To tone, or not to tone. (Yes.) Is eye cream really necessary? (Always.) The questions are never ending when it comes to what constitutes a good skincare routine. But one thing we can all safely agree on is that a good moisturiser is a must.
From body oils to good old fashioned day creams, supercharged eye serums to hand creams, the winners in the 'moisturise' category of this year's Marie Claire UK Skin Awards are the very best moisturisers in the biz. And yes, there's one for every skin type.
Keep scrolling for our judges' expert pick of the best moisturisers on the market.
Best Day Moisturiser
Winner: Olay Collagen Peptide24 Day Cream
Thanks to its unique formulation with collagen peptide and Vitamin B3, this lightweight day cream will have your skin glowing from the inside out in just 14 – yes 14! – days. Enriched with skin-loving ingredients like niacinamide and glycerin, this daily hero will strengthen your skin barrier and leave you more radiant than ever, with Marie Claire Senior Beauty Editor and Skin Awards judge Katie Thomas singing its praises for being 'rich, but not at all greasy'. Result.
Highly Commended: Kat Burki Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream
Best Luxury Moisturiser for Ageing Skin
Winner: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream
A cult product beloved by beauty editors, skincare addicts and celebrities, alike, Augustinus Bader’s luxe moisturiser features the brand’s revolutionary, patented TFC8 technology for cellular renewal and deep nourishment. Best suited to normal to dry skin, this clever cream actually triggers skin cells to repair themselves. Hailed by judge Abigail James as a 'high-end cult cream that leaves skin feeling really comfortable', it's been recently reformulated to be vegan-friendly, too. Packed with strengthening soybean, hydrolysed rice proteins, soothing aloe vera and brightening ascorbic acid, judge Zoe Taylor said, 'I love how incredible the skin looks after using it. It's immediately plumped, hydrated and glowing.'
Highly Commended: Kate Somerville KateCeuticals Total Repair Cream
Best Moisturiser for Ageing Skin
Winner: Spectacle Skincare Spectacle Performance Crème
This fragrance-free moisturiser helps to tackle signs of dehydration, dullness and inflammation all in one go. Formulated with ingredients like niacinamide, safflower oleosomes and copper amino acids, skin won’t be able to get enough of the unique gel-cream texture. Judge Caroline Barnes praised the brand’s use of 'great recyclable packaging', which is exactly what Spectacle prides itself on.
Highly Commended: Adaptology Time Warp Moisturiser
Winner: Dr. Hauschka Revitalising Day Lotion
A little goes a long way with this radiant day lotion. The perfect little pick-me-up for those suffering from dry skin and dullness (meaning its perfect for the cold winter days ahead of us), the lotion helps to stimulate the skin’s natural oil and moisture production to reveal a fresh and silky-smooth look. Ola, of the Glow with Ola Instagram account, described it as being 'perfect for daytime use underneath SPF'.
Highly Commended: Katherine Daniels Dry Skin Rich Cream
Winner: TEMPLESPA Truffle De-Light
With its luxury rose-gold packaging, it’s not hard to see why this lightweight and super luxurious hydra-gel moisturiser was a winner with the judges. It delivers a burst of hydration and nourishment to the skin with its formulation of amino acids and minerals, with judge Andrew Wheatcroft hailing it as 'a brilliant product for oily skin that feels super lightweight and hydrating'. In fact, it’s such a luxury that it even contains extracts of gold and champagne. You'll also find strawberry seed oil and prickly pear on the ingredients list, resulting in a hardworking antioxidant cocktail.
Highly Commended: J’TANICALS Probiotic Safeguard – Moisturiser
Best Moisturiser with SPF
Winner: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Aquagel SPF30
La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 Aquagel SPF30 provides a burst of hydration to the skin with a formulation that includes pure hyaluronic acid. The SPF 30 protects the skin from environmental stresses and shields it from harmful UV rays, plus the lightweight formula makes this a great choice for all skin types and for those who like a product that offers a few steps in one. 'Truly this is the sunscreen for people who hate sunscreens. To offer an SPF30 with such a lightweight, instantly absorbed texture is relatively unheard of,' exclaims Skin Awards judge Rose Gallagher. 'It’s a completely invisible option that suits all skin tones with the gentle hydration of a soft gel. A total innovation and a brilliant part of your routine that makes sunscreen easy and comfortable to wear.'
