The results of the 2020 Top Santé Facial Skincare Awards are in! Find all the winners and runners-up as well as those shortlisted.
All the skincare products were trialled by a panel of women aged 35 and above who tested them for a number of weeks to determine which were most pleasant to use and, most importantly, achieved the best results.
1. Best cleanser
Winner: Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm (£29.99)
When massaged into your skin, this natural blend of jojoba seed, rosehip and grapeseed oils, beeswax, cocoa seed butter and vitamin E emulsifies to melt away make-up and grime. Wonderful for dry skin.
Zoe, 40s: ‘I’d never used a cleanser like this before – it has the consistency of wax but melts in and leaves my skin feeling completely cleansed and soft. I love it.’
Highly commended: Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser (£6.99)
This clever cleanser also exfoliates to leave skin feeling fresh and renewed. The cocoa butter nourishes while kiwi fruit and mulberry extracts even skin tone and revive – and all at a bargain price!
Henrietta, 40s: ‘This is such an effective cleanser and make-up remover and I absolutely love the muslin cloth that comes with it.’
2. Best everyday toner
Winner: Lernberger Stafsing Toner (£28)
This helps to prep your skin for moisturiser but also calms and reduces redness while strengthening the natural barrier and restoring skin pH. Botanical extracts include cactus fig, mountain pepper, bilberry and orange.
Natalie, 40s: ‘It’s cooling and refreshing, has a pleasant fragrance and balances
my skin really well – I don’t suffer with any dry or oily patches when using it.’
Highly commended: Monat Skin Revitalizing Essence (£42)
This speedy hydrator gives calmer, smoother, brighter skin thanks to its blend of chamomile, beetroot extract and fruit acids.
Hazel, 40s: ‘This toner smells divine, is really easy to apply and makes my skin feel lush afterwards.’
3. Best resurfacing toner
Winner: OLEHENRIKSEN Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner (£22)
A potent toner, this contains glycolic and lactic acids to target dark spots and fine lines. Witch hazel water and chamomile extracts ensure it’s gentle enough for everyday use.
Claire, 40s: ‘This toner has a beautiful light citrus aroma that translates into a refreshing and uplifting experience on applying. My skin feels smoother and revitalised.’
Highly commended: Eve Lom Rescue Toner (£55)
Supercharged with natural alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) from bergamot water and caviar lime to minimise blemishes. It gently exfoliates to reveal brighter, smoother skin.
Katie, 40s: ‘This leaves my face feeling super clean and looking bright without
The Inkey List Glycolic Acid (£6.99)
4. Best moisturiser
Winner: ishga Anti-Oxidant Marine Face Cream (£75)
Enriched with Hebridean seaweed extract and natural spring water, this skincare cream contains organic shea butter, apricot kernel, macadamia and thistle oils to flood the skin with moisture, and to repair and protect.
Caroline, 30s: ‘This cream is light like a mousse, soft and silky on application and
an absolute favourite – I’ll definitely buy more once it runs out!’
Highly commended: Willowberry Nutrient Boost Day Cream (£27.99)
This 99 per cent naturally derived cream contains hydrating heroes such as hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids including rosehip, chia seed and vitamin E. It has a lovely, soft scent thanks to the geranium and coriander seed.
Emily, 40s: ‘I love this little pot of cream – a little goes a long way so it will last. It
absorbs quickly and leaves my skin looking plumped and feeling soft all day.’
Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream (£30.50)
5. Best night cream
Winner: ESPA Overnight Hydration Therapy (£37)
An intensely moisturising skincare cream that restores your skin’s natural barrier as you sleep so that you wake to smooth, radiant skin. Contains a dreamy blend of lavender and ylang ylang essential oils.
Ali, 40s: ‘I love using this overnight cream that’s thick like a mask to really
hydrate my skin. It has a lovely smell of lavender too, which helps aid a good
Highly commended: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream (£70)
Contains three forms of retinol to instantly get to work on fine lines and signs of
ageing overnight. Despite the hardworking ingredients, it’s suitable for sensitive
skins and has a light finish.
Katie, 40s: ‘Absorbs easily so my skin feels fresh in the morning and doesn’t feel like I still have product on. I have less fine lines on display after using this for a few days.’
6. Best eye product
Winner: Zelens Triple Action Advanced Eye Cream (£80)
Combines high-tech ingredients – peptides, probiotic complex, marine collagen and hyaluronic acid – with soothing botanical extracts to reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.
Gemma, 40s: ‘This is the most hydrating cream I have ever tried. It’s so light, glides onto my skin and makes my eyes look less tired.’
Our testers scored this the highest out of all skincare products in the awards!
Highly commended: PRIORI DNA Eye Recovery Crème (£76)
As well as protecting the skin around your eyes against environmental damage, this rich cream stimulates collagen production and prevents premature ageing thanks to a combo of retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E.
