Skip To Content

    40 Skincare Products To Try In 2021 That Actually Do What They Say They Will

    Scream so long, farewell to that chin zit.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm is a multi-purpose balm suitable for face, body, lips, and hands. A non-sticky combination of shea butter and glycerin soothes irritated skin in a jiffy — and despite how moisturizing it is, reviewers swear that it doesn't cause breakouts. Not all heroes wear capes.

    before and after photo of reviewer on left with visibly red skin labeled "8:41pm" and on right, visibly less red skin labeled "10:47pm"

    2. I Dew Care Plush Party Lip Balm addresses chapped lips once and for all. This functions as a sleeping mask — apply this shea butter, cocoa butter, hibiscus flower extract, and vitamin C mask formula before bed and wake up to a nourished pout. No flakes. Ever again.

    the pink lip balm with reviewer text that says "this has saved my lips"

    3. Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil is currently negotiating a movie deal with Marvel: this little bebé is truly a superhero worthy of its own franchise. Reviewers swear that this delivers on its promise of glowing skin by morning, tackling redness, scarring, dehydration, and acne whilst you sleep.

    Reviewer's before-and-after of broken-out cheek and then clear cheek with caption that says "just wow"

    4. E.l.f., Illuminating Eye Cream provides your peepers with jojoba, vitamin e, and cucumber — meaning you dark circles and fine lines will begin to be gone. Luxe eye creams usually cost around a trillion dollars, so finding a holy grail item like this for ~$10 is basically like striking gold.

    the blue jar of eye cream

    5. Hydrocolloid COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch speed up the ~draining process~, but more importantly? They 👏 prevent 👏 picking 👏. If you're looking for a no-frills way to stop cystic acne in its evil tracks, these transparent stickers are the way to go.

    6. Ole Henrikson Glow2OH™ Dark Spot Toner eradicates the ghosts of acne past with a powerful glycolic and lactic acids. Tl;dr: dark spots, fine lines, and dull complexions stand no chance against this potent product.

    before and after photo of model with dark spots on left and visibly less dark spots on right

    7. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 protects your complexion against the suns rays *and* blue light, doesn't leave behind a white cast, and won't break you out. It's no wonder so many reviewers consider this a holy grail.

    hand holding white bottle of sunscreen with product on hand with text "that's the sunscreen on hand"

    8. Noncomedogenic, fragrance-free CeraVe SA Cream — a product you should've started using, like, yesterday. This formula contains salicylic acid, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin D, all of which provide light exfoliation so your skin can retain more moisture. Plus! This is super effective at combating (and calming) everything from psoriasis to body acne.

    9. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum lets you try a holy grail ingredient for cheap. Hyaluronic acid = a unicorn tears blend that plumps, hydrates, and soothes. This cruelty-free product is suitable for all complexion types (normal, oily, dry, combo) and requires just a pea-sized amount pre-coffee and pre-Zzz's.

    the black and white bottle

    10. Eucerin Redness Relief Night Creme contains a major superstar ingredient: licorice root. Slather this on pre-ZZZs to soothe your complexion and wake up to healthy, glowing skin that doesn't resemble the shade of a tomato. "Who invited you?" —this cream to your natural blush.

    11. Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel is lauded by over 2,000 reviewers, who all *swear* that this is the ultimate step one in your skincare routine. This soapless stuff truly does wonders for acne while a splash of thermal spring water works to calm your skin (and help maintain it's optimum pH balance).

    the blue cleanser

    12. Daily Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator reduces fine lines, fights acne, shrinks pores, and brightens your complexion one scrub at a time. Papain, salicylic acid, and rice actives are released when combined with water; green tea and colloidal oatmeal calm down redness in a jiffy.

