Skincare has been the beauty industry's rising, shining star for the better half of the last decade, with new innovations, brands, and photo-ready packaging catapulting the category into a multi-billion dollar business. The growth only accelerated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine(s), where selfcare and navigating personal grooming became top of mind for people at home everywhere. This put an especially bright spotlight on skincare's newest launches, with consumers at home waiting to try them all.
From soothing, no-fuss cleansers and moisturizers, to concern-focused masks and cute (yes, cute!) ways to cover your pimples, 2020's best skincare releases stepped in to make the most of skincare and self care at home, with some even allowing consumers to replicate the treatments and routines they'd typically outsource on their own. Ahead, NYLON's beauty team reflect on their favorite new releases that got them through the year, from brands big and small, including classics like Murad and Philosophy and newcomers including Topicals and The Feelist.
We only include products that have been independently selected by NYLON's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: FENTY BEAUTY FAT WATER
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: TOPICALS LIKE BUTTER MASK
I’ve always had oily/combination skin, but found my face drying out a lot while staying home during quarantine. This whipped mask was a huge game changer for me, designed to offer relief to those with dry, sensitive and/or eczema-prone skin. Formulated with anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric, madeassoside, soothing colloidal oatmeal, and ginseng root, the thick cream can be used regularly for 20 minutes, or as a moisturizing overnight mask. — Tanisha Pina, Beauty Editor.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: HERO COSMETICS LIGHTENING WAND
I saw overnight results with this essentially magic acne wand, which rids your face of dark spots and scarring. Formulated with advanced brighteners, glycolic acid, and sheer color-correcting tint, you can apply directly to a problem skin area.— Lauren Rearick, Beauty Writer
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE YERBA MATE RESURFACING ENERGY FACIAL
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Versed Sunday Morning Serum
This oil-based serum doesn’t feel greasy on the face, and leaves skin looking, and feeling, soft. Its ingredient list is also filled with skincare superstars, including camellia oil and sea buckthorn extract to reduce redness and strengthen the skin’s barrier, as well as vitamin E for brightness. — Lauren Rearick, Beauty Writer.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Moon Juice Milk Cleanse
This gentle, milky cleanser was easily one of my favorite launches of the year for delivering a hydrating, juicy clean without stripping my skin or leaving it feeling tight. In true Moon Juice fashion, the calming cleanser is formulated with adaptogens and hydrating super ingredients like silver ear mushroom and adaptogenic reishi, which helps protect the skin from stressors and reduces signs of inflammation. — Tanisha Pina, Beauty Editor.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Peach & Lily Collection Glass Skin Veil Mist
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Beauty Stat Universal Moisture Essence
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Carbon Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Bar
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: The Nue Co. The Pill
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel
Murad’s oil-free, non-comedogenic water gel is a part of a growing category, focusing on the skin’s microbiome — a group of balanced bacteria that work to protect as a second layer of skin. The water-light gel uses an innovative technology to interrupt communication between the “bad” bacteria that can lead to irritated skin so that they can’t form a group and cause an imbalance. Also included in the formula is refining salicylic acid, soothing ginger root, and sustained release hyaluronic acid, making it one of 2020’s smartest and most effective launches. — Tanisha Pina, Beauty Editor.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020:
Thanks to this balm, the makeup removal process can be easy, smell great, and comes without irritating the skin. When applied to the face, the formula changes its consistency, becoming a milky makeup remover that doesn’t strip the skin of moisture. In fact, with ingredients including papaya seed oil, papaya enzymes, papaya extract, and antioxidant-packed blueberry, your skin should look luminous. — Lauren Rearick, Beauty Writer.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020:
There’s never been a cuter way to get rid of acne. Ever. Cuteness aside, Starface’s collection of pimple patches provide results. The hydrocolloid patches can be applied on top of any zit, and while you wear, the patch goes to work. Created to protect the pimple from outside stressors and potential picking, the patch also soaks up all the inner pimple gunk, leaving you with a blemish that’s reduced in size and redness. — Lauren Rearick, Beauty Writer.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: The Feelist Most Wanted Radiant Facial Oil
This is the face oil for people who have notoriously hated face oil in the past. Designed for all skin types — including sensitive and acne-prone skin — this formula is infused with 500mg Broad Spectrum CBD, and a soothing blend of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it soft and glowing without any tacky, sticky feeling. The cute bottle doesn’t hurt either. — Tanisha Pina, Beauty Editor.
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Philosophy Oil-Free Cleanser
BEST SKINCARE LAUNCHES OF 2020: Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance
Glossier’s first skincare launch of 2020 was one of its best yet, aiming to deliver a dewy, glowing moisturizer that controls shine and improves the look of pores for oil-prone skin types. Its formulated with a handful of concern-focused, moisture rich ingredients like apple fruit extract to lock in moisture, marine extract to balance shine, niacinamide, and more. It’s super lightweight, ultra-hydrating, and checks off all of the other important (for me) boxes, being fragrance-free, vegan, and oil-free. — Tanisha Pina, Beauty Editor.