Emily, 40s: ‘After a week of use, the lines on the edge of my eyes have definitely improved. It has a lovely light consistency and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated.’
7. Best face oil
Winner: Irene Forte Skincare Rose Face Oil Age Defying (£99)
Yes, it’s pricey but this face oil was universally loved by our testers and a clear winner! Nutrient-rich oils of avocado, sweet almond, sunflower, olive and jojoba moisturise while wild rose conditions. The sustainable formula comes in recycled packaging, too.
Hazel, 40s: ‘This face oil is an absolute dream. It has a light texture, absorbs easily, smells divine and makes my skin look amazing – I love everything about it!’
Highly commended: Tamaar Skincare London Rejuvenate Advanced Natural Anti-Aging Face Oil (£54)
A complex of plant cells including tuberose and algae extract evens skin tone, reduces puffiness and fine lines and leaves skin looking more radiant. All oils are certified by the Soil Association.
Katherine, 40s: ‘The bottle looks very luxurious and the oil smells lovely. It feels
nice to apply and takes a while to soak in so works well at night.’
Oio Lab Harmony First (£45)
8. Best serum
Winner: NAYA Everyday Glow Serum (£52)
Contains a clever complex to energise cells and improve collagen turnover while botanicals such as mango, cacay oil and willow revitalise and give skin radiance.
Philippa, 40s: ‘A lovely serum with a good consistency that absorbs well. My skin feels nourished and soft after use. The bright green colour took me by surprise!’
Highly commended: SVR Densitium Bi-Serum (£43)
Anti-ageing big guns come together in this serum that’s specially formulated for mature skin. It’s ideal if your skin lacks firmness or radiance.
Henrietta, 40s: ‘The beautiful fragrance of this serum fills my bathroom. It deeply moisturises and gives a glow to my skin. I’m going to treat myself to it when it runs out as I can see real results.’
Elixseri Rescue Diver (£85)
9. Best face mask
Winner: Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask (£38)
A clear skincare winner with our testers, this quick-working mask contains probiotics and prebiotics from algae plus alguronic acid to hydrate and balance the skin microbiome, leaving your complexion brighter and clearer.
Angela, 40s: ‘For something that is only on your skin for a few minutes, the results are incredible – it leaves my skin clean and looking bright and vibrant.’
Highly commended: Botanical Lab Rose Overnight Hydrating Mask (£7)
This vegan-friendly formula features a blend of rose flower oil, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and squalane to hydrate and smooth while you’re sleeping. A bargain to boot!
Alison, 40s: ‘I love the texture of this – creamy but very light so it absorbs well and doesn’t leave a residue. My skin was really dry but now it’s soft and dewy.’
CACI Hydro Mask (£30 for pack of five)
10. Best exfoliator
Winner: D’Alchemy Natural Micro-Dermabrasion Peel (£29)
With a natural white clay base, rice powder to gently exfoliate, and organic plant extracts to soothe, this contains 98.6 per cent ingredients of natural origin. It rids skin of impurities and dead cells, leaving it smooth and glowing.
Caroline, 30s: ‘I love that this is a vegan formula. I loved using it in the shower as it’s so easy to apply, smells wonderful and makes my skin feel super soft – like a baby!’
Highly commended: Murad Replenishing Multi Acid Peel (£48)
A blend of acids, including glycolic, salicylic and lactic, work to remove dull surface cells, unclog pores, even tone and revive, while antioxidant-rich holy basil soothes and calms. Use in the evening and leave on.
Jacqui, 40s: ‘This is so easy to use and it’s a very effective exfoliator. It leaves my skin feeling smoother and softer within a few days.’
Ecooking Cleansing Scrub (£23)
Indeed Labs Exfoliator II (£24.99)
11. Best sunscreen
Winner: Heliocare 360° Oil Free Gel SPF50 (£25)
In a closely contested category, this ultra-light, mattifying gel came out tops. As well as protecting against UVA, UVB, visible light and infrared-A, it contains antioxidant vitamins C and E and green tea extract to defend against premature ageing.
Natalie, 40s: ‘This sunscreen is a must for anyone with oily skin – it seems to absorb excess moisture and reduce shine. It gives good protection without leaving any residue and has a summery fragrance.’
Highly commended: Soleil Toujours Extreme UV Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF45 (£45)
A close runner-up, this mineral sunscreen, which also contains organic ingredients, green tea extract, red algae and vitamins C and E, protects and nourishes as it deflects the sun’s harmful rays.
Susan, 40s: ‘This is a thick cream you have to work in but then it’s very effective in protecting my skin from sunburn. I like the pump applicator and that the formula isn’t harmful to the environment.’