    13. Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick is a breeze when it comes to application: simply remove the cap, swipe on some goodness, and rinse. No product wasted on your hands. No crud covering your sink faucet. Ease and portability aside, this uses green tea leaves for deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation — I never thought I'd swoon over skincare, but here we are.

    the green tea cleansing sticks

    14. Korres Greek Yoghurt Probiotic Superdose Face Mask tackles redness with a vengeance. Quality ingredients like Greek yogurt, lactic acid, and a microbiome re-balancing technology help nourish your skin's natural protective layer (the kind ruined by stress and greasy food), plus improves overall texture.

    model with redness on necks and cheeks labeled "before" on the left, same model with no redness labeled "after 15 mins" on the right

    15. Futuredew delivers SERIOUS glow, the kind you'll say ~I dew~ to after about .5 seconds of wear. A blend of nourishing oils, fruit extract, and sugarcane squalane offer hydration and visibly brighter skin while light-reflecting minerals make your complexion look positively radiant.

    16. Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence takes dull, tired skin and leads it greener pastures (*insert idyllic farm image here*). Hyaluronic acid and panthenol provide ultimate hydration, and drumroll por favor — it absorbs quickly! No grease. No stick. Apply this before moisturizer to make sure all that goodness gets locked in.

    two clear bottles of the essence with black cap

    17. Nooni Appleberry Lip Oil provides a lovely flush of pink *and* non-sticky moisture thanks to vitamins a, c, and e. It's even packed with apple water and raspberry extract to slough away the dead skin that would inevitably result in a chapped pout.

    18. Eva Naturals Vitamin C Serum Plus because adult acne is *the worst* and reviewers swear that this stuff helps. Not only does this blend of vitamin C, salicylic acid, retinol, and niacinamide attack blemishes with a vengeance, but it also provides moisture and reduces dullness. Heroes = they don't all wear capes.

    before and after photo of reviewer with visible scarring on left and less scarring on right

    19. The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask gives "beauty sleep" an entirely new meaning. Salicylic acid and tea tree oil happily destroy pimples and excess sebum whilst you dream, meaning you'll wake up to matte skin that won't be require that 10 pounds of setting powder, thank you very much.

    hand dipping into green jar of product

    20. Ancient Greek Remedy Oil truly works as a skincare jack-of-all-trades. This blend of extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, grape seed oil, lavender essential oil, and vitamin E does all the following: softens skin, helps heal acne, lightens dark spots, and is super moisturizing. *adds to cart immediately*

    21. I Dew Care Disco Kitten Glitter Peel-off Mask uses soothing oat extract and exfoliating gem powder to reveal a brighter, more illuminated complexion. And while the formula is high quality and fab, the kicker is the aesthetics: a silver chrome face product? Sign me u-p.

    22. Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion compares to ~the touch of an angel~ by one satisfied reviewer. This gentle, no-rinse formula uses plant-based cleansing agents to do a heck of a job when it comes to removing impurities without disrupting your skin's barrier. Simply apply it with a cotton pad, use a tissue to remove it, and voila.

    23. NeoGen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine uses red ~vino~ extracts in single-use exfoliating pads because dead skin and week-long pimples that refuse the evacuate the premises = the worse. These pads use a potent lactic acid capable of reaching deep into your pores for built-up oil and gunk, aka scream so long and farewell to the chin zit that will have no choice but to disappear.

    the red wine pads

    24. Tower 28 Daily Rescue Facial Spray revitalizes skin with three simple ingredients: hypochlorous acid, water, and sodium chloride. Give your complexion a spritz of this trio to cleanse, soothe redness, and calm irritation. Reviewers even *swear* by this product for combatting maskne!

    model holding the clear spray bottle with white cap labeled "Tower 28"

    25. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream is for skin best described by SpongeBob: "waaaaaaaater". Dehydrated complexions will really benefit from this fancy product, which strengthens the skin barrier to help you retain moisture and elasticity. Winter skin = easily solved by a single layer of this splurge-worthy formula.

    26. Hypoallergenic Milky Jelly Cleanser because you'd love to double cleanse, but you lack the energy. That's okay! This gentle-but-effective cleanser will literally ~melt~ makeup, oil, and gunk off your face — just add a few pumps to wet skin, cue mini facial massage, rinse, pat dry, and go to sleep. Only about .5 seconds have passed.

