Skin care is our bread and butter here at Well+Good. We're constantly trying new things, scouring the internet for viral products that actually work, and tapping experts like dermatologists and estheticians for their recommendations. Out of the many (many) skin-care items we shared this year, there were 10 that our readers could not get enough of.
They loved the eye cream that's no match against "crinkles," the exfoliating treatment that gave one editor radiant skin, the lash serum that helped actress Sydney Sweeky ditch falsies, and so much more. If you didn't snag these yet (or are ready for a restock,) you can shop our 10 top-selling skin-care products of the year below.
- Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital
- Lana Pinchasov, PA-C, dermatology-certified physician’s assistant based in New York City
- Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD, sleep doctor and associate professor at UC Davis Health
Our 10 top-selling skin-care items of 2022
This body stone is a wonderful alternative to traditional lotion. It’s a solid bar that eliminates the tedium of pumping a lotion bottle. Instead, you rub the stone between your hands to warm it up and then have a never-ending “flow” of lotion to rub on your body. When I use a lotion bar, I like to take my time, really massaging the oils into my skin from my neck down. When I’m done, I’m as soft, slippery, and giddy as a baby seal.
This body wash went viral on TikTok for its super hydrating yet cleansing formula. It goes on like an oil but “transforms into a soft, milky foam once it interacts with water, rinsing away clean without leaving an oily residue behind,” says Well+Good commerce writer Alexa Casanova. “The result is hydrated and glow-y skin (dare I say ‘dolphin‘ like?) that’s clean but not stripped, moisturized, but not greasy—it’s basically everything we crave during dry, frigid winters. Plus, the oil texture makes it a great shaving cream alternative, eliminating the need for a separate shave product.”
This exfoliating treatment from Fenty Skin is made with a blend of glycolic, citric, and lactic acids—all alpha-hydroxy acids that melt away dead skin cells. It also includes a potent cocktail of fruit-derived vitamin C, Barbados cherry (a nod to RiRi’s roots), and rooibos to help boost your glow and reduce inflammation in stressed skin. “After my first go-round, my skin felt softer and smoother, sure, but I didn’t notice any major changes in its brightness,” says Francesca Krempa, Well+Good’s associate commerce editor. “It wasn’t until my third or fourth facial that I really noticed a difference, but now every time I use it (which is about twice a week), my complexion looks instantly more radiant.”
Adapalene is the most potent retinoid you can get over the counter. They’re particularly great for acne as they tackle one of its main causes, abnormal keratinization, which happens when there’s an excess of “sticky” dead skin cells on the surface of your complexion that build up and clog your pores. Retinoids stimulate cell turnover, bringing healthy new cells to the surface and removing all the old ones. You can chat with a dermatologist to get a prescription version of the ingredient, but if you want something you can snag at the drugstore that will give you comparable results, opt for Differin Gel.
This sunscreen blends SPF 50 sunscreen with peptides and antioxidants to protect, repair, and correct your skin—and it’s a favorite of model and entrepreneur Miranda Kerr. “I use ISDIN for sunscreen,” Kerr previously told Glamour. “There’s one that has a little tint to it. I quite like its sheer coverage.” Its main ingredient—zinc oxide—can work wonders for your skin. “Zinc oxide has many other health and healing benefits as well,” says Lana Pinchasov, a dermatology-certified physician’s assistant in New York City. “It’s used to help treat inflammation, and has also been used to help with acne breakouts. Due to its effect on inflammation, it can help treat pigment disorders like melasma, and it can also help moisturize and hydrate the skin, depending on the vehicle it’s in.”
The skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the body making it prone to “crinkles,” lines that appear when dehydrated skin develops fine lines. Unlike set-in wrinkles, crinkles can be smoothed out with proper hydration, which this eye cream provides. “It delivers hyaluronic acid to the skin to hydrate and plump,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “The ultra-light consistency allows you to layer it under your other products for added benefits without leaving the skin feeling heavy or sticky. It is also helpful to use as a first layer to minimize dryness associated with potentially irritating actives like retinol, exfoliating acids, or even Vitamin C.”
This dreamy moisturizer blends glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and other humectants to give skin long-lasting moisture; plant-derived lipids and emollient complexes to strengthen and protect the skin barrier; and Dipalmityl Hydroxylproline, an amino acid that helps to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. Krempa loved what this cream did for her skin. “Think of Instant Angel as your skin’s guardian angel that works hard to keep your barrier balanced and bolstered throughout the day,” she says. “This soft, silky, fragrance-free moisturizer leaves skin smoother and more hydrated with every drop, giving skin a heavenly glow for hours on end.”
This derm-aproved lash serum is what actress Sydney Sweeney uses every day to grow out her lashes. “I saw this TikTok of a girl who uses this eyelash serum, and I ordered it, and my eyelashes started growing like crazy,” Sweeney told Refinery29. “Everyone has said something. My makeup artist, Melissa Hernadez, was like, ‘Sydney, your eyelashes are longer.’ Then Donni, my makeup artist for Euphoria was like, ‘We don’t even need to put eyelashes on you anymore.’”
This sculpting wand is a favorite of many, including model Christie Brinkley. It rose to popularity during the pandemic thanks to Brinkley’s vocal endorsements and eventual partnership with the brand, and was sold out for months. It’s perfect for giving skin a temporary tightening effect, thanks to film formers like Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, VP/VA Copolymer, and Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose. Keep in mind that these ingredients wash off and don’t last under makeup.
“Magnesium lotion is wonderful for a bedtime routine,” says sleep doctor Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD. Not only can the ritual of applying lotion help you unwind, but magnesium can enter your system topically and soothe your muscles, physically relaxing your body and helping you drift off to sleep. This lotion delivers a high-potency dose of magnesium. Plus, it also contains shea butter, argan seed, prickly pear seed, and hemp seed to leave your skin moisturized and your body relaxed.
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