Elevate your skincare routine with these 13 hard-working Marie Claire UK Skin Awards 2023 winners

Smart skincare swaps

Marie Claire UK Skin Awards - Elevate Your Routine winning products
(Image credit: Future)

There’s nothing like a simple skincare routine to get your skin concerns under control—and win at the game of skincare consistency. But from time to time, it’s definitely fun to switch things up. With a few tweaks you can completely transform your skincare regimen. That’s why our first category in the Marie Claire 2023 Skin Awards is called: Elevate your routine. 

Across all five of our categories in this year’s awards—Self-care Sessions, Everyday Heroes, Souped-up Formulas, and The Future is Bright—elevate your routine is where we celebrate those products that are easy to slot into your routine, work wonders on concerns and are a total joy to use; because isn’t that what skincare is all about?

Elevating your routine doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive either. Our winners and highly commended products span various price points, brands, and categories to give you something to get excited about no matter your current routine or skincare goals. 

How were these products tested and judged?

The brilliant Marie Claire UK Skin Awards judging panel - which include a line up of top dermatologists and doctors, influencers, beauty experts, and editors - were asked to individually test a selection of skincare products, review them on efficacy, innovation and packaging.

Introducing the 2023 Marie Claire Skin Awards Elevate Your Routine award-winners…

Best Cleansing Balm

Winner: Formulae Prescott Tri-Balm

This clever balm is more than meets the eye. It’s not just a cleansing balm (though, it would still be a fantastic product if it was just a cleansing balm because it does such a good job), but it also works as a smart moisturising balm. Oh, and an exfoliator thanks to the inclusion of pumpkin enzymes in the formula. "A winter skincare saviour!" says master facialist, skincare expert and judge Michaella Bolder. "I tend to use this for its moisturising properties and keep it in my handbag for those times when I have dry patches or super dry cracks on my hands (thank you winter!) I find the application so easy and it really helps to nourish and restore my dry skin," she adds. 

This is the perfect travel companion when opting for carry-on only as it doesn’t count towards liquids; it’s the "perfect skincare on-the-go" says Consultant Dermatologist and judge Dr Thivi Maruthappu

Highly commended: 

Swissline Cell Shock The Collagen Balm Cleanser

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Makeup Cleansing Butter 

Best Day Moisturiser

Winner: LANEIGE Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer 

LANEIGE has a knack for making products that our skin just can’t get enough of, and that’s exactly what the brand has done with its Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer. A fantastic day cream, it’s lightweight and works well under make-up and sunscreen, but deeply hydrates the skin despite its water-like texture. "The product and formulation is superb," says judge Andrew Wheatcroft, Skincare & Beauty Influencer.

Highly commended: 

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream

Orveda The Bio-Tech Emulsion

Best Night Moisturiser

Winner: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

Murad never fails to impress with its hard-working formulas. This clever time-release retinol is no different; it works to improve the appearance of fine lines, and leave skin feeling firmer and smoother—all while making sure to deliver and maintain great levels of hydration. "Really effective retinol delivery, skin looked more youthful, and felt firmer," says judge Alice Hart-Davis, founder of The Tweakments Guide.  

Highly commended:

Perricone MD High Potency Retinol Recovery Overnight Moisturizer

Best Cleanser

Winner: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Cleanser

La Roche-Posay really is a fantastic all-rounder brand; working brilliantly for all skin types and concerns. "You can always bank on LRP to deliver—trusted and effective," says judge Inge Theron, Founder & Creative Director of FaceGym. Aside from working as a great cleanser (removing dirt and impurities without stripping the skin), for Inge, the texture of this cleanser is what makes it stand out, "the texture is a little more fun, which I think is missing in the extra sensitive sector.” It’s a formula that many medical professionals swear by and recommend too, with Dr Maryam Zamani - an Oculoplastic Surgeon and Facial Aesthetics Doctor - saying "I like using it for my patients and recommend it as a drugstore cleanser."

Highly commended: 

LANEIGE Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Foaming Cleanser

Best Micellar Water

Winner: Garnier Micellar Gentle Peeling Water 

Think of this as your trusty Garnier Micellar Water with an added bonus. This formula works to gently exfoliate the skin with the inclusion of 1% PHA (gluconolactone) and glycolic acid. Although it has exfoliating properties, it’s safe for use around the eye area, but it’s always advised to do a patch test beforehand to make sure your skin can tolerate the acids. "All-round, as always for Garnier, it's a great product. I was (and still am) apprehensive about using it on my eyes, but it's still great," says judge and Marie Claire UK executive beauty editor Shannon Lawlor. 

Best Moisturiser With SPF

Winner: Olay Vitamin C + SPF 30 Day Cream 

An easy way to make sure you’re getting some extra protection whilst using a product that’s a total joy is with Olay’s Vitamin C + SPF30 Day Cream. It’s a fantastic hydrator, adds radiance to the skin with the inclusion of vitamin C and protects from harmful UV rays with SPF 30. Our judges adored using this product, "light touch but effective hydration with a really pleasant fresh smelling fragrance, this was a joy to use leaving skin soft and visibly more radiant," says Marie Claire UK editor-in-chief, Andrea Thompson. Judge and Founder & Medical Director of the Adonia Medical Clinic, Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme echoed this: "the product has a lovely lightweight texture and nice fragrance; a nice product to be used daily."