Highly Commended: The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Light Essence SPF50 PA+++
Best Eye Cream
Winner: Allies of Skin Peptides & Omegas Firming Eye Cream
Having taken three years and a total of 37 reformulations, it’s clear to see why this firming eye cream was rated so highly. This high-performance product is powered by the likes of peptides, a blend of omega-rich oils and vitamin C to nourish, brighten and depuff the delicate eye area. Judge Caroline Barnes was partial to this little tub of magic's 'smooth and hydrating effects' and beautifully supple, youthful finish.
Best Eye Serum
Winner: Clarins Double Serum Eye
When your Double Serum becomes a cult classic, what do you do next? Bring out a version just for the eyes that harnesses all the power of your original, of course. Developed with ingredients of 96% natural origin, and enriched with 13 plant extracts, including organic wild chervil for its strengthening benefits, this Clarins hero leaves the eye area visibly nourished, smoother and firmer in just seven days. 'It’s a cult product for good reason,' concludes judge Caroline Barnes.
Highly Commended: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix
Best Eye Mask
Winner: Swissline Cell Shock Magic Eye Mask
This 'magic' eye mask targets wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles, making it a dreamy all-rounder. Ideal after a restless night or on a plane for frequent travellers, it's enriched with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and an enzyme-probiotics complex to reveal brighter, less puffy eyes while you sleep. Abigail James, a regular on the judging panel, rated it highly and loved that it came in a tube: 'It's nice to have an eye mask that's not in sheet form. The application feels cool and luxurious.'
Best Luxury Hydrating Serum
Winner: Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules Hydra-Plumping Serum
Encapsulated for purity and maximum potency, Elizabeth Arden’s innovative hydra-plumping serum is formulated to give the complexion a visibly plumper, firmer and hydrated appearance. Indeed, its hydrating properties were praised by Marie Claire's Editor-in-Chief, Andrea Thompson, who noted, 'My skin was visibly smoother, clearer and more hydrated.'
Best Purse-friendly Hydrating Serum
Winner: CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
CeraVe’s serum debut has taken the industry by storm. And with good reason. It has a potent dose of hyaluronic acid, as well as three essential ceramides to restore and maintain the skin's natural protective barrier and it has vitamin B5 to soothe. The lightweight, yet creamy serum was a favourite of judge Dr Anjali Mahato: 'I reach for this serum on a daily basis - it has an excellent price point and is hydrating enough to be used alone or layered.'
Best Treatment Serum
Winner: Caudalie Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting Vinoperfect
The new and improved radiance serum offers a more effective, natural and clean formulation. It boasts a 98% natural ingredients list, from olive-derived squalane, citron blossom, orange leaves, watermelon and crushed mint. Suitable for all skin types, this serum aims to stimulate elastin and collagen production in the skin.
Highly Commended: Shiseido Ultimune Serum Power Infusing Concentrate
Best Face Oil
Winner: Guerlain Abeille Royale Advanced Youth Watery Oil
'The combination of honey and jelly makes this a really luxurious texture,' says judge Lisa Potter-Dixon of Guerlain’s Abeille Royale Advanced Youth Watery Oil. Enriched with several types of honey and five exclusive royal jellies that are all naturally derived, you can use the oil morning and night to give your skin a visibly plumped and smooth texture. 'Perfect for an additional "glow" step underneath makeup,' recommends Ola from Glow With Ola.
Highly Commended: Mauli Rituals Supreme Skin Face Serum
Best Face Mist
Winner: Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Evening Mist
The skin can never have enough TLC, which is exactly what Omorovicza's Queen of Hungary Evening Mist delivers. Use before bed for a luxe and super indulgent boost of hydration. It's infused with Hungarian thermal water and lavender oils that soothing both the skin and the mind. Marie Claire UK’s Senior Digital Beauty Editor Katie Thomas thought the product concept was really clever and went on to say how much she loved how the mist 'encourages the skin's nighttime repair mode'.
