The Best Facial Skincare Products from the 2021 Beauty Crush Awards

·6-min read


BCA - Skincare/Face

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Everyone has different skin concerns—from uneven skin tone and under-eye circles to dry patches and chapped lips. But with so many skincare products on the market, it's hard to figure out how to treat your one-of-a-kind face. Let us guide you: Through testing hundreds of skincare products, we found the most effective moisturizers, toners, cleansers, serums, and more products that reigned supreme in 2021.

Best Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Cream-To-Foam Cleanser

Best Drugstore Cleanser

Unless you have a specific skin concern, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a cleanser, especially considering that it’s only on your face for a few seconds. Case in point: This CeraVe do-all. This creamy cleanser lathers when rinsed with water, yet it doesn’t strip skin of its natural oils as other foaming products do. “It removes makeup pretty well, which is a huge plus,” one tester reported. Insider tip: You can use it with or without water to both cleanse and remove makeup. Simply rinse it off at the end and you’re good to go.

- $17.38 Available at Amazon

Tatcha The Rice Wash

Best Luxe Cleanser

If cleanser seems like a necessary yet unexciting part of your skincare routine, your opinion will change after just one use. “This is the first product that’s ever made me look forward to cleansing my skin,” said one tester. “It has very fine rice grains that mix with the rich texture to create this frothy, facial-like experience that makes me feel like I’m at a salon.” It even sat well with testers who have sensitive and dry skin, who said that while many cleansers make their skin feel tight and stripped, this one left them feeling nicely hydrated.

- 35 Available at Tatcha

Best Serum

Best Makeup Remover

Almay Biodegradable Oil-Free Micellar Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Best Drugstore Makeup Remover

For just removing eye makeup, it seems excessive to use a whole makeup wipe, which is why we love this small biodegradable makeup remover pad that’s made specifically for the eye area. Testers noted that it works well with sensitive skin, which is great as people tend to harshly rub their mascara off and cause irritation.

- $5.99 Available at Ulta

Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Smoothing Enzyme Cleansing Balm & Makeup Remover

Best Luxe Makeup Remover

Wrap up your days by massaging and melting away your face, eye, and lip makeup with this rich and moisturizing balm. For this product, Glow Recipe blended soothing papaya seed oil, antioxidant-rich blueberry extract, and exfoliating papaya enzymes to melt makeup away while gently exfoliating the skin of dead skin cells and lingering pollutants. “It felt like putting lotion on,” noted one tester, while another said her skin felt “so soft and smooth” after using it.

- $32 Available at Sephora

Best Toner

Best Exfoliator

Pacifica Clean Shot BHA/AHA 25% Peel Solution

Best Drugstore Exfoliator

Achieve brighter, glowier skin with this 15-minute peel. It uses alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids to buff away dead skin cells and decongest pores, making way for new cells to shine through. One tester noted how thin the formula is, which allowed it to sit nicely on her skin, while another said that her skin looked so much better after just one use.

- 12 Available at Ulta

Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution

Best Luxe Exfoliator

As the name suggests, this toner helps you set the “refresh” button on dull, tired skin. Using a concentrated 16% AHAs, this powerhouse product brightens, exfoliates, and softens your skin. “I applied this at night and woke up to my face feeling so smooth—I couldn't stop touching it,” reported one tester. Dolphin-soft skin? We’re sold.

- 54 Available at REVOLVE

Best Spot Treatments

Best Lip Treatment

Nivea 2-in-1 Lip Balm + Scrub

Best Drugstore Lip Treatment

One of the most annoying parts about having chapped lips is all that dead skin, and while lip balms are great for hydrating them, they don’t do much for the bits that need to come off. Enter: Nivea’s 2-in-1 Lip Balm + Scrub. The hybrid lip product uses plant-derived grains that gently buff away dead skin cells, and the vitamin E and aloe vera-heavy formula delivers nourishment and soothing effects.

- 4.99 Available at CVS

Augustinus Bader Lip Balm

Best Luxe Lip Treatment

Augustinus Bader is a leading stem cell and biomedical expert who’s wowed A-listers (like Victoria Beckham) and skincare experts alike for his cutting-edge skincare technology, and thankfully, he launched an innovative lip treatment, too. “This lip balm gives your lips a light sheen and leaves them hydrated without feeling sticky,” said Dr. Idriss. “It's loaded in sunflower, avocado, and grapeseed oils in addition to the brand's signature TFC8 complex which encourages your skin renewal process.” If you have chapped lips that need to be repaired pronto, this is your best bet.

- 38 Available at Nordstrom

Best Moisturizer

Best Face Oil

Weleda Awakening Oil

Best Drugstore Face Oil

Boost dull-looking skin with this dew-inducing face oil. Pomegranate, the hero ingredient in this product, is a well-known anti-aging ingredient and a big-time antioxidant that helps skin self-repair, retain moisture, and increase radiance. Testers raved about the refreshing and slightly citrus scent: “I love mixing a drop or two with my daytime moisturizer,” said one. “It makes my skin look instantly healthier, and the subtle scent helps to wake me up before I’ve had my coffee.”

- 24.99 Available at Target

RMS Kakadu Evening Beauty Elixir

Best Luxe Face Oil

Studies show that Kakadu Plum extract has large amounts of vitamin C, making it the new buzzy skincare ingredient for achieving glowy skin. This elixir is described by the brand as “beauty sleep in a bottle,” and our testers couldn’t agree more. “It gave my skin a nice glow thanks to the slightly orange tint,” one tester noted. “It hydrated my skin really well and repaired some flaky post-cold skin.”

- 42 Available at CREDO BEAUTY

Best Eye Cream

Best Facial Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Matte Effect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

Best Drugstore Sunscreen

Say goodbye to excess sweat and oil with this mattifying sunscreen. It works well with every skin type, but it’s especially beneficial for acne-prone people as the formula is non-comedogenic and absorbs excess oil. Testers loved how smooth it felt and how quickly it absorbed into the skin, and we also like that the formula is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

- 9.02 Available at Amazon

EltaMD UV Restore Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Best Luxe Sunscreen

Apart from protecting the skin from sun damage, this physical sunscreen also works to reverse the clock on aging skin. It uses moisturizing squalane to restore bounce, ginger root extract to brighten dark spots, and saccharide isomerate to replenish dry skin. “Most physical sunscreens don’t absorb well, but this one does,” noted one tester.

- 36.50 Available at Dermstore

Best Face Mask


BCA - Standouts Gif

Hero Image Credits | Art Director: Jenna Brillhart, Illustrations/Animation: Sarah Maiden & Jenna Brillhart


BCA - Crushes Gif

Click here to see all 187 winners of Hellogiggles' 2021 Beauty Crush Awards.