somewhat of a celebrity within the skin-care community (you may recognize his name from this very site, where we frequently feature him as an expert), so when we found out he and his wife, Cori, were launching a skin-care line for adult acne, we couldn’t wait to test it. And when we did, the products didn’t disappoint. This acne-treatment mask, which goes on clear so you can wear it all day, uses micronized benzoyl peroxide to get way down deep into the pores and clear pimples from the root.
Use this effective-yet-gentle vitamin C cream to reduce the appearance of puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles around the eyes. It’s made with fat-soluble vitamin C, so it’s gentle enough to use around sensitive eye skin. Once you finish the serum, simply toss the insert and snag a (more affordable) refill to pop back into the chic glass bottle.
If you’re looking for a silver lining to all the recent supply chain issues, this peel is it. Faced with an ingredient shortage that forced her to discontinue her iconic Triple Berry Smoothing Peel, famed esthetician Renée Rouleau took the opportunity to reformulate—and this next-gen creation is even better than the original. Inspired by the treatments Rouleau doles out in her offices, the professional-grade peel harnesses the antioxidant powers of berries and pairs them with six different alpha-hydroxy acids as well as PHA and azelaic acid. The result? A chemically-exfoliating formula that will resurface your complexion to give it an even tone and texture.
Dr. Naomi’s founder, board-certified cosmetic physician Naomi McCullum, MD, swears by this potent resurfacing serum for her one-step “lazy girl” nighttime routine. It combines bakuchiol, niacinamide, and the brand’s powerful “brightening cocktail” to give you softer, smoother, more radiant skin overnight.
“This product is ideal for those who want their skin to age well, but also to smooth uneven skin, improve the appearance of pores, reduce [discoloration], or for those who need help with congestion,” says Dr. McCullum. “It’s not magic—it’s science.”
Dr. Idriss has become a social media superstar thanks to the skin advice she shares (from bed!) on her Instagram stories, and this year she decided to translate her “PillowTalk Derm” branding into a line of discoloration-fighting products. There’s a mask, a serum, and a moisturizer (which you can buy on their own or as a set), all of which are designed to target dark spots at multiple different levels.
Ourself was one of the most exciting brands to launch this year, as its science-backed formulas are next to none. The brand uses biotech-derived ingredients (which, BTW, is something you can expect to see a whole lot more of in 2023) to create formulas that are as close as you can get to in-office treatments. Lip fillers without needles? Yes, please. All of Ourself’s products are amazing, but the brand’s HA+ replenishing serum is the stand-out star thanks to its ability to hydrate and firm skin from its deepest layers.
Toward the end of 2021, we predicted that “skin longevity” products, like this one, would be huge in 2022. And as it turns out, we were right: This cellular-health-focused formula was one of the top-selling serums of the year. Its triple-impact formula addresses issues at three different layers of skin—volume loss at the surface, wrinkles at layer two, and dark spots at layer three—and has a slew of actives (vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide) that deserve a place in any solid skin routine.
Considering Augustinus Bader earned the title of “Best Skin Care in the World” after only three years on the market, when the brand decided to expand into the brow and lash category this past summer, we knew it was going to be good. And—yup—we were right. Though on the pricey side, this serum conditions your lashes and brows while also stimulating growth. One of our beauty editors has been using it twice daily for months, and it only took four weeks for people to start asking where she got her lash extensions done.
If your vibe is more “skin tint” than “foundation,” this multi-purpose complexion product deserves a step in your routine. Skin tints generally feel more hydrating, and since this one’s got SPF, it means you can skip that step in your routine (this doesn’t count reapplication though!). Iris & Romeo’s Weekend Skin is infused with the good stuff, like vitamin C and niacinamide, so you can count on a hydrating serum-like finish. The subtle tint (that is supposed to work for all skin shades) blends right in, so you’re left with your skin, but better (i.e. dewier and more even—no white cast). It’s not a replacement for foundation if you do have blemishes and hyperpigmentation to cover up, but if you’re looking for minimal coverage and SPF, it’s an A+ fuss-free formula. It’s been our senior commerce editor’s go-to for weekends, but also Zoom calls. It basically feels like an Instagram filter in a tube.
Two seconds and a spritz is all you need to turn a red, ruddy complexion even and bright. It’s got anti-inflammatory ingredients (cucumber, thyme, rosemary, and olive leaf) and hydrating properties (thanks to the hyaluronic acid and glycerin), and will turn any crimson tint in your skin way, way down.
Leave harsh acne washes behind and use this balancing cleanser from ZitSticka. It has a milky texture that hydrates skin and locks in moisture while calming breakouts and redness. Plus, it optimizes and balances the skin microbiome, builds a healthy skin barrier to block future breakouts, and deeply cleanses.