Highly Commended: Grown Alchemist Anti-Pollution Mist
Highly Commended: Misbahçe Rose Water
Best Neck & Décolletage Cream
Winner: PRAI Beauty Ageless Throat & Decolletage Creme
The neck is one of the first places that shows signs of ageing, and yet it doesn't get enough of our attention. PRAI’s ageless Throat & Decolletage Creme is a worldwide phenomenon with one sold every 60 seconds. The lightweight and bouncy formula helps to restore elasticity in the skin and collagen product. Judge Inge Theron praised this cult cream, explaining, 'Not enough brands talk about the throat and neck. I wash and moisture my neck and décolletage twice a day and I found this texture to be weightless and extremely moisturising.' Let the neck be neglected no more!
Highly Commended: 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Neck & Décolletage Serum
Best Night Moisturiser
Winner: StriVectin Advanced Retinol Nightly Renewal Moisturizer
This advanced retinol night moisturiser has been newly reformulated with retinal, one of the most potent forms of Retinol, to correct visible signs of ageing. Thanks to the soothing and skin-nourishing benefits, there's no need to worry about redness and irritation – just apply to a clean face in the evening after cleansing, massage evenly and watch the magic happen. 'This is a seriously innovative product,' says Dr Anjali Mahato. 'It combines retinol and retinal with niacin for effective over-the-counter anti-aging use.'
Highly Commended: RéVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream Nightly Retexturizer
Best Night Serum
Winner: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex
This iconic serum gets to work to replenish your skin while you sleep. Fuelled by patented chronolux power signal technology, it aims to tackle the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Suitable for all skin types, your skin will appear much firmer, plumper and more radiant than ever before. Just ask Skin Awards judge and Marie Claire Associate Editor at Large, Sunil Makan, who praised this serum for leaving his skin 'plump and full of moisture'.
Highly Commended: Omorovicza Midnight Renewal
Best Body Oil
Winner: The Organic Pharmacy Advanced Retinoid-like Body Oil
New on the scene, this retinoid-like body oil is significantly proven to help tackle premature ageing, wrinkles and sun pigmentation. Bursting with antioxidants and essential oils, from bakuchiol to rosehip, this beauty cabinet must-have makes skin firmer and increases the elasticity of the skin. Judge Dr Kemi Fabusiwa praised the body oil for its 'fantastic combination of retinol-like effects within a body product', while Katie Thomas praised 'how soft it left my skin feeling'.
Highly commended: Nuture Nourishing Skin Treatment Oil
Best Body Cream/Butter
Winner: The Body Shop Shea Body Butter
With the cold weather quickly incoming, there couldn’t be a better time than now to add a moisturising body butter to your routine. Known for its body butters, The Body Shop has created a new and improved Shea Body Butter, which delivers intense moisture around the clock. 96 hours to be exact. The non-sticky formula is perfect for those with very dry skin and also gives the most natural-looking glow. Katie Thomas gave the body butter tens across the board, exclaiming, 'I love it so, so much. It's now a firm staple in my routine.' Formulated with 97 ingredients of natural origin, including fair trade shea butter from Ghana and babassu oil from Brazil.
Best Hand Cream
Winner: Grown Alchemist Anti-Bacterial Hand Cream
Grown Alchemist’s genius Anti-Bacterial Hand Cream combines the likes of Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Tea Tree Extract and Candeia Oils to bring deep hydration and extra care to hands. In fact, Skin Awards judge Rose Gallagher couldn't praise it highly enough, saying, 'This is the kind of thing I would happily use in my everyday routine, especially as a great post-pandemic practical option.' She adds, 'It isn’t too rich, it’s a very good practical hand cream with a barely detectable clean smell.'
Highly Commended: Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Hand Cream
Best Lip Product
Winner: Ciaté London Raspberry Burst Exfoliating AHA Lip Serum
Ciaté London’s Raspberry Burst Smoothing AHA Lip Serum is a very clever product. It has fruit enzyme AHAs in the formula, which help to exfoliate the lips by eliminating any dry and flaking skin. Judge Katie Thomas loved that it can 'be used as part of a nourishing lip routine, before a hydrating balm or before the application of lipstick'. The formula is lightweight with a unique gel-to-water consistency, which, according to judge Zoe Taylor, 'Offers really long-lasting hydration, but an SPF over the top of your lips is essential after using it.'
Highly Commended: ESHO Sculpt
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