The general recommendation with any SPF moisturiser is to use it when the sun isn't at its strongest - so this would be perfect in the autumn and winter months. Once the summer hits however, we'd say to use a moisturiser with an facial sunscreen on top.  

Highly commended: 

Naked Sundays SPF50+ Collagen Glow 100% Mineral Perfecting Priming Lotion

Best SPF Product For Face

Winner: Ultra Violette Fave Fluid SPF 50+ Ultralight Skinscreen

Australian brand Ultra Violette has truly won over the hearts of beauty editors and experts everywhere with its effective, innovative formulas that make sunscreen a genuine pleasure to use—no easy feat. It received high praise indeed from dermatologists, too. "This is one of my top three sunscreens; sits nicely under make up, good protection and one of my regular clinic recommendations," says judge Dr Anjali Mahto, a Consultant Dermatologist and Author of The Skincare Bible.

Always remember though, the trick is to use enough of it to make sure you’re getting adequate protection, so make sure you’re using two finger lengths worth.

Highly commended: 

L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Clinical SPF50+ Invisible Fluid 

Best Multitasking Serum

Winner: CellDerma Youth Restore Anti-Ageing Growth Factor + Peptide Serum

Multitasking serums are one of the easiest and effective ways to amp up and elevate your skincare routine. This formula is one that impressed our judges the most thanks to its "clever engineering and cocktailing of innovative ingredients," says Jennifer Rock. Dr Ahmed El-Muntasar, Founder of The Aesthetics Doctor and a GP, agrees, adding "the science and cocktail of ingredients behind the product is very impressive." It works to reduce signs of ageing through cell repair and stimulate production of collagen and elastin. It’s one of the more expensive serums out there, but aims to be a does-it-all kind of product so you won’t need to reply on multiple serums for various concerns. 

Highly commended: 

Parfums Christian Dior Capture Totale Le Sérum

Best Toner/Essence

Winner: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner 

Glow recipe isn’t just a fun brand to use (with very jolly packaging) its also efficacious. Although it’s not one of the most high tech formulas (a high price tag comes with that!) it does as it promises. "A thoroughly enjoyable hydrating/exfoliating toner that ticks all the sensory boxes with its refreshing texture and fruity scent. It unclogs pores and leaves skin feeling revitalised," says content creator, Ola Awosika

Highly commended: 

RéVive Enzyme Essence Daily Resurfacing Treatment

Best Eye Cream

Winner: Farmacy Beauty Wake Up Honey Eye Cream  

Although an eye cream isn’t necessary in a skincare routine, lots of us enjoy using one and it’s a simple, effective and enjoyable way to elevate your routine. Our winner in this category is a hard-working formula that works to give the appearance of a brighter eye area. "It is both one of the most sustainable and effective I have used in this category," says judge Paige Tracey, Business Development Manager of Beauty, Wellbeing & Textiles at the Soil Association Certification. She liked that the brand uses upcycled ingredients and notes, “the cream definitely made a difference after using it for just a few days; the honeycomb shaped glass jar makes using the product feel like a luxurious experience,” she adds. 

"Overall, I like this product, and would recommend it. The ingredients are great, the feel and consistency is great. Great job!" says plastic & reconstructive surgeon and founder of The Soni Clinic, Dr Ash Soni—high praise indeed. 

Highly commended: 

IRÄYE Eye Revive Cream

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Gel-Creme 

Best Luxury Moisturiser

Winner: La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream 

La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream is synonymous with luxury and it’s consistently a top-rated moisturiser. "I've been a big fan of this cream for many years. In terms of instantly relieving the discomfort of dry skin, you can count on La Mer," says judge and beauty journalist, Rose Gallagher. Judge and content creator Ola Awosika agrees: "A little truly goes a long way as the texture is super rich but melts between your fingers before application, it locks in hydration and leaves a luxurious glow." That’s not to say our judges aren’t aware of the price though. "I know the price point is luxury, and yes, there are brands that will quench dry skin for less, but really the magic of La Mer is the whole thing. The packaging, the scent, the texture, it's all an experience as well as a remedy," says Rose. 

So, if you’re looking for a little magic to elevate your routine want want to spend a little more money, you can’t go wrong with this legacy product. 

Highly commended: 

Dermalogica Stabilizing Repair Cream 

Best neck & Décolletage Cream

Winner: StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS

Neck creams aren’t exactly a must-have in a skincare routine, but if you’re after a targeted, smart formula for that area then you’re in luck. Pro make-up artist Adeola Gboyega and beauty journalist Tori Crowther agreed that the cream truly works in reducing minor neck lines with clever plumping, and helping to firm the skin, in addition to deeply hydrating dry skin.             

It's doesn’t come cheap, but this is a product that will loved by those wanting to address any neck concerns. You can't go wrong with StriVectin's TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS and its impressive science-backed ingredients.

Highly commended: 

PRAI Beauty Ageless Throat & Décolletage Creme

Best Face Oil

Winner: REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Barrier Support Elixir 

Sometimes an elevated skin routine means taking it back to sensitive skin-friendly products that are heroes in soothing irritation and redness. REN’s Evercalm range does that beautifully and this oil is just the ticket—especially in winter months. "This is a lovely gentle facial oil for when skin is feeling a bit stressed and irritated," says master facialist and skincare expert Michaella Bolder

Highly commended: 

Ulé Avoir It All In & Out Nurturing Phyto Oil 

COSMOSS Golden Nectar

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.