In theory, retinol is a great addition to an eye cream (it fades fine lines and discoloration, which are two of the biggest concerns people deal with around their eyes), but in practice, it can be too irritating to use on the delicate skin in the area. That’s where Herbivore’s new-to-2022 eye cream comes in. It’s made with bakuchiol, a plant-derived retinol alternative that offers all of the same benefits without the irritation, plus peptides, which offer additional firming benefits.
This morning cream is perfect for anyone looking to stream down their morning routine. Use it daily to keep things quick or have it on hand for the mornings when a more involved routine is out of the question. It blends protective and brightening antioxidants with moisturizing squalane, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and sun-protective SPF 40 zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
If you’re on the “physical exfoliants are bad” train, allow this gentle “milkfoliant” (and its lovely user experience) to change your mind. It comes out of the container in the form of finely-ground oat powder that, when mixed with water, works as a sort of “polish” for the top layer of your skin. As you massage your face for the recommended 60 seconds, the cleanser transforms into a frothy lather, and its blend of AHAs and BHAs whisk away dead skin cells and clear your pores of dirt and grime.
These jelly eye masks will help you fake a few extra hours of sleep, and are great for keeping in the fridge on mornings when you’re feeling puffy (or, okay—hungover). The fact that they’re made with natural, traceable ingredients is impressive, as is the fact that they’re biodegradable. There’s so much waste in beauty, but these dissolve in a warm glass of water, keeping more materials out of landfills.
Social media may have you convinced that you need an Rx retinoid to see real results, but this new formula from Strivectin disproves that theory entirely. It’s made with retinol that’s been optimized for surface release to smooth away lines and wrinkles without irritation, and the brand claims it’s so effective, you’ll be able to see results in less than a week. If you think that sounds suspect, well, we did too—but then one of our beauty editors tested it out, and the “your skin looks amazing” compliments started rolling in right on time on day seven.
You use a conditioner on your hair, so why not do the same for your skin? This oil-based cleansing balm turns into a milk when you mix it with water, and works to gently remove dirt and debris from your skin while also helping to strengthen the barrier and infuse it with moisture. Plus, it employs pre and probiotics to support your microbiome. The fact that it feels like pure luxury to use is just a bonus.
If you got a group of beauty editors together and asked them to name their favorite moisturizer launch of the year, chances are a majority of them would namecheck this one. Not only does it include skin-strengthening ceramides, but it’s also got peptides and plant proteins to boost collagen production and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Though it feels like a rich cream upon application, it sinks into skin seamlessly and feels as feather-light as a lotion… but with a whole lot more hydrating punch.
The second one of our editors tried this skin tint, it earned a spot in her daily rotation—she’s worn it everywhere from the park to a wedding. It’s super lightweight while still providing coverage and adding a bit of warmth and brightness to any complexion. That’s because the pigment is enhanced with squalane and milk thistle to give skin a gorgeous, silky glow.
Ellis Brooklyn picked a fitting name for this cream—it really is so satisfying! Its whipped texture feels like a vanilla cloud for your complexion, immediately hydrating it with almost a matte finish. Considering it’s the brand’s first foray into skin care (it’s known for its fragrances), we’d say it’s a major win.
Retinol is one of the darling ingredients in skin care. That’s because it can help manage everything from acne to wrinkles. Instead of using retinol, this serum relies on retinaldehyde, another retinoid that is more potent. Plus, the formula includes biofermented oligopeptide to refine skin texture and enhance radiance for optimal results.
This vitamin C serum goes on like water—and we mean that in the best way possible. Instead of sliding around on top of your skin, it instantly seeps in deep. And unlike many other C serums, it’s not oily and it doesn’t have a weird smell. It’s incredibly cosmetically elegant and efficacious which makes sense considering that Tête à Tête was created by cytopathologist—a person who studies cells.
A really nice option for cold, dry weather (or when your skin is oversensitized, weather it’s climate or product issues, like using too much retinol much too fast), Kiehl’s Ultra Facial barrier cream is ultra-nourishing and oh-so soothing for your complexion. It’s been one of our senior commerce editor’s go-to creams this fall, and she says her skin has never felt softer. That’s thanks to ingredients like colloidal oatmeal beta-glucan that quickly hydrate and heal skin that’s in need of some TLC.
Katini Skin’s face oils will convert even the biggest face oil skeptics into believers. Although our beauty writer uses them all (there are four in the line), the Clarity Face Oil is her absolute favorite. The blend of Tsubaki, rice, and sea algae oils are moisturize the skin while also preventing pimples with their detoxifying effects.
