Apr 09, 2023

Women’s Health Beauty Awards 2023

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Thousands of submissions, hundreds of finalists, a fleet of testers, and now, the top beauty products of the year.

Beauty with brains. That's what we were looking for as we sifted through the year's product offerings in search of the ones we could confidently call the best. Yes, they had to deliver results (of course), but we also wanted to highlight the brands and scientists bringing problem-solving technology, innovative formulations, and mood-enhancing scents and textures to store shelves. Everyone on Team WH got in on the testing game, so we know our winners can stand up to all the busy schedules. The question our beauty editors are asked most often is, "What products should I buy right now?" This is our answer

This breathable formula feels weightless, blends and applies easily, and the best part? It lasts all day without making oily skin feel greasy and dry skin feel flaky.

Subtle but buildable, this formula is a blend of ingredients that improve your complexion over the long haul.

With texture-improving ingredients like ginseng and tsubaki oil, this skin-evening tint feels similar to a straight-up serum. (That's a good thing!)

Yes, this crease-proof formula will conceal imperfections, but it's so light, you won't remember you’re wearing it. "The shades are brown-girl friendly and it glides on and blends smoothly," says one tester.

For a crisp, clean line, search no further than this waterproof pen, which adds intensity and drama in one simple stroke.

Haven't mastered the cat eye? Press this wing stamp onto your outer corners for the perfect curved flourish. It takes practice, but in no time, your look will be flippin’ fantastic.

It does what any good mascara should—separates, volumizes, enhances—yet so much more. "I worry about smudging with my oily skin, but this one did not budge," says our tester.

Not only is every one of the 36 shades flattering on all skin tones (yes, really), but this lipstick stays put for up to 10 hours while keeping your pucker moisturized.

Not only do these stunning colors glide over your lips like butter and fight dryness, but they stay put for hours.

This glossy, shea butter-infused serum hydrates the lips while making them visibly fuller and plumper at the same time.

Easy to apply and "can survive a sweaty workout," says one tester. An ingredient like those found in prescription products helps regrow hairs over time.

Show your lashes some love with this peptide- and amino acid–based serum that prevents breakage and dryness.

A duo for the days when you want a hint of color on your lids (use the satin cream) or a more showstopping shade (the complimentary pressed powder shimmer). Layer them together for a look that's all drama.

The tube features a cushion applicator that gives you "the right amount of long-lasting color every time," our tester says. Then blend, fingertip-free.

Okay, so it's a lip liner, but it's also an eyeliner...and a cheek tint...and whatever else you want it to be. Talk about a multitasker!

Because 2-in-1 is better than, well, one. This duo combines a velvety bronzer with a skincare-infused highlighter that you can easily apply with your fingertips.

The "whoa" in this product's name isn't there for decoration: it's a sunscreen that works double duty as a sheer, non-greasy primer packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients.

This choose-your-own-adventure mist can be used to prep the skin for makeup, set your foundation, or add a small boost of hydration once your makeup's already on.

Give thinning brows the boot with this vitamin B5 and biotin-rich formula that thickens the brows in 12 weeks.

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Thanks to a blend of brighteners and exfoliators like vitamin B3 and amino sulfonic acid, this elegant serum battles sun spots and acne marks sans irritation. Oh, it's gentle on your wallet too.

Codeveloped by former Harvard and MIT scientists, this cream pairs retinol with ingredients that stimulate the body's natural renewal process to target all the mechanisms of skin aging.

Our tester says this wonder pot, with a formula that blends powerful but gentle actives like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and peptides, is "creamy and hydrating."

Social media sensation Shereene Idriss, MD, turned her popular PillowtalkDerm IG series into a product line. The standout: this mix of glycolic, lactic, and tranexamic acids that softens discoloration.

Invisible on all skin tones, from lightest to darkest? Check. Helps guard against UV damage? Check. Leaves skin looking glowy? Check. It also comes with a clever mea- suring cap so you know exactly how much to apply.

Ditch that standard stick for a hydrator with a more advanced formula. This one mixes the usual moisturizing suspects like shea butter and natural oils with peptides to plump.

Watch in wonder as a trio of sodium silicate, clays, and film formers sends bags packing instantly. "I put it on one eye and the difference was astounding," says our tester.

A powerhouse two-in-one that blends super-sheer zinc oxide with BeautyStat's stable for of pure vitamin C to brighten, firm, and protect.

Made for those with eczema-prone skin, this gentle non-stripping cleanser removes dirt and oil and replenishes with soothing oat extract and a hydrating sugar complex.

An oil cleanser that comes off as easily as a micellar water but with no greasy residue? This ingenious product proves it can be done—grapeseed oil dissolves makeup, micelles trap dirt, squalane hydrates.