    27. Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser is *the* definition of tried-and-true. This inexpensive cult product is hypothetically the only item you need in your skincare arsenal: Just a few quick swipes will dissolve makeup and give your skin a hefty dose of moisture.

    the cold cream cleanser

    28. Fresh Soy Makeup Removing Face Wash is a three-in-one deal that removes makeup, impurities, and lightly tones thanks amino acid soy proteins (for elasticity), cucumber extract (for soothing), and rosewater (for balancing and calming). I guess not every rose has a thorn, eh?

    29. Vanicream Gentle Body Wash is a gentle wash raved about by those with sensitive complexions — because the heavily perfumed suds you've been using are irritating and drying, ergo, the time has come to *finally* swap in this dye-, fragrance-, and sulfate-free bottle (it's super moisturizing, to boot).

    white and blue body wash bottle

    30. Oil-, soap-free La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser kicks acne and oily foreheads to the curb. For a matte complexion that stays matte for a solid 12 hours, consider this AM and PM cleanser a skincare staple.

    31. Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum enlists the help of bakuchiol and chlorophyll, making it gentle enough for sensitive skin (retinol = some pretty powerful stuff). This tackles dullness and fine lines with a vengeance but is *super* unique because it doesn't leave behind redness or irritation.

    model holding pink bottle

    32. Paula's Choice 2% BHA liquid exfoliant confronts enlarged pores, pesky pimples, and fine lines with unmatched dedication. It also gently exfoliates with each swipe, so you can effectively wave ta ta to dullness and dead skin cells with every toss of a cotton round.

    33. Vegan and cruelty-free Awake Human Organic Face Moisturizer prides itself on being free of icky chemicals that you probably (in my case, definitely) can't pronounce. Aloe, jojoba, green tea, shea butter, and sweet almond oil work in harmony to nourish your complexion, plus it's available in an unscented formula for anyone with a sensitive nose.

    34. Bliss Jelly Glow Peel because we all deserve skin softer than a baby's derriere — and this delivers. Papaya and pineapple enzymes lift away dead, flaky skin to reveal a smooth canvas that allows the rest of your products to seep in more thoroughly. The best part? These results come sans irritation.

    the pink packaging labeled jelly glow peel

    35. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter turns removing makeup into a luxurious bedtime ritual thanks to a rich, creamy chamomile formula. This scoffs in the face of stubborn mascara, removing every last drop of product from your face with ease... now put down the makeup wipes. We're better than that.

    36. Youth To The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser makes sure your complexion is ~getting some greens~ a hefty dose of vitamins every night: we're talking kale, spinach, and green tea all conveniently found in this cold-pressed wash.

    the green bottles of cleanser

    37. Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream uses calcium, vitamins, and hydrogenated jojoba oil to revive weakened nails — and not only does this promote quicker nail growth, but it also prevent chipping and hangnails. Your messy at-home manicure just got *so* much better.

    38. Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask hits the reset button on grease and blemishes (this includes both scarring and all those painful, emerging zits) with an impressive blend of Australian botanicals. ✨ Smoother, brighter skin ✨ is at your fingertips — just apply a face mask two or three times a week.

    39. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pad make dewy skin as easy as grab, swipe, and toss. These rounds are infused with lactic and glycolic acids to speed up cell turnover (hello, exfoliation) while ingredients like cucumber, Indian gooseberry, lemon peel, and licorice root truly deliver on their promise of glow.

    model taking white pad out from the blue and white tub

    40. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is considered a holy grail of drugstore finds thanks to how rapidly it delivers long-lasting hydration. If you're looking for a ~tall glass of water~ to quench your face thirst, look no further than this fast-absorbing and oil-free formula.

    Did you know BuzzFeed Shopping can now send you product recommendations RIGHT to your phone?!

    banner that says text shop to 332-334-9081

    Need more for your skin? Check out Korean skincare products you need to know, cheap skincare products that are even better than luxury brands, products for an even skin tone or to deal with acne scars, or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.