Hydrate and brighten your eyes with this cream from Farmacy. It rapidly reduces the appearance of dark circles with fine lines with vitamin C and hydrating honey. It’s strengthened with encapsulated caffeine and upcycled cranberry peptide to reduce the look of puffiness and fine lines and a proprietary buckwheat-honey blend to provide lasting hydration and soothing.
Board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, formulated this serum to be gentle yet effective. It uses a blend of powerful exofilating acids balanced with soothing postbiotics. While the acids do their thing, the postbiotics work within the skin to dampen responses of irritation, like redness and stinging, allowing you to get the benefits of the ingredients without bad side effects.
Our senior commerce editor has been using the Boscia Cica Soothing cream for the last couple months and has noticed visible improvement in her skin redness (which is what cica, lactobacillus, and ginger root extract fights) and dehydration. It’s been her nighttime go-to since it’s so thick and nourishing, but you can also apply it in the morning—despite its creamy texture, it layers nicely with makeup. No matter what time you apply, your winter-ravaged skin will slurp this stuff right up.
If you want a cleanser that is both deeply cleansing and moisturizing, this one is for you. It’s a modern twist on the cold cream, meaning it has a soothing and cooling sensation without any harsh ingredients. Instead, it’s made with wild juneberry to soften and smooth, plant-based collagen to hydrates and support the skin’s moisture barrier, and circular jojoba beads to gently buff away dryness and skin-dulling impurities. It’ll leave your skin feeling amazing.
Just in time for winter, Murad dropped its Eczema Control Collection, and it’s so good. This trio of products has been a godsend in our commerce writer’s skin-care routine. They cleared up the flaky skin under her lip and the dry patches on her hands, and she’s seen an improvement in her skin barrier. Plus, all of the products are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and fragrances, so you’ll never have to worry about even the most sensitive skin having a reaction.
Best body-care launches of 2022
If 2022 were to be defined by a scent, Phlur’s Missing Person would be it. The original eau de parfum sold out almost immediately (thanks, TikTok), but the launch of the body wash and lotion gave us two new ways to add it to our routines. The fragrance has been described as “the perfume version of nude,” and its blend of jasmine, orange blossom, and musk is meant to smell different on everyone’s unique skin. Oh, and, yes—the lotion version will hydrate your skin like the best of them.
For multiple members of our team, this was the favorite moisturizer launch of the year. Thanks to the patented Aquaxyl ingredient, Speed Soak’s formula is super effective and will infuse skin with moisture in seconds. It’s lightweight enough to use in the sweaty summer months, but hydrating enough to keep skin soft, smooth, and hydrated on even the driest winter days.
Showers are often relegated to second place on the “bathroom self care” spectrum, but these shower steamers may help them dethrone baths once and for all. Simply drop them onto the floor of your shower, turn on the water, and prepare to be transported to be mentally transported to a spa as your space fills with luxurious eucalyptus-lavender (or palo santo) scented steam.
Saltair—the body-care brand helmed by model Iskra Lawrence—will celebrate its first birthday in January, and it feels impossible to choose a favorite amongst its launches from this year… as in, our senior beauty editor cops to having eight Saltair products in her shower at this very moment. One she’s been loving of late? This body oil, which blends nourishing natural oils that leave skin the perfect level of glowy-but-not-greasy.
If you’re an easy sweater, consider this stuff your new best friend. It’s an antiperspirant, which means it uses aluminum to stave off sweat (totally safe, btw), and is infused with glycerin to keep your underarms smooth and hydrated. It glides on super smooth and will feel like a treat every time you use it.
Best makeup launches of 2022
A huge part of what makes a mascara great is its applicator, and Tower28 definitely gets it right here. Its Triple Wave Wand has three flexible bands that comb through your lashes from root to tip. A single coat is enough to enhance even the shortest lashes, and the formula won’t clump or stick together no matter how many layers you apply.
Summer Fridays’ skin tint offers sheer, light coverage that feels weightless on my skin, which is everything you could possibly want in a no-makeup makeup product. Hydrating ingredients like glycerin, squalane, and hyaluronic acid help it glide right over dry patches without looking cakey, and tiger grass soothes skin and helps reduce the look of any redness. The formula is truly the best of both worlds—it’s hydrating enough for the winter months, but lightweight enough for the summertime, which means it’ll take up year-round residence in many of our editors’ makeup bags.
Kosas is known for creating products that give you that your-skin-but-better look, and the revealer foundation is no different. Founder Sheena Yaitanes created this foundation because people loved the brand’s Revealer Concealer so much that they were putting it all over their faces. This foundation takes the concealer’s creamy and hydrating formula and makes a lighweight yet buildable foundation. As someone who usually reaches for skin tints, this foundation is the only one I’ll reach for on days when I’m craving more coverage.