Unlike astringents you’d swipe on with a cotton round, this foam can be applied with your hands—just pump into palms, then use to minimize pores.

Azelaic and salicylic acids keep skin clear and smooth, a trifecta of antioxidants target discoloration, and ceramides reinforce your complexion's protective barrier.

This primer reduces shine, helps makeup glide on, and battles blemishes with salicylic acid plus natural ingredients that address breakouts caused by stress, diet, and hormones.

Using machine learning and AI, Revela scientists discovered a molecule called Fibroquin that helps improve skin elasticity by influencing collagen pro- duction biopathways. So cool!

To get glowing, turn to this polish from Scarlett Johansson's line, which made our tester look "instantly brighter." It contains a spherical mineral called perlite to mildly buff.

Brush on this blend of lactic, glycolic, and mandelic acids, leave for a minute, apply the neutralizing clay mask with your fingers, rinse, then show off your glowy side.

Talk about a magic wand. This unique instrument combines red light therapy, microcurrent technology, vibrational massage, and warmth to stimulate the production of skin-firming proteins, strengthen facial muscles, and decrease puffiness.

You'll get plenty of moisture from every spritz thanks to a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid and glycerin, but botanicals like cucumber, thyme, and rosemary extracts also work to reduce redness.

This luxurious balm, with squalane and chamomile extract, "gets the job done," says our tester. "It didn't leave my face feeling greased up or gross afterward either."

The absorbent hydrocolloid patch contains tiny microneedles, which deliver skin-calming magnesium into pores, helping to calm angry red pimples.

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Thinning hair can be the result of breakage. This reparative shampoo is infused with biomimetic vegan keratin to fortify.

The protein-infused formula reinforces and strengthens thin hair to create volume.

This shampoo doesn't just cleanse your curls—it also uses fulvic acid to remove product buildup from your scalp, lessening dryness and irritation.

An all-around superstar that detangles, moisturizes, and softens the curls thanks to a coconut water and chia seed-rich formula.

It's time to take better care of what your hair sprouts from. Psst: That’d be your scalp. One tester says this rinse, infused with rice and sake water, is "super refreshing" and "removed all scalp buildup" after she took out her six-week-old braids.

A shea-butter infused dandruff shampoo that removes flakes from your hair and scalp while keeping your moisture level intact.

Skipping a wash day is no problem with this powerhouse formula that'll give your second (or third)-day hair body without weighing it down or clogging the pores on your scalp.

It's not sticky, but it'll still give your hair wonderful hold and volume sans the buildup.

The eternal problem: your hair looks great when you walk out the door. Six hours later...not so much. This clever multitasker blocks humidity and provides all-day style control.

Think of this weightless leave-in as that one friend who's good at everything (because we all have one). It detangles, moisturizes, and volumizes the hair without adding extra weight.

A light-as-air curl enhancer that checks all the boxes: easy to work through hair, hydrates and conditions, imparts soft hold, and, according to one tester, "smells heavenly."

Treat dryness, flakiness, and thinning with this non-greasy, non-sticky formula that uses hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to add a boost of hydration to the scalp.

A hair oil that hydrates without making your stands feel greasy? It's a miracle in a bottle.

Whether your hair is colored or bleached, this mask will keep your locks in top shape while also keeping your color from fading.

Soft, flexible teeth make detangling and dry-styling less of a pain...literally. "I used it on my daughter's curls—no whiny moments," says our tester.

This special will lock any style into place without making the hair feel bulky or causing buildup that can lead to scalp irritation.

A clever little twofer that takes hair from damp to styled in minutes using sensor-equipped plates that dry without the fry. For extra smoothness, flip to Shine Shot mode and you’ll swiftly battle flyaways.

A unique wide-tooth comb is just one of four attachments you'll get with this standout dryer, not to mention that it features a cold shot setting that delivers cold air to set hairstyles.

This formula stimulates hair growth by reactivating the follicles. All you need to do is apply it two times a day.

Hair color isn't always an easy thing to commit to. If you're one for keeping things temporary, these mess-free wands are all you need. Just brush it through the hair to deposit the color.

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This silky formula "goes on smooth," says our tester, and sandalwood, clary sage, and lavender—prized in Ayurveda for their calming properties—work their de-stressing magic.

A formula with 2 percent salicylic acid for body breakouts? Smart. A spray bottle that can be used upside down on tough-to-reach areas? Mind-blowing!

The ultimate recovery tool, this soak, with magnesium, arnica, and coconut and avocado oils, is perfect post-activity. "It made my bathroom smell like a spa," says one tester.

The Aquaphor you know and adore in a convenient stick that treats windburn, chafing, patches of dryness, ragged cuticles, and cracked heels. Our team throws one in every bag.

An advanced formula that battles everything from dryness to discoloration to laxity. All for the same amount you could easily spend at Starbucks.

There's lots to love about this product from Serena Williams's line: Menthol cools and numbs, roller balls massage.

Exercise-induced perspiration is more watery while stress sweat tends to be oilier. This antiperspirant tackles both, keeping you dry for 96 hours.

It's fragrance-free, intensely moisturizing, and formulated with colloidal oatmeal (a proven skin-soother). Wins!

Toremedykeratosispilaris(tiny bumps that typically appear on the backs of arms), a physical scrub won't do. That's why this has exfoliating perlite granules and 14 percent alpha hydroxy acid. So incredibly effective.

A pivoting head makes nicks a thing of the past, and a built-in moisturizing bar with aloe allows you to lather and shave in one irritation-free step.

With options to brighten (pineapple), detoxify (algae), or soothe (aloe), these gels give new meaning to the phrase power plants. "It's silky and lathers well," our tester says.

Expensive, yes. But can you put a price on a distinctly beautiful scent that stimulates the soul with mystical palo santo?

Slathering on a goopy, stinky SPF is a chore—and, really, who ever wants to do chores? The fix: this delicate mousse with a nostalgic aroma. It's sun protection you’ll actually relish slathering on.

A proprietary blend of musks, violet petals, and sandalwood interacts with your body chemistry to create a unique-to-you scent experience. No one will smell exactly like you.

This sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and enriched with vitamins C and B3 to provide 12-hour hydration.

A luscious mix of cherry, raspberry, praline, palo Santo, and patchouli. "It's a recognizable scent that isn't overpowering," says our tester. "I get tons of compliments whenever I wear it."

No stink (this depilatory has a fresh, clean scent) and effective on even sensitive skin, here's a smooth move that wins all around.

"This soap rocks," raves our tester. "It suds up like a champ and washes off clean. The bar is also massive—I barely made a dent in it after using it for several weeks. The scent is subtle and pleasant."

Sunburns happen (though, please, wear your SPF every day). To the rescue: This non-greasy, antioxidant-rich lotion that soothes and helps skin heal.

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With five settings, this water flosser removes gunk and reaches places that flimsy pieces of string can't.

This toothbrush's finest feature is its three LED light options that you can custom- ize to your chompers’ needs, from whitening to gum care.

Free of hydrogen peroxide, it gives you the best results with low abrasion. Our tester noticed the whitening effects after only a few days.

Freshen breath the eco way with this tiny but mighty bottle that uses 34 percent less plas- tic. "You only need a little swig, so it lasts," says our tester.

This click-and-go product makes whitening a cinch. Apply the formula to clean, dry teeth (it dries within seconds) nightly, go to sleep, and you'll wake up with a whiter smile. "I love that it's really easy to use, super portable, and mess-free," says our tester.

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Your regular nail polish probably doesn't have coconut oil in it. This one does, and it keeps all 12 shades flexible, glossy, and chip-resistant.

Coat nails in the pink shade. Then paint the white onto the silicone tool and press nails into it at a 45-degree angle. Et voilà: a French mani.

With a brush tip made for easy application, this repairing pen features a blend of 10 conditioning oils to moisturize.

Just two coats of this strengthener is enough to keep your nails from cracking and breaking in between manicures.

Shape, file, and smooth your nails in style. This kit comes with an easy-to-use glass file and buffer to keep your fingers in their best shape.

Affordable ready-to-wear designs that are simple to apply with adhesive tabs (no glue!)—and may just inspire you to ditch your salon appointment.

Nothing's more covetable than a fragrant hand cream that doesn't leave your digits greasy. That's why we love this formula that seeps in fast.

Soothe your soles with this plant-based formula that uses CBD to relieve your feet from stress and soreness.

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Photographer: Jarren VinkDirector of Photography: Steve MeierdingProp Stylist: Jason Gledhill

Brian Underwood is the beauty director at Women's Health. He is an award-winning journalist with more than 15 years of experience covering beauty and lifestyle for several national media outlets and previously served as beauty and wellness director at Oprah Daily. His work has appeared in Woman's Day, Life & Style Weekly, Good Housekeeping, and many more. He also serves as a member of the Skin Cancer Foundation's gala committee and lives in New York City with his daughter.

Danielle is the beauty editor at Women's Health. Her apartment is currently littered with beauty products, but when she's not testing them all out, you can find her watching facial ASMR videos on YouTube, binge-watching The Golden Girls on Hulu, and reading rom-coms.

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