Shopping·14 min read

The Best Beauty Products That'll Enhance Your Self-Care Routine

good for you awards 2024 best beauty products
Design: theSkimm | Images: Merit, Summer Fridays, Westman Atelier
May 13, 2024

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We’d like to debunk the myth that beauty is only skin-deep. When we look good — according to our personal standards, that is — we just feel more confident. To that end, we’re bringing you the Good For You Award-winning makeup, skincare, body care, and hair care products that bring out our most radiant, ready-to-face-the-world selves. We've personally tested and stand by each of these products, and we consulted with board-certified dermatologist Sophia Reid, MD, FAAD to help us vet further. More to love: every single one of these products is certified cruelty-free.

Looking for more feel-good products? Check out our full list of Good For You Award winners here.



Best Skin Tint: TULA Radiant Skin Brightening Serum Skin Tint SPF 30

This is what we reach for on days when we want lighter, natural-looking coverage, with an extra skincare boost. It’s made with collagen, hyaluronic acid, and pre- and postbiotics to help support the skin barrier. It feels deeply hydrating and leaves your complexion with a lit-from-within glow.

$42 at Ulta

Best Highlighter: Westman Atelier Liquid Super Loaded All-Over Illuminator Drops

There are so many ways to use these vitamin C-spiked illuminating drops. You can add a touch to your foundation or moisturizer, tap it onto the high points of your face, or apply it all over before foundation as a radiance-boosting primer. Trust us, the result is subtle and beautiful — think dewy angel, not disco ball.  

$58 at Sephora

Best Mascara: MERIT Clean Lash Mascara

Behold: The perfect mascara. It separates and lengthens, doesn’t flake, and feels lightweight on sensitive eyes. Just one coat does the trick, but it builds nicely if you like a more dramatic look.

$26 at MERIT$26 at Sephora

Best Brow Gel: Kulfi Brow Gel

Aka, the brow gel that sold out in two weeks at Sephora. The formula contains conditioning ingredients, like vitamin E and sunflower oil, that help boost brow growth (at least one of our editors has seen a visible difference in her brows since using it). The dual-sided brush on the other end makes your brows look professionally microbladed.

$26 at Kulfi$26 at Sephora
Undone Beauty

Best Multipurpose Product: Undone Beauty Water Blush

This is technically a blush, but we love how it looks on our lids and lips as well for a pulled-together, monochromatic look. The water-based texture feels cooling and blends seamlessly into the skin, and since it doesn’t have any shimmer, it looks like a natural flush.

$10 at Ulta



Best Sunscreen: Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Mineral Milk Sunscreen SPF 30

Looking for a sunscreen that won’t break you out and has additional skincare benefits? Here you go. PS: We’ve tested a handful of Summer Fridays products, and we stand by them all.

$36 at Sephora
Sofie Pavitt

Best Cleanser: Sofie Pavitt Clean Clean Cleanser

The cleanser that single-handedly solved all our skincare problems. It has a creamy, nourishing feel that helps calm redness (thanks to allantoin, glycerin, and panthenol) and even out our skin’s texture. Our skin feels clean and coddled after we use it. 

$34 at Sofie Pavitt

Best Moisturizer: Dieux Instant Angel

Dieux is another brand we swear by, and Instant Angel is the hero in the lineup. It has a thicker consistency that feels super healing and hydrating on compromised skin, but it doesn't feel greasy in the slightest. When we wear it overnight, our skin looks visibly plumper when we wake up. 

$45 at Dieux$45+ at Sephora

Best Retinol: Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

We’ve tried many retinols in our day, but we think this Versed serum is a great place to start if you’re a beginner and/or have sensitive skin. Encapsulated retinol is paired with things like hyaluronic acid, chamomile, and aloe to counteract the ingredient’s potentially drying and irritating effects. One of our editors says it helped reduce the appearance of fine lines, and she never experienced stinging or burning.

$21.99+ at Versed

Best Pimple Treatment: Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original Patch

We’ve tested countless pimple patches, but we always come back to these OGs. They have the best stickiness (even on just-moisturized skin), and they honestly work like magic to heal pimples overnight. And you can’t beat the price.

$11.97 at Amazon

Hair Care


Best Leave-In Conditioner: ROZ Milk Hair Serum

This serum gets points for versatility alone: it works to detangle and reduce frizz, and as a heat protectant. Bonus points for its lightweight texture that doesn’t weigh down finer hair, plus a formula that’s made of 99% natural ingredients.

$52 at ROZ$29+ at Nordstrom

Best Dry Shampoo: hOURS On-Time Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo is a little more expensive than others on the market, but we promise the price is worth it. It doesn’t leave behind any white residue — our biggest grievance with other dry shampoos — and it sops up grease like none other. Our hair looks cleaner, our scalps feel less itchy, and it helps extend our time between shampoos at least a day. Plus, it smells amazing.

$29 at hOURS

Best Curl Cream: OUAI Curl Cream

We love how this curl cream smooths and defines our curls, adds volume, and doesn't weigh down finer textures. Plus, we love getting whiffs of that signature OUAI scent — an expensive-smelling combination of bergamot, jasmine, and patchouli — throughout the day.

