It may sound like a cliché, but looking after your skin and finding the best skincare routine when you’re young will pay dividends when you’re older.
That’s not to say that if you’ve already got fine lines, wrinkles or have noticed the first signs of age spots that it’s too late; you’re never too old to invest in your skin, but if you’ve put skincare at the bottom of your beauty regime, it’s time to make it a priority.
This is because no matter how much you spend on buying the best makeup, if you’ve not created a balanced and healthy base to place it on, you’ll never get the best results. Decent skincare doesn’t need to cost the Earth, nor does it need to take up too much time. Plus, the more attention you pay to your skin, the less money and time you’ll need to spend on trying to cover up the areas you’d rather hide.
Our mission at mamabella is to help you find the best products that suit you; products that have been tried and tested by people of varying ages, skin tones and types. As part of this mission, we’ve handpicked what we consider to be must-have skincare products for 2020 and within each of these Best Buys lists, we highlight a Budget Buy, a Luxury Buy as well our absolute favourite – what we call the Editor’s Pick.
To help you navigate the many, many, many slogans, scientific claims, and marketing BS involved in skincare, we’ve put all of these leading products, from BB creams and moisturisers to cleansers, toners, and tinted creams, below. Here are the best skincare products we recommend you buy in 2022. Oh, and drink more water!
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best BB cream | Best moisturiser | Best tinted moisturiser | Best toner | Best primer | Best cleanser| Best eye cream| Best anti-ageing cream | Best hand cream| Best foot cream | Best face mask | Best face exfoliator | Best face oil| Best serum| Best night cream | Best SPF | Best Vitamin C serum | Men’s skincare routine
£32 | Buy now
Why we love it: If you can only afford one product for your makeup bag, make it this fantastic wonder cream from IT Cosmetics.
Firstly, it’s a CC cream, which stands for colour-correcting, meaning it helps reduce redness, brightens dark circles.
It even balances your skin tone better than some foundations we’ve tried.
Secondly, because of this coverage, this CC cream also doubles up as a foundation.
Thirdly, both its moisturising properties – it features on our best foundation for dry skin list – and its finish means it can be used as a primer, too.
What’s more, it carries SPF50 and anti-ageing ingredients to complete the set. This isn’t a cheap product but considering it could feasibly replace three or more other makeup items, it’s actually an absolute bargain and is one of our fave multi-tasking makeup staples.
See more options in our best primer list.
FURTHER READING: What SPF do I need?
£11.99 | Buy now
Why we love it: This BB cream from the anti-ageing experts at Olay provides glowing skin, alongside vitamins B3, E and Pro-V B5.
This BB cream evens out your skin tone and with a touch of foundation, it gives a smooth finish while hiding blemishes and dark circles among other imperfections.
We love how lightweight it feels on our skin.
Plus, with SPF 15 its a multi-purpose product. All for just £12.
£19 | Buy now
Why we love it: La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Cleanser – as with all of the products in the Effaclar skincare range – is great for all skin types but excels at tackling the causes of blemishes, spots, acne and oily skin.
As its name suggests, this gel gently purifies the skin, getting rid of impurities and removing excess sebum without stripping necessary oils from the skin.
The formula also contains La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which helps soothe the skin, reducing redness and irritation, while balancing even the most sensitive skin.
£14 | Buy now
Why we love it: Carbon Theory‘s Facial Purifying Tonic gently cleanses and refines pores while reducing redness and inflammation.
As with the entire Carbon Theory range, its ingredients lend themselves well to people with blemishes or who are prone to breakouts.
This is because it contains Citric Acid, which works by removing dead skin cells; tea tree oil to treat mild acne and prevent future breakouts, and grapefruit extract to minimise shine.
£37 | Buy now
Why we love it: The first thing you’ll notice about the Wishful Skin Honey Balm Jelly Moisturiser is that it smells incredible.
This is because it contains honey and lavender.
Yet instead of being purely for fragrance purposes, the honey nourishes and softens the skin while the lavender pearls help to colour correct your skin tone.
£58 | Buy now
Why we love it: Clarins’ Double Serum plumps skin, leaving it feeling softer and tighter after the first use.
The anti-ageing treatment uses plant extracts stimulate five vital functions for your skin: hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, regeneration, and protection.
It’s designed for all skin types, and ages, and while it’s expensive, you can control how much you use thanks to the rotating push button which delivers a made-to-measure dosage of serum.
Read our full Clarins Double serum review
£55 | Buy now
Why we love it: With a blend of Rosehip and Damascus Rose oils, combined with 13 other oils, Huda Kattan’s Wishful Skin thought very long and hard about what it wanted from what we consider to be the best face oil on the market.
As its name suggests, the Get Even Rose Oil leaves the skin looking brighter and smoother and evens out the skin tone.
Rosehip Oil is renowned for reducing dark spots and fine lines, for instance, while the other oils leave your skin feeling supple and balanced.
£24.50 | Buy now
Why we love it: This Origins GinZing peel-off mask is great at lifting away dead and dull skin to give you with a clear and radiant complexion.
It’s made with coffee beans and PanaxGinseng, which revitalise skin and tighten pores and a little goes a long way.
FURTHER READING: Best face mask
£34.99 | Buy now
Why we love it: Olay (or Oil of Ulay if you’re over a certain age) is an OG when it comes to anti-ageing skincare.
And our favourite pick of the Olay bunch is Regenerist Whip.
It’s lightweight and smells incredible, using niacinamide and peptides to smooth and reduce the appearance of fine lines and increase the skin’s elasticity.
£35 | Buy now
Why we love it: Absolutely packed with antioxidants and Vitamin E, this tinted moisturiser from Laura Mercier controls oil and shine while leaving your skin soft, supple and hydrated.
It’s not cheap but you’re paying for this great combination of ingredients as well as the fact this tinted moisturiser comes in 15 shades covering a range of cool and warm tones.
If you’re not sure which undertone you need, read our explainer on how to find your perfect foundation match or check out our full list of best tinted moisturiser brands designed for a range of skin types and budgets.
FURTHER READING: Best tinted moisturiser | Laura Mercier is the latest brand to launch at Boots
£12.50 | Buy now
Why we love it: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream is packed full of hyaluronic acid – an ingredient with the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making this budget-friendly cream extremely moisturising.
It repairs dry and damaged skin, while simultaneously protecting the delicate skin and helping to reduce puffiness and eye bags. You can read more about this, and alternatives, in our best eye cream guide.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? The truth about the acids in your skincare
£40 | Buy now
Why we love it: Clarins New Body Fit targets Adipocytes cells which are responsible for storing energy as fat.
Its formula helps firm and tone the skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite within a week.
It also contains Quince Leaf which is said to reduce fat storage for what Clarins called a “corrective Anti-Cellulite action”.
As a side note, this Body Fit is also great as a general body moisturiser because it leaves the skin soft and smooth.
See more options in our list of the best body firming lotions that actually work.
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget