We’ve tried hundreds of skincare products in the last year, and these 19 stand out from the rest

Some of our favorite products we've discovered this past year.

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Some of our favorite products we’ve discovered this past year.
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Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
  • On the Insider Shopping team, we try a lot of skincare products.
  • We know shopping for great skincare can be overwhelming and expensive, so we made this list of our favorite products we’ve tried in the past year.
  • Keep reading for a roundup of the 19 items that have become a fixture in our routines.

When it comes to skincare shopping, it’s too easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. A quick search on Sephora for moisturizers for sensitive skin yields over 200 results. At Ulta, you’ll find a selection of 440 different face washes.

With new products constantly releasing and new trends making headlines every week, it can be hard to keep up with what’s what in skincare. You probably don’t have the time (or energy, or desire) to scroll through pages of eye creams until you find one you like. And, you definitely don’t want to spend a ton of money testing them all out.

Luckily, the Insider Shopping team has tested a lot of skincare products over the course of the past year. Now we’re here to share our favorite finds with you. Whether you’re looking for a serum to target a specific skincare concern or just for some inspiration to upgrade your beauty routine, we’ve got you covered.

Below, you’ll find 19 of the best skincare products we’ve tried in the last year.


Supergoop! 100% Mineral Matte Sunscreen

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Supergoop!

Supergoop! 100% Mineral Smooth & Poreless Matte Screen SPF 40, available at Sephora and Nordstrom, $38

Now that temps are starting to rise, the last thing I want to do is go through my usual multi-step skincare and makeup routine only for everything to melt right off as soon as I leave my apartment. But with Supergoop!’s Smooth and Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen (say that five times fast), I’ve streamlined a bunch of products into one. This takes the place of my primer, sunscreen, tinted moisturizer, and mattifying mist. I also like that the light tint masks any white cast I’d normally get with mineral sunscreens. – Jada Wong, Insider Shopping senior editor


Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel Cream

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Target

Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel Cream, available at Target, $14.99

This is my new go-to moisturizer because it’s so lightweight, soothing, and makes my skin feel bouncy and plump like jelly. And at $14.99, it’s a steal. Versed was developed with reader data from digital publisher Who What Wear, so as shoppers are calling for easier access to safe skincare products, it’s no surprise that this moisturizer is formulated with recognizable ingredients like aloe vera and green tea in a clean formula without parabens, sulfates, and more. – Jada Wong, Insider Shopping senior editor


Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

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Target

Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm, available at Target, $17.99

I tested this out on a weekend trip to Amsterdam and I was so glad I did. Not only did it get every last bit of makeup off easily, it rinsed clean without leaving behind a filmy texture and didn’t make my face feel tight afterwards. I especially appreciated the solid balm because it made going through security a little less hectic. Unlike other solid balms I’ve used, this one doesn’t come with a tiny spatula to scoop up product, though, let’s be honest – it’s probably worse to use a spatula that’s been sitting on my counter than it is to just use clean hands. – Jada Wong, Insider Shopping senior editor

Read more: 9 clean, sustainable, and eco-friendly beauty and personal-care brands you can find at Target


Ren Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen

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Sephora

Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30, available at Sephora and Dermstore, $38

Can you tell I’m big on SPF? I love this newbie from Ren, one of the OGs of clean beauty, for its clean mineral formula. It does give me a white cast compared to Supergoop!’s but I usually wear a tinted powder on top so it doesn’t bother me. I love the matte finish too for keeping my oily forehead in check. – Jada Wong, Insider Shopping senior editor


Edible Beauty Probiotic Radiance Tonic Serum

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Sephora

Edible Beauty Probiotic Radiance Tonic Serum Calm and Restore, available at Sephora, $39

I’ve been using a vitamin C serum that I thought was okay until I decided to try this one – it made me realize that the vitamin C serum I was using was garbage. Seriously, my skin looked brighter and fresher after just a few drops of this. I might’ve gone overboard because I used five drops as opposed to the recommended two or three, but that’s not a bad thing in my book. In fact, if it didn’t cost $39 for a small bottle, I’d slather this all over my face daily. – Jada Wong, Insider Shopping senior editor


Farmacy Green Defense

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Farmacy

Farmacy Green Defense SPF 30, available at Farmacy Beauty, $36

I mix this SPF moisturizer with my Burt’s Bees BB Cream every day for light coverage that protects my fair skin from the sun’s rays and reduces a bit of my natural redness. It uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for sunscreen, but it isn’t as thick as other mineral-based SPF moisturizers, so it goes on smoothly. The formula also has marigold extract to decrease inflammation. – Malarie Gokey, Insider Shopping deputy editor


High Beauty Cannabis Seed Facial Moisturizer

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Urban outfitters

High Beauty High Five Cannabis Seed Facial Moisturizer, available at Urban Outfitters, $40

I’ve always had a rosy-pink complexion, but it can veer into rosacea territory from time to time. I’ve tried lots of redness-reducing moisturizers over the years, but none of them have worked as well as High Beauty’s High Five Cannabis Seed Facial Moisturizer. I can see the difference: After I wash my face, it inevitably gets red, but the second I rub this moisturizer into my skin, the redness starts to gradually disappear. It sounds like it’s hyperbole, but it really isn’t. I’m not one to spend a lot of money on anything – I’m more of a $6 moisturizer person – but this, I will pay $40 for. – Malarie Gokey, Insider Shopping deputy editor


Perricone MD Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer

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Sephora

Perricone MD High Potency Classics: Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer, available at Sephora and Ulta, $69

Perricone MD recently reformulated some of its bestsellers into more intense versions of the originals that have higher concentrations of key ingredients. In this case, the key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which helps draw moisture from the air into the skin to keep it plump and hydrated. Honestly, I’ve never met a moisturizer that my dry skin loves more, and that’s saying something for the 300+ that I’ve tried over my life as a product reviewer.

Also, it’s not skincare per se, but the brand’s new blendable, $35 liquid blush has been a game-changer for my makeup routine, and I can’t sing its praises highly enough. – Sally Kaplan, Insider Shopping senior editor


Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel

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Sephora

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel, available at Sephora, $95

Everyone on the Insider Shopping team knows I’m a huge fan of the Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads, but this is basically those pads on steroids. You gently wipe the serums around your face in two layers using a cotton pad, and let it work its magic overnight. All I know is that the blends of various acids in the first step (which I’m not science-savvy enough to truly understand) help to lift off dead skin cells, and the gentle extracts in the second step calm my skin down and keep it hydrated. The result is a seriously smooth, fresh face in the morning. – Sally Kaplan, Insider Shopping senior editor


Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

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Tatcha

Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum, available at Tatcha and Sephora, $88

Usually, I find that vitamin C serums dry out my skin, but this one from Tatcha makes me glow like a dang unicorn. It’s so hydrating, in fact, that I sometimes forget to even add another layer of moisturizer over it, and the bottle has lasted me a really long time. – Sally Kaplan, Insider Shopping senior editor


Maelove Refresher Triple AHA Cleanser

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Maelove

Maelove Refresher Triple AHA Cleanser, available at Maelove, $18.95

This is one of the gentlest face cleaners I’ve tried yet – it’s actually specifically formulated for sensitive skin and can be used multiple times per day without irritation – but it still provides a thorough clean that leaves my skin feeling recharged and refreshed. It’s infused with peppermint and spearmint oils, so it leaves a minty finish and cools your skin. – Ellen Hoffman, Insider Shopping executive editor


Dermalogica Clear Start Clearing Defense

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Dermstore

Dermalogica Clear Start Clearing Defense SPF30, available at Dermstore and Sephora, $28

Facial sunscreens are hit or miss for me. Dermologica’s newest formulation is one of the hits: It’s a super-lightweight formula that’s made for skin prone to breakouts (yes, please) and easy to layer makeup on top of it (also, yes). It’s also made without oxybenzone and avobenzone, two ingredients the Insider Shopping team is keeping an eye on after recent sunscreen news that they may be harmful to the oceans and our bodies. – Ellen Hoffman, Insider Shopping executive editor


Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream

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Fresh

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream, available at Nordstrom and Sephora, $48

My skin is naturally very dry, so I’ve been applying Fresh’s new night cream in the morning and at night for a little extra hydration boost. It works great under makeup, helping to impart a dewy look that I generally have trouble achieving due to my skin’s aforementioned dryness. It’s essentially an amped-up version of my other favorite Fresh moisturizer, and for the same price. – Ellen Hoffman, Insider Shopping executive editor


Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel

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Beautycounter

Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel, available at Beautycounter, $63

I’m all for slowing down and spending a few minutes every night on a skincare routine – it’s a nice bedtime ritual. But, sometimes I just want to skip all the steps and fall asleep. On a night when I’m tired and running low on time or energy, usually just a moisturizer and eye cream will suffice, but if my skin is looking particularly dull I’ll throw in this peel from Beautycounter. As the name suggests, it works to slough off dead skin cells and moisturize skin overnight so you can wake up feeling fresh-faced. It takes half the effort of a typical face mask or peel, but yields the same results while you sleep. That’s multitasking at its finest. – Remi Rosmarin, Insider Shopping reporter


Moon Juice Plumping Jelly Serum

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Moon Juice

Moon Juice Plumping Jelly Serum, available at Moon Juice and Sephora, $58

I’ve already written about how happy I am that this product made its way into my beauty routine last year, so I’ll keep singing its praises. Whether it’s cold weather, dehydration, or lack of sleep, our delicate skin is easily affected by our habits and environments. While your best bet is remedying those first, that’s not always possible. The next best thing is to find an ultra-hydrating product that’ll plump up skin to make it look moisturized, supple, and all of that good stuff. For me, that’s Moon Juice Beauty Shroom, a lightweight but seriously hydrating jelly serum. – Remi Rosmarin, Insider Shopping reporter


Fleur & Bee Collection

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Fleur & Bee

Fleur & Bee skincare products, available at Fleur & Bee, $18 to $28

Fleur & Bee is a new skincare line that launched earlier this year that I got to test for work. I really like the fact that all of the products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, so I know exactly what I’m putting on my face. The products include a toner ($18), vitamin C serum ($28), eye cream ($20.89), and face cream ($22.79), all of which work together to keep your face oil-free and hydrated. – Francesca Rea, Insider Shopping content producer


Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap

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Amazon

Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap, available at Ulta and Nordstrom, $14

I needed a cleansing soap that was effective yet gentle when adult acne hit me hard. I was already a big fan of the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, so I figured I’d try another product from there. I like that it not only cleanses but it also gently exfoliates my skin. It does smell a little bit like the beach at low tide, but that’s just because the seaweed extract is hard at work. – Francesca Rea, Insider Shopping content producer


Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Eye Treatment

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Nordstrom

Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Eye Treatment, available at Nordstrom and Sephora, $75

The Dior Capture Youth line is one of my favorite skincare lines I’ve tried yet. It’s not cheap, but the eye treatment does an awesome job at minimizing puffiness on the spot and smoothing my skin throughout the day. I use it in the morning under makeup and find that it creates a moisturized base for my foundation. – Megan Foster, Insider Shopping intern


Nuria Defend Triple Action Eye Cream

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Nuria

Nuria Defend Triple Action Eye Cream, available at Nuria, $40

The Triple Action Eye Cream from Nuria Beauty is my favorite product from the brand’s Defend line, which helps your skin recover from internal aggressors and external ones like pollution. When I use it before going to bed I notice that my eyes aren’t nearly as puffy in the morning. The neatest part about the eye cream is that the applicator is actually built into the tube so that you won’t apply the product with too much pressure or get oils from your hands on your face. – Megan Foster, Insider Shopping intern