$32 at Ulta

Best Treatment For Damaged Hair: Epres Bond Repair Treatment

One of our editors with bleached hair credits this treatment with keeping her hair healthy, shiny, and strong — and it’s growing faster than it ever has in the three-plus years since she went blonde. It’s also really easy to use. You just spritz it on dry hair before you jump in the shower, leave it in for at least 10 minutes, then wash it out.

$50 at Amazon

Best Treatment For Hair Growth: Vegamour GRO Hair Serum

This is one of the only hair growth treatments we’ve tried that truly lives up to its promise, and we keep repurchasing it. The vegan formula includes turmeric, caffeine, and biotin, which help with hair density and stimulating hair growth. Pro tip: you'll get even better results when you use this alongside another hair oil. We highly recommend Amazing Hair Saviour and Bur Bur Growing Season.

$64 at Vegamour

Body Care


Best Body Mask: Megababe Le Tush Clarifying Butt Mask

Yes, this is marketed as a butt mask, but we use it everywhere else on our bodies, too. The clarifying formula contains both chemical and physical exfoliants for smooth, soft skin that actually lasts. It’s the best solution for buttne, backne, and keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin).

$22 at Ulta$21.96 at Amazon
U Beauty

Best Body Serum: U Beauty The Super Body Hydrator

Once you try this body serum, you’ll wonder why you ever even bothered with regular lotion. The formula is more potent and absorbent than lotion, so it penetrates deeper into your skin for lasting hydration without feeling greasy. When we use this, it miraculously fades razor bumps and prevents new ones from forming. It basically gives you glass skin everywhere below the neck.

$128 at Dermstore

Best Body Oil: Chopra Ayurvedic Body Oils

These body oils from Chopra are designed to balance the three doshas, or mind-body types as defined by the ancient Indian healing modality Ayurveda. Even if you’re not particularly interested in the holistic aspect, you will love the fast-absorbing formulas (you can put on clothes right after application without staining or stickiness) and earthy, all-natural fragrances. Our skin looks plump and feels firmer after we massage it in, a process that’s become integral to our Sunday reset routines.

$52+ at Amazon

Best Ingrown Hair Treatment: Fur Ingrown Eliminator Serum

This pick is brought to you by an editor who has made it one of her life’s missions to figure out what to do about ingrown hairs. Spritz this onto any area plagued by ingrowns and the clogged hair follicle will unfurl (almost) right before your eyes. The witch hazel and aloe solution also makes the area look less red and inflamed. Use these wherever you choose to remove your hair, from your bikini line to your underarms. 

$36 at Amazon$36 at Ulta

Best Anti-Chafing Product: Kinfield All Star Anti-Chafe Balm

In here, tapioca starch, coconut oil, shea butter, and plant oils combine to absorb sweat, create a protective barrier, and quell irritation — a dream-team lineup to prevent chafing. Roll it onto areas like your inner thighs or under your boobs, or even along your heels to prevent blisters in uncomfortable shoes. 

$16 at Kinfield



Best Hair Straightener: Dyson Airstrait

After extensive testing on four different hair types, we can confirm that the Dyson Airstrait is worth the hype (and the money). It took our just-washed hair to straight and sleek in about 20 minutes on finer hair, without the use of damaging hot plates. Overall, it’s a better option for maintaining hair health in the long run and a major time saver. Ask for it for your next birthday. 

$499.99 at Dyson$499 at Sephora

Best Makeup Brush: MERIT Brush No.1

The blending brush that’ll make believers out of makeup sponge people. The densely-packed bristles blend liquid and cream formulas seamlessly, creating a soft-focus effect. It also feels deliciously soft on your skin and is easy to clean.

$32 at MERIT$32 at Sephora

Best Hairbrush: dae Vegan Detangle + Style Brush

Thanks to its combination of boar bristles and detangling bristles, this brush can be used on both dry hair to smooth and style, and wet hair to unravel knots. Aka, it’s the only brush you really need, and it’s made entirely of vegan materials. We’ve also found this a lot easier to clean than your typical boar bristle brush.

$26 at Sephora

Best Shower Filter: Afina A-01 Filtered Shower Head

Sorry, but you do actually need a filtered shower head. After swapping out our shower head with this one from Afina, we noticed a major difference in how shiny our hair looked. It also did a more thorough job of removing buildup from our scalps, and proactively soothing dryness and itchiness. It’s a game changer.

$129+ at Afina$129 at Amazon

Best At-Home Laser: LYMA Laser

The LYMA Laser is truly the best-in-class at-home laser you can buy. It’s like red light therapy on steroids. It reaches lower levels of the epidermis to stimulate regeneration with no side effects, like peeling, burning, or pain. After using, our testers noticed an improvement in wrinkles, acne scarring, and overall brightness. This is a great investment if you don't have the budget to go for multiple in-office laser treatments at a dermatologist every year, but other red light therapy tools just won't cut it. PS: We wouldn’t recommend this for those with super-bouncy skin (Sephora teens, we’re looking at you).

$2,695 at LYMA

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