When Jamie Greenberg launched a “bloss”—part lip balm, part lip gloss—to her eponymous makeup line, it established an entirely new category of these types of rosy-tinted hybrid products. But considering her formula offers what she calls “the perfect amount of color, hydration, and shine” (and, yes, we can confirm), very few others have been able to stand up to the original.
With a formula that offers the full coverage of a foundation with the feel of a tinted moisturizer, this new addition to Charlotte Tilbury’s line will turn even the biggest foundation-hater into a convert (case in point: Our senior beauty editor, who only ever wore skin tints but now swears by this stuff). It stays on all day without creasing, caking, or flaking, and is infused with hyaluronic acid and rose complex to hydrate and brighten your skin as you wear it.
Best body-care launches of 2022
Drunk Elephant’s leave-in conditioner is the type of all-in-one formula that will cut your post-shampoo hair-care routine down to a single step. It’s made with three different types of silk—one that smooths, one that strengthens, and one that softens—and is meant to stay in your hair and function as a conditioner, a flexible-hold styling milk, and a heat protectant all at the same time.
If you’ve got heat-related breakage, you may notice some spiky flyaways hanging around on top of your head. Slicking them down with this styling paste will help prevent you from walking around looking like there’s a static-y balloon perpetually suspended above your head. It’s made with meadowfoam seed oil and candelilla wax, providing a firm yet malleable hold while moisturizing and nourishing my hair.
After a highlighting treatment turned one of our editors’ hair into hay, she turned to Olaplex’s new launch to combat dryness. The post-shower bond-building treatment left her with softer, shinier, fuller strands and made brushing a whole lot easier and less tangle-inducing. In other words, Olaplex No. 9 is definitely a hair lifesaver.
This cleansing bar gently yet effectively cleanses your hair, skin, and body. And because it’s a bar, it requires far less plastic and water than traditional shampoo and is way easier to travel with. Beyond being convenient and efficient, this bar has a damn-good formulation. It’s loaded with soothing aloe vera, anti-inflammatory green tea extracts, protective meadowfoam seed oil, and nourishing vitamins E and B5. When our beauty writer tested it out ahead of launch, she found that it left her super-dry, textured hair and skin feeling clean yet nourished.
New-to-the-U.S. brand Arkive is about more than just hair care. Touting itself as a “head-care” brand, it focuses just as much on mental health as it does on keeping your strands smooth and shiny with products that provide sensory, self-care-worthy experiences. A favorite? This treatment mask blends baobab oil, shea butter, and coconut oil to provide weightless hydration to thirsty hair.
Rodan+Fields is known (and loved) for its skin, lash, and body products, and when the brand launched into hair care earlier this year, it set itself up to dominate its final untapped category. While all the products from the collection are great, the standout is the dry shampoo, which soaks up scalp oils and adds volume—all without leaving any sort of Martha Washtington-esque white cast.
The best way to describe this mask is as a tall drink of water for your hair. It’s the treatment step of Dae’s ultra-hydrating Monsoon Moisture line and pairs desert-derived ingredients like prickly pear oil and cactus extract (which, understandably, are pretty dang good at maintaining moisture considering they typically need to survive in the world’s driest climates) with cocoa seed butter to leave strands nourished, smooth, and shiny.
We’re always on the hunt for products that will cut down on styling time, and this one does the trick. It uses a blend of cannabinoids (no, it won’t get you high) to protect and smooths hair while also repairing previous damage. Slather it through your strands and you’ll be genuinely amazed by quickly you’re able to DIY a blowout.
This treatment is glass hair in a bottle. After one 20-second treatment, one of our contributors saw literal instant results. Her hair was light, smooth, slick, and silk-like. And after it dried, she reports that her strands were softer than they had been in months and so glossy. This Italian magic mane elixir is pure sorcery, so you can go ahead and say arrivederci to winter frizz and dull tresses.
We’re used to not expecting much from a “light hold” hairspray, but this one—from celebrity hairstylist Nick Stenson—somehow stands up to the elements for hours on end. Its lightness is still apparent in its finish, though, which will leave hair looking shiny and smooth without ever feeling crunchy.
Build up hydrogen, ionic, and covalent bonds to strengthen strands with this weekly leave-in treatment and hair mask. In addition to making your hair up to eight times stronger, this treatment also helps to reduce visible signs of split ends while preventing breakage and future damage. Plus, it protects hair from heat up to 450°F while adding softness, smoothness, and shine.
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